30 June 2010

Breaking Fast

Sometimes, I skip breakfast chow so that I can lay in my rack and think about my wife.

I still get up at 0515 hours, grab a shower, put on the Army pants. But then I re-set my alarm and cast myself adrift in my sleeping bag for a few blissful minutes, while the other guys are still shuffling off to the shower. If I'm lucky, in my post-Revelie reverie, I get a chance to enjoy a few appropriately inappropriate daydreams about my wife. Happy, cuddily, non-Army-type thoughts.

It's worth going hungry for.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love breakfast. Some of the boldest schemes in which I have ever participated have been hatched over eggs and sausage and biscuits and coffee--lots and lots of coffee. And words. And friends. Back when we were young and planning to rule the world, we used to call them "Big Idea Breakfasts." They were grand.

Breakfast, like they say, is the most important part of the day.

It was in partial celebration of this outlook that inspired Household-6 and I to host a brunch reception on our wedding day. (Although every time she recounts the tale, the hour she allegedly had to wake up to get married gets earlier and earlier. Still, it's a great story.)

Fast-forward back here to the military life: Army breakfasts are usually pretty good, if unimaginative and repetitive and unimaginative. Typically, only the meat changes: bacon one day, sausage the next, ham the next, until the menu rotation starts again.

There's always potatoes in some form, and sometimes another starch. I started eating grits in the Army halfway through my Basic Training, because there's only so much you and Uncle Sam can do with a potato. Grits, on the other hand? There are a thousand ways you can doctor grits: butter, salt, jam, cheese--you name it. Even a Midwestern Yankee like me can't screw them up too bad.

Here at Camp Ripley, the contractor providing meals (in the new Army, our cooks rarely get a chance to actually prepare meals) provides jalapeno peppers with nearly every meal--breakfast and dinner. So add a side of jalapenos to the list of Things Sherpa Enjoys While in Uniform but Not So Much Anytime Else: Grits, Country-Western music, and second-hand smoke.

Jalapenos and grits? I'd like to try that some time, but Minnesota ain't exactly grits country, apparently.

In a couple of days, I'll be back home in Iowa for a few weeks. The kids will be with the grandparents a few days prior to Independence Day, and Household-6 and I may actually have a chance to dreamily ease into a few mornings together--just like old times--rather than adhere to our usual "3-year-old drill sergeant" routine.

I plan to wake up when I want to. I plan to lay there, between sheets and wakefulness, counting my blessings with every breath. I will think how much I love my wife and my life. I will think of my kids.

And, eventually, I will think of what to have for breakfast.


  1. ....but having a little private time in your sleeping bag all alone in the barracks while everybody else has gone to eat can be pretty special.

  2. And I bet your wife is looking forward to a warm, breakfast-filled reunion just as much as you are! Hang on to your imagination, hang on to your quiet time, & hang in there...you'll be home soon!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.