Charlie and his need for piece and quiet...  Charlie and the #1 Rule:  "Don’t mess with my sleep!"


Backfire  #1 Surprised

When we first started weekending at ‘the barn’ (sounds like a happening place!?  It was!) we all had to sleep in ‘the milk house’.

The milk house was a small room off the barn, only instead of wood walls, there were cement blocks. Originally this helped to insulate and keep the milk cool, now it served as a great weather barrier for us humans.  Dad installed a small wood stove and, waa la, prime sleeping accommodations.

One particular weekend Janice and Charlie went to PA alone.

PA was the retreat from the insanity of the week. A place to go and refocus, get in touch with nature and beauty. A place to get your hands into the earth. A place with no phones, no televisions, maybe a radio station would come in.... maybe not.  We loved this place and all it offered, maybe I should say all it did not.  It forced us all to just be, and be with each other.

Anyway, for some reason this weekend it was just Janice and Charlie... and... the rat.

The rat?!  Foolish creature!

All was well, all was in place.  Sleeping peacefully in the quiet country, a crackling fire warming your body and soul... then... the rat.... chew, chew, chew... chomp, chomp, chomp.... scurry, scurry, scamper...

Charlie was now awake. You don’t wake Charlie!  He tried to sleep through the intrusion to his ears and space, not happening... he was up, and not happy. Janice still slept soundly, a soft murmur rose from her sleeping bag.  Charlie was now a man on a mission.  The rat had to go!

Initial attempts at scaring it away failed. I guess the rat figured he was here first. The gloves came off.

Charlie scanned the room with the flashlight in usual spotting format... the next sound was that of a huge bang. That would be the shot that silenced everything, especially the rat.  Charlie had taken matters into his own hands, with the logic of a tired, recently woken bear.  One shot and the rat, and noise, was no more.

Janice, however, had a different experience.  She had no issue with the rat.  From a sound sleep she was woke by the blast. Sitting straight up, eyes wide - completely useless, just open - she tried to get a grasp on 'What just happened?!!'

The room was dark except for the light being used to examine the remains of the rat.  Her eyes now more adjusted, she saw Charlie and the gun.  The story no longer needed to be told. Charlie just laid down, contented that now he could get some sleep.  Janice's eyes still had not come back down to normal size, they could barely blink, much less function with any normalcy. She sat there for some time trying to decide if she should chastise this man, her husband, now for waking her in this manner. He still had the gun by his side.  She came to the obvious, logical decision of waiting till he had proper sleep.


Backfire #2 Yell

Our next door neighbor, Gerry, learned in a unique way, of 'Rule #1.'

Gerry had a big pool in his backyard... which was just below Janice and Charlie's bedroom window. The pool pump was on a timer, it would cycle on and off throughout the day... and night

Here’s where Charlie comes in.  He had spoken to Gerry several times about fixing the noisy pump, and resetting the timing... Gerry just yessed him away... Another foolish creature! He did not know how serious this matter was.

There’s Charlie, sleeping so serenely, and RHUMMMMMMMM!  The pool was being filtered at 2 am. The bear was being woken, again, at 2 am.... can you see in your mind where this is going?

Yes, you got it... The pump was being shot at 2:01 am. 

Guess who was up now?!  Janice sat up once again "Charlie, Good God, what is it this time?!"

He never answered much.... we never questioned much.  He just laid back down to get some sleep.  Janice flopped back into her pillow, eyes wide and useless, again... It’s no wonder she twitches when she sleeps.

The next morning, when Gerry woke, he went to check on his pool. There he knelt, by his filter, trying to determine why it was not working. 

It didn’t take long to figure out - the bullet hole was a sure indicator for its mechanical failure. He stood up and turned towards our house yelling "CHAARRLIEEE!!!"   Shaking his head, he mumbled his way into his house. 

I am sure that the two men had words... I didn’t get to witness that.  I can’t imagine that Gerry pushed too hard...  All I do know, is that there was a new, super quiet, pump installed the next day.

~ Nancy