interludes

I have lived with daylight savings time all my life and have never gotten used to it. By the time it goes back to standard time I have simply learned to go from day to day with one less hours’ sleep.

I really don’t like it.

I can remember my father returning home Fridays after his week’s commute to New York setting his watch because the time was different there in summer. You’d have thought I’d have more interesting memories than watching my father set his watch, but I doted on him. Since he was gone every week he was the magic parent. He was not home enough to be ordinary so I’d carefully watch and listen to everything about him.

Except when I had ponies.

I never caught the tennis bug or the golf bug or the tanning bug. So summers, except when I had a good book to read or went to a friends’ house or a movie, weren’t too exciting. Oh, I loved the freedom like any kid. No school, no early mornings, I went barefoot and wore shorts and t-shirts every day. But the summers of the ponies were transportive.

I learned about these ponies from a neighborhood friend. Mr. Robinson had all these ponies and he rented them, if a family had an appropriate place to care for them, enough yard, a place for shelter. Our house where I grew up had a detached 2-car garage. We only used one side for a car, the other side housed the lawn mower and various other dusty items that kind of blended into the grey-brown of the inside of the garage. Next to that was an old but sturdy chicken coop, complete with surrounding small fence. It was fine, Mr. Robinson said. So he brought  my first rented pony named Claudia, a couple of bales of hay and a bridle. No saddle, just bareback.

I found some other neighborhood girls who rented ponies at the same time and we rode all over the place. These ponies weren’t shod so we were careful to keep them on the grass. This was true freedom.

So every summer for I guess 5 or 6 years one or two weeks I rented one of these ponies. I never met one I didn’t like, or more to the point, that did not like me. Ponies can be mean little creatures if they take a dislike to you. My brother came to the elementary school playground across from our house where we all mostly rode. It was about 4 acres of wide open space. He wanted to try riding, he said. I slid off and handed him the reins. He looked at me. So we walked the pony over to the concrete picnic tables where he could give himself a leg up. On he went. Something about this the pony did not like.

Off went the pony. Fast. And off went my brother, right in the dirt. I probably should have given him a few tips on how to ride but I figured he’d watched us enough and figured it out. He hadn’t, on top of which he’d had the wind knocked out of him. So I had to stop first and make sure he’d be ok.

The thing about ponies is when they start running if nobody’s riding they don’t stop. So having the assurance my brother would live and somehow not find a way to get Mom after me for his injuries, gritting my teeth I took off. Last I’d seen she rounded the side of the school to the front of the building. Right after that would be a street. Not a highly traveled one, but still.

I pumped around to the front of the school to find her there on the lawn, calmly grazing. So relieved I nearly cried, I slowly walked up so as not to spook her off again and gently picked up her reins. Crisis averted.

There were 4 or 5 of those ponies that were my favorites… Claudia was the first, Vera (she shared more than one summer with us), a little strawberry roan named Peaches… Peaches I got two weeks one year, for the price of one. Mr. Robinson liked the way we cared for those ponies, and she’d gained a little weight…

Fun times.

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shadows under the door

So… family vacations. As my brother said, he couldn’t have planned it better if he’d tried.

Day 4 of our week my brother was not feeling well. And this is someone who never feels something to the point of concern. He forges ahead and gets through it.

We drove to a small emergency room not far from where his family and I were enjoying our annual beach week. After a ct-scan he was rushed to emergency at the larger hospital. Two a.m. he was put in a hospital room waiting for surgery.

Irony: They wake you about every half-hour through the night for something. As soon as daylight touches the edge of that windowsill they leave you alone.

So he dozed, on and off. I watched the shadows of medical people’s feet walking past his door. Waiting for those that would stop and take him to surgery. To healing.

Me: “Do you have any Bibles?”

Gift shop person: “No, sorry.”

Me: “Is there a chapel?”

Pink Lady: “I don’t know of one.”

Me: “Are there Bibles, anywhere?”

