I am going to vanquish my winter blues. It is too much self–indulgence. My pets love me (and my wife). And that is enough. My favorite dog, Tilla, ‘adores’ me, in the words of my daughter. I did nothing to deserve all that. And that is an incomplete list of the seven cats and two dogs who each love me in their own way. My pets do not care what I do or am. And my wife does not care about the degree I do not have, or job for that matter.

Only By Grace…

Author: siggy

Only by grace both of us are passionate about listening to music. I share the best music I know and come across with her. And that is a gift being able to do that. In the beginning I opened a whole lot of worlds to her: British music and other kinds. I never forget the emotional impact of any piece of music. And I share that music with her easily. And that is only by grace.

In the beginning of our marriage every morning I would play this Nicole Nordeman CD. She asked me to play the music today and memories came flooding back. Everything was new between us then. I like to say we are an old married couple but we are not–twelve years I think. Every day is still another discovery. I know she is a gift and only here by serendipity. The music reminded me of that fact.

Tilla is so unpredictable. Two nights ago he would not come into my bedroom after I called his name repeatedly and not until my wife came in to bed. Yesterday I went to bed and my dog immediately followed me to my bedroom and fell asleep at the foot of my bed. I did not say one word to him or call his name once. My favorite dog is so unpredictable. I never know what he is going to do next.

I was thrilled two nights ago when Tilla, my favorite dog, joined us on our king-sized bed. My wife had to “nudge” him over so she had enough space. Last night I called him repeatedly after I went to bed and he would not come. Finally my wife joined me and called him and he lay on the cushioned bed that is on the side of the bed, which was originally set up for his sister, Coco. My wife said he was standing on the pillow under the computer looking somewhat conflicted and “guilty” when I was calling him. He likes tight spaces. Anyway, I was happy when he finally came to our bedroom. The week I was gone hardly any animals slept with her. I guess we broke their routine.

I appreciated my home better after I was gone a week. All my music at my fingertips. My wife, of course. And all my pets–all seven cats and three dogs. Now I am usually in charge of meals. There is nothing like being gone and back and realizing all your amenities are near by. Now I made my own coffee and drank out of my special cup. My coffee now tasted like I remembered it to. I did not have to listen to too many lectures when I did something wrong. My friend was a bit opinionated and overbearing, which is not to say my wife can’t be–she can. All in all I was glad to be home and grateful I had one to return to.

My one dog (I have three) Tilla gave me a great greeting.  I was away a whole week.  He must have jumped at least a dozen times on me slobbering me with kisses.  The other two dogs I have gave me a more restrained greeting although I have to say they were happy to see me, too.  Tilla is my favorite dog.  I guess the feeling is mutual.  There is nothing like a dog to make you feel welcome.

Vacations Always End

Author: siggy

Vacations always end.  Today Chuck and I will go on that fishing trip we talked about for, at least, a year. Unless, it is cancelled, again.  We were supposed to go fishing on Lake Pontchartrain on Wednesday but the waves were too choppy and the bottom of the lake was stirred up. The fishing would have been lousy that day. This is my last chance this visit to go fishing.  I have never caught a fish that weighed several pounds.  I might catch a speckled trout or if I am lucky a redfish that weighs even more.  Chuck has never fished in this area.

Maybe, next year we will go camping again.  We will see.  In any case it was fun and I am looking forward now to flying home and sleeping in the same bed with my wife and seeing all my critters (I especially miss Tilla, my favorite dog) and being in familiar surrounding.  It was nice to go away but thank God I have a place to go home to.  And a wife to return to.  This is the longest we been apart–one week.

Absence makes your heart fonder.  I know that is a cliche but it is true.  I have been kept a little too busy on my vacation to miss my wife and menagerie particularly my dogs too much.  I have called my wife every day and made several quick calls.  My vacation to New Orleans has two days to go and then I fly back.  I see my lifelong friend once a year.  Once a year we reconnect.  After fifty years Chuck still makes me laugh and that is an accomplishment.  I had fun.  Saturday we go out on a charter as long as the weather behaves and I will probably catch the biggest fish of my life.  Chuck said some speckled trout weigh several pounds.  So I am excited about that.  My vacation here will end in a bang.

My birthday is coming up (and I am just depressed). I can not tell you exactly why although I can guess. Part of that is grief. Most of my life is over. I can’t go back. Wishing is futile. Somehow I need to settle things. My relationship with my daughter is fractured. I don’t know how to repair it. Lectures and judgements don’t do it. I am aware of the ticking time. I am running out of time. I guess, everyone wants to leave a legacy. I am working at getting my first book of poetry out but it is a long and uncertain process. My wife is the only one who really cares about that. She is my editor and a good one. Things really don’t matter. I really don’t know how much time I have left. For that matter, no one knows for sure. I know that somehow I need to make peace with the people who matter to me. I don’t know how. I am just depressed. That is all I know.

I don’t know why it is so hard to get rid of old letters–some decades old. Some memories I don’t want to delve in any longer yet I save the faded correspondence. Cards with nothing notable on them I trash easily. Some letters from my sister I wonder about. The memories seem so far away. Some are bad, some are good. Once in awhile a photo drops out of the letter and the passage of time is revealed. Was I really that young once? I have grown old. I don’t want to to rid myself entirely of past memories. Friends and lovers.

And I know when I am gone someone else will probably trash them. I just can’t bear to throw away most of my letters. Part of my life is embodied in those letters. It is so hard–patches of my history, my life is everywhere. Dates are sometimes important: they mark milestones of my past. I am always surprised how porous my memory is. Friends wrote me letters I have long forgotten. I do toss some. People have fled in the corridors of my mind. It is so hard. Clues of my history, my life is everywhere.

I had to remind myself of the scripture that says, ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.’ My wife kept complaining I was interrupting her all the time. And I thought of that passage from the bible and it gave me a weapon to help me to stop doing that. It was a bad habit I had and now I had a way to stop doing it. It would not be easy, though. I would have to work at it.