With school starting on Monday, I had a nice long visit planned to Elizabeth City. I left on Thursday. It had seemed like “a month of Sundays” since I had been last.
Before I knew it, I was in the quiet village by the laughing river. The crepe myrtles were blooming along the streets and the magnolias still had blooms, though they were sparse. I was sad to see the place by the old bridge where the “lemonade stand” used to be, was vacant – but of course, things are different now.
Lyla and Brynn danced around for ten minutes. when I came in. . . I did too. Lyla told me her heart had “nearly cracked” due to my long absence.
Every day was sultry with showers that popped up in the blink of an eye. One day, Lyla and I made brownies. One day, Lyla asked to listen to Andrea Bocelli and that made my heart fill with gladness. . . and one day, Lyla and I took a walk. It was hot in the sunshine, but there was a good breeze, and in the shade, it was delightful. We stopped to visit with Tres and later ended up at our rock. Several little boys were fishing for “snakes and sharks” there, so we did not dare interrupt that business. Lyla said the river was happy, that day . .. and she was right. Oh, how good such golden moments are.
Now little Brynn, is a lovely, cherub like child. She too, loves dolls and her kitchen. Besides that, she is as busy as can be discovering all sorts of things. She scampers by at an endearing trot ,with curls bouncing, on some mission or another -and quite merrily. She is liable to be anywhere, but if the gate to the stairs is unlocked. . . well, she heads north! and so there is , a wild scramble amongst us and vows are made to do better with that gate. When Brynn says “Honeybee”. . . in that little tinkling voice . . I fall hopelessly, head over heels -again.
Little Ryan is walking! Sydney sent us videos, so we could see for ourselves. Jenny and I were both moved to tears. We could not decide, who was cuter Ryan or Brant, for the look on Brants’ face, was pure joy, when Ryan walked in to his arms. How beautiful it was to see . . and to share it with Jenny . . .and Tres was coming for supper. What beauty, I have in life.
I have heard that kings count their money in a storehouse. I would just as soon count my wealth, strolling by a “happy river” , for that is how I measure riches. On paper. I may be a pauper . . . . but that is the only place.
Now, school starts on Monday, and I do have a job to return to. My schedule is altered, so I will work from home some-and on campus other days too. Most of my work will be outside, for I will do the usually end of the year dance semester, at the beginning. This is the safest way to teach, I think. I have been ransacking my closet for the coolest clothes to wear, as the August heat can be brutal. I still need to look professional as I am quite old fashioned, on that subject, so what a quandary!
Our beloved Champ died on Tuesday. We knew he wasn’t well and would pass soon. Tres and Christian, “Champs’ boys” were with him. They buried him in the rose garden, (that I call the “Quiet Garden” , in memory of a favorite author of mine, Gladys Taber). It was a somber day for all of us. Champ finished his season, on this earth, leaving us all better off than we were, before him. He was as loyal a dog as I have ever known.
Christian has a makeshift studio in the oldest barn, and would practice at night, often quite late. Champ would not come in the house, til Christian did . . .even if it were raining. When Tres came home, Champ was beside himself with sheer happiness. No matter, if Tres was engaged in conversation, or changing the oil in a truck, Champ would sit faithfully, with his eyes on my son.
We are a dog loving lot and so every one of us mourns along with Tres and Christian.
True, faithful friends come to us, more seldom than we think. Time has a way of teaching us this sad truth. Champ never compromised one iota on his faithfulness. If we failed him in any way, he did not hold it against us. He loved in a truly unconditional way, something humans can rarely do, honestly. Champ did a lot more than just being a “companion”. . .Champ was our friend.