My 60th birthday trip to Greece was definitely not happening this summer. Thank goodness we hadn’t paid any money for it before the world shut down. Instead, we stayed home, safely enclosed by our fence, and had a lovely summer. Louie was the happiest dog in the world as he ran free in the back yard with his humans constantly home. The wildlife was plentiful as well, including turtles, a groundhog, and a hawk’s nest at the very top of one of the huge pine trees near the house. The three babies were awe inspiring to watch as they grew and explored our back yard all through June and July.
Emily did a two-week quarantine, got a negative COVID test, and came to stay with us for three weeks in June, and then again for seven weeks in August and September. She brought her two kitties, Buster and Moon, and we all laughed a lot watching Louie adjust to his new roommates. Emily and I did zoom yoga classes on the deck, went on long bike rides, and cooked amazing meals together.
Just as I was pulling out of my driveway for the five-hour trip to Barre, MA and ten days at Forest Refuge, the oil change light blinked on my dashboard. Oh, no… I remembered there was some warning light flashing as I drove to FR in January of 2015 just when my mom found out that she had leukemia and her doctor suggested hospice. That was certainly a strange time to be on retreat. This time I knew I could easily take care of the oil change when I came home, but I had a sinking feeling that the warning light did not bode well.
We took a big step and fenced in our back yard. After over 30 years living here with four different dogs, the time had come. It was a major expense but a huge success. Louie loves it and we are greatly relieved to know he can run and chase birds while staying nearby and safe. When Louie was a puppy, we let him run around the yard and follow us here and there. We even let him run free on some of the nearby trails through preserved open space. It was thrilling to see his unbounded joy at running full speed through fields and woods. As he got older, he ranged farther away from us, but usually stayed within sight or earshot. A few times he chased some deer and I thought I would never see him again, but he always came back eventually. Then, it started taking longer for him to come back, three, five, ten minutes. Waiting with heart in mouth was nerve racking.
We ventured out west twice this summer, though we didn’t originally intend to. Our Lewis and Clark themed trip to Montana was already planned when we learned that Emily would be the production manager for the Aspen Opera Center. Of course we bought more plane tickets and arranged to visit her there.
Louie and I just got home from our second visit to Preston, CT and cousin Mike and Kathy’s farm. The first visit was back in December where Louie discovered dog heaven, with fields and wooded trails to run in, goats to chase, and donkeys and alpaca to investigate. The second time, he met 14-week-old Tessa, the impossibly cute golden retriever puppy, the newest member of their family. Continue reading →
Today we got a new puppy. He is 10 weeks old. (I am writing this several months later.) His name is Meriweather Louis, after the intrepid explorer of the American West, and we got him from Cerise English Springer Spaniels in Sherman, CT. Michael had found out about the breeder, and I had visited last March, on my way home from a meditation retreat in Barre. After all the mysterious and unexpected health problems Hugo developed, we wanted to make sure our new family member was healthy and strong from the beginning, so we decided not to get another rescue. Continue reading →
Today is our 35thwedding anniversary and we have been celebrating for over two weeks. Actually, there are many things to celebrate, including Michael’s birthday and the end of the second cancer year. On May 24 we flew to Seattle for the beginning of our Alaskan adventure with Uncruise. After two days at the elegant Mayflower Park Hotel and some fun touristy walks around the city, we flew to Sitka to board the SS. Legacy for seven days of inside passage wilderness. Continue reading →
It was time for a winter get-a-way to someplace warm. It was also a great opportunity to see my sister again. We decided on Tucson where we could relax and visit for a few days before I went on another Backroads biking trip. Susanne thought the last time she had visited was 2007, the final year my parents spent the winter there. For me it had been much longer. Continue reading →
I can’t believe he is gone. We didn’t have enough time with him and now the house is too quiet. I find myself wanting to check on him or thinking of getting him his special food at the market. Poor dear Hugo had not been doing well as of last summer. He didn’t want to walk, couldn’t get in the car and wasn’t interested in his dry dog food. He walked in circles and seemed to get lost in the house. He had been slowing down for the past year or so but was much diminished when we picked him up from the kennel after our trip to Scandinavia. Continue reading →
At long last the new music building in the Lewis Arts Complex is ready and the university celebrated with a weekend of festivities and special events to inaugurate all the new rehearsal and performing spaces. The theatre and dance departments brought in famous special guests from outside the university community. The music department showcased all our in-house talent, featuring faculty and student performers from the orchestra, glee club, jazz ensembles, as well as Richardson Chamber Players, So Percussion, Plork, new music by the Sound Kitchen faculty and grad student composers and more in performances that took place all over the campus. Continue reading →