“An eventful life;” this comment was made by a friend once.  I would never want to be without some eventfulness, but sometimes the number, frequency and sequence of events is hard to reconcile.  The value and necessity of flexibility and adaptability have been apparent for a very long time, but there are times when we need to be stretched, hypothetically for the benefit of maintaining and extending our strengths and managing our weaknesses, and sometimes any trait can be both.  And sometimes, when it rains, it does pour.  Sometimes events occur out of risks taken and sometimes those occurrences seem completely arbitrary.  A short segment in the recent cycle continues below.

While we are still trying to find ground after losing Jade, there are challenges emerging, some resolving, some escalating, and new ones still arising, some small, some larger.  On Friday, while on a call, a tornado warning sounded on my phone.  I left the call and went home to get the girls.  I got Emily’s old crate out and set it up in the van, took each one out for some quick relief and put them in the van.  I opened Whippoorwill’s gate to give her some escape room and before I closed the gate again, the fiercely blowing wind and rain arrived.  That morning, I had taken Banner for a walk in town.  She thoroughly enjoys her walks again, and it has been an uplift for her and for me.  We also stopped to visit an artist who helped me clean up a digital image of Jade.  On the way back, I noticed that the gas gauge showed that the tank was low.  Since we weren’t at a convenient place to fill the tank without turning around, I decided to do that the next morning, for the next walk.  If you hear the sound of regret forming, you are following my path.

It probably took a total of less than 7 minutes between the time the alarm went off and the point at which I closed Whippoorwill’s gate.  The loose pile of rocks from the recent incomplete work to move the water lines crossed the path, and I stumbled and fell running back to the van.  I called Greg to tell him that I was driving away with the dogs, going west.  He said that the people at the plant were moving to the shelter.  Driving in a tornado isn’t generally a good practice, but since the house was was partially dismantled, we didn’t have a storm shelter, and the tornado shelters in town don’t accommodate dogs.

NOAA’s radar showed that the storm was following the I44 corridor and diminished quickly toward the west, but I had to turn back toward town to find a gas station, not knowing how far I would need to go, whether the direction of the storm would change, and how long this would take.  The pumps at the first station were not working, so I had to go further into town.  The pumps at the next station were taped off.  At the third station, the pump worked long enough to reach about 7/8 full.  This was the west side of town, and the storm wasn’t as bad there.  Within a couple of miles further, the rain was little more than drizzle.  We finished filling the tank at the next town and waited for a few minutes for the storm, or the worst of the storm, to pass.

The next morning, there was an additional 2″ of rain in the rain gauge.  We took Banner with us for some errands and a walk.  Our first stop was the Farmers Market in Webb City.  While Greg collected items for dinner and the band set up, I took Banner out for some social experience.  Being calm is one of her challenges, rooted in a good trait:  an enthusiastic response.  She was full of bounce and well-energized.  Dogs are allowed inside the shelter (a roof over a concrete pad), but most are ankle-height and calm.  So, Banner and I stayed along the outside, peering in at times to see what Greg was doing.  Banner scored a few new friends, and earned some cautionary glances from others.  One lady emerged and asked to pet Banner.  She was older and had a cane, so I was hesitant, but gathered the leash and held her tightly.  The lady said that a friend of hers had just passed away who had Newfs.  Tears emerged.  She asked if I knew the lady, and I didn’t recognize the name at first.  As we started to walk away, I realized who she had been talking about, and turned to visit again.  It was a lady who had a female and a male, whose female had been bred before she was spayed.  So, she kept all of the puppies.  She and her husband divorced, and she moved to this area, buying a three-bedroom house and turning one bedroom into a “dog room” with their own television.  She worked at a vet clinic in town when I met her.  Her friend was still in a state of grief.

We said goodbye and walked down the outside of the building looking for Greg.  Then we took Banner for a short walk.  At this facility, there is a long asphalt-covered path, a good place to walk after a rain.  Banner bounced ahead, spun around into position, then surged ahead again, back to her full normal mode.  It was a long path, and while Banner needs some regular walking, she is still on restrictions, so we turned after a while and went back to the van, to finish the rest of the errands, which included a cupcake stop.

After returning we worked on the van cabinet drawers, then went back for the newest episode of Guardians of the Galaxy.  Humor is more than entertainment, it is also good therapy, once you are ready for it.

We went back to work on the cabinet drawers and discovered that the knob position, based on the template, was too high for the closure, so we will need to implement an adaptation.  We went back to have dinner and fall asleep to a DVD about language and communication between humans and aliens.  Developing communication between humans and Newfs seems so much simpler.

Today, Sunday, is lovely, with the sun shining.  The smell of breakfast is emanating from the kitchen.  Banner can’t believe that humans are so slow.

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