Golden slumbers


I dream prolifically. I go through dreams like some people go through Kleenex.

I once suggested to Ryan that if I recorded and published my dreams, maybe I’d be famous. He replied, not unkindly, “Yeah, or locked up.”

But I couldn’t help it. Just for fun, I kept notes of things I did in my dreams for the last two weeks. One disclaimer: three nights I didn’t dream memorably at all—my subconscious got shy when I started tracking it, which makes me laugh–and a fourth night contained too many censorable elements to be included in the list. Here are my notes from the remaining ten nights, plus the odd nap thrown in here and there.

I truly hope there are no shrinks among us. It would be fairly easy to read much. I–

  • Gave Jean an engraved fishbowl with nothing in it, to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy.
  • Ate at an Irish restaurant, in which a bona fide leprechaun was kept to play practical jokes on customers.
  • Made an entire tableful of women uncomfortable by taking a waitress to task for rolling her eyes at my friend.
  • Ran away.
  • Rode a bicycle over miles of trackless wilderness.
  • Had rotting animal carcasses thrown at me.
  • Hid in an underground tunnel till the bombing was over.
  • Had a date with Hercule Poirot. (His pants were 3” too short, but he insisted it was the fault of his boots.)
  • Presided over a garage sale.
  • Told my mom I thought I was close to getting hooked up with a man.
  • Went shopping at Wal-Mart 2x, and once at a bulk food store.
  • Checked out a posh set of suites.
  • Drove a vehicle that began sliding helplessly backwards down an icy hill.
  • Walked barefoot in snow until my feet stopped being cold and became toasty warm.
  • Put my arm around a lady from church and asked how she was doing.
  • Got a phone call from an extremely attractive single man named Ryan Zook.
  • Helped deliver a baby—a beautiful little girl, my mom’s eighth child.
  • Found a display of vanilla bean flowers for sale.
  • Played a word guessing game with a bunch of young people, and had a terrible time getting people’s attention when it was my turn to talk, no matter how loudly I hallooed. Finally realized it was because couples were quietly falling in love all around me, lost in talking to each other… which made me so furious I tore my own dress into shreds.
  • Met a preemie baby boy, snow white, whose mother was proud of him and ultra-cautious. She kept him well bundled from the cold and when I touched his face, she told me for heavens’ sake to be careful! I named him Spindly.
  • Attended a Beachy church service.
  • Lived in a house shared by three very large snakes we had to be careful not to anger. One was bright red, one green, one blue. All went well till the day my son shot one of them and the other two got mad.
  • Found out that my pastor’s secret wish had always been to sing a solo in front of the congregation.
  • Watched my dad work on our house.
  • Found that my pine tree produced clusters of large, edible grapes.
  • “Inherited” a pony and eight cats that came with our property. Tried to figure out what to do with them all.
  • Went to Bible School.
  • Watched others donate to the needy, but did not contribute because I had no money myself.
  • Lived on a bluff by the sea. Wanted to rig a windmill to supply our own energy in that wind-swept place.

Now did you ever hear the like?

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11 years ago

I don’t know, Shari. That looks like more than 10 nights plus naps. 🙂 Maybe you need to sleep less, or have another baby that keeps you up at night, so that you can sleep soundly during the sleeping minutes! Very entertaining, though. I’d like to hear what a psychiatrist would say about you…

Mom Coblentz
11 years ago

No, I’ve never heard the like!! It’s hilarious…except the 8th child part. 🙁 And, Renita, I DON’T want to know what a psychiatrist would say…afraid I’d never see Shari again.

11 years ago

I would wake up utterly exhausted if I had to dream so hard and so often. 🙂 Then on the other hand, I might be tempted to sleep more often if I got to go on so many exciting adventures while doing so. Hey…Thanks for the amusement for the day………………..

11 years ago

For years O has told me that I have very strange dreams. But this. . . Well this does beat all.

11 years ago

So I must ask! Are these moments pleasant feeling or do they leave you with negative emotion?
Besides the “I bet her mom loves this one,” I had to wonder what they would name that 8th child. =D

I recently started working with a nutritionist. One of the things they attacked was my absolute lack of dreams. Turns out vitamin B6 deficiency is manifested in our dream activity. Many pleasant dreams are great! The more negative emotion or scary feeling the worse. and NEVER dreaming at all is really quite bad.

11 years ago

Well, that was fun!! I love hearing people’s dreams because mine aren’t nearly so exciting most of the time. I do have a recurring dream that it’s about 10 minutes before my wedding and I forgot to shave my legs and another one where I’m on the ground watching a plane about to crash – and it’s never the same kind of plane. You know the ones I think are so weird?? The ones where you wake up kind of mad at someone because of something they did in your dream – has that ever happened to you? That doesn’t happen too often but sometimes it takes a while to wear off and I’m not mad at them anymore. I know, weird. 🙂 Have a good weekend ~

John Coblentz
11 years ago

Your dreams are both disturbing and exciting. They reflect the sad reality that your father doted on you too much as a child, hence all the advances of other men in your dreams and the unrealistic expectations about waitresses and posh living. You’ve seen your father growing older and it drives those unpleasant reactions to life (running away, riding bicycle through the wilderness, shopping at WalMart, vehicle sliding helplessly down a hill, etc.)

