Category: Miscellaneous Mutterings

Zing! went the strings of my heart

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By , July 4, 2016 10:52 am

How do you explain love at first sight? I had no idea, as I struggled last night to explain to a husky rescue organization how my family had fallen in love with a dog named “Indy.”


Was it the look on her face? A message in her eyes?


I don’t know, but I knew as soon as I saw her. And maybe the fact that she’s named “Indy” was God’s way of making sure I got the message that she was meant to be with us. I wouldn’t even want to change her name. It’s…. perfect.

Yes, she has challenges. So what if she does? Almost everyone in my family and two of our previous three dogs had challenges – challenges that we’ve always managed to overcome.

I don’t know whether the rescue organization will agree to let us adopt her. We’re so far away from them and I could certainly appreciate any hesitation on their part. They want the best for her. So do we.

So we’re hoping and waiting.  Maybe our veterinarian will tell them about how our past dogs were treated and they’ll be reassured. Or maybe when they do a home visit, they’ll see that every room has dog art and that it’s filled with love. I don’t know how we assure them that Indy is right for us and we’re right for Indy.  I just know.

In the meantime, I hope the rescue organization tells Indy that there’s a family who wants her and a “furever” home waiting for her. Every dog deserves to know they’re loved.

Update July 7: She’s ours! We’ve been approved and look forward to going out to Illinois to bring her home after we get the back yard suitably Indy-friendly!

Finding a small measure of comfort… at a dump

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By , July 4, 2016 9:55 am

My husband went to the town dump yesterday to get rid of stuff as we continue to try to clear out decades of accumulated… well, stuff.

While he was there, he noticed a woman unloading boxes and bins of her own.  She looked to be in her 70s. When he saw that she was going to throw away some great plastic bins with covers, he said, “Are you throwing those bins away?”

“Yes,” she said. “My husband died, and I’m clearing out some of his things.”

“I’m sorry for your loss,” my husband said, and paused. “But if you’re really going to throw them away, I could use them. They’re great for wood.”

“Wood?” she asked, her face growing animated. “That’s what my husband used them for! Do you make things out of wood, too?””

“Yes,” my husband told her. “I have a woodworking shop as a hobby, and those bins are great for storing small pieces of wood that I use for making boxes.”

“Wait, then,” she said, and happily pulled out a box of sandpaper. “My son was going to get rid of this, too. Would you like it?”

My husband saw that the sandpaper was not high quality and mostly used, but said, “Yes, that would be very helpful, thanks!”

So a widow, who was dealing with the sadness of saying goodbye to her husband’s memories, wound up smiling at a town dump, because her husband’s belongings were now going to someone who would appreciate them. Somehow, it makes loss a little more bearable when you can tell yourself that the person you loved lives on – even if it’s just the knowledge that some fellow woodworker is using their supplies.

And because he said he could use the sandpaper, well, that’s just another reason I really love my husband.

“Remember me with love and laughter”

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By , March 22, 2015 7:16 pm

My mother lived a long life, filled with family, good friends, and lots of laughter. In fact, it was her direct instruction to me that “Remember me with love and laughter” be on her grave marker.

It’s been over three years now since Mom passed away peacefully.  Today, my daughter and I laughed all over again remembering some of our favorite stories about her. And I’ve decided to share some of them with you, so here’s the first one:

Circa 2005, and well into her 80s, Mom went into a store to buy some cards and gift wrap. The young cashier rang up her purchases, and said, “That will be $18.65.”

“1865,” said Mom. “That was a very big year.”

“Why?” asked the young cashier. “Is that the year you were born?”

And yes, anyone who says our public education system works should meet that cashier….

More soon…



Wait, what?

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By , August 26, 2014 7:43 am

“A free society cannot tolerate its tolerance being trampled on,” Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP), the Austrian Interior Minister, was quoted as saying.

When I first read that, I thought, “Oh, she’s strongly protective of free speech and doesn’t wany laws that would restrict unpopular speech.”  But I was wrong, I guess, because it seems that she made the comment in the context of supporting a proposal that Austria should ban membership in Isis and ban the wearing of all Isis symbols.

Read more on The Local, which I go scratch my head some more and get more coffee.

Saying goodbye to a great dog

By , December 11, 2013 12:05 pm

It was more than 14 years ago, and my daughter was in the hospital, gravely ill. She had already been in the hospital for over a month, and I was desperate to motivate her to fight to recover and get better. And so I made her a promise: after she got out of the hospital, I would take her to get a puppy. We already had one dog, but he was clearly my dog, and she had always wanted one of her own.

It took another month, but finally she was able to come home from the hospital. True to my word, off we went to the shelter the next day to find her a puppy. She had had her heart set on a black lab puppy, and they actually had some very young ones there, but I could see by the way she held the puppy and the way the puppy responded to her that it wasn’t the right puppy for her.  And so I wandered around the shelter, looking at all the puppies – including the older puppies who were in a different room.

And that’s where I spotted her – a 4-month old German Shepherd/collie mix. There were other puppies of about the same age in other cages, but there was something about this one…

I went and got my daughter and persuaded her to consider an older puppy. And when we took this puppy out of the cage, the puppy went nuts licking and kissing my daughter. The puppy was overjoyed, and my daughter laughed with joy – for the first time in months. So we sat there for quite  a while while my daughter experienced the kind of unconditional love only your dog can give you.

“I think I’ve picked my dog,” my daughter said.

“No,” I said, smiling. “Your dog has picked you.”

After we got her home, we discovered that while she was affectionate and loving to us, she was fearful and aggressive with most men and all young children.  Something bad must have happened to her in young life before we got her. It took a lot of patience and time, but eventually she lost her fear of men and children. But always, always, she protected “her pack,” and looked out for us – including another dog we adopted when she was 5 years old and depressed after the death of my dog.

For over 14 years, she was part of our family and her tail always wagged happily. It was only a few weeks ago that she first showed signs of illness and we discovered that like my dog before her, she had liver cancer. Even then, her tail wagged happily as we talked to her and comforted her.

As we all gathered around her in her final moments last night, my daughter and I wept openly, remembering the day when this wonderful dog had chosen my daughter. The shelter had thanked us for rescuing her. Little did they know that we didn’t rescue her. She had rescued my daughter.

The house feels too quiet this morning.  I console myself thinking of her on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, reunited at last with my dog, as they run and play together again. And I reach down to console our other dog, and I tell her that one day, we will all be together again.


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