Pink Lady: “Not that I know of.

I remembered my Bible in the glove compartment in my car, reluctant to leave my brother should those shadows stop for him I ran outside to get it.

He kept dozing. Shadows kept walking. He woke.

Me: “Can I read you a psalm?’

Him: “Sure.”

Me: Psalm 91… basically assuring anyone frightened beyond their wits that God will keep you under His wings, under His feathers.

Comfort.

The shadow stopped. A strong, young man opened the door, asked my brother to give his name, birthdate. Correct patient. My brother heroically gets up out of the bed.

Orderly: “Uh, nope, not having you flashing people down in surgery. Get back in the bed.”

My brother: Laughter.

So he goes. I breathe a prayer to follow him, through pre-op, anesthesia, the cutting, post-op, recovery.

God heard me.

I walk down the hallway toward where the same strong, young man is bringing my brother back to his family, back to consciousness, back to life. I follow them to his room where his wife, daughter, my son are waiting.

Groggily my brother says, “Did he…” can’t finish.

Understanding, I respond: “Laparoscopy.”

Repeat: “Open cut?”

Me: “No. Laparoscopy.”

Brother: “Guy’s a genius.”

My brother is there, he can hear us, he responds, slowly as one coming out of deep sleep would. I joke that I have never in my life seen him inebriated. His wife, “Oh, he’s a happy drunk!”

My brother: “I drive better, too.”

Laughter.

We stay to visit as his nurses check his oxygen saturation which rises and falls like my emotions.

“I’m not going to code,” he says.

We laugh, but cautiously.

He needs sleep. We exit for the night hugging as best we can through tubes and wires promising to return in the morning.

“Love you.”

“Love you.”

Goodnight.

family vacations

Every summer my family went to the same inn at the beach, usually the same week and generally with the same group of people. My brother and I looked forward to this almost like Christmas. It was basically the one week we saw both our parents consistently, unrushed, relaxed.

It was great.

Eight or nine years ago my brother decided to restart this tradition with his family, inviting me to join them. There is only one inn left at this beach, the one where we always stayed blew down in a hurricane about 30 years ago. We still look forward to this.

So I decided I’d show off some North Carolina wines this time. Aside from communion wine on Sunday I don’t drink much but maybe someone will. I had taken my son to a local vineyard for lunch on one of his visits a year or so ago and he enjoyed it. Rescue dogs Lily and Lulu and I piled in the car late Tuesday morning after a heavy rainstorm. I figured it was over.

I figured wrong.

It’s about an hour’s drive to this winery and I could barely see as I drove. Thankfully not many people were taking their chances so we arrived unscathed. I bought some wine, got back in my car galvanized for the return trip though at this point it had stopped raining.

Picture0810171645_1.jpg* one of the recommended wines *

On my drive home I realized how much I will miss Lily and Lulu. This is not a pet friendly place and I kept telling myself it’s only one week, if I leave late enough and come home early enough it’s really only 6 days. I know one year a lady whose family had been going to this inn for years convinced the proprietors to allow her to bring her ancient chihuahua that she was giving fluids to each day. They allowed it but others at the inn were not so happy complaining it would set a precedent, whatever. Personally I thought it was wonderful that they allowed her to do this. I saw this little dog. Unless you knew she had him you’d never even know he was there.

Some friends tried to convince me to get therapy dog vests. That way my dogs could go with me everywhere. They’d love it! Apparently you don’t have to train your dog, you don’t even need to have a condition that warrants a therapy dog. Not even a doctor’s explanation. You can just buy these vests online. This is something I could not do though. I couldn’t live with myself, not just myself being a fraud, but dragging my dogs into the deception?

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Nope. Couldn’t do it.

So I will wait until the last possible moment to take them to their vacation spot before I go to mine. My brother and his family are driving from Texas. About 18 hours compared to my 2-hour drive. Then my son plans to join us on Tuesday. Though predicted to stay offshore, that’s also just about the same time the tropical storm is scheduled to arrive.

