Friday, May 13, 2016

Photo op

As all good photographers will tell you, being in the right place at the right time yields the most significant pictures.  Let me set the scene for you.  We had just arrived home from a performance by the South Dakota Symphony.  Well, members of the South Dakota Symphony.  I claim a little musical ability, an above average ear, and appreciation for skilled instrumentalists.  I am NOT a fan of music composed in a combination of minor keys and major dissonance.  Scratch the first two numbers.  Intermission.  We stayed.  The third performance was an oboe quartet.  That would be one oboe and three string players.  It had its moments of brilliance.  The last piece was a trio of piano, violin, and French Horn. Brahms.  Amazing how one of four can make the whole experience worth it.  Anyhoo, we get home to discover that the pickup is taking up too much space in the garage so the Edge won't fit.  Move the pick-up.  Once inside, we let the horse out (that would be Teddy, the labradoodle) from his kennel and I head downstairs to change out of my symphony clothing.  It's almost time for bed, so I just throw on my robe of many colors.  Back upstairs, only to discover that Teddy wasn't ready to settle down.  He wanted to romp in the back yard.  I open the door.  I find a chair.  I almost freeze my who-has off.  Back inside.  I get my hoodie.  I am now sitting on the back deck in my robe with hoodie.  There's wind.  I come back in and grab the afghan.  I wrap it around me and watch the dog frolic.  There's wind.  With one hand, I hold the hood up and with the other hold the afghan tightly around my legs, not to mention who-has!  My only thrill is, there were no good photographers in that place at that time, but I'm willing to bet you have a mental picture that may keep you up at night!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Picture it--a gorgeous summer-like evening.  Perfect for a late mowing.  The soaker hose is giving the perennials next to the fence a much needed drink.  And then the flash of white.  With a lot of black.  Have you met our new labradoodle puppy?  Actually, he's probably 16 months old, but oh, is he a puppy.  Like any youngster, mud is a significant attraction.  So too is the dog next door.  The fence between the two properties provides an excellent demarcation, keeping Gus the Schnauzer in his yard and Teddy in ours.  Actually, what it did was keep Gus at home and Teddy at home giving them reason to run up and down the fence line.  Gus?  Carefree!  Teddy?  Happy as a pig in mud--and twice as dirty.  Mud up his legs.  Mud on his stomach (you should see how low to the ground he gets when he's a running fool!).  And after all that running, a drink was in order--from a puddle of mud!  I'm upset.  Who was the idiot that let the dog out to run through the mud?  In fact, when my lovely bride comes out, I ask her that question.  I omit the idiot part, but I'm pretty sure I implied it.  She informs me she didn't let him out.  Well, I know I didn't, and he's a bright dog, but doesn't yet know how to open the door.  Then the truth.  When I went out to mow, Teddy was upstairs.  Apparently, I didn't shut the door as I went outside.  The idiot was I!  And try as hard as I could to blame anyone else, there it was.  The two of us managed to clean him up.  One of us pounded my chest and wailed "mea culpa" vociferously.  Actually, I did say I was sorry for blaming her.  But oh, the frustration of self realization of stupidity!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

It has been busy...

Juxtaposition.  A noun.  That time when everything seems to need to be done at exactly the same time.  We agreed to help with the Boys and Girls club fundraiser.  Starting now.  We are state board members of the State Retired School Personnel.  Convention activities begin tomorrow.  It's national teachers' week and we are involved.  We needed to go to Woonsocket to present a scholarship.  Fudge needed to be made.  Materials needed to be gathered.  And yet, this morning, when all these things coincided, as I walked from coffee in the front porch to take dirty dishes to the kitchen, a glimpse of the back yard caught my eye.  The grass, highlighted by the sun(!) was the most gorgeous shade of vernal green.  The perennials were establishing their right to return.  The class of 2000 pine showed new growth.  And it quite truthfully elicited a sudden gasp-like intake of breath.  What a glorious morning!  The tasks will be done to the best of our ability.  Time management skills will allow us to prioritize and complete.  Stress does nothing.  Action does.  And here's the most important thing.  We are alive and able to act!  Amazing Mother Nature reaffirmed our place in the universe! We're here to revel in her work!  And, apparently, to be busy!