January 25, 2012

The In-Betweens

Yes, I’ve been neglectful and have not updated this blog for quite some time.

Yes, I feel bad about it.

Yes, I have my reasons and no, I won’t go into them.

Instead, the swirl and whirl of my days has made me realize how much of the in-between time takes up our lives.

Sure there are the dogs to walk. Sure there are the blogs to write.  Sure there has been Max to care for. Sure there are things to manage — like getting Gretchen off to her pool work on time or paying the bills or doing the laundry or making dinners or grading papers (Momma Ann). But there are also things that happen in between the expected stuff — slivers of life, as it were, that can consume time so rapidly you’re not sure if you’re coming or going.

How to capture those slivers has been on my mind lately and up until yesterday I was stymied about how to explain them. Then one event crystallized the whole dilemma.

First, we picked up Rosie (a little later than usual because we were at the vet’s office with Max) and as usual she was happy to see us, but instead of our normal walk, we headed over to Monty’s house.

Normally (as if there is such a concept in my life) we’d get Monty first and then head to Rosie’s, but today, it just worked out to pick up Rosie then walk to Monty’s and then head out on a longer walk with both of them.

Anyway, we walked (Rosie and I) to Monty’s house, leashed him up, and set out for the park. Monty loves Rosie and the feeling is very mutual. So they walked side by side bumping into each other with delight while I walked on the other side of Gretchen. Down the street we went when we passed the last house on the block — an old white house with a big yard front and back.

Next to the walkway going up to the house someone had set out their umbrella — fully open and propped in between two bushes. No doubt they were hoping to have it dry out after all the rain and wetness of late.

I saw the umbrella, Monty was oblivious to it, and Gretchen only gave it a passing glance.

Rosie, on the other hand, thought the sky had fallen and panicked sideways knocking her sturdy Boxer body into Monty’s gangly Poodle frame which in turn cut Gretchen off at the knees.

It all happened so fast that I’m sure none of us took a breath as Gretchen went straight up in the air — as in her feet kicked out from under her and went toward the sky — Monty skittered to one side, Rosie to the other (far away from the umbrella as she could get!), and I ran to the end of the leash to avoid being squashed.

At the pinnacle of Gretchen’s ascent, her phone slipped up and out of her breast pocket and started to ring.

And then everything crashed down — Gretchen, the phone, and all the leashes. Monty went over to Gretchen instantly (he’s like that) and asked, “Are you okay?” and Rosie kept an eye on the umbrella while I said a few choice doggie curse words, my tail tucked and my ears flat on my head.

I snapped out of it once I saw the blood as Gretchen picked up the phone and answered it (not sure why, but she did). Both wrists were red and drippy and the blood ran down her arms like small rivers. And then I saw the hole in her pants at the knee and more blood oozing from the wound.

You’d think that at this point we’d head home, don’t you? I mean, we were half a block away, but no, Gretchen picked herself up (after finishing the phone call), grabbed the leashes, reassured all of us and off we went on an hour walk.

It’s not like this happens every day. In fact, it rarely happens, but it illustrates quite nicely how a day planned can be flipped upside-down by umbrellas lurking in the bushes…metaphorically speaking. And lately, it’s kind of felt like there are a lot of umbrellas lurking in the bushes.

Straight lines have not been our destiny these days. We’ve been weaving and dancing around snow and wind, injured dogs, our heavy hopeful hearts and an extra abundance of daily tasks (laundry at the top of the heap…yes, a joke within a joke).

But today, the rain stopped, the wind inhaled, and we saw a Kingfisher within hand’s reach while walking by the lake.

These are good signs.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping…good signs that the “in betweens” will no longer dominate and we can move on a bit straighter track.

But ya never know. Those swirls and whirls might be as hidden as umbrellas.

Until then,


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