August 12, 2012

On Y Va

With the French relatives here, I have learned some handy French phrases and the one I’ve heard the most is on y va. In French this means, on our way or as we say, let’s go!

This phrase reflects two very different emotions for me. First, excitement because when I hear on y va, I know it means we’re going to get to do some really fun stuff. Chief among these excursions was hiking and if you know me at all, you know I am at my happiest when I am hiking a long, windy trail preferably one that ends at a body of water.

It also meant walks with my new French pack to all my favorite locations and soon Gretchen started using it with our dog walking clients as well.  Now I think every dog we walk can speak at least one phrase of French!

One of my favorite on y va moments was when we got to hike to Spider Meadow. The photo to the left is of Gretchen and me at Spider Meadows last week. We had no idea that my Uncle Phil was taking a photograph of us taking a photograph of ourselves, but the night before he headed back to Wisconsin, we downloaded some of his photographs. This was one of them. I really like it. Rarely do I get photos of the two of us doing what we love to do most…running around the great outdoors…so thanks, Uncle Phil. It’s a photograph we’ll always treasure.

Another wonderful on y va adventures we a trip to Rattlesnake Ridge where we not only got to run up the mountain (well, they walked…I ran), we also got to go swim in the lake. As you know, I am a big fan of swimming be it in a lake, a river, our friend’s pool, or at Gretchen’s work. In fact, I’d say I’m pretty fanatical about swimming so whenever I hear that on y va involves water, I’m thrilled.

But there’s another kind of emotion that on y va evokes and that’s worry. You see, my French family includes two teenagers and they aren’t like dogs at all. Nope, Gretchen says and I must agree, that teenagers are more like cats. Not that I’ve ever lived with cats before, but apparently they are known for moving at their own pace. What this means for me is that while I’m excitedly waiting at the door to go on our next adventure, the teenagers are moving as slow as molasses in January.

Thomas had to do his hair and pick out just the right outfit and guess what? So did his sister, Helena. If I heard the phrase on y va more than 4 times, I knew things were getting stressful and so I did my best to sit by the front door and just wait for my instructions. (The front door is the best place to sit because you never get left behind and if you do get left behind, you get a treat…well, at least at my house anyway!)

There were times, I must admit, when on y va made me cringe because I knew it meant that the adults were trying to get out the door and the kids were slowing everything down. Leaving my relatives behind when we said adieu for the night was also hard. We gave them our house to live in and we packed our bags and lived at Tyson’s house as well as Ben’s house (our friends’ Doris and Stephen’s). It was good to see Ben and he was thrilled to have us there, but of course, was sad when we said on y va in the mornings.

Of course, I didn’t get to go on all the French adventures. Nope, I had to work, but I didn’t mind because my dog walking friends wanted to hear all about my French relatives.

Tyson (who we were pet sitting during all of this) LOVED the French relatives and nuzzled them with his nose every chance he got. “On y va means to me,” he told me just today, “That my leash will be held by a sweet French girl and that makes my stump of tail vibrate!”

Monty never got to meet the French relatives, but I told him all about them. “We’re French, aren’t we?” he asked the other day and after I looked it up on the internet, I was kind of joyful.

“Why Monty, I never knew that I had French blood. How did you know?”

“I guess it’s my love of cheese,” he chuckled.

Oh Monty!

Roux met the French relatives, but it was on the street as they were often heading off to some Seattle tourist attraction on the city bus while we were out and about walking dogs. So Roux thought we were just being nice when we stopped to talk what she thought were French relatives at the bus stop.

“They’re my relatives!” I told her.

“Really? They look nothing like you?”

Oh Roux!

Woobie didn’t get to meet the relatives either, but she didn’t seem to mind. As long as she has a lake to swim in, Woobie is an on y va dog just like me.

Carter and Kali would have liked to meet the relatives, but I haven’t officially met them either. Gretchen told me, though, that Carter and Kali embody on y va.

“Why?” I asked her.

“Well,” she explained, “Let’s just say they are always about going. It’s so much about going that I have a hard time taking a photo of them together!”

It’s been a good week. Not only have I learned a handy French phrase, but I got to hang out with Tyson at his house…though he’s kind of a bed hog…

…I got to hang out with my relatives at our house…and last night we made fresh pasta!!!!!! I love to help!

…and out in the great outdoors…

…and I got to see all my dog friends and share all the funny on y va stories — both exciting and worrisome.

The relatives are on board a cruise ship now headed for Alaska. They’ll be back next Sunday, but just for a short time before they head back to France. I don’t want them to on y va, but Gretchen says it would be way too exhausting and crowded for us all to live together. Besides, she told me, they have a dog of their own and he misses them tremendously (as much as they miss him). In that case, I will soak up our last night together and then, when we drop at them at the airport I will wiggle my adieus and bon voyages with a happy/sad heart.

Meanwhile we will continue to on y va!

But first, I need a nap!


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