Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Awake and Trying to Go Back to Sleep

            I was awakened by a wrong number and a run to the necessary room for my old man bladder. I’ve had just enough sleep, not to be tired and yet my eyes feel like the sandman has used a dump truck last night. Sometimes, when I have trouble getting to sleep, I think of the story I want to write about a hunter/ trapper and his adventures, just finding his way through the wilderness and forests of western Pennsylvania. Because of the terrain, the weather, and the areas of game, his shelters would have been scattered and of different materials. Some would be little more than to keep off the rain and to reflect the warmth of a small cook fire. Others would have to be snug and able to ward off the frigid temperatures and winds of winter.
            Coming home to the relative comfort of a cave or a sod fronted rock overhang would always start with a fire to warm the shelter and to cook the meal. Water was the next essential that needed to be fetched. Whatever game that had been shot or trapped would need skinned and the hide or pelt handled to preserve it. The meat would have to be butchered and cut into pieces to be spit roasted or tossed into a kettle to cook with whatever herbs, salt, and any dried vegetables.
            While the meal was cooking, it would be necessary to make a place to sleep. Small branches of hemlock would be spread on the ground to keep the bear skin bedding off the cold floor and the branches would add a springy softness as a mattress.
            For these more permanent dwellings, firewood would have already been collected and stored against the harsh winter weather. It was difficult to gather wood in the deep snows and ice of those frigid months. The wood would be brought in to last the night.
            By this time, I usually fall asleep and never finish my fantasy, but it is comforting to be able to have these repeating scenes. It is almost like counting sheep for me. Maybe someday, I will continue with the story, finding a wounded native American at my door, like Robinson Caruso and be able to write a book on the wilderness of western Pennsylvania.

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