Yesterday I took my daughter Lucy to have four impacted wisdom teeth removed. I brought her home by lunchtime and then spent the afternoon making cold milkshakes, bringing her meds on schedule, supplying ice packs, and cooking a big pot of chicken soup.

It was the strangest thing. Once the surgery was safely over, I was suddenly so tired I thought I might fall asleep sitting up. I think I’ve been under such stress for the last couple of weeks that the minute I relaxed my guard, the exhaustion hit me like a tsunami.

Though last night I’d hoped to get good sleep to catch up, a neighbor texted at 10 PM to say that nine gun shots had been heard from the direction of my farm, following a loud clapping noise. (I’d heard nothing; the farm is a half mile from the house where we’re living.) In addition, a large black bear has been roaming the neighborhood for several days.

Bears and/or shooters?! I immediately climbed back into clothes and drove down to the farm to investigate.

I could find nothing amiss but the sheep were anxious and standing alert at their fence line in the dark. I let them out and walked them down the property to the barn (they were afraid and for once kept close at my heels). “Bears won’t hurt us,” I told them loudly. “We’re fine!” I hoped the bear, if he were listening, agreed. Ditto any possible drunk shooter.

After I closed the barn door I walked out to the back field to check on the cattle. They were standing in the moonlight, chewing their cuds.

All was well, but the resulting adrenalin kept me up past midnight. I’m groggy today.


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