Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fergus, my Faithful Follower

Fergus, the Faithful
This is a difficult blog to write today because I had to say goodbye to Fergus McClain Baron.  I remember just eleven years ago during this  same week of spring, I read an ad that someone in Anderson had  West Highland puppies for sale.  Somehow, I talked Denny into taking me there to see the puppy and that was the end of the “let’s just go look” tale.
I was still teaching and couldn’t bear to leave him home alone.  So, I packed him up in a little crate and took him with me.  Of course, all the kids at Delta thought he was a delight.  The “ I Can” kids supervised him during the day.  They kept a log on his potty and eating schedule, and saw that he had adequate rest time without pats and too much stimulus.
When I retired, Fergie and I became inseparable.  He slept with us and loved going on walks.  The temperament of a terrier keeps his owner active.  There were few days we didn’t walk at least one mile.  Fergie gardened with me, killed moles in the yard, and walked back and forth with me as I gathered flats to plant in the garden.  If I rested on the glider, he too sat on the glider with me.  He loved being outside and wading through puddles or hurdling over snow mounds.  Actually , Fergie kept me moving when I retired and never let me fall into an inactive slump.
Fergus stayed in my art room with me.  If I scrap booked, he laid right at my feet.  When I painted, he was at the bottom of my easel.  When I would write on my computer, he was under my feet.  I just became conditioned to my loving little shadow that followed me everywhere.  We were a team.
Then, about six Christmases ago, we adopted Dobie Gillis.  He had been an abandoned dog and needed a home.  Fergus accepted him so openly.  He stepped back an offered his food to him.  He ran and gave him a stuffed toy.  He had a little difficulty sharing me, but if I petted them both simultaneously all was well.  Now, our walking team was three.Neighbors waved and called “hi” to the boys each day.
 Fergie and Dobie would chase each other in circles around the living room and entertain us, guests, and each other. They laid on their big pillows in front of the fireplace and were content to be sleeping pals.  As soon as I would arise from my chair, both would be at my feet.
 When Ava, our first grand child arrived, they became sentinels on each side of the cradle.  They knew she was family, and they wanted  to protect.  For five years they loved playing pull and tug when she came and sitting in her lap.  Squeals of laughter could be heard as they covered her with doggie kisses.
Fergus’ outstanding trait was his large vocabulary.  He understood so many words.  I would say, “ Fergus, have we praised the Lord today?   He would immediately start turning circles and barking.  If I danced before the Lord using my tambourine, he would bark and run in circles.  He amused my writing friends many times teaching them how to praise the Lord.
We have so many Christmas memories of Fergus waiting for his new toy or stocking filled with treats.  He watched each of us unwrap and awaited his time to tear open his new toy.  I think of all our autumn walks and car rides.  I will miss his huge round black eyes keeping constant eye contact with me all day, every day.
Dobie goes from room to room smelling and looking for his friend.  He waits at the trap door for him to come bounding through but to no avail.  For hours, Dobie has kept his nose pressed against the window looking and looking.  Our sweet Fergie is gone, but oh so many memories remain in our hearts.  Dobie and I will have to adjust . Losing a team member is so difficult.  My red rimmed eyes mourn for my little white fluffy friend who was faithful and gave my retirement even more joy.  You are missed my Fergie boy. You taught me unconditional love.  You taught me joy is in giving.  You made me laugh when I was sad.  You were such an integral part of my living. You will be missed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Respite From Life and Blogging

I have been on a two month respite.  My husband and I chose to stay two months in Florida this year to escape the winter weather.  We just “dwelled.”  It was wonderful just to “be” for a change.  
This personal retreat is good for our marriage.  We choose an unpopulated part of Florida, and we know few people there.  We must rely on each other for comradeship, encouragement, entertainment, and events of the day.  After forty-four years, we know each other well.  So, we both exercise at the beginning of our day.  Denny bikes, and I do yoga and walk.  We both enjoy reading, so we go to the beach and sit and read.  We may take a simple lunch like an apple or peanut butter sandwich, but we just enjoy the sounds of the surf, the smell of the salt, the wildlife at Stump Pass, and shell collecting and beach walks.  It fills our day with so much peace. Just being one with the sea revives me.
One of my favorite times at the beach is late afternoon when the sun is cooler.  I perch my sand chair into the water and just let the waves gently bathe my feet and legs.  All I see is teal sea.  All I feel is the sun’s warmth and tepid waters.  I take in the salty air into my lungs and breathe deeply this fresh scent.  I stare at the level horizon and can feel my brain relax.  I reach down and pluck a new shell that the incoming tide brings to me. Its beauty is absorbing.  I feel the slick finish designed by the sea.  I roll the shell in my hands and peep into its crevices.  I marvel at the dainty swirled top and the elongated edges.  The gentle salmon entrance color creates a warmth within.  This is a treasure from the sea.  It is an unexpected gift of this day.  I delight in the water, the sun, the splashes, and my new found shell.  
I thank God for this beauty and unexpected gift.  I praise Him for His creation and all the beauty He has provided.  I feel His presence in the water, the swirling white clouds above, and the sifting sand below me.  I realize that I too am one of His many creations.  I am touched by the Almighty this day.  For this I am grateful.
It is because of days like this, I have not blogged.  I did not have a great internet connection and could not post my blogs.  I repeatedly lost them.  So, I decided I must need a respite from blogging as well.  I missed my blog buddies, my readers, and those of you who take time to comment.  I am at a point that I wonder if I should continue.  I send this message today to all my faithful followers and friends.  I have missed you.