When people are hurt we are likely to seek help in a way we can find solace. When people are sick we see a doctor. We develop a bond of trust that the doctor knows how best to help us.

Animals are different.

When rescue dog Lily was ready to come home after surgery and they brought her to show me how to care for her she very tentatively entered the room until she had assurance that I would not reject her. I praised her for her bravery and she could barely contain her delight to see me.

When I was younger I was very fond of a little terrier my dad had given me. One summer vacation in high school I worked in Aspen, Colorado. My parents and I had written letters occasionally but they did not tell me that one evening when they’d had friends to dinner my father and the husband of the other couple got into a political argument. The man and his wife left in anger and no one noticed my little Piper had got out of the house until she yelped when he ran over her. He stopped immediately of course and they took her to the vet. The accident had broken her leg, thankfully it wasn’t much worse.

I came home from this job and called for Piper. No response. At this point my parents let me know what had happened and I began to search for her. I found her under an arm chair in the living room. She wouldn’t come out. I got on my hands and knees and, lowering my head so I could see her eye to eye and telling her how glad I was to see her only then did she come out and let me see her injury, cast and all. After that she clumped around happily, knowing I loved her all the same.

Attachment-1.jpegWe have to learn to trust. Some have little problem with it having been treated honestly and well in their lives. Others who have not are continually testing their faith, filled with doubt. Lily knew, when she realized I love her and will care for her that she had no reason to doubt or fear. God has never given me reason to doubt or fear Him, either. But there are times when I confuse what I hope to expect from people on the same level I trust God.

Doesn’t work that way.

This is why I think people have told me through my life not to hold too hard to stuff. To take others and myself lightly. Being dependable is so important but, being imperfect it’s not possible. Not always, and maybe even not as others interpret dependable.

But Lily. She only knows she is injured. I know she will heal. When she arrived home she immediately responded to the familiar with attempts to behave as though there were no injury at all. So she had to adjust to her limitations.

Even today, though each day she is incrementally better, she expresses frustration at not being able to take off after a squirrel like she would have before. She looks at me as if I could do something. I pet her, reassure her that it is ok that she can’t get that squirrel. I convince her that her very commanding presence is enough to put great fear in this little squirrel and that is sufficient. Well, I like to think I do.



smart phones

This must be because they can do what we normally did ourselves– keep calendars, address books, camera, small libraries, maps, driving directions, and they can even ping to be found if misplaced.

Then you add things.

I love birds so I have an app from Audubon that gives information about all the birds, their songs, habits, areas and migration. I put a Bible app, a star chart, an app for my library and the weather.

This was why I put having one of these off for so long. Initially cell phones in my life were for emergencies. No one even knew I had one. With the disappearance of phone booths if I had car trouble how would I call anybody?

But the lure was too great. And they are pretty handy. Until they completely interfere with your life and sanity.

I first became obsessed with the health app, being a walker of my dogs and self. Now I have to keep this phone with me at all times to count each step I take.. And I found every time I pushed the steps I took this phone increased my daily average. So  now I have to keep up with the phone.

But the most recent distraction is a game my sister-in-law and niece play. This was something I was absolutely sure would not get me hooked.

I was wrong.


It is a little game, free, called “Word Cookies”. I love words. I only had 2 years of Latin but being a reader I love learning new words. That’s all this game does. It has many levels, modeled after chef names and has levels within them named for foods. Within that there are 20 levels where you’re given a scrambled word, anywhere from 6-8 letters and you have to find all the words within this word as well as unscramble the main word.

I cannot stop playing this.

I never knew I could be so caught up in any game. Along with figuring out the words you collect coins for different tests and games. The coins can be used if you get stumped. The problem with this for me is I easily become frustrated when a simple word is hidden so well I cannot see it, so I use a coin, then berate myself for having wasted the coin for “into” or “ion”. I am not frugal here. Everywhere else in my life I am very careful.

Maybe this can be a test for me to learn better self-control by limiting the amount of time I play this game. Or patience, waiting until the word I cannot find becomes evident.

Either way I can’t let this thing run my life.

And it just added 700 more levels. At that rate I probably won’t live long enough to finish them all.

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”   –Theophrastus

Bees, bicycles and banalities

Sometimes the mundane takes precedence in life. Sometimes we are so sure seeking mountaintop experiences is the end-all and be-all we are struck dumb when we tumble back down to earth.

I am, anyway.

Not that I was on a spectacularly high mountain but at my age anything much above sea level is exciting.

Like finding fewer dust bunnies –a clear indicator that husky-mix rescue dog Lily isn’t shedding as much. Or mowing the lawn and not having to remow over those strips of lawn I missed when the sweat dripped into my eyes. Or actually getting the tomatoes before the phantom biter takes a chunk out of them overnight. Things like that.

So when the microwave repairman (who is actually a refrigerator repairman) tells me what’s wrong with the microwave, yes he can fix it but no, he doesn’t have the parts and it’s another week before it’s fixed, or the car behind me as I am riding my bicycle gets closer and finally runs me into a mailbox that breaks and I now have to pay for, or the plumber who tells me what is making the toilet run constantly and yes it can be fixed but (again) no he doesn’t have the part, things begin to frustrate me.

It could be worse. It could be the day I cut the grass and ran over the yellow-jacket nest by the driveway. I knew there was one only it was under the crape myrtle last year. Who would guess they would move to newer accommodations? So 2 cans of wasp spray, one at point-blank range took those out but I had no idea how those stings would itch!

I ordered my own parts for the toilet and replaced the problem part only to find it still leaking the next day. So I took it apart and reassembled it again. It isn’t leaking now. Let’s hope this one fixed it.

And my neighbor late on a Friday afternoon when nothing can be done lets me know that the dead limb on my pine tree that hangs over a corner of his yard and has done for many years finally bothers him and it’s time to do something about it. So I left a message with a tree service hoping to get on their schedule sometime in the not-so-distant future to take care of this.

I think now would be a good time for some chocolate.


Dew fall

For some reason a few weeks ago on an early morning run with my dog I was irritated at something. It is hard to remember what it was now, and hard for me to understand how, at that hour of the day before anything has actually happened or even before the first rays of sun that I could have found something that was annoying. Remnants of a dream maybe, or something unresolved– whatever it was I was pushing through our run as though I had to get to something terribly important shortly after which I did not, And to add further irritation Lily was stopping more frequently than usual to sniff at something.

It was on one of these stops that I heard it. First I thought it might be some night creature foraging in its last few moments before dawn, or a deer wandering through the woods but then I realized: it was dew fall.

Dew drops accumulating so much on the remnants of leaves on the trees that they become heavy to the point that the leaves release each droplet and they patter to the dry, crusty leaves beneath. So I stopped and listened. Time stopped with me. My frustration disappeared. Something I could not control yet so natural as to happen whether or not I wanted it to or even noticed. Something that happened outside my realm of wants, needs, thoughts, hopes, dreams or irritations. And it happened whether or not I was there to share in its perpetual, gentle sound.

The ground, dry and cracked, was even being nourished by something so slight as collected water droplets of dew. Like a blessing, just by hearing I became nourished, too.