2007.03.21 Wuthering Nights

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

Yesterday, my brother Jamie and I spent an hour or so picking up big sticks around my parents’ house. In the olden days, we were usually required to pick up both big and little sticks, but now my dad has this fancy brusher thing that he attaches to the riding lawn mower. It allows him to pick up little sticks with the greatest of ease.

Since I’ve lived in either a dormitory or an apartment for the last six years, I haven’t had much chance to whine about having to do yard work. With the exception of my two-summer engagement as a maintenance worker for the DNR, I can actually say my last half-decade has been pretty yard work free.

I should note, however, that I did live in a house my senior year of college, but neither I, nor my roommates, did anything remotely related to yard upkeep there. We’d schedule occasional parties during which mobs of 20-somethings would trample down our weedy patch of lawn, but not even I have the gall to call that “work.”

I pondered this dearth of yard work during my drive back to Morenci this Monday, and wondered whether it has contributed to the streak of insomnia I’ve suffered recently.

Classically, I think of insomnia as the inability to fall asleep, so I tend to consider my affliction as “reverse insomnia,” or the inability to stay asleep. I have no difficulty nodding off—sometimes collapsing as early as 7 or 8 p.m.—but there is a real trouble in staying asleep past 3 a.m.

In the beginning, I attributed this to “being a grown-up” which is often defined as “going to bed at a sensible hour so you have time to read the news before going to work.” But I figured something might be up when I found myself watching not one, but two installments of “The Godfather” before plunking down to the office.

I knew there was something odd going on last weekend when my friends revealed that they had scheduled their St. Patrick’s Day festivities around the assumption that I would head home to bed before 9 p.m.

“Have I really become that lame?” I thought.

True, I’m not a college party animal anymore. I don’t go to bed at 4 a.m. and wake up some time in the afternoon and I prefer to spend most of my waking hours in the daylight, but there is no good reason why I should be exhausted so early and unable to sleep past the wee hours.

Last night, my dad and I watched “Wuthering Heights”—the version with Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier and David Niven—and he just wouldn’t shut up about how much work he got done. (And by “he,” I mean my dad. Nobody seems to do much of anything in “Wuthering Heights” except be dramatic, and, in the case of Merle Oberon, die of pneumonia).

I have to admit, his list of accomplishments was impressive. He got up at seven, made a smoothie, watched a terrible John Wayne movie, went for a six-mile walk with my mom and Darla the dog, got the lawnmower running, picked up sticks, cleaned out the garage, fed the birds, fed the deer, made a salsa dip from leftover pot roast, cooked an asparagus and chicken dinner, watched “Wuthering Heights,” and read from a biography of Abraham Lincoln before falling asleep and snoring loudly enough to keep his son up.

My day, on the other hand contained essentially no physical exertion, or exertion of any kind, so it’s no wonder my strapping young body didn’t require any more than four or five hours of sleep. That’s what I assumed, at least, while I tossed and turned from 3 to 6 a.m. Monday trying to catch some Zs.

I should spend more time mowing the lawn, or peddling the exercise bike, or just being productive in general—anything that will help me get a good night’s sleep so I’m not awake at 4 a.m. and exhausted at dusk.

I’ve already got a few things planned. The trail along Bean Creek can use some foot traffic and it’s always fun to walk over to Silver Creek and gaze at the water gurgling over the rocks. And there’s cleaning to be done; there’s definitely enough cleaning to go around. I’m also mid-way through an epic struggle to gather all the clothes and doodads I don’t use anymore to donate to Goodwill.

And then there’s my unfinished novella “Pie-master” which is begging to be cranked out.

I really just have to stop being such a slug.

“No duh,” says my brain.

No duh, indeed. If only real life were so simple.

    – March 21, 2007

 

  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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