Can you guess what I got in the mail today?? I bet you cannot! It was a package from my dear friend Beanie! Inside were all sorts of goodies — toys for the kids, photography books for me, and treats for the whole family. She made some really yummy candy, a chocolate-covered confection of some kind, plus caramel corn. I appreciate the caramel corn so much because generally it has peanuts in it — and Beanie remembered that we can’t have peanuts. It’s been so long since I’ve had caramel corn. Yum yum yum.
Thanks, Beanie! You’re the best.
Over on my Flickr forum, we’ve been discussing “weird shit you sometimes think.” Ha. Here’s my problem — I have a very oddly wired brain, so the weird shit I sometimes think is usually quite weird. Here are some examples.
Sometimes I think Kurt is dead. True story. It only happens when we’re laying in bed, when he’s fallen asleep and I’m still reading. He’s a very quiet sleeper, rarely snoring unless he’s sick or on his back for some reason. Sometimes his breathing becomes so shallow that I can’t hear it anymore, so I have to touch him to make sure his chest is still rising and falling. I guess it’s about once a week that I think Kurt’s dead, my penalty for having a husband who doesn’t snore.
One time I thought the dog was dead. This was back in Virginia when we were first married. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the dog’s tail puddled between his rear legs. I’d always read that a person’s bowels release when they die, so to my sleep-fogged brain I thought that the dog had died and poo’ed in the bed. I shook Kurt awake with a great deal of trepidation and whispered, “Kurt! I think the dog is dead!”
I’ve never seen him leave the bed more quickly. He pretty much just levitated straight up and landed on the other side of the room, snapping on the light all in one motion. The dog raised his head and blinked sleepily at us, and that’s when I realized that what I thought was poo was just his tail.
This isn’t something new. I’ve been having these weird thoughts my whole life. When I was in the 5th grade, my father watched Ken Burns’s documentary on the Civil War. All the photos of dead soldiers, both Union and Confederate, really affected me. It was my job to take the garbage bin to the curb every week, which required me to drag it from the backyard along the side of the house that had no lights. For some reason, I got it into my head that our house was built on a Confederate graveyard, and the dead soldiers would reach up with their skeletal hands to grab my ankles. They were angry, you see, because I was a native Virginian but living in northern Illinois at the time. That just proves how ridiculous that thought was, since there were no Civil War battles fought in Illinois.
It didn’t help that my parents dragged me to every Civil War battlefield in the Virginia and Maryland area. Antietam, Bull Run, Fredericksburg — if it was near our home in northern Virginia, we went to see it. I’m sort of amazed we never got to Gettysburg, except that I think it would have required a hotel stay. My father isn’t fond of paying for accommodation; we never went anywhere unless we had a friend or a family member we could stay with. We also never went anywhere unless we could drive there, which explains why my father drove the family from Nebraska to Florida to see my sister graduate boot camp, and then again within six months to see her married there. I have never been on a plane with my parents; any time I flew as a kid, which was frequently to allow me to visit with my biological mother several times a year, I flew by myself.
I guess it’s mind-boggling nowadays to think of a six- or ten-year-old kid flying by herself, but it was a different world then. I started walking to school by myself when I was four, and I can’t even fathom letting Grace walk to the local school by herself from here, though it’s not much farther than my walk when I was younger than she is now.
It’s amazing, isn’t it, how quickly things change sometimes.