We took the dogs to check on the calves yesterday, since Mike finished the field prep early. He saved a lot of time with Earl helping. I was amazed, seeing them in the field, how big they are getting. Even Sam is looking more like a full-sized bull, finally. They were contentedly munching grass on the hillside near their shed, and not lying in its shade, which was surprising given the heat. The dogs were too hot since the air conditioning in the truck was not working, and neither paid any attention to the cattle. I missed Ed’s “what is that?” bark.
Mike knew they were hot too. Maybe it was Ed reaching over the back seat to pant hot air in his ear as he drove. Or maybe it was the long slurping dog tongue across the back of his neck that clued him in, but he headed for the far creek instead of the dogs’ favorite barn. From the recent flooding, the creek terrain had changed a little. Now, where it deposited silt, there is a nice, almost beachlike, entry at the ford, although with mud instead of sand or the usual rocks that used to lead to the waters edge. We let them out of the truck thinking they would like a drink.
Fritz slowly and careful made his way to the creek and stood with his feet just in the water to lap it up; Ed bounded from the car into the water and was halfway across the creek in a flash. With a big goofy grin he ducked down into the water to his chin a few times, then turned towards Fritz, who decided the creek felt mighty good on a hot day and was enjoying a leasurely swim where his feet did not touch bottom. Ed suddenly lunged towards the little guy and in three hops was upon him! The two tossled a bit nipping at each other’s paws, chasing up the bank and back down into the water, and curiously sniffing at roots and other curiousities near the water. Then, back into the water they went for more fun. When clumsy Ed playfully slapped a huge paw down on the head of the little swimming dog, it was time to go!
When we got the two wet, stinky dogs back into the truck, Fritz waited patiently on the console between the front seats (his favorite place to ride) until Mike got in and shut the door. Once Mike was in, he shook hard as he could, hitting both Mike and I with a fountain of water droplets. Uh, thanks, Fritz! By the time we got back to the house, I think all four of us were smiling and smelling like dirty wet dogs. Ah, but it is the simple pleasures that make life worthwhile, right?
I keep reminding myself of that. This weekend was hard for me. It was the anniversary of both my grandfather and my father’s deaths, it was a three-day weekend (I remember those), and it was the first inkling that summer is finally here. I read where Facebook friends were in England, or Canada, or visiting Philadelphia. I read about great restaurants and parks being visited. I read about barbeques and picnics with family. Yet here I was, stuck alone on a farm doing housework and mowing while my man worked the fields. I was bored, lonely, overly emotional, and very jealous of my FB friends who actually have lives. The silliness of the dogs reminded me to take joy where I find it, even in the briefest moments– and even if at the edge of a creek bank.
We’re going fishing this week.