It was 4:00 in the morning when my eyes flew open and a disturbing thought occurred. Had I turned off the iron before going to bed? I lay there trying to convince myself to forget it and go back to sleep, but visions of smoke and catastrophe filled my mind, and I grudgingly crawled from my bed. As I trudged down the hall my dog appeared and anxiously signaled to be let out. I sighed and realized that once again I’d neglected her bedtime potty break.
Not only that, but despite my extreme efforts to be quiet, a sleepy child’s radar had registered the presence of the Mother ship, and was now requesting a drink. The iron, of course, was nowhere to be seen. Not only had I turned it off, but in a surprising burst of efficiency, had even put it away.
As I opened the door to let the dog out, my foggy brain grasped the fact that the back gate was beginning to crash in the wind. There were two problems here; number one – our backyard bunny would escape, and two, the noise of the gate would keep me awake all night.
Reluctantly I set off across the moonlit yard feeling like a horror-movie actress who foolishly wanders through a dark house to close the banging shutter. I had one advantage over the doomed one though, since by now my faithful hound had joined me.
After closing the gate, and nervously glancing over my shoulder, I raced for the house. Had the trees always seemed this menacing? I was almost home free when a frenzied fur ball, otherwise known as the neighbors psychotic cat, exploded from the hibiscus bush, hissing and spitting in defense of my imagined attack. My canine protector flew into action, tripping me and racing off in hot pursuit, while I, clutching my heart in fear, managed to regain my footing and stagger into the house.
Sinking back into my heavenly warm bed, I glanced at the clock and was shocked to discover there were only two hours until I had to get up again. I commanded myself to go to sleep, and amazingly enough, drifted away.
I dreamed I was on a coon hunt. Jed Clampett and I raced after a tiny furry creature while the hounds bayed with excitement . . . what? My eyes blinked open – coon hunt? I sighed. I could still hear the hounds, but the sound wasn’t coming from the hills of the Texas tea. It was my own mutt, howling in lonesome misery on the back porch.
My husband, roused to groggy semi-consciousness, said “Why is the dog outside?”
“It’s a long story,” I said, as I pulled on my robe, “I blame it on the iron.”