Maybe I will have some of that wine…..

 

 

 

perseverance

When I was much younger I was easily discouraged. I guess like many baby boomer children so much came so easily. Our parents for the most part had not only seen a World War but likely had grown up during the Great Depression and wanted to protect their own kids from so much deprivation. Not so much my parents. They knew what it meant to appreciate anything, to repair things or as the New England saying goes: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Even if this lavishing of everything was not what my brother and I experienced, knowing my friends got everything they wanted and then some must have affected me then to some degree, unfortunately. I remember the girl in 5th grade with a pair of sneakers to match every dress or pair of pants she wore. Honestly, some of those colors? Her mom must’ve dyed them. Those colors just are not mass-produced. Or the friends who had so many dolls or toys leaving them out in the rain to be ruined meant nothing to them. I guess I was jealous.

My dad used to complain when I was in high school and dodged another of his pesky challenges that I would just pack my lance over my shoulder and go home.

Wish he were here now.

Funny how we grow up and suddenly everything our parents tried to teach us makes sense. Earlier this week rescue dogs Lily, Lulu and I took an early morning walk on the beach. This being March the winds raged and sand blew everywhere. Poor Lulu is a Jack Parson/Boston terrier mix so being close to the ground she likely swallowed more than a few grains of sand. But I noticed the ocean

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The wind was blowing from the west, sending showers of spray back off the crests of every wave, yet the wave persisted forward. Nothing stopped the waves from crashing to shore, no matter how hard the winds blew. There was enough force to propel the wave on its course. Somehow with people sometimes, whether by ingratitude, satiety, or indifference that impetus fails. The wind blows and someone just sits back down. Whatever captured their sense of purpose has met resistance and they stop.

Passion should never fail. Nothing short of reasonable legal, moral and ethical bounds should prevent a heart from driving onward to its vision. I realize many people– my brother is one (doctor), my son another (graphic design) –know early what they love to do and want it badly enough to stop for nothing in their pursuit of it. There needs to be so much more of this. I also realize technology is now such an enormous aspect of life, yet we still need thinking, reasoning people, with hearts of discipline and compassion to continue building for good.

So maybe we all don’t know what to be when we grow up but there is always hope. For any and all of us.

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Travel plans

Unless I can drive and take my dogs I almost never go anywhere. By choice. It’s true. At my age I figure the few places I have left that I want to see I can either get to by car or train.

Except for family trips.

Most mornings I walk husky-mix rescue dog Lily and terrier-mix rescue Lulu with a small group and their dogs. On some days combined we likely appear to be a formidable pack, upwards of a dozen multi-sized and aged dogs with 4 or 5 persons in tow. So it isn’t unusual to have another walker move to the side of the trail with his/her dog/s to let us pass, though our dogs are very friendly, which the person/s who moved aside soon learn. But we must appear somewhat impassable I suppose.

So on this morning’s walk we were discussing our Christmas travel plans, or I was since I appear to be the only one having to go out of town. I am going to visit family in Texas for literally a Christmas visit. I will go tomorrow, Christmas Eve, and come back home Monday, the 26th. Not even 48 hours. But enough so they won’t (I hope) be sick of me and we will look forward to our annual August beach trip together.

But the length, or brevity of this visit reminded me of a truly spontaneous thing I did about 25 years ago.

US Air and other airlines had something called SuperSaver fares. You had to buy the ticket in an alarmingly close to departure date period of time and it could only be 3 days and had to include a Saturday night. This was how they filled surplus empty seats and got money for it. The fares were incredibly cheap for an international flight, so I bought one. To Manchester, UK.

I know no one in the United Kingdom, then or now. I packed a few changes of underwear, my passport and a credit card. That’s it.

So I took the first leg from Charlotte to Philadelphia. On schedule, everything’s fine. Then there is an announcement our flight to England is delayed. Half an hour later it’s cancelled. I schlepped over with all our other passengers to the res desk to see what I could get, if anything.

