Friday, October 27, 2006

Goodbye, Bean

Sad day for us. Our dog of 10 years, Jackson, aka Bean, passed away yesterday. We aren't really sure what happened, he just got very sick, very fast and like that he was gone. Annabelle, aka Poopsie, lost her buddy and we lost a loyal friend.

Andy and I got Bean when we were first married and living in Columbus, MS. I had only one friend at the time, Andy, and when we got Bean I then had two. He was my best buddy and I could always count on him to be waiting on me when I returned from school every afternoon. My fondest memories of that first year in Columbus (and for those who remember, I didn't have many) were the long walks Bean and I took, the many cold afternoons reading a book with him snuggled by my side and the one sure thing you always get from a pet: true unconditional love. I regret that the past few years since our children were born our dogs took the back seat...or the back yard rather....and we haven't put in the time with them we used to. We don't walk them much anymore, they rarely get to come in the house, and sometimes only occasionally get a pat on the head as we are hustling out the door to rush off somewhere. But they still love us nonetheless. Now that's true love.

From the mouth of babes: When we tried to explain to William what happened to Bean, we told him that Bean was gone and had gone to be with God in Heaven where he could run and play and wouldn't be sick. William said "But I don't seee God." We told him, no, you can't see God but we know He's there, watching us and loving us. He sends us the flowers and the sunlight and even the rain to remind us that He's here. So this morning, William looked out the window and saw the rain and he said "Bean is not gone, he's here." I said no sweetheart, remember, Bean's gone. And then I realized that he figured since the rain was here, God was here, and if Bean's with God then he's here too. Sigh. If only we could see things with such innocence and purity.

Maybe I'm just feeling a little too emotional this morning, but I can't help but think how sad the regrets are we have over a dog. Even sadder are the regrets we could have over each other. Life's too short for regrets. Maybe we should really learn the lessons our pets are here to teach us ~ make time to throw the ball more often, take more walks, give each other more than a pat on the head....and always love unconditionally.

Thanks for helping us learn and love, loyal friend. As soon as the rain clears up, we're going outside to throw the ball. I can't think of anything better we have to do.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Vacation pictures part I

Herding Cats

Just returned from a week long fall vacation. Went to visit the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and new puppy in Atlanta and then went on for a few days in the mountains. We set out for this adventure at about 5:30 on Wednesday night, thinking how great it would be to travel at night while the kids slept. WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!! I can't adequately recreate the scene without appropriate sound effects, but picture if you will: William sitting directly behind Andy, Catherine behind me. Andy driving in the pouring rain, me hanging over the seat searching for 8 lost pacifiers, Catherine hollering, William having mini meltdown and kicking the back of Andy's seat and Andy reaching behind alternating hands popping him yelling "STOP KICKING THE SEAT"....the louder William yelled, the higher pitched Catherine's wailing became....I reached over the backseat and grabbed William's face, put my face right in front of his where our noses were nearly touching and whispered...."please...please....please....for love of all things good....stop....kicking...your....father' please. please. please." Momentary quiet as I drag myself back over the seat and turn forward for the first time in 47 miles. I stare straight ahead and say...who thought this was a good idea? To which Andy quickly replies....NOT ME! This was all before we reached the first Stuckeys.

I'm happy to say that we made it there and ended up having a wonderful time. We got to enjoy visiting with extended family at our cousin's 1st birthday party, visited the aquarium, shopped, played with cousin Jackson, relaxed at the cabin and rode Grand-daddy's "tractor" (4-wheeler). Oh....and played and kissed and hugged on sweet Cody the puppy. However.....taking two toddlers out of their own safe and comfortable predictable little environments is the equivalent of herding cats for a week. Actually, that would be easier. Sometimes there really is no place like home.