Hello Hello

Saturday, October 31, 2015

with apologies to the Five Guys crew for the peanut shells

Did you even know yesterday was Miracle Friday?

Photographic proof:

1. It was Friday, and he didn't insist we go to the place he always eats on Fridays.
2. In fact, he was amenable to trying a totally new (to him) place.
3. The fries were the kind with potato skin on them, but he wasn't fazed at all.
4. He ate both the meat and the bun at the same time. Like in the same bite. Even though that meant, you know, they touched.

Happy Halloween, with OCD or without.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Confession: my mind wanders quite a little bit when it should not. 

In a Sunday School class a few years ago. I completely lost the train of discussion chasing some rabbit of a thought. This happens often, nothing unusual about it.

However when I came back to awareness that particular day, one of my classmates was saying that every morning he prayed Psalm 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

That resonated with me, and so every morning when I let the dogs out, I too step outside and greet the day. I consciously take a few moments to breathe, to take in the sky, to delight in the dim outlines of the dogs as they purposefully cruise the perimeter, greeting every bush and tree along the way. 

I enjoy doing this. It brings me great peace and (forgive the hippie language I'm about to use) makes me feel centered and still.

Yesterday when I stepped into the cool air and looked upward, I saw them immediately. Two planets, I knew not which but I recognized them as planets, beamed at me from above the house behind ours. 

And so when I came inside and had set the coffee on, I Googled up the answer: Venus, Mars and Jupiter all meet up in the last week of October to present the closest grouping of three planets until January of 2021. Look to the east just before dawn between October 24 and October 29 to see the planetary trio, which is formed when three planets come within 5 degrees of each other.  

Thus when I heard the dogs rise this morning just after 5 am, I bounded up and out, took an extra long time greeting the day, the dogs, and the planets. 

And I rejoiced and was glad in it.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

either, profiled

At times he seems utterly grownup, and at other times he craves childhood. He has the soul of an artist and the dreams of a visionary. He sets out on adventures then returns home to nest in his blankets. He basks in the lights and energy of a big city and the peace of a mountain creek. His face goes soft when he sees a puppy, a kitten, or any baby animal really, including human. He creates music and art with extraordinary ease. He laughs often and his laughter is sustained. Those he loves, he loves wholeheartedly and proudly.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

On maintenance and performance

Yesterday was Pep's physical. Like Salsa, her muzzle is graying. Nonetheless she still has the hearing of a bat, the gait of a gazelle, and the vertical leap of Wilt Chamberlain.

Her heart, though.

A murmur undetected when we adopted her eleven and a half years ago, occasional seven years ago, and slight two years ago has catapulted into major. "Precordial thrill" sounds like something good, but it's not. In this case, I would delight if the thrill were gone.

Pep, though, knows none of this. Even as I type she is happily resting, having just enjoyed a jaunt through this morning's spitty rain. Her fur is all disco, which is how we describe the crimp that happens when she gets slightly wet.

Try not to let her get excited.

How do you do this to a dog who delights in the first morning light, runs full barrel to the magnolia tree, turns tilting at a forty five degree angle to come back to her bush, crouches underneath waiting to see what moves in the grass?

How do you do this to a dog who greets her boy each day by poking her sharp nose into his legs until he sits, pushes him down so she can clamber onto his chest one paw on either shoulder, licks his cheeks as if to take the skin off, then nestles her head under his chin as if he isn't seventeen but still the little boy of five who picked her out of all the others?

How do you do this to a dog who sees furniture as a means of standing on higher ground, walking as oppressed running, and woodland creatures as meat-flavored toys?

You may need to take her to N.C. State to see cardiology.

How do you do this to a dog who trembles in the car, paces awkwardly on the back seat in terror, pants like she hasn't had water in days?

How do you do this to a dog who hides under your legs in exam rooms, tucks her tail between her legs like a sumo's belt, furiously scrambles her feet on bare tile in an ever increasing frenzy to escape?

How, when you know that at her age, she is unlikely to be a good candidate for surgery and even if she were, you know in your heart you would not put her through that?

How do you do this?

You don't.

You get her the three year rabies booster, you get her the parvo and the distemper, and you take your dog home to live.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

after the storm and

After the storm the walkway is littered with twigs and leaves and small branches, some as thick as my finger.

After the storm there is mud on the driveway and water in the basement and sticks poking crazily out of the boxwoods.

After the storm I can hear chainsaws and rakes on pavement and the sound of one neighbor's generator humming behind it all.

(Which is strange, because we never lost power.)