Ponder this:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gratitude, supplication, memory, respite

Thank you for all the tomatoes and corn and beans and parsley and basil and carrots and cantaloupes and all the rest of it.  And thank you for the good Husband who sited the garden so it got watered naturally and plentifully, and sun from rise until set, so that each plant has, completely naturally, begotten more fruit than any of its kind ever before in the history of the Earth anywhere. 
I am ever grateful for Thy bounty.

Now please send an army of harvesters with strong legs and arms and backs to tote all this generous goodness from the garden up the hill to the house, to trim off the bits of tomato that I don't want, to hold the plastic bags for pouring in the crushed/blanched/pureed/cut stuff for the freezer. I need help. 
You can't rush this process. You can bring in two hundred tomatoes but you can only cook down just so many at a time. You can't cut kernels off ears of corn too quickly or you get pieces of cob in with the kernels. Certainly not harmful, but if I'm going to the trouble, I might as well do it carefully. I almost begin to sense a genetic memory of women coming together to help each other put up their harvest. And summer kitchens.

In my Childhood Farmhouse that my father's great-grandfather built there was a summer kitchen elled off the back of the house. I never saw it in use for canning and pickling and all that they used to do; in my time it was where the player piano and the fifty or so rolls of music lived. My sister and I would pump the pedal and watch the keys go down all by themselves while we listened to The Sidewalks of New York and other hits. The paper had held up pretty well considering it was all just stacked in unprotected rolls on top of the piano. Where there was a small tear here or there, there would be an odd note.

And now there's just me, coming home from work and gazing at the ripe tomatoes shining like Christmas lights on the drying-down plants. The things taunt me until I grab the basket and hie myself down to retrieve as many as I can carry back. And while I'm there, take the shears and bring back some herbs for sauce. Make supper while I'm "putting up." 

Husband rolls in as dark comes down. His work days (for money) start and end quite a bit later than mine do and he gets to come into the house all filled with good smells. If I could stop working and be home all day, I could get it all done in good order. Of course, I would need to, since we'd be a lot little bit poorer...

Why does everything have to come ripe all at once...?

So. This morning at 4:30 I was wide awake and excited and trepidatious about spending the whole day carting and boiling and steaming and trimming and bagging. And I managed to get three gallon size bags of corn into the freezer. And then I had a hair appointment. And it started to rain. And it's cold all of a sudden after ninety-degrees last week! Today's been a bust, pretty much, for food storage. 

But it's been a great Book-And-Nap Day. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Blogger goes auto-pilot!

That hugely uplifting post that appeared yesterday was posted all on its own. I had posted it probably a year ago, and would not have chosen it for my reappearance message. If Blogger's going to re-post my posts, I wish it would choose happier ones. So now I am forced to reveal to you that I live and breathe, still, and my brain continues to churn out thoughts the way a sausage grinder churns out chopped meat for packing into tubes whose origin I shall leave unmentioned. Let me add that I am delighted to know that a few of you have missed me and still remember me after my long abandonment of you all. Really, you can't know how nice it was for me to see notes from you!

A few bringer-up-to-daters:

  1. Husband remains the answer to my long ago prayer
  2. Molly and Peep are still our beloved furry babies
  3. I'm still working for Small Pond, although . . . 
  4. Morning Boss has left the building! She of the shrieking complaints about my breathing, my dewy hairline in the eighty-degree room, my inability to divine how to perform tasks previously unseen . . . is gone to work at a larger pond, replaced by a Sweet Young Thing who chatters out her every thought. And so I say to you all, as others have said again and again: Be careful for what you wish. I wanted conversation. Boy, have I got conversation now.
  5. Afternoon job, downstairs from Morning Job, continues comfortable and happy.
Husband and his friend installed a vegetable garden hundreds of feet long and thirty feet wide. He planted kale, brussels sprouts, romaine, leaf and other lettuces, green and wax beans, cantaloupes, cucumbers, summer squash... But the stars of the show are the seventy-two tomato plants. Seventy-two. They all bow down under the weight of clusters of tomatoes like giant-sized green grape bunches. Some of the fruits have grown between the plants' stalks and the stakes that hold up the plants. Those must be pulled out two-handed, and often break in two at the division of the two halves, somewhat unpleasantly reminiscent of the division in a human's backside. Molly gets those broken ones. Molly likes to help garden.

