Dog Hill

From the series: Life on Dog Hill

I was in the back of a Black Hawk helicopter. We were getting ready to land when suddenly the tail of the helicopter began swinging around, out of control. We were practically on the ground but the velocity of our spin felt fatal as we neared a tight grouping of trees. I watched out of the small window as we careened past the trees. Then I saw the tree that we would not miss and I braced myself.

When I awoke from the dream, my body was pressed hard against the inside door of our Chevy Suburban and I felt nauseous. Still trying to wipe away the fright of my dream, I realized the nausea was due to our traveling up a winding mountain at a speed I knew was higher than what was legal. I looked back into the second seat of the truck where our older teenagers, Katy and JJ, were sleeping. Their bodies rolled back and forth with the sway of the truck as it continued to climb. In the third-row seat our nine year old twin sons slept, but three year old Ryan let out a long “Whoa!” with a mix of excitement and fright.

“Are you trying to kill us?” I asked my husband. I was clearly agitated as I saw the 30 MPH sign fly by at 50.

“No, I’m going the speed limit.” Tom replied calmly. He had both hands firmly planted at 10 and 2 o’clock and the look on his face was of sheer pleasure as if to say, ‘There is no curve I can’t handle!’

“The speed limit is 30,” I informed him.

“No, that was just for the curvy section.”

“It’s all curvy,” I almost shouted. “Slow down!”

He reluctantly let off the gas but kept the speed close to 50. Just about that time, we came to another sign.

“See,” I said with undisguised sarcasm, “the speed limit is 30.”

“I was just checking out the sway bar the dealer replaced yesterday. It’s working.” He smiled.

“Uh-huh,” I said, as I lowered the window to settle my nausea. By this time, all the kids were awake – an unpleasant occurrence in hour three of a ten hour trip. The sky was still gray as the dawn began to break.

“When’s breakfast?” asked JJ.

“I really need to pee,” Katy added.

“Let me have the headset.” Serg demanded of Alex.

“No, it’s still my turn. I didn’t get to use it because I was sleeping.”

“That still counts you idiot!”

“Shut-up! You’re both idiots,” JJ yelled.

When we stopped for breakfast, the kids joked about their father’s race up the mountain. Katy told us that she woke up with her face sliding up against the window.

As for me, I considered my pending death dream a warning of what would have been had Tom not slowed down.

Just for the curvy section… Please!

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