Fashion Statement

There is something to be said about little paw prints neatly marching along a crisp white background.  There is something else to be said about those same paw prints when they are found marching across a white shirt.  A white shirt laid out to be worn that same day.  And when those paw prints have been made in mud?  Yeah.

The four-footed one would tell you that what you should say about those paw prints is aww.  And if those paw prints, muddy no less, happen to be all over your freshly laundered shirt, laid out on a chair, well you should say thank you for your fashion design.

Except none of that is what I said.  What I wanted to say is, umm, profanity laced.  And no I did not say that either because swearing in front of the four-footed one will not do.  I have no clue why this is the case, but it is.  So instead I called her into the room, pointed at the now paw print covered shirt which had moved from the chair onto the floor and asked her if she was responsible.

And yes dear readers, for a small moment I waited.  I no clue why.  It’s not like she is going to answer me in a way I understand.  But I waited and then I simply moved on with my day.  Minus my new fashion statement.

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Of Fluff And Stuff

The four-footed one has discovered a whole new world, or rather one she has always chosen to ignore in the past. She discovered the insane world of fluff. No, I’m not joking. She has discovered fluff from clothing, fluff from various plants dispersing their seeds and fluff I cannot identify.

You see I’m not expert on fluff. I can figure some of it out, like when the dandelions are ready to set their seeds free in that lovely puff that was so fun to blow on when I was little. Of course, that same fluffy head of seeds was the bane of my father’s green grass while I was growing up. It didn’t help that I felt it was my job to help the seeds travel as far as possible into the green lawn.

And fluff from various colored clothing is relatively easy to understand and identify. And let’s face it, everyone has had the joys of sock fluff here and there.

But some of the fluff the four-footed one has now discovered is stuff I just don’t know. I suspect that if I were to look at more closely I might gather an idea as to where it came from. The trick is to spot it before the four-footed one does. And then not only does one have to spot if first, one must also then collect it before she does. With her tongue. You see she likes to investigate based on the theory that everything can be identified and categorized rather simply: it’s either food or it is not food. And because she is food motivated, it’s a bit more of a challenge than it sounds like it should be!

Going Somewhere With No Place In Mind

Sometimes you just need to leave, no destination in mind.  Just hop in the car, climb on your bike, or walk some where.  Just for the sake of going somewhere and getting away from where you currently.  I’m not talking about running away as per say, just a change of scenery for a short period of time.

And sometimes where you end up going, is something more than you expected it to be.  Sometimes it leads to adventure, romance or something new to explore.  I have been blessed to experience that more than once in my life.  Once on the seashores of my own continent and once on the seashores of another.

I’ve been a thousand miles from where I started, heck I’ve been several thousands miles from where I started, and discovered that there was no place that I’d sooner be than where I was at that moment.  Foolishly I have tried to keep those moments for the times when I would need them and be nowhere near the seashore.  I’ve bottled the sea’s water, placed sand in jars and tried to capture it all on video.  It never works out the same.  You cannot recreate the seashores of other places when you haven’t one of your own to work with.

And that’s okay because it makes those moments that much more special.  It makes them so much more precious and dear to the heart.  The trick is to not try to recreate it, to not just take off back to that place you landed and expect it to be the same.  It isn’t possible.  Instead capture those moments in your memory, hold them safe in your heart and open yourself to something new.  Seashores are not required.  Nor are picnics, but I’ve found both to be, well, rather good when it comes to getting some place that I wasn’t at before and enjoying it all the same.

When You Find Something New

The four-footed one has discovered face cloths.  Wet face cloths to be exact.  I should back up a few steps and explain a bit.  It’s been very hot here.  Unusually hot.  Too hot for anyone wearing a fur coat.  Way too hot if the fur coat that is being worn is dark.  So naturally the four-footed one fits neatly into the category someone who is wearing a dark fur coat.

Naturally the four-footed also likes the sun more than the shade.  And refuses to have water out on her. Basically today the four-footed one would wander into the sun, flop down and sun bathe.  She’d get removed to the shade,yet she’d just move herself again.

She was provided oodles of places with water.  A mister was turned on and in a moment of desperation I made s face cloth good and damp with cold water and tossed it on her. Gently dear readers, I tossed it on her gently.  Now some animals like that.  They find it cooling.

The four-footed one though was having none of is.  She shook it off her back, went over to where if fell and proceeded to chew it.  Because she’s that kind of dog.  Unfortunately for me, she has discovered a like for these cloths.  She prefers they are wet, but will chew and roll happily on a dry one all the same.  How do I know you ask.  Because she managed to get ahold for freshly laundered ones and proceeded to have her own little party with them.  I guess when you discover a good thing it’s hard to pass it up.

The Trade-Off

It is inevitable, this aging process.  Just when we have a handle on what we want and where we are going, not to mention how we are doing things, it seems as though the rug starts to get pulled out from under us.  Eye sight wanes in dim light.  Racing the dog isn’t exactly fair anymore as you lose half a step on the dog.  And when did the chairs start to sink down once you get settled in?

