On the 13th of December, an XPressPay invoice email appeared in our Inbox. My husband, Bill, uses XPressPay to pay our Norwalk utility bills. Nothing unusual here except I noticed the subject line on this particular email (which I chose not to open and read so as to not ruin the surprise anymore than seeing this had already done!) read 2018 Dog License Application.

Holy Cow! I thought. Bill did it. He got me a puppy!! We’d just seen a gorgeous cock-a-poo a few days earlier while walking at Gray’s Lake. The owners gave us the breeder information and later that day Bill made the comment ‘maybe we should get you a puppy’. I said nothing at the time so when I saw this email my heart soared!! OMG. A puppy!!

I started to prepare myself for impending puppyhood. I read articles and posts about the first 24 hours home, the first few weeks & months and how to train, feed and care for my new puppy. I was STOKED and looking forward, although somewhat anxiously, to opening our home to a new companion.

Christmas morning – crickets.

I waited patiently, wondering how Bill was going to spring it on me. Was he going to give me a dog leash or the license tags wrapped in shiny Christmas paper? Or maybe he’d wrapped the crate we’d use to bring our new puppy home from the breeder. Bill said nothing. At noon we headed to Kent & Kim’s for dinner and gifts. Perhaps he would present me with the accoutrements of dog ownership there when we exchanged presents with family. Or – OR!! Maybe Kent & Kim actually had my new puppy waiting for me at their house!! OMG. My tummy was doing flip-flops. I was nervous, excited and anxious.

We get there. The house was pretty quiet. No furtive glances. No coy looks. No puppy sounds emanating from the basement (maybe that’s where they had him?!?) I continued to wait. Lunch was a little delayed so we decided to open gifts before we ate. OMG. Here we go!! I waited. And waited some more. And then – it was over. Time to eat.

Nothing.

What the heck?!?!

Later in the day, Bill and I sat off to the side on the couch in the living room, family busy elsewhere in the house. Quietly, I told him about the email and wondered out loud ‘what gives?!?!’ Bill had no idea what I was talking about. “Dog license? You think I bought a dog license for someone?” Then: “Oh. You thought I got YOU a puppy?” He truly had no idea what I was referring to. Finally, I realized he was sincere. He felt bad. No, he hadn’t gotten me a dog. “Let’s go get you one tomorrow”, he said. “If you really want one.”

So.

No puppy. Somehow a huge mistake. I don’t know why we got this email. When we got home late last night and opened it up to read it, all that it contained was a blank application form. NO clue as to why they sent it.

This morning I told my husband that maybe winter wouldn’t be the best time to get a puppy. We’ll revisit this discussion come spring.

Sigh. No furry little friend – for now.

And still, I wait…

stardust and pixies
Dark Shadows and Salem witch trials,
ethereal creatures on my mind.
strung-out childhood memories of
fireflies & Purple Passion
Life Saver books
(butterscotch, my favorite).
six girls in the back of Dad’s pickup truck
take me home country roads
sunlight stretching long and bright
unending summer days,
winter’s blast providing other joys:
snow forts, sledding, skating (always) on thin ice.
oh, to be the young girl I once was
with the opportunity to seek
the potential that hid itself from me
but knowable had I only thought to look for it
and to believe that I was enough.

Steve placed the King James, opened face-down, on a three-legged stool, not far from the searing heat of the roaring fire. Revelations had nothing to reveal to him. It made no sense, no matter which way he sliced and diced the thing. He felt as if he’d lost his way over the years, finally unshackled from the orthodoxy of indoctrination that had gripped him at an early, impressionable age and that was, he thought, fine by him.

Religion had lost its luster. The hold it had on him had become looser and flimsier in this, his eighth decade on the planet. Nature was his god now. His mind was sound, his 75-year-old body still fit and trim. Daily walks on the beach, gathering driftwood, sifting through tidal wrack to unearth man’s middle finger of careless disregard for the beauty and awe of the world, had taught him many things, not the least of which was the propensity of humans to look outside themselves for solace, for answers, for comfort. All that was required was within. Steve understood this now.

Majestic nature, the silence of being, the grandeur of it all inspired his devotion: oceans, mountains, streams and fields and hills, lakes, creeks, ponds and marshes. The diversity of plants and animals, the glorious and changing seasons, the powerfully awesome forces of the skies – these were no trifles. They were his all. These spiritual elements comprised the core of who he was and what he believed in. More importantly, they inspired him to live in the moment and to be grateful for every morsel of this beautiful cocoon that enveloped him in its tender, ferocious arms.

At one time, he felt torn about his evolving views. No more. This was Life and he would cherish and nurture and enjoy it for as long as he was fortunate enough to do so.

Daily Prompt: Torn