dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Beneath the Irises

I usually take each post I write and share it on my Facebook pages.  This one I will not as I have already posted a picture and most of my friends know what this post will be about.

Beneath the irises, under the dirt, wrapped in a blanket with a favorite toy lies our dear puppy.    I knew I would write this post and it is one that I have dreaded.

In July of 2015 our puppy got sick.  He was so ill that we had to carry him inside and out.  We had just moved and hadn’t decided on a veterinarian.  I went online, looking up local animal hospitals, reading reviews and hoping I would find the right one.  We did.  We took our puppy in, fearing the worst.  They admitted him and gave us the diagnosis.  The vet looked at us upon his discharge and said, “I wish I could give you good news.  But, he could live for the next two hours, two days, two weeks, two months or two years.”  With that, we brought him home determined to love him however long we had.

Two hours passed, as did the weeks and the months.  Each day we woke up and listened to see if he stirred.  His hearing left him.  He could not hear us talking to him, but, that did not stop us from talking to him.

Eventually his eyesight started to go.  His balance was bad.  But, still he clung to us and to his life.

I said good-bye to him several times this past year.  Each time believing that he would be gone when I saw him again.  Each morning he greeted us with a slight wag of his tail and his precious face.

Last week he was struggling.  He would fall down the steps going outside.  He would fall up the steps trying to get back inside.  We knew it was time and yet it was still a struggle for us.

We made the decision last Friday that we would take him to the vet for his last visit.  Hubby walked him around outside and I went in to check him in and to do what needed to be done.   It was a very hard thing to do, but, he was ready.

We went into the examining room with a vet and tech that were so very kind.  Hubby and I stayed with our Shugo.  We did not want him to be alone.  We petted him and talked with him and thanked him for being our buddy.  They started the injection and he relaxed.  The anesthesia took effect.  The vet had to take the needle out as he discovered our poor buddy’s veins were too fragile.  They moved to another sturdier vein and continued.  We cried and petted him as he fell asleep.

We brought him home, wrapped him in his favorite blanket and put his favorite toy with him.  Together, hubby and I buried him.  I planted irises and paperwhites above him.  It is Shugo’s garden, nestled by our gazebo in among the trees.    I miss him.  I always will.

So, rest easy my friend.  We were prepared for this day and you gave us sixteen more months than what we thought we would have.  We could see you deteriorate and still you were a faithful friend.  Thank you for those extra months, I needed them.

You are now pain-free and able to hear and see and run wild.  Enjoy.

 Cathi (DAF)

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Reality check….

The first week of July was a hard time for me.  Yes, we had just moved and getting settled was (and is) taking longer than I expected, but, there were other things happening that got to me.

The first Sunday of the month, we went to church, and came home, and as is normal, I went online and checked Facebook to see what was going on.  An acquaintance of mine, that I have actually known since kindergarten had several comments on her page.  None of them were normal.  There were no snide remarks or no humor.  There were condolences.  My husband’s cousin, who is also a mutual friend wrote to ask what was going on.  Together, we wrote back and forth until we discovered what was happening.  This acquaintance had lost her husband very suddenly to a heart attack.  I knew of him, but did not know him personally.  I read his obituary and realized he was two weeks younger than me.  This hit me hard.  Like hit me in the gut and have me double over hard.  It still bothers me and my heart goes out to this woman who is grieving, rightly so.

The following day I wrote a message to another friend on Facebook.  We also have known each other since kindergarten.  We were neighbors and played with one another.  We caught bees in jars and played on her swing set.  We played when she got the mumps, so that I would catch them and get it over.  (I never caught them)  We drifted apart through high school and reconnected about 20 years ago at our husband’s class reunion.  We have chatted online often since then.  Anyhow, this friend had been on my mind and so I wrote to see how she was.  She wrote back.  She is undergoing chemotherapy for a bout with cancer.

