Posted tagged ‘Gracie’

“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.”

April 18, 2017

Today is cloudy and chilly. We are back to the 50’s with a high of only 51˚ and a low tonight of 36˚. I have nothing planned for today.

This has been a bad morning for Gracie. She slid on the kitchen floor and fell. I pulled her up by the halter, but she was wild and wide-eyed and it took a bit to settle her down. She panted for quite a while. She is now resting on the couch. I have moved the treads from the indoor stairs and placed them all around the kitchen floor and right in front of the dog food and water. The tiled floors in the kitchen and bathroom are tough for her with the slipping of her back feet so I’m hoping she’ll get used to the treads in both rooms.

I am now permanently sleeping on the couch. It is actually comfortable for both of us. Gracie doesn’t have to worry about the stairs, and she can sprawl at one end. The couch is good for my back, and I get to lie in bed and watch TV. The bathroom is close and so is the kitchen so my immediate needs are easily met. I do this because it is best for Gracie. That is the least I owe her for all the love she gives.

I guess all the anxiety about Gracie has taken its toll on me and left me with a malaise I can’t seem to shake. I hope today is just a bad day not the beginning of everyday.

“And never resist a perfect moment.”

March 6, 2017

Today is bright with sunshine. The sky is mostly blue. The breeze is slight, so slight only the brown leaves are ruffling. It’s a pretty day, but it’s a cold day, wintry cold. It is around 34˚.  I have nowhere I have to go today. I haven’t even gotten dressed and probably won’t. I got Gracie down the steps to the yard earlier. She does well with me beside her. She is actually going by herself. I’m just a safety net.

Yesterday we went to the dump. I had two weeks worth of recyclables and trash. It was so cold at the dump it took my breath away. An Arctic wind was blowing across the whole dump. Every stop meant freezing wind. I was quick to finish, to go back into the warm car.

In my life, I have had some perfect days and nights. I can’t tell you why as the days were all different. The feelings, though, were the same. I felt joyful in a way, happy to be alive. I was aware of everything around me. I could have been Maria twirling on the mountain.

The night in Ireland, in Youghal, is one perfect night. We ate in a small room with a peat fire burning. The aroma was wonderful. We walked upstairs and each step sloped to the middle. My room had a bed with layers of quilts and blankets. The bathroom had saloon doors which left the toilet exposed to the world. The tub was claw-footed. I took a hot bath then ran to get dressed and under the covers as there was no heat. It was early spring cold. I nestled and began to read my Peter Whimsy mystery and eat some of my fruit and nut Cadbury chocolate bar. I realized in that very moment I didn’t need anything else. What I had exactly then was perfect.

“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”

February 7, 2017

I am watching the Patriots and their duck boat rolling rally ride through the streets of Boston. Earlier it was snowing, and now it is raining, but the crowds don’t care. The fans are standing along the sides of the streets 20 or more deep. The players are having a wonderful time yelling, clapping and dancing. The confetti blowing all over makes it difficult to see but Tom Brady stands out. He is in the front boat holding the Lombardi trophy and waving, a huge smile on his face. The crowd loves him. Lots of school desks are empty today. Kids will remember this parade the whole of their lives.

Gracie is less reluctant to go down the back steps into the yard. She knows I’m there. I stand in front of her as she goes down front paws first one step at a time. She runs all over the yard glad to be off the leash.

When I was a kid, I followed the Red Sox and the Celtics. The poor Sox were hapless, and it was easy to get a good seat even an hour before the game. I remember sitting in a box seat behind the dugout, empty seats around me. The Sox, perennial losers, were not a great draw. I did see a moment in history when Bob Tillman, the catcher, tried to cut off Al Kaline stealing second and hit Johnny Wyatt, relief pitcher, in the head.

I listened to Celtics games on the radio. Johnny Most was the best announcer of them all. I used to hide my transistor radio under the covers so I could listen to the Celts play the L.A. Lakers, perennial foes. Even when the Celts were on TV we listened to Johnny Most. I still remember him screaming, “Havlicek stole the ball,” in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals when the Sox were only a point ahead and Philly had the ball. I went to Celtics games as I could take the bus and the subway to North Station. They were often sold out. The Celts were perennial winners.

