Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ups and Downs

Our world spins out of our control all the time, doesn't it? I mean things just sort of happen to us and around us and in spite of us.

My Bill is at a two-artist art show back east. (See how far west I live now? I say "back east".) He sold four originals! Yay and yay, that is good news and definitely an UP. He has been gone since Thursday. That is sort of a down. I do fine when he is away. I mean, I am not afraid in the house. I got the yard mowed and the lilac bush planted. I got the poop bags in the trash and the recycling separated. (It is critically important not to confuse the two.) I got the dogs in and out and their toenails ground and their teeth brushed. These are all things I do whether he is home or not. But, well, more on that later.

Our dear friends Harvey and Jeannie are moving to California. They are the first "couple friends" we've ever had. Harvey and Bill are really good buddies, and though I was a hard nut to crack, or just a nut, Jeannie is a kind, generous soul and she didn't give up on me. I met her the first time in my dear vet's waiting room. That's a good enough omen right there. Now we have dinner together several times a week (one of us usually feels like cooking and the rest of us say "go for it!" or none of us wants to cook and we go out to a downtown eatery.) When I met Jeannie, I was still deeply mourning the friends I had left when we moved here. Being physically separated from those dear women was really on the par of an unwanted divorce for me, and I felt too exhausted to start a new friendship. I invest too much, and I was depleted. I am so glad she forgave me for being so remote at first. We shared some extraordinary times. Showing at Westminster, the birth of Lindy Loo and her siblings, a trip to Chicago to pick up Swede William from Sweden, and my son's horse races at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. I took Harvey and Jeannie for granted; that they'd always be here. But they are moving the end of June. That is a BIG DOWN.

The waggle went to some dog shows this weekend! In Jackson, Tennessee. You know that Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash song:

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout,
We've been talkin' 'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out.
I'm goin' to Jackson, I'm gonna mess around,
Yeah, I'm goin' to Jackson,Look out Jackson town.

Well, go on down to Jackson; go ahead and wreck your health.
Go play your hand you big-talkin' man, make a big fool of yourself,
You're goin' to Jackson; go comb your hair!
Honey, I'm gonna snowball Jackson.See if I care.

When I breeze into that city, people gonna stoop and bow. (Hah!)
All them women gonna make me, teach 'em what they don't know how,
I'm goin' to Jackson, you turn-a loose-a my coat.
'Cos I'm goin' to Jackson."Goodbye," that's all she wrote.

But they'll laugh at you in Jackson, and I'll be dancin' on a Pony Keg.
They'll lead you 'round town like a scalded hound,With your tail tucked between your legs,
You're goin' to Jackson, you big-talkin' man.
And I'll be waitin' in Jackson, behind my Jaypan Fan,

Well now, we got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper Sprout,
We've been talkin' 'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out.
I'm goin' to Jackson, and that's a fact.
Yeah, we're goin' to Jackson, ain't never comin' back.

It's that actual Jackson, and I've been singing the song since I made the entries. Heather (Baby Ben's mom) went with me both days, and that was a treat. For me. Maybe not so much for her, as she had a raging cold and I picked her and Emmett (Lindy Loo's litter brother) up at 7:15 Saturday morning, and 5:30 Sunday morning. Sleep in on a weekend? Nah. In shows the winners of the classes for each sex go back into the ring to compete for "Winners Dog" or "Winners Bitch" each of whom are the only dogs in their breed to win points toward their championship. In small shows, often both Emmett and Swede William have to go back in. Usually we have to get someone the dogs don't know to take one of them back in, and that's no fun. So Heather got a crash course in handling on Wednesday. On Sunday, She won Winners Dog with Emmett!!! That was a BIG UP! Good for Heather! Good for Emmett! Woo-hoo!!! Up, up, up!

We stopped at the International House of Pancakes on the way home. Another UP!

Delia is my dog again. Temporarily. Usually when Bill goes away, she hangs with me. Reluctantly, with one ear on the door listening for Bill's return, but she hangs with me. For whatever reason, this time she is My Best Friend. This has been absolutely delightful for me, but not so much for Lindy Loo. Delia feels the need to squash her great-niece like a bug. She literally steps on her with her front feet, with a most perturbed look on her face. When she spends most of her time with Bill, this is no big deal. But when she's lying right next to me, Lindy Loo is near by, and this just annoys the stuffing out of Delia. Lindy Loo pays no mind, and never challenges her lot in life, so we're all OK. And I'm enjoying Delia's silliness. Up.

Aynex is leaving in something positively horrid, like four days. Down doesn't go any lower than this. She has lit this neighborhood with her spirit and humor, and I fear that buildings will simply fall down when she's not here.

We took all the dogs along to the show on Saturday, since Bill wasn't home to let them out. When we got to the show grounds, we got them out of the van, a few at a time to potty. When Very Old Dog's turn came, he strutted and wagged and bounced around. He was at a dog show! Woo would you look at him! Silly Old Dog. Precious up.

When Bill is gone, I'm not quite all here. (Yes, you could make the argument that I'm never quite all there, and you'd be right, but that's a different subject.) When he's away, I feel a little stupid, a lot ugly, and fat. I feel like the world is spinning sightly off kilter. And this amazes me. It was not always this way. I'm quite the independent one. Or I was. Bill is fifteen years older than I am. I feel so vulnerable. The upside to this is that dear Lord, after twenty-five years I do so love him.

