Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Adventures of Gizmo, Part I

We received the call one sunny morning in September, 2000. All the kids were at school except Baby Boy #4. As kindergarten schedules go, it was his day off. The voice on the other end of the line said with boldness, "We've gotten in a small dog and I see here you are looking for one." "What kind?" I asked. "An Apricot Poodle." came the reply. "I don't want a Poodle, but I'll come and look at him." I said as I thought to myself, what kind of answer is that? If you don't want him, why are you going to look at him? Ugh, I thought, but the confidence in her voice made me unable to say no, as usual. "Coward." I said to myself.

My knowledge of Poodles was limited but my experiences had been of snappy, snarly, yapping, lap dogs, with drainage stained fur around the mouth and eyes. Wheezy, gurgling, panting breath coming in fits of protective rage. All bark with a lot of bite.

As Baby Boy #4 and I headed to the animal shelter I wisely instructed him that he would sit in the waiting room while I looked at this dog and if I thought it was safe, I would come and get him so he could see the dog as well. As is par for my life, I make plans forgetting I'm not the director.

Upon our arrival I seated #4 and headed down the long corridor with the animal control officer. Turning left, then right, then left again, we passed through three different doorways until we finally arrived at the dog pens. I began to question whether it was so wise to have left five year old #4 out there all by himself. We stopped at a cage and I looked down in shock at what I saw. If this was a Poodle, it was unlike any I had ever seen, and didn't they say he was apricot? I searched for his eyes hoping to get a feel for his personality but they were no where to be seen under his filthy, matted, brown dreadlocks. His fur was encrusted with dirt and grime, twigs and leaves, woven in and twisted together as if some sort of Reggae Art. Wind, rain, snow and dirt had taken their toll on his unkempt six to eight inch long locks until they had curled and spiraled into an official dreadlock hairdo. "Rasta", I thought to myself.

Before I had a chance to speak, the officer unlocked the pen and little Rasta shot out of there like a bolt of lightning. Turning right, then left, then right again he ran down the hall like a dog after a tenderloin with me right on his heels. "My baby!", I thought to myself, panic stricken that he would get to #4 before I could. All things horrific I can imagine in my mind such as "Child Mauled by Poodle" being tomorrow's headlines. This special gift must only be given to mothers as my husband never seems to experience this phenomenon.

What I saw as I rounded the last corner was something far beyond my imagination. Rasta Poodle dove for #4, landed in his lap and proceeded to lick him all over the face causing giggle fits to erupt from my little darling. I turned to the officer and said, "I guess we've got a Poodle.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Falling Down, Again

Maybe it's gremlins or cats play, maybe it's big gusts of wind or just plain old misfortune. Whatever the reason, another large stack of wood has come crashing to the ground with a thunderous roar loud enough to hurtle me from my seat with fright. Never in the history of all our wood cutting have our wood piles collapsed and now twice in one season they have violently protested their linear positions.

With some help from baby #4, we reassembled in no time, all the while joking and wondering why this kept occurring and how many more piles would topple?

There is much to be thankful for. No humans or animals were caught by the unannounced eruptions and both times vehicles parked precariously close have escaped unscathed. My thoughts are, it could be worse. It could be the middle of winter, wind raging and blinding snow. The loud crash of the wood hitting the ground with such violent force would dislodge the three feet of snow on the barn roof causing an avalanche to land on top of the pile. I love it when things are simple!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Aroma of Home

I press my face into his warm, muscular neck and inhale deeply of his fragrant life. I am instantly transported to another time and place, returned momentarily to a slow, romantic kitchen dance, or a hiding place when the world is overwhelming, the crook of tender love and unfettered passion. I find this crevice to be the safest, most familiar place I know, and I linger.

As I bury my face deeper, beyond the scratchy collar of his black nylon jacket and stubble chin, past the soft hood of his sweatshirt and down to the warm, smooth skin of his neck, my nostrils flare at the pungent aroma of something well known and, something only vaguely familiar. I raise my head tilting it to the right thoughtfully and then I begin to grin. "Garlic and. . . kerosene." I say triumphantly as I bury my cheeks back in, inhaling deeply one more time. He laughs and asks, "How do you always know?"

I play a mystery game each evening when my beloved arrives, the events of his entire day in tow. Cedar, pine, caulk or tar, diesel, two stroke oil, bonfire, coffee and the occasional cigar. Brown skin salty on my lips, once sticky from a day spent in the sun and blown dry by the gentle lake breeze. Freshly mowed grass, autumn leaves, barn aroma and the dirt of the earth. Fragrances once so foreign to me and at first somewhat offensive have now become seasoned with familiarity. Evidence of a work born out of love and desire, and the innate need to be a man and provide for his family.

Wherever his day has led him becomes a puzzle for me to solve and I realize as he comes through the door, tired from a long days work, and takes me into his arms, that it is I who have arrived safely at home.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

daily hum-drum

One of my assignments for writing class is to write something everyday. Some days, that just gets old. I don't always feel like I have a story in me especially if I've already worked on my main story for class and I don't want my blog ending up looking like a daily journal of "Today I did this and this and this." Sorry, but my life is not so exciting that others would want to know my everyday hum-drum. Since I don't feel like putting pen to paper today, I will put finger to key instead and try not to bore you.

While perusing through some photos to aid in my writing inspiration, I came across this charming little love note from my husband. Penned in ink on official 'grease' paper is his loving thank you to me for making his favorite dinner, Eggplant Parmesan. Being married to an Italian man has brought about some culinary creations I never dreamed I would cook let alone ingest. Eggplant has definitely been an acquired taste but after 21 years I can usually manage to choke a couple slim slices down if they are fully loaded with cheese and marinara sauce.

My husband has a wonderful way of leaving me secret notes all over. It is always a surprise when they pop up and I'm sure I will eventually write a story about it. . . Hey, I think I'm beginning to understand why we are supposed to write everyday!

The other photo is a lovely fall arrangement my hubby threw together in 20 minutes this afternoon. Hydrangea, rose hips, holly hocks, pine and cone flowers that were once lovely this summer are now being recycled. He offered to let me do it but I declined knowing that it would take me at least two hours of indecisiveness to come up with something only half as wonderful as his. I would no doubt obsess over each and every placement while he, on the other hand, flippantly tosses them into the urn and wallah, the dead brought back to life.