Monthly Archives: August 2013

Fagan and other Slippery Escapes

My dog got out today. Not too far, thanks be to God, but definitely not in his own back yard like he was supposed to be. He was chasing a pesky, non-boundary-honoring-squirrel out of “his” back yard. It was the quiet time in the morning when I write in my journal, read my Bible and inspirational readings, then say my Liturgy of the Hours in my Christian Prayer book.

One minute he was sitting right next to me in the sun room, slightly snoozing with one eye on the yard. The next, he was no where to be seen. Suddenly his brother Pepper was standing in the middle of the house (how he knew that is beyond me, it was pretty much absolutely exactly the center) barking his little head off. I got up to quiet him down, but he just kept on. My dense human brain finally realized he was yelling at me. He was greatly disturbed and would not be silenced.

Walking back out to the sun room, it hit me that Yuri was not where I thought he was by my chair. I called him and began looking around the house. After two turns through the house, I went outside. After two turns outside, I went back in and took two more turns around the house. Pepper was following me sort of whimpering and barking every once in a while. I looked over at him and his worry finally connected with me. Yuri was out!!

I went out the front door, still in my PJ’s at almost 11:00 and called him. I thought I heard what seemed like his bark, but not being sure, went back inside. Pepper kept whimpering and following me around the yard and the house as I did one more turn, just to be sure I didn’t walk past him three times while he snickered in his hiding place (which is one of his favorite pastimes).

Outside again, I heard his distinct bark. He was next door!! I could just barely see his fluffy body through the tiny holes in the fence. Outside again, this time out the gate. I could see him through the fence, standing on the neighbors deck, waving his gorgeous fluffy tail at me as if to say “Hey, look where I am”. I called him over to me. At first he hesitated, probably thinking “dang, I gotta go home already? I just got here”. But then came right over to the fence. There was a gap between the post and the house that a Lab could have walked through. He sauntered through it like he knew all the time that was how to get home.

As I reflect on this unsettling adventure of my Great Escape Artist and his need to see what is over there; it made me think of us humans and how we do that too. We couch it differently though. We say it is a ‘learning experience’ or maybe an ‘adventure’ or how about a ‘exploration of another possibility’. What ever we call it, it is the same thing. I want to see what is over there, I want to experience living like that over there, I want to run after this that is so very enticing to me. We all have a bit of Yuri and his art for slipping under the fence and into a new possible life.

So, now I have the task of putting up the garden fence that hopefully will keep Yuri in his own yard. But, now that he knows what is over there, now that he has wriggled under the dark of the deck and found a whole new place, will it really keep him here? I wonder if he thought he had gone to the other side of the world as he shuffled and wiggled in the darkness under the deck, only to come out in a place that was new and foreign and totally different than what he had left behind.

He is inscrutable in that revealing of his thoughts. He is, after all, really supposed to be a Buddhists Monk’s only dog. Prince Yuri Ivanovich, Dog of Lhasa and Dog of the Western Steps. His thoughts are his own.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How long has it been…

I have now been here in Ohio for almost exactly three months. In that three months I have really made some progress at settling in: I bought a car, a while van I call Jaws because it ate one of my favorite CD’s from Cousin Dave, I have moved into a cute little bungalow with a back yard for DaBoys, a garage for Jaws and a sun room for me. I have even found my home parish, St Gerard’s, that makes me feel like I have come home again. I have a great banker I met at my branch not two blocks away from my house–actually two great bankers there. I found the Auto Club, Wal-Mart (of course), a super grocery store, have met some people in my neighborhood who all like DaBoys. I have a young man who comes and mows my lawn for me with aplomb and style.

So, with all those great things, why in the heck do I get so danged depressed??? I can list here all the things I miss, some I knew I would, others sort of sneak up on me sometimes. I miss the ocean, I miss walking on the beach at Montage with my friend Pat, I miss sitting on the beach watching my grand kids immerse themselves in it. I miss my grand kids, my son and his wife. I miss my friends at St.Nicks, I miss my priests there. I miss familiar commercials even, the ones we can recite without even engaging the mind. I miss the knowing so much about where I live. I miss the feeling of being so totally connected to the pulse of where I live. I miss the traffic at Traders Joe’s parking lot, full of Village stickers on the windshield. I miss the freeway over the two walls pulsing with frenetic life as the cars whiz past. I miss my patio, I miss my neighbors in the Village and the characters that dwell there.

I do like the way you can drive across town, even at six o’clock on a weekday and get there and back in under a half hour. I like the friendly warmth of the people I met here. I like my little pocket neighborhood with its quiet and peaceful aura. I like taking DaBoys out for walk at dusk and not worrying about coyotes. I like letting them out in the back yard in the morning and watching them patrol their yard for squirrels.

They so love it too. They are very happy puppies here. Pepper is sitting next to me on the couch as I write this with one paw stretched out to just touch me. Happy and content is what they are. Yuri is sleeping on the doggie bed surrounded by the puppy toys. He cuddles with me, sometimes coming right up on my lap to get as close to me as possible,turning his head to snuggle in my neck. Nothing like a happy, content dog to make a house into a real home. And I have two. Blessed am I.

I have discovered I have seasonal affective disorder. Not a complete surprise after spending fifty-four plus years in the sun belt. I was just surprised at how it reared its ugly darkness in August. I expected it after the time change, it has always been a part of that time of year for me. But in August! That was a surprise. But, we did have weeks and weeks of rain, thunder storms and heavy overcast clouds for a very long time.

Maybe that is why I feel so tired tonight, that and the course I am taking’s last question that is an enigma to me right now. It is part of the battle of life I guess. Fighting some windmills every once in a while. Darkness and questions and aloneness and a feeling of being a bit of stranger in a place I don’t know well.

So I am climbing aboard my sway-backed battle horse, putting on my slightly rusted armor, grasping my wobbly-crocked lance and dull sword and slowly charging out against the windmills of today.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized