The other night I woke up a little after 2 AM thinking about what I was going to write in my blog the next day. Plus I hadn't been feeling well so that woke me up also. But what kept me awake was Dixie, our miniature Schnauzer. I'm not sure how old Dixie is, but she's not a young dog anymore. Recently she's been waking up in the middle of the night, barking because she wants to go outside. This is not a good development but it's only happened a few times and I haven't given it much thought. But that night I woke up, then Dixie woke up and started barking so I had to let her go outside. I looked at the clock and it said 2:17 AM. I propped open the kitchen door and went to my computer, waiting for Dixie to come back in.

But she didn't come back in. Normally that wouldn't bother me too much except that it was well below freezing, we had five inches of snow on the ground, and I was in my bare feet, and I wasn't feeling very good. I waited by the computer and waited and waited. And still she didn't come in. No way was I going to walk outside in my bare feet and find her, but it was too much trouble to go back to the bedroom and get my shoes so I waited some more. Then I turned on the lights in the back yard and could see dog tracks and other residue in the snow, but no Dixie. So I tried to quietly call her name, "Dixie . . . Dixie . . . Dixie." It wouldn't do to start yelling at that time of night. Where had she gone?

So I wondered if she had gotten out of the backyard somehow. I checked the front yard twice but she wasn't there. My feet were freezing and now I felt worse. Then I saw her standing by the front door, waiting to come inside. I put her back in her cage and went to bed. It was almost 3 AM. Everything was fine until she started barking again. This time Marlene got up and I said, "Don't put her outside. The gate must be unlatched." (That happened because the man who checks the gas meter had left it open that afternoon.) But Dixie was barking because she wanted to be out of her cage. No point in arguing with a dog at 3 AM. So we let her out of her cage. All was well and I tried to drift off to sleep, which is where all this started with me waking up thinking about what to write in my blog.

And this is what I was thinking about: My Late-Night Super Bowl Pick (no kidding). I was trying to think of reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles will beat the New England Patriots. This is the only thing I could come up with: You can search the whole Bible and you'll never see the phrase "New England."

Philadelphia 27, New England 22. Once I figured that out, I went back to sleep.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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