Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Happy hour by the lake
Sunny, clear, and gorgeous today, but the lake is not mirror-smooth like it was last night when Colin and I at out there with two dogs and watched dusk turn to dark. The wind is up today, and the surface of the lake is ruffled, the windmill (decorative only) spinning fast. Even the swimming pool has tiny waves. Lisa has suggested happy hour by the lake tonight, with a fire in the pit. We’ll see how that goes.

Sophie and I are adjusting to different schedules than we keep at home. In the cottage, I usually take a short after-dinner nap and then work until eleven or twelve. Here, I’m in bed at ten—and I’m the last one up in the house. I laugh at Sophie—having once been shut into the bedroom, she won’t go in there with me unless I bribe her with a treat. But about nine o’clock, she decides it’s bedtime and crawls into her crate. When I come into the room, she looks askance at me as if to ask, “Why are you up so late?” But after that first rocky night of being in strange surroundings, we both sleep soundly all night. And she no longer sits anxiously outside the closed door when I disappear into the bathroom—the first day we were here she didn’t want me out of her sight and seemed to think the bathroom was a black hole which would swallow me.

For me, adaptation is a bit more difficult. At home in my cottage, I can roll around on my Rollator and fix my meals, take care of myself; Sophie can come and go out the patio door at will. Here, the house is on many levels, so I pretty much live in the section that has the family room, bedroom I’m using, and bathroom. For morning tea, meals, and the like I have to depend on others—and it makes me feel like a bother, though all four Tomball Alters are sweet about taking care of me. And about walking Sophie—when she comes to me and barks, I have to call for someone to come take her outside on a leash. No fenced yard. It’s a learning lesson in gratitude—gratitude that this branch of my family cares enough to take care of me and my dog and cater to our needs, cares enough to have me visit them even though my visit entails inconveniences.

Adaptation has been good in another way. Everyone here is busy—Colin working from home, Lisa getting ready to feed a multitude tomorrow, the kids busy with whatever teens do, from phones to working out. Where at home I can distract myself with everything from cooking to Christmas shopping, here there are no distractions. I’ve gotten a lot of work done, some of it things I’d been putting off.

Dogs and people, I’ve decided, are adaptable creatures, if they want to be.

No happy hour by the lake. Clouds came out in the afternoon, and by five, it was almost full dark. And then we were off to Lisa’s parents house, with Morgan driving that short distance, carefully and slowly. It was fun to see the house—they just moved in last July after some family remodeling updated floors, counters, paint, and the like. Torhild, Lisa’s mom, is quite happy with it. Now, we’re home, bellies full of Norwegian hamburgers and noodles. It’s time to sleep.

‘Night all. I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with thanks for many blessings and brings you the kind of day you want—a turkey feast or a tofu turkey, a crowd or dinner for two. Make it your day!

Grandma and Grandpa's house across the field
Somehow   going there made me think of 
Over the river and through the woods
to Grandmaother's house we go

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