Yard Naps

loungeDuring the last month, I’ve begun to pry the steering wheel of this sixty-eight year old body from the hands of my Inner Forty Year Old (who keeps chanting, Sixty is the new forty.  Sixty is the new forty.) and take control with this sixty-eight year old brain.  Part of that process is breaking a life-long habit of sleep deprivation.  This week, I’ve decided to stop fighting the fatigue I’ve been feeling lately and start sleeping as much as this old body tells me to.  I’ve been trying to get eight hours of sleep a night and I’ve been napping when I feel the need.  Where to nap is, of course, an issue.  My recliner is a good place for an early evening snooze but it’s on the flight path to the kitchen during the day.  Our bed is comfy and cozy, but if I settle there,Mr. P sleeping Mr. P, our son’s Siamese cat is sure to join me.  Since he can sleep anywhere, anytime, he assumes that jumping on top of me while I’m sleeping, then circling for a minute or two before settling in won’t wake me.  Wrong, Mr. P.   By the way … wouldn’t you love to be able to sleep like a cat?

So, lately, I’ve been taking Yard Naps.  There is an inviting lounge chair just outside our dining room door that looks out over the yard … and I’ve often felt I don’t take enough time to appreciate our yard enough.   It’s spring here in Socal, which means in the late afternoon it’s usually in the seventies with a light breeze.  So, the USC blanket my daughter made me is perfect for my Yard Naps.  This is a suburban neighborhood, however, and there are a few blowerdrawbacks to sleeping outside: gardeners and dogs.  On any given afternoon there is a 65% chance that a gardener will be mowing nearby, or worse yet, leaf blowing.  And in a neighborhood of mostly working people, there is a fair chance there’s a dog or two outside yapping … or in the casebarking of the Great Dane pup down the way, BARKING.  Not so much continually but just enough to annoy a curmudgeon trying to take a nap.   The solution is, of course, my Bose Quiet Comfort Noise Cancelling Headphones and an mp3 playlist from my smartphone.  I usually choose something instrumental, Bud’s Jazz or more often, Bud’s Pianos or Bud’s Guitars.   Warm, entertained and shielded from annoyances, I’m usually asleep in minutes.  Don’t you love, by the way, those few moments hanging just on the edge of sleep, completely aware but completely at peace?

Have I ever told  you I have a phonographic memory?  I have dozens of playlists and I always know what song is coming up next.  And the opening piano run.  And exactly when the guitar comes in.  So, when I wake slowly from my Yard Nap, I know approximately how long I’ve slept by what song is playing.  Dave Grusin, On Golden Pond … just a short snooze.   Gipsy Kings, Inspiration … half an hour.  Liz Story, The Very Thought of You … wow, an hour.  Waking up in the yard is the best part.  At this time of year, the sky is blue and everything is madly green.  The flowers are blooming happily in my flower bowls scattered around the yard and the birds, feeling the first chill of evening in the air, are scrambling to get a last meal of the day from the three feeders hanging on our slope.  Dozens of goldfinches are taking turns at the thistle feeder while the house finches squabble over the big feeder, sometimes spending more time chasing each other than eating.  Scrub jays dominate the platform feeder, but when they leave, house finches and doves take a turn.  This week, the first few Western orioles of spring showed up.  On the ground beneath the feeders, quail scurry in and out of the bushes … and if I’m lucky, a Western Towhee will make an appearance.

yard naps

It’s a great show and it’s absolutely free.  Well, yes, I do have to provide the bird seed.  And technically, I pay the mortgage.  But it’s still a great way to wake up.

Do you ever take Yard Naps?

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6 Comments on “Yard Naps”

  1. I have tried. Even worse than leaf blowers at my home are bulldozers, backhoes, air compressors and tandem axle dump trucks coming in and out of my driveway.
    Is phonographic memory a real thing??? I have it too. I know exactly how many seconds between tracks on my favorite albums. I can Name That Tune in 2 notes!
    I thought everyone could do that…. I learned something new today!

  2. I’m not a napper, but this time of year to be lulled to sleep by the warmth of a late afternoon sun and the chirp of birds is nirvana. Whoops! Have to get up, I have things to do.

  3. territerri Says:

    Napping in my yard would be difficult. We’re too near a high traffic road and just blocks away from the railroad. But there have been times, sitting out on the deck and enjoying the sun, when I could ALMOST fall asleep.

    Glad to hear you’re giving your body a break and sleeping more. Sounds like you needed it.

  4. Napping is something that comes to me so naturally -just sit down and presto -magic, I’m napping! Comes about even faster after I eat something. Nothing in particular, just eat somethings whether t be a big meal or a snack, seems to make no never mind, ya know. Just as soon as food hits the stomach the immediate response usually is to drop off into a semi-coma state for anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours! Love me some naps except when they keep me from enjoying something else I had on my mind to do -like watch a particular tv program or read a book or embroider. Then it becomes a bit of a pain in the dupa!

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