“Well, I can get you to Frankfurt, then to Manchester?” a weary but kind agent explained.

“Hmmm, ok, this was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing for me, I have 3 days.” I looked at her hopefully.

She thought a moment, then, “Well, I can leave you in Frankfurt?”

Knowing no German and willing to await an opening to Manchester I thanked her and accepted the next option out, to Frankfurt and connecting on to Manchester.

So began an adventure that, only 60-hours or so, I will never forget.

The night before I left a friend from church had called and I explained what I was doing. Did I know anyone over there? he asked. No, I replied, why? Well, in case you get into any trouble here’s my cousin’s number (–forget where cousin lived–), oh, and you will want to visit Chester, not far from Manchester. OK, thanks, I say. We hung up.

So on arrival (finally) I found the “i”desk my friend had also mentioned — i for information, which was truly wonderful. I learned prefacing anything I said with “I’m an American ” helped prepare them for: accent, ignorance, many questions, some small amount of expressed fear, copious thanks. And consequently the interchange went much easier.

I was instructed to go to currency exchange, then bus stop, which bus, the name of a pub in Chester which lodged visitors. Everything was just as I had been told and I wandered the streets of Chester (which was having some sort of festival at the time) enjoying the shops and savory smells of different kinds of food. I found the pub, was assured of a room and went out again with camera to capture this lovely gingerbread town nestled into the hills of northwest England.

This being a Saturday the pub was pretty busy and knowing I needed to find my way to Manchester the next morning I turned in early but nobody else did. Once the pub finally closed revelers continued the party outside, singing just below my window. Exhaustion won out so I did get sleep and found the train station easily in the subdued quiet of Sunday morning.

At Manchester I found another i booth and let them know what I needed. A brief phone call later I was told to wait outside the station for a couple who would pick me up in a gray Range Rover shortly. I did, and they did, to bring me to their bed-and-breakfast. The couple and their children were attending a sort of reverse July 4th celebration, one where England celebrated being rid of the mischief-makers. As it happened I had bought a copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer which headlined the 225th celebration of our independence from tyrannic British rule, would they like to have it? Oh yes! And they were only too happy to drive me to the train station so I might do some more exploring, they recommended a nearby town called Wilmslow they thought I’d enjoy, but I would need to be on my own going back. Fine, I agreed.

At the train station I carefully pored over a map of stops and distance, the time it would take, allowing for my not-too-far walk back to their B&B. While at Wilmslow I stopped in a bakery which had some delicious looking finger foods and pastries, I purchased some and went outside to enjoy, al fresco.

On my walk back a slow drizzle began and even though it was mid-summer it became chilly. I buttoned my grey sweater and braced for a cool but brisk walk. A car approaching from in front of me slowed to a stop and the window rolled down. A gentleman popped his head out and looked at me, so I stopped.

“Do you know how far ‘ -unintelligible name of a town I wouldn’t have known anyway’ is?”

“Oh! I am very flattered but I’m an American visiting, I’m sorry I don’t know.”

He laughed so hard I thought I’d committed some sort of horrible international faux pas. Finally he recovered and said, “Typical! I’m a Scot, I would ask an American for directions!” We both laughed heartily at that.

So I returned to the B&B which had been a mews of a larger estate hundreds of years ago. Built of stone my cozy room was in the loft. Very comfortable, but since this was July and England is at a latitude that allows for some of that midnight sun it never quite got dark. Still, the thrill of what I accomplished afforded me sleep, and I woke bright and early for the day of my return home.

I appeared at the main house for breakfast, a full English breakfast with fried bread, bacon rashers, fresh fruit, fried tomatoes, eggs and coffee. A golf team had also stopped for breakfast before arriving at the course for their tournament. Someone mentioned an American was in their midst which was exciting news for them.

“Do you know Tiger Woods?” they asked.

