Saturday, July 10, 2010

#221: Little Dignities

When I get out of bed, I try to always put on my shoes. I'm not sure why. Partly it's that Jake is always leaving some sharp, chewed up piece of something or other lying around and I don't want to step on it. But I think it's also got something to do with keeping a little dignity. I don't want to be padding around the house like a sick person. Lacing up the Adidas makes me feel more like I've got somewhere to go, even if it is just to the bathroom and back.

Little dignities. That's something my vanity won't let me quite give up. Like tipping my ridiculous, huge sun hat to a lady. Like tucking my shirt in or tapping my walking cane on the sidewalk as I do my tenth of a mile hike around the block. Or keeping myself shaved. I want the world to know I'm still a man in here. Maybe I want to remind myself.

Beware the pink and blue
bunny people!
Then there are the other times, the silly times. Yesterday, Mrs P couldn't find her blue bandanna. Later when it turned up under my pillow, I didn't want to lose it, so I put it in the one place I knew I wouldn't forget it. This led to one of those arm's length self portrait sessions that I have come to treasure so much. Mrs P is a better photographer than I, even when she can't see what she's doing, so she usually does the snapping. In this case, she also stole a smooch. I was happy to give it up.

We're setting up a field trip for Mrs P this week. She and her sister are going to try to visit Big Brother 1, and we need Pennsy sitters. Generous friends have volunteered and we'll coordinate all that. I am so touched by the easy way people stepped forward to "take a shift." I can't tell you how it feels to be as loved as I am. I honestly had no idea...

After yesterday's blog about how weary I was, I went to bed for a while, as promised, but it wasn't very restful. I decided to try putting my feet in motion and wound up taking a walk in the end of yesterday's rain. It was a beautiful, humid bluegrass afternoon. The rain dripped from my big straw hat as my cane tapped the concrete and I made my way around two short blocks - far as I've walked for a while, I think. I had to stop and lean a couple of times, and I was pretty soaked by the time I finished, but it was a great feeling to be really tired, not just used up. As I made my way to our corner, the grill of the Honda was heading up the street. Mrs P was on her way home from taking Jake in for his nail trim. His behavior was exemplary, she says. Seeing them get out of the car gave me the strength to carry myself through the front door, and a real nap followed, not one of those restless flutterings between awake and asleep that can be so frustrating. It felt like a nap I had actually earned.

Found some old photos of Jake today. He really is an insanely beautiful dog. Also an idiot, but that just helps him to fit in. There is a special quality to Golden Retriever's coat in the autumn that just makes them look like a huntin' dog. Jake might be trainable, he is very smart and has a soft mouth, but neither Mrs P nor I have the knowledge or the inclination to take him out in the woods to shoot birds. Guess he'll just have to settle for being pretty. Just like his papa...


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