Searching for the Key

key, keys, searching for the keyI’m about to leave the house at 5:45 a.m. for a long seven-hour drive to Delaware to visit my mom.

I shower and dress and gulp down a quick cup of “wake-me-up” tea quietly so I don’t wake up my sleeping guy. I even tiptoe while hunting for my shoes and lugging my suitcase to the trunk of the car.

My mom is anxiously awaiting me. At 92 and diagnosed with dementia, days and hours and weeks all merge into one long wait for her. I want to get there as soon as possible for the weekend visit.

I walk to the hallway table, the one whose drawer holds all the keys to our life: cars, house, mailbox, and a few that are “mystery keys” (as in, what the heck does this key open?).

I reach for my car keys and stop in horror. Continue reading

Humming Along

hummingbird, fly, nectar, soarI smell it. The sweetness.

I see it. The red food that pops out of the sea of green.

I soar toward it, flitting fast fast fast, my tiny wings as swift as the fairies, pushing me toward the prize.

I attack, in my sensual, feminine way, sucking up the nectar, feeling the juice course through my florescent-feathered body, feeling the strength return as I flitter away, flying into a blue paradise of air and clouds and tall sturdy branches.

But I don’t stop. I never stop. My kind can’t stop – we’re built to live in constancy, in motion that has no pause, no completion, because we’re always searching for the next red or orange or pink bud of desire.

The next driven drink of life.

San Francisco, hummingbird

Humming along with San Francisco in the background.

Searching for Your “People”

searching, people, familyLast night I went to bed early to finish a good book, leaving Henry (the dog) and the other man of the house watching TV in the family room. Suddenly I heard Henry bark. It wasn’t his “I have to go out bark,” or “Where’s my dinner bark,” but his “Help! I can’t find you, Where are you?” bark.

I laughed and called for him, and he came bouncing to me happily, tail wagging as if I’d been lost and finally found.

His reaction reminded me of how important we are to each other – “we” meaning our family members, our good friends, our “people.”

dog, traveling, golden retrieverAlmost two years ago Henry, my man, and I moved cross country, driving in our SUV over 8 hours a day, Henry sprawled out in the back seat happier than a clam in mud. After all, he had us, “his people,” alone in a small moving box for hours at a time. For once, he always knew where we were. He’d lift his head up from the little cave we’d built him with blankets, his water bowl, and a ball, and he’d smile so wide I realized that he’d be happy if we all lived in the car forever.

But within 6 days we arrived at Truckee, our last stop before reaching the S.F. bay area. Reservations had been made at the ‘dogs allowed’ hotel, and we were relieved to find our room on the first floor near the exit door and a good walking path.

Henry sniffed at his new spot for the night, a bit anxious that it smelled differently than the night before. My man took several trips to carry luggage and laptop and dog essentials from the car to the room, and then we unpacked the necessities, as had become our routine.

Until we heard an anxious bark outside our room from far away, and then another, and another.

“It is a dog-friendly hotel,” we both remarked to each other, smiling and looking for Henry’s perked ears and curious eyes.

But Henry was not there. He was gone! We searched the corners of the room, the bathroom, the closet.

The outside barks became more insistent. “Where are you?” the bark said. “Where are you?”

“Oh my God!”  I exclaimed. “That’s Henry’s bark!”

We yanked open our hotel door.  Way down the lengthy hotel hallway, we saw a yellow blur. Our 9-year-old golden was running up and down the long corridor, barking past each door, shouting “Where are you?”

“Henry, here!” I shouted. He flew toward us like a happy puppy, like a child who’s momentarily lost a parent, like a person who has been reunited with his loved ones.

We had a sweet reunion with hugs and licks and a tail wagging so hard it hit the other side of the hallway, causing a couple of doors to open with inquisitive expressions from the rooms’ residents.

“Our dog was lost in the hallway,” we explained.

“Ah,” the dog owners responded. “Now he’s found his people.”

Exactly.

Happiness is time spent with some of my "people."