Friday, May 13, 2016

The Miracle Meeting

This afternoon is the procedure on my hip. Afterward, my right leg will be wrapped with a tension bandage from the hip joint to the knee joint, night and day for a - tense - LOL - month. I absolutely intend to behave and give myself every opportunity to heal and hopefully I won't have to go through this again. Inside, the house is ready. Outside, I didn't finish the to do list. Oh well. What's done, is done and the rest will have to wait.





One project I did finish was to replace the numbers on the front of the house. Originally, they were attached to the post in the carport and were showing their age. I didn't want them on the post and it would have been hard to attach them to the rock front so I used a black primer and some bronze paint to refinish a pegboard and then spray painted the numbers silver, screwed them in place, and covered the whole thing with an exterior clear coat. I still need to figure out how to hang the plaque but at least our house can now be identified.

I had wanted to sand the surface of the porch, refinish it with an espresso colored stain, and add a railing far right. No sanding. No staining. No railing. But... there are three planters, two of which act as a barrier at the "dangerous" end while all three add pretty to the exterior.





This year's goal for the yard was to pretty up the front and the right side. Along the side, I removed the massive piles of rocks and tarps and created raised garden beds for vegetables. Down by the tree, there are strawberries. In the other sections, I planted carrots, beets, cucumber, zucchini, and butternut squash.





I also planted two sweet tomato plants and one tomato plant where the fruit is blueberry sized. The small pepper plant is cayenne and there are two bell pepper plants in the front garden.





Along with the bell peppers, I added mixed lettuce, radishes, and green onions to the flower beds in the front since there was more room there than along the side. It's very common here to have vegetable gardens in the front yard or mixed in with the flowers. The begonia was a gift from my youngest son and looks wonderful at the edge of the porch. I plan - eventually - to build the porch skirt from recycled wood pallets. One of the women in my Monday night knitting group loves woodwork so I'm hoping she might want to help me.





I have a few knitting projects lined up for the next month. Right now, I'm working on a purple throw for the couch. I started laughing the other night when I realized that my yarn, my pajama pants, and the throw pillows were all the same shade of purple. Apparently, I'm in a purple phase.





In early February, I made a very difficult decision that I didn't talk about on the blog because I was much too fragile for any negative feedback. When my daughter originally asked me if I'd take Miss Chloe, I didn't particularly want a dog but in order to make things easier for my daughter and since I had the help of my husband and sons, it was doable. With the move... and the fall... and living mostly alone... having her was more difficult. Not only did I feel like a single parent but I felt like a horrible single parent because she desperately needed some obedience training and her behavior was becoming a major issue only I didn't have the time, money, or energy to give her what she needed. Instead, I chose to find her a new home.

Because I was new to the area, Jessica and I discussed the best options and decided to go with the SPCA. They have a fabulous matching system. When I interviewed them prior to taking Chloe in, they assured me they'd find a good home for her in no time at all and described exactly the situation I knew she needed. I found out later that there were eight parties trying to adopt her within a day.

The day I was to take her, I spoiled her rotten. We went for a long walk and I let her play in all the mud puddles and she got to eat all the chicken treats and have peanut butter twice and we spent a lot of time cuddling. I think she knew. She'd been very cuddly the week before and when we got into the car to drive to the SPCA she was almost eager and excited as opposed to anxious. I was thankful.

As I carried her into the building, I burst into tears. It was SO difficult. The reception room was full when I went in and suddenly it was empty and the woman who remained to help us was incredibly kind. She said they had a kennel ready for Chloe and would I like to take her to the kennel or have them do it. I said I wanted to. They asked if I wanted to take her first or do the paperwork first. I said the paperwork. They asked if I wanted Chloe to stay with me or if they could take her to another room. I wanted her to stay. There I am crying and trying to fill out blurry forms with wet drops and Chloe is exploring the room and coming back with kisses to tell me what she's found. She was so cute and precious and not at all anxious The staff loved her right away.

When I told them the car was full of her things, they went and got them and then set up her pillow, blanket, and toys in the kennel they'd prepared along with a new set they provided. I walked her to the kennel, snuggled her, gave her a kiss, threw her peanut butter treat into the back so she'd be distracted, and then walked away... bawling. Thank God she didn't start barking or crying. I couldn't have handled it.

