Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sleep Carpentry

Happiness

Shortly after we were married, Husby took a job as foreman at a housing plant.
Building pre-fabricated homes.
He was good at it.
And it was two minutes from where we lived.
He was home for lunch every day.
As well as for breakfast and dinner.
For his new bride, life was perfect.
For the man actually going out to work . . .
The job was very stressful.
Many bosses - several without any knowledge of building.
Any knowledge.
He carried on.
For two years.
He had a family to feed.
But the stress started to tell.
He developed health issues.
And stopped sleeping.
That's when he started making noises about going to school.
Husby had been in school when we started dating, but had quit to take a job after we were married.
Now, he realized that he had made a mistake and wanted to correct it.
I was unconvinced.
How would we provide for ourselves if we had no income?
So he continued working.
Growing more and more unhappy.
And sleeping less and less.
One time, he suddenly snorted, sat up on the edge of the bed and started getting dressed.
“Honey, where are you going?” I asked. “It's 4 AM.”
He jumped and looked around. “Oh,” he said. “Oh.”
He pulled off his shirt, lay back down, and was instantly snoring.
Is there a term for sleep-dressing?
Probably . . . sleep-dressing.
Moving on . . .
One night, around 3 AM, I was sleeping quietly.
Suddenly, Husby shot up in bed, grabbed me by the collar of my pyjamas, pulled me to a sitting position in the bed and shouted, “You hold the ladder! I'll nail the soffit!”
My sleep-fogged brain vaguely discerned that these were 'house-building' terms.
“Honey, you're dreaming,” I said, rather shakily. “Go back to sleep.”
He wasn't to be deterred.
He shook me slightly. “Okay?!”
“Okay!” I said.
“Good.” He dropped me and flopped back onto the bed.
Seconds later, I could hear his soft snore.
He had been asleep the whole time.
I, however, would probably never sleep again.
I was finally convinced. Stark, heart-racing trauma will do that to you.
Husby went back to school.
He studied History, Arts and Anthropology.
Finally achieving a doctorate.
His health instantly improved.
As did his sleeping habits.
Going back to school was a good decision.
Though with two tiny babies and a wife to feed, it had seemed anything but.
He no longer sleep-dressed.
Or roughed up his wife.
And you can bet that the installation of any soffit was in broad daylight.
With a much more willing assistant.
Oh, and real soffit.

13 comments:

  1. Things like this--why I won't take sleeping pills. I hear people can cook entire meals in their sleep and eat them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm . . . I wish I could cook entire meals in my sleep. I can't do that when I'm awake . . .

      Delete
  2. Wow, a doctorate. I'm always so impressed by that because I know how much work and dedication it takes. My older son has been known to get up in the middle of the night and start showering. Maybe he needs to quit going to school and work more :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. The old stress-shower. A tell-tale sign . . .

      Delete
  3. The mind is an amazing thing, isn't it - conscious OR sub-conscious. And stress is amazing, too, just not in a good way. I'm glad things worked out before someone got hurt from Husby's sleep-house-building ways :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. When I was in KY still. I had a very bad accident. Among all the injuries. I was given alot of different medication and one was sleeping.i took one and went to bed. I remember waking and going into the kitchen. The next thing I know I was being woken up by the nurse at the DR. Office in the waiting. I didn't have an appointment and I had no memory of driving there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh. My. Word. Scary!!!
      I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I hope you fully recovered . . .

      Delete
  5. well now I have to google soffit...
    Those would be hard times with two small babies and hubby in school instead of working, but much better all round in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely difficult at the time, but definitely worth it!

      Delete
  6. Oh, wow. Yeah, I'd say he was pretty stressed! Great story...as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Diane! Your story is a PERFECT example of what I try to write about all the time! When any of us work at jobs we disllike we are doing all kinds of crazy stuff to our souls. I'm sure it wasn't easy to make the switch...and like you said you and your children were a big part of it...but knowing he is not only "happy" but that he can sleep at night is worth all that. It took great courage to make that change but you did it! Thanks for sharing this story! ~Kathy

    ReplyDelete

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