Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sleep (first draft)

I never have figured out why sleep eludes people at night, but the moment the alarm sounds, it seems there is nothing a person can do except think of sleep.  Tonight is one example.  I have dutifully set my alarm for 6:30 a.m. in the morning.  This is, after all, the best way to ensure I wake up for church.  Regardless of my calculations and planning, I'm still awake at 2:45 a.m.  With only a few hours until the heart-attack, sounding buzzer will sound off in my ears, I'm wide awake and typing on a screen without a care in the world. Naturally, morning will present a different problem.

I will likely roll over as the buzzer sounds, hit the snooze button, and drift off back into some forgettable dream that I'll be having at that time.  In a few bleak moments, the alarm will sound again and I'll find myself once again considering the effects of hitting that snooze button.  If I'm wise, I'll go ahead and get up, face the day, and hope that the result of my early morning bravery will result in a restful slumber in the evening to come.

Consequently, I know what will come to pass.  I'll stumble around, moody, most of the day, complain about something in the evening and once again find myself driven back to the computer screen where I'll type out some other collection of words to pass the time.  

Sometimes I think there should be a magic pill to make people sleep, and then I'm reminded there is such a pill.  In fact, there are several such pills as Ambien, Trazodone, and many other sleep aides right up the non-habit, forming Benadryl.  Naturally, each of those sleep aides comes with a long list of potential side effects, the worst being death.  No thank you, I'll take my chances with a good book, a few minutes in front of a blank computer screen, or even the moody problems of the next day.  Besides, when the day finally does arrive with that sounding buzzer, I can always place my dependence on a caffeine filled drink to brighten the day.  Then, if for some reason I fail to calculate the correct amounts of caffeine needed to keep me awake during the day only, I'll find myself once again wide awake and wondering just what could be keeping me awake all night.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Farm Roads

Note: Farm Roads was written for my kids.  The reader is likely 7-8 years of age.
            A farm can be a favorite place for anyone.  I spent hours at my grandparents farm fishing, walking into the woods, and watching the deer.  Of all the things I enjoyed about the farm, my favorite was my own little roads between two large Evergreen Trees.  There I would spend hours making roads from one end to the other with my toy bulldozers, road graders, dump trucks and farm trucks.
            Each year when the weather would get warm, my grandmother would get out her hoe and make the new roads.  She’d drag it and make roads from tree-to-tree.  After she was finished making my roads, I’d conduct farm business.
            I would make a house for each person along the road with small rocks or sticks.  I would grade the roads with the Tonka road grader to ensure just the right size roads.  My road was just like the one that ran in front of my grandparents house, and each time a truck or car would drive by, the dust would swirl up behind them and settle into the bushes along the real road.
                        My road was a great place, and it provided treasures.   I found a toy iron, a glass bottle, horseshoes, lid tops, and countless other little prized possessions.
            One time I got into trouble when the road expanded to the fence line.  My grandmother said there were snakes.  I tried to explain that I needed to get to the woods, but that branch of the road was closed forever.
            I can remember the feel of the dirt, the smell of the grass, and the bark of the Evergreen Trees that peeled away in small pieces.  I remember the way the grass disappeared the closer to the trees I got.
            Each evening, after a hard day on the roads, I’d sit in the bathtub and watch as the dirt of my roads drained away.  My grandmother always said it was just dirt, but to me it was more.  It was the foundation of the roads and I was a grader keeping it all neat like it should be.
            The farm is still there today.  My grandmother’s house is rented to some friends of ours, but the two big Evergreen trees are still there.  A few months ago, I walked over the yard to where my road had been long ago.  The grass had covered the roads I’d made, the trees were a little larger, and the old fence line was now cleared and no longer a place for snakes.  The real gravel road out front of the house had been paved years ago, and cars go much faster now.  The real road is wider, and my little roads are gone. 
            When I left, I saw something beside the largest tree.   It wasn’t mine, but there was a plastic dump truck.  There were no play roads, but then again, I guess this young kid would have to find a way to make a paved road now for his farm road.