Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday drives ain't what they used to be

When I was a kid, we would go on Sunday drives once in a while. My dad would load us all up in the car, and we would head out. We weren't going anywhere in particular, which I believe is the idea behind a Sunday drive, but we would head towards Oberlin or Medina, or if we were very lucky, towards Vermilion and the lake. Sometimes we would get out of the car and walk around for a bit, perhaps stop at a drug store and have a coke, but more often we would not. We would drive until my dad had driven far enough, then we would turn around and drive home.

Yesterday the weather was beautiful - sunny and breezy with temps in the low 60s - so Ben and Julie and I went for a Sunday drive. Less than an hour after leaving our house, we were crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore. It's going to take me a bit more time to get used to that. When we used to take the kids to Chincoteague in the summers, we had done A LOT of driving to get to that point. And, actually, we had quite a bit more driving to go, although we didn't seem to mind it as much once we had crossed that bridge.

Yesterday, though, we weren't going to the ocean. We were going to St. Michaels, a small tourist town on the Chesapeake Bay. Julie and I have gone there together for the past few Mother's Days - a day spent together is her gift to me - but Ben had never been there, and it was the perfect day for an outing. We thought to do some shopping, have lunch, then visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. We stopped at all our favorite little shops and had a tasty oyster lunch, but by the time we headed to the museum, it was too late to start a tour.

Undaunted, we headed on for another drive that Julie and I had promised ourselves year after year, but never taken. We drove to Tilghman Island. I could tell right away this part of our Sunday drive would be more to Ben's liking. This was the real Sunday drive. We drove past abandoned farms and derelict towns, finally reaching beautiful, unimpeded views of the Chesapeake Bay. We drove down a dirt road along the bay to the point where the mighty Choptank River empties into the bay. We drove as far as we could go, then turned around and drove back.

I know that sounds pretty much like any other Sunday drive, but this was definitely the only one I've ever taken that took me to the Eastern Shore and back before dark. I like it here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

musings on a March morning

To this girl, born and raised in the Midwest, it didn't seem like much of a winter at all, but I guess it's over. This was absolutely the first winter I can ever remember that I didn't have to shovel any snow. All the way back to when we used to try - without much success - to shovel snow off the top of the gravel driveway on West 6th Street. Not that I'm complaining, you understand. I don't love snow the way I did when I was younger. Kind of like Lucie, who hasn't springbokked through the snow in several years now, I would prefer not to.

So is it spring, then? Well, not yet, and I don't want to make the same mistake I made last year - my first spring in Maryland. When the temperature rose above 60° last February, I started wondering why there was nothing blooming anywhere in my neighborhood. Didn't people around here plant spring flowers? What was wrong with them? Did they hate spring? And, further, why weren't there any spring flowers poking up through the soil in my own yard? I now know the answer to that question - nothing was planted here. Nothing beyond the ugly, overgrown, foundation plants in front of the house, and a strange, mixed-color crepe myrtle growing too close to the driveway, anyway.

That will not be the case this year, however, thanks to the dozens of bulbs that Ben and Julie and I (but mostly Ben) planted last fall. Already two yellow crocuses have bloomed, and daffodils and tulips are coming, as well. These harbingers of spring are mighty welcome here, and we check their progress daily. We also check the progress of the small trees and shrubs we had planted at great expense last year. I really hope they have successfully over-wintered. There is almost nothing more depressing than a forlorn dead tree in the spring when everything else is blooming and growing.

But, in keeping with the stated purpose of this blog, we will assume that everything is doing just fine, and will come along when it is supposed to. I just have to learn when that is, exactly.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

what more can I do?

We have always fed our dogs twice a day. Here is how I feed Rufus his breakfast every morning: Pour one half cup of dry dog food into his dish. Put the dish on the floor. Get out of his way. Oh, that it were that simple with Lucie.

I used to prepare Lucie's food right after I fed Rufus, which is to say before I ate my own breakfast. That meant that I was waiting and waiting and waiting for her to eat so that I could eat. Not a good scenario. The last couple of mornings I have eaten a leisurely breakfast while puzzling over my Sudoku, then gotten online for a bit before tackling the preparation of Lucie's food.

Lucie requires a 50/50 mix of her special dry dog food (for aging dogs) and her special canned food (for dogs with kidney problems). A squirt of salmon oil and a bit of water are added to this combination before it is microwaved for 15 seconds. If she deigns to eat her food, I then give her 0.25 ml of Benazepril by dropper. In addition, every other day she takes one Glycoflex© tablet and a quarter of a baby aspirin (chopped into pieces by guess who). She is also currently taking an antibiotic that she takes at the end of every month. She must take it twice a day with food for one week. And don't even get me started on the additional stuff she takes at the beginning of every month. Have you noticed that taking her meds is predicated on eating her food? So when she refuses to eat, like this morning - even after I added some spaghetti sauce which she usually loves, before microwaving - I really don't know what to do next.

Today I will cook some rice and add cut-up chicken to it in hopes that will tempt her into eating a bit. I don't know what else to do. If she doesn't eat she will surely die. Suggestions greatly appreciated.