Ranting about thankfulness on HumpDay …

Didn’t feel like losing it over anything on Monday, so you got a break.  Love it while you can because that’s over in 4 … 3 … 2 …

So Monday was okay, as I recall.  Tuesday afternoon we’re tootling along Hwy 10 when the tootle goes away.

Kim sits, hands on wheel, just long enough to assess how and why and mutter “F*ckin’ embarrassing” before he starts walking.  Li’l Truck inhaled the last of the fumes about a quarter of a mile short of an exit, beyond which there is rumored (according to the sign) to be a service station, but just before Kim gets to the exit ramp somebody in a big black truck pulls over, picks him up, and drives away.

Which, after the shortest, most obscure Monday Rant you are likely ever to hear from me, brings us to Thankfulness Tuesday.  Because yes, there was a service station just beyond the exit ramp.  WAS.  Extinct and crusty.  Enter Ric, driving back to KC after the cold burial of a much-loved friend.  Spots my husband strolling along the highway, hunkered against the chill, a heavy coat, stocking cap pulled over most of his face, imposing enough man that you’d notice, and of course pulls right over.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ric.  Ric isn’t a big guy, but he sticks in your mind that way.  He repairs heavy equipment and does pipeline work, and I’m pretty sure he isn’t afraid of much, but his kind heart is a lot bigger than all that.  He insists on driving back down the 4-lane to get the Madster and me, carts us all back the other way to where the service station really IS, then west one more time where he uses his new truck to shield Kim from Highway Harm while he pours gas in the tank.  And yeah, then follows us back to the same service station so he knows for sure we made it, and tells Kim to give that piece of green to somebody who’s looking for it.

But wait, there’s more.  Kim’s a good mechanic, knows a lot about a lot.  For instance, he’s known since he bought the truck that it needs a new sending unit for the gas gauge, and probably a new fuel pump while you have the tank dropped, but since he doesn’t have a place to do his own work anymore and hasn’t loved the estimates he’s gotten, he’s just gradually developed a little system.  The system failed yesterday.  But only so we could start getting acquainted with Ric, and so he could offer to replace the unit for parts at his cost, plus labor.  Helps him, lets my husband win.  Think it’s gonna happen.

Also it’s HumpDay AND New Year’s Eve.  Do with that what you will, kids.

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The care and feeding of The Madison …

This is the story of a boy and his dog.  And a young man and his dog.  And an old girl and “her” dog.  Turns out they’re all the same dog — a Maltese named Madison — and she’s led a fairly incredible life so far.  Her first story was happy … until it wasn’t.  The boy loved her, but his girlfriend didn’t, so while he was away working nobody took care of tiny Madison.  The young man took her in then and loved her and provided for her, and they were a good team.  But his life got really busy and Madison was spending a lot of hours alone.  SOOOO … the old girl talked him into letting the little peanut come stay at her house, at least for a while.  That’s love in its purest form, people, and Kim and I don’t take lightly the sacrifice he’s making for the sake of her health and well-being.

Miss Maddie will be ten years old in October, but she still looks like a puppy and remembers how to act like one.  She was coughing and gagging every day, and seemed listless, so on a hunch we changed her food and treats to brands that don’t contain wheat.  Thanks to a tip from a certified dog person, we also eliminated chicken.  The respiratory symptoms are going away, she’s sleeping fewer daytime hours, and she’s started initiating rambunctious play again and bringing us her dapper little green dinosaur so we can wrestle it away from her and throw it across the room.  She’s good as gold about potty habits, and she sleeps all night without disruption.  If left on her own she wakes up about 8am, just like I do.  Perfect!

Madison adores Kim, but she’s chosen me as her Person, which fills me with gratitude and gooey slurpy love.  Even when she has old-lady breath — which we’re also working on — I can’t get enough of her.  She goes with us on all the little errands that don’t require taking her into NO DOGS areas (the nerve!), and she’s a calm and entertaining passenger.  When we instead tell her “Maddie has to stay this time,” she looks at us with her big black eyes and takes it with good grace.  She doesn’t chew on things, or get up to shenanigans, and we never have a second thought about leaving her to roam the loft while we’re out.  She’s a little lady.  Her joy when we get home is something we didn’t know we were missing … and would have a hard time giving up now.

