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Monday, February 2, 2009


My day started very early with a phone call from Notah. I love it when he calls. We seldom discuss anything of earth shattering importance, just the everyday kind of things about work and kids and snakes and so forth. But it is so good to hear his voice. I send mental thanks to Verizon wireless constantly that I can talk so regularly with him and Kerra and the kids. It makes them seem so much closer. I know about their dogs and cats and daily doings—not quite as good as seeing it all live, but certainly better than having to depend on letters or expensive land line calls.

After a long lazy weekend Rachael and Michael have gone back to work. Rachael had three whole days off. That is such a rare happening. Usually her days off come in the middle of the week. I like having her here all day, but Michael likes to have her home with him once in a while on weekends too. This weekend was particularly special because she got to go with him to two hockey games and watch the super bowl with him. Now she cares about as much for the super bowl as the dogs do, but she sat with him and fixed him hot super-nachos and a pizza and cheered at the appropriate places—granted not as enthusiastically as he and I did, but she made the effort. Michael was beaming. And then the Cardinals lost. Bummer.

We finally managed to get the dogs all of their rabies shots and buy their tags. In Columbus, rabies vaccinations are required before you can get a dog license. I didn’t worry too much about rabies vaccinations before I moved here. I’ve lived in town and the dogs have been in a fence with not much chance of getting bitten. But Westerville is very populated and I was afraid if they waited too long, a dog would get lose and then there would be a big hassle. I read someplace that canine rabies was pretty well wiped out, but the danger was from skunks and raccoons, etc. Hmm. That’s all I’ve ever worried about. There were never any rabid dogs around that I’d seen, but in the country there were rabid skunks and raccoons turning up every once in a while.

I remember that Grandpa Elliott used to entertain us kids with stories of “mad dogs” from the days when he drove a produce/tinker’s wagon around the Gallipolis area in southern Ohio. Once one came trotting down the road as he was loading the wagon after a sale. He paid no attention to it, but it never varied its course, going right past the rear wagon wheels closer than a dog would normally run. As he stepped up on to the wagon it nearly brushed his leg. The dog turned its head and snapped at him and kept on going. As it snapped he realized that it was drooling and dripping bits of foam from its jaws. Scary stuff when you’re 8 or 10 years old before the advent of television and special effects! He told us other stories but that’s the one that stuck with me. It is too bad that America has lost the custom of grandparents telling stories of the “old days” to their grandkids. We have lost a rich source of history and family ties.

I never saw the farmhouse my mother grew up in but I have a vivid mental picture of it from my mother and grandmother. Many other places I never saw are laid out and well populated in my mind from those stories. Too bad they happen so seldom into day’s world of movies, tv, videos and internet. Kids were much more wholesomely entertained by grandmother’s and grandpa’s stories

Then I remember some of the things that happened when I was a child and even as an adult. What a fantastic thing the human mind is. Those things are still crystal clear and a word or sound or fragrance brings them right to the front of my awareness.

But then too, did I take my meds this morning? I spent a while figuring that out yesterday. Reminds me, I’d better stop and do it now. Yep, the mind is a fascinating thing!

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