I can’t imagine a life without animals. Each dog (I have three) and even my seven cats enrich my life. They give me more reasons to get up and greet them each day. Each pet has their own personality. Of course, I have favorites and so what?! Everyone has friends and certain friends who are favorites. Tilla is the dog I never expected. I lost the first dog I ever raised from a pup, Daisy, who died from cancer and then a golden retriever came our way.

Our one male dog, Pax, impregnated her before we could get her fixed and seven pups came our way, most of them born on our bed. We sold four (one died) and I did not have the heart to tell my wife to separate the last two, which we kept. One male, Tilla, and a female Coco both who I have learned to love dearly. They certainly complicate our lives but we had the means to build a fence around part of out property.

We did have one problem:  Tilla the most athletic of our four dogs could jump the fence so a year later we even built the fence higher now it was too high for him to make it over.  As time went by, I developed a close relationship with Tilla.  Maybe just by giving him belly rubs whenever he wanted them.  Wouldn’t that be something if we can make friends with other humans by just giving them belly rubs?!  Anyway, the human equivalent.  Whatever that might be?

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.

You can’t have a garden with out a gardener. That seems elementary. The first year I lived in Pa I planted tomato plants but did not weed or take good care of them. It was amazing I even harvested one. My wife loves gardening. I realized I had to help her. She has a bad back and pays for everything she does physically the next day. Each year I help her a little more. This year we have had more flowers than ever. I sometimes suggest where to put flowers. I also like to garden and realized in order to have one I had to put more effort into it. You reap what you sow.

‘Home is where they have to take you in.’ I am not sure if I got this quote verbatim, attributed to the famous poet Robert Frost. I thought about it for awhile. It is from our family we learn grace. We mess up badly and it is, often, our family that forgives us when we return home. No matter how badly I messed up I can return home and start afresh. Grace is a gift. There is no other way to put it. I don’t deserve it. Every person is flawed and makes mistakes. And we return home. No matter what we did.

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.

We All Live Downstream

Author: siggy

We all live downstream. This was a sign I read on a stream. I thought of several things in, particularly, of global warming and how interrelated the world is. Everything is connected. And countries can’t agree and(???) how to attack this problem.

More locally when some one (or a company) pollutes a stream its(???) effects the body of water downstream. We all have one earth and each person (and each company) has to do its part to preserve it. No one lives in a void.

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.

‘Every family has baggage’ in the words of my friend’s wife.  I never gave it a whole lot of thought but she considered my two sisters to be successful.  Both graduated from college (one with a Master’s) and held good jobs for decades.  In contrast, my friend’s two sisters are struggling supporting themselves and alcoholism.  I always criticized my family and saw their shortcomings and was blind to their successes.  It made me think a little harder about the word success.

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.

Vacations are always interesting, especially, when you go to another part of the country.  Chuck and I were in Buluxi, Mississippi and I was looking at the Gulf waters and saw two large birds flying over the water, one tailing another.  I asked my friend what they were and he said the birds were brown pelicans.  It is their state bird and almost disappeared in that state and they had to import them from Florida so you could still find them in Mississippi.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. I checked the car thermostat. It was sixty degrees deep blue sky without a cloud in sight. I was running to the store for a last minute errand and quickly realized the silk shirt I had on was too warm and I had to take it off. I was going to see my friend Chuck and it was going to be at least twenty degrees warmer in New Orleans. I immediately put a tee shirt on when I arrived back from my errand. I was excited. I had arranged to have a window seat on both legs of my journey today. Vacations are usually another “world”. For a short time you enter someone else’s reality. We can get so used to our own and not see what is directly in front of us any longer. Vacations in a strange place have a way of jarring you. And that is a good thing. Occasionally, anyway.