The Keystone Cops


Where, oh, where are you S.A.B.L.E? I need your address to send your Sanyo batteries! Please email me today!

Yesterday morning I had dreamed we had moved back to the city, so when I got up in my real-world oasis and made my way over to The Belle Writer’s Studio in the dark and not yet having my coffee, I guess I was still a bit confused.

Sitting in the silence of the morning with Emma and Sade at my side, reading the latest news on my computer, I heard a thud that sounded like a car door slamming. This wouldn’t have been unusual to hear early in the morning in the city as neighbors got in their cars and began their commute to work. Because my mind was still somewhere between here and there, I didn’t give it another thought.

The dogs perked up.

Snow Pile

Another thud.

Wait a minute, my mind finally said. We’re not supposed to be hearing car doors out here – especially at 5 a.m!

By now the dogs were at full alert.


Now they were barking wildly at the door.

I went to the door, stepped into the darkness and listened.

Thud. Definitely coming from the metal outbuilding further up the drive. It sounded as if someone were slamming the door to the metal building, or maybe rummaging around.

“Dale!?” I called into the pre-dawn. No response.

Someone or something was definitely messing with the metal building.

As the dogs bolted from the porch into the darkness toward the building, I lept from the landing and went running for the house and woke Dale up from a sound sleep.

“I think someone’s trying to break into the metal building at the top of the driveway!”
He jumped from bed, grabbing his shirt and looking for his glasses.

“House shoes!” He said. I grabbed them and we went running up the driveway in the ice and snow.

I didn’t need a gun, he had two, one in each hand. I was the flashlight carrier in the pitch black.

We pretty much probably looked like the Keystone cops on a mission.

As we neared the building, the only things we saw moving in the beam of the flashlight were Emma and Sade, playing in a pile of ice and snow that had slid from the roof.

“That pile wasn’t there last night,” Dale said. “You must of heard it sliding off.”

I tried explaining the dream and how my mind was still somewhere between our old life and our new one.

“That was a nice way to wake up,” he said, grinning, as I cut off the path of the driveway back toward the studio.

It’s been over 2 years and we’re still getting used to the noises (or lack of) surrounding our new home. I guess too, that the stress of the city can still sometimes haunt us even when we’re in the most peaceful place on earth.

Have you ever carried a dream into real life?

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25 Responses

  1. S.A.B.L.E. says:

    It was more like taking real life into the dream world. At the time I worked in dispatch for the BLM. The hours were long due to many wildfires. Once home I welcomed the chance for some sleep. I had only been asleep for a short time when the phone rang, I sleepily answered, “Fire Dispatch”. The person on the other end started laughing, still being pretty much asleep, I didn’t realized what I had said. It was the office calling. I still laugh about it many years later.

  2. Bj says:

    Hi Kerri,

    I too know the worry of being way out back of beyond and not knowing when you go out what you will find….so yes, ladies, a pistol is a good thing to keep..but please practice, you don’t want a wounded bear to get madder.
    Kerri, I laugh because it brings back memories of camping up in the UP of Michigan (where my daughter now lives). I woke one night,hearing something but not seeing anything, headed for the outhouse since I was already up…still half asleep and walking down the path, felt something nudge me in the back, I reached back and swatted, believing it to be my daughter who loved to try to get mom screaming at times like that, and connected with a furry nose. I don’t know who was more shocked, me or the black bear whose nose I had just swatted! Luckily, he took the swat well, and trotted off. Trust me, I now go even to the outhouse in camp with my pistol!
    By the way, been missing this blog! Glad to be back!

    • Welcome back, BJ! We’re glad to have you back as well. You were missed, I’ve wondered what happened to you and was hoping you were ok! Your story is funny, but should serve us as a lesson too. None of us want to harm anything, but we have to be prepared.

      • Bj says:

        Exactly, Kerri, while I would not have wanted to harm that bear, had he charged me, I would have needed the Smith & Wesson backup system.

        As to being okay, just life got incredibly busy! I am on several committees at my school, and recently returned for my Masters degree, so….;-)

        • Kudos on going back after that masters! I have often wished I had the time and the money to get an MFA. I guess an advanced degree is like kids…you just have to take the plunge. Good luck with it, but don’t forget us! 🙂

  3. Peace and great. Where we live now is in the back of a “mountain” sub division we see may 10 cars drive by a day…we experience a quietness hear deeper than most of our camping trip to any of the nat. forest or parks…more neighbors by far in a campground.

    But when we visit our 200 foot cabin at our land in NM…the silence is even more absolute…there the only road is about a mile away…it make your ears ring sometimes by the depth of it. It is only broken by the wind in the tree, the birds or the coyotes at night..Heaven in our book.

