The large dark object caught my
eye as I was driving down Rt. 88. One glance revealed a large tom turkey in
full display, a couple of hens pecking breakfast from the ground nearby,
oblivious to his preening. Springtime was arriving in upstate New York, and the
tom’s display of bronze, green and blue feathers was a reflection of the winged
ones intentions all over the land.
It is ironic that I have a wood
duck house in my garage that I had wanted to put up on the edge of the pond
back by the lean-to this winter. Because
of the unusual warm weather, the pond never froze over in a manner that allowed
me to put up the house. I was walking back in the woods, a mere shout from the
pond a few days ago. I wanted to see what wild flowers were emerging for the
upcoming wildflower walk. Seems the deer have taken a liking to the trilliums,
and there are a million stubs where they have nipped off the...
My friend Jen told me about a new program a month or two back, Super Soul Sunday. It is produced by Oprah. Now, over the years, I’d heard many folks rave about Oprah, but I’d never really paid attention, nor watched her show. Something made me take a look at Super Soul Sunday, however, and I’ve been a fan since I watched my first episode several weeks back.
Today, I watched an episode that told the story of a couple that had lost their 21 year old son in the Twin Towers tragedy. Eventually, they were awarded 1.2 million dollars as loss compensation. The dad said they should take the money, but the mom said that they could not do that without making it stand for something that their son, Peter, would have been proud of. So they took the money and they began a series of clinics in Uganda, home to some serious trauma.
I was shocked to learn today that the vast majority of the citizens of Uga...
Mary and I raised our kids in a wonderful setting. We lived on 6 acres, with three ponds in the back that were created when miners used horses in the 1800’s to strip mine for iron ore. Some of the pits filled in with water, and it was a great source of joy in all seasons. Spring would bring forth the serviceberries growing all around the hills, summer was always open season on the bass that populated the ponds. Fall brought out the glory of the smattering of sugar maples surrounding the ponds, and the water always reflected the majestic colors back twofold. And winter meant hours of ice skating for the whole neighborhood.
I thought we were blessed with a multitude of wildlife for the whole family to enjoy there, as we saw deer, an occasional turkey, ducks on the water. And it always seemed as though there were plenty of flocks of geese to see in spring and fall. Little did I know what rea...
It’s been a long time since I wrote an entry in this blog. Since the last time, my good, good friend Nell has crossed over. Mary and I have been moving through our grief and loss of this exquisite spirit being present in our lives in such a profound way.
We knew when Nell left us in September that at some point in the future, we would bring another dog home with us. And, I in particular needed every one of the days that have ensued to get to a point where it did not seem disrespectful to Nell to welcome another canine into our home. As my friend Tom recently pointed out, Nell would want us to be happy, and if that means a new hound, then okay, bring it on!
We’ve been looking online at kennels for a month or more, and had our eye on two in particular that seemed to have breeding programs that appealed to us. Last week, we decided to drive to Penn Yan to visit one of those kennels, just “to l...
I live in an area where the glaciers left their mark in obvious ways those thousands of years ago. Behind our house, we have a hill that runs north and south, the direction that the glaciers moved on their slow, determined journey all those millennia ago. These hills are called drumlins, and they give our neighborhood tat character of rolling farmland, woods, meadows and marshlands that make it so attractive.
Early this morning I took our new lab puppy, Trip, for our morning walk out back. It was one of those pristine early spring mornings that begin to wake up the feelings that shirtsleeve weather is right around the corner. Problem is, it’s only early February.
I am blessed to live on the edge of the Montezuma flyway, and that gifts me with many sightings of migrating birds of all sort, especially Canada geese. Now, I have always lived in an area where geese were fairly common, but until...
My daily early morning walks with Trip are becoming a wonderful gift to me. We first
step outside when I rise and let him out of his crate so he can relieve himself. At 12 weeks today, I am delighted that he is doing
so well with his potty training. We go back inside and continue the ritual with me making a pot of coffee while he
sits rapt two feet away, knowing what the next step is: papa makes kibble breakfast!
When we brought the little munchkin home four weeks ago, he knew nothing of the outside
world, just time in his crate with his littermates. Now, in this brief span, he
has immersed himself in a world of new experiences, smells, sounds, sights,
feelings. At first, when we would put his food dish on the floor, he devoured
it in a short moment. Now, he takes his time, eating a portion, wagging his way
over to me for a scratch behind the ears, or a nibble on my pantle...
I was in the vets office picking up meds for Nell when I saw them. Fiftyish, dressed kind of shabby, a bit scruffy looking. She checked in at the desk while he sat down on the bench, clutching something small wrapped in a blanket. At first I thought he might be drunk, or drugged up. I couldn’t help glancing in their direction as she sat beside him, took out a Kleenex and handed it to him. He quietly blew his nose, then wiped tears from his eyes. I realized that they had come to give the hardest act of love a pet owner can give to their four legged.
As tears welled up in my own eyes and I swallowed the lump that had suddenly appeared there, I was struck by several things at once. First, I realized how quickly I still jump to judgment. This is a piece I have worked on for years, and am so aware that I have miles to go. I also realized that I am emotionally right on the edge at this point in...
I have an opportunity once each week at my men’s circle to claim a “stretch”. This is simply me naming something that I will do, setting a time deadline, and usually making it a goal that feeds me in some manner. It also helps that by saying it out loud to the other men in my circle, I know that I will be held accountable.
Last Wednesday at circle I claimed the stretch to go and visit my sacred spot before next weeks circle. I’ve been feeling a bit ungrounded spiritually, and I know that my physical nature is out of balance, so this seemed like I could kill two birds with one stone.
I just got back from a visit to my SS with Nell. I woke up this morning, knowing that I would go today, but when I looked at the thermometer and it read 7 degrees, I decided to wait until after lunch and the cold had lifted a bit.
I left the snowshoes behind this time, a decision made easier knowing that we ha...
We held our 5th Annual Sanctuary Snowshoe Day yesterday, had a great turnout of about 22 folks of all ages. These events are amazing opportunities to form community for a weekend, a day or even a few hours like yesterday.
Our good friends, Chris and Sharon, are hosting a young Indonesian exchange student this school year. Angie has been a guest in our home a number of times, and she always brings a special energy with her. She had never seen snow before this year, and she is certainly getting an eyeful! She is game to try many new things, and yesterday was snowshoeing with us Sanctuarians.
A few of us sat around the dinner table while Mary served up fresh homemade pizza last night. As is our custom, we tend to invite someone who doesn’t live under our roof to say a blessing. I got a pretty clear hit to invite Angie to give that blessing last night. At first, she was very hesitant, shaking...
She started limping two months back. Three visits to our regular vet yielded no definitive diagnosis. We were now faced with the decision of whether to spend a bunch of money to take Nell to a specialist and have another series of xrays and perhaps an MRI. We decided that the need to know outweighed all of the old paradigms of not spending that kind of money on a pet.
Certainly I was brought up in a household (a farm family) where dogs got minimal vet visits, and never an expensive one. It was more expedient and economical to put the dog down, rather than to spend money that might help one of my siblings or myself go to college or to put food on the table. And, because I have lived a life of a large degree of frugality, it was hard to cross that line into the extravagance of lavishing large sums on a dog. But this was not just any dog.
Nell came to us a bit over six years ago as a 10 week o...