I had asked to be notified of when she was placed and what her new home was like and within a few days I heard that she was doing well and now living with a retired single woman. That general description is so similar to mine that I felt guilty for not being able to cope but I also knew it was the best thing for her and me at this time. The woman at the SPCA had said I know it doesn't feel like it right now, but it will be okay. Yes. It would be.

Right after Chloe moved, I went to visit my daughter for eleven days which made the transition somewhat easier but in April I missed her so much. When I thought about my choice, all the reasoning I'd debated previously was still valid and I'd still made the best decision but it was hard. I prayed that I'd see her and know that she was happy and healthy.

Tuesday was a very strange day. Even after resting all day Monday, I was exhausted and went back to bed in the morning. And then I was super talkative at Starbucks during my journal time and it took longer than usual. And then I sized all the pictures from the weekend. And wrote the blog. And went out to the garden to work only I didn't seem to have the energy for a day of throwing rocks especially when I peeled back one of the tarps to expose even more rocks. So. Done. With. Rocks.

I decided to come in and have a cold drink and then go to the garden center. I'd just bought a new magazine on upcycling and I read through that... which took more time... and then just as I was about to walk out the door my phone rang and it was a friend who said I'd been so much on her mind that she just had to phone. We talked for about 45 minutes meaning I went to the garden center much later than I'd expected.

As I drove in, there was a parking spot immediately and then a lot of congestion and more parking spots on the opposite side. I opted to drive around the congestion because I wanted some gravel and I didn't want the young man to have to carry it too far. I parked, got out, turned around, and there in the car in front of me was a fluffy white puppy. If she'd been going crazy, I'd have known right away it was Chloe but she was so calm and well-behaved that I was mostly sure with a small bit of doubt.

At first I tried to walk away but then I had to know so I waited until a woman came out of the store and walked in that direction. I asked if this was her car and she said yes and then I asked what her dog's name was and she said Chloe... which made me cry... and then I asked could I hold her explaining that she used to be my dog. What a wonderful woman. She - Shirley - said of course, hurried and unlocked her car and passed Chloe to me. I held her for about twenty minutes while we talked.

Shirley wanted to know the story and was so understanding when I explained the combination of the stress of my husband's illness, the move, the fall, the feeling of single parenting and so on. When I said I'd felt guilty that our general descriptions were the same, she told me her age which is almost twenty years older than mine and said that at this point in her life she now has time for training a dog but that when she was my age she couldn't have handled it either. It made me feel a lot better.

I learned that Chloe has since been trained to go off leash, to come when she's called, to heel when out walking, to sit when a car passes by, to stop barking at everything she sees, and to be somewhat less anxious although she's still having trouble with separation anxiety which is typical for her breed.
All of these were things I knew Chloe needed and I also knew I didn't have what it took to provide them.

I am SO GLAD that she is happy, healthy, and enjoying life with Shirley. Seeing her was not only an answer to prayer but such a miracle meeting. On my part, if I hadn't gone inside, I wouldn't have answered the phone and if I hadn't answered the phone, I wouldn't have been delayed going to the garden center. On Shirley's part, she lives in a community twenty minutes away, rarely comes to the garden center, and had been twice that day. SUCH a gift.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - answers to prayer, understanding

21 comments:

  1. Myrna, I always read your posts (I'm a new-ish sewist) and have enjoyed the peek into your very busy life. This post was worthy of 2 tissues as you had me crying right along w/you at the SPCA. So sorry Chloe wasn't able to fit into your lifestyle but so happy to read the outcome! Sending good wishes for a quick hip recovery and your garden pics have inspired me to take a trip to Lowes this wknd. : )

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    1. Thank you for understanding and for your well wishes. I hope you had fun at Lowes. I'm totally amazed that the $40 I spent on a few plants and seeds is going to produce a bounty of eating. YES YES

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  2. What a difficult decision for you! I'm so glad you have had the chance to see Chloe and be reassured that you have done the right thing, even though you knew it was. You have suffered many setbacks these past months. I hope your recovery goes well and that your husband is doing better. It just seems to come in waves sometimes!

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    1. It was really wonderful to see her... and then give her back... like a grandparent. This is not my time to be raising a "baby". I totally agree with that stuff comes in waves. Sometimes it feels like they forget to take their turn and are constantly overlapping each other. I'm being good. I spent yesterday knitting on the couch and today I have a friend coming to knit with me. This should help with the recovery.

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  3. Touching story, it will be OK. Nothing is coincidence, this meeting was to be. Take care, rest, everything else will be there when you are well.

