Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On being selective

When the Orvis catalogue arrived in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago, I thumbed through the dog bed section looking for a bed for Cheyenne. It's not that she doesn't have a bed; the fact is that she has three.  She has one in the kitchen, one in the living room and one at the foot of my bed. She also has access to the furniture since I gave up that battle when she was just a puppy.  The thing is, she's not a puppy anymore, she'll be ten in October.  I have noticed her slowing down a bit lately, tiring sooner than she used to, stretching longer, soreness creeping in her bones after an active time or even an inactive time spent too long in one place.  With that in mind, I was looking for something to give my little brown friend some comfort.

And then I saw it:  The Therapeutic Bolster Bed.  It's designed to give an older dog comfort with memory foam that promotes circulation and cushions joints while preventing discomfort associated with uneven support.  It helps reduce the effect of pressure points and eases joint discomfort. (Confession: that description was lifted from the catalog from memory; there are a few mental edits.) The bolster provides a feeling of security when the dog sleeps. I ordered the Large.

When the new bed arrived, I was taken back by how very large the Large really was.  It's large, like a new piece of furniture large -- it has that kind of presence in the room.  I set it out for Cheyenne, patted my hand on it and told her that it was hers, all hers.  For her comfort and security. 

There was one problem though:


Yeah, Cheyenne didn't take to resting on the new gigantic large bed the size of a piece of furniture purchased just for her comfort and security.  Not so much.

She has, however, taken to it like the new dining table that she thinks it is.


p.s.  As I write this, she's comfortable and sound asleep.  Beside me on the couch.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A rose is a rose is a rose

A couple weeks ago, I came home to find a single long-stem red rose at my front door.  It was a gift from my nephew.  It was his way of telling me thank you and that he loved me.

And that was that.

Until about a week ago, when I was clipping roses from my little courtyard and decided to tie a few together, put them in a small vase and give them to a friend of mine.  Just because.

And that was that.

Until Saturday when a friend called and said she had a surprise for me.  The surprise?  Roses clipped from the garden.  Just because.


It was such a nice surprise to receive those roses.  They filled my house for several days with their sweet and fragrant perfume, so much so that in the mornings when I walked into my living room, the scent would make me swoon. 

And that was that.

Until this morning, when Cheyenne and I were walking through the neighborhood and I caught Mother Nature showing off. 



Monday, April 19, 2010

Colin and Sarah

His name is Colin.  Her name is Sarah.  You don't know them.

The truth is, I don't know them either.

Colin is from Canada. Sarah is from Illinois.  They met in Atlanta. You know, just passing through. That was four years ago. 

I have no idea how old they are, maybe somewhere in their 20s.

Five years ago, Colin travelled on his own and then Barreth showed up and has stayed by Colin's side ever since. Barreth is black with a white chest, white-tipped tail, and a white patch across his face.  After spending some time with them yesterday, I wondered if Colin adopted the pup or otherwise.  I'm still unsure.

When I met them, they were looking for shade.  That's all, just a spot of shade for the dogs. 

I sat back and watched them.  I watched them knowing that I had a house, that I had money in my wallet, that I had options.  I assumed they did not. 

Neither Colin nor Sarah asked but I called them to me, asked if I could give them some water for their dogs.  Sarah opened up her large camping backpack and pulled out a metal camp cookware pot.

Colin is rail thin, sporting a scraggly dark beard and a ring in his nose.  He has several tattoos and walks with a limp.  His skin is dirty but his smile and eyes are bright.

Colin and Sarah were in Houston, planning their way to Dallas.  From Dallas they plan to go to Las Vegas, to get married, Sarah tells me with a smile.

Sarah's hair is strawberry blond and in dreadlocks, her lip pierced, her brow tattoed.  Her voice is light and friendly.  She too has a dog with her, also strawberry blond, big dark eyes, sweet disposition, tail in constant wag. 

This little group of gypsies hops trains to get where they are going.

I asked Sarah and Colin if I could call anyone for them, let anyone know they were doing okay.  They shook their heads, No.  Sarah says she just spoke with her mother a couple days ago.  Colin added that they speak with their family every three or so days.  Sarah tells me, They don't really understand how we choose to live our lives, but that's okay, they still love us. 

Yesterday, after spending some time with Colin and Sarah and their dogs, I rented a hotel room for them.  Nothing fancy, just a room and a bathroom. They did not ask me to do so, I asked them to allow me to do so.  Colin needed to get off his feet.  Sarah needed to get out of the sun.  Both needed a good shower and some rest.  Last night Colin and Sarah had hot water, running water.  Water! They had toothbrushes and soap and sunscreen.  They had dog food and dog treats.  They had a bed and a break, just a 24-hour break.  I hope they slept well. 

It's raining right now.  They have the room until 11:00 this morning.  I like knowing that these friendly nomads are sheltered from the weather, for a time.

His name is Colin.  Her name is Sarah.  If you meet them on their journey, please tell them Alison says hello.


Saturday, April 17, 2010


“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, April 15, 2010

All those years ago

My father proposed to my mother the day they met. They were at a wedding reception; he was a friend of the groom, she was a friend of the bride.

She dismissed him as being improper. And rude. And presumptive.

Later that night, he asked to borrow fifty cents. That didn't help her opinion of him but, as equal parts amused and exasperated as she was, she opened her pocketbook to retrieve the coins and gave them to him.

Under the guise of paying her back the money he owed her, a week later he convinced her to go on a date with him. When he showed up late, she refused to see him.

Three months later, after refusing him again and again, his persistence wore her down and she finally agreed to go on out with him.

You can bet he was on time that night. 

They both were on time for their wedding, 60 years ago today.

Somewhere up there, those two celebrate their 60th anniversary. At around 5:00 p.m. this evening, if you tilt your head just so, I expect you'll be able to hear their glasses clinking in a toast to one another.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things:

- The bright new greens of Spring:

Cabin April 10 001

- This outcrop of trees at this curve in this path:

Cabin April 10 054

- Great light

- The low and wide spread of Live Oak Tree branches

- Sitting on a blanket in the grass and listening to the wind rustle through Sycamore tree leaves way above my head

- Taking the long way

- A little bit of crazy:

Cabin April 10 050

- Wide aperture photographs:

Cabin April 10 033

- Waking up with the sun

- This cabin:

Cabin April 10 007

- Listening to small town Texas country radio on a Sunday morning

- Filling bird feeders

- Lightening bugs

- Morning walks with Cheyenne

- The Sunday paper, hot coffee and a long stretch of time to savor both

- Clouds that seem to be spun from the rising sun

- This tree:

Cabin April 10 052

- Walking barefoot through thick clover

- Dinner invitations and hamburgers on the grill

- Sleeping with the windows open

- Yellow:

Cabin April 10 012

- Empty bird nests

- Watching the Colorado River flow silently past where I sit

- AC off, front and back doors open, no bugs

- The distant and low call of a cow

- Pinwheels and this face:


* This list is completely influenced by the past two days spent in a state of bliss at our cabin.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

happy happy joy joy

Two of my favorite kiddos are in Houston this week. 

Krahls 010
Krahls 007

Monday, April 05, 2010