Time is rubber

I am convinced there is a time warp, a stretch in the time continuum somewhere around the bridge that connects Wisconsin and Minnesota at Red Wing. I am also convinced that occasionally it shifts south and east to my back yard.

Let me explain. This morning I woke slightly before my alarm went off. Six minutes before the alarm was set to ring (my ring tone is the sound of a lovely minor key wind chime, similar to the one that hangs over the deck).

I was feeling rather pleased with  myself, I had finally adjusted to baker’s hours. I was waking up just before 2:45 a.m. Yes, Baker’s hours. We see morning from the other end.

I went down stairs and began the morning routine of face washing and teeth brushing and the all important coffee-making. Dennis came down stairs, looking puzzled. “Why are you up so early?”

He pointed to the clock on the microwave. 12:39. Oh. Well. I thought it was later. I thought I should be up and ready for work. I have two hours to sleep. I am going back to bed. Wow, I thought the clock said 2:39. I uttered all this as I walked past him and up the stairs.

Time shift. Nothing to be said about looking at digital clocks without the benefit of glasses in the dark, while trying not to wake anyone up. It was a time shift.

I leave for work in the morning around 3:20 a.m. It can be 3:15, 3:20, 3:17 and occasionally 3:27. There is a window of departure times ten minutes either side of 3:20. I always get to work at 4:01. The time clock does not lie. 4:01. No matter when I leave the house.

I drive the same route every day. No traffic delays (there are at most 4 people awake at that time and driving. The semi driver coming up the Maiden Rock hill in the middle of the road, the dump truck driver cruising Bay City at 55 miles an hour on his way to the sand mine (speed limit 40), someone in a late-model sedan who is obviously late and impatient who passes me at the Bow and Arrow wayside (where the county sheriff lurks) and the woman who remarkably is always talking on her phone as she waits for the green light by the YMCA intersection in Red Wing. Who do you talk to at 4:00 a.m? Who else is up?

No matter what, I pull into the parking lot at the restaurant and unlock the back door and head for the time clock in the mop room and there it is, just as it always is, 4:01 a.m.

Time is rubber, and it stretches. 8 hours later it snaps back. It always takes an hour to get home.  And afternoon naps are never long enough.