Notice: This is not a childhood memory, but it happened at the homestead, so it's okay.
Things got pretty quiet on the farm after all of us kids were grown and off doing our own thing. Mom stayed at the house for a few years after Dad passed away. We all worried about her, getting along in years, living in that big old house by herself and being so isolated - even with my oldest brother living across the road on the property where Sis' house once stood.
I visited her one weekend. Just me - John stayed home with the kids. I can't remember why it was just me - maybe some event, like a high school reunion? Whatever the reason, it was during a hot and sticky stretch in the summer.
Mom didn't change her routine much, regardless of who was visiting. After supper, she would watch some TV, change into her blue nightgown that had a sheer, robe-type thing over it, have some sort of little snack around 9:00 and go to bed around 10:00.
I slept in my old bedroom, and it looked about the same as it did when I was in high school. Mom's bedroom was across the hall, and there was a door that accessed the attic in her room.
That attic was creepy and intriguing at the same time. It was dark, dusty and filled with cobwebs. The only light came from a small dormer window. There was a trunk up there that my grandfather brought over from Germany. That's where some of Dad's WWII stuff was kept. Antique pictures of old relatives in oval frames and my grandmother's wedding dress and shoes were stored up there as well.
I usually slept in during these visits, but felt antsy one morning and got up around 7:00. I got dressing and headed downstairs. It was odd that Mom was still in bed. She was always up before me. But I shrugged it off and headed outside to walk down the lane and get the newspaper.
I took a couple steps outside and saw Mom's sheer, blue robe laying on the patio, directly underneath her bedroom window. What the...?? I looked up at her window and didn't see anything unusual. But the fact remained - my mother was throwing her clothes out the window in the middle of the night.
(And why did so many weird things end up happening on our patio!?!)
Upon further inspection, I noticed a small, dark object tangled in the robe. I pulled back the fabric and found a dead bat.
In the middle of the night, the bat squeezed it's way through the attic door and flew around my mother's room. Somehow, she snared it in her robe, hit it against something hard enough to stun or kill it, threw the whole mess out the window, and went back to bed.
Sleeping in the next morning was well deserved.
And for a short time, I felt a little better about Mom being alone on the farm. Something told me she could fend for herself.