Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Elf in Harrisburg

Went out early this morning to let the dogs have a good hard run in the snow. It is the delight of Zahira's life to be chased, so I took a toy along so Cairo could chase her. She knows that as fast as she is, she doesn't have a prayer of staying ahead of Cairo when they're both running wide open, so she always heads for "shelter": trees, rough country, the backstops of baseball fields, picnic tables, anything that allows her to dodge, dance, and weave. She'd be a handy little cow-horse. And Cairo when he does catch her, doesn't even roll her or take her toy. He merely "tags" her flank, whereupon she either shrieks in terror or snarls in hatred, depending on how surprised or angry she is that she got caught. Never drops her toy, though.

So I always try to find wide open spaces where, for exercise, they will run straight and true and stretch out. Don't want them making cutting horse turns for an hour. Of course, then Zahira will use me as her structure, and as I walk along she'll make loops around me to foil Cairo's hot pursuit, circling ever closer and tighter around me as Cairo gains on her.

Today we were in a big open area so they got a lot of flat out running. At the end of the field there was a small grove of trees. Zahira headed for it, racing across the field. By the time she got there Cairo was galloping hard, ranging up right alongside her. She shot into the trees and it was like the Lord of the Rings scene where the black riders are chasing Arwen and almost catch her until she dives into the trees zigging and zagging, her horse doing flying lead changes right and left, spraying dirt, jumping logs, and she escapes! As Cairo bore down on her and I saw Zahira head for the trees like a streak of lightning I couldn't resist calling out, "Noro lim, Asfaloth, noro lim!"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The demise of the bookstore

I went today to the liquidation sale at my local Borders bookstore. Even the liquidation prices were higher than those on amazon.com, but I bought a few books anyway, in final tribute to the hours of enjoyment this and many other bookstores have given me over the years. I miss the joys of browsing in a bookstore . Yes, you can find these books on-line now, and yes, I buy books online or download them to my smartphone. But how do you know which books you want? The glory of a good bookstore is browsing the shelves. You might be looking for a particular book on the Civil War, and end up with Freeman's biography of Robert E. Lee, or a book by Joshua Chamberlain, or Founding Mothers, or The Book of Common Prayer, or Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation. Goodbye, brick and mortar bookstores. You will be missed.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to Break Up with Your Boyfriend

"But if I tell you that the lightest touch of your hand makes my blood cold with antipathy; that from the hour when I first saw and hated you, to now, when my instinctive repugnance is enhanced by every minute's knowledge of you I have since had, you have been a loathsome creature to me which has not its like on earth." - Edith Dombey in Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Zahira and the Fireflies

(Sounds like a childrens' book title...)

Lots of fireflies outside tonight. Zahira's never seen them before. They must be destroyed! She runs around the yard snapping them out of the air. Fireflies obviously don't taste very good, because her lips are curling in disgust when she snaps them up. In the gloaming she ends up with quite the Hound of the Baskervilles effect, with a glowing mouthful of teeth.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And to dust we shall return

A co-worker was killed in a car accident one week ago tonight. She was unmarried and was a wonderful, happy, fun-loving person. (Coincidence? I think not).

Services were tonight: the only "funeral" being her wake followed by a prayer service.

We all crowded into a long, narrow room. For some reason the only chairs were along each of the long walls, facing to the center of the room, so almost everybody simply stood in the center of the room, those in the back seeing only the people standing in front of them. Her family, a sister, brother, elderly mother, and a niece, sat at the front of the room in that odd line of chairs against the wall.

Margaret in her coffin was alone in the room behind that, apparently having to eavesdrop on her own funeral.

The service begins:

"Good evening. I am Father.....

.......

.......

.....Michael......

..............

......[last name].

Margaret must have not belonged to a church and the family, from out of town, apparently requested a priest and were assigned Father Michael S-.

Father Michael explained that he DID know his own name, but that he had a......

..................

.......speech........

.......impediment......

and that it was going to be a long night.

He said that he felt sorry for Margaret's family, being from a different state and knowing no one here, and being assigned this priest with a speech impediment. He'd apologized to them and Margaret's sister told him it was all right, that Margaret had a sense of humor and would have laughed about it.

I was appalled that this lovely woman's funeral was going to be spoken by this severely impeded priest who never even knew her and tears sprang to my eyes. It was crushing.

"If God be for us, who can be....

.......................................

.......................................

......................................

against us."

It was like he was waiting for us to complete his sentences.

"He who believes in.......in.......... ...............

................

ME. ME! Say ME, for the love of God!

"And God so loved his only begotten.......

...........

...........

And then this fountain of joy sprang up inside me as I could see Margaret laughing, saying "SON." SON. Say "SON" right NOW. Say it. SAY. IT.

It was wonderful and humorous. To his credit, Father Michael had done his job well with the family - he had learned a lot about Margaret, even correctly remembering the names of all her beloved dogs (she was involved with rescue with the humane society). Once he started reciting the liturgy, his words came more smoothly and it was a nice prayer service. I thought that for humor value alone, if I WAS going to have a wake, I'd pick this guy.

Sileo in pacis, Margaret.

You are missed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sunday, April 6, 2008

"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"

Rackety got out this evening. I came outside a little later to find placed on my doorstep the head, and only the head, of a tiny baby bunny.

I knew she didn't like that new cat food, but that's no reason to go all Godfather on me.

Later on I caught her ordering this: