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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuesday, August 13,2010

I’ve written before, I think, of sitting outside in the mornings. When you sit on our deck you face the Manzano Mountains. They are almost exactly due east of us and slightly to the left of them, if I have my mountains straight, are the Pinos. Going the other way, you come to the Ladrones and there is a range in between which shall go un-designated because I can’t remember the name. To sit out here in the morning is to sit on top of the world. It is quiet except fro the distant traffic sounds from the freeway.

Our house sits on top of a hill. It may well be the uppermost house, I don’t know, but it feels like it. The other morning I sat out there for two hours as the sun rose from just one cloud width above the mountain to almost a quarter of the way up into the sky. It ducked in and out between layers of clouds and alternately warmed me and left me exposed to the chill of the gentle wind. This morning the sky was blue from horizon to horizon, north to south, east to west. Although the wind was cool and pleasant, it only kept the heat of the sun from being uncomfortable. I was out there for about an hour and a half this morning. I read and snoozed in the warmth and watched the dogs play.

Gable and Huckleberry are old men. Both of them have arthritis in their old bones. Huck has a lot of tumors here and there. Gabe only has one. Both of them are grouchy and snarl fiercely at the other dogs if they get too close. Both are very protective of their food dishes. Neither of them can see real well anymore. Gable’s ears are better than Huck’s. Both of them still have good noses. I don’t think either of them laid down for the entire time we were out. They trotted back and forth along the fence or stood on the corner of the deck, peering all around with their ears pricked. Every time they heard something they turned in that general direction and barked ferociously to warn off the attacking what-evers. Poor old guys. One time they were both standing on the deck and facing into the breeze. I have no idea what they scented on the wind, but both of them began barking fiercely. Must have been something horrifically dangerous.

Thain played the entire time. Last Saturday Notah brought him a baby pool to splash in. And splash he did! The pool is just big enough for him to get all four feet in and turn round and around. ( It would make a good bed if it had a blanket in it) He enjoys standing in it and splashing around while he chases the reflections in the water. Today he had a tiny piece of bone about an inch and a half long and three-fourths of in inch thick. The water was muddied from his getting in and out of it so many times, consequently the bottom or anything on the bottom wasn’t visible. He was carrying his little bone around, chomping on it from time to time, while he played in the water. Then he accidentally dropped it!

At first he was a little worried because he couldn’t find it. But the pool is so small that inevitably he stepped on it. Then he had the challenge of finding it with his teeth while the water was halfway up his long nose to his eyes. Of course he figured it out since it involved splashing even more water everywhere. Then came the game of picking it up, ‘accidentally‘ dropping it in the water, then ‘diving’ for it and picking it up again. Then he would drop it out of the pool on the deck. It always fell just under the beveled edge of the pool so it was a little hard to see from his angle. That involved in his getting out of the pool to find it. Or sometimes he could find it from inside the pool. In either event, continuing the game still involved accidentally dropping it back in the water and so on. He entertained himself for most of an hour that way. I was beginning to worry he would be all wet when I was ready to go back inside. But finally he took his bone over to the end of the deck facing the wind and lay down with it between his front paws. Before long he was all dried off.

I enjoy sitting in the sun as long as it isn’t too hot. I hiked for long hours in the sun long before we had the medical profession advising us about the life threatening dangers of skin cancer. ( I sometimes wonder how Man survived for how many thousands of years before we had doctors to tell us about skin cancer and the dangers of red meat and smoke in the air!) At any rate, I’m sixty five years old. If I want to sit in the sun I will and if I get skin cancer--oh well. My father and grand father worked in the sun for their entire lives and had no skin cancer. My husband’s ancestors lived in the desert sun and I’ve never known a Navajo with skin cancer. So I’m not going to worry.

Meantime, the sun feels good on my muscles and bones.

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