For the second day in a row, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

Since then I have thought about life.  I have thought about relationships.  Both are fragile and both can be gone in an instant.  I confess it took several weeks for me to get out of the funk that I went to after hearing the news of those two days.  But, what has surfaced from those two stomach wrenching days is a renewed appreciation for today.  Taking each day as the gift it is.  We are not promised tomorrow.

I have yet another friend on Facebook and each morning she posts, “I am glad to be on my feet today.”  That is how I am feeling lately.  I am glad to be on my feet.  I am glad to have this beautiful unsettled home.  I am glad for my hubby.  Glad that he makes me smile and makes me roll my eyes by some of the things he says and does.  I am thankful for another day with my puppy.  We didn’t think we would have him past the day we took him to the hospital, and he is still here, giving me doggy smiles and nose hugs.

Yes, life is good and sometimes we need to be reminded just how good it is.    Speaking of good…  I am planning on having a guest blogger soon….  I am excited about this.   More to come later.  Thanks for stopping by… DAF

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A Walk on the Beach…

This afternoon, hubby and I headed out to do some errands and after finishing them up, we headed to the beach.  No, not to sit and sun, but to walk, and blow the stink off.

We walk on the beach often, it is a place that relaxes hubby and he unwinds.  This leads to great conversations that somehow don’t happen other places.

The sky was overcast when we arrived and the tide was out, which is our favorite time to walk there.  The huge expanse of sand that is firmer is easier to walk along.  We walked for about a mile.  The wind was brisk and I found myself wishing I had brought some gloves with me.

As we walked along, we saw some cute dogs with their owners.  They would bound over and we would love on them.  In the distance we saw a couple walking a puppy.  As we got a bit closer we realized it was a Shiba Inu, which is what we have.  The puppy was off leash and started to run towards us.  Of course, we encouraged him to keep running to us.  He arrived in a flurry of excitement, tail wagging, tongue lapping and jumping and nipping.  He was precious.  The couple rushed over, apologizing as they came.  Then they realized that we were loving our time with the puppy.  We looked up and told them what a beautiful shiba they had.  Immediately, we were friends.  They asked us so many questions about the breed and we talked for several minutes.  I should clarify, they talked with my hubby, me?  Well, I was too busy playing with the puppy.  I had forgotten how playful Shibas are when they are puppies.  I forgot how furry and soft and fun they are.  Our poor old pup is past the playful stage.  He sleeps most of the day and sometimes it is a chore to walk to the door to go on his walk.

On the way home I kept thinking of the puppy.  I also started thinking of how we are when we age. We don’t feel any different, but, we do start to move just a bit slower.  We don’t play as much as we used to.

We arrived home.  Came in, dropped the mail on the table and our dog came trotting out to meet us.  I looked down just as he dropped into his playful pose.  Nah, he isn’t as old as I think he is…

As I think about it now, there’s still some puppy in both of us.

Thanks for stopping by.  DAF

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A Blustery Day…

I love winter.  I really do.  I love the cold, the wind and whatever is thrown at us in precipitation.  Snow, rain, ice, it’s all wonderful.

Today is a blustery day.  Yes, I know, I live in the south.  It can’t be that blustery.  But, yes, it is a blustery day today.

I just came in from walking our dog.  The moon is bright in the clear sky.  The flags on the porches are all blowing straight out, like they have been starched stiff.  The wind is whipping around the cul-de-sac and down the hill (well, as much of a hill that can be found here in the Lowcountry).

As I walked up the hill, I thought how blustery it is.  I chuckled because I know there were times in my life that I would consider this weather a hot spell.  So, as I walked our little Shugo, I thought of the different places I have lived and the blustery days I have experienced.

Being born and raised in Northwestern Pennsylvania, I know what cold is.  I know what snow is.  I have fallen on ice walking to and from school, uphill, downhill, two miles along.

From there I went to Norfolk, VA.  We lived in a small cheap beach apartment the winter before we were transferred to Japan.  We would turn on the wall heating unit before heading to bed and wake up in the morning to see a mound of sand gathered on the floor around the heating unit, which was stone cold….  Youth and young love made me think this was wonderful!

