Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Whether I Can Stay Awake is a Mystery

Didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Sometime after midnight we got a lightning/thunder/rain storm. That set off our dog. She’s scared witless of storms. She woke me up with her whimpering, whining, panting and carrying on. I gave up and put her bed up into my bed, then propped pillows around it to try to block out the lightning flashes. Did little to calm her. She crawled out and lay next to me, a panting, vibrating mass of fur. I moved her under the covers, then kept lifting the covers to get air to her.

I was beginning to drift off when the phone rang. My daughter. She’s living with us for about four weeks until she moves to San Francisco. She was down at the entrance to our area after getting off work. I should mention here that we live in a subdivision that has one way in or out. And it’s over a low water crossing which floods every time we get a big rain. She, needless to say, was stuck on the wrong side.

I threw on clothes and jumped in the car to check out the water level. It was at one foot, too high for her low Toyota. As I watched, the water kept rising and debris raced across the road in the fast moving stream. Within seconds it had risen so much I couldn’t even see the numeral “one” anymore. About that time she called again and I gave her the bad news that even my slightly higher Rav4 couldn’t make it. We debated what she should do. I suggested a nearby hotel or a friend’s house. She preferred sleeping in her car until it went down. In the end, I reminded myself she’s an adult, not a child anymore, and left it to her.

Couldn’t get back to sleep, though. Wanted to call and find out what she’d decided but didn’t want to do that if she was trying to drive in the pouring rain. Finally, about 2, I made the call. She was in her car waiting it out at the entrance to the area.

Around 4 she called again. The police had shown up at our area. I was surprised it took them so long to check out the crossing. But I shouldn’t have been. Frankly, we’re a low density neighborhood and don’t have nearly as much pull as the big subdivisions with so many houses, they’re close enough to shake hands without leaving their bedrooms. More people, more pull, more attention. Anyway, she was calling to say she’d decided to go to a friend’s house. She asked me to text message her when I got up and checked the crossing.

So, about 6:30 I drove down to the crossing and found water still going over, but it was passable. I stayed long enough to see a car go over, although the school bus was waiting it out.

Now, what is this all leading up to? I plan to go to the first of Karen MacInerney’s classes on How To Write The Mystery at the Barnes & Noble Westlake tonight. If I’m still awake by 7. If you’re interested in mysteries, the class is tonight, tomorrow and Friday. It’s free. It’s open to the public. It’s being taught by an Agatha nominated writer. And you can just show up without registering and can come to one or all of the classes. Hope to see you there. Poke me if I nod off.

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