Walking. With MJF.

Monday morning, 5 a.m. The night before, wind gusts up to 60 mph, heavy rain, and a tornado set down a few miles away. Trees down. Thousands without power in Fairfield County. The Kanigan house?  Silent. The lights burn, the furnace hums, Susan and Eric sleep. All is well.

I walk.

Cove Island Park.  There’s no evidence of havoc on the beach. It is swept clean. No drift wood. No trash. No humans. The sand is firm underfoot. I leave faint shoe marks. I don’t look back.

I never look back. 

It’s likely why the title of his book, No Time Like the Future, caught my attention. Michael J. Fox‘s new memoir, is pumping through my earbuds.

29 years old: Parkinson’s.

58 years old: Spinal cord surgery (unrelated to Parkinson’s) followed by long term rehab.

“I got grim,” he said in an interview in 2019. No shit.

I’m Canadian, like MJF, without the famous part.  He was born 5 months earlier, and yet handed a deck of cards that I’m not sure I could ever play.

He’s written 3 other memoirs titled “Lucky Man“, “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist” and “A Funny Thing Happens on the Way to the Future.” You get the picture. It’s almost as if he was built to take the blows.

He’s narrating this new book.

Shame, that’s what I feel, as I have to slow down the narration speed on Audible to catch each word. Most with Parkinson’s speak slowly, but not MJF. He speaks rapidly, with certain words trailing off at the end of certain sentences. Actor. Married, 30 years. Father. Prolific fundraiser for Parkinson’s. Writer. Narrator of his own books. Super Man.

I walk, and I listen. [Read more…]

Sunday Afternoon

It felt as if one’s entire world was one, long Sunday afternoon. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go.

—  Ralph Gibson


Photo: Eric Kanigan of Sully and me. More on our Sully here and here and here.

Saturday Morning

Guess who came to visit!?!? Sully!


More on our Sully here and here and here. (Thank you Susan for taking photo)

Weather.com: 34° / Feels like 24° F. Wind gusts 19 mph.


Photo: anji (via Newthom)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call (If not now, when?)

About a week into quarantine, my husband and I were sitting on the couch when he turned his computer screen to show me an article he was reading. There was a picture of a cute dog, and a headline that suggested walking a dog was the best way to stay sane in these decidedly insane times. I rolled my eyes and took to Instagram to ridicule him for trying to use a global-health crisis to further his long-standing campaign to bring a pet into our lives. Three days later, we brought home a four-month-old puppy. His name is Barry.

While that might seem impulsive, my husband has been angling for a dog for roughly eight years—almost the entire time we’ve been together. He regularly sends me pictures of happy-looking dogs, volunteers to walk his family dogs even in the middle of Chicago winters, and has jumped at every opportunity to dogsit, an attempt to not only hang out with a four-legged companion, but also slowly convince me of how wonderful it would be to welcome a furry pal into our home. I, in turn, have given him lots of reasons for why a dog hasn’t made sense for us: We work a lot, we travel a lot (for business and pleasure), we like going out with our friends for dinner and drinks. In short, I valued the freedom and flexibility we enjoyed as a childless couple in a big city, and I worried that a dog would rob us of that lifestyle before I was ready.

The fact that dogs will be dogs has continually helped my case. Every instance of a puppy visitor peeing on our brand-new bedroom rug, eating the bread I just baked after snatching it off the counter, or ripping apart a piece of Tupperware in an attempt to get at the leftovers inside felt like a point in my favor. A dog was just too much trouble. Then the coronavirus handily dismantled our lives…

My experience so far suggests that there’s probably something to that idea. While housebreaking was hard, and it certainly isn’t ideal when Barry decides to bark for more attention while I attempt to have a series of Zoom meetings, our puppy is making us unreasonably happy. During a lengthy period of sadness and uncertainty, it has been cathartic to laugh at the random things Barry has decided to be afraid of—black plastic bags, parked bicycles, large trucks, the back alley, and stacks of cardboard boxes, to name just a few. And our walks provide a sense of purpose and structure. Having a new puppy has also helped us forge stronger connections with our friends and family—giving us all something to DM, call, FaceTime, and text about other than illness and angst.Barry has given us the invaluable gifts of levity and joy during this extraordinarily miserable crisis. I’m not really sure how we’ll repay him, but we’ve got lots of time, right here at home, to figure it out.

~ Gillian B. White, from “I Got a Pandemic Puppy, and You Can Too” (The Atlantic · April 11, 2020)

 


Photo Source: (via Newthom)

it’s hard to bow to the vastness of the sea when being pulled under

I was walking our dog during the pandemic, the neighborhood empty, the clouds heavy, and, through my headphones, the music of a man now gone, the love from his soul helping me keep my head above water. And though it’s hard to bow to the vastness of the sea when being pulled under, hard to believe in the merit of light when lost in the dark, hard to wait on love when painfully lonely—these larger truths never stop being true. Even as I voice this, someone is dying in the hall of an overcrowded hospital, while another is lifted from their own hell by the grace of a kindness no one saw coming. As if the spirit of the one dying arrives like pollen in the heart of the one stuck in hell, giving them just enough to begin again. If we could only give the extra warmth we receive to someone who is shivering. If we could shed the masks that keep us from ourselves, there would be enough to save the world.

~ Mark Nepo, “Sheltered-in-Place” (FB, April 5, 2020)


Notes: Photo – Axios. Quote: Thank you Make Believe Boutique. Inspired by Ray’s post: It’s all about Perspective

T.G.I.F: My New Work-From-Home Assistant

Sully is visiting Grandpa DK for the rest of the week. My new Work-From-Home Assistant peed all over my rug and was then quarantined in the penalty box.

More on our Sully here and here and here.


Photo: Eric Kanigan, March 18th, @ Home.

“It was just a good day.”


Notes:

Tuesday Morning Wake-Up Call: Up!


Source: “My pupper Louise Billy-Fawn June…Some say she’s still flying to this day” via imgur

TGIF: Who picked who?


Don’t miss Nick and Emerson’s Instagram site.

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