Tempus Fugit

Old friends, old friends sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blowin’ through the grass
Falls on the round toes of the high shoes of the old friends

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settles like dust on the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years, silently sharing the same fears

–Simon and Garkunkel

They used to live in-town, but now live 15 minutes away from us in the upscale retirement home that takes great pride in caring for its residents. I can’t help thinking of one without the other – like the salt-and-pepper shakers they go together, and have been married close to 60 years. It was hard for them to move from the house they built together, and they have crammed as much as they could take of a house worth’s of furniture into a three-room apartment. While it’s not exactly crowded, the proportions seem small as I walk between the table chairs two steps into the living space with the tired couch, the stained armchair, and the straight-backed rocking chair. The furniture is meticulously arranged, if dated – she has always liked things “just so.” Their most precious trinkets are relegated to one low shelf. Just beyond the sliding glass door is a concrete patio six feet on a side before a common lawn. She, who used to grow jungles from tiny shoots, now fusses over the pitiful planter basket of flowers outside that doesn’t look as if it will survive the next month. She drops cracker crumbs onto the patio to coax the squirrel living in the nearby tree to come visit. This squirrel is fat.
Continue reading “Tempus Fugit”

Puppy Time

Call us crazy, but our family adopted a recovered racing greyhound at the  end of October.

We went to a recovery center and had a choice of two dogs: a sleek brindle  named Perseus, and a gentle black-and-white named Reuben. We decided that  Reuben’s cuddly demeanor was more suited to us than Perseus’ frenetic  devil-may-care attitude, so a few hundred dollars later (for dog,  accoutrements, and deworming medicine) we took Reuben for a 3 hour ride back  home. Our son sat in the back and got drooled on.

Reuben was three years old and six weeks off the track. Since he’d been  known by the names “Lodwick,” “Jake,” and “Reuben,” (and perhaps others)  within the past year, we figured we could change his name one more time  without a problem. Since October Zorro has learned the home routine and has  a sweet situation: breakfast and naps on a big cushion in the morning,  chasing squirrels before a noon snack, more leisurely walks in the afternoon,  and a nice dinner and bedtime. He especially likes bully sticks for an  afternoon chew.

You can learn a lot about people from animals. Continue reading “Puppy Time”