58th: Let your conversation be without malice or envy, for it is a sign of a tractable and commendable nature; and in all cases of passion admit reason to govern.
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21 October 2004
One minute I was enjoying the break in the rain, the clear blue sky, the deep green grass, the solitude of the park.
The next minute I was flat on my back, seeing stars, Sheila standing over me looking worried.
We drive to the park each day. We could walk but...let's face it...I'm lazy. Besides, I often combine Sheila's park time with other errands, so having a car is handy.
We park in the parking lot and we used to walk over the grassy knoll and down through the soccer field, which was the straight-line way to get from the parking lot to the dog park.
We also used to walk back that way too, until I started getting nervous going down the parking lot side of the slope.
Instead, we started parking in the parking lot, walking the slightly longer way up the concrete path (the one which Sheila thinks magically creates dogs), and then down to the dog park. We returned back up the concrete path as well.
A couple of days ago, I decided to go back through the soccer field again, to remind myself why it was that I had made the decision not to go that way any more. As I walked down the hill, I thought "How silly--there's nothing difficult about this!" The next two days, we took the straight line back to the car again.
It rained yesterday and it was a stay-inside day for Sheila. Periodically throughout the day, she would come in here to my office and nudge me with her nose, as if to say "Well....? Aren't we going to the park...?" When I was sitting in my recliner facing the sliding door to the yard, she'd look out at the rain and then back to me, as if expecting me to fix it so she could go out and play.
(It's nice to be someone's God, but it does make you understand the frustration of the job. Someone always wants something. The farmer wants rain, the dog wants sun. Who do you listen to?)
I knew the park would be soaked today, because it had a good amount of rain (God not only prunes, he also sprinkles). But it wasn't raining and Sheila desperately. needed. to. get. out. And I desperately needed her to get out.
We were, of course, the only idiots mucking around in the marshy dog park, but that's OK. She chased joggers and bikers and skateboarders. There were no balls left behind, so I had nothing to throw for her (I'm thinking I need to visit a thrift store and see if I can pick up a supply of balls).
When it came time to go, we were both muddy. Her paws were black, as were my shoes. The grass was quite wet and I decided that if we walked back through the grass, we'd at least remove a bit of mud before getting in the car, since I hadn't thought to bring a towel with me.
And so it was that Sheila pulled me up one side of the slope and then we started down the other side.
Now bear in mind we're not talking a long distance. The whole slope can be taken in about 3 steps if you're a normal person, 6 steps if you're cautious, like me. It's barely a molehill.
"Why was I ever nervous about this?" were the last words that passed through my head before my feet slipped out from under me and landed me on my back in the mud.
"Oh that's why," I thought once I'd done an inventory on all the body parts--back, neck, "bad" shoulder, "bad" knee.
I was pleased to see that my "must run away at all costs" dog had not, in fact, run away when I dropped the leash, but instead had come to make sure I was all right.
I cautiously got myself to my feet, noting that my shoulder ached, my knee had sharp pains shooting through it, my tailbone was hurting, and I had a headache.
We went from there to the newspaper office, where I had to write some captions for the photos that will accompany the Laramie Project article. As I got out of the car, I noticed that one leg was covered with mud. I explained to my editor what happened.
"You shouldn't do that," he said.
Tell me about it!
After the captions were written, we came on home again and I'm sitting here trying to assess the damage. It was a pretty good jolt and as time passes, things are starting to stiffen up and the body is saying "Oh yeah--that probably hurts, doesn't it?" I should take some Aleve or something.
Tomorrow when we go back to the park, I think we'll go back to walking up the concrete path to and from dog park. And I'll put a towel in the car to take care of muddy feet instead of leaving it to the grass to clean.
Websites of the Day
My friend Michelle has just become a district manager for KIWE, software for keeping kids safe on the Internet. If you have young kids you should check it out.
Sometimes you win. My friend Julia tells me the Washington Post reported that Sinclaire is pulling its scheduled broadcast of "Stolen Honor." Anybody who contacted advertisers, congratulations on a job well done!!! (Even if General Mills DID write to tell me that to remove their advertising would be to suppress free speech. Guess I'm going to have to give up Bisquick. However, Sheila can keep on eating Iams, which refuses to advertise on political programs.)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is a collage I made for Tavo,