Rainy Days

I wake to the sound of cascading water. The rain pounds the roof, runs into the clogged gutters and roils over the gutter edge in a waterfall. It surges down the side of the house next to my bedroom window. I think, time to clean the gutters. I glance at the clock on my bedside table. It is still early; barely 6:30 in the morning. The dogs breathe their heavy, whistling breath. My husband snorts in his sleep and rolls over. The house feels cold and I realize that the wood stove has gone out. It is tempting to lay in bed, listening to the rain as it drums the roof and overflows my gutters.

A cold nose slips beneath the blankets, snorts a greeting.

“Hey, Boubou.” I rub my dog’s face and breathe in her warm scent.

Time to start my day.

Christmas at the Balsams – 2004

Christmas 2004 was very special. Four generations came together to celebrate at The Balsams, a resort filled with history and devoted to service.

Field of Flowers

At seven weeks old, Caribou was no more than a tiny ball of black fur; barely big enough to look over the top of a buttercup.

Stress Relief

My day was hectic.  I felt overwhelmed with all I had to do.  I pulled into the parking lot of the home health agency and gathered up my paperwork.  I had just started this job and already was bogged down with documentation requirements. I pushed open the door to the office and was greeted by a puppy!

The tiny german shepherd puppy lay on the carpet, a rope toy clasped between his huge paws.  He tipped his head, then bounded to his feet and hurled himself at me.

“Oh!” I cried and knelt to get warm, puppy breath kisses.

“His name is Thor,” a man said, coming out of his office.

“He’s gorgeous,” I said.

Thor chewed my fingers.  He wiggled his body.  He covered my face with his kisses.  And the stress of the day melted away.

Dog Love

What could be better than the softness of a dog curled next to me in bed?  Argus jumped into bed with me this morning.  He usually sleeps on the floor just beneath the open window where he enjoys the gentle, cool breezes of the night.  Argus is a golden retriever.  He is perpetually hot.  So, I was surprised when he launched himself into my bed and curled up next to me.  He lay his silky head upon my chest and gave me one tentative kiss.  Is this okay, mom?  I rubbed his head, pressed my nose against his fur and breathed in his warm, doggy smell.  His breathing slowed, became rhythmic as he drowsed.  Outside, the dark of night grayed into dawn.

Mr. and Mrs….

May 4, 2003…the day we officially became Mr. And Mrs. I was on top of the world!

Sweet Puppy

Caribou came to me at seven weeks old and seven pounds. She hated her crate unless the door was left open and I was sitting at her side. Big ears; big feet; so sweet.

Growing Old

We grow older every day.  The sun rises, sets; the months march onward, followed by the years.  I used to think that forty was old; actually ancient.  But that was in the glow of youth, before I arrived there myself.  I’ve amended my opinion on what is old.  I think now that old is a state of mind, someplace I don’t have to go unless I chose it. Until this morning…I plucked a gray hair from my head, examined the fine lines around my mouth, realized I followed the exact same routine each morning.  Set in my ways.  Growing older. 

Me, Kip, Caribou and Argus

Camp Winthers is located in Northern California. It is where Kip and I met. The dogs introduced us; the dogs fell in love first.

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