Thursday, January 06, 2005

Things That Go Bump in the Night

I was enjoying a wonderful deep sleep in this snug little farmhouse last night when something woke me up. I didn’t know what it was at first. Something out of the ordinary happened, and it grabbed me out of dreamland and thrust me rudely into this dark cold room. I was awake and in a high state of alert — heart pounding, adrenalin pumping. I opened my eyes and looked at the wall next to me but couldn’t see anything. The room was dark and quiet, but panic was clamouring in my head. I looked at my watch; it was 4 am.

It is unusually quiet here in the country anyway, but this quiet was deafening. The furnace wasn’t on, the fridge was in a rest period and the water heater was quieter than a mouse. Total, absolute quiet bombarded my ears.

What woke me up? I strained my ears and eyes but couldn’t hear or see anything. AC was sound asleep beside me, and now his soft breathing was drowning out any other sounds in the house. "Stop breathing so loud," I telepathically shouted at him. He evidently wasn’t receiving any messages from me in the depths of his dream world, and he continued to breathe on! The nerve!

We sleep on a creaky old iron bed in a small room on the main floor of the farmhouse, and because the room is so small the bed is pushed up against the wall. As a result, I can’t get out of bed without waking AC up to let me out. I lay there in the dark debating whether to wake him up or not? He has been sick and having trouble sleeping and now seemed to be in such a deep sleep: "I should let him sleep; no, I should wake him up!" What the heck woke me up?

I didn’t really want to go prowling around the cold dark farmhouse, so I lay there straining to hear. Nothing: I could hear absolutely nothing. Could I smell anything? No, no smoke, and the detector right outside our bedroom door was silent, so I was sure the house wasn’t on fire. I started to imagine all sorts of noises: was that an engine noise outside; was that a footstep in the kitchen; did the floor creak in the bedroom above our heads?

When we are here alone, we don’t open up the second floor of the house at all. There is a door in the kitchen leading to the bedrooms upstairs, and it is shut tight the whole time we are here. It saves on heat and makes us much cozier down here on the main floor. Did I hear noises up in those closed rooms above our heads? I strained and strained my ears, but I heard nothing.

After what seemed like an eternity, my heart rate started to settle down, and I convinced myself that something in my dream woke me up and that I should just roll over and go back to sleep. I was just drifting off when I was roughly yanked back to full alert again. Was it the sound of paper rustling? Did it come from the bureau across the room from the bed? No, maybe it came from the living room just outside the bedroom door. I lay there straining my ears again. Nothing! I could hear nothing — except AC’s breathing. The old iron bed is very creaky — maybe it was the bed? Maybe it was AC’s foot moving the covers? No, I was used to those noises; this was something different.

All was quiet again though. Once I was fully awake and alert, I couldn’t hear anything. I raised myself up on my elbows and peered out into the darkened living room and listened and looked, but couldn’t’ see anything moving and didn’t hear a thing. I lay back down and started to drift off again. Another noise roused me, and this time I knew it was paper rustling and that it was coming from the bureau in the bedroom. I looked over and in the gloom couldn’t see any shadows moving about. Oh no, it must be a mouse. Not again!!!! (check here for the first mouse story) I then heard scratching and scampering and noises out in the living room. I guess he was finished in our room and was on his way to the kitchen for a snack!!!

I looked at my watch again, and it was a little after 5 am. This little game had kept me awake for over an hour. Amazingly, once I knew what I had heard and thought that the mouse was safely munching away on something in the kitchen, I rolled over and went back to sleep. I guess I thought that if the mouse did come back into the room and across the bed that he would go into AC’s PJ’s and not my nightgown, and I was comfortable enough with that thought to drift off to dreamland again. Can you believe that?

When we got up this morning, I told AC what had happened during the night, and he said he thought he had seen a shadow of a mouse or something running across the floor when he had been up to the bathroom during the night. It was just a shadow, and he only caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of his eye, so he wasn’t sure if he had seen anything it or not.

I checked around nooks and crannies this morning and found that the little blighter had been under the kitchen sink and in one drawer beside the sink. I cleaned both those areas up and will keep that cupboard door and drawer closed tight at night to keep the little monster contained and out of our bedroom until we can get a trap or convince him to go back outside. I really don’t want to trap him, but I don’t want him and his buddies to move in either.

Never a dull moment here at the farm that is for sure. We are feeding the birds and squirrels outside and are enjoying watching them and visiting with them, but we sure don’t want furry little creatures in our bed at night. Been there, done that – don’t want to go there again.

We are being treated to a wonderful snow storm this morning, and the beauty all around us is more than making up for the trauma of things that go bump in the night in this old house. We will snuggle down indoors this afternoon and enjoy the storm while we sip a hot cup of apple cider and curl up with a good book.

I hope you enjoy something warm and comforting on this cold blustery day too. Keep your eyes open as you walk through this day. Lots of good gifts are waiting to be opened and enjoyed by you.

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