“Guess what happened today! It was fantastic, like the best thing that could happen!”
“I dunno, a million dollars fell from the sky?”
“Nope. Better than that. Gracie came when I called her. The first time, even.”
“Wow, that is better than a million dollars!”
“Are you kidding? Yes! Now I can take her out with me and know she will come to me when called.”
This tiny exchange proved once again, without a doubt why Mr. C is one of my favorite people on the planet. Dogs are what makes a life rich and meaningful. Gracie is Brother’s dog and she—up until now—looked at me when I called her with air of a spoiled house cat.
“Oh. You want me to come to you. Whatev lady. I only come when my Papa or Piper’s papa calls me. But you? I don’t need to listen to you. Excuse me but I have a street to run into. Later!”
Last Thursday afternoon I was taking the trash out and noticed Grace completely across the field so I called her. Once. And she came to me! She came to me at full run! I was thrilled because this is the dog who blatantly disregards the road adjacent to the Yellow House and I’m not comfortable if she’s alone outside left to her own devices. The sound of squealing brakes, me on the hill unable to run fast enough, and Brother shaking with fear once he got to her all things I don’t want to experience again.
I’ve broken through Gracie’s shell. She even voluntarily comes to me for ear rubs and a loving word or two when I walk into a room. Gracie had been extremely shy with me; no doubt her quiet personality eclipsed by the “Gigantic Force of Nature that is Piper!” You know how you have that chatty friend who takes over a room at a party? You love her to death but in a social setting you find yourself blending into the furniture because of your pal’s huge presence. That’s Mr. C’s dog, Piper. (And Mr. C to a point) But oh my goodness how I miss that silly Aussie dog.
An obedient dog constitutes a big event in the dailiness of my life in the Yellow House. I love it like this, too. Nothing terribly Earth shifting or important happens. For instance, Wednesday’s Big Event was the asphalt man coming by to give us an estimate for a proper driveway. My life sounds a little boring but it truly isn’t. It’s a content life and a happy life. Perhaps it’s because the happiness rests in the minutiae.
I was thinking about the clever details of this life after Thursday’s momentous occasion. I was wandering up the hill and noticed how the buffalo grass is now almost to my waist and turned to the color I call: “dog days of summer brown”. We’ve had a couple days of rain so the ground cover/bind weed that covers most of the property is green again; it was getting to be a tatty brown, too. The tiny purple grass flowers have gone away for the summer and the black-eyed Susans and sunflowers are starting to show up. The thistles are almost gone and when they go away the flocks of gold finch and meadowlark will disappear, their next building materials spent. I will miss watching them from my desk as they flit their yellow feathers a garish contrast against the purple flower.
Summer is growing on. But our summer has been temperate and we’ve barely broken 90 degrees. I doubt we will those true dog days — triple digits and lakes that are giant mud buckets—this summer. I doubt I’ll be lagging along the road to the lake wishing it would just cool off a bit. Granted we will dry out and the farmers will bring the lakes low. But maybe not too low; the corn is high and a verdant green in the fields along highway 402 to the east of town. So far all the lakes I’ve seen in and around town are full. I’m hopeful.
I made a delicious bœuf bourguignon le les tricheurs (cheaters beef burgundy) for dinner, and we discussed the Afropop station he created on Pandora. I mused how much I like listening to local radio stations outside of the US; even if it’s dreadful Eurovision style Pop or hopeless sounding ballads with generous guitar and accordion in Mexico. The shadows are falling long and I can hear the music mixed with bird song as I write in my room. Side lying as I do in the evening to rest my hips and spine after sitting in a chair all day.
What will tomorrow bring? Will Gracie forget to come when I call her? Will the Prairie Dogs knock on the door and ask for directions to the next vacant field (Oh we can only hope that happens) Will we have a deluge of rain like we did on Monday, rendering our drive and road completely impassible?
Or will nothing and everything happen like it did today? I hope so.