Pete’s Pond and a time to change…

It has been a couple weeks since the Enzo debacle and Chester has been a particularly good dog. We went to a new park, called “Pete’s Pond”. Why Pete’s pond you ask? (I know you asked, I heard you). Well, let me tell you…there was a former landowner named Pete. There is a 19-acre pond in the middle of it. Got it? OK then, moving on. It was a Friday morning walk just before it rained. This really does have to be one of the best kept secrets near us. It was just beautiful. The May apples were in bloom along with wildflowers and cattails. The path is not paved but is well kept and easy to walk. The highlight reel would note the abundance of chipmunks. They were everywhere, just like at our house lately. Usually Chester would be going crazy, but he didn’t even see them. He had his nose to the ground the whole time. I was more excited than he was about the munks. I did not chase them through the mud and woods though. Below are some pictures of this new park. 30 plus years in Lake County and we never knew about it! Go figure.

I know this is a hard time in the world. I started to say “our” world then retyped it. It’s not “ours” any more than it belonged to people 100 years ago. We don’t own the world, if we did we would be able to control or eradicate COVID. We can’t and never will. A vaccine is our way of saying we are adapting to this new variable. We must be flexible, and fight for survival. We (as in humans) have to adapt because if we don’t, more will die. But it seems to take so long, doesn’t it? And do you feel like we are just way too slowly starting to learn more about it and how to change the statistics? We still have too many people dying but isn’t it true that we know so much more than we did? Yet we can’t seem to get where we need to be. Every action seems to be an agonizing decision because we don’t know if we will be safe or not. Should I go to the restaurant? Should I let Chester go to doggie day care? It wears us down.

I thought I was dealing with COVID pretty well when we learned of the death of George Floyd, and the subsequent riots. So far I have been unable to say much because I have nothing but sadness. I, usually one who will wait and see evidence, have nothing to wait for. It is what it is, and what it is, frankly sucks. There have been too many for too long killed unjustly. Each time it happens, I think maybe this is the time, the uncontroversial time that everyone will realize what is happening and change will happen. Even now I hope that finally, with this video evidence, there will be unanimity in the condemnation of racism and brutality. I’m not sure though. I thought that about firearms when Sandy Hook happened. I was wrong. I may be wrong again. I hope not, God I hope not.

Here’s the thing…there are events we cannot control and have to adapt to, like COVID. They take a long time to sort out, but we adapt and will learn new habits to keep us safe. We must figure out a way to adapt our country to prevent events like this event, the death of Mr. Floyd. We must learn new habits to keep people safe.  Right now are protests, (and I mean protests, not looting which is just stealing stuff). But deeper change has to come later. There just must be a collective effort to solve this. We don’t want to go back to the way we were, ignorant. Just like we are making changes because of COVID. We must develop a vaccine against racism and injustice. We must be able to change it like the flu vaccine when a new strain comes, because racism, like a germ, sneaks its way into situations and people.

I think we, or depending on our age, our children, will succeed. I think there will come a time when there are so many different skin colors that the old, race based ways of identifying ourselves will have no meaning. What is white? What is black? Think of it like a business—bigger businesses take longer to change. I remember working in a smaller company and my boss said the big business mentality and bureaucracy would drive her crazy because nothing gets done quickly. Well America is one giant business. From our start it has taken a long time to get things done. There often comes a boiling point, the final straw as it were.  I think or hope that we are at that point. We should have been at it long ago.

Anyway, I appreciate you sharing your time with me. If you get a chance and are in the area, check out Pete’s Pond. If not, go outside. We are at a point of change and it will be good. Welcome the change and let’s rise to a greater, healthier, kinder country. We are at the low point, but we have the opportunity to create a better way. To everything there is a season.

Don’t give up.

Pete's Pond
overlooking the famous pond
tired and happy!

This and That and no Corona…

Chester chased another bunny. This time he didn’t catch it, and it went under the fence before the hound from hell ate it. I purchased a plastic muzzle, size large, which was just too big. Apparently his body is larger than his snoot. I went back and tried a mesh one, hopeful that this would be the end of the great bunny massacre of 2020. I adjusted it and got it on him by straddling him and holding his mouth shut which was no small feat. He was shaking his head but I just kind of bumped him outside and figured he’d get past it. He stood with his legs splayed on the patio and looked up at me with horror so I shut the door. When I peeked out again he was still in the same spot on the patio. I took pity on him and took it off thinking that if there was a bunny out there, he would have chased it already. We did this for a couple days, then today I let him out with the muzzle on and he ran out into the yard, not just the patio. Feeling righteous I went back to the kitchen to make another cup of coffee. I glanced out the window at the sun shining on Chester. Chester with his muzzle hanging around his neck and his tongue flapping in the breeze. He was running around peeing on everything and the muzzle was waving like a scarf. Heavy sigh. Chester 1, me 0. Stay tuned.