She’s an instant conversation-starter and makes friends all over town.  Jeez, to be so popular!  She still gets to go to The Farm to see her black Lab friend Mia and the three kittens, James, Red Molly, and Elsa … and her Big Guy when he’s there.  But it’s clear she isn’t really a farm girl, with her alabaster fur coat and frilly tail — she’s a princess and we’re happy to let her be exactly that, especially since she doesn’t have an attitude.  It’s a happy arrangement … except possibly for the Big Guy, who misses her when he’s home at night.

Maddie makes us laugh, and she brings out a tender grandparent-y thing in both of us that feels just right at this stage of our lives.  Thank you, Kevin, for having such a good heart — we love you.  And Madison will always belong to you, no matter where she might live out her days.

 

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What I did this summer …

We’re still in the throes of a major move … but right in the middle of it we decided it was time to spend a week with our son in San Francisco.  Most wonderful vacation we’ve ever had, due in part to the location, but mostly to his kindness and the joy of being with him.  Following are some thoughts I wrote down while spending a beautiful afternoon in my own company …

There are thousands of homeless in the San Francisco area, some of whom have gravitated there to take advantage of the mild weather, some who have fallen on hard times since arriving or having been born there, some who have been dumped as mental patients by one facility or another (a sordid tale that breaks my heart). The stories would be as varied as the sheer numbers. They make it from day to day … or don’t. If they wake up it’s on the same park bench they fell asleep on … or in the same doorway … or in whatever hooch they can fashion for themselves. Many push and carefully guard shopping carts filled with a smelly assortment of items dear to them, if only because they found them before someone else did. Some are very bold, like the man who came into the Boudin courtyard and made a rather eloquent speech about the need for food on the part of every human, and the fact that a morsel or two would really not be all that costly. His willingness to look people in the eye and state his need earned him a bit of lunch money from this midwesterner while the tears lurked behind my eyes and I mentally reviewed the endless list of reasons why I wake up thankful and inexplicably blessed every day. If you’re thinking “What a bleeding heart,” that’s fine — it doesn’t change what I know … that as the “human” race we’re in this together, like it or not. And it isn’t always our own wise choices that buy us a decent trip through life, however much pride might whisper that in our ear. I’ve been gratified to see that the police tend to treat them with a certain gentleness and allow them their little patch of dirt or concrete. After a few days’ observation, the structure of their underground society starts to become clear. This is neither an argument for nor against dependency, just a statement of how things are. And I don’t feel in the least offended to be asked to share a pittance from the well I dip into every day without question.

What counts …

Whatever your mindset, philosophy, religion or faith, most things can be reduced to this …

The Questions

 

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Look for the helpers …

Look for the helpers

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The world would be so much nicer …

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Dear little me …

dear little me

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Shoulda, woulda, coulda …

WordPress Daily Prompt: Shoulda, woulda, coulda.Tell us about something you know you should do … but don’t.

These are words I try to avoid at all costs — they fall into the category of “useless thoughts and emotions.”  My heart and brain, however, recognize that, like other things we skirt around in life, they do have their place, if only as a cautionary tale.

There are things I know I should do every day — things I could do — things I would do — if only.  If only I weren’t so busy … so preoccupied … so shockingly lazy.

Every day I should spend at least an hour playing my incredible piano.  I should write constructively — or randomly — for yet another hour, minimum.  I should make the phone calls and send the emails and hand-written notes that languish in the Vault of Good Intentions.  I should keep my house spotless and the laundry forever caught up and all the bills paid immediately upon receipt.  I should walk at least two miles every single day.

The list of shoulds is virtually endless.  And the incontrovertible truth is that I could do those things.  And I would!  If only …

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/daily-prompt-shoulda/

When it is over …

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
~Mary Oliver

What Am I Doing Here?

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My take on being retired is that it’s weird.  It’s beyond crazy that I’m this age instead of the 45 I feel in my head.  But I got here somehow, and I do love the play-time.  Writing is a have-to-do thing for me, and I have folders jammed with great graphics that I love to share.  So I’m inviting you to hang out with me here … and if you talk to me it’ll be even more fun.  I’m a Facebook addict, but this is my spot to run my way — eat your heart out, Markie Zuckerberg!

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