Meet PIP.  

He came into our lives just over a month ago.  We had talked about possibly getting another dog over the past year or so, but I still felt (feel) so bound to Klaus, I didn't think there was room in my heart for another.  Klaus, you may know if you have read here over the years, was our beloved little dog who passed just before we moved.  We were blessed with his pure love for 16 years, and I truly felt he was a little soulmate.  

Sitting in a coffee shop a few Sundays back, my husband said something about Klaus, I got teary, and we both said we missed having a dog.  I commented that we hadn't looked at the shelter website for a long time, so I took out my phone and there Pip was ("Squish" was his name then).  I said, "We have to go there right now."  We drove straight there and practically ran to the back to find him; it somehow felt right even before we met him.  (It's funny how you just know.  We brought home another dog a few months back for a trial stay, and even though we tried to be optimistic, it just never felt right.) He was the tiniest little thing (just over 5 pounds), made even more adorable by having a big cone on, having just been neutered.  He was shy, but he touched noses with my husband and that was all it took.  We were already completely smitten.  Two days later, it felt like he had always been with us and we went back to the shelter to officially adopt him.  

At 9 months, he still acts like a puppy and wants to chew on everything; I have already forfeited a pair of slippers to this cause.  He likes to be chased, which is very cute but also exasperating when trying to get him ready to leave the house (we have some training to do).  He sleeps all night and curls up next to me under the covers just like Klaus did.  He chews on my earlobes and smothers us with kisses when we return home after being gone.  He's proving to be the best adventure pal, too.  He makes Thor smile, more than I have seen in a long time, and that is everything.  He has made us all smile more.  

He looked so bedraggled when we met him, his hair askew, giant ears and big black eyes peeking out over his cone - he made me think of Chaplin's Little Tramp, or a scrappy little Dickensian street/sweet thing.  So, Pip he is.  (Full name: Pip MacGregor.)  We love him so.



Feeling quiet these days of December.  Listening to what the season has to share.  Reveling in the damp, the dark, the still.   Trying to block out and disconnect from the frantic hurrying, the spending, and the feelings of sadness that can come this time of year.  How are you doing?  Nature always saves me.  Maybe you, too?  ♥︎

sorrow & joy


I took these photos last Monday, November 11, on my parents' 68th wedding anniversary.  That evening my mom suffered a stroke.  She was in the hospital for three days, and last week was a fog of hospital visits, talking about and looking at possible future events/solutions, and trying to be there as much as possible to make sure my dad was okay, too.  But, thankfully, there were no lingering effects (joy!).  My mom has had more and more physical issues in recent years; for her to get through and past this is such a blessing.  We are so grateful she is back home again.  

As much as I miss and long for home, I'm so glad we are here with my folks and other family for the next few years.  I'm not afraid of aging, or my own death, but it is with dread that I see my parents aging.  Perhaps I am being overly dramatic - that would be of no surprise to anyone - but I'm angry and sorrowful at the heartlessness of time.

For all my talk about increasing my reading lately, I've really failed in that effort.  It seems I am quite easily distracted by other things.  But Friday I went to the library and picked up several books, one of which was The Book of Delights by Ross Gay, and last night just before turning out the light I read this beautiful piece, a part of the essay Joy Is Such A Human Madness:

What if we joined our wildernesses together?  

And what if the wilderness - perhaps the densest wild in there - thickets, bogs, swamps, uncrossable ravines, and rivers (have I made the metaphor clear?) - is our sorrow?  Or, to use Smith's term, the "intolerable."  It astonishes me sometimes - no, often - how every person I get to know - everyone, regardless of everything, by which I mean everything - lives with some profound personal sorrow.  Brother addicted.  Dad died in surgery.  Rejected by their family.  Cancer came back.  Evicted.  Fetus not okay.  Everyone, regardless, always, of everything.  Not to mention the existential sorrow we all might be afflicted with, which is that we, and what we love, will soon be annihilated.  Which sounds more dramatic than it might.  Let me just say dead.  Is this, sorrow, of which our impending being no more might be the foundation, the great wilderness?  

Is sorrow the true wild?  And if it is - and if we join them - your wild to mine - what's that?  For joining, too, is a kind of annihilation.  What if we joined our sorrows, I'm saying.  I'm saying:  What if that is joy?  

(p. 49-50)

Read the OnBeing interview with Ross Gay here
by mlekoshi