Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Spins and zoomies


OK, I already feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world for that not-so-private celebration. But Yippeeeeeeee! Hoooorayyyyy! Oh, dear, there I go again.

Seems a little cool front has made its way to Western Kentucky. (And that's not a typo, the W in Western Kentucky is capitalized, like the N in North Carolina. I was told so when I neglected to capitalize it in a local essay. Western Kentucky is practically its own state, and probably would be if it weren't for the UK Wildcats and the Kentucky Derby.) Last night at agility practice out at the kennel club property, it was so close - that's southernspeak for "sauna-like", or "more humid than a pan of boiling Karo syrup" - that I sweated off the bug spray and the skeeters posted a big "PAR-TAAY" announcement on my old self, and I was their happy hour with free rounds for all.

I hate the cold. I have a pact with the weather gods: I don't complain about the heat all summer long, so that I can whine with abandon when the temperature dips below fifty. Well, the weather gods clearly have the same warped sense of humor as the dog show gods, and they threw some doozies at me this year. I do apologize to the entire southern Midwest for the heat and drought. Forget global warming; it was my fault. I think we had something like a million days in a row over ninety-five. And a record number of days over 100. And the average temperature for the summer was something like twenty degrees over the hottest average ever. (It makes me smile when the public service announcements on the radio say, "The heat index will get over one hundurd and tee-in again today. Watch out for yur elderly and yur pee-its.") As my neighbors wilted, I bravely - stupidly - entertained the weather gods with my declarations that it was better than winter, at least.

"HA! Take this!" chortled the god of humidity.

My poor dogs would go out in the yard and drop like old dead catfish, only to straggle into the house not two minutes later, wobbly and dazed from the heat. And walking was dangerous. Even at six in the morning, my absolute worst time of day, it would already be eighty-six, and any later the sidewalks would literally burn their feet. And then there were the mosquitoes.

I have finally discovered the purpose for biting insects. Mosquitoes, ticks, gnats. I wondered all of my life what the heck good they are. It came to me today. Two things: hell and winter. For those of us who don't believe in a literal place called Hell, there are mosquitoes, just to keep us wondering. If I go to Hell, it will most surely be full of skeeters, biting flies, and all varieties of ticks. Oh lord and fleas, too. How I hate a flea. And chiggers... arrrrgh!!! Hang on a minute, I need to take a shower...

OK, I'm back. So little things that bite me make me want to hedge my bets about the existence of an address for Hell. But since everything has balance, I discovered the flip side today. Mosquitoes have given me a reason to welcome cooler weather. Yes they have. Back in Maryland (where I spent the rest of my adult life) autumn lasted a week. And it rained the whole time, our little farm became a giant mud bog, and then it was winter and I had to use a pickax to get the ice off the horses' buckets. Autumn was a Bad Sign. But here, Autumn is delightful, lasting all of September (under normal circumstances when I haven't been playing double-dog-dare with the weather gods) clear through December. And with this morning's chilly breeze came a miracle. No bugs!

Except down by the river. Suddenly there are these odd, clumsy, mutant looking things by the hundreds of thousands. They just appeared, and they kind of look like a cross between a mosquito and a butterfly. They don't bite, so they don't bother me a bit. Yearlings William and Lindy Loo were beyond ecstatic. Even Sam I Am got into the hunt. Suddenly, my three well-behaved walkers were leaping, snapping, lunging contortionists. It sounded like I was inside a movie theater popcorn maker, with all of those jaws clacking simultaneously, frantically, maniacally.

Well, then it was all just too much for William. The cool breeze, the thrill of the hunt, and maybe the new supplement I'm giving them made him go bonkers. He tucked his butt under him and started spinning wildly. Like a whirling Dervish. (http://www.shira.net/Turkey2000/Dervishes.jpg) Like an old fashioned top, pumped beyond capacity. Spin, twirl, spin, twirl! This sets Lindy Loo in a fit, and she tries to bite his butt or neck in play chomps and soon Sammy is spinning in the opposite direction. I am like the Chinese plate spinner, only instead of plates, I have crazy dogs. No was around the little river park to witness this demonstration of Dogs Gone Bonkers, so all I had to do was hang on. No small task, that. What they really wanted to do was to take off, full speed, and worship their god - the god of zoomies. But they had to walk gently the thirteen blocks home to get to their House of Worship: the yard.

They tried hard to behave, with an occasional flare up of butt-tuck-itis, or a sudden fit of spins, and we got home. I opened the gate and slipped off their leads and stepped back. Blurring whirrs of dogstreams (that is a word I made up to convey a dog moving so fast that it leaves a jet stream in its wake) flew around our little city yard on and off all day.

Autumn is going to be all right. No mosquitoes, happy dogs, clear sunny days. Life is good.


Want to drive an "I'm never going to have a blog" blogger nuts? Get her all excited about this new venue for her writing, have her getting new readers by the dozen, and then have Comcast have an "OUTAGE" - whatever that is - all day. Oh well, got lots done on the neglected gardens and yard. Too nice to torture dogs with toenail dremmeling; we'll save that for another day.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment - they are most appreciated.


  1. I always love to read your writing. Thank you so much for your signed book. I am really enjoying it. Wonderful to see you and I am in awe that you are doing this. You are such a gifted writer.

  2. Ha ha.. (I LOVE fall, btw!) I'm so happy you're having this blog, P! I'm thoroughly enjoying it, and checking by every day.

    Hugs, Ane

  3. I have the same deal going with the weather gods . . . no complaints in summer so I can whine all winter. :)

  4. Oh Patience! I can see (and FEEL!! ugh!) it all! You write so wonderfully well!

    Keep on bloggin' girl! You've got the knack!



  5. The weather gods are really having fun with me. It's supposed to get into the 40's tonight! What have I gone and done?????

  6. Oh Patience, I love today's stories. Your writing makes me feel like I'm right there in the middle of the story. Being a senior citizen, I especially like the story of the senior lady and senior dog match because I dread the day when I'll no longer be able to have a dog.
    I love fall, too. I think it's the best time of year.
    Love to you and Fat Charlie from Lady & Sheila


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