Monday, November 16, 2009

Winter is Rushing in

A new chapter of my life has begun. My son Liam Robert is here. His official entrance to the world was @ 2:23 a.m. October 28, 2009. At birth he was 7 lbs 13 oz. and 21 inches long. The guessing game nightmare is finally over. We are completely taken with him- if you can imagine. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Definitely his mothers doing. I'll love him in spite of it. As we pass from autumn to winter my little family has had to make some big changes. Some were results of choices we made and knew the outcomes. Such as moving into a new home in a new city and of course the addition of Liam. Others were not planned and we have found ourselves simply trying to cope with and accept. Such as the passing of our sweet little puppy Lilly. She was hit by a car and from my observations would have died instantly. My father was at our house waiting for us to return so he and I could go and cut wood on the land. He had an unusual expression and seemed pretty somber. I thought he was upset from having to wait too long for us to get back in from town. He told me that he had found Lilly shortly after he arrived at the house. We concluded that all things happen for a reason and so it was with the passing of Lilly and the mercy of neither Sara or having to be the discoverers of her in that condition (Dad had kindly taken care of her and placed her in a box). We buried her beneath the old, old maple tree and had a little gathering where she lay. Viki and Laura came up and made dinner for us. We were glad for their support and understanding. Many people would think us strange for carrying on so about a dog. But, she was not just a dog to us. She was a family member and a dear friend. It still hurts to think of the loss. But it is easier now. Time really does mend broken hearts. We will never forget her, however, and she rests in my heart and mind not so much as a memory but as a feeling as real as a cool breeze or the sun on your skin, the smell of the sea air and the sounds of the forest. Those are the kinds of things that once you experience will never leave you. They become a part of you. They are gifts from our Maker as Lilly was and I will forever be grateful for the gift Lilly was and continues to be. So, as the sun has set on the life of a dear friend it has risen on another... my son, who has just begun his sojourn on this sphere. I hope to be a guide to him along the way.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I think I'm starting to like Lilly

Lilly is a nearly three year old pug. She doesn't do much in her down time, but when she comes to life she really lives. She has changed my life. To begin with, the Pug is a companionship breed. What this really means is that a pug will become depressed and sickly unless it is receiving constant positive attention and praise. Lilly was one of my great bargaining products. She was originally worth $500! I talked the breeder down to $125. Her parents are both winners and are a part of the North American Who's Who of Pugs ( I made that up...the fact is they were prized breeders that people from around the country request puppies from.). We could have purchased the proof of her strong bloodline, but Sara and I wanted a friend, not a document.

Who could have known that the talking down of her monetary value would set a difficult standard for the better part of her life now. She has nearly died 3-4 times. I have been directly responsible for none of those times. Indirectly...twice. She had an allergic reaction to a flea medication I treated her with after a bath. The skin fell off her back and her temperature rose to a nearly fatal point. I don't know how many people can say they have packed a pug on ice in order to make sure it didn't boil itself on the way to the vet E.R. I can. Another time she ate a Special Dark candy bar I got for Sara as a gift. About 5 oz. Enough to kill a dog. I got a call from Sara while I was at work. She stated in a nearly inaudible manner that Lilly was dieing, that I needed to come home and save her. I got to the house made a salt and water slurry and forced it down her (Lilly's) throat with a syringe and flexible tubing. She emptied the contents of her stomach onto the bathroom floor. She's about 15 pounds now. I'm going to try and illustrate what this animal did to herself. This is the math as I see it: 16 oz=1 lb (15 lb*16 oz.)= 240 oz. 5 oz. of 240 oz. is 0.021 or 2.1%. I weigh about 155 lbs. 2.1% of 155 lbs is 3.255 lbs! Can you imagine cramming 3 1/4 pounds of Special Dark chocolate down your gullet and then being forced to spew it all up with no understanding of what was going on? Lilly has done the equivalent and loves me in spite of what I did to her to save her life.

Well, after all of the things we have done and been through together, of which I have only recorded a very small part due to time, space and attention span constraints, Lilly and I have grown quite close. She is predictable and honest. She is a loyal companion. She wants us to be pleased with her and really tries to make us proud. She hiked all over the Oregon and Washington coasts for miles like a pro across terrible terrain and through all sorts of weather. She has gone on countless nature walks, bike rides and road trips. She is an accomplished swimmer (not many pugs get very far before they simply begin to sink) lawn mower attacker, broom avoid-er and anywhere-anytime sleeper. Lilly is, simply put...Fun!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Looking forward to changes

I have been studying knots, boat building, rope, sail making, oar making, fishing, on and on and on. I don't know where the obsession comes from. It could be because the sea represents freedom to me and now that I'm moving into a new stage of life I feel the need to maintain some sort of freedom. My son will be born any day now. My amazing wife is at wits end as her body is being so cruel in this, the home stretch. While trying to read the mixed signals of Sara's body we are in the middle of moving and trying to balance my jobs. Schedule, money and muscles are all pretty tight and time is flying by. With the passage of time has come the changing of the seasons. However, it seems almost as though we're going to skip autumn. Like this year could only afford three seasons thanks to the recession and all; spring, summer....winter. It got cold too fast. I hope it warms a little before the snows come. I'm glad we've had better rain this year as the trees have such striking colors. Last year it seemed to go from green to brown as it was so dry. I look forward to the changing trees all year. My upcoming goals are to find an alternative to bike riding this winter as it will be too dangerous to ride on ice, complete application for financial aid for spring 2010, get new tags for the car, welcome my son into the world work on memorization and select good cuttings for hardwood tree propagation. Phew! Oh yes... and get ready for the holidays.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well, as it would turn out, the more I study sailing the more I feel like I have to do it. I think it is one of the things that I'm supposed to do. Like playing the violin. However, in order to accomplish that goal I need to work on some serious stepping stones. As I am a poor lad, I have to go forward to go back. I can't simply get a boat, take some courses and take off on an adventure. There is working, planning and growing to do. I still need to get my education underway. I have been planning on joining the military for years now, and it seems like the time has grown very close to when I actually will enter "The Ranks". So... Air Force for 22 years or so and I'll be able to retire securely with a boat, my fiddle and lovely wife. Don't worry Sara, I'm not going to be a dead-beat phlebotomist for the rest of my life.