Archive for the ‘Dog Journal’ Category

Vacations and Life

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Every once in a while, I have an Aha! Moment and get as excited as my daughter was years ago when she was little and noticed that the words “U Haul It” on the back of a truck meant –“You Haul It.”

So it is with this revelation I had the other day about vacations and life. Here goes. You arrive at your destination. Day One, you scour the local calendars for things to do, It seems as though there are a million opportunities. You veg out. After all, it is vacation, right?

In a few days you pick up the calendar. Suddenly, you notice the museum you wanted to visit is closed on Mondays and you have only Monday left. The events they’re announcing are all coming up after you’re gone. There’s a cool pioneer community to visit, but it doesn’t open till 10 and you’re supposed to allow 3-4 hours, Your flight leaves at 2 and it’s an hour away.

Life is like that sometimes. Shorter than we think. Worth frontloading the schedule with things we really want to do. Aha!

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Reading the obits

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Until recently, I was never a faithful reader of obituaries. I blame my parents for this. In my 20s and 30s, I hated the “who-just-died” recitations during our weekly phone calls. “Too morbid,” I said, and they were hard pressed to argue.

After losing both my mother and husband in the past year, I must confess I’ve taken to reading the obits. First, I run down the ages and hope the percentages run in my favor. I want to see that mostly people older than me are dying. Then I read the stories.

On the day columnist Robert Novak’s appeared, so did that of a woman a couple years younger than me, Judith Ann Mickley. Novak we know was legend, and I take nothing away from him in saying that I was more inspired by Judith Ann. She rescued animals, loved a dog named Murphy and cats Spook and Sugar, was an “awesome cook” with Christmas cookies that were a “work of art” and (gently, I’m sure) taught her relatives which fork to use for what. Her family said she was a GIVER. All caps. We could all learn a thing or two from Judith Ann.

BTW, in case you are thinking this “Dog Journal” is becoming too morbid, too many entries about death, I will tell you what my parents did when I complained during those weekly calls: “That’s life, kiddo.” This grieving process takes a while. Stay with me on this.

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Secrets from “The Bob Expert” – Listen Up

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

We all want to be experts on something, however small. In fact, in the business world, the smaller the niche, the more successful the expert.

Married life also leads to a sort of niche expertise in a single person. It occurred to me this week, with a certain sadness, that with Bob having died, my expertise in him could become obsolete.

Before it fades, I feel compelled to share a few things that only I know about my late husband that could be helpful to the rest of the world. He would only buy green Wintergreen flavored Tic Tacs for breath mints because the white Peppermint ones were so strong they made his eyes run. You might want to stay away from the white ones yourself. Why put yourself through that? He would only buy cheap leather watch bands from K-Mart. You should probably check them out before you go off to some overpriced jewelry store. And if you have trouble getting the tops of laundry detergent, don’t store it in the garage in winter. That makes it harder to open, If you forget, leave it on the kitchen overnight and you can open it by morning.

There. Now everyone knows. Bob would be relieved that he did not take these secrets to the grave. I feel better for having shared them and invite any other niche experts out there to share their wisdom from the dearly departed.

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Grief Is Like A Haircut

Monday, August 3rd, 2009


My daughter and I were talking the other day about how we think we’re doing “fine” with the grief thing. And then wham! A crying spell washes over us.

Right now, it comes every three or four days.

“Afterwards,” I told her, “life feels so good that I’m apt to think, ‘Whew! Things are starting to look good.’”

“You can’t trust it,” she said. “It’s like a haircut. Just when you think it’s looking good, you need another one.”

I think she has a point.

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