Not much better than a long day with dear friends, with dogs doing the thing they love absolutely best, in perfect weather.
Linda has been my friend for thirty-two years. I know that, because she was the first person I told that I was pregnant, and Jake will be thirty-one next month. (How did that happen?) My dogs adore Linda. She is the person in the story "Mama Pajama Tells a Story" that Mama Pajama told the story to! (That is a train wreck of a sentence, but it's 6:21 in the morning, I've had exactly three sips of coffee, and I need to get to the field.) Sam I Am was born at Linda's house.
When we arrived at the field yesterday, I got Sam out to see his Nana Linda. She had placed a bag of blankets out to save us a parking place. Sammy dove his nose into that bunch of blankets and wagged and danced and grinned and wagged his entire body in pure doggy ecstasy. I didn't need to translate; the language of his joy was universal. His Nana Linda was there.
And when he saw her in the flesh, he turned inside out. I know just how he felt! There is something that creates a deep, satisfied soul-sigh when you get to hug a friend. And when you get to hug four soul-sigh friends all in one day, that's a good day. It might make your eyes a little leaky, but it's a good day.
I'll get my hugs in today, too. Rhonda, Carolyn, Mary, and Linda will be well hugged. So will their dogs. And then, after the dogs have run and run and run I will give some last hugs and I will load up my waggle and we will head home. Mama Pajama will lecture me (through her translator Linda) about how bad it is to lose your pack. She will remember how full her life was when she saw her Sisters, Cousins and Friends, and their Servants Linda and Rhonda at adventures every single weekend. And how nobody had to be left home. And how the extended Pack was always one.
But as we drive back over the mountains, I will be wishing I could fly home to my Bill. And to my Very Old Dog, and silly old Maria, and Fat Charlie, Luciano and Delia.
It seems, no matter where I am, I'm always missing someone. I guess that is a by product of being entirely too fortunate.
InSPIREd Sunday - St. Luke's Church in Anchorage
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