I woke up this morning to the sound of a gunshot. Crack! Somewhere in the neighborhood of the ceiling between my bedroom and the bathroom, a Glock 22 (different sound than a Smith and Wesson) shot off a round.
But I’ve lived in this house long enough to know that a murder was not being committed. The usual suspect (Tom) was safely sleeping right beside me.
“Temperature dropped,” I thought as I rolled over for five more minutes of sleep.
A little later, I was sitting in the living room, drinking my morning coffee and wrestling with the crossword puzzle when another shot rang out. This time it was a Remington 870 rifle shot—I could tell by the zing-ing echo—right over my head, somewhere near the chimney flu in the roof. I jumped a little, took another sip of my coffee, and tried to think of a nine-letter word for a Lake Erie city. (It was Ashtabula.)
Pow! Crack! Blam! I feel like I’m in a Batman movie. The Dark Knight, I believe.
My house has gone from being in the middle of a skating rink last Saturday . . . to a snow-covered winter wonderland on Sunday . . . to a wind-whipped blizzard-warning area on Monday . . . to a sub-zero shooting gallery on Tuesday.
The gunshot-type sounds are my house adjusting to the changes in the outside temperature. We’ve gone from Saturday's 30-degree weather (therefore, the ice) to minus 6 degrees this morning, and the house’s joints and beams are protesting loudly. The colder it gets outside, the more the wood and metal joints in our house snap, crackle, and pop as they shrink and lose moisture.
I don’t know if any homeowners' houses have ever fallen down over their heads during this freeze-drying phenomenon. It sometimes sounds like that’s what’s happening. But it certainly makes the morning a little more exciting as it gets the adrenalin pumping through our systems.
KA-BOOM! There went another one. Shotgun this time—double barrel, pump-action 12-gauge, from the sounds of it. Let's see--a six-letter word for care-less attitude? Got it! a-p-a-t-h-y.