Reports of my imagined death are false—also incorrect. I’m not dead. To recap: I am not dead. I’m just concentrating really hard. Several years ago, my husband couldn’t instantly get a hold of me via my cell phone, because it was dead, the cell phone. NOT ME. When he couldn’t immediately contact me from Kuala Lumpur or Detroit or Walmart or wherever he was wandering around, to let me know he’d forgotten to take out the garbage or something equally informative, he panicked. So he called our daughter, Heather. Who called our daughter, Maren. Who told her friends at school that I’m a hermit and a nut. Who called my husband, her father. Who called our daughter, Heather, again. Who called each other, over and over, whipping each other into a jittery frenzy. Heather finally broke the cycle of hysteria by calling her friend, Maria, and saying, “I’m at work. Could you drive out to my parent’s house and check on my AGED mother?” Maria! Marie who lives in a whole other village, Marie, who got in her car, drove to our country home (also our city home) and finding all the doors, window, and portholes open assumed that I had been eaten by cats—also raccoons. I was in my office—working. Proving that what we’ve got here is a hefty case of the jitters. While it is true that I live alone a great deal of time, I am not a complete idiot. I try to wait until my husband is home to clean the chimney, re-organize the hayloft, chop down trees, or check the crawlspace for expired squirrels. And as far as being murdered in my sleep by criminal types, I believe that most criminal types are stupid people, the kind of people that get stuck in chimneys. And if I can’t outsmart some nimrod stuck in my chimney then shame on me. That’s why I sleep with the cat. Plan A is that I will throw the cat at the stupid intruder and make my escape out of the bathroom window. At which point I will run to the ditch out front and hide behind the enormous stump that the county hasn’t carted away from storm damage. It’s the main reason I haven’t called the county about the eyesore stump by the road. That stump is part of my master escape plan. I have a detailed schematic drawn up. Please note: That stump has been hauled off since I first reported on the above foolishness, thus changing plan A to plan B. Unfortunately, plan B has me hiding in my neighbor’s barn in my *scanties. So sometimes I sleep in my bathrobe with my cell phone in the pocket, except that my cell phone is quite often “dead,” thus kicking off jittery meltdowns in the first place. Go figure. Linda (Chimney Sweep) Zern *Scanties is a southern word for clothing you don’t want to be caught wearing while hiding in a ditch.