What happened on my couch was this: The night before last, I fell asleep watching a French movie with subtitles that came and went so fast I couldn't keep up. Two years of high school French didn't serve me well at all.
I woke up to Walter Matsui (cat) running around like his tail was on fire, trying to snag a bat. A big bat.
I'm OK with bats when they're hunting mosquitoes in the evening sky, but when one gets in the house and flaps and swoops, I lose my cool.
I needed Fearless Leader's help to wrangle the thing back out, even though he'd been asleep for hours and wasn't going to like me much for the rude wakening.
"I need help. There's a bat in the house," I said in my best quiet but desperate way, because I knew what was coming.
"What? WHAT! WHAT'S THE MATTER?" he shouted, jumping out of bed like his tail was on fire.
He goes from zero to 100 when yanked out of a sound sleep, which always scares me more than whatever the problem is.
"Bat," I said. "There's a large bat in the house, and I need your help to get him out."
The bat was on the staircase wall, right above my 3rd-grade class photo in which I am standing next to Miss Spencer, our teacher, and mad as a wet hen because she made me stand next to Lance Blankman, whom, for a reason I've long forgotten, I had it in for.
I'm thinking it's because he was always very moist.
The bat swooped down the stairs and into the living room.
The three of us chased it from one room to another, trying to get it near a door so we could shoosh it outside, but bats rarely cooperate when a cat with claws and two humans with brooms are running around after them.
Then we lost track of it; it just disappeared. Did it go out on the screened porch? In the kitchen? Who knows. That bat was probably hiding behind a curtain with a wing over its mouth to stifle the giggles, but it was in the wee hours of the morning and we got tired of looking for it.
Maybe it snuck out the way it came in, and wouldn't I love to know where that is.
Even Walter Matsui gave up the hunt and retired to the closet under the stairs, where he has a nest behind the water heater.
Never mind about the bat. I have a better story.
Martin is our landscape guy, a young man with a tremendous work ethic. I'm chalking it up to his emigration from the Czech Republic (although I think it might still have been Czechoslovakia when he made his way here), where hard work was the way of it.
Hard work, quarts of sweat and no whining.
Martin and I have a fondness for foreign films. Well. And mulch. He is turning our sow's ear of an acre into a silk purse.
But we're not talking about work here, we're talking about karma. I'm a firm believer that when one gives one's best, one gets the best back - usually from unexpected sources.
A week ago, Martin's 12-year-old son, Nick, dropped his cellphone in the McKenzie River while attempting to fish from the bank. This same river is a stone's throw from our front yard, so I'm aware of how swift the water flows and how remote the chance is of ever again laying eyes on anything that falls into the drink.
Was it the next day - or was it two? - they got a call from a couple who'd been fishing from a boat, spotted the phone farther downriver, took it home, dumped it in a bag of rice and called Martin.
From Nick's phone.
What're the odds?
The moral of the story? Always give your best, and if your 12-year-old has a cellphone, buy a big bag of rice.
* Lynne Horner is a former Maui News features editor and writer who now lives in Springfield, Ore. Her "Second Thoughts" column appears every Tuesday. Send email to her at email@example.com.