I had left my duty station at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC and was now stationed at Fort Lewis Washington. I remember feeling lucky as Fort Lewis was fairly close to Puyallup, Washington which was were I had called home most my life.
I can’t remember if Peter and I had just gotten married or if we were about to be married. What I do remember is that I wanted to take him to meet my great grandmother Mabel Palmer. I called the nursing home and made plans to visit. I was excited to see her as I had not been back home in a while. While on the phone with my grandmother I asked her if there was anything I could bring her, she requested a box of Kleenex ,some cheese balls and some yarn for her to crochet coverings on wooden hangers.
I was so excited to introduce Peter to my grandmother they shared a love for music. As a child when I would visit my grandmother I would lay on the floor and listen to her play Piano. Peter also loves to play Piano. When we first met he tried to drag me out to places with pianos so that he could play. I knew the two would instantly bond.
I had not seen my grandmother since she had moved into a nursing home. On the way to visit we stopped and picked up a box of Kleenex, some cheese balls and a few skeins of yarn.
When we arrived I instantly gave grandma the cheese balls and the Kleenex and introduced her to Peter. She thought he was very handsome. We were in her room chatting for a 15 or 20 minutes enjoying the cheese balls when a staff member came in and said, excuse me miss, that is not your Grandmother… Your grandmother is over there.
Oh my goodness, I just stood there not sure of what to do. I could not ask this lady to give me back the cheese balls and Kleenex as I had handed them to her and she was so pleased that we had come to visit.
Peter still teases me about taking him to meet my grandmother and then introducing him to someone else instead. I think he tells this story better than I do. I had forgot the yarn in the car so I was able to give my grandmother something. It has been 30 years since this happened and I can’t seem to remember if my grandmother was annoyed that I gave away her cheese balls and Kleenex. I still have a some of the hangers she made for me with the yarn I gave her. I also have so many fond memories of spending summers with her.
I was working at the assisted living facility in Lakeway, Texas as a medication aide. My job consisted of getting to work at 0500 and making my rounds giving residents medications. Many residents needed medications multiple times a day. By the time I finished the morning rounds it was time to start with the afternoon medications. This was a job where I needed to be well rested , alert as giving the wrong medication at the incorrect time , wrong dose or with a conflicting drug could be dangerous or fatal. I had to be on my A game!
I was used to going to bed early so that I could get a good night sleep . Things had been going pretty well until some new people moved across the street and down a house. Their backyard was just kitty corner from my bedroom window.
I generally went to bed around 2200 and at 2300 I was awakened by a bark bark bark bark. It sounded like a herd of dogs outside my window. I got up , got dressed and I went down the street to find the barking dogs. I rang the bell of the new neighbors house and told them that they needed to bring they dogs inside as they were barking continuously and that I needed to be up early. The dog owners told me that their bedroom faces the other way so they cannot hear them bark. I asked them nicely to please bring the dogs inside but they refused. So every night for 3 weeks when the dogs woke me up I would get up, get dressed and go ring the doorbell to ask the dog owners to please bring the dogs inside. By the end of the three weeks I was tired and sleep deprived. I was using ear plugs but the noise echoed from the dogs backyard into my window. So i decided to get up one last time. I walked to their house . But this time instead of ringing the bell I just stood there outside the gate. The dogs stopped barking. I started to go back home but then they started barking again. So I walked over and opened the gate to the back yard. I noticed a 50 lb bag of dog food on the ground with a circle cut out of the center for the dogs to eat out of and a huge tub for water that was empty. I looked around the backyard and then I looked at the doggies and I don’t know what came over me but I said, “Go now , be free! ” I walked home leaving the gate wide open.
The next day a friend called me and told me she found a lovely dog without a collar. She had wanted a dog! A few days later another friend called me and said she had also found a dog and if she didn’t see any signs up she would be happy to keep it. So both dogs ended up with good new owners and I got to sleep!
And now for the confession! Both my friends put up signs that they found the dogs and every morning on my way to work I would take them down.
I never did see any lost dogs signs so I figure those dog owners really should not have had dogs!
The photo of the dogs in this blog are not the dogs I set free.
We got our first winter snow this morning. I did a quick walk around the yard to take a few photos and I had just finished making my snow Angel. Then I saw a young boy in our backyard. Apparently his dog came over to visit Piper. I was able to get dressed before he got to our backdoor. This is the 3rd time in 14 years that anyone has come around to our backdoor. I admit that I have been a member of the naked snow angel club since I was a small child. Maybe I should hang a sign that says this is a clothes optional property.
February is a new month and the beginning of a new chapter of my life. In trying to figure out what I should do next I asked myself this question. “If you were told tomorrow that you only had two years left to live what would you want to do in the time you have left? ” Asking the question is the easy part. Being honest in the answers is the tough part.
I have always wanted to give a recital. I had to leave the Cello in Austin and decided that the move to Washington was a time for change so I never gave a recital but I started a company and after a few years decided to focus on art. I had a gallery for a few years. I created when it felt right. Hiking and gardening have been favorite ways to spend my time.
“What would I want to do with my time if I knew I just had two years left? ” Would I spend 18 months trying to figure it out? Would I take off on a cross country road trip by car, or bike or on foot? Would I want to learn something new?
I have a few people I would want to spend time with. I want to sit at there kitchen table and share a cup of coffee with them. I want to talk to there children and learn about there culture. I want to smile and laugh . I want to share myself and love. I want to chat with strangers , I want to enjoy the time I have alone and the time I have with others
February 2019 I am taking a journey , I am traveling deep into myself to explore the unknown and to try to decide what I would really do if I had just two years to live.