Monday, October 4, 2010

The Ceremonial Bringing Out Of The Duck

It was quite chilly this morning here in Lloyd. Not cold, even by our thin-blooded standards, but chilly. Perhaps even in the high forties. This is about as cold as I like it, to tell you the truth. You can wear jeans and long sleeves and hot flashes are not so brutal, but it's not so cold you need, oh, socks. I hate socks.

But still... cool enough to make you want to be outside and grab some of that blue, blue sky for yourself, fling your body into something that can only be done outside, even if that is just hanging the clothes on the line.
It was lovely.
And I think everyone in North Florida would agree with me. I went to the Holy Trinity of places I go today- Publix, the library, and Goodwill, and everyone seemed a bit more cheerful and I overheard conversations about the weather everywhere I went. Well, maybe not at the Goodwill. Man- I don't know what the hell is going on but the Goodwill was PACKED OUT! I have never seen so many people at the Goodwill.
It was all very, "Excuse me," "No, excuse ME," and so forth as I walked down the crowded aisles. It is Monday, which means that clothes are half off so perhaps that explained it or perhaps it was the weather which made people want to get out of the house and go shopping for newish jeans, sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, perhaps a pair of boots.
I don't know but it was too crowded for me. Mr. Moon was with me (long story) and we left pretty quickly. He actually bought a chair for three dollars. He wanted a chair to go in his hunting blind. A real, wooden chair and this one had the added benefit of being a swivel chair.
SCORE! for Mr. Moon.

But the library was not nearly as crowded as it was this summer when the kids were out of school. It was nice. And something happened there which has never happened to me before- a beautiful woman with her four-year old daughter came up to me and said, "Ms. Moon?"
She recognized me from my blog!
I believe I was more excited than she. It was a really sweet moment in my life, there in the stacks of the main library in the H section of Fiction.
"I thought it was you," she said, "And then I saw your husband and I knew it was."
Yes. Mr. Moon is unusually tall, even in real life.
We chatted for awhile and I admired her daughter's earrings and well, I just have to tell you that it gave me a bit of a lift because she really did seem pleased to meet me and I was very pleased to meet her.

So it's been a fine day. I sent Mr. Moon off to Orlando after we did our library and Goodwill visits and I took him to pick up his rental car. We met back at home before he left so he could pack and I could make him his snack bag. This is our ritual.

He forgot his pillow though, and that makes me sad. I hate to think of him at the Best Western without his pillow. Pillows are very important, you know. I have taken my favorite pillow to Mexico so many times it should get its own passport. Since it's a very old feather pillow, it smushes up to almost nothing in the suitcase but I can hardly sleep without it.

I love all my pillows. All five of them. Yes. I have five pillows. All feather.
Mr. Moon has two and he really wishes I only had two and he complains about how my pillows are always falling on top of him while he sleeps. They make him sweat.
But I NEED five pillows so that at least three are always there, not touching anyone (in theory) so that when I have a hot flash, I can grab one and hold its coolness to my body.

I know. I have spoken of this recently but those pillows are very, very important to me.

Poor Mr. Moon. He has to deal with all of this CRAP that a woman of my age has to deal with. Bless his heart.
It's not HIS body that hot-flashes at regular intervals all night. His body temperature is always warmer than mine so you'd think that the hot-flash thing would work out but it doesn't because after I have a hot flash, I often have a bit of a chill, and then there I am, grabbing the covers which I have just flung aside (to his side of the bed) and pulling them back on top of me.
And the worst- the very worst thing for him- is when it gets chilly and I insist on bringing out what we call The Duck which is the down comforter.

This is on top of what I call The Duckling, which is a sort of down blanket which I sleep with all year 'round. Every night when we go to bed, The Duckling is folded over so that I sleep under twice its thickness (which is not very thick at all) and in winter, The Duck is also folded over. He does reach for one of them, occasionally, if it gets really cold (and we sleep with the window open every night of the year, even if it's just cracked a bit to allow some of that orgasmic arctic air to cool my pillows) but mostly, he sleeps under a sheet and a cotton blanket. With his two thin pillows. While I'm a foot away under four layers of down and with five pillows, constantly throwing off and then regathering covers and shuffling pillows.

