I like Holly time, try and I typically relish in it when Jon is away. My routine shifts slightly into more of Single Holly mode (minus the dating, mind of course) and I tend to enjoy more friend-dates, there stay up late, scrub the house top to bottom, and go shopping.  I don’t worry as much about meals (toast and peanut butter is dinner, right?) and routines.

This time is different. Besides living in a perpetual state of disarray – although I am working diligently on it being less of a state of perpetual disarray- we’re only a few weeks away from one of the most gruesome murders in Calgary’s history… that just happened to be down the street from where we live. Although I usually feel quite safe in the city and our ‘hood, the event shook me deeply as I believe it did most Calgarians.

Jon is gone and my free spiritedness is hampered slightly by the fear I feel when alone in the house, especially at nighttime. My current argument is that a dog would help this fear; but in the current state of affairs what I needed in order to sleep wasn’t a dog (couldn’t get that fast enough) but rather an action plan.

I lay awake most of the first two nights tossing and turning after every noise, awake for long stretches of time worrying about who might be lurking around outside. On Sunday I decided to create an EAP for myself in case someone breaks in at night, armed.

I don’t have a gun, I can’t fathom a knife, I wandered around the house and rummaged through the shed looking for a baseball bat, although I was certain we didn’t have one. I did come across a mighty hammer though, what Jon has been using to demo our basement. I held it, I swung it, I decided it would probably give me enough time to hit someone and run.  I moved the hammer to a safe place under my bed.

There was a flaw in my rationale when I thought it through. I don’t want to be close enough to an attacker that I would need to swing a hammer, so I decided I should probably practice throwing the hammer. On Sunday I brought the hammer outside to our backyard, made a small target, and started throwing the hammer at it.

Unbeknownst to me, one of the children who lived next door was outside in the backyard. I heard a small voice in the middle of my concentrated practicing.

“Hey, lady. What are you doing?”

I turned and looked at our neighbour boy and I imagined what he must see. For a split second I saw myself through his eyes, a crazed woman throwing a household item across the lawn. Because I didn’t think that telling him I’m practicing throwing this weapon in case someone breaks into my house and I have to defend myself would be an appropriate answer, I quickly scurried and picked up the hammer. I yelled at him over my shoulder, with my most confident smile, “I’m practicing for track!”

God help the kid when he goes through that unit in Phys Ed and realizes that hammer isn’t exactly a track hammer.

At least I’m sleeping better at night.

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