Though it doesn’t show here, I have been actively writing this month. At the suggestion of the writing circle I added dialogue to my short memoir, Studebaker. It is a delightful improvement and I have posted it under About Being Me. Also I have been organizing sections of my father’s stories so that it flows and reads better. There is still a long way to go on his memoir, but I have started and for that I am pleased. With a nice visit from San Diego sister Lori, the return of niece Molly from Juneau, and Christmas with my family in Corvallis, there has been much loving and hugging to keep me warm this damp and chilly time in the Pacific Northwest, when darkness dominates.
Three days ago I provided my fourteen year old Beagle Jacques, death with dignity. He had been failing since before Thanksgiving, and just before Christmas I noticed he was bleeding internally. He hung in with me ‘til Boxing Day, and now he’s interred under the Camellia shrub in the same raised garden where Scooter and Mattie rest. Jacques was a scamp. He arrived at our doorstep in 2000, an outcast or runaway. Before we’d even given him a name or permission to stay, he took off out the front door. I stood on the porch and told him he was free to go if that was what he wanted. He looked at me in Beagle befuddlement wondering (I surmise) why I didn’t yell at him, chase him, or try to hit him. I just said, “OK little fella, you wanna leave, go ahead. You wanna stay, come on up here – the door is still open.” He did. Though Creighton and Jacques had a difficult relationship, Jacques trusted me to the very end. His trials here are over, and with him I buried some long held sadness for all that happened during those difficult years after he walked back up the stairs and into my heart.