Wednesday, June 01, 2005


My morning alarm was a lightning strike. 3AM, and the rain was rattling the metal roof and both Mary Ann and I were shaken out of a deep sleep. "Henry ... is the Jeep?" I already had that same thought. "It's already too late." I wasn't about to run out into a raging thunderstorm to put in the driver's side window. It was probably already drenched. What would be the point?

Mary Ann was quiet for ten seconds, and then began struggling with the covers. I shoved them back over her. "You stay put." Okay, lightning strikes or not. I had to do this.

I found my sandals. I'd risk the lightning, but not walking on the gravel in my bare feet. On the back porch, Patches, our elderly dog joined me. We went out into the rain and I rushed to extract the upper door from the back seat and slip it into it's sockets. It went quickly, but I was soaked. I went back inside, but Patches, who has always been frightened of loud noises, lightning particularly, didn't follow me in. Oh, well. The back porch was protected enough, and I was wet and cold and didn't feel like coaxing a wet smelly dog in if he didn't feel like it. A couple of minutes later I was dried off and back in bed, if a bit chilly.

And I couldn't get back to sleep, and I needed the rest. I had an appointment early in the morning all the way across Austin to get the aged and ragged ( and very wet) soft top on my Jeep Wrangler replaced. I kept my eyes closed and my body still. That's one of Mary Ann's suggestions. Pretend you're asleep and maybe you will be.

But instead, I began blocking out this blog entry.

Scratch. Scratch. Oh, the tell tale sounds of a dog scratching at the door to be let in. But there were only a couple of them. Patches has been known to be very persistent when he want's in. I had to replace the back door metal doorknob because it had been dented and mangled by one of his previous attempts to get indoors.

A moment later Mary Ann whispered, "Is Patches in the house?"
"He was on the back porch."
She got up and opened the door from the bedroom to the back porch. "Patches! Patches!" But he had found alternative shelter, and wasn't coming.

But of course, now Mary Ann was wide awake, so she went into her office.

Maybe I dozed off, but shortly, there was a click, and the door opened. Patches had found a weakness in the door latch and opened it. He does that a lot.

Dawn. Mary Ann had come back to bed sometime while I was asleep. I rushed to take care of the minor chores before I could leave -- get the trash out, take my morning pills.

Patches was asleep in Mary Ann's office, wrapped in a towel. Ah, the dog's life.

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