I cut the lights a block before I arrived at her house. I hate this part. It was almost 2 AM and like my father always said, “Nothing good ever happens between midnight and four in the morning.” I quietly pulled up in front of the house, turned off my car and silently closed the door. I was palm sweaty nervous and the pit of my stomach was heavy as I again rehearsed the upcoming conversation. Read More ->
“It’s 100 degrees out Rose. Do you really want to go for a walk?”
“It’s NOT a choice, Dad. I gotta go outside,” Rosie said with a strong sense of urgency. “Anyway, it’s a dry heat. Not like back home.”
I snuck a quick look out of the side of my eye at her, like a husband in a Hooters, and said, “It’s humid in San Jose, Rosie? California, that is.”
As I open the drawer on the end of the drop leaf table in the front hallway and remove her bright pink leash, Rosie started running around my legs, dancing and prancing.
“Let’s get a move on Dad. I really gotta go!” Read More ->
She is a small, dark complexioned woman, not five feet tall, but of course, she is sitting now, one hand resting next to the button on the pleasure panel in front of her and the other holding both a now cold coffee between her forefinger and thumb and a dead cigarette dangling between her ring and little fingers. After one drag some of the ash fell into the coffee, but she is oblivious. Read More ->
We left for our morning walk at 5:45 AM as usual, and, as usual, walked up the driveway before turning left up Scenic Drive toward Newsome Heights. The hedges lost their beautiful spring red flowers, or leaves, I could never be sure which they were. We turned right, past the yellow fire hydrant. Rosie has no interest in the fire hydrant. Maybe because she squats to pee and doesn’t lift her leg, or maybe because none of her friends frequent it either. We passed John’s house on the right then Harry and Kathrine’s house on the corner, next to the second yellow fire hydrant. Then we saw them, or rather they saw us. There were a lot of them this morning, not the three or four we often see. Read More ->
“Garden, Rose. Garden!”
She looked up from her designated spot on the sofa, cuddled up against Mom, then put her head back down on her front paws, oops I meant feet, not paws. She had corrected me about that often enough. I didn’t want to re-litigate that discussion.
“Hey! Let’s go to the garden, Rosie. Come on. Get up!”
Rosie lifted her head again, glanced in my direction, then back at Mom. Slowly she stood up, stretched her front end, legs out straight and low and butt high in the air before she leaned forward and stretched her hind end until her legs started to shake. Read More ->
Fran texted Jen when we were in Loomis to let her know we were five minutes away. We turned right, just past the Snoopy mailbox and drove up the dirt driveway continuing the big right turn, up and around the corner, through the open sliding gate. Rosie was leashed with her bright pink leash to the “waiting for pick up spot” as we entered the parking area. When she saw me open my door and start to climb out of the car she jumped up, spun 180 degrees and promptly slipped out of her collar. That was a cute trick she picked up when we first adopted her. I can never tighten her collar so that it isn’t too tight, but such that she cannot slip out of it. Excited, she ran over to me jumping up and down and spinning in circles. Read More ->
Following our normal morning pee and poop routine I walked Rosie around 5:45 am last Tuesday. As usual, she was a good girl, marking all her normal lawns and pooping on her favorite. Rosie likes to strafe poop, spreading the wealth across the lawn and ending up on the sidewalk. During daylight hours this makes dooty duty easy as you can just follow the path back to the first bomb. When its dark and you are using a flashlight, not so much. Even though her business was complete before we were half way around the block we decided it would be a grand adventure to continue on, rather than retrace our steps (and smells.) Read More ->
The steps leading to the entrance of the Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar were sandstone tan and edged with dark brown, no doubt painted to help patrons better see each step and not trip. Too bad the architect thought adding one extra dark brown line on the tan sidewalk spaced one step width from the first real step would be attractive. All it really did was to create a fake step which caused me to trip before I reached the real step. Rosie thought that was amusing. Read More ->
Just before dawn, the sun still hidden behind the trees, hills and homes to the east, and the sky paling to light blue, orange and white. The crescent moon and one star, actually it was probably the planet Venus, were barely visible in the western sky. We turned right a couple of minutes earlier and were now approaching the next right turn. Rosie pranced along the sidewalk while I followed keeping up with long strides. I am shorter that I was a couple of decades before but luckily still have long legs. She likes to keep the leash taught to be sure I am still there. I always try to keep the leash slack so she will look back and up at me every few steps, just to be sure. She is so damn cute. Read More ->
“Dad! DAD! Can we go outside now? Please!”
“OK, Rosie. Let me get my raincoat.”
“Oh no! Is the sky crying again, Dad?”
“Not yet, but it looks like it will be soon. This is a perfect time to go for your walk.”