There is a black chow chow wandering the hillside, chasing cows. The dog control warden is aware of him but as yet unable to lure him (her?) into a crate for carting off to the shelter. The dog has been in our field early in the morning, sleeping . . . has trotted down the country lane ahead of my car and then off into a field . . . sooner or later the poor thing will need to give in to the dog warden's temptation or, I fear, be shot for chasing those cows. A hoof to the head is as likely as the shot, and devoutly to be wished avoided.

We also have a black and white cat skulking around the fields. It yowls at some point nearly every night, and Peep and it have had words, although no combat. As yet. I have only seen the thing at some great distance and it appears to know what it's doing in the hunting department. 

For both of these wandering creatures, winter will be harder than they now imagine. If they imagine it at all. Doubtful.

So, please . . . be reassured, those of you who feared that I might be weaving the noose to end it all. Life here goes on, summer has been a pleasure, yet again, and I continue fatter than ever and as happy as I am wont to be.  The sadnesses of my young life always underlie everything in my brain and heart, but they don't consume me so much as it would appear from the 8/31 post.

Now that Blogger has yanked me back into circulation, perhaps I'll be more fruitful. I would hope, however, that I shall be less fruitful than our seventy-two tomato plants. Nobody's computer could download posts of that size.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Confession and three references: a fable, a novel, a poem

Most of the time I'm not great at expressing sympathy. When my mother's last sibling died, I told her the news as I drove down the road with her in the passenger seat. My sister was downright scandalized. That's the way you told her? she cried. Mom hadn't been in touch with any of her five siblings in years, I didn't think she'd care that much. And, you know, she was schizophrenic who'd been treated by EST. And she was drunk most of the time, so her emotions were pretty deadened. I told her in a kind tone, and held her hand, but I couldn't make the announcement like an actor in a soap opera. My sister's style is very soap opera: gather around the table, take hold of a hand, speak as if to a four-year-old. I can't do that. I think it adds an unnecessary level of drama to an already dramatic moment.

In my world, the sky fell long ago, and Life itself blew out into minuscule triangles of bright glass, sharp colors all flying silently into black empty space. 
Where's Mom?
Dad took her to the hospital. Don't ask when she's coming home. 
I stood in Void, learned to pretend that there were other people around me, that things happened, that Life still existed in some way. A way different from what I had known before. Maybe what I had known before hadn't been real. In any case, the sun kept rising every morning and I went on breathing, keeping quiet, staying small. Three years later came the sunny last morning of August...

Two months after my tenth birthday, my mother got me up, told me I wouldn't be going to school, fed me toast for breakfast and drove me to my father's sister's house five minutes away. We were walking to the house when I stopped and said, "Mom. What's going on?"
And she stopped and in a shaky voice, said, "Oh, baby, can you take it? Daddy's gone."
"He died last night."
And that was it. 
We went into the house. My mother said, "I just told her." My aunt hugged me and they sent me into the living room to sit alone on the couch while they talked.
We spoke of my father perhaps five times all the rest of her life. 
Dad didn't like me very much, did he.
Oh, he thought you were great!

Illustration for the story "Chicken Little", 1916

Josephine Hart's novel, Damage, includes this, which I might have wrong in a word or two, but not in the concept. "Damaged people are dangerous. They have survived and they know you will too." If your life goes to hell, you'll keep breathing too. And you'll make up your own world where nothing really matters. Love doesn't matter. Promises don't matter. You'll have to keep acting right . . . tricky because everybody you make up in your pretend world has a different idea of right . . . but in the end, "right" doesn't matter either. Because even pretend worlds blow up into weightless confetti and disperse in the vacuum that remains. 

Who Hurt You So?  
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Who hurt you so,
My dear?
Who, long ago
When you were very young,
Did, said, became, was…something that you did not know
Beauty could ever do, say, be, become?–
So that your brown eyes filled
With tears they never, not to this day, have shed…
Not because one more boy stood hurt by life,
No: because something deathless had dropped dead–
An ugly, an indecent thing to do–
So that you stood and stared, with open mouth in which the tongue
Froze slowly backward toward its root,
As if it would not speak again, too badly stung
By memories thick as wasps about a nest invaded
To know if or if not you suffered pain.
It's commonly repeated that the loss of a child is the bitterest loss. 
I think everybody's worst loss feels like The Worst Loss That Could Ever Be. 
And there are children whose souls died years ago. They breathe and walk among you.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

We just watched The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Very heavy. But very worthwhile. 

