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Larks and owls

     Love it! Larks and owls! What a hoot! Wait! I didn't say that, did I? Anyway, it was about research done on something serious—breast cancer—but the naming of the subjects just struck my fancy.

     Larks and owls don't get breast cancer, of course—at least not that I know of—but the researchers came to the conclusion that people who are "larks" are less likely to get breast cancer than people who are "owls." Chances are one in a hundred if you're a lark; two in a hundred if you're an owl.

     So forgetting the odds of getting breast cancer, are you a lark or an owl? Surely you want to know. . .

     I used to be a lark. Larks jump out of bed in the morning, arms outstretched, "Yay! Another day!" I remember those days—faintly. Larks go strong all morning, peak in mid-afternoon, and go to bed early. Need plenty of sleep so they can jump out of bed the next morning. Actually I don't remember ever going to bed early, even in the days when I eagerly jumped out of bed in the mornings, but I do remember family vacations in Washington, D.C. at my grandmother's house. I always woke up earlier than everyone else. I was bored stiff waiting for someone else—anyone—to get up so I'd have someone to talk to, eat breakfast with, start the day. . .

     After having four babies with countless sleepless nights and early morning wake-up calls I became a dedicated owl. Years later I want nothing more when I wake up than to roll over and hug my pillow for a few more minutes, or another half hour, under the covers. You've probably guessed by now, owls do not bounce out of bed in the mornings. They tend to peak in the late afternoon and evening hours and fall into bed long after the larks have gone to dreamland.

     I love being an owl. Well, I don't like that it's so hard to get up in the mornings but once I'm up, all is okay. It helps that I'm retired. To get my feet out from under the covers and onto the floor I firmly speak my morning mantra—"You have to do it sometime. Might as well do it now." From there I gear up slowly, starting with my prayers, showering, dressing, making myself presentable. A cup of java and a buttery slice of raisin toast wake my taste buds—which don't need much waking, to be honest.

     I feel sociable in the mornings—not the least ambitious, just very sociable. Lazy? I watch the news, take a short walk, read a little in the sunlight—my doctor says morning sunlight is good for the soul. Then I start seriously procrastinating and keep it up all day. Until dusk.

     As the sun sets, I rise and kick into action. Clear out the storage boxes in the garage; prune a few plants in the yard; make sure everything is watered properly; put in a load of laundry; empty the dishwasher; go grocery shopping; whatever needs to be done, or—drive down to Menchie's for a sweet treat and call a friend to join me.

     Back at home, I turn off the backyard lights and take a stroll around the yard where a few solar lights are blinking among the plants and on the patio tables. I look for a few pale stars in our city sky. If the moon is full, bonus! Some nights shadowy clouds add to the ambience. Refreshed by the night air, it's time to hit the sack. A little reading, prayers, and time for a comfy snooze until tomorrow morning—but not too early, please. . .

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