Ah, camping 2015. No, you didn't miss parts 1 and 2, they were just too traumatic to recount here. Maybe, when I have returned safely to civilization. Suffice to say, previous incidents are related to the "charming rusticity" of the depression era chestnut log cabin located in the wilds of the Smoky Mountains I currently find myself inhabiting (with much trepidation). This dwelling has no air conditioning, and as I've recently learned since it turned cooler, no heat. No matter, there is coffee and indoor plumbing. Nothing like a steaming mug of fresh brewed java and a hot shower to help clear the cobwebs-I mean literal arachnid occupying webs, of course.
Petunia, you breathed your last here on Earth March 27th, 2015. According to the accompanying documentation we received with your ashes from Midlands Pet Care, you were cremated on what would have been your 14th birthday, April 1st- (the one we assigned to you based on the vet's best estimate after your serendipitous arrival in our farmyard as a stray in June 2001). You were ever an adventurous dog so I decided pretty quickly that we would not keep you in a fancy box/ urn as some sort of shrine indefinitely. I tried to ignore the velvet bag that contained a small box of ashes that had been residing in an increasingly accusatory manner beside the pencil drawing, a fair likeness, and your collar by a lamp in my office. Without school to distract me, I began to feel this procrastination was no longer (if ever) appropriate.
So this morning, Peter and I scattered some of your remaining cinders in diverse places around the farm as we shared memories related to each location. When we arrived (via your once favored "Mule" golf-cartish vehicle) at the old pond, several cows happened to be there. As he poured some contents of a vial in the water, we smiled to remember how much you enjoyed swimming- sometimes chasing ducks or geese- never catching them. I also wanted to sprinkle some on the edge of the woods just a step beyond the pond dam, but was a bit intimidated by the large Beltie cows- even more so when Peter said that it could be snaky there. However, holding the little vial in one hand and my MOMA umbrella with the black exterior & blue- sky interior in the other hand, I walked forward. One might choose to believe that you helped me herd them. They kept moving just beyond us without confrontation as I approached. You loved to herd. You loved to chase. I recalled the time that we were there without a leash. You were sniffing just ahead of us, and I called you because we thought it was time to go. You heard me, you looked at me, you looked in the direction of the woods, and you looked back at me again- I could swear you were wrestling with your conscience/ weighing the consequences- before bolting into the fence- bordered forest. Apparently, you were not in agreement that it was time to go that evening. You eventually wandered back into the yard, exhausted, as it was just getting dark. We scattered some more near the northern side of the house by your former main potty area among the cypress trees on both sides of the gate. In your youth, you would run like a released greyhound with thunderous speeding paws when we opened that gate. We proceeded to the back porch, beneath which you used to nap sometimes on warm days, in the cool earthen hole you dug out, back before we boarded it up for fear we would be unable to get you out once the evil arthritis had begun to set in. You seemed content enough your later summers and winters napping in the house on various rugs near the climate controlled vents. Then, we dispersed a bit in the flower bed where you used to forage daily for Phoebe the cat's poop deposits, that has some of the zinnias we got from Diane, your groomer.
Then, the last bit for today, we released, was just outside the front entry gate, the great unexplored adventures waiting beyond our temporary home border. Run, sweet Petunia. Good dog, be free, but at the same time, stay. Continue to inhabit the home you made in our hearts and minds- the one that causes the involuntary pause of my foot before I step into the middle room where, for just a nanosecond, my subconscious still expects you to be there napping, knowing you are loved, & comfy on the rug by the bed.
So being housebound by all the ice, I ventured into the unfamiliar kitchen. While the resulting WTF cookie glob looks rather unappealing, it was actually pretty tasty (once I was able to break off an appropriate serving size chunk).
