Tuesday, July 26, 2011

That Wacky Dog's Tail

We're back! 

And sooo thankful for more leg room after eighteen straight hours in Vantana's air conditioned belly.  Our annual summer road trip now a hazy, sun-soaked memory, it has taken us several days to reacclimate to the world of chores and busy schedules.  But amid the transition, one constant, faithful reminder of what it means to come home...

Each year while we visit family, our dog Fudge (who would love to go with us, but would never tolerate the grueling trip) goes instead on her own little mini vacation to visit her litter-sister Girlie.  Our friends, a.k.a. Girlie's people, having recently moved to a three hundred acre monastic retreat center, welcomed her as  they always have despite their increased responsibilities of managing and caretaking.

Whether it was the unbearable heat this year or the stress of finding her second family in unfamiliar surroundings, Fudge divided her vacation time between wading in the river, sniffing out and applying (doggy- style) aromatic fragrances, and shedding copious amounts of fur.  We're talking fistfuls at a time here, enough to stuff a duvet with - though of course no one with any (human) sense of smell would ever be able to sleep under it!

We had to rid ourselves of an unwelcome house guest before we fetched her back...

...but she was overjoyed to finally come home a day or two after we returned.  We, on the other hand, couldn't wait to give her a bath!  The excess fur we brushed, and brushed, and brushed off of her first now acts as an aromatic wild critter deterrent around the garden.

So... besides being grateful for stretched legs, we offer our profuse thanks to:

- Girlie's people for putting up with both the stink and the unexpected floor covering....

- Kindly neighbors for faithfully tending the "livestock", a.k.a. Dori & Grommit Pig....

- The BIG GUY UPSTAIRS for a safe trip and a hot and humid first week back (so that we didn't feel guilty about just lazing around in the pool)....

....and man's best friend.

(Okay, okay!  And to the Cat who brought us a fresh "gift" despite having been left to fend for herself...!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just Call Her AL

You've heard her referred to on this blogspot as Yet Another Daughter, Sweetie Petite-y, or maybe even the Forgetful-Forgotten Child, but in reality we just call her AL

Albert Einstein that is. 

She is female, the third Critter of her gender to make the scene.  Also the shortest and most forgetful.  Yet she is probably the most intelligent of the lot.  And definitely the most logical, despite her ongoing battle with math homework. 

Like her namesake, she too thinks of time as a very abstract theory...

...one she doesn't entirely get.

AL could also stand for "Always Late".  It's almost as if she's slogging through jello while the rest of the world is wearing jetpacks. 

Oh, she can move fast, don't get me wrong.  I've seen her race across the lawn like wildfire... but instead of burning around the "home tree" ahead of her "it" sibling, she might just hug the towering maple and begin to minutely inspect its bark... which can go on indefinitely, as if there is nothing more interesting or important in the world.

And maybe there isn't...

She is easily distracted,
eats slower than a tortoise,
reads voraciously,
makes up her own languages,
writes beautiful prose,
and begins every other sentence with "Did you know......?"

Trying to rush her is like trying to melt butter with a glare.

She takes life and all it has to offer exactly as it comes to her.  What strikes her as fascinating is often overlooked by the rest of us.  As I breeze by on my latest urgent quest, she takes time out to muse over and appreciate... well... everything.

Different drummer.
Another time zone.
Head in the clouds.
Not on the same page.

Those cliche' can't touch AL.

There is no perfect word or phrase to describe her.  But let me suggest one anyhow...


This is not a word I fabricated.  AL came up with it herself while still a preschooler.  It was her turn at charades, a game we played often as a family, simplified to accommodate the various ages of the Critters.  Spinning madly across the floor on her hands and knees, she had us stumped as to what animal (her chosen category) she could possibly be.

Tasmanian Devil?

Whirling Dervish?

Dog chasing its tail?

"I'm a  Bull-Tomango, can't you tell!?

That there was no such thing didn't phase her a bit - she had thought of it, so obviously there was... we just hadn't heard of it yet.  If we thought about it, just because we hadn't heard about something didn't mean it wasn't real.


So her reality doesn't always jive with what the rest of us are experiencing - so what?

Neither did Einstein's.

And just because the rest of the world is stuck in high gear, that doesn't mean she should be.  Frustrating as it is sometimes, I would like to be more like her.  Not tied to a schedule.  Unconcerned with punctuality.  Living totally in the moment... for the moment's sake.  Believing in Bull-tomangos.

It's all relative.