And this, my dears, is why Old Married Couples sometimes opt to sleep in separate beds.
We shall not even discuss my snoring.

So. There you have a picture of our bed right now. As Mr. Moon was leaving today I said, "I might even have to turn the heat on tonight."
He looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
"And you know I'm getting The Duck out."
"That's a no-brainer," he said. And then he sighed.

I will not be turning the heat on tonight. I know that.
But I will be sleeping on clean sheets with five pillows and The Duck. And Zeke, the smallest dog, whom Mr. Moon has allowed back in the bed ever since Miss Betty got murdered because my heart was broken and I needed Zeke to sleep with. Mr. Moon does not like to sleep with Zeke because if Zeke touches him, he sweats. He sweats if The Duck touches him, he sweats if my pillows fall on him and he sweats if Zeke touches him.

"How did you sleep last night?" we ask each other in the morning. And truly- we are curious. Plus, we want to tell each other how many times WE woke up due to hot flashes or the dog or the pillows or the covers or whatever. It's like the Mr. and Ms. Moon Show every night. We'll have been married twenty-six years at the end of this month and still- here we are- waking each other up and worrying about it because we do truly worry about that. Sometimes, on my most restless nights, I get up and move to the guest room because I don't want to wake that man who needs his sleep. That man I love and who must love me because he's still putting up with this crap.

I tell you something- that man has slayed a lot of dragons for me and that means a lot but after the dragons are mostly slayed, it's the fact that he, with his differently set internal thermostat still sleeps in the same bed with me that puts done to the deal.

Yeah. It's been a good day. Someone was brave enough to come up to me in the library and say hello and it's going to be chilly enough tonight for The Duck and because that sweet man is out of town, Zeke and I can enjoy its seasonally maiden voyage all by ourselves.

But I'll be glad when Mr. Moon is home tomorrow. He'll fuss about The Duck and he'll fuss about the dog, and we'll end up laughing, both of us together in the bed, albeit with different layers of covers over us.
We'll start out, at least, touching at least hands because that's what we do. Maybe not for long, but long enough.

And then we'll both settle into our separate sleep-worlds and he'll have his dreams and I'll have mine but we'll be in the same bed, dreaming them.

I like that. After almost twenty-six years of marriage, I still like that very much.
And I still thank my lucky stars for the opportunity to sleep next to him and wake up the next day and say, "How did you sleep?"

I love him. What can I say?

He just called me to tell me he made it to Orlando safely.
"You forgot your pillow," I said.
"I thought you were bringing it out to me when I was leaving," he said. "Well, it's okay."
"But it's hard to sleep without your own pillow," I told him.

And we talked a bit more and ended up with me saying, "Sleep well. I love you."
"I love you, too," he answered. "You sleep good too."

And there you go. We have our individually assigned tasks. Sleep well.

I recommend you do the same.


  1. Is he in KY hunting? I remember you saying he was going -just wondering if he was going to be anywhere near my people.

    I've often thought about what it would be like to run into you or meet you guys :) I really would like to, one day.

  2. Oh, I'm stupid --I now see he is in Orlando :)

  3. I hear you on the pillows Mrs Moon. I have a pillow that I bought or my parents bought for me when I was somewhere near eight years old and you know that I've slept with that pillow every single day since? I took it to my honeymoon and I took it to the hospital when I had Joey (forgot it when I had Isabella!). Without my pillow I do not sleep a single second.

  4. SJ- Not stupid. Never! And he will be in Kentucky next month. In the woods. And I will not be. But who knows? We may be destined to meet. It could happen.

    Rebecca- Ah. So I am not the only one.

  5. The hot flash thing and true. We go through the same thing even down to asking each other how we slept. We have two down beds on top of our mattress and only one "duck" all year round with a handmade quilt on top. But next month the other one may come out. I have had the woodstove blasting for two days. It's 47 right now. Sleep tight Ms. Moon

  6. I will not be there, either :) But don't you worry --one day, my ass will get down to Florida.

  7. What a love story. I love this. Just love it.

    We have the duck out as well. Paul likes to sleep with the windows open when there's a chill in the air, "It's like camping indoors."

