Archives

Privacy…the state of being free from…

Privacy.  Let’s see here, Google my friend, what do you say about privacy?  Ah yes, “the  state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.”  Dictionary.com says,” The state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude, seclusion…the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs; freedom to be let alone.

However, neither of these definitions included, “unless you have children or pets.” If either of those are a part of your life, you generally have no clue to the meaning of that word, at least, not for many a year.

It began with the dog, you know. He was your dog. Only  three months old but totally bonded to you. You had picked him out of a group of rescues that were up for adoption. He was one of many tiny puppies from a puppy mill and had barely made it out alive. The rescue group came just in time. You adored him and he you. He stayed by your side for everything and you didn’t mind it at all. In fact, you thought it was wonderful.

Recently though you found someone else you adored and invited him over for dinner.  You and your friend were looking forward to a quiet evening on the couch watching movies. You made popcorn, sat down, started the movie and just as the opening scene came on, so did Rover.  Up,on the couch and in between the two of you. If your new friend looked at you or made a motion towards you, the dog gave that look that says, “Just try it.”  Rover just won the key to your private space and he is never going to give it back. You and your friend get through it, everything goes well, friend  becomes your Partner and in doing so  accepts that you, Rover and he  will be a threesome from here on out. Now, “here on out” quickly moves onto, yes, marriage and a baby. Yep, baby. Privacy  is starting to sound like a foreign language at this point. You and Partner often have laughed and questioned if the two of you would ever have any. Meanwhile,  Rover is hot on your heals as you go to get the crying baby from the crib that you just put him in sound asleep. Partner had popped the popcorn, and the opening scene was just beginning, with you, Rover, and Partner all in your respective spots (that’s with Rover in the middle you know) and as soon as your rear end hits the couch the wailing begins again. You bounce, you feed, you cuddle and sing but to no avail. The movie team just became a foursome. Baby on your lap, Rover in the middle, and the popcorn somewhere out of your reach.

Time goes on, the foursome together through it all. Rover whines at the bathroom door, sits by the tub as you take a bath, comes in from outside onto your lap to wipe his dirty feet on your apron and then smiles at you just before he runs to wake the now two-year old from the nap you just put him down for. The rest of the afternoon, Rover on one side, baby hanging on to your strings, you vacuum, dust, do laundry, all the days activities, including those few and far between bathroom breaks when Rover whines and Jr wiggles his fingers under the door saying, “Mommie,  mommie,”

You’ve given up the evening movie and try to work in a bit of news but you aren’t sure whether the police caught the bad guy, the bad guy ran off with the nun, the corner store is having a once in a lifetime sale on police clothing or the nuns are collecting donations for the inmates. All you know is that all those people were somewhere, somehow, involved in that broadcast  but so was Rover and Jr. who both needed a drink of water, a cookie, potty, and had an argument between the two of them about who got the nine by seven piece of baby blanket that had not been shredded through play and use in the two years they both claimed ownership of it.

The years go on and as it always has the privacy you looked for once Rover and Jr were tucked into bed each night escaped you because like clock work the minute you wrapped your arms around each other upon your sliding into bed, you felt the slithering of a little body up through the blankets right between you and heard the whisper of, “I’m cold, can I sleep with you?” as your feet became a pillow for the faithful Rover claiming his spot on the bed. Jr got old enough to handle the night by himself but  Rover took a liking to your feet and never left your bed.

You and partner grew used to the foursome, forgot about privacy, and learned the joys of the togetherness as a family through thick and thin, sickness and health, vacation, school, work, until the word made a comeback during Jr’s “teenage years.” Now the whole world revolved around “privacy.” Can’t I have a little privacy? I’m on my phone, I’m getting dressed, we’re studying, why do you need to know where I’m going, they are just friends, gee what about a little privacy.” You hear it all and wonder where this word came from. It certainly wasn’t one that stirred any remembrance of such a thing. Why, even Rover, knew nothing of what this strange word was about and Rover knew Jr like he knew every hair on his tail, which by the way, had begun to wag rather slowly these days. Rover, still stayed by your side, night time, day time, bath time and yes still even at toilet time. It had gotten to the point you had to stay by his too, especially at toilet time. Privacy wasn’t an issue between the two of you and Partner who welcomed Rover in the middle every chance he got.

Jr had just had his eighteenth birthday and had asked to have a party  just for he and his friends. Would you and Dad let us just have some privacy to play music, dance and have a good time in the basement room and you guys not be in and out like you always were. “We aren’t doing anything, we just want privacy,” he said.  Saddened but understanding, you let him have it.  Even Rover was banned from the festivities, which he had always been a part of, usually getting more than his fair share of attention because of his cute antics that Jr had taught him to do so well over the years.   You and partner and Rover  retired to the couch upstairs to watch a movie and eat popcorn and occasionally listen for the sounds of the party downstairs. It seemed to be going well.

Now, it was two days later, Jr was in his room  on his telephone with a friend, Rover laid on his blanket underneath your chair at the table while you busied yourself preparing dinner. Partner would be home in about fifteen minutes. Dinner just had to be set on the table. This was a good time to take Rover out for his walk. You got your jacket and turned saying, “Come Rover, let’s go boy. Rover?”   Rover didn’t budge. You stood frozen for a moment then rushed to his side. Nothing, no breath, no breathing, nothing. You gathered him in your arms as you sat on the floor. You yelled for Jr. who, although coming to answer your call, responded with, “Geeze mom, can’t you leave a guy alone for a minute? I said I needed some ……his words trailed off into silence.  Partner walked in the back door and they both stopped suddenly, seeing you on floor with Rover in your arms. Partner helped you up. Jr took your other arm trying to help you lift Rover as you rose. Partner supported your shaking body to the couch and helped you sit, still with Rover in your arms.

“Mom, what can I do? How can I help? Mom?”

Partner, took Jr by the elbow, tears in both their eyes, and guided him out of the room. The room with the couch where you had sat with Rover in the middle, almost every night for the past twenty years.

As they left you heard Partner whisper softly, ” There is nothing we can do now Jr., except  give mom and Rover a little,  privacy.”