My safe return home was a wonderful feeling, though I’d had a memorable time in merry old England.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and Happy 2017 y’all.

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Attachments

Because my step-mother survived my father when he passed away my brother and I were given 48 hours to collect our family belongings from his home. At one point we found ourselves sitting at Dad’s desk going through silly, superficial things– his pen holder, desk drawers filled with miscellany– paper clips, empty medicine bottles, toner cartridges, a pair of cufflinks, things that he touched, considered worth keeping. We wished hard for a transference of him as we looked at them, these insignificant items, representative of something that we wanted to give us just one more tangible connection to him, now gone.

Over the years I, too have an embarrassing accumulation of odd things that I cannot seem to bring myself to discard or give away. Someone will have to do it someday if I don’t. I particularly have a huge amount of Christmas ornaments and decorations. I have most of the ones we put on our trees when my brother and I grew up. Funny little porcelain angel bells with dainty faces, a reindeer painted on a sand dollar, a partridge in a pear tree a dear friend of my mother’s made for us.

Then I have ornaments I made the first Christmas I could not spend with my family because I was married, 8 months pregnant and my doctor advised against travel. So I made ornaments. Christmas patterned-fabric wreaths fashioned from little wooden curtain rings, sequined candy canes with little holly leaf and beads, and tiny bells. Sequin-covered stocking shaped styrofoam forms with little brown pompoms to make a bear with googly eyes. Ornaments my son had made in school, at festivals, on his own, and some he and I made one year together.

Then I moved and could not find any Christmas decoration boxes, so I bought kits to make new ones. Eventually over the years I have made or accumulated enough ornaments to decorate at least three Christmas trees. So I had to go through them.

Many of them were not hard to put in the give-away box. My marriage had ended in divorce so those ornaments no longer held any joy. So many of those purchased or made later, though pretty were also non-essential because I bought them in a panic. Not panic that I would have nothing to put on a tree but panic that I could not find those I loved so much.

That proverbial “Someday” when someone will inherit these, or buy them at an estate sale they may not find hands gently holding them with loving memories. But I was a part of what they represented for me, as well as others who were so important to me. And that is what matters. Not so much the things themselves.

The memories, echoes of laughter, and loving hearts.

Thanks Giving

My mom loved a good party. And she gave some of the best. I can remember being about 5 not a few Sunday mornings waking before anyone else and wandering downstairs to find all the residue from a successful cocktail party– filled ashtrays, empty nut bowls, canape trays stacked in the kitchen sink and martini glasses, some still with an olive, to which I helped myself (maybe that’s why I do not drink alcohol).

I think Mom’s favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. She loved Easter and Christmas, too, but Thanksgiving was when she really pulled out all the stops. She invited anyone and everyone, there was not an empty chair around our food-filled dining room table. Grandparents, neighbors and their children. She loved nothing more than a house stuffed with congenial friends, laughter and good food.

Preparations began very early, my grandmother and mother stuffing and basting the enormous bird, all manner of vegetables, scalloped oysters, and pies. The Macy’s Parade started at 9 and my brother and I were glued to the television until Santa came along, I imagined myself in the freezing cold marching sassily with one of the heart-pumping bands, or cozily wrapped in a thick, warm coat waving from a float, or even maybe hanging onto the ropes of one of those amazing balloons. And the luscious mouth-watering aromas wafting from the kitchen with snippets of “No, I’ll do that, ” or “keep stirring! It’s lumpy if you stop stirring!” or “did you remember the pearl onions in the green beans?”

The guests began arriving, some wandering off to find my dad, my grandfather and company in the den, or striding back to the kitchen catching an apron off the back of the swinging door to see what needed doing. The voices and chatter finally melded into a constant white noise sparkling with laughter, the clatter of dishes and “where’s the gravy boat? I always put it in here…”

Finally everyone was called to the table, ambling amiably, finishing off their drinks and marveling at the heavily-laden side boards. We all stood at our places until everyone arrived, then sat and Dad asked the grace. After his deep, gravelly, “Amen,” chatter and laughter resumed, dishes being passed back and forth with the chink and scrape of silverware on china. At the end we barely could even think of pie, but of course we did more than think of it. Regretfully? No. We did not care at all how full we were. As Dad would say, “A bumble bee could play with me now.”