    I love that man, so I wear socks to bed and listen to the breeze.

  8. Sally Moon- Hello, Cousin! Mr. Moon would NEVER sleep on a feather bed would make him sweat! But it's nice to know that I'm not the only one in this weird temperature/sleep world. I'm so glad to hear from you, honey.

    SJ- And there will be biscuits.

    Nancy C- And Mr. Moon sometimes wears a knitted cap to bed. We do what we do for love.

  9. There's nothing like the bedtime rituals of long 'married' couples. De facto couples, too.

    The same pillows, the same side of the bed, the same efforts to be together and also to be separate, the same efforts to deal with one another's snoring. For me, it's all part of night's rich tapestry.

    Thanks Ms Mood, for a wonderful romp through your day and night.

    And how amazing for you - to meet a fellow blogger, entirely by chance. Extraordinary.

  10. This is just the sweetest post. Really. And that's wild that someone who reads your blog introduced herself in the library. I love that.

  11. I've been enjoying your stories so much this past week but going a little crazy with stress over here. OK, it looks like you sleep on the left side of the bed (I sleep on the right). Pls tell me about that little fan on your side of the bed.
    I am doing the back and forth between hot flashes and needing covers too. But I am surprised at how many covers you have!! My Hubs is getting colder and I am getting hotter in our years.....
    I just love reading about your loves.
    Oh and I was so tickled to see you got read by the folks in BB Kings hometown. Now you just need Jeff Bridges people to contact you and you will have no need for a bucket list.

  12. I am so glad you wrote this story. I love reading about you and Daddy's love. Nothing could be better.

    I'm getting out my extra bedding tonight too. I sleep with my duck year-round (cause it's a thin one), but I'm getting the heavy quilt to go over it. I need that weight of the covers on me tonight.

  13. Elisabeth- Well. Tallahassee is not that big. But it was a very sweet moment.
    And yes- night's (and life's) rich tapestry.

    Elizabeth- It could have so easily been the grocery store. I'm glad it was the library.

    Michele R- That fan is my saving grace. I travel with it too! (Oh god. How embarrassing.) You can get one at the drug store, I think, and it's very cheap. You can aim it so that when you have a hot flash you can scoot down in the bed so it hits you square on.
    Again. Embarrassing that I have so much knowledge about dealing with hot flashes.
    Yes. I sleep on the left. Mr. Moon on the right. But when we travel, we switch it up. Sometimes. Variety is the spice of life, you know.

    HoneyLuna- Maybe Santa Baby needs to get you a new duck this year. A thicker one. Ponder that.
    Love you, child!

  14. Michele R- Sorry. Meant to say that if Bruce Springsteen got in touch with me, I could pretty much die happy.

  15. Nice. We sleep all spooned up which makes me hot, but I like it. Eventually I'll turn over, but we sleep intertwined. We are more intertwined now than ever. I like that.

  16. We sleep in the same bed, my dear old person and me, but thank GOD we sleep under our own combinations of sheets and blankies and dogs and getting up and going back to bed and I am so GLAD we're not the only ones. Love you.

  17. 1 bed
    3 regular pillows
    1 body pillow
    1 down comforter
    1 man
    1 woman
    1 boy
    1 dog
    1 cat (sometimes 2)

  18. My Duck stays on the bed all year round and oh, how I love it! It's so warm but not heavy. I have enough other heavy stuff in bed-mainly another person, four dogs, and a cat or two. One of those cats likes to sleep on my hip or stomach/chest and I swear she just rolls with me when I roll over. The pillow is the most important part of the sleep though. I have one of those contour ones that support your neck...once you go over you can't come back.

    Sweet dreams Ms. Moon. I wish I could go to the library and run into you to. Good night.

