Just a girl who could no longer deny the dirt in her veins.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Early August

 "Early August"

Beneath the canopy of the maple I sit, shaded from August's bright afternoon sun.  The inside chores are done, or at least at a stopping point ~ never really done.

Early August.

Some lament this time as the dog days of summer.  The little country girl in me delights in summer.  It's hot, but isn't it supposed to be?

Early August.  A wondrous concoction of all I love about summer has engulfed my world.  Bright, hot sunshine has warmed the humid country air.  Any activity brings perspiration.  The crescendo and decrescendo of the cicada's chatter is suddenly loud, then progressively quiet, then silent only to repeat their mesmerizing refrain.  On the gentle, warm breeze drifts the heavy perfume of the sweet autumn clematis, the late summer bloomer that has overtaken the raspberry patch.  The blue sky is decorated with a few cumulus clouds, lines of jet vapor, and a pair of graceful red-tail hawks.

"A Familiar Panic"

The tall phlox, daisies, hibiscus and black-eyed susans remain in their blooming vigor. This particular blend of delight for my senses has aroused a familiar sort of panic. This panic, occurring annually, arises from the knowledge that the first day of school is looming and my seemingly endless summer will be ending.  Even now in my 5th decade of life (!!!) I'm stirred to savor the glorious, summered moments all at once.  School is long ago on my particular time line, yet I still feel a pressure to squeeze in all I longed to accomplish in this fleeting season. There is so much I still want to do.... start another painting, reorganize my art studio, revise my landscaping, make blackberry jam, plan that bonfire, and just sit and ponder!

 "My reverie has whisked me back 40 years"

 I'm spellbound!  The perfect summer mixture has halted any other productive thing I may have done today at my Patch of Paradise.  I continue to be amazed at how easily triggered are my memories, those memories that are never really buried but lingering, floating just beyond. My reverie has whisked me back 40 years to an August afternoon at my grandparents' house.  I see my grandmother's row of Rose of Sharon bushes blooming lavender, pink, white.  The old brick farm house is cool despite the thermometer's reading; Grandma has a fan in the kitchen window.  I'm sitting at the piano trying to peck out "Bye Bye Blackbird" by ear and with only my right hand.  (If only I'd learned to play that lovely baby grand with both hands....and learned how to use those foot pedals!) Grandma is sitting in her chair "resting her eyes."  Because sometimes a farm wife isn't afforded the luxury of a nap in the afternoon, a peaceful time of sitting with closed eyes is just enough of a respite, probably not quite.  As I play "Bye, Bye Blackbird" over and over, my heart knows that the lovely summer is ending and a new school year is waiting, stern-faced at the door, dressed in serious clothes, holding an armload of books. 

"Blackbird, bye bye"

I can't stay here long in my remembrance... sometimes the beauty of it all is so much that I don't want to leave the dream. Yet I love my real life ... the lovely family we have (with grand-babies added to the ranks from time to time), the peace that living in the country brings, the opportunity to be a grandmother who creates beautiful summer memories for her grandchildren.

 School has already started for the grandchildren.

"Don't panic," I tell myself, "there's still lots of summer left." 

You don't have to fly away yet, Black bird.

Friday, February 19, 2016

When I Finally Snapped

The empty-nest syndrome.
The (ok, I admit it) jealousy that Cowboy has his own "personal" dog.

It was too much.  I snapped.

Let me get this off my chest:

Friends were heading to Texas over Christmas. These same friends have family down there who just happen to be breeders of Australian Shepherds...who just happened to have a couple of female pups left out of a litter.

"Do you want a pup?"  Cowboy asked.

I think my reply was something along the lines of.. "I don't know."  {Except it was in the Hoosier farm kid variation of the phrase --- which is a shrug accompanied with a closed mouth, say it in your throat kind of humming -- "mmmMMMmmm."  Really hard to explain.}

While my adult mouth was shut, the little kid who still lives in me was shouting in my head: "Of course I want a pup! I want every pup!"

The adult in me was shouting even louder in my head:  "Are you crazy? Are you ready for the commitment that it takes? 10 years! At least!  Weeks of house-training! The major clean-ups that take place after messes.  Walking around the backyard at 3am saying, "would you just go already!"  Teaching a pup how to survive around tractors, trucks, cows and horses.  Training her not to chase the chickens and cats and not to bark at the goats."

"F & H said they would bring a pup back with them when they come back," he informed.  Was he trying to persuade me?  It was working.

"Have F send me a picture."

In 0.68 seconds I had a picture of each pup and pictures of their mom and dad.  Oh yeah, and a video of the pups romping in their kennel.


One piqued my interest....

She didn't have the typical white on her face and she wasn't fuzzy.  Just something about her...her eagerness, her friendliness.  Something.  {Is it possible to gather all that from a picture and a video?...well, apparently.}

I said, "Yes.  I want that pup with the white chest."

A week later she arrived on our doorstep....

a sweet, wack-o bundle of energy.... who looks nothing like what I wanted.  See?  No white on her face.  Her ears are considered a "serious flaw" in the breed.  Her coat isn't fuzzy like Aussie Pup's.

What's worse is:

She's in the puppy-equivalent to the terrible-two stage.... but like terrible-two with ADD. She can sit in one place for 7.72 seconds.  She constantly moves around:  the floor to the couch to the pillow to the foot stool to the rug ... and then all over again.  She goes through the trash, chases and sometimes catches the chickens.  She chews chunks of wood, walnuts, rocks and sticks. She runs from me when I say, "Come." She runs past me when I call her to stand next to me. She steals socks from the laundry basket and runs from me when I try to take them from her. She ignores me when I call her.  She ventures where she's not allowed....like up the stairs... 27 times a day!  She barks in the night to be let out only to smell stuff.....

oh, let's talk about this one.....

It has become completely obvious that Cowboy has something wrong with his hearing.  He can hear the roar of a tractor, bulldozer, chainsaw or semi from a mile away.  He can hear a coon hound bark in the woods while we're in the house watching tv.  He awakes from a deep sleep when he hears a cow mooing in the far pasture.  But he CANNOT hear the puppy barking in the night 2 rooms away.  Should I call the doctor?

Back to my pup....

She bites whatever is at mouth level.  She relentlessly wrestles with Aussie Pup. She snores. She digs food out of her bowl like she's digging to China.  She's afraid of the dark and of strange noises.  She's clumsy and awkward.

She's overly affectionate.  She has great potential.

I'm calling her Rose.  My "personal" dog.