No diatribe here, but it seems sometimes that our country just needs to . . . step away . . . from other countries' personal business, and let those countries' cultures exist as they will and not as we would have them. It seems we forget that we're all, this whole world over, just people. One by one. All just human beings.
And maybe money isn't every, single, important, thing in this world.

The movie made me think of New Hymn, written by Reynolds Price and sung by James Taylor.

Source of all we hope or dread
Sheepdog, jackal, rattler, swan
We hunt your face and long to trust
That your hid mouth will say again let there be light
A clear new day
But when we thirst in this dry night
We drink from hot wells poisoned with the blood of children
And when we strain to hear a steady homing beam
Our ears are balked by stifled moans
And howls of desolation from the throats of sisters, brothers, wild men
Clawing at the gates for bread
Even our own feeble hands
Aim to seize the crown you wear
And work our private havoc through
The known and unknown lands of space
Absolute in flame beyond us
Seed and source of dark and day
Maker whom we beg to be
Our mother father comrade mate
Til our few atoms blow to dust
Or form again in wiser lives
Or find your face and hear our name
In your calm voice the end of night
If dark may end
Wellspring gold of dark and day
Be here, be now

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Still here

I'm still here.
I haven't stopped blogging. It's just been a long, long . . . pause.

Too much time alone with my own head, undistracted by natural color and sound. Inside my head is not a happy place to be alone. Best way to feel better is to help someone else, but I haven't summoned the energy to reach out. 

Last weekend, more or less on the spur of the moment, and fighting last minute urges to stay in my safe (if morose) nest, I went to visit my friend who lives on the other end of the state. We did nothing special, except the kind of special that comes from being with someone who appreciates you but requires nothing more of you than that you be you

Still nothing inspiring springing forth from my fingertips . . . nothing blogworthy.
But I thought I'd just let you all know that I'm still here.
Husband, Molly and Peep, too.

Friday, December 6, 2013

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

A friend sent me this in an email yesterday. At first I thought it was one of those goofy things that end with "I sent this to you because you're special. Now YOU send it on to all the special people in your life." But this isn't treacly hackneyed folk wisdom (God help the folk!). This is worthwhile. Taken in toto it reminds me of AA wisdom. I guess wisdom is wisdom . . . and largely common sense. 

It was written by marcandangel, whose blog I've added to my bloglist.

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1.     Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
2.     Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
3.     Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.
4.     Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
5.     Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
6.     Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
7.     Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
8.     Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
9.     Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.
24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Words we don't use often enough. Especially correctly.

  1. 1.
    full of twists and turns.

  1. 1.
    characterized by, involving, or causing excruciating pain or suffering.

  1. 1.
    constituting a tort; wrongful.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio...

My friend sent me a link to Colossal.com, and specifically, to this post:
Click and watch the video!----->:Nature Imitates Andy Goldsworthy: Rare Ice Disk Forms in North Dakota River

I am uninformed enough to be completely unaware of Andy Goldsworthy . . . my friend probably knows him and all his works . . . but this natural phenomenon must exceed anything a human could produce.  My first thoughts, when I saw the video and the pictures, were of high school geometry, and my teacher telling me that there was no such thing as a perfect circle. 


Nature Imitates Andy Goldsworthy: Rare Ice Disk Forms in North Dakota River rivers nature ice

Friday, November 22, 2013


7th grade. 
Sent back to our homerooms. 
The office turned on the public address system and we listened to the radio report. 
Then we were dismissed early and sent home on the school buses.
All those twelve-year-old kids in the halls opening and closing lockers, going down the stairs and nobody speaking a word. 
There was a barely audible shuffle of feet, and that was all.
A vacuum, a waiting.

Two years prior, my father.
Five years later, RFK and Martin Luther King, Jr.
They weren't as good as we thought they were, but we believed in them.
All dead. So much for belief.

"Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave 
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; 
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. 
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."
~Dirge Without Music
by Edna St Vincent Millay

Monday, September 23, 2013

Husband's talent or: One of a kind

Ever since I met him, Husband wanted to work with wood. 
Five years ago, give or take, he began to equip his wood shop 
and now he's turning out tables.
Here's the latest one, made for a friend. 

I think it's wonderful that he's finally doing 
what he's wanted to do for all these years.

Since it's work done from his heart, 
the result is beautiful.

When he started, making dovetails was so frustrating. 
Now he's got 'em down pretty well, I'd say.

The pattern in the wood that he used for these drawer fronts 
started out as a mistake.
He didn't know that this pretty grain was 
inside a piece of wood he'd been working with. 
He sawed it in half, et voila! there it was. 
To me, it looks like sand dunes . . . or cloud layers.
Something to catch the eye instead of just a plain drawer front.