 

 

Thanksgiving, Giving Thanks

It was a good holiday in spite of several of the girls not being able to make it this year. For those that could, we had a great time.  Mary, Eddie and Jaden came and we picked our grand-daughter ,Lauren, up in Purdy to stay the holiday.  Danielle, our third born, came a couple of days before Thanksgiving to “help” us with some things that needed doing around the house and property. She worked hard, just as she always does when she shows up to help. She and her dad got a pick-up truck and a car-hauler trailer loaded with scrap metal to take to recycling. There was a lot of stuff from aluminum cans and old pipes from the well, to old fencing, car parts and just plain ole junk. They made that trip and then loaded another huge load to go to the garbage dump. Wow, what a difference it made in the way things look out around the garage. Ryan, Danielle’s husband, who came on Thanksgiving day, had to return home the day following Thanksgiving but Danielle stayed through Sunday to do more chores for us. That girl is a dedicated worker. Finally it was time for her to go. Sunday morning we fixed a good hearty breakfast and discussed what all we needed to do to get her on the road. I had been collecting things for her for a while and had them all stacked and ready to go. Four dozen wine glasses for her new cake business which I had picked up (brand new, high quality brand and still in the boxes) all for ten dollars at a divorce sale, a forty cup coffee maker, a Mr Peanut, nut dispenser I had bought at another sale just for her because everyone knows she has been called “Peanut” since the day we brought her home from the hospital forty years ago, and a plastic crate full of wedding cake decorations such as plates and pillars. That all being ready, she first started loading the things out of the guest house that she wanted. A desk and chair, coffee pot, and a few more household things. then on to the garage where dad had rounded up vacuum cleaner parts and canning jars. A huge assortment of stuff that eventually led to, yes, even a sink. Not a kitchen sink but probably a utility sink that I’m sure she had a use lined up for it. Her truck was loaded to the hilt. She came back in for that last cup of coffee and goodbyes but made one more stop in the family room at our library. There she found her some garden books and pruning books to borrow and was then a happy camper. She was looking forward to tips on vegetable gardening and getting their fruit trees pruned. We talked a bit, hugged a lot and finally said our goodbyes. As we watched her and her three companions, Zuko, Hylux, and the newest member of the family, Sammie (their faithful dogs) pull down the driveway we had mixed emotions about their parting. Torn between happiness that they came to see and spend time with us and sadness, even though we know they will return soon, that they are leaving. It will be Christmas before Danielle and Ryan can return again and Dawn and Lauren too. Hopefully, we’ll see some of the others between now and then.  This last week, despite the mixed emotions, despite those that couldn’t be here, has left us with what Thanksgiving is truly about. We are “Thankful.”  Thankful for the best thing that we were so fortunate to have been blessed with in our lives, our children.

 

Bridget

Back some years ago, so many that I don’t remember exactly when it was, but probably around 1981-82, my dad and mom, my two youngest daughters and myself were headed out on a day trip. My third born, Danielle, needed to find a small tree for her 4-H Christmas party. With camp shovel in hand Dad climbed into the passenger seat up front, I was driving and Mom sat with the two girls in the back. Excitement was swirling in all our heads as we headed out the highway with our destination in mind. For the girls, it was a day out with Gramma and Grampa and like an adventure as they hadn’t been to this place before. For me, time with mom and dad was always good and I loved getting out in nature. I had my camera, as usual, hoping to get some good shots whether it be of the family or the surroundings, it didn’t matter. Now if you aren’t from the Port Angeles area you probably won’t have any idea of where I am talking about but if you are, you will be saying any minute, “Oh ya, I know where you mean.”  Well, I had explained to the girls where we were going but it wasn’t but a few minutes before they started asking how long it would take. I headed out C Street, then past Lincoln Park and the airport. We went through the Dry Creek area and turned right when we got to Highway 112. We were headed for the lower Elwah River where the old one way bridge crossed over. To cross, if there was oncoming traffic you had to pull over, let it pass and take your turn when it came. But we weren’t crossing that day. About one hundred feet before the bridge, on the left, was a narrow little road that went down to the river. I pulled onto the road and started slowly making my way down. I could see the perfect place to park the car about one hundred and fifty feet straight down over the side of the road. Since I have a thing about heights and didn’t want to drive off the edge into oblivion, I was really driving slow. The road was rough, full of ruts and rocks but we eventually made it and I resumed breathing. Dad got out with the shovel and mom and I helped the girls out. They were immediately running and laughing saying, “Come on. You guys are too slow!” We walked a bit enjoying the sound of the river and looking at the change in the scenery since the colder weather had set in. The evergreens of course were still green but the deciduous growth had lost all it leaves and the tree branches reached out like skeletons. We stopped along side the river where the water had pooled and  was not flowing too swiftly. I tried showing the girls how to skip rocks but was never too good at it myself. Dad on the other hand could make them skip three to four times. Danielle and Mary-Elizabeth loved it. Dad said we should get going to find a tree. We hunted through a group of smaller ones and found a good one about three foot tall, filled out fairly even all the way around and with only one top. Dad dug it up and I held the bucket that we had brought with us still as he put it in. Danielle was happy thinking she would be bringing the perfect tree to the group. We started walking back up the side of the river towards the car. The girls wanted to throw more rocks but dad said we should get going if we were going to have an early dinner before we headed home. That had been the plan. We were going to go on to  what is now the Family Kitchen Restaurant in Joyce, WA but at that time was called the “Atlasta Burger” Restaurant  where they served what was called the “Logger Burger.” Now this burger was bigger than a dinner plate and I don’t know who could possibly eat the whole thing but, if we cut it into six servings, giving two of those to dad, we thought we could manage it. I understand that the place was sold and changed names somewhere around 1983 but still serves those burgers.

Suddenly, Danielle started shouting, “Stop, stop, I hear something.” We all stopped and listened. Nothing. We picked the bucket back up but hadn’t gone two steps when Danielle yelled again. “I hear it, I hear it. Stop!”  Mary-Elizabeth joined in. “I hear it too. Mommie you have to do something. It’s a kitty. Mommie do you hear it.

“Yes, I do, but where is it? Where is the sound coming from. The three of us were practically on our knees by this time looking under every tree and log.

“Here it is, I hear it here in the ground.” shouted Danielle. “How can it be in the ground?”

I listened and sure enough the sound was coming from the earth. I got back up and took the shovel that dad had already reached out to hand me. Digging slowly, taking small amounts we could hear the cries growing more faint. Time was running out. Mary-Elizabeth was almost crying herself. “Mommie, you have to save it, you have to.” I handed the shovel back to dad and began digging with my hands. It was hard. So many rocks. I finally opened up a small hole and there we saw the tiniest, dirtiest, striped Tabby kitten ever. I reached in, cupping her in my hand and drew her out of her, “GRAVE?” all the while thinking to myself, could someone have actually buried her there. I wiped the thought out of my head. It was a sickening thought.  She moved. Good she was still alive. I brushed the dirt off her face. Mom handed me a kleenex that she had dipped in a puddle of water close by. I wiped it’s eyes which were full of dirt as were it’s ears and mouth. As I moved it around it tried to meow but ended up spitting and pawing trying to get the dirt out. I assisted carefully with my little finger as a scoop but it was mostly up to her. She spit and gagged but finally had most of it cleared. Then we heard the sweet sound of a real meow, one that sounded actually like a kitten. I continued to wipe the dirt away as we went back to the car where I wrapped her in an old sweater that I kept in the car for emergencies and handed her to Danielle.

“Dad, I thing we’ll have to do dinner another day. ”  I’m covered with dirt and now we have this kitten. Dad agreed and we loaded the girls with the kitten into the car. About a mile down the road I asked Danielle how the kitten was doing.

