That’s what the Bohemian wants for his birthday. Which is today.

The wheelbarrow is already here and neatly parked in the work shed (no more hauling garden weeds in 5 gallon buckets).

And it looks like I’ll be wrestling with puff pastry, a cooking medium with which I have no experience. I’ve put in minimal time with a rolling-pin and am opting to try the puff pastry route in an attempt to fulfill the Bohemian’s wish for some b-day apple strudel.

photo courtesy of Michela Simoncini
photo courtesy of Michela Simoncini

It’s 3am on this auspicious day, and the Bohemian and I both stir from sleep. We are tucked in our latest experiment, having swapped our typical ‘sides’ of the bed for the night. Neither of us really cares for the ‘wall side’ of our corner bed zone, and in this moment, it’s where the Bohemian rests.

I am the first to wish him happy birthday. I ask him how he’s sleeping.

“This is not my side, Jess.” His tone deadpan.

I smile. “Really?”

“I had weird dreams. Do you have weird dreams over here?”

“Ahh. I see you’re going for the dreaming tactic. Very creative strategy for building a case against the wall side.” I’m still grinning.

It is his birthday, after all. I offer to trade. Crawl over and plant my pillow down in the strange dreamland territory, wall and all.

But now I can’t go back to sleep. I’m thinking pastries at this early hour, hoping it doesn’t turn into a birthday baking nightmare.

We’ve got mangos from the tree in our freezer. Or I could buy apples. I ask in the darkness, what kind of strudel does he want?

He’s still awake.  And like a true birthday boy, he does not hold back.

“Well, my mom, she’s been making two kinds of strudel…” (Nice one, Bohemian).

“Two strudels? Really?” Again I’m smiling.

“Yep, two strudels.” He’s smiling too.

Yeah well, we’ll be lucky if this American can get one strudel out of the oven intact.

I keep my thoughts to myself.  Cuddle up closer.  Switch the subject.

“So what’s your birthday wish for this year?”

His toes brush my ankles under the covers. “Hmmm…good dreams.”

I love this profoundly simple man.

And what does he want for his thirty-fifth birthday? I better get the wish list straight because it’s some of life’s best:

A wheelbarrow and homemade strudel. Good dreams and dibs on the right side of the bed.

photo courtesy of Kevin Gessner
photo courtesy of Kevin Gessner

10 thoughts on “Strudel and a Wheelbarrow

  1. One question I meant to ask you, why do you wake up so early? In Paris, almost nothing except backers and coffee bar is open before 9 am/10am. People wake up later, unless they have kids that needs to go to schoolt 8/8.30 am. In Luxembourg, almost everything is open around 8/9 am, people starts earlier, so they wake up earlier as well… And you?


    1. Great question. I ask myself sometimes! One reason is purely practical – as a mom, those early morning hours before my son wakes up are the only ones I have to myself! I’m a morning person anyway, and I love that magic place that sifts between dreams and waking. My morning writing is one of my disciplines, so my body clock (usually) just gets up. 4:30am is my ideal time for waking (Jeb’s got to go to the bus stop by 6:40). Sometimes, like this morning, I wake up earlier than I’d like. This 3am post got written and then I did crawl back into bed for about a half hour before the alarm. Thanks for asking!


      1. I so understand the need to have time for yourself. I m also a mom, of 3 small ones. And time for yourselves is not easy to find. I am more a night person, even If life made me wake up earlier.
        I love the night atmosphere. Regarding morning, I love most of all, early morning after a white night out. The best is having a cup of coffee and croissant, the sun gently waking up in the quietness of a busy city. Or in front of the sea, while beach is empty.

        Good you could finish your night….


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