In Japan we lived on a converted WWII Japanese airstrip.  We lived in occupation era Navy houses.  The view was incredible, Mt. Fuji and Sagami Wan (bay), but our house was one all by itself at the end of the runway and we had nothing in front of our house except open field.  The wind would whip up and buffet that little house and it would almost knock me over every time we left the house in the winter.  Of course, now it most likely wouldn’t move me at all, since I was young and skinny back then.

From Japan, we went to Maine.  Need I say more about knowing what cold is like?  When the temperature rose to  O degrees we thought it was spring!  I loved the winter in Maine and the other two seasons, July and August.  It is heaven on earth and I would move back there in a minute.  Snow, ice, wind chill and all.  It is truly God’s country.

From Maine we thawed out in San Diego.  I know you are thinking, no bluster there.  You are right for the most part, but, living there as long as I did, I saw some frost, and even a hint of snow.   And, we went for a 40 minute ride to the mountains to experience our wind and cold.  The last Valentine’s Day in California, hubby and I actually took a ride in the mountains and got snowed in up there.  It was cold and windy and very snowy outside the beautifully warm bed and breakfast we landed in.

So, I have decided blustery days happen everywhere.  Those days that chill you to the bone.  Where you come inside and think of warm drinks and warm jammies.  Tonight is like that and I am very content and happy that my hands got cold as did my cheeks while I walked our dog.   Who knows, I may decide he needs to go back out again, just so I can enjoy this winter feeling.

~ DAF

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Searching for Happily Ever After…

Hubby and I are on a quest of sorts…  We are in the process of finding our forever after home.  Being a military couple, we have had our share of moving.  Granted, we were at one place for almost 28 years, but, we did have one move during that time. This is hopefully the last time we utter that four letter word.  It is a painful word and one we dread.  MOVE, is a mighty word.  It makes me tired just looking at it.  But, move, we will be doing this year.  Where?  That is our question also. This week, in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary, we have set out to start our quest for this home. Today, we drove around the upstate part of South Carolina.  As we drove around I thought of what I was seeing out the window.  (Now, mind you, I gave in and actually had two glasses of a forbidden substance for me… I caved and had sweet tea)  Some of my readers, well, one in particular (you know who you are!  wink, wink…) know the effects of sweet tea, me and a closed in-car.  I begin to bounce off the seat, and I start to talk, fast.  I start to laugh at anything, and I make off-hand remarks.  Hubby threatened to put me in the back with the dog and have him be his navigator, but he didn’t follow through on his threats. What we did see was beautiful countryside.  Rolling hills, fields, small towns, and many interesting homes.  We saw some lovely large churches, and some cute little churches that looked welcoming.  There were cemetaries everywhere.  We commented that either there were many cemetaries in the area, or we kept going around a very large area of tombstones and we were seeing it from different angles. Several places were burned.  They looked like chimney fires.  One that struck me was a burnt pile of debris.  There was a man sitting by the ruins.  He was looking out over the site.  My heart was touched as I thought (and obviously am still thinking) about him. The day was filled for me in silent prayer.  Prayer for that man.  Prayer for the area.  Most of all, prayer that we will, Lord willing find the place He wants us to land.  A place to put down roots that need a place to grow.  A place that is not a temporary fix, but a place to grow old in.  A place to see not only the landscape mature, but see us, as a couple, a family mature and age. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visit.   DAF

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A Big Loop…

Towards the end of October Hubby and I went on an adventure.  We set off with our little dog, a tent, an air mattress, and some supplies.  We went north a bit and then straight across Interstate 40.  Each night we stopped, set up our tent (not without a lot of grumbling from yours truly), had a small dinner and went to bed with the sun.  We woke up with the sun, listened for a while and when we were brave enough to move in the early morning cold, we got up.

We did this each night except one, in Tucumcari, NM.  There the campground was on a high plateau overlooking mountains and it was gorgeous.  It was also so windy that we knew a session of putting up a tent would do us in.  So, hubby, being a wise man, opted for a cabin for us.  It was like heaven for me.  Inside, just pulling out our sleeping bags and having something to sit on.  There was a small front porch with a swing and we sat watching the sky and snacking.  It was a piece of heaven for me.

