As a human, I find sleep more or less essential. Without enough (and "enough" has a fuzzy definition over here), I do things like:
- start the coffee pot without actually adding the coffee grounds
- begin my day without glasses or contacts and then wonder why I can't see well
- struggle with basic conjugations of the English language
We make concerted efforts to get to bed at reasonable hours. One of us insists he is a light sleeper, and wears earplugs to bed every night. I might argue he is not quite as "light" of a sleeper as he believes himself to be, and the addition of earplugs creates a nearly impenetrable barrier that allows him to remain cocooned in dreams, while the other of us is left to do things like "hear the Christmas tree fall over."
Such was the case Friday night. We went to bed around 10pm. Around 11pm, I woke up to a distinct racket outside our bedroom, much like an empty plastic tote being tossed around. I looked over, and slumber bunny was in la-la land, despite what was clearly quite a loud noise. I went through my mental checklist of what this could be. Since our bedroom is on the main level, there were several possibilities:
- Ice maker? No, not crunchy enough.
- Laundry rack falling off its hook onto the washer? No, no metal reverb.
- Something dropping in the garage...Garage. Did we close the garage door?
I was up and out of bed, grabbing my robe, and heading for the garage entrance, which is about 5 feet from our bedroom door, with a very good idea of what I was hearing...
Bear. In the garage.
Bear, who came into the garage through the gaping open mouth of the garage door that we clearly had forgotten to shut., and was likely messing with the garbage and recycling containers...
On the other side of the UNLOCKED house entrance.
As you might imagine, I got to that door in record time, threw my weight against it and went for the lock immediately, fully expecting to see bear claws wedging around the door. I watched Jurassic Park, I know what this scene looks like.
Fortunately, that didn't happen, but now I'm on one side of the door, and I don't have a good sense of just what or who is on the other side. I tap on the door to try to scare off whatever is there, but if anything was there, it was not intimidated by my polite "I'm here for tea" knocking. I'm not very good at self-delusion, but I tried really hard to tell myself that the garage wasn't actually open, and if I turned on the front house lights, I would not see light coming through the cracks in the garage entryway.
Of course though, that is exactly what happened, at which time, I knew I needed to wake Sleeping Beauty for backup. After a wakeup so hard I asked him the next morning if he'd taken something to sleep (nope, all natural), he was out of bed, and pounding on the door to scare off whatever was on the other side.
No sound. No scuffling, nothing.
We got out the bear spray, I unlatched the safety, took a double grip and wide stance, and stood off Eric's shoulder as he quickly opened and shut the door, handily shouldering his "larger than a dog" responsibilities. In the millisecond the door was open, we ascertained the recycling bin was tipped over and wedged between my car and the garage steps... but weren't able to see beyond that.
Fortunately, we have a video camera above the outside of the garage, and it records to the cloud. Eric fired up the computer and searched the records, where he found I was, in fact, wrong. It wasn't a bear.
It was two bears.
Epilogue: The bears had actually left by the time I was pondering my existence on one side of the locked door. One came in one side of the garage, and found nothing. The other came in along my car, and gave up when he wasn't able to unstick the recycle (which has been picked up the day before, fortunately) from the back of the garage, guarded by my car. We are lucky they didn't try to get into either car, or pull down the paint or chemicals from the shelves. We confirmed via video the bears were out, took a good visual inspection from the doorway, and shut the garage for the night.
It took me quite a while to fall back to sleep.