What has rocked my world is my dear friend's sudden diagnosis and surgery for a brain tumor. At first, I didn't realize it had rocked my world, as I was totally consumed with her world. She is facing radiation and chemo as soon as her surgical wounds heal. Just like that, snap, her life, her husband's life, her dogs' lives changed. She is an incredibly brave, inspirational superhero, and is dealing with this with courage and humor and grace. That she has to endure this feels so unfair, so random, so mean. Being so far away means that I lie in bed at 4:18 AM and write about it. I thought I might go and help. But they have tons of friends and family close by who love them, and what, I tra la into town with my suitcase and my good intentions to get in the way? Going there would have been for me, not for them.

Fat Charlie is enjoying his last night on Bill's side of the bed. As I type, he's got all four legs stuck stick straight up in the air. Bill will be home in six hours and twenty-one minutes, if his plane is on time.

And Delia will do a happy dance. The whole waggle will howl their delight to the sky. And my world will be a little less off balance.

Hug your hounds.


  1. Today we are going to vote and have coffee. Big up. Then you are going to give the sleepy pill to my cat. Big down. Life is a roller coaster. And why are we up so early?

  2. Yes, Yes, go with Aynex and Vote! And hug the hounds, 'cause when Bill gets home, he will get the first hugs, and they might feel neglected.

    from Gussie's Muzzer, who is fast approaching 37 -(years married to the same man.)

  3. Patience,

    All eyes on Kentucky today: Do each of the whippets get a vote????

    As we say here in Florida (where our votes still don't count) - Vote early and often!!!


  4. I know how heart wrenching and destablizing it is when close friends move away. Living in a suburb of Washington D.C. many of the people you meet are in the foreign service. When we moved back to Virginia from Maryland the first two women I met had husbands in the foreign service. For 3 years we raised our kids together, did lunch and dinner and wine on the front porch. Then my sister-in-law, who I love very much, moved within ten minutes of us. It was such a good time for all of us. Then in a matter of weeks they were all gone. My sister-in-law off to a new home in the Maryland countryside and my other two friends to Belgium and Tanzania for 3 years. Thank god for my husband during that time. Eventually, I forced myself to get out there and forge new friendships. While I haven't gotten that wonderful time back I did meet a wonderful Italian women-friend who I went to Italy with and have become very close to. My Belgium traveling friend is back for who knows how long and the Tanzania friend will be back this summer for a short time.
    Life is different but it's still good.

    It will take time to get your bearings back (and no I'm not calling you old, as John McCain suggested)but you will and you'll be in good spirits again.

    Treat yourself well!

  5. I hope the days ahead bring many more "ups" than "downs!!!"

  6. I remember when you first moved to Paducah, and Bill was still in Maryland, and your emails would get more and more random as you coped with nine dogs and you living in the laundry, and workers that spoke 'Southern' and people staring in wonder as you actually PICKED UP after your dogs. And you survived all that (though those of us on the receiving end of your emails did worry, let me tell you!).

    INXS, by the way, did a quite remarkable cover of that Johnny Cash song.

  7. Nothing remains the same. Life is one big change no matter how calm is feels and yours never seems very calm. Savor the minutes, hours and days. Bad memories fade and good ones stay in a place in our hearts. Dogs so make life bearable.
    Please vote. It is so important. Grammie says you a a newbie. She has had Pappy for over 33 years.

  8. Dear Patience,

    I just have to confess.... I think it was the blog comment from me on Fun Monday last week that may have motivated Delia to pay more attention to you this time. She wants to make sure that you know how much you are loved and appreciated, especially when you think you act like a J*** with the Waggle. Even all the toenails done? Awesome!

    So sorry about all the downs... Life for humans is so much that way. Glad for the ups, though.

    Did I hear pancakes? Did the Waggle celebrate with you with pancakes? That is one of my most favorite things in the whole world.

    Salivating at the thought,
    Star the Wonder Dog

  9. We are sorry about the downs but the ups are great too. We hope the ups get more and more and you have less downs!!!

  10. And a later PS....

    Star suggested all day that we have some pancakes like the Waggle. I tried to convince him that perhaps only the humans indulged, and that we were not near an IHOP but the whippet whine prevailed. Delicious! Thanks for the idea.

    And... congratulations on the first vote! We are hoping to continue to hear lots about Aynex's adventures even after her move. Missing you already from afar.

    Kathy the Stardusted One

  11. From your friend of few words.

    Hugs to ya!!


  12. I love to read about Bill. I'm sure I've said it before, but it still stands. The love is so clearly felt in each word you write. It's absolutely refreshing and inspirational for someone at the start of a marriage. :)

    hugs to your crew... (I can't WAIT to show you who is coming to live with me; he's a big handsome red boy!)


  13. and the Canine Kids said,
    We are so sorry to read about your friend's diagnosis. Our hearts go out to her.
    We are also sorry to read that Bill is away but he'll be back soon and there are nothing better than whippets to keep you company at night.

  14. There is so much in this post that I don't know where to start and comment.
    Friends move (I've been that friend many times) and friends arrive (I so want to be that friend). Thankfully these days we are so global and interconnected on the 'love lines'.
    May the 'ups' hold your 'downs' above water and soon you'll be sharing your bed with a human...
    life is good.

  15. Has Bill ever tried to sell his paintings on www.etsy.com? I just found the website - it's a place to sell homemade items. There's a lot of great artwork there.


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