“Oh, she’s doing fine, she’s purring.” she answered. Then she added, “Mommie, what do you think we should name her?”

“Hold on there one minute. No one said anything about keeping her.” I replied quickly.

“But mommie, we have to, we saved her,” said Mary-Elizabeth almost in tears again.

“Well, I think they should get to keep her,” their gramma said.

“You stay out of it,” my dad said back to her, “It’s none of our business.”

“My business or not, I think they should keep their kitten.” she said sharply to dad. “And girls how about the name “Bridget” , after all, we did find her under the bridge.”

“Hey, I like that name gramma,” said Danielle. “Me too,” giggled Mary-Elizabeth.  “We should call her Bridget.”

Dad and I looked at each other. He shrugged his shoulders and I smiled. We both knew at that point, this little kitten, our rescue named Bridget, now, had a home.

An Angel Walks Amongst Us

20151017_181322

There is an Angel that walks through out our home

she’s been here forever and a day

she shows herself now and then

and she’ll never go away

It has been said that, they, the innocent ones,

that were taken through foul play

shall stay as Angels  to fulfill what they should have done

until the right time

finally comes their way.

Our Angel had been dealt an extremely  horrific end

No one saw it coming, no one could step in

She was at home with the children when the evil’s plot was spun

he decided her fate, carried out his plan, not to be undone

she still remembers the evil bursting in but not too much of the rest

what she remembers most was the warm, red, gushing from her chest

and the little boy watching from the door

she waved him on and watched him run as she fell upon the floor

she prayed for the evil not to follow … then…  she heard the sound once more

Thank God her prayers were answered

there had been no time to ask for any thing more

now, the evil laid beside her there

just inside the door

She could hear the baby crying in the crib

close by in the kitchen nook

but no matter how hard she tried

she couldn’t raise her head to look

sirens were wailing but they seemed so far away

she realized by the time they got there she’d already be on her way

and as the sirens closed in she could still hear the baby cry

and then she heard nothing…. for it was her time to die

Now  she could see and hear them as above she seemed to float

people scurrying around rushing

and some even weeping as the horror they did note

Someone took the baby from the crib then took the boy in hand

the child turned and waved back to her, saying, “Mommie, I understand.”

Weeks later as she watched, the family returned to the house

Others had been there before them trying to get the stains all out

when nothing else seemed to work they covered the stains with some rugs

saying it’s all they could do as their shoulders they all shrugged

The children were the only ones that seemed to understand she was there

Sometimes she’d kiss their cheek or tug a tuft of their hair.

But the elders seemed puzzled at the games she played with the kids

Didn’t seem to understand anything she did

Why is that door open again, who moved the shoes that were sat there on the floor

how did that vase get tipped over, questions, more questions galore

Then one day as she was drifting in and out of the rooms,

looking for the children, the house was filled with more than gloom.

The sadness had become overbearing, the elders  couldn’t cope.

They picked up the babies walked out of the house never looking back as she had hoped

One baby over his shoulder another one walking at his side

and then she saw it, they both smiled at her, with a twinkle in their eyes.

so she went too from the house of sadness, just before they closed the door

now she knew where ever they went she’d be with them ever more.

Through the years she danced through the rooms of every house they lived

from time to time giving a tweak on the cheek of one of the kids

The grown-ups stopped complaining about little things moved around

like the time they found the coffee pot in the fridge

and the kitchen towels in the drawer turned completely upside down

Sometimes a chair would be turned, sometimes she’d move the broom

sometimes the curtains would hang straight and still, then suddenly billow,

though there was not a  bit of a breeze in the room

Everyone seemed to adjust to having her around

but of that horrible Halloween eve they never spoke a sound

No one told the children where their mother had gone

no one explained why they never ever again would hear her sing her songs

I , however, as a young child remembered that night with fear

and carried that memory with me for oh so many years

Of recent  I have come to know her now, more than I ever did

and welcome her presence in our home like did as a kid

A wisp of air, a flash of light, I see her now and then

but mostly she moves unnoticed room to room and back through it all again.

I often feel  the feather like touch softly stroke my cheek

and wondered if it is still her, looking after me

One night not long ago she whispered in my ear

I turned and she was gone but I felt that she was near

as she whispered she had touched my shoulder

I knew the touch of her hand

It brought warmth to my soul, a sense of peace, and helped me understand.

Those touches as she passes by me, the shadows in the night

I know now why they don’t bother me any more or cause me any fright

I know that beside me she will always be20151016_230716

Until we both walk to together

into eternity

I’m A Foster Mom

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned the fact in any of my writing here on my “Blog” that I am a foster Mom. Yes, a foster mom and so blessed. But this foster story is a little different. My fosters are dogs. At this point in my confession of this fact, people usually ask, “How can you do that?” “How can you take them in and then give them up again?” Then they add, “I just couldn’t do that.”

That’s what I thought at first too. In fact, our first attempt failed. By failed, I mean, we ended up adopting the first two little ones we took in. At three and five pounds they became “Pinch and Pebbles.” We adored them. We already had two dogs. Brussels Griffons, both of them, and so dear.  Rosie, we got at seven weeks, only to find out she was extremely ill. Another story there, but at least you know at this point ,she survived. The other one at two years old, having been born and raised in a puppy mill  then shipped to various rescues, never having had a home during those first two years. I fell in love with her at first sight and immediately set forth to make her ours. Okay, now we had four dogs. But, the need for help is so bad. There are so many homeless and abused dogs everywhere. I couldn’t ignore it. I set out to prepare my home to take more. Before I was ready, two more were brought to me by the rescue group I was working for. Babies, at least that’s what we thought. Two little Pits. However, it was discovered they were nine months old instead of the four we were told. They had been starved, abused, never been outside, bathed or anything else that one would do with their dog. They were fearful of everything. So the bonding began. Every day, each morning, I took them out on a leash and walked with them. Coaxing, encouraging, enticing them with treats. Then it was back inside to their playpen, which I crawled into with them and hand fed them from their bowls, petting and talking the whole time. The goal was to teach them, the food was there for them and wouldn’t be taken away. Also trying to avoid food aggression. By touching them, putting my hands in their bowls, being close, yet never removing the food from them they were learning it was safe to eat with others at hand. The training continued from there. Basic obedience commands, then socializing and lots more.

Since that time, I think we have taken in about twenty-five or so dogs. We’ve seen cases of filth and severe abuse. Dogs afraid to even look at us. Dogs we were unable to even touch. Each time, each case, it broke our hearts. But with time and patience, each one of these innocent little beings, eventually came around. Each of them learned, in their own time, love was real, love was good, and love has no conditions. Some started responding right away, with in just hours or days. Others, well, we had one for nine months before she was ready for adoption. Then, there was Rita, who had been so severely damaged physically, even after seeking out the help from the best specialists, we were unable to save. Yes, it’s hard. Some cases almost unbearable. However, mostly, you do as much as you can for them, they respond, and they move on to a “Forever” home with in two weeks to two months, usually the shorter of the two. You hug, you cry, you see them off. Then you remind yourself. You did what you could do. You helped them become adoptable. You brought them out of horrendous living conditions and sent them to loving,caring homes, forever. You know, you can’t keep them all yourself, but you can help them find that perfect someone who will love them forever. That is my reward in all this. I have made a difference. I have helped where once there was no hope.I have saved lives and I have held, comforting and caressing, whispering softly until the end.  I have taught love and companionship. I have gained much more than I have given.  I, have been blessed.

