Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to the Beginning

I'm not really thinking any profound thoughts at the moment, and I'm not writing at all. I hope when I'm feeling better I'll get back into the groove, but in the meantime I thought I'd recycle an old post that I wrote when I first started blogging. When I reread it, it still makes me laugh thinking about it :) Anything to share a laugh or a smile on a Monday!

It was titled- It was quite a drag! and it's about volunteering at my local animal shelter.

The reason I officially stopped walking the bigger dogs is found in the title of this post. It was a beautiful day, weather wise, and I had stopped by the shelter with my youngest daughter, who was three at the time. After bathing and playing with a pile of puppies, I convinced my little "Wudge" (As in Wudgey, Wudgey Woo) to come with me and pick out a bigger dog to take for a walk. I took a leash, and with her by my side, we walked around to the kennels where the large, adult dogs were kept. It was hard to choose; I wished I could take them all, but I needed to make sure that I could manage it while walking.

As I gazed at each dog, trying to decide, their eyes all pleaded in unison, "Pick me, pick me!", until one of the workers at the shelter suggested a cute, friendly, but very excited female dog. It seemed like a good idea to me too, so I opened the gate, slipped a leash over her head, and off we went. With the exception of a few, the dogs at the shelter are the worst dogs to walk. They've been couped up in a 5' x 10' kennel 24/7 with only short breaks so there is a lot of bottled up energy, like a soda can that's been shaken and the top's just been popped. We walked past "the gauntlet" of other dogs, I've named it thus because all the other still caged dogs bark and lunge at the free dog for whatever reason, and continued out to the road with my little Princess Pokes-a-lot tagging along behind. The road the shelter is located off of also has some kind of municipal station too, further on down, so there is occasional traffic of trucks but for the most part it's quiet. Both sides of the narrow road have thick, South Carolina brush on each side, reminding me of the rainforest in Ecuador, so when the trucks come past we stand on the shoulder of the road in between fire ant colonies and wait for the coast to clear. On this day, my volunteer partner had decided that she really did not want to walk a big dog after all, so twenty feet outside the parking lot of the shelter, she announced she was done and now wanted to hold a kitty.


Now I have a three year old who has made her final decision on one hand, and a dog strangling herself to go for a walk in the other hand, literally. I just couldn't bring myself to take the dog back already, so I cut a deal. I would run, not walk the dog up to the fire hydrant 100 ft or so up the road and back, done. My little partner reluctantly accepted, and off I went.

I made it down to the hydrant while the dog madly strained forward at the end of the leash. On the return run, I was more focused on the put out expression of my daughter than on the dog and was unprepared when all of a sudden it cut across in front of me. I was going full speed and tripped over it, starting this forward stumbling, falling, think I can make, nope, not going to, splat on the road. The dog got loose from my grasp and darted full speed down the road. "Oh no," I thought, " I'm going to be fired as a volunteer." But to my amazement, the dog ran straight back to the shelter and up to one of the employees. As for myself, I slowly got myself upright and surveyed the damage. Ripped jeans, bloody knees, scraped hands, not so bad.

Just then I looked up at a pick-up truck passing by and the man inside grinned and waved. Automatically, I waved back. My daughter waited impatiently for me to limp down to her, because falling is, after all, at least a daily occurrence for her. Together we walked back to the shelter where I was handed back the leash, believe it or not. Thankfully no one at the shelter had seen the whole thing, so I sucked it up and pretended all was well. Now I just mostly pass the big dogs treats.

That's it! Hope you are all well and see you for inspiration next week :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

I made it!

Just a quick update- my surgery went perfectly and I'm back home now. Thanks to all of you who were sending out your prayers and thoughts for me :)

I'm actually feeling great and am just soo relieved that I had no complications. The anesthesiologist made me feel very confident before I went under that he knew exactly how to handle everything. They were extremely cautious and had me stabilized before they started the operation. I felt very well taken care of and am so happy to have it behind me now.

All I have to do now is move forward, heal, and get back to writing with the rest of you!

Monday, January 7, 2013

On my mind this week. .

I have a confession- I'm scheduled for surgery Wednesday and I'm scared. It's not without reason either, because the last time I had surgery it turned out I had severe, undiagnosed hypothyroid and I coded while under anesthesia. It's being treated now, but such a close call is a reminder of just how mortal one is, and I don't want to leave my girls motherless.

I've thought of canceling the surgery, but I'm convinced that if I leave my problem unattended it will lead to a more complicated surgery in the future, maybe even an emergency one. There's just no way around it, I need to do this.

My writing has been on hiatus because I just can't focus right now, but I have been reading, and I finished Sense and Sensibility already. It helped to keep my mind off of things, and it was just so good I couldn't put it down. I wanted to read it as a writer, studying it to absorb her style of writing and why she is so timeless, but I finished it as a reader. I was completely involved with the characters and even though I had seen the movie and knew how it ended, I wanted to experience it again.

Another book I had read, by a professor who teaches classes on Jane Austen's books, dealt with how timeless her characters are, and how they are capable of crossing cultural boundaries too. For example, who doesn't know someone so defined by material things and money that they could be John and Fannie Dashwood? or a young woman easily caught up and conquered by a womanizer, as Marianne was by Willoughby?
Even the "villain", Lucy Steele- a jealous, self promoting butt kisser?

In real life, I could see at least parts of these characters in people, some 200 years later. What a talent!

How are all of you doing? Anyone else finished with S & S?

I will try to post a quick note as soon as I am able to let you know how I'm doing after my surgery.