The next night we were in Flagstaff, AZ.  The campground was surrounded by mountains, and it was a lovely place to stop.  Of course, the overnight temperature was in the low 30’s, but we did stay in our tent.  I was a bit leery at first, but we were toasty and warm and it was an adventure.

The adventure paused for a few weeks while we welcomed our Little Miss, born on Halloween.  A little pumpkin at 5 lbs 13 oz..  She had a bunch of black hair and she is sweet.  She was early and arrived three days after we arrived, so we were able to spend some time getting to know her.  She is funny.  She coos but also grunts.  She makes faces and would rival any of the photos of girls with the pouty lips, she has that down already.  She smiles sweetly, yes, mostly from gas, but they are sweet smiles nonetheless.  We stayed for a couple of weeks.  We loved each moment of getting to know her.  Then, with tears (mostly me) we said goodbye and headed home.

On the way home, hubby, again being wise, went to hotels.  We traveled the southern route of Interstate 20.  We had never travelled that way before and saw many wonderful sights.

There will be stories coming from this trip, but, for now, I wanted to get back onto my blog and catch you up.  Thanks for stopping by, I have missed you all.  DAF

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Could it be possibly be?

I really dislike warm weather.  I was excited to go to San Diego at first because I was leaving the 90 degree temps that are so common here in South Carolina in September.

I was excited until I realized that San Diego was hot also.

I felt like I couldn’t escape from the heat.  Upon returning to Charleston the temperatures were warm.  Not the 90’s, but high 80’s.  Yesterday I walked out of the house in the morning to walk our dog.  Opening the door, I was hit by warmth.  My immediate reaction was not positive (which fit in with my day yesterday).

Last night we had rain.  There was a bit of thunder with it also.  Hubby and I took our dog for his last walk last night and hubby remarked how much cooler it was.  We always disagree on the temperature, anything lower than 90 is cool to him.  Personally, the colder, the better.

This morning as I left the house for my morning walk, it was cooler!  I was so excited.  Maybe, possibly, summer is over?  After all, it is almost November.  The leaves are falling off some of the trees.  I think they are just done with the heat and have decided to commit suicide and leave the trees without changing any color.  (It’s hot, I’m done, good-bye cruel world!)

So, hopeful that the sun shining in the woods behind our home is a sign that it is now fall and soon the trees will be bare, I write about my favorite of seasons.  Fall, that season that says we survived the heat of summer.  Fall, that season that welcomes in the holidays.  Fall, that season where we can legally eat pumpkin pie and not be stared at for not eating berries.  Fall, that season that allows us to pull out sweaters and jeans and socks that cover the ankle.   Yes, I am excited.

Technically fall arrived a couple of weeks ago.  It says so on the calendars.  Also the stores are filled with Halloween, a bit of Thanksgiving and  Christmas.  The signs have all been here, except for the weather.  My sweatshirts are calling my name.  I hear them from the closet.  Now, if only this weather holds and gets a little colder…  Maybe, just maybe fall has arrived?

Thanks, DAF

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July 3rd…

We are still in our hometown.  Writing has somehow been harder to do here.  The ideas do not flow as easily as they do when I am in my home and surroundings.

Today is the third of July.  It has been  40 years since I was in town for a fourth of July.  I thought of this while walking our dog this evening.

We actually have no plans for tomorrow.  Hubby will most likely continue to work on family business and I will cook something here and do what I have done for the past month while here.  Nothing exciting.

I had a conversation with an old friend this past week.  We got caught up on each other’s lives.  She looked at me and said that I had an exciting life.  Those words hit me.  I haven’t considered my life exciting.  It has just been my life.

So, this evening while walking our little pup, I thought about her words and how I have spent the last 40 fourth of Julys.  Here are some of the ways I have celebrated:

I have had a meal in the mess hall aboard a Coast Guard ship.