I put on my raincoat and clicked Rosie’s bright pink leash to her bright pink collar. As usual, she spins around in several circles, tail wagging and a big smile on her face. I open the door and step out of the way as she prances out the front door, first again, as usual. We are nothing if not two creatures of habit, and Rosalita always goes out first.
Just outside, she stops.
“Dad, the grass is peeing up.” Read More ->
“Don’t leave me here, Dad! I’ll be good! Please!!”
“We’ll be back next week, Rosie,” I said, rubbing her head one last time. “Have fun with the other dogs.”
Fran and I were dropping Rosie off at her boarding home while we vacationed in Southern California. Read More ->
A couple of weeks ago while listening to the radio I learned the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was written in 1938 by two refugee Jews, Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen. Harburg used the song as a political subtext to express hope for America under FDR’s New Deal, as the nation was still suffering through the Great Depression. Although written for The Wizard of Oz (released in 1940,) with WWII fast approaching it also served as an anthem to the spirit of the Jewish people.
While doing the small amount of research I do for these stories, I realized I could not write a true depiction of life in Poland and Germany during the pogroms and ghetto era of that time. The atrocities inflicted on the Jews, and others, requires skill beyond mine to do justice to that story. This is a song about bad times, but with the absolute faith that we will weather those times. Someday we will be over the rainbow and we will fly.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” remains totally relevant today. Read More ->
First the lyrics, to refresh your memory:
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Your daddy’s rich, and your momma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby, don’t you cry
One of these mornings, you’re gonna rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings, and you’ll take to the sky
But till that morning, there’s a nothin’ can harm you
With Daddy and Mammy, standing by
Her shirt was soaked-through transparent. It was one of her older brother JJ’s cast-off white wife beaters. She hated that name, maybe because it rang too true ‘cause she saw Mammy some mornings before she put on her face. Trickles of sweat dripped down her throat, between her breasts. The hot plastic truck seat stuck her shirt to its back and burned her butt. She’s gotta remember not to wear those torn-off blue jean short shorts, even if they do show her off. But it didn’t really matter. Read More ->
The sun hovered just below the horizon, blankets of gray/white fog slept in the valleys below, nestled between small rolling hillocks, reaching up with slowly undulating arms to the tall maples and pines. Unable to see anything but the tops of the tallest trees, everything will depend on only feel and sound until the fog burned off. The grass underfoot was wet. Slippery. The flat shelf of ground cut deeply into the steep hillside overlooked what, in a few hours, would be a beautiful landscape.
Tauntingly, “Go ahead, Einstein. Hit me. I️ dare you.”
Snidely, but a little flustered, “Is that all you got? What a wimp. “
Angrily, “Shut up. “
“Next time, swing like you mean it. “
Sarcastically, “Ha, ha, ha, ha. You almost missed.”
More angrily, “I️ said shut up.”
Sneering, “Yeah, but you did almost miss, and besides, it didn’t hurt a bit. “
Defiantly, “I️ said, be quiet. I️ am not listening to you anymore. “
Swing. Bam! Read More ->
I woke early this morning, before the sun, before the dog, and finished my normal morning routine, including breakfast and newspaper. I am nothing if not a creature of habit. Rosie, our rescued Havanese mix, came slowly stretching, one end at a time, around the corner for her morning belly rub. Another creature of habit.
“Time for our walk,” she said.
“Yes, Rosalita. Let me unplug my phone and turn on POTUS and we can go.”
“Speaking of going, Dad, let’s get a move on.” Read More ->
I just finished adding the bread ingredients to my larger mixer. (Fran bought me a 7-quart KitchenAid mixer last summer as my little one was tired from heavy use.) Before I could attach the dough-hook and start the initial mixing, I heard,
“Daaaaaad! Gotta go!!”
“Just a minute Rosie. Let me start mixing this then we can go.”
“No Dad. I don’t mean I have to go soon, I mean I have to go now. Like, right now!”
Sigh. “Fine. Let me get my coat with the hood and your leash and a poop bag. Then we can go.” Read More ->
It’s warm in front of the fire. The rug is soft, so soft. I am glad they bought that thicker rug pad. In a few minutes the blower will come on, then… pure heaven! You know, I could pull my bed over right in the hot air stream, but that may be too much comfort and definitely too much bother. I would probably doze off and not be able to just lay here and enjoy myself, watching them.
The big talking electric window is turned off and Dad is sleeping in his chair. Mom is using her little electric window, reading. It’s quiet. Perfect. Read More ->
The few wispy clouds reflect pale orange as the sun lay just below horizon. The sky over the city was gray and the buildings, still black silhouettes, were scattered with yellow lantern-brightened windows.
Fine silks drape him from the waist down as he lay on his side gazing out the door leading to his bedroom terrace. A wife, snoring softly, lay next him, naked, having no doubt kicked the covering off during the typically warm night. Read More ->