The dives happen more often than they should: schlomp up the stairs, eye the bed from the hall, lock in on the target – the point of no return – gradually peel layers of Carhartt, drop unto neat 20-foot-long trail, swan-dive into bed, toss glasses and iPhone to nightstand, box out an “own-bed-challenged” toddler, mumble an incoherent “I love you,” and then, three seconds later, sleep. Sweet blessed sleep.
But somehow Alison got her finger in the dam and stopped me as I disrobed.
“Check this out,” she said, wearing a wide grin.
She held up a dustpan and mini-broom, price tags still affixed.
Then she demonstrated. “We can sweep off the crumbs, like this.”
All these years, and we never thought to sweep.
Lego and Playmobil. Dirt, stones, sand, seeds. Bits of frozen waffles. Bits of grass. Fossilized chunks of pineapple. Enough to fill the dustpan. I’m not entirely sure when our bed became a compost pile, but I slept way better than usual.
The sinister howl of coyotes did wake me several times throughout the night. It is fawn season, and so the occasional racket is to be expected. But this howling felt much closer and much more sinister than usual.
So at 5:30 am I woke for good. As per habit – I hadn’t even noticed it had become habit – I reached down to brush crumbs from forearms. From hair and legs. But, for the first time in a long time, my 5:30 am body was clean and compost-free.
I retraced my trail of Carhartt and tiptoed past quiet little bedrooms. I looked in on each, just checking to make sure everything was okay. Everyone accounted for. Everyone fine.
I exited into a heavy dawn air, thick with fog and mystery. The barnyard sat perfectly still, frozen, silent, like a postcard. I tiptoed past quiet little stalls. Seven goats, four bred ewes, and two head of cattle. Everyone accounted for. Everyone fine.
Two of the ewes stood up, looking slightly annoyed. Like teens to a dance chaperone they spoke to me with eyes: Dude, we’re fine. Chill.
No problem, I said back with eyes.
Just checking to make sure everything was okay.
So, just to summarize the sleep tips: 1) buy a broom and dustpan, 2) for the love of mutton, do not go out and get livestock, and 3) for more tips subscribe to vpfarming.com