Lights Out

It was stormy and the power was out.  The dogs protested my late arrival home from work.  The dark gray sky was fractured by jagged bolts of lightning.  The Englishman had scattered tiny tea light candles throughout the house which provided a miniature diameter of yellow only an inch from the flame.  As I pulled out larger candles, he complained that it was too hot for them.  This was true, but I did not want to walk into sharp things as we had not finished installing the hardwood floor and tools, air compressors and an assortment of sharp items were strewn throughout the living room.

I left the house with a flashlight to check on the chickens.  I discovered a perfect, tiny blue egg sharing a nest with a larger greenish-blue one.  My newest chicken had laid her first egg and I was thrilled.  Realizing the door to their house wouldn't close without power, I fashioned a temporary barrier for the night.  I returned to our house and began the task of locating and extinguishing all of the candles.  Without streetlights and no stars or a moon, the house was filled with an inky darkness.  I used a flashlight to guide my way to the bedroom and climbed in bed,  The sheets had been pushed to the foot of the bed by the hot and cranky Englishman.

We both heard it before it reached our room.  Toe nails clicking and clacking on the wood floors, onto the plywood subfloor and slowly down the hall toward us.  Three dogs without night vision.  Crashing into tools, walls and each other as they fumbled their way to our bedroom.

Chase reached my side of the bed, first.  He then chose to climb into a chair instead of the dog bed.  I had placed some mail and shopping bags on the chair and they crinkled and rustled as Chase turned and turned in the secret, required number of circles that all dogs seem to know.  He finally flopped into the chair but still wasn't satisfied.  Shifting and flipping and sighing, the plastic shopping bags and now crumpled envelopes were hard to ignore.  I climbed out of bed and cautiously made my way to the chair.  As I attempted to remove the items from beneath Chase, he snapped at the air, unable to find my hands.  Finished, I returned to bed.

Molly decided to let us know how hot she was by panting loudly.  Charlie found something under the bed and began to play with it rambunctiously.  The Englishman was unbothered by the circus and began to snore.  I jumped up, grabbed the flashlight and ordered the dogs to follow me.  I secured Molly and Charlie in their crates.  Chase, ever obedient, was still in his chair.  I returned to bed.  The Englishman woke up and accused me of dog neglect.  I went to sleep.  Soundly.  Until five in the morning.  Three dogs who had been playing all night, including two who had been released from their crates, gathered on my side of the bed to wake me up with barks, cries and whines.  The power was back on but I knew it was going to be the start of a very long day.

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