Be­fore-bed read

When Sherry Hall woke up un­ex­pect­edly early on Thanks­giv­ing morn­ing and de­cided to take a stroll around her neigh­bor­hood, she had no idea that she’d be chang­ing the course of a fam­ily’s life for­ever

First For Women - - Contents -

My eyes clicked open to a still-dark room. As the mom of three young chil­dren, I was used to ris­ing early, but this was ridicu­lous. The bed­side clock glowed 5:30 a.m. It was Thanks­giv­ing Day. I groaned in­ter­nally so I wouldn’t wake my hus­band. He would have to drive us sev­eral hours to get to our fam­ily cel­e­bra­tion.

The year was 1996, and though we had lived in our home for a few years, I had not ven­tured out into the neigh­bor­hood of­ten. It came as a sur­prise to me then when I sud­denly found my­self get­ting out of bed, dress­ing, putting on ten­nis shoes and head­ing out for a predawn walk around my block.

I must have been halfway around the large cir­cu­lar block be­fore I re­ally woke up. I thought to my­self, What in the world am I do­ing? I could be sleep­ing for an­other pre­cious hour! But when I rounded the last curve and neared my home, in­stead of go­ing in and climb­ing back un­der the warm cov­ers, I walked past my house and con­tin­ued around the block again. I could not ex­plain why. This hap­pened again, and then again.

The sky be­gan to lighten to a win­try gray, and it promised to be a frigid day. I con­tin­ued to walk.

Then, on my fourth lap around the neigh­bor­hood, I sud­denly smelled the very strong odor of nat­u­ral gas. I could not tell ex­actly where it was com­ing from, but the

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