April 21 • 09:27 AM

To sleep, perchance to dream

January 25, 2017
Some nights I hesitate to go to sleep for fear I'll have another one of "those" dreams. You know, the nightmare type where I'm the only guy left fighting at the Alamo and about a thousand of Santa Anna's guys are coming after me with shiny bayonets. This is going to be messy, I think to myself. I usually wake up in a sweat.

Other nights, sleep is really restful as Sue and I travel to some far off beautiful place and enjoy tea and crumpets together in wedded bliss. Unfortunately, I seem to have more of the former type dreams than the latter.

I wish I could hook a video camera up to my brain at night and catch dreams on video to experience the fear or joy again. And, of course, if I had them recorded I could remember the whole thing when I'm awake. That's one of the frustrating parts of dreaming: knowing you had a great dream but not being able to remember enough of it to enjoy it or tell someone else about it.

Recently, I had a dream that a secretary in my department at work (at the Dow Chemical Company which I left more than 20 years ago) bought a house. Good for her you think, right? But she bought it under my name and the bank sent me the payment vouchers to pay every month. What was she thinking?

But the interesting part of the dream was trying to figure out who had bought the house that I was supposed to pay for. It was like a mystery novel to figure out "who done it."

Do you ever have recurring dreams? Or at least dreams with the same theme? Tornadoes are my recurring nemesis. Maybe some of you who interpret dreams can tell my why. I have actually seen two tornadoes "in person" and fortunately, both were traveling away from me.

But in my dreams they are always headed straight for me as I scramble to find shelter. So far I've always survived. Yeah, I know that I could end up skipping down the yellow brick road in beautiful Oz or something but, frankly, I'd rather not take the chance. Enough with the tornadoes!

I like to consider myself a Presidential historian and I have a collection of Presidential autographs dating back to George Washington. Another of my recurring themes is being in the presence of a President and, for the life of me, not being able to find anything for him to sign.

Not long ago in my slumber, Ronald Reagan came to an event I was attending. They wheeled him in in a wheelchair but he was still the old "Dutch" that everybody remembered. I couldn't find a pen, paper, napkin…anything…that he could sign for me. I raced off to find something, as I always do in these type dreams, but by the time I found something and returned Dutch was nowhere to be seen. Foiled again!

Having to find a men's room and not being able to is another recurring one. You, too? Nature is calling and I can't answer the call. When I wake up I usually realize that wasn't just a dream!

I also dream occasionally that I have a chance to sit down and chat with a former President. Now that is fun and worth going to sleep for. One night I was having a conversation with Herbert Hoover on one side of me and Franklin D. Roosevelt on the other. I couldn't get a word in edgewise as they argued back and forth about the causes of the Depression and what to do about it. I really wish I could have recorded that one.

In many of my dreams I can fly. Not in an airplane but by myself. I simply run and the faster my legs go the higher I go. My legs never get tired and it's fun to call down to someone from up there and go "Nah na nah nah! I can fly and you can't!" So far the legs have never failed and I have always landed safely.

My parents, who have been gone for a long time, often appear in my dreams like nothing ever happened. But my dad and I argue a lot in them. That didn't happen in real life. There was no arguing with dad. Ever. Sometimes it's comforting seeing the folks again but sometimes it's bittersweet.They can never stay with me. They always have to go back to wherever they reside.

So what does it all mean? I'm not a dream interpreter so I have no idea why I dream the things I do. Maybe that's a good thing, especially with those negative dreams. The good ones would be fun to figure out, though.

But with all due respect to Bill Shakespeare, the "to sleep" part is necessary but occasionally, I could do without the "perchance to dream part." Sleep tight, friends.

Email Rick at

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