First you were floating, and then you were back to this reality. I can feel the bed under me. The bed clothes against my skin.

The ceiling fan is on, moving the cool air around in the room. And then I realize what pulled me out of my dream. The one that I no longer remember because of the baying…no the braying of the beagle that lives in the house behind us.

Beagles have a distinctive sound to their barking. And as they become more and more agitated it takes on an urgency all their own. A plaintive, pleading sound that just seems to grate on the nerves of everyone. Everyone, it seems, but the owner of said hound.

I’m not going back to sleep so I swing my legs over the side of the bed and stand up. The sun hasn’t risen yet. Dark as hell in the house as I fumble my way to the kitchen to make coffee. My mind wanders back to the time when I owned a beagle. Sera was her name. After the Triceratops in the movie, “The Land Before Time”. Only had her for a short time. It was not a match made in heaven. I owned a business at the time and was not home enough to properly train her. Gave her to a friend who said that he was going to train her to hunt. Think he ended up selling her, because he was not a trainer. He was like I was at the time. Always looking for a few extra bucks to keep things afloat.

The mind wanders down strange old roads in the wee hours of the morning before the sun comes out. Most of mine happen to be gravel. Dusty, and bumpy corduroy roads. Cutting through farm fields. Lined with maple, and elm trees with the occasional oak tossed in for good measure. The roads that I walked when I was a kid. Barefoot and still kicking at stones as I walked from one place to another.

It’s a different world that I live in now. Ribbons of asphalt lined with strip malls and gas stations.

And the braying of a dog that takes me back 40 some years.