Chester and I went for a walk today down a street we usually don’t go. There was a little white yappy dog tearing around the yard like a miniature teeth-filled tornado. It was barking the whole time. Pretty impressive, running and barking. I don’t think I could do that. When I say it was ¼ of Chester’s size that’s giving it the benefit of the doubt. Chester stopped, looked at the dog, turned around and pulled me back the way we came. He was not having it. We walked home and he got a biscuit which made him feel better.

A couple days ago it had just rained and while walking Chester I saw a worm the size of a garter snake. You have to respect a worm that big. Of course I tossed it into the grass. I’m still kind of humbled by such a kingly worm. Seriously impressive. That must be like Grandpa Worm. This inspired not a doggie song but a worm song…it goes like “Baby Shark” but substitute worm. And you wiggle instead of making shark mouths with your hands. And, since worms typically don’t hunt, although this one could have hunted the little yappy dog successfully, I substituted “Let’s go dig.” It kind of works.

I was playing baseball with my grandsons and I got a little tired. The six year old never gets tired of baseball, but the two year old is usually up for anything so I called out “dance break” and started doing the chicken dance. Then I did the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song. After that I just yelled “dance break” every time I was tired. The six year old was generally offended and yelled “NOOO”, but the two year old kind of got into it, especially when we sang “Baby Shark.” He can’t resist Baby Shark but really, who can? I now will have to teach him “Baby Worm.”

Have you heard of this thing called Corona Virus? Me neither. I did however hear a good joke courtesy of my co-grammy: What goes with the Corona virus? Lyme disease. I’m not necessarily taking it lightly but me talking about it isn’t going to do any good. So I went with a “this and that” post today. Yes, I wash my hands. Yes, I maintain social distance when I can, but I’ll be damned if I don’t give someone a hug if they need one (after asking of course). Below is a picture of Chester waiting out the Corona virus and thinking about the atrocity that is the muzzle. Except for the muzzle, that’s pretty much what I have planned too.

Check in on each other now and then, and I’ll be walking Chester.  We are going to make up a Corona virus song…something like “My My My My Myyy Corona” Take care of yourselves! 

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon

Bagels, spring, and Elvis Costello…

Last Thursday morning I needed to mail some cards at the post office, so I drove to Painesville via the side roads. I was apprehensive, since we were in the middle of the third or fourth “blizzard of the century” according to the weather people. The schools were closed so I thought I’d be slipping and sliding. BUT

Some days things go my way! There was very little snow on the road, and I dropped the cards into the box, then realized that Dunkin Donuts was on the way to the highway. (I kind of planned this, let’s be honest)  Guess what? There was nobody in line at the drive through! It’s normally a wait, so  I decided to celebrate and live a little. I got a large iced coffee with cream instead of a medium, and a toasted sesame bagel with…get this….garden veggie cream cheese instead of regular! I was a risk-taking daredevil! I made a couple discoveries

1) A large coffee is a lot of coffee

2) Garden veggie cream cheese is tasty but messier than regular cream cheese

3) It’s kind of disconcerting to feel a chunk of something solid in your mouth when you’re eating cream cheese.

That was Thursday. Today is Sunday, March 1st. What a difference three days makes! It’s 47 degrees, aka flip-flop weather in Cleveland. Chester and I went to Lake Erie Bluffs for a long walk. Of course the snow had melted, and it was pretty muddy. So we went around the meadow trail—still muddy but a little higher ground. Below are some pictures. I discovered that mud, while not good for my tennies, is great for heel spurs. My foot didn’t hurt at all, so I had lots of time to think. This time, I thought about Elvis Costello.

When he was in high school, almost 20 years ago, my son created a portrait of Elvis Costello using round circles. I always liked Elvis Costello when I was younger. I thought he was the essence of honest cool. I did find out that he was born 5 years and 5 days before me, a meaningless but interesting fact. I thought, and still do, that he puts his heart in his music. Of course my theme song is “Watching the Detectives” since that’s basically what I do. So I thought about the Elvis Costello artwork and decided I should frame it and hang it up.

Why is it that some things on our to-do lists that seem so small are harder than they should be? I was happy that it was already matted. But Milo the cat had sneezed snot all over the matting, not so much the picture. I had a frame, and thought, hey why not just take off the matte and frame it? Sigh. The picture just didn’t look the same. So I tried a bigger frame, a different matte, and so on and so on. It’s still crooked. ARGH! Elvis is watching me type and looking like he’s disappointed in me. Not hung up yet but framed.

I have a long list of things like this that I want to do but each one takes forever. Maybe that is what retirement will be…all the little things. I let go of the little things when I am busy. But often the little things are what matter. I do like Elvis. I’m going to get some wire, and fix the matte so it’s not crooked, and hang it up. That should only take me another day, or year. Then I’ll move on to the next project. Have a good week, and if you are lucky enough, enjoy the spring weather. Chester and I did😊

Chester enjoying the high road
Lake Erie Bluffs
Elvis, almost ready.