Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I had to quit and some sad news...

Well, I had to quit my job as Mayor of Tick Ridge, WV. Seems they weren't real thrilled about my idea of knocking down the football stadium and putting in truck parking. Hey, parking is at a premium. I thought it was a good idea. But the town council seemed to think otherwise. Can you say Impeachment?

Sad news this week.

This is Princess.

Princess is a Cocker spaniel/border collie mix that was born off a dirt road outside of Lubbock, TX. She has lived in Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, and Ohio. She's a regular globetrotter. She's a real sweet lady. Quiet, and loving, and she's my daughters dog. She has a skin condition on her back, arthritis, and is nearly blind and deaf. She is also 14 years old. Which means she is drawing near the end of her years on this earth. Hana was almost eight when Princess joined us. They are quite attached to one another.

My daughter was giving her a bath the other day and came running down the stairs. "There's blood in the water, Dad!" I'm thinking of the curse of Egypt and wondering why there would be blood coming out of our taps, but I soon learn what she's doing. We both go back up and check it out and see that her skin has opened up on her back and she's bleeding a little on her back. Hana gets her cleaned up and puts some ointment on her and all is well. Princess already had a vet appointment scheduled and so on Monday, she went off to see her doc.

Dr. Sandy Carpenter is a great vet and takes the necessary time with her patients. I called my wife later in the day to see how the vet appointment went and she told me that Hana was given "the news". Seems the vet told her that we need to start thinking about the conditions under which long will we...there's no easy way to say it. When would we decide to allow Princess to ease out of this life into one that's less painful.

Now my wife has always believed that animals will be with us when we get to heaven. And this makes it a little easier for my kids and their pets. But I still needed to have the discussion with Hana about what we needed to do and when we might need to do it. Not an easy discussion. But the good news is that this day will probably not be very soon. Probably before next winter though.

My family is very pet oriented. We now have three dogs and two cats. And pets have always been a big part of our lives, even when we weren't allowed pets. We've hidden the dog a number of times from the landlord. I don't say that proudly, just matter-of-factly. We've also had fish, rats, and an orphaned bird at one point. But buzzards don't make good house pets and their always getting in the trash, so that didn't last long.

So I had the talk with Hana. She understood, but that didn't make it easier. But the last thing I said to her was, "Maybe God sent you Edgar because He knew that Princess wasn't going to be around a whole lot longer."

Let me tell you about Edgar. About two months ago the 12 year old neighbor girl came over to the house crying because she found a stray kitten that was in real bad shape and her parents wouldn't let her keep it. Needless to say, I went about putting my foot down, quite firmly I might add, that we were not keeping the kitten either. I mean come on. You should have seen this thing. Filthy, covered in mud, one eye completely closed and dripping pus, the other nearly closed and dripping pus, skinny as a rail. Now I'm normally a kind fellow but on some things I figure, be firm at the beginning and ease up later if I need to. As far as this kitten was concerned, I had no plans to ease up at all. WE ARE NOT KEEPING THE CAT!!!

As I'm sure you know, we now have another cat. I put my foot down and my kids stomped all over it. I knew I was in trouble when the kitten was named before the discussion was even over. Edgar! What kind of name is that for a cat?

Well, Edgar has filled out nicely and his fur is quite soft. He is completely black with a stray hair here and there that is white. It makes him look like he's sparkling. He likes to climb up on the back of my chair and sit there. He is right behind me now as I tell you his story. A curious thing about Edgar. He's missing his right eye and his left eye is about half covered with that interior lid that cats have. He probably would not have made it as a wild cat, not being able to see much and all. But we have some fun with him anyway. And did I tell you my kids have a sick sense of humor.

We're painting right now in the dining room and my wife is not thrilled about company right now since the house is such a wreck, but Pastor dropped by for a visit last week. We quickly scooted him through the dining room, into the living room and we all sat around visiting and sharing about the upcoming church projects and visiting the elderly and the sick and Edgar walks in the room. Pastor loves animals as well and when Edgar strolled over to see if this new visitor would be so kind as to give him a bit of a rub, Pastor willingly obliged. He bent down and scooped him up and started stroking Edgar on his back. Edgar, as I said, is very soft and loves to be rubbed. Don't we all?

