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Was That a Dream?

I woke this morning earlier than usual. At 3:00 AM I stumbled to the bathroom, paying little attention on my journey. We have a small nightlight in the living room. It’s just bright enough to illuminate my path to the other end of the hour. And we’ve lived here long enough that I could probably navigate with my eyes closed.

I didn’t want to wake my wife, so I napped on the couch until it was time to wake for work. As I sat on the couch in a half-awake state, I thought I could make out a smell that I knew should not be in our house.

A few months ago, Stacy had woken me during the middle of the night to point out a skunk running in our yard. Its white stripe shining bright under the moonlight, I quickly turned back over and went to sleep.

But at 3:30 AM now, I felt a feeling of dread in my stomach. Did it get into the house? Did it get under the house? How much damage did it do? I knew I should have dealt with this earlier.

I walked around the house, smelling from room to room. It seemed stronger by our bedroom windows and weaker in the laundry room. When I opened the garage door to head to work, I could also smell it near my car.

I also knew that I couldn’t quite smell right. I’d been sick for the past few days, and my nose was stuffy. This has got to be a remnant from a dream that’s carried over to reality, I kept reassuring myself. This can’t be real and inside the house.

When I got to work, I waited for a text from my wife. I was counting down until a frantic morning text, knowing that she would instantly smell it when she woke. Her first text, however, wasn’t about the smell. I began feeling relieved, but then I knew I had to ask. Before long, she had confirmed what I thought was true: the house did smell.

No one prepares you for this when you go to buy a house. And now I sit and wait to hear back from a critter control company, hoping we can find a peaceful and long lasting solution.

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