  19. I had no idea long term marriages were so similar. You basically told my story as well. After 30 years Dr. More and I continue to laugh at the crazy state of our bodies as we continue to love and laugh together under, in and out of the sheets, pillows, blankets and pets.

  20. I miss the South so much already! I miss the weather (soul me I think I shall PERISH in this month in the Pacific Northwest) and I miss the heartfelt "excuse me" and friendliness.

    And you and Mr. Moon do coupling so well. :)

  21. You two are so sweet! And I'm happy to see that still in love.
    Yay!!! I would have been just as excited as you, Ms. Moon, to be recognized. You deserve it. The whole world should know who you are.

  22. Ah. I tell Danielle that. Across hundreds of miles. And then I worry about his sleeping.

    It must be such a human ritual, such a human wish.

  23. I will try. But probably not manage. I have recently trained myself to sleep with only one pillow instead of three because Babes didn't like that the pillow came between us. But then I have other things that I will keep doing, like switching the light on in the night or taking too much of the blanket.

  24. good morning, and I hope you did indeed have a good sleep.

    Because my husband travels so much , I've noticed that I'm getting a little sensitive to his snoring and tossing and body heat when he's home. I think we need to switch to a king sized bed . Spoon/ move way over .

  25. Beautiful post! I love to read about your marriage to Mr. Moon. How neat to be recognized in the library! You're famous!

  26. Syd- I like that too.

    Angie C- We all have our ways of dealing with these needs of ours, don't we?

    Lisa- Sounds like a very cozy circus.

    Mel's Way- We love our ducks, don't we? And our dogs and our loves and our cats...
    I wish you could run into me in the library too.

    Sandra- And thus- our blessed lives.

    NOLA- Please don't perish.

    Angie M- Yes! The entire world! Hahaha!

    Jo- Sleep is sacred. Not unlike some swellings.

    Mwa- These men should be happy we're in the bed with them and just accept us as we are with all of our pillow needs.

    deb- We have a California King with is a tiny bit longer than a regular King and not quite as wide. It suits us perfectly. Mr. Moon cannot sleep on a smaller bed. His feet still hang off the end a bit.

  27. Lora- Yes. I am a legend in my own mind.

  28. I could have sworn I told you this long ago: my duck lasted about 6 months and was eaten by a roommate's dog. I was royally pissed off, to say the very least, and moved out. At this point, I am fine and dandy under 3 quilts in the coldest weather. Plus, I'm still working on that tshirt quilt.

  29. I can't believe all these comments about sleep and love! I guess I can :)

    I just recently had to let *my* pillow go. The fabric was totally threadbare and it was losing its insides.

  30. I love a good love story. And this is indeed one.

  31. I completely did feel like I had a celebrity sighting and am flattered to be spoken of so highly in your post. Peter was so excited for me when I told him of our "encounter"!

  32. DTG- You probably did tell me. That's so sad.

    Stephanie- This is why I have backup pillows.

    Lilligirl- I think so. I'm glad you do too.

    Robin- You rock!

  33. One of my favorite posts ever of yours. So beautifully composed and writ, so much meaning here. An essay that stands alone, something I'll read and re-read. A beautiful glimpse into the dynamics of a life.

  34. Imagining Mr. Moon and all your pillows and shit made me laugh. He's a good guy, that man, but you know that. Clearly.

    I think PEARL should get to sleep in the damn bed with you. She's the oldest, goddammit. PEARL!

    How exciting meeting your blog reader! Your first fan meet-up. That's some thrilling shit raht thar.

    Love youse!

  35. I love this post. I love the picture. For some reason it came up in conversation with my therapist that I sleep with 5 pillows and she looked astounded, actually questioned me, "FIVE, really?" and then scribbled furiously on her pad (okay she doesn't have a pad, but that was what she would've done if she has one!).

  36. DTG- I would be too.

    Maggie May- That makes me SO happy.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- Pearl's toenails are too sharp. So are her bones. She has a cozy bed with a quilt. She loves it.

    Bethany- What? There's something weird about sleeping with five pillows? I don't think so!

  37. Ida Mae- Thank-you for stopping by and thank-you for commenting. Please come join us any time.


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