If you were here, he'd show you every place where there's a mistake.
I keep telling him not to do that.
But . . . maybe in years to come, the "mistakes" in his work will be 
the hallmarks by which the pieces are identified.

These tables will outlast all of us.
I'm so proud.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peep and Molly Moments

When Molly came here, she was perfectly happy to lie on the floor and not on couches or beds, etc.
She was . . . and IS . . . a very good dog.
A Very Good Dog.
It never leaves my mind that we could RUIN this great dog because we love her so much. 

We were just watching a dvd and Husband invited her up onto the bed in which he was lying. He often does that and she stays for a while, he says, and then gets down and sleeps on the floor or in her crate. So she lay there while we watched the movie and when the movie was over, Husband told me I would have to make her get down. I told him no, he would have to be the one to tell her to get off, since he owns the bed. He was not able to accomplish that, so I told Molly OFF. She moved . . . not one hair. I pulled on her collar and said OFF, and she did not move.
So I wrapped my arms around her circumference and slowly but firmly slid her off the bed. She landed on the floor pretty much in the same position as she had been in on the bed. There, I said, that's it, and left the room. Husband turned off the light, saying, Geez, June, that's a little rough. Molly followed me in here and I got her a Milk Bone and she ran for her crate because that's where she eats her last-treat-at-night-Milk-Bone. Now she's settled happily in there, with the door open.

I feel pretty good about all this. This leadership stuff does not come naturally to me, but I'm learning.

Husband says that Molly had three(!) deer chases while they were on their walk tonight. Molly is one happy puppy.
Peep stayed in (with some management from mom) last night. Tonight she's outside again, probably for the night. She shimmies underneath the garage door and curls up on the riding lawnmower seat. I caught her there the other day when I was looking for one of Husband's tools.
Molly likes to stay out until it's truly dark. To get her to come in all we have to do is go out and play "Iiiiiiiii'mmmmm gonnnnnnnna GETchoo!!!!!" and she gets a big rammy case of the zoomies and zooms right into the house. Precious girl. 
Husband got home today before I did, and found the focaccia bread that had been on the counter . . . on the floor, on a rug that Molly likes to lie on. She had pulled the plastic wrapping up and open, like the Jiffy Pop popcorn packages from the 1960s (remember them?) and had eaten all the cheese and black olives and whatever else off it. Husband left everything on the floor just the way he found it so I could see how she'd enjoyed it. Most of the bread was still there, but BOY! she did love that parmesan cheese! Molly is, apparently, following the dietary advice to eat only the part that you REALLY LOVE and leave the part that you don't LOVE. 
Lesson learned. She is big enough that she can get things off the counter, and especially things that SMELL REEEEEEELLLLLY GOOD! 
Actually, of course, I think the whole crime was kind of cute. 

I think that Molly has a problem with at least her left hip and maybe her right one as well. She walks in a particular way that lets me know she's avoiding flexing her hip joint very much, and when I was brushing her yesterday, I pressed on her hip and she yelped in a way that let me know for sure IT HURT! Poor girl. She isn't crippled by any means, but there's trouble down the line. Whatever's wrong (dysplasia?) doesn't slow her down when she's trotting or doing zoomies. Not one bit. I notice it when she's been resting and gets up . . . she swivels her hind foot a little bit instead of flexing her leg. Maybe it isn't even her hip, now that I think about it . . . maybe it's her knee. Whatever it is, it is NOT a problem we have to worry about right away. Husband's quite calm about it all..."So she'll get a hip replacement. that's all." I figure the more muscle she has, the better, no matter what the underlying problem is, so it's good that her legs are becoming more defined. 
She's so pretty...  
When she goes to the doctor next time . . . not until next spring, God willing! . . . I'll have them check her legs/hips. Maybe it's arthritis. Maybe she got nicked by a car in her former life... No telling. 
But she's happy and beautiful and enjoying life about as much as any living critter can, so we don't worry about it for now.
She's been keeping a close eye on the woodchuck who lives in the hedge row of the house field. She lies on the yard to the side of the barn and gazes out in that direction, waiting for him to show himself.  
Peep caught a grasshopper yesterday, and Molly went over to say, "Whatcha got?" and ate it. Peep just turned around and went off to get another one.....