  4. Fran says:

    Oh, what a funny story. I remember the first time I lived in the country with my husband. I am from the city and he lived in the country all his life. Well, we rented this house and the sounds around there where NOT sounds I knew let me tell you lol. Every night I would shake him awake telling him I heard something close to the house. It was always an animal lol. It took me a few weeks to get use to it.
    We lived there for 10 years until we got to buy our first house. Unfortunately we could not afford to buy in the country so we are in the city right now. So I had to start all over again the weird sounds lol.

    I am really enjoying your website as I sit here in my city home longing for a small place in the country.

    • Hi, Fran, I’m glad you’re enjoying Living Large! We are having a mixture of snow and ice tonight so we’re hoping not to hear the sounds of the trees cracking again!
      Sounds can freak us out when we’re not used to them. My great aunt used to come and stay with us when I was a kid. We lived in a railroad community and of course, to someone who lived there all of the time, we didn’t notice the sounds of the rails. She had to sleep with me in my bedroom in our little bungalow and each time, she would wake me and ask “What is THAT noise!” My answer was always the same, “It’s the trains!”

  5. Susan says:

    Last night my husband was cleaning some guns and said he needed to have one be left out of the gun safe…could just see trying to remember the combination to get a gun for protection. Can just see telling the crook to wait a minute. Told him about Dale coming out banishing two guns…made him smile. Just glad it was nothing more than the snow sliding off the roof.
    I had an incident back in the late 70’s, Ron was out of town and it was just me and 3 of the kids.
    We were living out in the county and I kept hearing someone prowling around the house. When I finally got enough courage to go look, what a relief it was to just see the cows hadn’t gotten through the fence and were munching on the plants by the house.

    • I know, it seems silly and we’ve been laughing about it all week. However, you just never know. In the city, we had a kid high on something come into our house in the middle of the night thinking it was the drug house 2 doors down. Another time here, while Dale was still working in the city, I was here alone and the dogs kept going crazy. when I let them out, they acted all weird at the side of the garage, as if someone were in the shadows. I came in and pulled the shades and locked the door. That fall, Dale found a tarp and some camping stuff and a few pieces of trash down the hill, less than 100 yards from the house by the lake. Someone had been camping there sometime that summer and I think it was that night the dogs were acting all weird. And, there have been homes broken into on our road during hunting season.

  6. gary miller says:

    hey, the time has come…living on less!!! while on your site i only see one floor plan is there another level under of a loft for sleeping ?? if so it would be nice to see. thanx G.

    • Welcome to living large, Gary! There is only one level to our house. Our bedroom is actually marked “office” on that plan as the Little House was originally to be our guest house and my writer’s studio. We have a 320 square foot separate building that is the writers studio. Unfortunately, I don’t have nice plans for it. The builder and I drew them on a napkin!

  7. Kim says:

    Smart Dale toting the weaponry! Bears are nothing to mess with, epecially a momma with her cubs… better safe than sorry.

    • kerri says:

      Exactly, Kim. Although we love sitting on the safety of the deck and listening to the cougar screeching or even the coyotes baying at night, it is unsettling to be walking into the blackness. Last night, while walking home from the writer’s studio, it seemed we were surrounded by the yipping coyotes and I just wanted to get to the porch!

  8. Cindyt says:

    Catching up on my reading tonight and what a chuckle I got reading about your keystone cops early am venture! Reminded me of when I was a young bride….oh at least a hundred years ago. Just 18 y/o coming from Calif and going ‘backwards’ in time (that is what it felt like anyway’ to our little first home in Missouri..I called it Misery way before the book/movie. Anyway, having never lived where it snowed on a regular basis other than a fun dusting every now and then. We had major snow and icicles galore 2 and 3 feet long hanging off the house. Imagine my silly self thinking some one was trying to break in the wall when the snow and ice started sliding. Different sounds, different experiences. The joy of Life! Cindyt

  9. Kristi says:

    Totally off subject, but my dog is named Emma also.

    Back on subject, I wonder what your husband was dreaming about before being awoken suddenly.

  10. Alexandra says:

    It took us a long while to learn to live with the silence here in the Cape Cod woods. Now I find it hard to sleep if I visit friends in the city. I enjoyed this post. My elderly father used to wake up and still be in his dreams, visions of St. Petersburg, Russia where he lived as a child. Did Dale really have a gun in each hand or did you imagine that, too?

    • The last time I was in the city last May, I still found the sounds of the city soothing in a weird sort of way. 43 years of living there, I guess! I remember the first (and only) time I heard a siren here. It was coming from 2 miles away up on the ridge. Weird. I wouldn’t even have noticed that in the city.
      As for Dale, nope, didn’t imagine that. We are really out in the wilderness here, we don’t leave the house without a gun – especially into blind darkness. While we wouldn’t want to shoot anything, there are many dangers here.

  11. That could be, Mary. At least the sounds I heard were real. The anxiety of being robbed or home invasions still haunt my dreams and I guess this time it carried into reality!

  12. Interesting blog. The fears of the unknown. We appear to have unknown sounds surrounding our place each night. Maybe, some were in my dreams and I woke-up and thought they were real.