Just a few of my foster babies…..

006          022

Sweet Lucy  …Unwanted                     Tippy …Elderly owner couldn’t keep.

004 Snickers, rescued from a high kill shelter. His time was up. How he loved his morning rock and nap in my lap.

202

Baily Boy, Angel, Kory Ann and Kipper. This litter was thrown out in the cold December weather at 8 weeks old and left to find their own way. They came to us afraid of everyone, hungry, un-trusting. Eventually they got better. Angel took a full nine months to rehabilitate and become adoptable. But they all did find homes with loving, caring families. These, all of these, were some of the lucky ones.

Take Time To Smell the Roses

Roses climbing an old arbor in our back yard.

Roses climbing an old arbor in our back yard.

Today, was shopping day. We, Steve and I, had a quick cup of coffee and cereal for breakfast then I headed for the bedroom to dress and get ready to go. The last time we went I had a panic attack in Wal-Mart. I sat on the pharmacy bench, counting product on the shelf, the rows, the number of bays, then went to reciting the names of my children in my head and then the names of my dogs. Familiar stuff, recall familiar things.  Breath. What was my name, where was I at and why was I there. Did I have a list? Breath.Concentrate on breathing.Slowly, deeper breaths, relax. There were simply too many people  that day and too much noise. Hey, try that breathing thing again. You have to breath! The sounds all ran together and made a horrid roaring in my head. faces were blurry and getting distorted. I hated this. Even as I sat, the sweat poured off my brow.I continued counting and practicing my breathing.  It finally eased up and I was able to move on but I think it took at least twenty minutes to a half hour before I could function again. Today would be different. I was feeling stronger, more focused. Today we weren’t pressed for time or on any kind of schedule. So as I reassured myself of these facts I grabbed a cap from my hat holder, formerly a shoe bag, you know one of those that hold twelve pair of shoes and hangs on the back of a door,  of which I had every pocket stuffed with a baseball cap of some sort. I love hats, and have many. Today’s was adorned with fake rhinestones spelling out, “Got Money, Lets Shop.” Yes, along with hats, I love glitz and glitter. You’ll probably find out more about those traits later, in another post somewhere down the road, but for right now, back to today. I exited the bedroom announcing to Steve that I was ready as I stuffed my notebook, phone, sunglasses and camera into my over-sized, purse of sorts. Steve swears I need one with wheels. We headed out the door, double checking with each other that we had taken care of everything that needed our attention before we left. I had fed and put the little dogs out, he did the big dogs and fed the cat. Coffee pot off, lights off, doors locked, yep we were ready. First stop, his pharmacy. Done. Next, my pharmacy. Done. Okay, to Costco to get bread. Just bread. It comes in a two loaf package, bigger loaves, and half the price a one single, smaller loaf at any other store. After almost being run over in the cross walk we entered the store, headed down the main aisle and, “Oh my, look at the beautiful jewelry!” Twenty minutes later after viewing every piece and drooling over the gorgeous, red, Coral, three hundred dollar necklace, we moved on. Alright, Olive Garden salad dressing, two bottles, less than the price of one at the other store, good deal. Down the next aisle, another, “good deal”, and so our shopping went. We stopped to look at some small appliances. Another lady, Marsha, was looking at the same mixer we were. We were just looking because of the difference in the mixer, a Bosch, six and a half quart, eight hundred watt and we were liking the way it was set up. Marsha actually needed a new mixer and I think when she gets ready, partially due to our “comparison sales pitch” between the Bosch and the Kitchen Aid, she’ll be choosing the Bosch. Now, this conversation included much more than selling her on the mixer. We shared several stories with her. She was a Critical Care Nurse at one of the hospitals where Steve had heart stuff done so they talked about the Dr’s, surgeons, and procedures around heart care, hospital policies came up, as did the food served. Of course she learned of the moth in Steve’s salad at one of the hospitals and then we all got into crafts and hobbies, pictures included. Since the pictures came out, there was also discussion about kids and grand kids. We shared with her our story about our VW Bus, neon glasses, and Jive Bunny, which I’ll share with all of you another time, and of course, how we, using our aliases, “Bert and Lonnie”, still, yet another story, got through a couple of rough spots.  Marsha, whom we had never met before was so extremely nice and we all had such a wonderful conversation, probably forty-five minutes worth of conversation, and even hugs between her and I before we said our good byes. She was off to meet her daughter and attend her grand daughters soccer game and we, with our two loaves of bread and  almost two hundred dollars worth of other  “good deals” were headed for Wal-Mart. It was really a good thing we weren’t in a hurry or on a schedule. That bread stop turned into a two hour, very enjoyable, so consequently, worthwhile, stop. Finally, Wal-Mart, we were there. Steve’s insulin, me a blood pressure cuff, a bag of salad, you know, not too much stuff, and then on our way again. He got his, I got mine, then back to the photo department to have a couple of prints made that I wanted to send off in the mail. After doing the pictures, he was reading magazines so I quickly grabbed some dog shampoo and returned. Hearing my name I popped back over to pick up the pictures. “Hi, I think mine are ready.” I said to the clerk. “Yes, Sandy, right?”

At that point the man behind me, looking at the pictures he had just picked up, said to me, “Yes, he tried to give yours to me. Your name is Rogers? I’m Larry Rogers. Do you think there is any connection?”

“Nice to meet you, Larry,” I replied as I held out my hand to give him a hand shake. “I think maybe my husband could answer that better. He’s coming right there.  Steve, this is Larry Rogers.”  and the conversation began.

It turned out that the three of us were all born and raised in Port Angeles, went to the same schools, attended some of the same functions and frequented the same restaurants and stores around town. Larry has a brother, Nick, and Steve had a brother Nick, who has gone on to be with God. Our Nick was the same age as Larry. We had a wonderful conversation about Port Angeles in the “old days”, the rivers, the parks and campgrounds, walking to the movie theater as kids and getting periwinkles (my job when my brothers would take me with them) while fishing in Tumwater Creek and so much more. Larry seemed to be a lover of nature and I could tell he really loved the area we all came from. He had worked at the Sol Duc Hot Springs as a young man and knew all the fishing areas around. Steve had hiked all those areas so they both were very  at ease their conversation. We knew all the places he mentioned and he had also been every where we had been. It was a great place to grow up. Our parents had all spent at least their entire adult lives there. His mom, still living at at the age of 99. He had just been there and took her out to dinner last weekend. And of course you would know, at the same restaurant that Steve and I ate at once a week when we were remodeling my Mom and Dad’s house back in two thousand and five.

