Original print date June 26th
Chariton Valley News Press
The summer months usually mean crazier than ever schedules around our house. Jake is crazy busy playing basketball, various camps, and managing to find time to work in between it all. We always have more than enough projects to keep us busy around the farmette. Throw in some mandatory horseback time and all the family time we can muster and I’m exhausted every night.
This year, Larry finely got to go on the vacation of his dreams. The first week of June he loaded his horse, saddle, and a food cooler in my brother’s trailer and left for a few days of ranch work on a real, modern day ranch. He was in heaven – but so was I!
Whenever Larry has to leave for a few days, it means I have a few more chores to do but a few days apart also means a small break in the ongoing war. I love the man and all but I won’t lie – I like having a queen size bed to myself for a night or two here and there. No fighting over covers, pillows or property lines.
Yes, property lines. It is an ongoing battle for us. Getting eight, uninterrupted hours of sleep is virtually unheard of for either one of us. Between the jerk and roll of the blanket that has sent me tumbling to the floor on occasion; the snoring and the ensuing elbow to the rib cage that makes him mad every time; and the fights over where exactly the center of the bed is, somebody is bound to be rudely awaken during the night.
This battle is nothing new to us. When we first got married, the baffleless waterbed was our first war zone. Larry found great humor in the “run and jump” which caused waves big enough to launch me over the side and onto the floor. The waterbed finally had to go after the night he was having nightmares about snakes and in his attempt to get away from the slithering, slimy creatures, he once again sent me overboard. Yup, the waterbed had to go!
The war reached epic proportions a couple of years ago. The battle of who took up more space after falling asleep reached a fever pitch. After one particularly sleepless night, I decided to end the war once and for all. The next evening, after carefully measuring the bed and determining the exact location of the fence line, I carefully drew a line in the sand so to speak. When Larry came to bed the night, the property line had been surveyed with precision and a beautiful “fence” had been erected. A line of duct tape ran from head to toe on the bed.
He shook his head. He may have won a battle or two but I was about to win the war. The beautiful silver fence was my permission slip. Any limb that crossed onto the tape was given a quick warning. If it crossed over the line completely, I was allowed to administer my best Hong Kong Phooey chop to the offending appendage – and I did! I took great pride in the first few maneuvers. It worked, believe it or not. He stayed on his side of the bed the rest of the night.
Three nights later as I was getting ready to call it a night, something seemed amiss. I thought I knew what was wrong but couldn’t be sure. I once again broke out the measuring tape and my suspicions had been confirmed. He moved the tape over about two inches. War broke out once again.
Larry’s occasional trips away from home without me allow us to call a temporary truce in the war – until this trip. Larry claims to hate the cats and wasn’t exactly thrilled when I adopted Shylo a couple of weeks ago. He didn’t want another animal in the house. I did have to chuckle at Mr. Tough Guy though. The first night we had Shylo, I asked him to make sure and crate her before he came to bed. I woke up the next morning with her at our feet.
Apparently, before leaving on his trip, Mr. Tough Guy made a pact with the critters. As I settled in for my first eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, here they all came. I quickly banned the cats from the bed. Shylo was allowed to stay since that is the only place she has slept since joining us but I made sure she was settled in on Larry’s side before drifting off to sleep. She seemed thrilled to have the extra room. After several trips back and forth and in circles, she made her nest. We were settled in for the night.
I made it about five hours. I woke up with a cat on my right, a cat at my feet and a sneaky dog plastered to my chest and we were nose to nose. Really? Now, I know why my kids act like their father - it is in the genetics - I understand that. But how on earth did he get the critters talked into hogging the bed in the same manner he does?
The next night, the cats were disappointed to find my bedroom door tightly sealed the second I crossed the threshold. I was not dealing with them again. Shylo was once again enthusiastic about picking herself a spot in the large section of bed she was claiming as her own. Even though we discussed the situation at length that night, she still ended up plastered to me by morning. At least this time I didn’t wake up to doggy breath.
I don’t foresee the disagreement over the center of the bed ever really going away. I remember as a kid, laughing about the fact that our elderly neighbors had two twin beds in their bedroom. These days, I completely understand their choice. I did cut Larry just a little slack when he got home this time though. At least with him, a careful survey and meticulous administration of duct tape gets the point across. When it comes right down to it, he is a lot easier to argue with over where the center of the bed is than the critters.