I knew I would get old, well it was either that or die young.  The problem with dying young is that you leave so many things left undone.  Sure I know getting old isn’t a picnic.  I can see it because Beloved is going down the path of aging more quickly than I am.  Or rather I should say he has a bit of a head-start on this path compared to myself!

What I wouldn’t give for a bit of that strength, that flexibility and quickness with my maturity.  But of course that can’t be, there has to be a compromise.  In order to gain maturity and dare I say a bit of wisdom we must part with the recklessness of youth.  Perhaps it is that parting with our younger, more flexible, stronger selves that gives us wisdom.

I mean me at twenty would never have bothered to find creative ways to get things off the floor and I doubt Beloved would have been any different either.  But now, now he has the wisdom to use the four-footed one to pick things up (if only she’d bring them back when she was supposed to).  Of course he has also found the wisdom in really stretching out  your toes to use them.  He claims it’s all part of using more of his brain power to find new ways to do things.

I wonder what I will acquire as I get older, what wisdom would come my way or will I still be too immature to be granted any of that type of wisdom?

And Then

When I was young, I would run through gardens and fields, never worrying if they were wet or muddy.  When I was young, I’d find a swing to play on or a tree to climb or a hill to fall back on and watch the clouds waltz their way across the sky.

When I got older I stopped running through gardens and fields.  One’s heels tend to get stuck in soft earth after all.  And mud splatter isn’t the most ideal thing to have on your cloths. When I got older I’d never find time to hop on a swing or climb a tree and watching those clouds make their way across the sky was another indication of how much time had already slipped away from me with, so many things left to accomplish in the day.

And then I got sick.  And in getting sick time stood still and rushed away all at the same time.  I wondered if I’d ever have the energy to make it down a hallway, never mind walk through a field or climb a hill.  And instead of having someone push my swing, would someone be pushing my wheelchair?  The movement of the sun, moon and stars marked time in some surreal way.  Each day and night blending into the one before it as if it didn’t matter so much anymore.

And suddenly I was better-ish.  I was out and about.  I was running, sort of, cringing at the pain I knew was coming my way.  But still I’d do it just to enjoy the perfumes rising from gardens, tangled and unkept as well as though so immaculate you thought even the insects were placed just so.  And in doing so, I set aside a timetable to get things accomplished.  Things would get done as they would, based on what I had time for.

I left my heels long in some forgotten box, enjoyed the rain and the mud.  Forced Beloved to tell me what he saw as he too gazed up into the sky and wouldn’t settle for answers such as “rain clouds” or “coming storms”.  Maybe, just maybe, by being sick I found a bit of a rabbit hole to go down.  No I didn’t see Alice or the Mad Hatter, but I did find a way to grasp back the simple pleasures that I had enjoyed as  a child.

Around The Lake

The faint smell of wood smoke rode in on the slight breeze.  Had the breeze been any stronger I’m not certain we’d be walking down this path.  It would have been too cold be far to enjoy the walk.

As t was the our four-footed companion seemed to have the entire area to herself.  At least as far as other dogs were concerned.  She did encounter a few ducks just sitting on the water near where a feeding station was set up.  The Ducks were either too relaxed or too cold to care when she approached their feed.  There were squirrels and birds n the trees, but they stayed out of our reach.  Towards the far side of the water a pair of swans were gliding together.

It was as if the chill in the air managed to slow down the animals, none of them seemed to mind e four-footed one’s rushing too and fro.  The ignored the crashing and thudding of Beloved’s feet as she pulled him along.  I limped along slowly behind them, my joints stiff and sore.  I wondered which of the two of them would be more muddy, and did we bring enough towels.  But then I stopped caring and just focused on one foot in front of the other as I walked with lupus.

Beloved and the four-footed one did the loop around the lake twice before I had even finished half way around.  Beloved’s shoes were a bit muddy, but his cheeks had a red glow and the smile that covered his face said everything was good in their world.

We finished the way around, me still going slow and steady, Beloved and the four-footed one content now that they had explored the areas and found what needed finding. Initially we had planned to let her spend as long as she wanted at the water, but my slowness and the cold made us change our minds.  She had managed two and a half good loops and would probably rest on the drive home.

Beloved set the car up, grabbed a blanket for me and off we went.  His chilled hands gripped the steering wheel while I had the blanket across my sore legs, the dog resting on top of the blanket.  We’d stop for some apples before we made it home, but only Beloved would get out of the car.  And at home, I already knew that the four-footed one and I would slowly make it up the stairs to rest on the bed while Beloved found himself some food.

I had hoped that walking with lupus would make me feel better, or at least move lupus to the back seat, but it gave lupus energy it seems.  And so now I rest.  Just as the four-footed one rests from al her rushing about.