I have never seen the Pats live, but I have watched every game on TV. I’m okay with that. I get to stay warm and comfy. The kitchen and bathroom are both down the hall. I do love to go to Fenway especially for night games. It is a magical place with the green grass and all the lights.

My mother was not into sports and didn’t understand the rules of any game, but if we watched, she watched. I remember her cheering for the wrong football team, an easy mistake. We didn’t say anything. It was great to see her be a fan.

“Once you have a wonderful dog, life without one, is a life diminished.”

February 2, 2017

Gracie news is first. Yesterday morning around 5 she stood up on the bed and that movement woke me. All of a sudden I saw Gracie start to fall over so I grabbed her before she fell. She then collapsed on the bed. I held her around the neck and talked to her as her eyes were wide in fear. I then helped her stand up. She did but just stood not moving then threw up. I cleaned the bed and tried to get her off of it, but because my bed is an old one and quite high, she wouldn’t get off it. I finally lifted all 68 pounds of her to the floor. She walked to the stairs but wouldn’t go down. I went in front of her and she went down one step at a time. I decided to take her right away to C.A.R.E., the emergency vets. We got there around 5:30 and waited a bit. Finally we went into the treatment room. The vet listened to what had happened then took her for some tests. They were all fine except Gracie was a bit dehydrated. She has a heart flutter but is on meds for that. The decision was to leave her overnight so she could be rehydrated and given some X-rays. The vet called in the afternoon and Gracie was doing well, no aftereffects. I called this morning and she is staying there until the afternoon when she is going to have a cardiac echo. My poor baby! I just hope everything is okay.

My house feels cold and is quiet.

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter. It is cold today so he might just be right, but that would unusual. Poor Phil is correct only 39% of the time, but considering the three coldest months of the year are December, January and February, this might be one of those times.

The sun is shining with the sharpness of a winter’s day. The breeze is slight. I’m hanging around the all day house though I have stuff I need to do including going to the dump, but I’ll save that for Gracie and me tomorrow. She’ll love it.

Where thou art – that – is Home.

June 6, 2016

Yesterday I chose to do little. I took a shower for the sake of cleanliness, but that was it for constructive. Today I go back to the old list and change my bed and do laundry then I’ll need a new list. I’m not all that enthused about doing anything so the new list will be short. Outside might just be the only item. I have chairs to clean and lights to fix, and being outside might make doing work a bit easier.

It’s noisy right now. I hear hammering and wood being piled. I suppose in the scheme of things they aren’t very loud, but this is generally a quiet place. Dogs do bark and kids do yell but that’s it. The bird songs tend to be the loudest.

Usually all three animals are here with me when taking their morning naps. The only one here now is Maddie and she is roaming. Fern is in the living room and Gracie is in her crate. I can hear her snoring. If I move around, Gracie sticks her head out to see where I’m going. She’ll follow me if it looks interesting enough. Gracie is never far from where I am.

When I went to Ghana, it was the first time I ever lived alone. It took time to be comfortable living alone because I couldn’t just pick up the phone and chat or drop over to visit. Here I was trying to adjust to a new culture and a new country so being lonely and homesick at the same time felt crushing. I had to figure ways to deal with it. I wrote letters, some of which were never sent. They were filled with my feelings, my sense of failure and my wondering if Ghana was right for me. I ached for letters from home and ran to the staff room to check my box at least twice a day. I also concentrated on figuring out how to speak English so I could be understood by my students. I gave myself until Christmas. Come to find out, that was more than enough time. I adjusted to speaking English slowly with an emphasis on letters like t in better or letter. My students were catching on as well. The more they heard, the more they understood. I started going to the market and shopping for food. It connected me to the town and the people. They stopped seeing me as simply the white lady. Now I was madam, the teacher at the training college. I used Hausa, the language Peace Corps had taught me. The Ghanians were delighted.

