Monday, November 8, 2010


November 8, 2010

I appreciated the extra hour of sleep on Saturday night (which actually allowed me to finish my Sunday school lesson before breakfast. . .and on a side note, allowed Walter to get even more than that done, since he didn't fall back. Instead, he ginned around doing chores wondering why he had such a layabout slacker for a wife.), but I'm not that gung ho about the change. My problemo? It is now getting light when I walk the Willie and the Teddy. Light = bad behavior. I'm not sure what it has to do with, because I'm pretty sure they both see well in the pre-dawn light (certainly much better than me) and certainly their smellers work just fine light or dark.

I won't go into the naughty details, but I will say that the ranch behind the dam brought back its emus for an encore performance (I know this because Willie sussed them out Sunday morning. I don't know how long they have been back, but they can run as fast as ever.). I can also identify a squirrel tail if it ends up on my living room carpet (thank you, Teddy. Also, NOTE BENE: The Squirrel Tails is not as good a name for a rock band as Possum's Blood.). I can only think, what will days 3, 4, 5 and so on bring?

I think the dark/light dichotomy wasn't so much that they couldn't see or smell to get into trouble, but they felt a stronger duty to protect me when I walked my weak, slow, mostly hairless self around the lake in the dark. They wouldn't stray as far from my side when they knew at any moment, I might get myself into something that I couldn't get out of (who knows what dangerous wild animals lurked behind the next tree or hidden by the next yaupon bush?).

Case in point, just a little over a week ago (BTC: Before the Time Change) as I rounded the last bend in the road and headed towards the house, I found myself in the midst of a great and almost dangerous adventure. I glanced across the fence (in Texas it's a bob-war fence, but I think you might recognize it as barbed wire) and thought I saw a flickering light about the size of a paper towel roll on my neighbor's back porch. I fumbled my glasses onto my face (since it's dark and I can't see anyway, I usually let them dangle on their chain around my neck) to check it out.

I thought to myself as I walked along,

Suspicious Self: "People didn't usually have fire on their back porch."

Rational Self: "It's probably one of those bug zappers or something with a yellow light bulb"

Suspicious Self: "Except it's flickering."

Rational Self: "The bulb is probably about to burn out."

Suspicious Self: "The size and height isn't quite right."

Rational Self: "Maybe it's a jack-o-lantern or some other Halloween decoration."

Suspicious Self: "Maaaybe, but on the back porch where nobody ever goes?"

Rational Self: "Okay, so maybe it's one of those warming pit things."

Suspicious Self: "At 6:00 in the morning? When it is already in the mid 70s?"

Rational Self: "If the neighbor's house is on fire, wouldn't there be some sort of hubbub or havoc? Why would I be the only one who noticed?"

I walked the dogs back to the closest vantage point and tried to figure it out. I decided to take the dogs home and come back with my binoculars and look (I know, you really don't want to move to my neighborhood now that I have confessed to stalking my neighbor's homes in the early hours with binocs).

Within the couple of minutes it took to get the dogs home, retrieve the field glasses (and my cell), and make it back to the fence line, the paper-towel sized flame had more than tripled in height, and my Rational Self had no other response than to phone Walter to call 911 and hump myself over the fence to see if anyone but me had noticed that the back porch was definitely on fire.

By the time I reached the house, the five people who lived there were making their way outside--no injuries, but quite a lot of agitation, especially from the three teens, who were really confused (one wanted to rush back in for his library books, another announced she wasn't going to school until at least second period). I took the teens out to the main road to wait for the fire truck (so they wouldn't keep trying to rush back into the smoke for their phone chargers) and let the adults move the family car away from the flames.

The professionals arrived to take care of everything, and I crossed back through the field and over the fence to my waiting coffee and those vigilant pups who were almost apoplectic that I was out before light without them to protect me.


  1. I live in AZ so we don't do DST. So I get to keep the same time - except my cell phone switches time zones... haha. No more using my phone as an alarm clock! :)

    And wow for the fire story. I'm terrified of fire... me roasting a marshmallow requires the longest stick-thing and holding onto the very tip. :)

  2. Love that you used the word apoplectic! That is an un-used, under appreciated word.

    And yes, we have "bob wire" fences here in NC, too.