Thursday, September 10, 2009


On the waning side of the full moon(or is it waxing?) weird things happen. Not the weird of ghosts appearing in the hallway at night or the dog talking. I suppose one would more correctly say different.

The pick up has been having problems. I've taken it to the repair shop several times. The bills are mounting. Each time it appears to perform, or in this case, start without difficulty at first. Then, at odd times it chugs, shakes and coughs. Dawn walks across the tiled floor of the retirement home. She doesn't notice a pool of water because of the usual shiny reflection of the tiled surface. A resident's shower leaks on the 2nd floor. It flows from the sub floor to the opening of a light fixture on the first floor and floods a 4X4 foot area. Dawn takes a header. She files a report. This morning she's sleeping in. Perhaps she'll get an extra hour to heal her aching back.

Mandy's sharp yips draw me from the keyboard to the back door. The cat is sitting on the roof of her doghouse looking smug. Mandy has a piece of brown fur in her mouth that originally was a catnip toy for the Pooch. She looks as if she has a furry, brown clown nose. Out of frustration she's dragged one of two blankets from the doghouse. If she can't torture the cat, she'll take it out on the blanket.

The opening shot of the garden is a good example of life here in September. We're fogged in until the sun rises over the hills to the east. Any person with half a brain would work outside in the cool morning. Slathered with mosquito repellent, early morning garden work is a pleasant, quiet meditation. I don't get to the tomato harvest until the height of the heat of the day. I have an excuse. I didn't think there were any ripe tomatoes left in the garden. On a mid-morning walkabout in the garden, I utter that famous garden curse, Cheeses K. Rice. My Amish friends have a customer who wants bushels of tomatoes. Although organic, my tomatoes are a motley mix of Italian paste, Early 4th of July, Big Boys and Flavor Kings with lots of sun scald and other damage. The Delicious tomatoes are a version of Beefsteak and are the size of softballs. I pick a bushel. The price I sell them barely covers my time in picking and washing.

After performing tasks related to the kitchen remodel, I toss Mandy on the front seat of the truck for a drive across the ridge top. We make a stop at the Kwik Stop for a soda and gas. Mandy reaches over the glass of the partially lowered truck window sniffing fumes and people. She'll put her head in my lap and close her eyes once we get back on the highway. Pulling onto School Road she notices the change in speed and the cover of trees overhead. She jumps on my lap to look out the window. She knows were close to her friend Buddy's house.

It's late in the afternoon. The heat of the day has everyone out on the veranda sewing or just resting from a hard day's work. The Amish have their wood stove going all the time. It's warmer inside the kitchen, but it's a friendly heat that I no longer notice. As I approach the porch, I misunderstand what the Matriarch is saying. "What, the puppy you just gave away to a relative? " I ask. She repeats. "Mandy's friend is gone." Gone? For the past few days Buddy has been wandering further and further away from the farm. They decide to tie him up this evening to cure him of wandering ways. Further explanation. Gone as in dead.

Titus looks for Buddy in the foggy pre-dawn. He's off wandering again. At first light they see a car stop near the end of their road on the busy U.S. highway. The car owner gets out to check for damage to the car and drives off. Buddy is lying on the gravel apron, mortally injured. Later someone drags him into the weeds in the ditch beside the highway.

I offer to throw him in the back of the truck and bury him near the river on our place. Titus comes over and leans on the side of the truck bed. "You got a pitcher of Buddy, right?" He says he'll try to get another furry brown lump from the same person that sold him Buddy. I tell him I'll print out a picture and bring it over Thursday.

Dog gone it. He was my friend too!

1 comment:

melissajmuller said...

Head injuries and dog vs car accidents...that was a hard one to read.

Hope Linda is doing better.