I began to feel I was home, a different home but still home. I stopped running to check the mail. Sometimes I ever forgot for a day or two. I read in the evenings or wrote letters about my day to day life. Every one of those got sent. I loved being in Ghana.

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

July 19, 2015

This morning is oppressive. The air is perfectly still. The sun has disappeared and reappeared. The humidity is 84%. Rain is predicted for tomorrow through Tuesday. We’ll just have to survive today.

Movie night was perfect. There was a breeze keeping us cool, and we had plenty of appetizers to stave off hunger. We didn’t even eat the hot dogs, linguica and salads I had bought for dinner, but we did manage to eat the apple pie for dessert.

I can hear only birds. My neighborhood is quiet. The other day I heard the buzzing of saws most of the day. My neighbor’s huge tree from her front yard was taken down. Now the yard looks bare. You know something is missing.

Every morning I checkout my front garden. New blossoms pop open every day. Today there were tall purple like daisies standing by the fence. Some white flowers are also blooming and two huge clumps of flowers are just about ready to open. I do love watching the progress of my flowers.

Last night, around 1:30, I sent Gracie out for her last time before bed. She stood perfectly still at the top of the stairs then took off like a flash. It was her intruder run. I put on my shoes and was going to the yard to grab her, or even save her, when the rustling of leaves just below the deck told me Gracie was already on her way to the stairs. It was then I heard the hoots of an owl, the first ever here. After Gracie arrived on the deck and stood beside me, we stayed a while.

“Taste is the most unexplored sense”

January 16, 2015

When I got up during the night, I swear I saw stars, and was delighted, I stood at the window a while just looking. When I woke up, it was cloudy, and I wanted to scream. Right now, though, the sun is making an appearance, and off to the west are patches of blue sky. I can barely contain my excitement.

Gracie woke me up around 6:30. She wanted out, but when she got on the deck, she couldn’t get down the stairs. They had a topping of ice from the dusting of snow we got yesterday. I put on my shoes and walked her to the yard down the stairs step by step. If the poor dog only knew. Here I was her safety net, and I fall all the time. Luckily this time I didn’t. Before I went back to bed, I threw safety paws de-icer on the steps and also noticed where Gracie had been sick a few times. I won’t get into a description, but I think whatever had been bothering her was on her crate blanket which is now washed and in the dryer. Gracie is back to her always happy self.

In the old days we didn’t take our dog to the vet’s except to get the rabies shot required by law. There was no well dog visit back then. Duke, the boxer we had while I was growing up, was a terror to other dogs, but he met his match once and his neck was torn open. My dad said nature would take care of it. My mother sneaked Duke to the vet’s who took care of it. The dog’s wounds healed, and my father gloated a bit with his I told you so. We all just looked at each other and said nothing.

We pulled many fast ones on my poor dad. My mother would come and visit me, and we’d shop. She’d fill her trunk with boxes and bags. When she got home, she’d bring in two or three packages and show my father what she’d bought. He’d nod but actually be totally uninterested. Shopping was hell on Earth to him. When my dad went to work on Monday, my mother would empty the trunk. My dad never noticed anything new in the house. His spot was at the end of the couch next to the table. That was his little kingdom and nothing there ever changed. He was content.

We knew never to tell my dad some of the ingredients in the dishes he was served for dinner. He would refuse to eat them if he knew. Garlic, according to my dad, was to be used for garlic bread and shrimp scampi. It had no other uses. Little did he know he often ate it in a variety of dishes. He did catch my mother putting it in slits in a pork roast and was horrified. My mother took out all the garlic. My father had eaten that pork roast with garlic several times. He just didn’t see it.

My father used his eyes to determine whether or not a dish could be eaten. Hummus was wallpaper paste. He knew that without trying it. Just looking was enough. It was a huge no on potstickers and anything my mother made for my brother, the vegetarian. My father was the original meat and potatoes man with a few vegetables tossed in like carrots, canned asparagus and corn, either fresh or canned. My dad actually ate a huge variety of things. He just never knew.