On Friday morning I asked Ted if he could think of anything we had planned for the weekend.
“Not that I know of,” he said. “Why?”
We’ve been back to perfect weather the last few days – temps in the low 70′s, unheard-of low humidity – the kind of days when you’re just itching to attack weeds, prune a few bushes that have already bloomed, and get dirt under your fingernails.
“No reason,” I answered Ted. “I’m just thinking about getting out in the yard and weeding a few flower beds.”
“Huh,” was Ted’s answer, knowing full well that said weeds would be left in little piles all over the yard for him to wheelbarrow to the trash.
We had dinner out with friends Friday night. I had to laugh half-way through the pizza when Ed said, “Do you realize we just spent 10 minutes talking about people in Michigan who only two of us at this table have ever met,” he asked, meaning Dawn and Stevie, who have visited us on the Island.
It was true. Talk had turned to us having just four weeks left in Georgia, and then topics changed to Jill at the bookstore, Mary and my god-horse Teddie, Brian and his family from the Chippewa, and several others. And even though most of our Georgia friends have never met these folks, they know them from hearing us talk about them and from Facebook – where everyone is connected. Of course, in Michigan, we talk about Georgia folks. As Ed said, “It’s like we’re all friends, even though we don’t really know each other.” I find that exceptionally fun!
On Saturday morning, after a long coffee-on-the-porch session, I donned an old pair of shorts and a t-shirt I could afford to throw out if it got too stained during the day. I retrieved my gardening gloves out of the shed, along with a spade, pruning shears, and a little garden seat that allows me to sit and work in the dirt instead of bending over at the waist and trashing my back for the next month. I trimmed, I pulled weeds, I dug up vines by the roots. I went inside for lunch, then hurried back outside to chase Maddie away from rummaging through the little piles of weeds, looking for something to eat. I swept the piles back into piles. I trimmed, pulled, and dug some more. I watered potted geraniums, and I found an old plant stand in the shed and added it to the deck. I spent the last 30 minutes of the afternoon sitting in a deck chair watching Maddie chase a lime-green lizard around the railings. I had a blast . . . right up until I put everything away, took a bath, sat down to read for about an hour, and then, wanting a glass of water, got up to discover my left knee did not want to work right. But hey – my back is A-OK!
Today (Sunday) I planned to rest my knee – to sit out on the porch with my leg propped up and start a new book. I envisioned a couple of chapters, a couple of naps, and watching birds eat through another pound or two of feed.
“Baby?” Ted called from the hall.
“Yes?” I answered tentatively, knowing full-well that “Baby” was going to be followed by “Did you know . . . .”, and whatever it was I “didn’t know” would mean getting up so I could find out.
“Did you know (see, told you) Bear’s been rolling in something, and under his ear is all yucky?”
I got up.
It turned out that Bear had not been rolling in something but instead had a horrific hot spot under his right ear that was spreading as I watched (for you readers who aren’t dog folks, a hot spot is a skin irritation that can spread like wildfire unless treated right away). Bear’s was already the size of a half-dollar, bleeding where he’d scratched it, moist, and yes, very yucky.
I scrabbled through my dog pharmacy cabinet for hot spot treatment meds (his last one was two years ago) and everything I had was out of date. Looking at the clock, I saw it was 11 a.m. I called the vet’s emergency number where I was informed by the answering service person that if the vet had to meet me at the clinic on a Sunday, there would be a $150 emergency fee before Bear was even seen. I said, “Please have her call me, and we’ll go from there.” (If you’re thinking a skin irritation is not an emergency, you have never had a dog with a hot spot).
Within five minutes, the vet on call phoned, and I explained the situation. Bless her heart, she was at the clinic checking on patients and said, “Bring Bear on in – I won’t charge you the emergency fee (yeah for being a regular customer!).
Forty-five minutes later half the side of Bear’s face was hairless (yes, he’s still beautiful – even if only to me), he’d been scrubbed with blue surgical soap, and sprayed with stuff that is supposed to help dry up the hot spot (and which made him roll his eyes at me with a look that said, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME! THAT STINGS LIKE . . . . YEAH, IT STINGS!”. It took three of us to hold him down while she sprayed the wound – can’t wait to do that tonight when it’s just Ted and I. I also brought home pills I’m hoping won’t cause the same reaction a similar drug did the last time he had a hot spot – namely throwing up on every carpeted floor in the house. Doggie prayers for fast healing would be appreciated – my sweet Bear is one miserable boy right now.
So – there you go. A pretty typical, normal weekend at the Hortons. Sure am glad we didn’t have any plans!