Monday, August 11, 2008

Frankie's Summer Adventure: The trilogy, part II

After we picked Frankie up at Jamie's, we went to visit our niece and her family. We went out to eat, and took Frankie with us. Of course, he can't go into the restaurant, but he would rather go, and stay in the truck, than be left behind. And since we have a diesel truck, we can leave the engine running, and the air conditioner on, so Frankie doesn't get too hot. (our nephew was aghast--burning diesel at $4.65 a gallon, to air condition a dog!)

When we came back to the truck, Frankie was standing on his hind legs in the back seat, anxiously watching for us. When I opened the back door, he lept out and landed spread eagled on the pavement.

Splat! I heard him hit the pavement, heard the sharp click as his chin hit the ground and his teeth snapped together. All four legs were pointing in different directions. He didn't get up.

I snatched him up in my arms, and my niece, who just finished nursing school, began to feel for broken bones. She said, "I don't feel anything out of place," but Frankie was inert in my arms. My heart sank.

Wick said, "He's breathing. Put him down and see what he does."

He sort of scrambled up onto his feet, staggering around, and bent almost double, nose toward his flank. He tried to hike his leg, and fell over. We couldn't help but laugh as he wobbled around like a drunkard.

I snatched him up again, and again, the brand-new nurse felt for broken bones, and checked his eyes, ears, and mouth for blood. She said again, "Everything seems to be okay. Put him down."

He continued to stagger around, but he wasn't whining or panting excessively, so we put him back into the truck and went to niece's house.

When we got there, he attempted to jump out of the back seat again, but Wick was too fast for him, and caught him on the fly. When he put him down on the ground, I was relieved to see that he not only was walking straight, but had enough spunk to bark at Jen's Labrador retriever, Sophie, as he pranced up the walk to the door.

Was he concussed? Did he get the wind knocked out of him? Probably both. Even though he is a tiny fellow, even somewhat dainty in appearance, he's pretty tough. And he still thinks he is big enough to take on a Lab, even after being down for the count only moments before.

Little did he know what the next day would bring.

to be continued....

Frankie's Summer Adventures: The Trilogy, part I

Frankie, our pomeranian, has had an eventful summer. Unfortunately, he has not enjoyed all of it.

Coming to the lake, he enjoyed. He loves all the rich smells of a lakeside neighborhood: other dogs, cats, racoons, even snakes slithering through the grass. He loves to trot around at our heels as we go up and down the stairs while working on the cabin, up and down the hill to the boat dock, across the street to visit neighbors.

He loves going out in the boat, standing erect at the bow, sniffing the breeze, barking at passing boats and at people waving from their boat houses and docks.

He does not love being left behind when we go on a cruise.

My dear daughter-in-law Jamie volunteered to keep him during that week. She met me at a town half way between our homes. We had a quick lunch, and then Frankie got a treat, a drink of water, a chance to sniff the bushes near the parking lot, and then it was time to say goodbye.

I carried him to Jamie's car, put him on the back seat, petted him, and said to be good. Right up until I shut the door, he was still wagging his tail. But when I shut the door and started to walk away, he realized what was happening.

Y'all, it was like saying goodbye to a child. He put his paws on the window, pressed his nose to the glass, and seemed to be saying Don't leave me!

In addition to having to stay at Jamie's for a week, he had to share house room with Jamie's pug Gracie, and Boston terrier Oreo, an indignity which added insult to injured feelings. Frankie does not approve of people who keep dogs in the house.

Besides having to share attention and petting, he also had to -- gasp -- eat from the same bowl as Gracie and Oreo.

Frankie does not play well with others.

When we came to pick him up after the cruise, however, he seemed to be healthy, and delighted to see us. Luckily, he had no idea what was in store for him the next day.

to be continued...

Fourth of July 2008

Since we have had our lake place, our kids and grandkids have come to the lake for the 4th. This year, since we have a functional bathroom and kitchen, we extended the invitation to other family and friends.
What an enthusiastic response we got! On the Tuesday before the 4th, Wick's brother and his wife arrived, bringing their fifth wheel travel trailer, parking it in the yard.

On the Wednesday before the 4th, son Scott and his family arrived.

Then our niece and her family, with their Airstream trailer.

And our daughter and her family.

And son Ron and his wife.

And nephew Chip with his family.

And cousins Kim and Susan and Danny.

Thirty people. Wow. We had such a great time.

And the biggest surprise was that all the guys brought their tools, and set to work, finishing the back deck, putting up the joists for the deck roof, insulating the loft, putting up paneling, and they even cleaned up the mess when they were done.

In addition to all that work, we found time for swimming, fishing, going out in the boat, cooking, and best of all, eating.

Brisket. Ham. Roast chicken. Fresh squash, tomatoes, banana peppers, onions, and watermelon. Chips and dips, cookies, and home made cakes to celebrate a July birthday.

Fireworks on the boat dock, soaring into the night sky, bursting into sprays of bright colors, reflected like jewels in the dark water of the lake.

Rocking my sixteen year old granddaughter in my lap when she got her feelings hurt. Singing, telling family stories, remembering those who have passed from this world but not from our memories. Offering thanks before meals, holding hands in a circle.

Five days with family and friends. Counting our blessings. How much better could life get?