I'll never forget the day I picked her up, a 9 month old pug pup that her original owners no longer wanted because they thought she was too much to handle. That same sweet pug, now a little old lady, turned 13 this week.
I immediately named her Winnie, thinking that her given name of Taz did not suit. These days she spends most of her time napping on the couch or on her cushion. After a series of doggie health problems, our walks have gotten shorter and shorter. Now it seems we are barely out the front door when I will note her tightly kinked tail starting to uncurl, the signal that the walk has ceased to be fun for her.
The arrival of little sis, Cleo, has done much to keep Winnie, a devoted couch potato kind of dog, interested and active. They've been best buds for four years, rarely out of each other's sight and always side by side on the bed at night, snoring in harmony.
I've checked in with Jane on her forty-third birthday, and it sounds like she is celebrating it in style: present opening in the morning before the boys need to depart for school, lunch out with Nate, and shopping in order to spend a gift certificate in the evening. The focus for everyone's birthday is, rightly so, on the birthday person; but on this particular birthday, I always reflect- for at least a little while-on what was going on with me that eventful and joyous day.
I had time to prepare for the birth since labor was induced, so I decked myself out in my cutest maternity dress...now there's an oxymoron if there ever was one. As I recall, it was a black and white mini number, hitting my legs a couple of inches above my knees. I must have looked like a blimp on stilts as I sluggishly waddled into the hospital in Meridian, Mississippi. However, I thought I looked pretty spiffy, considering the situation. Two hours later I was flat on my back in hospital garb, throwing up, so what did it matter?
Mission accomplished: a baby girl was born. Standing with an admiring group of strangers peering through the nursery window at all the pink and blue bundles, I was shocked as a large man pointed at my sweet baby and loudly stated, "Hey, y'all! Look at that one with them big jowls!" I was completely unfazed by the rude remark and the laughter that followed because my husband and I knew she was the most beautiful baby we had ever seen.
It was a cool autumn day, perfect for piping hot squash soup, as my friends and I met for lunch at Brix in the Napa Valley. When my bowl of soup, looking like a work of art, was placed in front of me, I thought it was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. It tasted as divine as it looked, and I enjoyed every spoonful.