December 31, 2005

The worst idea I've ever had.

It started with me being sick. I have a sore throat and minor head cold, which I probably caught from being stuffed into airplanes with other sick people: the wages of holiday travel. I slept in late yesterday and lay on the couch all day drinking tea. Come bedtime, I'd just watched one and a half Lord of the Rings movies -- big, exciting, action-packed -- and I wasn't all that tired.

It rained heavily yesterday. The rain was pounding on our little house for hours and hours. We don't have any leaks, fortunately, but our yard is poorly graded and the water tends to pool under the house. When I say "tends", of course, I mean it pools significantly. The raccoons that live under the house make sloshing noises as they trudge around the crawlspace in six inches of standing water.

Last night they seemed to be doing more than just trudging; it sounded a bit like they were having a fight. I wondered if Gato Malo was trying to claim the crawlspace for himself, or perhaps it was just a raccoon territory squabble.

Wildlife has a way of shaking my faith in the security of this house. There's that closet with the water heater, which is open to the empty attic space and, by way of the refrigerator cabinet, open to the house. Might it be open to the crawlspace also? I rediscovered a splintering floorboard in the bedroom yesterday by stomping heavily on it and feeling it give slightly. It's hard not to wonder if a raccoon at sufficient velocity would be able to break that floorboard open from below.

Jacob, having been up all day like normal people, went straight to sleep. Peanut curled up at his feet and played the part of the Insensate Loaf; even Bella forsook her usual nighttime prowling and napped. That left one person awake in the house, not counting the raccoons.

I decided to read for a while before going to sleep. My ideal bedtime reading material is something I've read before, something familiar that won't surprise me into staying awake. So, in my severe weather, with my cold caught from a stranger, listening to wildlife with sharp claws acting aggressive in a conceivably accessible part of the house... I decided to read The Hot Zone by Richard Preston.

Dianna? Bedtime stories are supposed to end with, "and they lived happily ever after," not with, "and then his intestines liquefied and covered everyone in the room with infectious blood."

I didn't sleep so well last night.

Posted by dianna at December 31, 2005 11:55 AM