Sunday, October 24, 2010

Goodbye, little guy...

About ten years ago our black cocker Licorice developed a tumor. She was an old dog and we decided to put her down. And as "Dad" it fell to me to make the arrangements and carry them out. We had originally gotten her for Scott with the idea that "every boy needs a dog!" Well ,their relationship was cordial but it never really went anywhere. When Rachel came along, she bonded immediately with Licorice. So, she was understandably distressed when the end came. To address her grief and sadness we went to Pima County Animal Control and adopted Jaxx, a 2-3 year old Cairn terrier mix. He was a nice little dog but when left unattended in the house would proceed to mark (urinate on)nearly every piece of furniture and door in the house. This caused me to have little affection for him over the years. Rachel however, loved him!

He developed some back problems over the 10 years we had Jaxx and recently had an infected tooth that started swelling behind one eye. The fix for hem at the vet was to be over $600 not to mention the over $100 for the office visit and medication. So we decided to take him to the Humane Society and put him down. It was interesting that this time it was so much more difficult for me! I cried on my lunch hour knowing that 3:00 would be here soon. I drove home and took him for one last walk to get the mail. I loaded him into the cab of my little truck and petted him the whole way just repeating "I'm so sorry. Jaxx"

At the Humane Society, the young man was very kind and asked me some questions, had me sign some papers and then asked if I wanted to go back and hold him. I said that I couldn't. I took off his collar and leash and petted him one last time as the attendant placed a red leash around his neck and led him into the back room. I cried as I donated the rest of his food and got back in the truck. I'm sure I didn't pet him, play with him, or walk him enough. Taking him in was much harder than I thought it would be. So goodbye, little Jaxx. You were a good boy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not-so-empty nest after all

Our daughter Wendy and her husband of 1 1/2 years, Chad have moved into our house. In the first place, we are thrilled that they have "come home" to Tucson after a stint in Seattle (yes, we know it's hot here!). They are here while they look for a house to buy and they have been searching dilligently. They both found good full-time jobs within about a week of arriving. One good thing about their being in the house is that Wendy likes to cook (which Pat and I don't do much of these days) so we have had some pretty great meals. Also, she has pushed me into improving my backyard grilling skills. When there is meat in her recipe, she will just tell me that this needs to be cooked on the grill, etc. And that is a good thing. So we are not really sure when or if we will ever really have the house to ourselves but it's OK. It's just what you do and we are happy to do what little we can to help the kids along. Now the question is... will they take Jaxx the dog with them when they move into a house?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reflections on the "Empty Nest"

So it has finally happened. Our daughter Carlie, her husband Trevor and their two kids moved out of our house a week or so ago after about an 8 month stay. Our youngest, Rachel moved out a month or so before so now we are officially alone. This is the first time since August 10, 1979 when we welcomed our first child, Tina into our family and the world. I never thought much about what "empty-nesting" would be like, probably because there have always been kids here. But I'm thinking... it's not too bad. Of course, a lot of that feeling probably stems from the fact that 3 of our 5 kids live in our area code. It is tough having Wendy and Tina and their families so far away but being able to stay close to the others is great. It would be way different and more difficult if all our kids lived far away.

I am finding that I really enjoy the time I get to be alone with Pat. We are and have always been best friends and there is no one I'd rather hang out with. We still share lots of the same interests (although she likes TV crime shows way more than I). I kind of like the quiet (but I still love it when the house is full of "kid noise"). Obviously, the house stays neater and relatively uncluttered which is also nice. Of course, we still are the repository of stacks of the kids' boxes of junk in various closets and corners but I guess that comes from having the biggest house, modest though it is! I'm sure they'll pick them up by and by!

So, I think I am going to get used to this. We love our kids and grand-kids. They are everything to us. We so look forward to visiting with them at every opportunity but after years of late nights with sick kids and other minor catastrophes, maybe it's time for us to put our feet up for a few minutes. Aaaahhh!