So now, let’s see, a very enjoyable hour spent with Larry reminiscing about all our favorite haunts as kids , off to grab that bag of salad, and I guess a couple other things because we finally got back out of the store with only the diminishing of a hundred and twelve dollars from our pockets.

Shopping, it’s a good thing we don’t do it often. A lot of time, although very enjoyable, and we met two really nice people. A lot of money, not intended but needed, and back home again and gee, it was one o’clock when we left home and we just walked in the door at nine twenty. Now you do have to take into consideration it takes an hour to get to and from any of these stores from out place so two hours of our time was spent totally in travel time.

Our dogs were so excited to see us and get their dinner. The little ones acted like had

we torchered them by leaving them out for the day. But hey, it was seventy degrees, they have a covered patio, beds, water and toys plus a well fenced yard so nothing can harm them so they can accept being out there for the day from time to time.  The two big ones were just happy we were home. Ziva wanted to come in and sit in Steve’s chair and Lollie grabbed a toy and followed Steve around, pushing it at his leg wanting him to throw it for her. She wagged her tail so big she could hardly walk. We threw some left over homemade mac and cheese in the microwave, put groceries away and called it good. Another day, another adventure. We didn’t get everything done that we intended which I realized as I picked my “list” up off the dining table where it sat the entire day. Oh well, time and money can’t compare to the conversations with the people we met along the way. You all know the old saying, “Take time to smell the roses.” These two new acquaintances were the roses in our travels today, unexpected, unplanned, but two beautiful people. It was a good “feel good”  day.

What Do You Do If a Kangaroo, Knocks on Your Front Door

Wallaby sketch 9-17-15I had just prepared myself a little lunch one day, back in about the year two thousand and five, when, I heard a little knock at the front door. I’m fairly sure it was early on in two thousand and five because we hadn’t lived here very long and Steve, my husband, was still working at the Can Plant in Kent, Washington. Also, Mom and Dad hadn’t moved out here yet, which we had been preparing for that year.  I had been busy cleaning all morning. I made a half of a tuna sandwich and a cup of tea, which I planned to eat at the front window, sitting in my rocking chair, so I could see the birds and squirrels in the front yard. It’s a good thing I was going to sit at that moment because I wouldn’t have heard this if I hadn’t been right there. It was so quiet but definitely it was a knock. Here it came again. Just a tiny little knock. I didn’t see anyone just by glancing out the window as I went to answer the door. Wondering just who it could be, I opened the door slowly and only an inch or two just so I could peek out. We live in the country, fairly secluded, so I am pretty careful about answering the door if I’m not expecting anyone.  There was no one there. I saw no one. I opened the door a little further and still couldn’t see anyone yet. Knowing the storm door was locked I opened the door a bit more and stepped so I could see around the facing. I was totally taken aback at just who I came face to face with. Well, it would have been face to face if I had stooped a little bit….. ummm,  I mean, quite a bit, rather. Standing there in front of me was a darling, three-foot tall, Kangaroo. Yes, a Kangaroo. At least to my knowledge, at that time, that was what he was.

“Well hello there little guy,” I said while looking around to see if someone was with him. He was alone. All alone.

“Where in the world did you come from?” I asked, as if he could answer me. He just stood there looking at me, with an almost pleading look in his eyes. I was a little in shock, myself. I mean, who has a Kangaroo come knocking at their door in the middle of the day, or any other time for that matter? For a moment, I pictured him standing there wearing  a red cap and a small red plaid vest, saying, “Please help me, I’m lost.”

“Well, we gotta find out where you came from but first we gotta tell Steve.” I continued talking to him as if he was a little person. Stepping out the door I held my hand out to him. He just stared back.  I inched my way around him then started walking backwards, with my hand out to him, saying, “Come on Baby.” He started following. I went very slowly, not wanting to  frighten him.

“It’s okay little guy. I won’t touch you and I won’t hurt you.  You come with me. Come on baby, let’s go get Steve up.” Steve worked a twelve-hour night shift at a job that was an hours drive from home, which in essence gave him more than a fourteen hour day, or rather, night. He had a sleeping room in the garage. He set the room up with air conditioning, a blackened  out window for complete darkness, and a heater for winter. He could sleep soundly, without interruptions from what ever I was doing in the house during the day.  I kept coaxing the Kangaroo, patting my leg, and calling him along. It seemed he understood what I was saying.  He followed, slowly, but he followed, all the way around the house to the back patio.

“Okay, now, you stay here baby and I’ll be right back,” What was I thinking. If anyone had witnessed my on going, one way conversation they would have thought me a nut for sure. The Kangaroo looked around  and took in everything there was to see. I took off, bursting through the garage and slammed the door to Steve’s room open.

“STEVE…GET UP, GET UP, GET UP ! ” I shouted as I shook his shoulder.

Steve jolted up to a sitting position saying, ” What the,  what’s going on?”

“You have to get up right now. There is a Kangaroo on the patio, hurry, come on, you gotta hurry!”

“Oh for Pete’s sake,” he moaned as he covered his head with the blanket and crashed back down in the bed. “I don’t know what you’re up to here, but quit. I’m tired.”

I grabbed the blanket, pulled it back off his shoulders, and said, ” NO, I’m not playing. You have to get up….there really is a Kangaroo….COME ON, HURRY UP ! and with that I took off again headed back to the patio. My new little friend was right where I had left him,  watching the garage door, I guess maybe for me to come back. By the time  I got over to him, Steve was coming out the door.

“Well, I’ll be, ”  were the first words out of his mouth. ” Where in the world did he come from?”

“I don’t know. He just knocked on the front . I opened it and there he was. Isn’t he about the cutest thing you ever saw?”  I was still so excited I could hardly talk.

“KNOCKED?”  “You’re telling me he knocked?”

“Yep….twice. He knocked twice! What do we do with him?” I asked Steve. Ah yes, at last, the real problem just came to light.

“I mean,”   I said, continuing before Steve could say anything, ” it is Memorial Day weekend and it is three o’clock on Friday, and everything will be closed by four or so and everyone will be gone for the weekend, if they aren’t already. You know us, Steve. You know that if he stays here until Monday or Tuesday waiting for someone to be around to contact,  then he won’t be going anywhere. HE WILL BE HERE TO STAY!  You know how we are. He’ll have a name and his own little house by then. You know that. We have to do something, NOW!”

“Okay, but first what do we do with him for now? What do you suppose he would eat? Where do we put him while we find out something?”

“Well,” I said, “We could put him in one of the dog kennels but not knowing what he might be used to that might scare him. What about the garage? Couldn’t we just put him in the garage while we make some phone calls?”

