The Sun reached out from 93 million miles away, pushed against the curtains in my bedroom until it found a small gap, and poked though it. As it moved across the sky, it crept silently down the wall behind me, then deliberately down the headboard until it landed on my forehead. Once there, it took careful steps until it found its target and blazed relentlessly into my eyes.
I was jarred from my wonderful dream, forced to trade my viking garb for the Wheaton college T-shirt I sleep in, and my trusty wolf companion for my dog, who thumped her tail against the bed and licked my face when she realized I was awake.
I scratched her head and then my own, sat up, and got out of bed. She jumped down behind me and trotted down the hall toward the living room. I heard movement behind me and turned to see my cat, stretched out on his side next to Anne's pillow.
"Morning kitty," I said.
"Mrrow," he replied, but what I heard was "I again chose not to kill you while you slept. You're welcome."
I stretched, blinked my eyes several times, and made my way toward the kitchen, where I hoped I'd find coffee.
When I got there, I found not only coffee, but my wife.
"Is there coffee?"
"There is coffee," she said. We always ask each other if there's coffee, whether we know the answer or not; it's part of our morning routine.
"I like coffee," I said. I kissed her on the shoulder while I stepped around her and poured myself a cup. I took it into the dining room, and sipped it.
Ten minutes and half a cup later, I was officially awake. I became aware of the birds singing on the patio, the distant drone of an early morning lawnmower, and then the smell of something familiar on the air. I looked into the kitchen, expecting to see pancakes or waffles on the stove, but it was empty. I shrugged and went back to my coffee. When it was empty, I returned to the kitchen to refill it, and while I stood in front of the coffee machine, Anne took a loaf of banana bread out of the oven.
"Banana bread!" I said, excited. "I thought I smelled it, but I didn't know you were making it!"
She put it on a cooling rack and said, "I told you that I was making banana bread when you were getting your coffee."
I put on my best Homer-Simpson-is-exasperated voice and said, "I was tuning you out. Jeeze!"
She poked a toothpick into the center of the loaf. "Oh, that's sad."
I waited a second, and then I said, ". . . what?"
She looked at me and slowly shook her head as I giggled.