I have stood in water half way up my leg while wearing a winter coat watching a parade to celebrate America’s bi-centennial in Japan.  The reason for the water and the winter coat?  It was cold, damp and a typhoon was off the coast dumping rain and wind onshore.

I have gone on backyard picnics along the coast of Maine.

I have camped on the beach and climbed on top of WWII bunkers to watch fireworks in San Diego.

I have sat in a parking lot of a Target store to watch fireworks.

I have stood on my upstairs deck and watched fireworks.

I have been with family and watched them in the D.C. area.

I have gone on a lovely boat ride to watch fireworks shot off a battleship.

Tonight, the fireworks are going off as I write this.  We have not gone to watch them.  It is just one of those years.  We don’t need to see the sky lit up with different colors to know this country is worth celebrating.

This year, my patriotism as well as my faith is quiet.  It is not silent, but it is still.  There is a difference.  This year I feel like the two are intertwined a bit.  I know my Lord is a powerful and awesome God.  He has watched over this country since those rebels of so long ago drafted a declaration of Independence.   I am trusting in Him to keep this country safe and to have it remember it’s roots and beginnings.

So,  I close this post with the words of a song by Irving Berlin that makes me cry each time I hear it.

God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.”

Thanks for stopping by today, Happy Fourth of July!   DAF

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DAF finally gets Winter…

Most of this country is tired of winter.  It’s been cold, frigid in some places.  Snow accumulation has been high.  Here in the low country we have had some chilly nights and days, but that is about it.  Until this week.

Watching the weather channel at the beginning of the week we saw that yes, we were in the path of the storm.  I was thrilled!  I could not wait to finally have some winter.

Hubby and I went for some groceries on Tuesday morning.  Each store we entered reminded us that they were closing early.  “Storm is coming.  Roads are going to be bad.  Be careful.”  We heard this several times on Tuesday.   We finished our errands and headed home.

Settling in, the rain started.  The wind blew.  We took our puppy out before it got bad.  The temperatures dropped rapidly.  Hubby and I kept looking out.  We would go out to the porch to see what was happening.  We giggled like little kids.  We heard the sleet.  We listened to the wind, we waited for the snow.  We waited until two a.m. for the snow.  We finally gave up, but I found myself waking often, like a kid at Christmas.    I got up around 5:30 a.m. and looked outside.  The roofs in the neighborhood were covered in white.  The trees glistened with ice, the grass was shiny.  There was only a trace of snow in our neighborhood.  Other parts of Charleston got an inch or two, but we got a dusting.

Disappointed in the lack of snow, I donned my coat and scarf and gloves and hiking boots (they have the most tread on them) and took the dog for his walk.  The air was winter.  The sky looked like snow.  The smell was wintry.  It was heaven.  We crunched our way across the shiny grass and the dog was confused.  It all looked the same, but there was a clear shell on top of everything, his scents were gone.

It stayed cold for a couple of days and I was happy.  Today, the sun is out and the roofs are clear and the icicles are gone.  But, this week, I had winter and it was wonderful.

Tree in my front yard

Tree in my front yard

My backyard

My backyard

Brush beside our pond

Brush beside our pond

My car window

My car window

 

Thanks for stopping by today… DAF

 

 

 

 

 

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And a winter morning comes…

I was overwhelmed by the response from my last post.  Thank you everyone who read, commented and prayed for my little puppy.

This is an update for you all.  Yesterday was a gray day and he remained lethargic and quiet.  He ate just a little and didn’t want anything to drink.  Hubby and I hovered and worried, planning our next step with him.

Today, is a bright cold day here in the low country.  We went for a walk and Shugo was back to his normal self. Prancing about and being stubborn.

He is grumpy and cat-like.  I am glad to see him return.  I know that his age will continue to make itself known, and I dislike that.  But, for today, he is our puppy who rules our hearts.

Again, thank you for your thoughts, prayers and concern.    Shugo thanks you also.

Taken a couple years ago, Shugo resting comfortably

Taken a couple of years ago, Shugo resting comfortably

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF

 

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