“Sure, that would work. Tell ya what, I’ll get some hay  from Harley’s shed to make him a bed and then he’ll be fine for a bit.” Steve answered as he went to the horse shed to get the hay. Harley was our horse. The only one we had left. Before we moved here we had five. But the kids had all grown up and left home, except for our youngest, and she and I couldn’t take care of five horses. Steve was working two jobs at that time. So we kept her horse and found new homes for the others.  Harley, was a Welsh/Arab cross, stubborn for sure, but we all loved him. Steve got the hay and we piled up a nice pile to make a temporary bed for our visitor.

“I wonder what his name is? I’ve been calling him Baby and he’s been coming right along with me.” I said to Steve as we walked back to the house after bedding the little fellow down.

“Don’t even worry about a name. You don’t need to worry about that because he’s leaving soon. As soon as we can get him gone. Don’t get any ideas, no names. Got it! He laughed as he looked me in the eyes, straight on, holding me by both shoulders. You understand that, right?” Although he was laughing, I knew he was dead serious.

“Yes,” I said, and smiled back at him.  “I understand. Besides, I don’t even know what to feed him. Oh, we’re going to have to figure that out. Let’s go find someone to call.”  We went in and started a list of possibilities and their phone numbers. Okay, here we go, first on the list is the Humane Society.  I dialed their number and got an answering machine. Please call back on Tuesday.  Next King 5 news; no answer. News 7 ; no answer, the radio station; busy, busy, busy.  Now what. Who next?  Alright, I’m going to call city hall and see if they can steer me in a direction.

“Hello, Gig Harbor City Hall, how can I help you?” The voice on the other end, a woman, sounded pleasant.

“Hi, my name is Sandy and I need some help. It’s about a lost pet.

“Oh, did you try the humane society?”

“Yes ma’am, they are not taking more calls until Tuesday.”

“Okay, well dear, is it a pet you lost or you found it?”she asked.

“Oh, I found it, or I guess he found me.” I answered

“Is it a dog or a cat?” again she came with questions.

“Okay……now first, my name is Sandy Rogers, I live on the Key Peninsula. This is not a joke. Please promise you won’t hang up on me.”

“Alright….” she said, very cautiously. “But why would I? I mean what’s wrong, what is this pet?”

“Now don’t hang up. I am not kidding about this. Ummm, he is a Kangaroo, a small one, and we really need to find some one to take him today. Everyone is closing and we didn’t know who else to call, that’s why we are calling you. Maybe you have some ideas?

“There was silence on the other end of the phone. A long silence.

“A Kangaroo? You are really telling me a Kangaroo?” she said very slowly. “This must be a joke.” She added.

“NO MA’AM, please, this is no joke. We’ve tried the humane society and the news and radio stations and can’t get any answers  and we have to find some place, some one to take him, TODAY!” I answered frantically thinking she might be on the verge of hanging up.

“Well I’ll be, really, a Kangaroo, ” she said again and then added  “I was just thinking, well, have you tried the Fish and Wildlife department?”

“No, oh wow, we never even thought of them!” I was excited about this prospect and she even provided me with a phone number. I called and got an officer Jeterson to commit to coming out to take a look at what we had. When he got here we just about died laughing at his remark.

“Hey, are you folks sure about what you have here?” he asked as we led him in the direction of the garage. ” I mean, do you think maybe it could be an opossum or something like that? Maybe a skunk.”

“Oh my gosh.” I said, as I just about fell over. “NO sir. It is not. It’s a KANGAROO!”  We got to the garage and opened the door. There sat our little visitor on his pile of hay. He was so cute, not budging a bit, just sitting, holding one hand in the other, seeming so patient with us. I already wanted to say we made a mistake, please go and just leave him here. but I knew we couldn’t. I knew it would take time to learn how to care for him and provide the necessities for a healthy home for him, so I kept my mouth shut.

“See officer, a Kangaroo, just like we told you,” Steve said with the biggest grin on his face. “So what do you suggest we all do here?”

Officer Jeterson just scratched his head, rubbed his chin, and said, “Well, I’ll be.”  which seemed to be the phrase of the day. Then, he stood there staring at the Kangaroo and, yes, the Kangaroo stared back.” I still wanted to rescue him from whatever the officer might come up with. My heart was starting to ache.

“Well, folks,” he started slowly and we could tell he was trying to think of a good reply. ” I guess I could take him with me and I’ll figure out something later.  I don’t suppose you know what to feed him?”

“No Sir, we don’t. We could go look it up though and get some ideas.” Steve answered.

“No, I can do that once I get home. I think I have a box we can put him in to put him in my truck. He can ride up on the front seat in the box. I’ll get it.”

“What do you think you will be doing with him?” I asked.

“Well, there must be some way to contact his owners. I’ll be trying to figure that out but he’ll probably stay with me for the weekend because it’s just too late to put much else into action on a holiday weekend.”

“Okay, but let us know what becomes of him would ya please? My concern was still growing by the minute. What if he didn’t find an owner? What if no one came forth to claim him? Then what would happen to him? Now, I was sorry I had called around, rather than just handled it myself. I could have kept him, posted adds about him and looked for his family myself. I should have done that but no, I had to make sure he was gone, right away, because of my inability to stay unattached to any living creatures (except maybe a snake). So we watched as officer Jeterson plopped him in the cardboard box on the front seat of his gray, Ford F150  truck. I understood the box. It was a really nice truck with a completed computer set up centered from the dash to the console between the bucket seats. Besides, the little guy might not like riding. It was best to keep him enclosed and buckled in good. He shook our hands, said thank you for taking the Kangaroo in and got in his truck. We, of course, thanked him too for coming to get him. We stood there as the truck pulled out and down the driveway.

” I wish we hadn’t called for help,” I said to Steve.

“Ya, I kinda know what you mean,” he replied. “But, it was what was best, I’m sure.”

The next day it was all over the news about how an unidentified couple had reported that he had knocked on their door and how the Fish and Game Department had turned him over to the Tacoma Humane Society that morning. Steve was headed home from work when he heard it on  radio station KMPS.  As they were talking about it, the owner called them and said she was on her way to get him. She was in tears as she had feared she would never see him again.

“That was us!” Steve shouted at the radio. “We tried to call you yesterday.” He pulled the car over and tried to call again but couldn’t get through. The lines were all busy. He called me, told me what was going on and to turn on my radio. I did and the TV too. I also got the busy signal when I tried to call. So, we would continue to be the unidentified couple. Officer Jeterson did contact the owner and give them our name. They called and thanked us over and over.

“I told her that I was so surprised that he knew enough to knock on the door. She told me  that he was actually a Wallaby, that his name was Buddy and  he did it all the time at home. He would go outside for a while in the yard, then knock when he wanted to come in.  He had his own little recliner for sitting in the house. He was house trained and would go outside to do his jobs. Yesterday, he just happened to find a small gap under the wire part of the fence and managed to squeeze through it. We figured he made a three to four mile cross-country trip through the forested woods from their place to ours. He was lucky. There are bear, coyote, and cougar in the area. Yes, he was very lucky. Being saddened at letting him go, we soon became overjoyed, realizing how much he was loved and missed at home. We had done the right thing. But if a Kangaroo, or Wallaby, comes knocking at my door again, I’m not sure. I might just have to keep him. So, again, I ask you, “What would you do if a Kangaroo knocked on your door? That doesn’t sound like such a silly question any more, now does it?

