I’ve been in my new home now for exactly 25 days. I always think that I should count the boxes when I move, but I never do. Part of me thinks it would give me a sense of accomplishment to know how many boxes had been packed and unpacked, but the smarter side of me knows that I’d be better off not knowing.
There are a lot of boxes. My husband and I love to collect…art, china, books and all things Christmas! I’ve managed to get through about 3/4 of them.
I’ve only had a washer/dryer for four days now and we are still waiting for California Closets to come and install new master bedroom closets in the empty spaces cleared by our contractor. But, we are almost fully functional here! As you can see, we have the bandwidth to consider rug options for our kitchen nook, so that’s an improvement over the first ten or so days when we were drowning in wrapping paper and trying to find the dust buster.
I am making friends with my new town and feeling confident that life here is going to offer so many opportunities to learn and grow. I’m truly excited to get beyond the “home set-up phase” and onto the “live my best life phase.”
I’ll be doing a reveal of my new pink shed soon. Watch for it!
I have one really vivid Fourth of July memory. I was about ten years old…so that was 48 years ago! It was also the year that I fell out of love with sparklers! Since then Independence Day celebrations have been pain-free and carefree.
During the late seventies and early eighties, my husband (then just a boyfriend) and I enjoyed spending time at Shaver Lake at his family’s cabin. We spent the Fourth floating on the barge just like any other summer day. Fireworks were not legal, but they weren’t missed. The evening was spent on the deck of the cabin perched among the trees drinking and eating.
After we married and had our daughter, firework shows were de-rigueur. But, perhaps because of that early experience with a burn, I’ve never really needed the light show to make the holiday special.
My husband left this morning for Fresno, California to rescue his mother, Mary, from the 102° heat and bring her home tomorrow to spend the week with us. Our weather is an absolutely perfect 73°. So, despite the fact that my mother in law’s knee is acting its age (88 years old), she is sure to enjoy simply sitting in our garden.
Just in case you didn’t get it: I’m saying I’VE HAD THE WHOLE DAY TO MYSELF! I’ve had the entire house to myself. (Kinda, you’re never really alone when you have three dachshunds!) There was nothing on the calendar…nothing at all! Today was a rest day for me as I torched 800 calories in an hour yesterday at the gym. Then I ran errands and made my list for today. I was looking forward to getting a lot done before Mary’s arrival. This is what I planned to do:
Catch up on the laundry
Clean out the hall closet
Begin writing, if not the great American novel, a really lengthy, profound blog post
Clean out my email inbox and my overflowing magazine basket
And, finally, well, lots more cleaning and tidying…my mother in law is a very neat person; I am not.
But, you know, sometimes life just does not go as planned. After, strongly encouraging my husband to get an early start this morning, I fell into a leisurely, impromptu rhythm. Here’s what I did:
Made another pot of coffee
Poured a cup and sipped it in the sun
Caught up with a dear friend via email… we’re both writers who don’t love telephone conversation
Made a quick lunch and settled in to watch the Giants game
Heated up leftovers for my dinner and fed the dogs
Read the N.Y. Times
Called my husband to say “good-night” and tell him that I missed him
Sometimes the best days are the ones you don’t plan. However, tomorrow I do have plans! I’ll be up very early to begin working on that list!
When was the last time you had a day to yourself? What did you do?
On any other Monday morning, I’d be killing it on the Cybex arc burning in excess of 600 calories in 50 minutes. But, Zone Fitness was closed for Memorial Day, so I took to the streets in my slippers and p.j.’s, blanket wrapped round my shoulders for modesty’s sake.
To be sure, this was an unplanned session of cardio. It lasted only 30 minutes, but it was more brutal and intense than anything I’ve ever done in the gym. It began just after I’d poured my second cup of coffee.
“Where’s Winnie?” was the rallying cry! When you live with three dachshunds always under foot, you develop a sixth sense that warns you when one of them is in trouble (of their own making)! We called for her and searched the yard, but it quickly became clear that she was gone!
My husband and I ran to the driveway to begin our rescue mission while our daughter, home from school for the weekend, changed from p.j.’s to street clothing. Tom headed left. I went right and flagged down a car just as he rounded our corner. I didn’t know him, but he knew enough about me that I didn’t have to tell him the breed of my dogs!
“Oh, I’ve seen your doxies,” or did he say “heard your doxies”? It’s all a blur. “I have a dog; I understand,” he continued.
He offered to drive, slowly, around the loop that is our street and search for my girl. My belief in the kindness of strangers is so often validated.
I continued down the street, alternately yelling “Winnie” and explaining to any passers-by that my dog was loose, and very tiny. About 20 frantic minutes after the realization that she was gone, I felt the first tear slip down my cheek. I began knocking on doors. People can be very sweet when presented with a lightly clad, very sad neighbor at their door. No one had seen her, but everyone would watch out for her. A few even joined me in the street.
It would be about another 10 minutes before my husband found our pup and sent my daughter out in the car to look for me. I heard he gave her simple instructions.
“Don’t come back without your mother!”
Back in our family room where our day had quietly begun, my husband described what he’d learned about Winnie’s great escape and adventure. I must describe the geography of our home for you to fully appreciate her great feat. Our house is below street level, so our garden is terraced. Stone walls divide each level. Our little one had jumped four 18 inch walls (we knew she could do that) and a 2 foot metal fence (we didn’t know she could do that) and then tunneled under the bottom of the fence to arrive in our neighbor’s back yard. She didn’t stop there, though. She tunneled further to pop up in the next neighbors yard and had just left and crossed the street when the man who offered to help me spotted her from his car and called out to my husband.
My husband called out to Winnie, who obviously knew she’d been a bad girl. She turned and ran away from him, but thankfully back the way she’d come. She arrived in our yard to my husband’s great pleasure (or displeasure)?!
Dachshunds were bred to burrow and they are known to be trouble-makers. Our Winnie is an overachiever in both areas! Thankfully, this is a story with a happy ending, but I also think it’s a cautionary tale to anyone thinking about acquiring a dog:
There are dogs and then there are dachshunds…beware!
P.S. On a positive note, I did get in some cardio…and my husband will be getting his workout after he returns from Home Depot with cement and lumber to build a bigger, better fence!
Spring Break ended two weeks ago, but Winnie still waits for Natalie to emerge from her bedroom every morning. I’m sure she doesn’t understand what “college” means, but she seems to understand that something’s going on when the duffel bag comes out!
Given how darling and devoted this dog is, I’ve begun to wonder if my daughter returns home to visit me …or her!
It’s been an amazing Spring day. This morning I woke to the sound and the sight of frozen pellets of rain bouncing about in my garden! Hailstorms are not a common occurrence in California. It’s very exciting for us. It brings everyone to the windows to watch. And after it’s over, we must inspect what’s left.
Winnie is ever curious, but she returned to the warmth of her cozy bed shortly after her first encounter with ice. I imagine her paws were very cold.
A couple of hours later, the sun appeared and our little four-legged trouble maker resumed her exploration of the garden.
“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.”
― Stanley Coren
It doesn’t take a professor of canine psychology like Dr. Coren to observe what any dog owner knows; our faithful companions do not like to be left behind. I would add that there is no one who is obviously more enthralled to greet me than my dog!
Before the jumping, tail wagging and cuddling, comes the barking that I can hear when I open the door of my car. As I approach my front gate, I can see Winnie’s face peering out hoping to see me.
How can anyone resist the simple joy of owning a dog? I do not know.