And still very little of import to impart. Finally succumbed to the lure of Facebook. Relieved that I'm not completely friendless on the interwebs. Also, feeling relieved about Petunia's recent comeback from gimptitude. I took her to the vet where she ran around the exam room like a brainless rabbit and jumped up and down on the padded bench repeatedly to emphasize two points that she was fine/ ready to go home and that I was a hopelessly insane pawrent who enjoys needless worrying. Apparently, SuperDog, in addition to the IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia) and the Brachicephalic syndrome, is developing a bit of arthritis in her right front shoulder. She seems much better today. As a Gleek, I was happy Glee won a Golden Globe. Somewhat disappointed by the low key attire of the attendees- no Lady GaGa/ Bai Ling whacktacular outfits to amuse. I'd have fallen asleep if not for Mariah Carey's taking the Golden Globes moniker all too literally- my eyes! Anyhoo, thought Monique's (not sure if/ where the gratuitous apostrophe belongs) and Meryl's acceptance speeches were right on. I want to be called T-bone, too.
Some pics and some thoughts on a bittersweet day.
Daddy grew up in rural Virginia under difficult economic conditions.
A picture he sent to Mama when he was in the army.
My parents in 1958
My big brother, Daddy and me
Daddy, paper dolls?! and me (around 6 or 7)
My brother told me that the only time he saw my dad cry was when I dropped out of college for a year. I think he was happier than me when I DID graduate in 1990.
Daddy and I waiting for our music cue (third chorus of Jay Ungar's Ashokan Farewell) in April 2003
Here are my unscientific predictions regarding Fug Madness 2009:
It may be difficult to make out the finer details of my bracketological hunches, but I have, indeed, excluded Bai Ling from the final four. Who would have thought? What can I say? The fug of Lilo, Solange, Paula Abdul and SWINTON have been remarkable this year. We'll see who takes the title.
Here's a link to all the details if you wish to make your own prognostications:
Fancyhorse is not the last to complete this meme.
Fifteen things I hate:
1. loud, stupid, mean people
2. artificial sweeteners
3. blown staticky speakers
4. when oblivious shoppers block the grocery aisle
5. when they exceed the maximum amount of items in the express checkout line
6. animal abuse (see item #1)
7. clothing that squeezes/touches my waist
8. bullies (see item #1)
9. elevator music
12. millions of dollars wasted on state mandated standardized testing of third- fifth graders with disabilities
13. wasted potential
15. child neglect
Fifteen things I love:
1. kindness for its own sake
2. beautiful music- all genres
3. Mama's banana pudding
4. John and Kira's pistachio chocolates
5. cocoa with marshmallows AND whipped cream
6. handwritten letters
7. Starbuck's House Blend freshly ground French-pressed elixir of life with just real cream- no sugar
8. my dog's exuberant tail-wagging greeting when I come home
9. my husband's sparkley smiley eyes
10. a good book
11. time to read/ think/ sip coffee or cocoa
12. my MacBook
13. cashmere cardigans
14. comfortable Mary Janes
15. my iPod nano
got it from Fancy Horse
1. Did you date someone from your school?
Yes, but after high school in my college years
2. Did you marry someone from your high school?
No, he graduated the year after my mother did.
3. Did you car pool to school?
No, I rode the bus or with my sister when she got a license- does that count as car pooling?
4. What kind of car did you have?
borrowed parent's Pontiac or Oldsmobile
5. What kind of car do you have now?
1992 Honda Civic
6. It's Friday night...where are you (then)?
Home, or at the roller skating rink
7. It's Friday night...where are you (now)?
8. What kind of job did you have in high school?
only during the summer- kiddy rides operator at an theme park
9. What kind of job do you do now?
elementary school teacher
10. Were you a party animal?
11. Were you considered a flirt?
Not at all.
12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
I think I was in the chorus maybe one year
13. Were you a nerd?
14. Did you get suspended or expelled?
15. Can you sing the fight song?
16. Who was/were your favorite teacher(s)?
Madame Snyder, my French teacher (I won the French medal at graduation).
17. Where did you sit during lunch?
In the cafeteria. In nice weather, outside on the front steps
18. What was your school's full name?
Park View Senior High School
19. When did you graduate?
20. What was your school nickname and/or mascot?
21. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
No, don't make me. The horror!
22. Did you have fun at Prom?
Never went to Prom.
23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with?
24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?
I doubt it.