We set an all-time record yesterday. I don't complain about the heat. I complain about cold weather. (Just ask Bill.) Cold weather physically hurts. I have this ethical thing; it rules me from deep in my center and probably explains much of who I am if I took the time to examine it. It is this: if I complain about the cold, I can't complain about the heat. That's my rule.
So I don't.
Bill is home visiting family and friends and getting an award from his college. When Bill is away, I'm surprised at how well I get along. Get by. Of course that is because Lee and Dee come and let the dogs out and feed them when I am at my 13 hour shifts. I'll have to ask some other neighbors to help this next weekend, because it's the Paducah Kennel Club show, and we'll all be out at the club. (As president, I must be there.) It is way too hot to bring the old dogs.
This morning I woke up at 5:30. We got up - the dogs and I - had our breakfasts, and walked. First Mama Pajama, Fat Charlie, and Sam I Am. It was 6:00 AM and steamy. Mama Pajama was panting before we got out of our yard. We dawdled. We stayed in the shade and walked through the neighbors' automatic sprinklers instead of around them. Mama Pajama dragged. Fat Charlie is feeling spunky since his vet appointment on Thursday. We upped his doses of heart and thyroid medicines and he is sleeping soundly at night, and feeling pretty darn peppy. Mama Pajama and Fat Charlie will be 14 in a couple of weeks.
The next walk was the eleven year olds, litter mates Luciano and Delia.
Delia and I are special buddies when Bill is gone. Normally she is all about Bill. When he drives away with a suitcase, she wags at me and grins, "Us girlfriends have to make the best of this, huh." And she's my dog again, until the second she hears Bill's car pull up.
This walk with Looch and Delia starts at 6:20 and it is astoundingly hot. And steamy. Good lord. And there are stooopid city squirrels everywhere. It's like it's "Bring A Friend For Free Day" at the Stoopid City Squirrel Sauna. I tempt, or I attempt to tempt, Looch and Delia with the treats in my pocket. I really do not want them sounding the Stoopid City Squirrel Sirens at 6:30 Sunday morning in my sleepy southern town. Other than the squirrels, we are alone. It is one of the things I love about this town. Quiet empty Sunday mornings. It is almost like our old walks in the back fields at our farm. Almost.
As I put Looch and Delia in their crates and get out the last three - Swede William, Jabber, and Lindy Loo - I feel sweat drip between my breasts and run down my belly.
I have a denim jumper on with a sleeveless polo and no bra. No people, no worries. I didn't sweat like this when I was younger. But then, I didn't live in Western Kentucky.
We set out and I catch a salty drop of sweat on my tongue as it dives off the tip of my nose. This instantly produces the image of Bill's dad working in the garden, cursing in Italian because the sweat has evaded his sweatband and runs into his eyes. (We thought he was cursing. Years later we found out that he was saying, "Ah! Go to Naples!" And the Italian equivalent of "Oops!")
The young 'uns and I go all the way down Broadway to the river. My glasses fog up in the humidity. I wonder if Bill is up, back in Maryland, and what he's thinking. I'm dazzled by the amount of sweat that is rolling down my chest and belly.
I see a downtown restaurant owner and ask how last night was. One of the boards I'm on is responsible for "Live on Broadway" - a weekly summer Saturday night party in the streets of Downtown. Started years ago, it was meant to bring folks to the historic district to support the retailers. It had become the opposite. People came for free entertainment. They didn't shop and they certainly didn't eat. Instead of supporting the district's stakeholders, the event was ruining their Saturday business. We're trying lots of new and exciting things this year, including hiring some kickass creative organizers.
The restaurant owner smiles widely. "It was fantastic," she shouts!
Good. That is good.
Swede William, Lindy Loo, Jabber, and I get back to our street. Our neighbor catty-corner from us is a flower gardener. There must be a word for her art. She creates beautiful 'paintings' from plants. I feel like I live across from a miniature Longwood Gardens. Anita gardens with the passion that I 'do' dogs.
I miss Bill. I am fine. The way toast is perfectly fine without fresh strawberry jam. I am diminished. The dogs gulp down water, back at the house. I water my potted plants on the porch and my little herb bed. I'm proud of how much I'm sweating. I want to share this with Bill: feel my back, honey, it's soaked clear through! Pasta without sauce.
I want to hear what he thinks is interesting as he peruses the Sunday New York Times and Washington Post. I'm pancakes without syrup.
hug your hounds