Took Molly on a long, long walk this morning and Husband took her out again in the late afternoon, bringing her back covered in grass burrs. Could be worse. At least it isn't burdock burrs! She and I had long brushing sessions. I ended up with rabbit-sized (and -textured) bundles of hair. We could keep at it for days and not run out of hair. Molly likes being brushed, but gets tired of it after a while, as anybody would. 

Molly is outdoors right now, making the rounds of the immediate house/barn area. Peep was out all night and when she came in, Molly twitterfooted right over with her ears up and her tail wagging to check and make sure her little sis was okay. This dog is a caretaker. And a love bug. A big love sponge. A great companion. 

She's been carrying her stuffy toy baby from place to place in the last few days. Not constantly, but from time to time we find the baby moved. From the crate to the couch, from the couch to the bedroom, this afternoon on the floor next to the couch, with both his little cloth ears chewed off. I picked up Baby and Molly left her supper dish and came over with her big round eyes out on stalks. I squeaked Baby and she oh-so-gently took Baby's head and carried him back to her crate. What a doll. Husband and I have both said we almost wish she weren't spayed because it would be such a joy watching her mother her puppies.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My inner child is weeping

My father had sent my sister and me away for the summer. My mother was in the hospital for the second or third time and (I was told, long after the event) Mrs. Furness, mother of one of my sister's friends, had started a murmuring that maybe something was going on with that man and those girls. To protect his good name, my father sent us to his brother's house. 
My cousin D was a year younger than I. Her father was a college dean. The house was big and white with many well-decorated, well-kept rooms. Everything was clean all the time, but I don't recall ever seeing anyone cleaning.
From time to time, the three of us girls would visit two kids who lived down the road . . . a sister and brother. I think the brother was younger than the sister, and possibly, younger than I. Nevertheless, he outranked me because he was on his home turf. I remember him as being volatile. One day, I think, we had a dust-up of the kind that kids have when they are all on the young side of twelve. Somebody said, "Let's pretend that..." and somebody disagreed with the vision . . . tempers rose and the group broke up into segments. 
On this day that I remember, I think my sister and D went to ride D's horse. I wasn't interested in horses, so I was walking back to D's house, feeling lonely for my own house, my own road, my own pets. From his yard, the little boy yelled to me: Why don't you go home! I hadn't known he was there, and if I had known, I wouldn't have expected him to holler at me. I was such a minor player in the group, having no standing as a real resident . . . I just went along with everything.

My heart broke. Not because it was he who'd said it, but because he asked out loud the question that rattled and rang in my head all day.
I wanted to go home, but there was no home to go to.
My mother wasn't there and my father didn't want me there.
The only place for me to be was right where I was: walking in the sun all alone on a road to a house where no one would know or worry if I was there or not.

I think it was one of the first moments in my life when I realized that there was no point in crying if no one would know, if no one would care to make it better.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Molly's field walk for today

Husband is usually the Mollywalker. 
Today he has gone to do some business. 
It's a perfect walking day: cool, sunny with passing clouds, breezy. 
I fleeced up, filled my kangaroo pouch with training treats, and set out down the fields. Nice slow pace. Molly can run hither, thither and yon at will. I follow, or lead (depending on how many loops back around me Molly's done), at my own pace. 
These are recently cut hayfields, hard on the ankles. Wobble, wobble.
The yellow line is the trip out. All downhill. Notice how there are no stops?
The trip back is the pretty hot(!) pink one, all uphill, with yellow stars where I stopped . . . strictly to admire the view. 

From Molly's point of view, the highlights were, in chronological order:
  1. crossing the path of some animal only seconds after it had passed that way (I saw a tail tip but no body)
  2. rolling in a nice fragrant grassy mouse nest left open to the elements by the passing haying operations
  3. coming back and sitting for a treat when I clapped my hands (I tried not speaking to her throughout the walk to see how that would go . . . it went well) or when she felt like checking in with me
  4. finding a place that smelled strongly of Someone Else . . . to which she enacted "Poop On You!" It's her field, after all. 
  5. catching sight of a rodent near one of the edge-of-field lilacs and hopping on it, killing it.
If those highlights were in order of excitement value, number five would head the list. She carried the corpse back to the front lawn and threw it over her shoulders for ten minutes before she ate its head. I don't know what it was. It was white, so not a regular ol' field mouse. Longish legs. Maybe a small rat?

For me, the highlights were, in order of value:
  1. seeing Molly being A Dog Living A Dog's Life
  2. sitting on that stump
  3. leaning on the hay bale
  4. and sitting in the sun at the picnic table when we got back.