Walking. With Truckers, Parakeets & Puppies.

375 consecutive days. Like in a Row. Cove Island Morning Walk.  The commitment to stop this obsession on the 366th day, came and went. Rachel Cusk: ‘…this balking of my will.’ This pull of something Larger.

10:00 a.m. yesterday. Cablevision contractor (full mask the entire time because it’s the right thing to do) takes his wire cutters, and with a quick turn of his wrist, strips the white pvc wrapper from the copper wire. I couldn’t do that without slashing my index finger. Wish I could do Something with these hands. Need to watch Dick Proenneke’s Youtube documentary on building a log cabin in the Alaskan Wilderness. That’s right. Get off-grid and build something. 

4:35 a.m.  Newspaper ‘Man’ (not Boy, not on a 2-wheeler but an early model Nissan) flicks his wrist and the NY Times  sails in slow motion, its blue wrapper flapping in the air, and hits the driveway with a thud. I’d like to do this, just one morning…Fling papers on driveways, watch them skid on dewy front yards, or slow the car to wind it way back and slam it against the garage door…

4:45 a.m. I turn onto the I-95 entrance ramp. Truckers. So many Trucks.  So many red tail lights.  Not one time in the last 60-75 days, as I enter the merging lane, have these monster trucks not moved into the center lane to let me enter. Not.One.Time. Driving all night and still have the decency and courtesy of swinging their big rigs into the center lane to let me in. Not one Time. That’s Professional. 

I’m across from this giant tandem semi, which wobbles over into my lane and then straightens out. Must have reached over to give his puppy a snack.  Wheels. Life on the Road. “It can get lonely on the road60% of truckers are pet owners, 40% of them taking their pets on the road with them…Sarah Giles, 27, drives for All Freight Carriers and carries a pair of dogs — and…a green-cheeked conure parakeet. ‘They’re about a foot long, as smart as a 4-year-old and very affectionate,’ she said. ‘Bonnie wants to be on me all the time, insists on everything her way, and doesn’t like strangers near the truck.’”

Sarah has a pair (!) of dogs and parakeet!  I look ahead. Of the 10 truckers in front of me, 4 have buddies riding along.  My passenger seat is dark, empty, and Sad. No friends. That’s Sad.

5:39 a.m. I make my way up to the point at Cove Island Park.

Walking by myself.

No puppy.

But damn, what a view…


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 5:24 to 5:39 am, May 15, 2021. 46° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

 

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 was just a good day.”


Notes:

TGIF: Who picked who?


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

Saturday Morning (Low of 19° F)


Photo: (via Your Eyes Blaze Out)

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week!


Photo: via poppins-me

Easter House Guest.

I just don’t know 🙂 … (Backstory here)

Saturday Morning


Photo: Shutterstock via Newthom

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week


Photo: Pentti Sammallahti. Varanasi, India. 1999 (via Newthom)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Source: imgur.com

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