After brushing my teeth and slipping into PJs, I love to bolster up pillows and snuggle into bed with a book. I notice what a good mood I’m in, even if the day hasn’t been all that great. But reading in bed is such a treat I can’t help smiling no matter how tired I am. Whatever I left undone, I’ll tackle in the morning.

The middle of the night is not my favorite time as I’m not the greatest sleeper. Adequate sleep is essential. I’ve heard all kinds of advice about how to get back into the dream-zone, but sneaky little worries creep in and I recall must-do’s that didn’t get done. Before I turn out my bedside light I jot down reminders on Post-it notes, which helps. And I pray for people and situations — whatever comes to mind.

Spectacular sunrise up at beach rise.  Our neighbors must think I'm crazy for running outside so early.  Or maybe they're sleeping.

Spectacular sunrise up at the beach. Our neighbors must think I’m crazy for running outside so early. Or maybe they’re sleeping.

I’ve always considered morning to be my favorite time of day, but fall and winter can be dark and dreary. Fortunately, I don’t suffer from the lack of sunshine as many do. Mornings are the most productive time of day for me to write. Cup of coffee nearby, I try to journal first thing, a practice I highly recommend. It’s amazing what emerges when you journal about any old topic. Cranky thoughts are far less likely to plague me the rest of the day. Often new story ideas and characters come life.

My favorite meal of the day is lunch, because I can eat all I want; a full tummy won’t disrupt my sleep. I’d much rather meet a friend for lunch than dinner. In my younger days I was a night owl, both in the restaurant business and while singing in musical theater. But staying up late does not mix well with rising early to write. My husband sets his alarm for 4:10 … and I usually get up around five or six. If we were Amish, I doubt anyone would see this as being too early. My father’s words, “You’re wasting the best hours of the day,” still float in the back of my brain.

The aroma of fresh-off-the-line can't be surpassed.

The aroma of fresh-off-the-line laundry can’t be surpassed.

What is your favorite time of the day? Does it depend on the season?

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Amish made oven mitts from Lancaster County.

Charming Amish-made oven mitts from Lancaster County.