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    1. Yes. It is being okay. Not the way I thought it would be but still okay. I love that God answered my prayer in such a fun way. I am resting. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  4. What a wonderful Chloe meet-up! I am so happy for you that it happened and you could see for yourself that 1) she is fine and well trained and 2) Shirley could bolster your knowledge that you did the right thing. Sending good thoughts, too, for a good recovery. xoxox

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    1. THANKS Claire. It was a delightful meet-up and such a gift. LOL - did you want to bring those good thoughts. It must be time for our visit. What fun that would be.

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    2. Gosh the time got away from me this spring! I'll consult the calendar and send you an email. Meantime I hope the month of tension goes fast for you. I sounds a bit confining. . .

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  5. Thank you for sharing that story. I am also going through a difficult time in my life, and full of doubts about the decisions I am making. It is good to hear that things can turn out all right. And even when they do, it can still be bittersweet, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the right decision. God bless you and Chloe and her new mom.

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    1. Sharing our stories is one of the best ways we can support each other and know that we are not alone. I am so glad I could help you in some way. Yes... eventually... after what feels like millions of twists and turns... it will be okay. HUGS

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  6. There's an old saying that goes, "People first, then dogs, then things." Howard's health--and yours--have to come first. And how cool that you got to see her again and know that she is thriving.

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    1. OH... I've never heard that saying but it's a good one. It was fun to see her again and to know that she'd gotten exactly what she needed and what I hoped for her... and then give her back. I'm so not there right now and I have no idea if I ever will be. Maybe when I'm old I'll get a dog again but right now health is, as you noted, a top priority in our home.

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  7. Myrna -- wishing you a speedy recovery with the hip surgery. So happy you had such a wonderful chance meeting with Chloe and her new mom. I'll keep you and Howard in my thoughts and prayers and wish you both the best of health for years to come. Here's a saying I read somewhere: "We know that everything will work out in the end. If it's not working out -- it's not the end." Take care. Hugs, Charmion

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    1. You have been in my life for many years through many twists and turns and remain so supportive and encouraging in all situations. THANK YOU. What a gift you are to me. I am grateful. Thank you for your well wishes. I love that quote. It's so hopeful and reassuring.

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  8. Oh my. What a lot going on. I hope your operation goes well - and what a fabulous time to sit outside and enjoy your knitting! As a sock knitter, ai rather envy you!

    I was saddened to hear about Chloe. We have two rescued greyhounds, and a Jack Russell that we got from our local Humane Society last November. I can't imagine how/why someone would to have handed him over - he is such a sweetheart, and of course you always think that the reason is something silly or flippant. So, thank-you for sharing, and how lovely that you met her new Mum!

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    1. LOL - I may need to knit a sock. Right now, I'm working on the throw and I want to start a capelet for a friend who is going through a tough time. That'll give me an others focus instead of a poor me one and that's always good. I'm glad that my story helped you see why some of the animals at the Humane Society may be there. They told me they can always tell the ones that are loved and cared for and given up for difficult reasons. Chloe's new person is a wonderful lady and I'm glad.

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  9. De-lurking to say how amazing you are to be aware of your dog's needs, and to be realistic about your ability to provide for them. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to leave Chloe at the SPCA, but you did the right thing. Now she is learning, and has some structure in her life so she can be calmer and happier (note: happy-er!) You did the right thing!

    I also hope your hip procedure went well, and that the month flies by!

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    1. Thanks for de-lurking. It's always nice to get comments. I am not sure that it was my awareness of my dog's needs over my feelings over being overwhelmed that prompted me but it does sound good. Hopefully a balanced combination. Thanks for the hip support. I guess this is a month where I would like time to fly - the year seems to be going SO FAST that mostly I want it to slow down and let me enjoy. It's an opportunity for slow creativity and that's fabulous.

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  10. I hope your hip surgery went well. So sorry about the dog. You cared enough about her to do the right thing...which was find a home that could better meet her needs. What a lovely coincidence that you should meet the new owner! I'm glad that you didn't feel broken-hearted but instead felt like you were handing a much loved grandchild back.

    It's so hard when many hard things come at once. I hope they resolve well for you all. Wishing you peace...

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    1. It was a lovely meeting. It was great to snuggle her and give her back. Now when I think about her, it's with Shirley and how much she's loved.

      Yes... not so nice when things come at once. Perhaps it's like having your kids close together - getting it over with at once. Hmm... maybe that's good - LOL.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.