I’ve burned a lot of pots boiling water for tea since L’Ombre died. He taught himself several things, and one of them was coming to get me when water started boiling.
The breeder, Linda Coggins, whose name shall forever be blessed on my lips, had me start him off by mixing his crunchy food with canned food and hot water. So he came to associate boiling water with meals. Realizing he had prevented me from ruining another pan, he always got lavish praise for this.
How L’Ombre Came into My Life
I never really thought of myself as owning L’Ombre. It was more like he just “came into my life” in the way that friends and lovers and mentors show up. Kismet. We were a symbiotic team. He protected me, and he had a great life going places most people can’t bring their ill-behaved hounds. He was invited to parties,
This old dame has been studying the I Ching for a long time — sometimes often, then for years . Some of the principles have seeped into my soul by this long acquaintanceship.
This is a challenging time in putting my total life change plans into motion, yet not stagnation (Hexagram 12). Lots is going on, like the gentle wind trigram beneath the thunder trigam in the hexgram of duration.
Sunday, Sept. 5, 2016 — The drive into Ormond Beach along old Dixie Highway was sunny and fine, with a sky as clear blue as a bolt of cerulean cotton.
A distinctly north Florida mix of dwarf palms and stately trees hung with Spanish moss shrouded the road. The dappled drive passed mansions that look like assisted living facilities for the seriously wealthy (never a nursing home for Daddy Sawbucks) next to old cinder block homes from the Fifties and Sixties with louvered windows.
The drive into Ormond Beach along old Dixie Highway was sunny and fine, with a sky as clear blue as a bolt of cerulean cotton.
A distinctly north Florida mix of some of the dwarf varieties of palm and stately trees hung with Spanish moss shrouded the road. The dappled drive passed mansions that look like assisted living facilities for the seriously wealthy (never a nursing home for Daddy Sawbucks) next to old cinderblock homes from the Fifties and Sixties with louvered windows.
They rarely come true. One did. I was a very good reporter. I led an exciting and interesting life meeting and socializing with artistic, intelligent, and amusing people.
I haven’t lived a dream in a long time. Youth is a time of hopes and dreams. Old age is a time of maturing through recognition and acceptance of limitations – in health, income, opportunities of many kinds.
As my house hunting cracks into the reality of how little there is in my price range in safe, attractive neighborhoods, fear creeps into the schism between fantasy and reality.
The dao of house-hunting continues. I will soon start another round of house-hunting. I have been scouting neighborhoods up to this point. Now the quest is sign a contract for a home for me and my Doberman.
Each time I complete one step of this journey, I pass through another of the endless portals toward living my dao.
My excitement is growing.
I have taken this condo apartment as far as I can, unless I spend big money for a new kitchen and bath to make the place sparkle.
Those are not cost-effective investments.
I love the thrill of the chase in finding things to turn my home into a Bohemian fantasy. Enjoying the dao of the journey is more magical and fulfilling than reaching a goal.
Proof: I have a made-to-order sofa and loveseat purchased when I and a life partner were making good money. It wasn’t nearly as much fun as finding quirky resales. Imagining what I might do in my next home delights my imagination.
One of the things I struggle with is keeping my home organized.
Getting ready to move (as part of my retirement planning) has provided a lesson in the dao of preparation for my total life change.
Moving has been my excuse for letting things pile up. There was no reason to think that packing a mess is easier than packing well-organized possessions; the opposite is true.
Mail on the dining room table has become a pinwheel of papers. Notebooks and receipts, thick envelopes and catalogs swirl in dizzying disorganization.
Closets are easier to keep organized than rooms.
I can label the shelves, baskets, and other organizers. I put clothes where they belong no matter how tired I am, because labels make it easy.
Mail is the biggest time waster.
Some people say to chuck everything you don’t need to read on the spot. I don’t want to read anything on the spot when I get home late. And I often forget or avoid it later.
As I searched for my phone book beneath the current cache of political ads, needless paperwork from various vendors, and miscellaneous ephemera — I noticed the melange was loosely arranged in three piles from less urgent to most. Not bad for a subconscious sorting mechanism.
Out of this stew, a total life change is being formed. The caterpillar metamorphoses into a gooey mess before emerging as a butterfly. We often don’t like to think about the deep chthonic stew from which life emerges: ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Except ashes and dust are euphemisms for the ooze, gunk, and stink that fertilize transformation.
We avert our eyes and our noses; only the brave investigator of the soul confronts such reality. Meditating on life’s inevitable changes — those that may be part of life or retirement planning and those that take us by surprise —
are part of wisdom.
Realizations such as this one are rewarding parts of the journey and confirm that for now this is my dao.
The Palm Beach Dog was my second excursion into the dao of Doberman conformation. I ‘made it through without fainting. That was a plus.
I attended the Sunday event of the Jupiter-Tequesta Dog Club.
I love being among all these exceptional animals and their dedicated owners, handlers, and breeders.
It was efficiently run, and everyone was friendly. The exposition hall was air-conditioned. Ringside chairs were provided.
Everything moved so fast. If I could change one thing, it would be for winner to be announced in some way. Ribbons were distributed; handlers and animals left the ring, and the next group was on a whiz.
So many elegant well-trained dogs and bitches stacking, moving, and collecting their prizes.
I’m not sure how much I learned, but it was interesting and fun.
Outside, big rigs costing $100K and up demonstrate that there is some big money involved.
But there were small rigs, too, of people who do it for love of the breed. And some stay at motels.
I found it challenging to catch the fast movement in photos. I’m a lame lensmaster at best.