I saw the light

While hiking up a steep hill near me yesterday, I was thinking what a long winter it’s been.

But then aren’t they all?

The hill’s a popular one for sledding and has been a busy place this past week after a couple of back to back snow storms.

But Saturday it was empty except for me, the sun, and the trees swaying in the breeze.

It seemed most of the neighborhood children had set aside their sleds, and were busy dusting off their bicycles.

Others were already riding them through the growing puddles in the streets below.

As I stood and faced the sun shining down on the hill, I smelled the musty earth melting below my boots.

And I soon felt March’s blush of warmth on my winter weary face once again.

I even heard a flock of song birds sing a promise of spring as they flew overhead.

Sure, there’s another big snow storm coming here tomorrow, but I know spring is on the way.

How do I know?

Because yesterday I know I saw the light.


Life goes on

Grief was my constant companion for much of the last ten years.

During that time I lost both of my parents, and my spouse several times over to memory loss.

Caregivers of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s and dementia first lose their loved one as their cognitive skills disappear in several unique stages.

And then they ultimately witness that final loss, with the death of their loved one.

I was no different.

By the time my husband finally passed, there were no tears left to shed.

Yet earlier this week I caught myself crying some after the election.

My tears weren’t particularly tied to the results, but more towards the hatred and lack of civility bubbling over everywhere.

Still those tears weren’t long lived as I know there is much work to do in this country.

I decided I better start with me.

I knew I had to find some peace to feel grounded if I am to be productive in the days ahead.

Making sense of this election and defining next steps will come to me in time, but only after the rhetoric has faded.

So Saturday I chose to find comfort and community while standing in line for shrimp chowder at the local butcher shop, and a generous slice of pumpkin cake at the bakery afterwards.

The warm welcomes and sweet scents soon had everyone inside smiling again.

No phones appeared or politics were spoken in either place.

And this morning it was all about blue grass and lemon grass Thai treats at our Sunday’s Farmers Market.

Humming as I left to stop by a neighborhood church service, I found myself parking further away than needed.

But I knew it would give me a chance later to walk over the bridge of a brook sparkling in the sunshine, and check in on the garden just beyond.

After the service, upon entering I discovered fragrant and strong yellow roses were still blooming in the breeze.

And cheerful white daisies, too.

I sang softly, “…life goes on in endless song” from the closing hymn I’d just heard.

Yes, I believe it really does.

Even in November of one particularly nasty election year.

Love your pets, everyday

I awoke to the news that today is ‘Love Your Pet Day’.

Somehow I’ve missed the holiday’s very existence over the years.

So I thought I’d start early with my canine crew to make up for lost time.

Especially as there was no time or an extra ten to shop.

First, I began with 13-year-old corgi, Maddie.

I gifted my matron scratches behind the ears, an extra long belly rub, and one of her favorite rawhides.

She sweetly licked my hand in thanks.

Next, it was Tucker the terrier’s turn.

Nine year old Tuck trembled in excitement when I picked up his blue leash to go for a walk.

With the spring like sun melting the snow in the streets, he knew it could be an extra long one.

And he was right.

Afterwards, Tucker brought me his favorite and noisiest squeaky toy in gratitude.

That left the question of just what to give to my 1-year-old chi/mystery mix Rex.

He’s only been with me two months and we’re still dancing some as we get to know each other’s likes and dislikes.

Kind of like a honeymoon period.

But I didn’t wonder for long.

It seems my handsome man is a giving little fellow.

And he’d chosen to be the one to act as gift giver this holiday.

Rex brought puppy kisses, and plenty of them, to my granddaughter, daughter and me.

All of this is very new to Rex.

I don’t believe he’s ever been a pet before.

And since we thoroughly enjoyed those puppy kisses, I decided not to set him straight on how this holiday is supposed to work.

Instead, I gratefully kissed him in return on that very sweet and cold little nose.

Hearts and Holidays

My mystery mix pup Rex joined me right before Christmas.

I quickly discovered the little guy was smitten with my small collection of Christmas decorations.

This morning I caught Rex chewing the edge of a small holiday box I’d recently put away in the basement.

He barked excitedly to get my attention.

I walked over to calm Rex down and see what was inside.

Pulling off the tissue, I found the flea market Santa’s Helper planter I’d bought during our November’s Farmers Market.

Rex looked very pleased as I slowly lifted it out

I’ve been told my handsome man does have an elfin appearance, just like the image in the planter.

Rex began to whimper as I began to wrap the piece back up.

He looked up at me with his very best pout.

“Hey Rex,” I said. “What if we leave it out and fill it with candy hearts for Valentine’s Day?

My little handsome man yipped in agreement and gave me one slobbery kiss.

He then did his best happy dance over to his pup bed for a long winter’s nap.

There’s just nothing like another magical holiday to wear a boy out.