Did you every wonder about your first memories? I am sitting here tonight trying to figure out who was the first person to wake me from a deep sleep. I have never been a person to dread getting up in the morning. Maybe that was because in the Watkins family you only got called one time. If you went back to sleep, no one would bother to call you again. But, there would be serious consequences when you did wake up. I remember someone telling me, “I am calling you one time and no more.” I don’t think I ever tested the system to evaluate whether the hard consequences would be worth the extra time on the soft pillow. I figure being called to “Rise and Shine” is one of my first memories. But back to the “getting up” call, my first thought is that my Dad used the phrase to stir me to roll out bright and early to go do my chores before breakfast. Country boys had a number of jobs to do before we could return to the kitchen for Mom’s crisp bacon, floating fried eggs, and toast.
“Rise, Shine, Hit the Deck, Let’s Hear Those Little Feet Go Pitty-Pat” were probably amended Navy words. The “hit the deck” is a dead give away. I think Grandpa Watkins probably learned those words during his service in World War I.
They sound sort of mellow for the Navy, but maybe Grandpa watered the phrase down a bit. Maybe the original was something like “Get your lazy skinny buns out of the bunk, you will be on the deck in five.” I don’t remember my Grandpa telling me about the background of the phrase, but I am reasonably certain that Dad learned it from him. That is the way I like to remember it—I was probably the third generation to use it with my kids. Maybe my boys, David and Steven, will carry on the tradition…there is no better way to wake up.
Lesson for Life: Time is short, but for me it is longer in the morning. And, if I am going to have a devotional time with God to read the scriptures and to pray, it needs to happen in the a.m. when God gets the best I have to offer.