As I write this, I am sipping caramel hot cocoa (Swiss Miss--you can shake some sea salt on the top to make salted caramel and oh my Buddha, is it decadent). Sugar Plum, The Dowager Queen (as we refer to her here in the castle) is curled on her own office chair beside me--on her own soft pillow, as all queens should be accommodated. Purrl is... I don't know, but my bet would be that I'll find her wherever I find Sgt. Thomas Tibbs. Tommy is curled in a ball somewhere, sleeping, as he is worn out after our hike. Let me begin again....
A week ago, Thomas had to be seen by a vet because of an ear infection. At the old house, I would simply call my Home Vet, Dr. David Lebovic, and he would stop by in the afternoon, administering shots or whatever we needed. Now that we're out here, it's time Thom got past his terror of all things new and actually visited a vet's office. He did, and he was a champ through it all. When we got home, I reached down to remove his collar and, wonder of wonder, he stretched his face up to mine and touched noses with me. This is a dog who turns his face away if I get too close. This is a dog who holds a grudge for two or three days or a week if he's been hurt or frightened. This is a dog who never learned how to give affection. But when he kissed my nose, I knew he was saying thank you. That ear must've hurt really bad. He knew we went through all that with the doc so he could feel better. Dogs... are so great....
And I've been recovering, too--from my injured foot, from John's death (see previous post), from the insanity in the world. (Well, I don't guess I'll ever recover from that until I leave this place.) Today was a fine day, though, with both of us feeling better. So we headed off to Bogart Park, a ten-minute drive away, and started down this road at about 4:15.
By 4:25, the sun's light was a glow rather than a shine, and some of our trail was in shadow already.
A few moments and a steep hill later, we turned to see this view to the south.
The photo doesn't capture all the color, all that the eye can see--the deepening shadows in the woods contrasting with the rosy hue of the sky. And if only I could include the scent of the wild sage and aging oak duff here! We stood for a moment and listened to the woodpeckers talking companionably as they settled in for the night. Then we turned and walked back to the truck in the dying light.
All told, it was a thirty-minute interlude of exercise, fresh air, some pretty scenes and a whole lot of endorphins. Thomas and I will both sleep well tonight.