To Have a Grand Child Visit

White caps on a Windy Day, Port Townsend, WA 8/29/15

It’s the first chance I’ve had for a number of days to actually get on here. Oh. did I say days? It’s  now 12:54 AM. Yes, and I’m just getting around to this. We picked our grand-daughter up yesterday (a two-hour trip to get her), spent a little time in town hoping the wind would die down before we headed out, ate dinner and then made our way back through town, fighting the wind all the way, to the car. It had been predicted forty mile-an-hour winds for yesterday. I never did hear what they were after the fact but I know it was the strongest I’ve ever been out in. It would literally pick you up off your feet as you fought to steady yourself. It was exciting, while at the same time, not a good time to be out on the road. As a matter of fact it was quite dangerous. On our way into town we were struck by a flying tree branch on the passenger side of the car. There was no damage though. We were lucky. We only encountered one tree down on the road. On the way out of town we had just crossed the Hood Canal Floating bridge when traffic came to a complete stop. It was about a fifteen minute wait then we started creeping along. Then stop again. Traffic the other way. It soon became apparent that there was someplace ahead where there must be one way only traffic. It took us another half hour to reach that spot. There had been a large tree over the road way and at this point they had half of it cleared off one side of the road. As we passed through we could see the traffic on the other side  backed up as far as one could see. After we finally got moving again we discovered that distance to be a good ten miles or more. Everything went well the rest of the way home. We were glad to be there, grand-daughter in tow, and not too awfully late in the evening.

Today, grampa fixed breakfast. Well, he did the bacon and hash browns and Lauren (our grand-daughter) and I did the eggs. I always get to do the eggs. I can do perfect over easy eggs most every time. I had more sewing to do so I continued with that for a while while my two sidekicks puttered around doing other things. Then it was a trip to the store to get a few things especially for Lauren. The main thing on her list was Fruit Loops. I managed to pick up three outfits for school for her. I found part of the things I needed for my sewing projects. by the time we got done it was dinner time again so we ate at Subway, per Lauren’s request. I think she has eaten  there before. She knew her order right down to the salt and pepper on the sandwich without blinking an eye. We were still trying to figure out what to have. Half of mine came home with me and is now in the refrigerator.

Tomorrow, I will continue with my sewing project and will be helping Lauren learn to embroidery. We are excited about that. When we tire of that we plan to make Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip cookies. They are so good. Banana Bread is also on our list of things to bake. Steve has an appointment first thing and then I expect he will busy himself working on the old truck, until he realizes we have gotten cookies done, that is. These being his favorite, I expect he’ll know exactly when the first batch is out of the oven.

We will have our little girl visiting for almost all of the week so we have numerous activities lined up. One will be going out rock hunting for just the perfect rocks for painting. We picked up a book on rock painting and it looks like fun. We also want to take her down to the beach to walk and see what other interesting things we can find. Grampa and I made us all beach bags out of three of those net bags that fruit comes in from the store. I ran a piece of twine through the top for a draw string and handle. Grampa Steve has a rock tumbler here and Lauren has one at home so they should have fun with that after our beach trip.

So the next few days will probably be busy and I probably wont have time to write or read much. I will, however, be thoroughly enjoying myself being entertained by my sweet girl.

A Planned Good Day Gets A Fantastic Beginning

It was Friday, the day before our usual Jam Session with friends. I was in my typical state of affairs for the day before. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. I’d been up since five-thirty, watered the garden, plucked some spent blossoms, swept the patio, done a load of laundry and sprayed primer on a piece of furniture I planned on painting later in the day. I had heard the coffee beeper go off so coffee was ready and I was ready for it. Steve was up and met me at the front door, cups in hand. We sat on the patio in our rockers, sipping our fresh hot coffee and discussing our plans for the day. “I’m cleaning carpets as soon as I finish a few more chores out here.” I said. “Well, as soon as I get dressed, that is. I chuckled and grinned at Steve as I said it. He knew unless someone intervened I was just as likely to still be puttering around in my pj’s two hours from now. He also knew there would probably be no breakfast if he didn’t mention it.

“Okay, you go get dressed and I’ll start breakfast.”  He knew his attempt to help would be the best way to get me headed in the right direction. I took my cup, gave him a kiss and headed for the bedroom. “I’ve been sittin’ here all night long, watchin’ the night unfold……” I was humming a song I’d been trying to learn for Jam session. Let’s see, jeans, cut off jeans, and a tank top, it’s going to be hot again today, I said out loud but really only to me. I picked up my pink scuffies. No, those won’t work, something sturdier. I love wearing the little slip on’s but they aren’t very stable out in the grass and rocks. Finishing my attire with just enough make up to get me by, should I do something stupid and  end up going to the hospital, having to face a whole passel of people I had no intentions if intermingling with today. Earrings, done. I’m not dressed with out my earrings. I headed back to the kitchen, getting there just in time for breakfast on the bar and Steve ready to pour me another cup of coffee. “You ready for this?” he asked as he held out the pot.

“Yep, perfect timing, we’ve still got it, don’t we.” I smiled, he poured and we sat down for oatmeal laced with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, accompanied with fresh prunes off our tree out back. “Looks like we have another project ready for us.” I said. “We’ll have to get these picked and processed real soon so we don’t lose them. You ready for a day of canning?”

“Not today. “Those can wait until Monday. We have our plans for today. They don’t include canning. Looks like you are well on your way with yours. I need to finish my project I’ve got going and then I’ll help you with the carpets.”

“What have you got going?” I asked, not realizing he had done any of the prep work the day before. I thought he was just puttering around in the garage trying to figure out what to do with more stuff. Heaven knows that one is a big job in itself.

Sandy & Author Debbie Mocomber 8/23/15

Sandy & Author, Debbie Macomber, 8/23/15

“I’m going to put the gazebo together.” he said. ” I got the broken pieces welded yesterday. I’ll paint it this morning and we’ll have it up by late afternoon. It’ll look a lot better than that pop-up.”  This news was exciting.  I’d been wanting it done for so long. Some friends gave it to us years ago because they were moving and had no place for it. They also said it might have some broken pieces but thought they could be fixed. It was free. For that kind of money we could take a look at it and possibly do something with it. That day had evidently finally come. I was just about to go back outside when the phone rang.

“Hi, Sandy, Diane here. What you doing?”

“Well, good morning! Just headed out to the garden again. How are you?”

“I’m good. But I would be better if you would join me for brunch tomorrow morning? I have these tickets, for two, and would love for you to go. It’s a book signing. The author is Debbie Macomber.  How about it, can you go with me?”

