When work slows down both at home and at the office, whether it’s a home office or an office you go to out of your home, some of us have time to clean up old files, and prepare for the new year. You find interesting things at the end of the year.
On my PC’s desktop I found a scan of a photo that I took over 10 years ago while on late summer vacation with my husband, and the original three dogs we lived with after we got married. From left to right, Jolie, on Chuck’s lap-that’s Cherry Coke, and standing and looking right at me, Veronica. They were all so young. Jolie’s face was brindle, and had yet to turn white with age. Cherry Coke had a patch of fur around her eyes that was worn down by some tough play with Veronica. Veronica was thin and sleek looking–so much so that a broadcaster I worked with thought she was part Saluki. (As far as we could tell V was part lab-Aussie shepherd)
As I look at the picture of my husband and his younger self, wearing the white sneakers that I have since cleaned out of his closet, I think about how great it was that we were able to travel with these three dogs. They liked car rides. Motel accommodations were not hard to find. We all fit in a GM Oldsmobile 88–silver in color, a two-door car, with a bench seat up front (no buckets.) Chuck would enter on the passenger side of the seat, and at that time, had a wheel chair that could fold up into one-quarter of the width that it was when he was sitting in it. He would transfer into the passenger side of the car, fold up the chair, balance it on the lip of the car entry-way. Then he’d slide over to the driver’s side of the car, flip forward the back of the passenger seat and grab the chair, and pull it into the back seat. Then, the dogs piled in in the back. I got in the front. Our cassette deck was loaded with Mickey Katz tapes, or jazz and blues, maybe some Sinatra, and off we would go on the road.
The trunk was packed with cloths, dog food and supplies, bottles of water from our home tap so that the dogs wouldn’t get upset stomachs and digestive systems by drinking water they were not used to when we first started the trip. Chuck would be able to hold onto Cherry Coke while I held onto the bigger dogs on our walks. However, that little girl dog was as strong as an ox. She could pull him as she tried to keep up with me and her “big sisters.”
But, that was the mid-90s.
Now as I look to 2012, and I take inventory of how my life has changed: my career, the responsibilities I’m tackling at home and my concerns for conditions in and around my community. I look at vacations like the one this picture represents as a great luxury. We were fortunate to be able to get on the road and experience the freedom of going places–without wincing at the costs of gas, food and lodging. We didn’t need a passport to cross into Canada. (We brought along a copy of our dogs veterinarian records just in case there were issues with bringing pets across. There weren’t.) We were happy to just watch our dogs play and interact with other dogs along our way. We amused ourselves by being concerned about their comfort and well being. It was enough. And, coming home was nice, with stops in Vermont along our way back to Maryland.
Where ever you go home to at the end of 2011 I hope you are able to let the stress leave your mind and your body and let in the warmth and solace of being with people and animals that give you happiness.