So this year my family is greatly diminished. Mother and Dad have passed on. My son will be with his girlfriend and her family, my brother’s wife will have her mother and sister, perhaps an additional friend or two. Maybe the two groups will combine, who knows…

Rescue dogs Lily and Lulu and I will watch the Macy’s Parade, eat the two pies I will have made– a (very) small pecan pie and a turkey (maybe chicken?) pot pie, maybe even splurge with home-made crust.

And then we will venture to my favorite place in the world to walk off having over-stuffed ourselves.

The beach.

“A bumblebee could play with me now…”

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Weather

It’s always fascinated me, weather. I love watching a storm, darkening clouds, oddly colored sky, brilliant flashes and rumbles far away. For a while I used to think I could predict weather from clouds. If I saw mare’s tails (cirrus clouds) I knew it would rain within 2-3 days and it usually did. “Ring around the moon, rain before noon” sometimes worked, not always. Killing a spider is believed to bring rain, and most everyone knows the biblical “red sky at night, sailor’s delight… red sky at morning, sailor take warning” (Matthew 16:2-4).

But hurricanes? Growing up in the south I’ve encountered them but usually on the tail end at a beach vacation. Plenty of rain, gusty wind and stinging sand. Then Hurricane Hugo in September 1989,  a category 5 when it hit Charleston, SC then a 2 or 3 when it hit where my son and I lived, Charlotte, NC. Knocked a pine tree on the roof of my car. My son came and woke me (yes, I slept through it up till then) telling me he was blind. I could not understand this until I heard the screaming wind outside and things cracking (said pine tree). The only light you could see was the occasional flash of lightning silhouetting trees and buildings. I walked outside (yes, half asleep without thinking) to listen to the car radio since clearly there was going to be no television (no idea at that time it would not be for two and a half weeks) to try and get some weather. Just music, but I did notice how I had suddenly become much taller until I realized it was actually my car roof, stove in by the pine tree. I went back to the house, my son was crying his eyes out at the door. Evidently it frightened him that I would walk out into such a maelstrom. At least by now he realized he’d not lost his eyesight.

Then I moved to north Florida in 2003. All summer long people talked about how the hurricanes, if they happened, weren’t bad until August or September. We had none of any consequence that year but 2004? I can recall a few, one that kept dropping tornadoes a few blocks from the library where I worked, and another that sat over the entire state of Florida for what seemed like weeks, soaking us with feet of water.

The next year, 2005 I moved to Miami. There were more storms, we seemed to be constantly throwing those hurricane shutters up and taking them down, and of course Katrina and Rita. The worst for me was not so much the coming storm but, though we were under mandatory evacuation being east of I-95 and US 1 I would not leave because I knew what those evacuations are like, I’d rather just stay in my home than be stuck on the highway at the worst of the storm, and shelters did not permit pets at all at that time. No way was I going to leave and not keep my doggies safe. We lost electricity from Rita for about 6 days. Not bad, but in south Florida the humidity is relentless and you really do miss air conditioning when you don’t have any.

So I moved again to a coastal town in North Carolina. This time not for work but retirement. Last year we had a couple of tropical storms, no hurricanes that bothered us. So far this year looked to be about the same.

Until now.

So hurricane Matthew briefly a category 5 (the worst measured storm), now a 4, meandering west over the Caribbean, is a very ambitious storm about to make a sharp right north to mow down Hispaniola, Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas all by Tuesday. The track according to the national hurricane center so far shows it on a bee-line course for the little part of coastal NC where I live.