“Oh Diane, I’d love to go. Debbie Macomber! Wow!” I was thrilled. Our own Debbie Macomber, that lives right close to here in Port Orchard. The same Debbie Macomber that is a number one New York Times bestselling author. She is  one of the most popular writers today. Although I had not started reading her books yet, I had heard plenty about her. She and her husband also own the “Victorian Rose Tea Room” and  “A Good Yarn Shop” located in Port Orchard too. Brunch would be at the Tea Room. If you’ve never been by there, the buildings are beautiful. Huge, Victorian design buildings in lovely colors matching their styling perfectly that cannot be missed as you head to Port Orchard  via Bethel Avenue. I’ve admired them every since I first saw them.

“Good, that’s wonderful,” answered Diane. “I’ll pick you up about 8 am, okay. I’m so glad you can go.

“Thanks, I’ll be ready.” I hung up and eagerly went to catch up with Steve who had already gone out. “Guess what!  Guess, oh, you’ll never guess! ” I exclaimed as he turned and waited for me. As I explained, he took my hand and we walked to the area of my planned garden shed, him listening intently and smiling the whole time.

I got the carpets cleaned, the living room cleaned up and the bathrooms cleaned.  Putting the roast in the oven for dinner tonight and for the left over to use for tomorrow evening, I was still thinking about the brunch and meeting Debbie Macomber. What an exciting prospect that seemed. I was going to possibly meet a real Author. Someone, I had admired for some time now but just hadn’t had the chance to read. She was born the same year I was. Her life has not been without heartaches.  She is a real inspiration. She gives me hope. My thoughts went back to what I still had to get done. I had curtains in the washer that had to be re-hung, dusting, sweep and mop the kitchen, and figure out what to do with all my sewing that I have strewn all over the kitchen table. Let’s see, as soon as the roast comes out I need to get the cake in the oven. I was making Pork Fried Rice accompanied by Orange Salad for dinner Saturday evening followed by Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and ice cream for dessert. My special Carrot Cake. Everyone loves it. It’ll be a hit for sure. We were planning on eight of us for dinner before jam session.

Saturday morning arrived and so did Diane promptly at 8 as she had said. We would be a little early but that was what we wanted. Parking would be a lot easier if earlier and so would a good seat for brunch. We weren’t the only ones with that idea. I think there had been a limit of  sixty-five guests, which sold out quickly, and at least thirty were waiting in line already when we got there. So much for being early. We did, however, still get good seats, just in front of the stairway, where Debbie would be speaking. Just as we had expected, it was a delightful morning. Debbie shared some antidotes with us and spoke about how she tries to stay humble. She also spoke of several of her trips and World Vision of which she is their international spokesperson for their “Knit for Kids” charity initiative. Being most enjoyable and hugely funny she kept us ladies, and a few husbands that joined the group, quite entertained and then took on questions from the group. I have to say I had an exceptionally good time and am so thankful to Diane for asking me to go. Afterwards we were able to speak with Debbie  briefly and  get a picture with her. What a treat for me. Diane and I were still giddie over our encounter that morning and shared some of Debbie’s stories with the group during our dinner conversations Saturday evening.  We ate in the dining room since I decided my sewing was going to stay on the kitchen table until I got done.  Oh yes,  and dinner was great, the cake was a hit, and jammin’ was fun, as usual. We did a few old songs, a new song I wrote because of,  you know,  one of those, a joke comment was made, and someone said that sounds like a song title, and Linda said, “Sandy can write one , she can do it, can’t you Sandy!” which became an automatic challenge for me, so I took it on. Being true to country, I made it a little bit bad with a little beer, a few drunk women a cheatin’ man , a truck, train, prison and momma all included. We’ve got the words but the tune isn’t quite right yet. Don’t expect it to come out as a number one hit anyway soon.  Diane and I tried our best to do a few Patsy Cline numbers which is not an easy feat, but oh well.  It’s all about having fun. The evening ended with a wowing guitar lead in from Steve and a terrific drum solo from Johnny.

The highlight of my day though, will remain, meeting Debbie Macomber and hearing her speak of some of her own personal encounters, challenges, and beliefs.  It was a good day. A very good day  indeed!

The Odd Couple

This morning, I’m pulling from my files a short story written back in 2012, which I have included in my , unpublished as of yet book, “A Little Bit of Me.” It is a book, mostly written for my children, about my life. It includes poems, most of which tell a story, short stories, pictures, and some drawing and art work. I’m hoping, now to have the book published someday. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this short, but true, story about a cat and dog that were truly a blessing to our lives as they supplied endless hours of entertainment and love to us.

The Odd Couple

The Siamese cat and the Rottweiler dog don’t seem like a very probable pair.  Frankie, the cat, likened herself to a princes, extraordinary, noble and certain that mousing was beneath her. She appeared to think she ruled the house and we, including the dogs, were just her attendants. In her case, I believe this assumption, was mostly true.

Blossom was a one hundred and thirty pound dog engaging and delightful in disposition. Her immense, resplendent, brown eyes engulfed your senses and turned even the strongest of men into adoring, belly rubbing, playmates. Loving every one and every thing, this robust girl didn’t have an unkind bone in her body. Her only resolution in life was to please.

One early spring morning while sitting in my easy chair reading, Blossom at my side, I noticed Frankie saunter into the room. As usual, she held her head high, but for some reason appeared to be extra dignified that day.  She paraded, gingerly over to Blossom, rubbing gently from Blossom’s shoulder to her hip and back again, purring quite loudly. She repeated the action once more. Suddenly, I heard a very sassy meooow, then another and another as she looked at the dog with her intense, piercing, blue eyes. Blossom hadn’t been paying any attention, but now, she was sitting upright and taking notice, as was I. The cat sassed urgently and this time rubbed under Blossoms chin. With that, Frankie retreated slightly, meowed insistently, raised a paw with claws extended and slapped Blossom fiercely across the nose. She then meowed once more and rubbed Blossom’s chin. Blossom shook her head portraying a look of what seemed to be sheer amazement and I’ll be darned if she didn’t begin bathing Frankie right then and there. After a few minutes, Blossom hesitated slightly, as if contemplating her progress, and likely anticipating permission to cease. Instantly, here it came again. A meow so sassy you’d be taken aback to hear it. Without hesitation, Blossom returned to bathing the cat. Frankie was luxuriating immensely in the whole bathing process, only shifting positions occasionally, to allow Blossom the ability to wash every inch of her. This went on for nearly a half an hour until Frankie was visibly wet. Finally, she arose, sporting what appeared to be a satisfied smile, meowed softly and yes, even pleasantly, rubbed Blossoms chin and without further adieu, pranced away. From that day forward this became a daily ritual between the two of them. Frankie would approach Blossom, rub her gently, and Blossom would respond immediately to the cats wishes, without the sassing or the slap, of course. The two of them shared many other encounters and rituals during their time together. This is but one or their stories.

August, 2012The odd couple picture