8 Jun

June 8, 2013

I’ve always had an irrational fear of the dark. When I was young, I’m almost certain I slept with a nightlight. I can also remember two instances in my youth that scarred me for life. The reason I tell you these harrowing tales is to lay the psychological framework for what I did last night. (Insert dramatic music here.)

When I was a pre-teen, I stayed up late one night reading ghost stories. Smart, right? Well, then I had to go to the bathroom. So, I got up, slowly and carefully opened my bedroom door, tip-toed into the hallway and turned on the bathroom light. All the sudden, out of nowhere, I heard the sound of quick footsteps behind me! Someone was in the house and they were after me! I wheeled around and screamed! …only to see my little brother standing behind me. Poor guy. He’d just gotten up to warn me that the toilet was plugged. I think it scarred him for life, too.

Then, when I was 16 or 17, I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Our dachshund was in bed with me that night and she started to growl and bark. There was a window just above my headboard so I looked out in the backyard thinking maybe there was a deer or a raccoon. I didn’t see anything, but wasn’t worried. After all, we lived a mile outside a rural Wyoming town with population 244. The crime rate wasn’t really a notable factor. So I put my head back on the pillow.

My eyes still open, I could have sworn I saw a flash of light in my dresser mirror and then there was a scraping sound on the outside wall. I flipped over, looked up and, much to my horror, there was somebody with a flashlight in my window! I screamed bloody murder and hit the floor. My dad came bolting from across the house. Seeing me on the floor he hurriedly asked me what was wrong. “There was someone in my window!” I squealed. He grabbed his shotgun and raced out in the yard. By then, the would-be intruders were gone. Dad called the sheriff and he and Mom did a quick search of the surrounding pastures and roads, but to no avail.

In no mood to drift off into dreamland, my whole family sat in the living room. They were asking me what Peeping Tom looked like. It all happened so fast and I was still pretty shaken. I said, “I know it sounds stupid, but it kind of looked like they had a big, white, clown wig on.” I can still see the light casting a glare on the person, illuminating something big and white on their head. I also explained that I heard scraping and scrambling like they were trying to jump up and grab the window sill.

My little brother, Ben, had been sitting quietly, listening. Then he said, “Maybe it was a midget clown.” We all looked at him, stunned, at what had just come out of his mouth. “Well, he must have been short, and you said it looked like he had a clown wig on. So it was The Midget Clown.” We all busted up laughing and, to this day, the perpetrator in the window is known as The Midget Clown. (It turns out it was a couple of my guy friends who thought it would be really fun to come get me to sneak out and drink beer with them. One of them had his cowboy hat on. Not quite a clown wig, but their behavior still fit the description).

Not surprisingly, all my adult life, I’ve continued to have an irrational fear of someone breaking in to the house at night. I never slept well when my roommates were away in college. It was even worse when I lived by myself after college; I don’t think I really slept for a year and a half. Then after I got married, I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep until Tyler got in from the fields (sometimes not until Midnight or later). Rationally I can tell myself not to worry. We live in a safe town, and on a very safe street. There are two HPs and the Chief of Police on my block alone, for Pete’s sake! But, when the lights go out, there’s no stopping the crazy train in my brain. Since marriage, this paranoia has also grown to include a fear that something might happen to Tyler if he’s out at night. Not necessarily that someone will get him, but that he’ll get hurt on the equipment or get struck by lightning while irrigating.

So, please understand why last night, after I called four times and couldn’t get a hold of my husband, I put a jacket over my PJs and went out in the night with no socks and no bra.

Tyler is so good at answering my calls. He almost always answers right away or calls me back within a few minutes. But, he didn’t pick up. I’d been calling since 10:40 p.m. and it was 11 p.m. and he still wasn’t answering. So, donning my snowflake pajama pants, no makeup and disheveled hair, I went traipsing into the night to find my beloved. I wasn’t sure what to think. Was he hurt? Was he lost? Was he abducted by aliens? Wait, I don’t believe in aliens. I was praying in Jesus name that God would protect him and keep him safe. I was on the verge of tears.

He wasn’t in the yard, but the truck he’d had at the field was. He wasn’t in the field he’d been planting, but the tractor was there. I drove up the road to see if he was at the Campbell pivot. Nope. I stopped again at the tractor. Maybe he’d left his phone there. I called it, but didn’t hear it ring. So I drove back to the yard and checked the pickup. No phone there either. So, I took off toward another pivot.

Oh thank goodness! I saw lights! Relief washed over me as I spotted two pickups parked by the ditch. I turned down the ditchbank road and saw him standing there. He had been talking to the ditch rider and came jogging over as I pulled up. He felt terrible, saying he’d seen the ditch rider out while he was checking pivots and he’d left his phone in the truck while they visited. He kept apologizing, but I told him not to worry, I was just glad he was okay. Feeling dumb, but relieved, I went home and praised God for keeping my husband safe.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I pull a stunt like this. But, as long as the outcome is the same, I’m fine with that.

God Bless You & My Fellow Crazies,

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

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