Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hodgepodge of Highlights

On Monday we took our whole family to our version of Disneyland.

Really. Check out Halle's face.

The fear...the anticipation...the thrill of what might come next...

Unfortunately, the mud on my mirrors the next day reminded me why people who live on dirt roads don't ever pay for car washes.

Wednesday's weather called for soup, so Lyla and I bundled up and went out to the garden to pick carrots, turnips, and parsley.

Our warm fireplace laughed a little as we shivered our way back inside.

Quite a bit of our summer garden is still hiding out in our freezer, so I added some shredded zucchini to the pot simmering on the stove later that day. Tortellini soup. Yum.

Oh. And this is Bentley. He is not our dog.

I was headed home from dropping off Beau at middle school on Friday morning when I came up behind two clearly un-street-smart dogs. For half a mile they trotted aimlessly in front of me, cars whirring passed them in the other direction.

Lyla was at home with a high fever and the other kids were all getting ready for school. Wes was about to leave for work. Should I?

The first dog (who I later came to know as Scout) said "rub my belly and I'll follow you anywhere" as soon as I stepped out of the car. Scout jumped up in my Suburban and went right to sleep in the back seat. I called the number on his tag and left a message for his owner. Then I turned to the other dog, Bentley- the one in the photo. He had no tag but clearly belonged with the dog already fast asleep in my warm, dry car. 

Bentley wasn't so sure about me- though he really wanted to be. He would come close to me, yearning to curl up next to his companion, then back away with a bark of mistrust.

I knew enough to beware of a dog who was scared. 

So now what? This second dog had no tag. If I left him here, only Scout would make it home. No one would ever know where Bentley belonged. I knew I needed to keep the two dogs together.

I called the kids at home and told them they would be late for school, then dug around my car for some food. Two baggies of Cheerios later, I was left with well-slobbered hands and a 100 pound dog that still wouldn't budge.

Hmmmmmmm...what to do...

Then slowly he put two front paws up into the driver's side. Another minute passed. And finally, up he went.

Fantastic. An hour after pulling over, the second dog was finally in my car. 

But Bentley refused to move out of the driver's seat. I reached into my mental grab bag of doggie tricks, but after an hour it was pretty much empty.

Some time passed and I eventually imagined an agreement between the two of us: he wasn't going to bite me (fingers crossed). With a deep breath, I slid into the narrow gap between my steering wheel and Bentley's hefty self, thinking SURELY he will move once I'm in the seat with him.

But he didn't. So with 100 pounds of dog taking up most of my seat, I leaned my head forward into the dash board and put the car in gear. I drove the curvy mile to my house pressed up against the wheel, barely able to steer. 

Oh, and it gets better. While I leaned forward over the steering wheel, my sizable new companion sat down...on my back. I tried to laugh, but there was just no room.

This all ends well. The owner, having been out looking for the dogs until 11 PM the night before, pulled up to my house an hour later. She was thankful to have her dogs back, safe and sound, and I was thankful for the entertaining morning- a little break from the everyday routine.

That night, I lay on the couch with a feverish Lyla draped over me. She had come home from her swim lesson on Thursday with a 103-degree fever. Now and again she would wake up and melt my heart with an, "I love you, Mom." Sweet Lyla.

The time to make dinner came and went as I struggled to keep my own eyes open under her warm snuggly heap of helplessness.

"I'll make dinner," Wes announced. I smiled. My eyes closed. Wes making dinner almost always involves a phone call and a quick trip downtown.

Chinese take-out.

Before he left, I heard him make his way over to our TV and the tangled mess of cords and electronics hiding behind it (a project for a coming day). When the music started, my eyes opened to see him staring back at me. His eyes were twinkling and accompanied by a smile that said, "I know you." 

While You Were Sleeping.

It just might be the 432nd time I've seen it and he knows I still love it. I also love White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, and Return to Me, and insist on my family watching all of them year-after-year over the holidays.

My kids have their own list of must-watch holiday movies- Home Alone, Elf,  and The Polar Express.

Hmmmm...not even Thanksgiving and already I'm going off on holiday movies.

ANYWAY, it's now Sunday night and Lyla is feeling well enough to jump on her bed, disregard my insistence that she put her head on her pillow and, in general, treat bedtime more like a trip to car wash.

On to a brand new week...

No comments:

Post a Comment