I had a nightmare a couple of nights ago. I woke up hollering the title of this blog.
Hubs said I was loud. But I was actually happy, because in the nightmare my beloved toy poodle Phoebie was with me, at my parents’ old home where I grew up. That made me so happy, to see her again, to be there with her.
Yes, my feelings were that conflicted: happy and scared, as the potential escaped asylum lunatic standing inside the door was staring at me morosely from a few feet away and I feared what his next move would be–hence, “Get the gun! Get the gun!” I was directing my pleas to someone in another room, perhaps a child, so I wasn’t sure any gun would be gotten or that it was even a good idea. Would Freaky Man leave or do what crazy intruders do in nightmares? It was getting tense.
Then I woke up. Hollering.
That’s how dreams do you, isn’t it? Just when it gets to the good part, poof! You wake yourself up.
But I remembered all this because I woke up. From fight-or-flight mode back to reality, I held on to one thing: Phoebie was with me.
My poodle was actually with me when I was spending the night at my parents’ house during a brief visit once, long ago in my middle-aged years. Something woke me up that night in the wee hours, as well. It was Phoebie, sitting on the edge of the bed, growling at the front door beyond our room. It was a low growl, something I hadn’t heard her do before, so I was disturbed enough to get up and check out the house. I even went outside–can you believe that? Don’t I ALWAYS tell the people in horror movies, DON’T GO OUTSIDE?! Alone?! But…nothing.
A few years later I was trimming the overgrown variety of bushes in front of the home at the roadside–a tough, sweaty job that took all day because my dad had gone through a period of planting everything he could get in the ground. Guess what I found? A GUN! Stuck in the crotch of an old dwarf cypress tree.
I called the police, realizing that this might have been what my poodle had heard years before, thinking this now-rusty, small caliber revolver might be evidence in a crime. The cop wasn’t remotely interested, but he did tell me he’d chased a man down our street one night around the time of my story and he’d lost him nearby. I’m guessing Gun Man ducked behind the bushes and hid the weapon in case he got caught. Maybe possessing a firearm was a parole violation? Why he never came back for it, we can only guess.
My parents’ neighborhood had become light-industrial by that time, urban sprawl eating into the area once populated with blue-collar families in small, dated homes. I could never get them to leave their old wreck of a house, which they’d bought for $4,000 when I was 8 yrs old. It was next door to the house they’d rented since before they brought me home from the hospital. It had all changed so much in those years.
I worried as their neighbors faded into the past and their outbuildings got broken into, so I’d cut their shrubs back, though it was getting harder as I got ever older. Yes, I could have hired a gardener, but living in another state, I had no way of monitoring the workers and that bothered me, too. Old people are prime targets for setups, and that’s a fact.
My ailing old dad loved to tell the story about how he’d caught a burglar trying to get the backdoor open one afternoon. He heard something and went to see who it was, thinking it was family or friends. He opened the door and there was a stranger who took off running. Because of the previous thefts from his property, my dad said he yelled after him, “Come back here! I want to talk to you!”
Believe me when I tell you, that old WWII vet surely did that.
I was appalled, but it didn’t matter. My parents were who they were, and they wanted to complete their lives in the ramshackle old home where they’d raised us kids, for better and worse.
Dad got his wish and died there at 82. Mom stayed until her last year on earth, dying in Hospice at age 87. They weren’t perfect, but they lived their lives without excuses or blame. They worked hard every day to provide what they could for us, they paid their bills and their taxes, and I never once heard them complain about what they did for a living or what they got paid.
As for their dilapidated property, they loved it with all their hearts like it was their Taj Mahal.
It was home.
[Photo compliments of Google Earth; Photoshop by me.]
Did I mention my dad loved his handgun, the Smith & Wesson I have now? My mom once used it to fend off some very bad men threatening us, though she was more likely to have shot one of us, had she known how to disengage the safety feature. That was okay, though, because once she told the very bad men she had called the police, they flew out of there like their butts were on fire. But that’s another story.
And that’s my crazy dream, isn’t it?
Thanks for dropping by. It’s always a pleasure.