Saturday, April 24, 2021

Solo And Duo Porch Sits


As I came downstairs from my nap, I heard sprinkles on the skylight. Before it got any worse, I decided to bring in the few groceries that I’d picked up earlier on my solo run to Chinamart. I wouldn’t have gone at all, but we were out of a couple things and almost out of water.

It obviously hadn’t been raining long as there was no water in the usual puddles. I sat down in the swing after the stuff was unloaded, both to catch my breath and listen to the sound of the light rain. The dripping gutter leak was making a slow drum beat on the leaves below the eaves--a pleasant sort of sound. You could barely hear the light rain in the trees, partly because the leaves aren’t full size and partly because of the lightness of the rain.

The fuzzy dandelions were surviving the rain fairly well. I saw a few little clumps of bluets here and there and several dogwoods were blooming in the woods before me. Out front, a couple yellow weeds were blooming under the six foot holly beside the big white oak. I’d planted the weeds a few years ago, though I didn’t remember what they were as I sat there in the swing. The holly had been “planted” (so to speak) by a bird’s butt several years earlier. The daffodil that always had a single bloom when it grew as a volunteer in the driveway, has expanded to three blooms where I relocated it under the oak tree.

I noticed a pair of least flycatchers hanging around the porch, no doubt looking for a place to build a nest. I looked at the limb that’s fallen by the white oak in the side yard, hoping it didn’t hit and crack the little concrete dachshund statue over our first doxie’s ashes. I saw and heard a little more rain, plus a target shooter was doing rapid fire practice with his pistol in the distance. I also heard the twin engine plane with the big props somewhere in or above the clouds. I suspect that it’s a commuter flight, as it always seems to be headed south, toward our state capital, where some major airlines still connect. Across the road, I noticed the neighbor’s flag was hanging out in the rain. People used to follow the flag rules, but no more; it hangs out at night, too. I could still barely see across the small hollow before me to the little ridge beyond. I look for the view to be blocked by leaves in another week.

I decided to get the dog and let her drain before the rain got any heavier. She’s like a cat, she doesn’t like baths or rain (though mud puddles are just fine). She drained and then jumped back up on the porch. The drip from the gutter leak grew faster, indicating both heavier rain and the fact that the rain was ongoing. I next heard a drip in the downspout, meaning the water had just then made it past the leak and to the end of the eaves spout. In a couple minutes, there was enough water moving that it became a small stream and quietly ran down the spout, rather than dripping. The pooch and I shared the porch with two bags of trash from Tuesday. My wife had an early doctor’s appointment and I didn’t bother putting them out.

I noticed that my neighbor had quit working in the rain and parked his tractor in the barn. A downy woodpecker worked over a dead sapling nearby as vehicles began passing by on the county road, taking their owners home from work (or shopping). I noticed that there was no interstate noise; maybe the rain dampened it or maybe the traffic was just low on a Saturday.

I took a swig of water from the bottle that I always leave on the swing and noticed, when I moved, that my butt was beginning to get numb. I asked the pooch if she was ready to go in and she wagged her tail. Eventually, she stood and stepped up to the closed door. That was the final sign, so we went back inside. Copyright 4/24/2021




Thursday, April 22, 2021

Heckuva Day!


I was extra tired last night, so instead of staying up until midnight and making today’s meme post, I went to bed after taking the dog out at 11. (I did check with the missus and see if she needed any help walking to the bathroom.) Unfortunately, I woke up at 12 and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I sorted through a couple plastic jars of small gun parts in my bedroom and put the antique and muzzleloader parts in one jar and filled the other with modern parts. By that time, it was 1AM and I was sleepy again. As I sat on the edge of the bed, I heard the rattle of the the wheeled walker of the missus as she went to the bathroom. I immediately asked the Lord to keep her safe, but, in mid sentence, I heard a bang and what sounded like her hitting the bathroom door or the cabinets. A minute later she started howling, so I hobbled downstairs.

Try as we could, even the two of us working together couldn’t get her off the floor. I pulled my usual trick of getting her flaming mad so she’d get up just to prove that she could, but, for the first time, it didn’t work. By 3AM, she’d decided that she’d sleep on the floor and hope for more strength in the morning. I decided otherwise and called 911 (unknown to her, as she’d raised hell if she knew). I asked them not to use lights or sirens, since it wasn’t a life-threatening situation and I didn’t want to wake all the neighbors for two miles. They obliged and were there in 30 minutes. They had her up in a few minutes and were gone by 4AM. I stayed up with her until 6AM, made sure that she didn’t need anything, including a trip to the bathroom, then went back to bed, hoping she’d be okay until 10AM or so.

Low and behold, at 8AM, I heard her “chariot” crossing the bathroom thresh-hold, but heard it return to the back room a few minutes later. When I got up at 10AM, I heard her calling for help from the living room as I came down the stairs. Expecting the worst, I found her lying on the sofa, desperate for a bottle of water. It turned out that she’d been unable to get back into bed at 8AM and had been sleeping on the sofa. After a few minutes,I helped her to the bathroom and then back into her bed. An hour later, she wanted to go to town and get something for us and the dog, so we did. She did well considering her soreness and weakness.

This evening, I got an email from my cousin, who lives in Mom’s building, telling me that she’d fallen today and had to go to the emergency room for a while. They sent her home after wrapping her broken right wrist. I called my mom’s and talked to her and my cousin for a few minutes. What a day! Copyright 4/22/2021


Sunday, April 18, 2021

I Just Missed The Sunset


However, From the looks of what remained, I didn’t miss much--too many clouds. I thought that it was a little bird zipping back and forth above the side yard, but it turned out to be a small bat. It wasn’t making all the usual zigs and zags, which is why I didn’t recognize it at first. A whip-poor-will called farther down the ridge, while a dove made it’s last few coos out by the road. A couple small birds made some “settling in” calls in the woods and then went silent. A dog barked in the distance and somewhere out the road, it sounded like a guy was adjusting his carburetor.

A couple nights ago, I thought that my sinuses were wheezing but soon realized that I was hearing a screech owl at the very edge of my hearing. I heard a barred owl the same night and some coyotes. The song-dogs sounded off to the northeast, then I heard several dogs raise cain in turn traveling west, finally, I heard a dog scream bloody murder to the northwest, so I suppose the coyotes got him. It always makes me angry when pet owners don’t protect their pets, especially at night. It’s not the first time that I’ve heard things die in the darkness, though.

The Mighty Dachshund chose to lie out by the edge of the cool concrete porch this evening, rather than on the warmer door mat. She used to be able to see more out there, but she’s nearly blind now. Her hearing has diminished, too, but her nose seems to be as good as ever. I watched while that little nose fluttered and the nostrils widened as she analogized what she picked up in a breeze that I couldn’t even detect. After a while, she laid her chin on the 5” tall beam of treated wood that was to be the bottom of the screening for the porch (which never happened). She relaxed in that position, but her nose was still active.

The air was warm enough that I could have gotten by without a shirt, but I was still glad that I’d worn a flannel shirt that I keep by the door. Eventually, my backside got numb and my water pill made itself known, so we had to go in. She wasn’t happy about it, but she didn’t resist. Maybe we can sit out there again later this evening. Copyright 4/18/2021