Back when my son Brian was a senior in high school, maybe 16 years ago, he volunteered for a while at the Monroe, NY animal shelter. He and a friend would give the dogs some attention and take them for walks. That’s nice, I thought. Then he wanted to bring one home.
Last winter I convinced Kathleen we should get a dog to help protect the new homestead. She wasn’t crazy about the idea but we ended up with a large, black dog of dubious heritage. This morning I was convinced he had fulfilled his mission and chased away an A-list predator. Now I’m not so sure.
It’s an uncomfortable fact that not everyone lost is later found. Sometimes the mystery lingers.
With all the negative news flying around its easy to have low expectations. It would be easy to just assume disappointment. Between COVID, protests, melting glaciers, fill in the blank, it would be easy to feel down in the dumps and wonder: ‘What the heck is going on!’ Maybe because of all of this it seems extra special to be pleasantly surprised.
I like being safe and comfortable. I like eating good food and watching a good movie. But sometimes you need to jump out of your comfort zone and expand the horizons of your experience.
Last fall we moved off pavement to a home much closer to the natural world. We left a busy street in Monroe, NY for a dirt road that leads to a gravel driveway which ends a half mile later on a mountain in Montana. The natural world literally surrounds us with its wonders, its beauty and, also, its no-holds-barred survival of the fittest. I hate to break it to you but nature is not a Disney movie.
Most of the products we use every day don’t last very long. I don’t know if its planned obsolescence or simply that they don’t built things like they used to. Most things we rely on seem to be here today and gone tomorrow. But I bet, if you look around the recesses of your home you might find an item that transcends time. Something that will always be there when you needed it.
Five miles from the nearest pavement, down a dirt road, make a right onto a grass covered forest access road. Walk a half mile down the access road and, maybe 100 yards off the road, in a hidden valley, there’s an old, going back to the earth, log cabin. I couldn’t help but wonder whose dreams, fears, aspirations were once housed there.
In the process of building our new home and putting in a driveway we had to cut down quite a few trees on the property. The builder limbed the trunks and then stacked most of them in piles. I stared at these piles for a long time trying to figure out how I could use them.
For most of my life a dog has been part of the family. What type of dogs you ask? I don’t know. They were mostly black dogs of dubious bloodline and parentage who came either from a shelter or were castaways from somebody else. When I retired, I decided I was getting the perfect, pure-blood hunting dog.