Soon Pastor turned him around to get a good look at him and saw his eye was missing. "What happened to his eye?" he asked. I started to answer that he was like that when we found him when Hana spoke up loudly, "What do you mean 'what happened to his eye?!"

Pastor is looking a little concerned now and he says, "Well, his eye...his right eye. It looks like it's missing."

Again I start to answer and Hana jumps up and is across the room in a flash. She grabs Edgar from Pastor and spins him around, looks him square in the eye (heh heh) and gives out a blood-curdling scream.

"What did you do!?" she screams. "Where's his eye? Dad! His eye! It's gone!"

"Hana..." I start.

"Dad, His EYE!" she screams again. And I see her sly wink as she turns her back to Pastor. And I think, you cruel little girl.

"Uh...what happened?" Pastor says.

"His eye!" Hana screams. "What did you do with his eye?!"

Pastor is looking totally flumoxxed by now and I'm sure he was wishing he had skipped our house on his visitation rounds. "Uh...I...Maybe..." he tries to mumble.

"Quick," Hana yells and drops to her knees. "Help me look. Maybe we can find it and have it put back in." And she begins crawling around on the floor, Edgar still firmly in her arms as she "searches" for his eye. No one else has moved and I'm sure Pastor was wondering why my wife had her face buried in her hands and why I sat still doing nothing as our daughter scurried around on the floor.

I figured it was about time to end this charade when I hear Hana holler out from behind the couch, "I found it."

Huh, I think. You found it. This I've got to see.

But she doesn't come out right away. And I hear her say, "Oh... oh...this is nasty...oh too gross...Dad, get me a tissue...sick, it's still got the string thingy hanging from it." At this point she begins to retch and heave behind the couch. I must admit, she sounded quite convincing. Enough so that Pastor stood up quickly and scooted across the room. Who knows, she might get some on him.

And here she comes, backing out from behind the couch, Edgar still in one arm, something in the other hand, scooting out on her elbows. She stands up and quickly crosses the room to Pastor, her hand extended, trying to show him the "eye" she found. "I got it," she says.

For such a big man, he was very light on his feet as he tried to get away from this mad little girl.

It seems that somewhere along the line, one of my sick kids decided that one of the green grapes they were eating was a little past its prime, and rather than getting up and throwing it away, they figured behind the couch was as good a place as any.

This is what Hana dragged out and waved under Pastors nose yelling, "Here it is! Quick! If we get to the vet now she can probably put it back."

I am sure that this was not in any of the curriculum that Pastor studied as he went through his doctoral studies in seminary. I mean, do seminaries have a class entitled "Wacko Children"? Just wondering.

He knew something was up when Sheila started laughing so hard tears were streaming down her face. I then quickly explained that Edgar had come to us without his eye and that all was well.

I think he'll come back some time. I hope at least. He's a good pastor. Meanwhile, Hana is still snickering about it. I really do have some sick kids.

Monday, November 10, 2008

To the Son of JB

This may seem a little weird to you, regular reader, but I must make a personal plea here since I have no other way to contact this gentleman.

Last week, son of JB posted a comment on my blog here concerning the pics I took on my trip to Texas last March. It took me some genealogical hunting, but I soon found out that the Son of JB and I are related and exactly how we are related. Seems his grandfather on his daddy's side is the brother to my great-grandfather on my daddy's side. Like most southern families, ours is so spread out that it is nearly impossible to keep track of who's married to whom and who's cousin that was and why Aunt Zelda has that bump on the back of her head, without a Cray computer and a GPS Navigator. But I found it intriguing, nonetheless, that a relative that I have probably never spoken with would come across my blog and choose to comment on it even. I mean, most relatives of mine usually hide their familial affiliation whenever I am around. Obviously, the fellow doesn't know me all that well.

So, son of JB, if you're out there and you come across this again, I would love to get in touch with you and see what all is going on with you and yours. Feel free to email me. You can find that address on my profile page.

For the rest of you, I will be back soon and fill you in on my new job as Mayor of Tick Ridge, West Virginia. "What?!" I hear you say. Yep. That's what I said. Mayor. Elected by a landslide at a pancake breakfast held in the elementary school of a town I don't even live in.

How's that for charisma?!

I'll tell you later.