But in your heart of hearts is a deep yearning for connections—such a good sign! You are clearly on the path to healthy self-realization, as your warmer dreams indicate: 1) The fun times at an Irish restaurant (which, by the way, also indicates a yearning for travel and new adventure). 2) The arm around the lady at church. 3) The couples falling in love (the shredded dress, by the way, was a reactive formation indicating that you actually so much liked what was happening that you projected the opposite feeling to protect you from how powerfully you were drawn toward the scene). 3) Attending a Beachy church service. 4) Going to Bible school, etc.

The babies in your dreams, especially the eighth child of your mother, mean nothing. Nothing at all. You should simply ignore these dreams as total nonsense and determine to dream nothing but what connects you to the true world and your true self and your hidden potentials. Wait… maybe this is a clue that you will enjoy your own new baby in your 60s.

If you’d like further help with the dreams, we have a couch, and I’d have more time next week.

Your doting Dad

Ruthie Schrock
11 years ago
Reply to  John Coblentz


11 years ago
Reply to  John Coblentz

thanks for the laugh of the week

11 years ago

Oh Shari…I’m giggling at this, especially at your dad’s comment. I wish I could climb into your head and wander around picking out dreams; it sounds very fascinating in there.

Suzanna Weaver
11 years ago

Oh Shari – thanks for the laugh today!

Marlene Stoltzfus
11 years ago

Whoa. I don’t use even Kleenexes that fast.

Mr. Coblentz, your response is priceless!

11 years ago

Wow. Your dad’s “diagnosis” was just fascinating. It really is amazing how our dreams reveal a picture of our innermost composition. I read of your fears [hiding in the tunnel and ], your whimsical romanticism [bluff by the sea, empty fishbowl to Jean], your compassionate heart [arm around a lady from church and wanting to give to the needy], your love of adventure [Irish restaurant], your nostalgic memories of good times [bible school, church,] and your insecurities [shredding dress and rotten animal carcasses].
There were 2 that stuck out to me. I’m no shrink but here’s a few humble opinions. =)
#1 the one about not having to give as you watched others give. For some reason you feel inadequate and on a lower level than those around you.
#2 the one about the snakes. This ones a doozy and it might have a deeper spiritual meaning!
Thanks for sharing! Rachel

11 years ago

I have never kept track of my dreams, but I would guess I dream almost this prolifically, and my dreams often make no sense. The other night, I left my baby (23 months) pinned to a low washline. (that was the most insane part) Got to church (in the evening) and remembered her, got a bad feeling and hurried home through the rain and storm. On the way home, I got a phone call from our next door neighbor, and I knew he was calling to say he found her. I just didn’t know if she was alive or not. I never did find out, because I woke up right then.

Wendy Zook
11 years ago

After enjoying this read last night, I went to bed and dreamed about you. 🙂

11 years ago

and yesterday while eating lunch there was a little boy who spent 30-45 minutes telling me about his three dreams he had the night before. 🙂

11 years ago

Hi! I’m a new reader and wanted to tell you what a kick I got out of this post! It reminds me of LM Montgomery’s “Story Girl” characters (a group of kids), who somehow “figured out” that eating rich foods makes you dream crazy things, and so they had a contest to see who could have the most interesting dreams. The results were highly amusing!
i’m enjoying your posts!

11 years ago

Shari, thanks for sharing. my brother is also a prolific dreamer of wild and crazy dreams. my herbal teacher, who is Cherokee Indian, says dreams are “real”.
To all the non-dreamers out there – try a large bouquet of Sweet Annie in your bedroom something in that plant encourages vivid dreams. just brought in a huge bunch yesterday afternoon and for lack of a better place to put it – dumped it on my bedroom floor. I ended up dreaming i was at my former church for communion – just as they began the breaking of bread i remembered i don’t belong there and i quickly left. . . it was awkward to say the least even though i still count the people there as my friends.

11 years ago

Shari, I always comment way after the fact because I read your blog about once a month which is when I get the time. 😉
I dream like this, too! My nights are like yours – packed with adventure. And my man is like yours – flummoxed and sometimes would just “rather not know.”
Cheers to all the dreams to come!

LaDonna Nice
11 years ago

lol I am a big dreamer too. I wonder what makes some people dream more than others. Love your dreams, you brought some giggles to me today.

11 years ago

BWHAAAA!!! I loved it . . . and then your Dad’s was completely totally hilarious . . . My Dad always used to call dreams a “waste of good sleeping time” and professed to be able to count the dreams he’d had on less than one hand. I always thought he missed out on a lot of fun . . . too many of my most memorable dreams aren’t internet shareable, but Paul and I have a great time laughing about them together.

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