As I bemoan the end of my summer vacation and madly scramble to get ready for yet another semester, I appreciate every pleasurable moment that comes my way. And today, there were many such moments to make me smile:
- Opening the back door in the morning and having arthritic, funny-footed little Princess Belle RACE out the door and across the lawn to the pasture gate, hopping around and barking “let’s go, let’s go!”
- Watching our neighbour’s dog, Lily, who is staying with us once again while her family is away, sticking close to Sadie’s side as we walk the path to the back of the property. She remembers from her last visit that Sadie is her friend.
- Sitting on the bench on the rise of pasture, suddenly noticing how glossy Sadie’s fur has become and how she is finally losing some of the excess weight she was carrying. Although she was reasonably healthy (albeit 30 pounds overweight) when she arrived, her fur was dull and lifeless compared to Charley’s. Premium food, high quality fish oil, and regular grooming have changed all that. She is one black, sleek, furmonster now.
- Seeing one lone piggy at the pasture gate, ever hopeful, watching to see if I am about to open the gate for him. His tail is wagging, his ears are straight up, and he squeals as I walk past.
- Watching Charley tear out of the house to greet my sister and her partner, who have dropped by on their way back to the Okanagan. Even though we only see them a few times a year, Charley recognizes them immediately and gives them lots of lovings. (Side note: A few years ago, they lived in a house on the shore of Okanagan Lake. Charley loved to visit there, and would lie on the grass between the house and the beach staring out over the water for hours on end. If she couldn’t be a farm dog, I think she'd like to be a beach bum. So would I!)
- Having Whisper lean against my legs while my sister and I chat, his snoutie raised, eyes watching me intensely like a little kid tugging at mom’s skirt waiting for his chance to speak. RobRoy and Fizzy hover near by, also watching and listening. (Another side note: I must get a piggy harness and see if Whisper will let me put it on him! He is soooo tame and so closely bonded to me. Some days I think I just may fail Fostering 101 and end up adopting those three.)
- Looking out the kitchen window to see Martin the alpaca hanging his head over the gate and staring at the house, willing me to open the gate and let him into the backyard where he can munch on freshly-mowed green grass and the occasional late-flowering dandelion.
- Wandering in the pasture and hearing a noise like dry leaves fluttering in a breeze. Finding its source – a flock of thirty or more teeny bushtits flittering from branch to branch as they converse in their light, gentle notes of tsits, tsits, tsits.
- Suddenly spotting plump ripe blackberries in the field, where two days ago only hard red ones existed. I love blackberries. It is a comfort food to me, bringing back warm happy memories of childhood when my family picked them by the bucket, then ate them in cereal bowls with evaporated milk, or layered between two slices of soft white bread with a bit of butter and sugar. Blackberry pies, blackberry jam, blackberry crumble…..cooked, they are great, but fresh from the vine they are best of all. (Oh my sister is going to be so ticked off that I didn’t spot them while she was still here! ). Tomorrow morning I shall take a container with me on our morning walk, and then have fresh blackberries and vanilla yoghurt for breakfast ----Yum!
Small pleasures and little surprises – the stuff that turns a hum-drum Monday into a warm and comfy memory.