Kids, Cows and Dusty Rusty on the Road to Perdition
I notice things in my dark, quiet house at 4 a.m. I notice lazy labs will look at you like you’re insane. Then they will sigh deeply before falling back into deep slumber. Their heads will not lift in morning greeting, but eventually their legs will begin a frantic race to nowhere. They have yet to catch the squirrel of their dreams.
At 4 a.m. I also notice the drip of coffee takes forever. After an excruciating wait of 90 seconds or so, I pour brew into my favorite mug. It’s tall and brown, with yellow writing: Yellowstone — An American Original since 1872. I open the fridge to get goodies to doctor it up a bit. That’s when I notice three, half-empty jars of pasta sauce. “How … ?” I will never know. Also, the muffin numbers have dwindled from over three dozen when they were made the day before, to 14. Human vacuums, that’s what my kids are.
You may be wondering why I was up at 4 a.m. Hey, me too! I’m pretty sure it has something to do with age, hormones and an unbelievable hot flash that doused the firestorm of problems I was having in my crazy nightmare. (One of these days I’m going to have to change the name of this blog to ‘Hot Flash Follies’ or ‘Forgetfulness on the Farm’ or something!)
Anyway, this dream … it was a doozy!
The cows and heifers were all due at the fairgrounds by 9 p.m. for the start of the county fair. Kids ran around getting ready. There were stacks of supplies and bales of hay. There were buckets and hoses and feed pans and those blasted white show pants. There was the typical, frantic feeling that accompanies any great packing up and moving on — and that’s when my husband informed me he was going to a HAM radio club meeting.
What?! What about the fair? You have to take the cows!” I screeched as my arm swept the perimeter of the area which included a host of docile, dark-eyed Holsteins and three filthy kids. “If we’re not there by 9 p.m. there’s a $25/head late fee!”
“Sorry, gotta go! Just tell ’em I had a prior commitment,” and he drove out of the driveway, arm waving out the window. “We’ll take ’em tomorrow,” he called over his shoulder. I was NOT happy.
At some point in this crazy, mind-bending fiasco of a dream I loaded up all the cows, the kids and their stuff. I would take them myself, dangit! It was only 10 miles — how hard could it be?
It was hard, people — like catastrophic …
… and to really showcase the crazy notions of a woman’s dreamy state-of-mind, let me describe what I was driving. It was an old, dusty blue pickup with a matching trailer. Both rust buckets. Crazy thing is, my father-in-law used to drive such a pair many, many years ago — so many years ago I wasn’t yet in the family photos. Why that old Chevy — or was it a GMC? — showed up in my dreams I will never know! I will say the vehicles weren’t as dusty and rusty in reality. But exaggeration is to be expected in nightmares.
Anyway, we started down the road and all went well for about five miles. AND THEN we came to what I’ll call Lozier’s hill. So I start driving up the rather steep, long curvy, hill with my creaky, old trailer full of cattle and my rust bucket full of kids. There was a loud pop and my truck suddenly veered to the left.
The front tire had literally exploded.
The truck, trailer, cattle and my precious kids were sitting ducks in the middle of a state route. And in my dream I stopped — right there in the middle of the road. I could have kept driving on the rim to the side of the road and relative safety, but no! This is a nightmare and dumb things trump common sense, apparently.
People came out of nowhere. It was total chaos — almost like I was parked in the fair midway. They were freaky and nasty and mean. And meanwhile, I was terrified someone would hit us — like one of those big tanker trucks delivering stuff to the drilling rigs. A guy handed me a road flare (it resembled a square, 6-volt battery in this dream), and I took off down the hill to activate it at the corner. Except I had to light it with a match. Sparks flew and caught my pants on fire. I stopped, dropped and rolled, but not before I had a big ol’ burn on the back of my leg.
(I’m thinking this is about the time the real-life hot flash started, but I was dreaming so who knows!)
When I got back to the trailer there was a guy trying to fix my tire, but he let the spare go and it rolled down the hill and into the woods. Some lady was screaming at me that I was blocking the road and she “didn’t have time for this ****.” And everyone started yelling in total mob-like madness. My kids were crying, the cows were wandering around on the road with lead straps dragging. I kept trying to call my in-laws — they live just over the hill from this traffic accident for heaven’s sake — but I couldn’t punch in the right combination of numbers. I kept trying over and over and over …
And then my dearly beloved’s snoring jarred me from the nightmare.
I gave him a gentle slug, told him to stop snoring, and he rolled over with a muffled, “Sorry.”
“Oh, good. You’re awake! Let me tell you about my dream!
By the way — YOU are driving us to the fair!”