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Scientific breakthrough hinges on fear, dreams

November 25, 2012
Messenger News

Hold the phone, kids, I've made a major scientific breakthrough.

With seven small words, I can make time stand still.

As soon as everything works into place, I'm getting the carpal tunnel on my left wrist reamed, which will leave me bandaged for a few days, but it can't hurt nearly as much as it aches now, so I'm looking forward to it.

For any number of reasons, my daughter decided to use that time to come home, see her dad, pack up a few things she wants and be here if I need anything.

"Good," says I. "You can help me take a bath."

For a full 10 seconds her world stopped. Stopped. Her whispered "what?" slipped in before time stood still again. I should quit laughing and figure out a way to harness that time stoppage for really important stuff.

Everything makes me happy these days. I'm thinking it's all the holiday shows on TV. They're always happy, if a bit sappy and overdone. Happy nonetheless. And sometimes I find myself laughing out loud.

Lots of other stuff jumps into the funny bone area, too. Like a few nights back. I had to get to bed earlier than my usual 4 a.m. because I needed to be up early the next morning. Because I'm up late by choice, my body rhythms have altered to this and if I try to go to bed earlier, I don't sleep anyway. So, I crawl into bed, pull up the sheet, close my eyes and pray, "Dear Lord, please put me to sleep right away."

When the prayer filtered into the cognitive part of my brain, I laughed out loud and quickly amended it.

If a person's not careful, she can ask for something she really doesn't want.

Often, too, the subconscious gets into the act.

Going back to the night of my ill-conceived prayer, I'd already set the alarm. Got to bed at 2 a.m. with a full six hours before I had to be up at 8 a.m. Ma Nature woke me at 5:30, but I still had a few hours for a nap before getting up.

Before I knew it, the alarm blared. When I crawled out of bed, I realized I'd set it incorrectly, and it was just 7 a.m., leaving time for another nap.

So I'm asleep and dreaming. When an alarm clock rings, I shut it off. It doesn't stop ringing. I pick up the clock, shake it and push the off button again. No luck. I yank the cord from the wall. No luck with that either. The dang thing keeps blaring. An older woman walks across the room and says the woman who owns the clock is asleep, but if I wake her up, she can stop the alarm.

By then, my brain kicked in and I realized I was the sleeping woman. I woke to find I'd been sleeping through 15 minutes of raucous ringing.

I'm just wondering if when my daughter's world stood still, she dreamed anything. When mine stood still, I was dreaming.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at



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