Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our Ladybug

For the second time in less than four months I find myself writing about the loss of a pet.

Lady came to CarolAnn and me a few years ago when her master died of old age. Homer was a wonderful neighbor in Glendora. Whenever he went to visit his family out of state Lady stayed with us and gradually became a member of our family. 

From the beginning she was the sweetest animal we've ever known. We loved Cricket more at first because we had loved her longer. But Lady came to us gently, quietly; satisfied with our kindness and patient with our distractions. 

When Cricket died this past February, Lady became the light of our lives.

These pets. They crawl into our hearts and nest there. They ask nothing of us except love and security. In return they give us the most purely selfless devotion that can exist in flesh and bone.

They won't quit on you, no matter what.

When your heart aches they flood it with comfort. 

Lady died as she lived: quietly, with gratitude and never a complaint.

If you ever had a dog that loved you, you know the love of God. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No biggie.

May 6th - AC stops working in our Toyota Sienna minivan.
May 7th - Toyota dealership fixed AC, $759.45.
June 7th - AC stops working again.
June 8th - Toyota dealership determines the new part broke and they don't have another one. They tell me to bring it back Tuesday, June 11th.
June 7, 8, 9, 10 - Hot days, driving with no AC. Then, back to the dealership...
June 11th - They still don't have the part. Nobody ordered it. They'll call me in the morning.
June 12th - They did not call. I called them. Yes, they have the part! Bring in the van, we'll fix it and give you a free rental car.
June 12th - I take the van back to the dealership. They have the part but no rental car. Guy says they will call me tomorrow. I drive home with no AC. be continued...

But here's the point:

Three or four guys dropped the ball and I will be talking with the service department manager soon. Still, this is life. Stuff happens. People screw up everyday. I sure do.

I'm home now in the air conditioned house. I'm healthy. My family loves me. I'm happy. The stupid AC will get fixed sooner rather than later.

As Jimmy Buffett said, "Life is just a tire swing."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our silver anniversary

Our wedding carriage with the fringe on the top.
Yesterday was our silver anniversary. Carolann and I have been married for 25 years. Like everybody else who is blessed to reach this milestone we keep wondering, where did the time go?

25 years!

It sounds so long but lived so fast.

Our kids were kids. Jeremy had just turned eleven, Nathan was only seven. The four of us shared a Western wedding at Milhaus Ranch just outside of Nevada City, California, a June day that began overcast and ended with sunshine streaming through a tiny break in dark gray clouds; a single ray of sunlight that landed on nobody but the two of us standing before the covered wagon altar. At the time everybody said it was a sign of God's blessing.

Now I'm thinking maybe it was.

In our memories and photo albums 25 years is all a happy blur. We remember (or reinvent) the best of times vividly. The rough patches just seem like faint scrapes on a perfectly aging portrait.

Yesterday somebody asked the secret to our marriage. It's no secret, I said. We were good friends before we fell in love and we make each other laugh.

Milhaus Ranch, June 4, 1988
Very rarely we make each other cry.

A good marriage is like a carousel ride. You go up and down, around and around, accompanied by weird, happy music.

You laugh a lot.

And it seems like it will last forever.

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