This does not necessarily have to be where it goes. A little high-pressure system could spin it right back out over the Atlantic, where its cousins Karl and Lisa just flew off to. But right now we are sitting under much more rain and humidity, a low pressure that has socked itself in for several days. As if TS Julia and her rains for 3 weeks weren’t enough for us. Still, anything can happen with weather. As they say, don’t like the weather here? Wait a minute.

Let’s hope.

Time

Before I retired when I worked every day there was never enough time. As a single parent I divided time the best way I could but nothing ever seemed to have enough of my attention for me to feel it was fully redeemed. I am certain this is not a peculiarity to me. All the stuff that has to be done… laundry, cleaning, cooking, budgets, school, work, and then somehow play gets left till last.

Not fair.

Play needs to be an integral part of life. Not to the exclusion of other important things but as important. Playing gives more room. More breathing space. Makes time stand still.

This past week I truly enjoyed 4 days with my brother and his family. Unfortunately my son did not join us, but we had that many days of incredibly pretty weather– sun, soft, puffy clouds, sparkling ocean and bright blue sky. The International Space Station even made an appearance a couple of nights for a few minutes.

I love mornings at the ocean….

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look to the west and there’s this, just where the moon has set–

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and you meet the most interesting characters….

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or others, not quite so frightened but part of the peaceful beauty of the sunrise-

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Time. Everything else is so still no matter how much time passes. Thank you.

 

Separation anxiety

webmd.com defines this on a broad spectrum for dogs: anything from pacing to panting anxiously, barking, howling or chewing, to  escaping (or gnawing on their own feet– my experience with a border collie).

For me it begins as soon as I take my babies to be boarded. Oh, I’m sure they are just fine. They have an air conditioned run, scheduled playtime with other new friends, regular feeding times, their bed and blanket.

I am the one with separation anxiety. For me this runs from crying, to guilt, worry, anger that I took them before I actually needed to take them as though I could not wait to be rid of them, and then there is the not with them emptiness. Something dire is missing. The life around my ankles has suddenly gone still.

So I begin counting minutes until I will see them again. This might be allayed somewhat once I get to whatever place of doom that won’t allow me to bring them, or not. It’s not incumbent upon anyone with whom I will be while away to alleviate this stress for me, either, but the fact remains I will have some degree of stress until I am reunited with these babies.

I don’t go away often. This was not a trip I actually intended to make. It’s a trip I have taken with my brother and his family, occasionally my son joined the party, for about 7 or 8 years. Last year after my little Murphy died I worried so much about rescue dog Lily I found a cottage up the beach from where they stayed that would allow me to bring her. In fact, they allow 2 dogs so I could have even stayed there and brought Lily and her new little rescue sister Lulu. But time got away from me this year and I did not have a space anywhere so decided it was just as well and I would not go at all. That is until my sister-in-law checked this place’s reservations availability and found part of their week open. So I was confirmed into that reservation.

But I did not have to take Lily and Lulu to their boarding facility until 4. So why did I take them at noon?? Where I am staying has set meal times. The evening meal is at 6. It takes roughly 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours to drive to the place and the doggie inn is open Saturdays from 8-noon, then 4-6. I had made my reservation to arrive for the supper meal but I didn’t have to! I could have changed it, it’s not like I can’t miss a meal.

Because of all this stress, whether I know it now or not I will be glad to see my brother and his family. I only see them otherwise once a year so it’s important to me. For that I am grateful to my sister-in-law for spotting a space. My son is detained by work so I will not get to see him.

But those dogs! And when we were almost to where they are staying Lulu nearly jumped out the window! I yelled and scared her to pieces. When we got there I hugged her and told her I was sorry, what a good girl she is and petted her. She seemed to feel better but I didn’t. Some decisions I make I will never understand. So I am sitting here, by myself right now writing this blog feeling completely empty inside. Seriously! They are that big a part of me. I will miss those little bundles until I return home. I hope they will forgive me!

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