poetry, prose, and image by Brittney S Holland

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Peace on Earth and a Bit of Verse

- Simon exploring our white Christmas

"In the Bleak Mid-Winter" by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,

Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

Snow on snow,

In the bleak mid-winter

Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty,

Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim

Worship night and day,

A breastful of milk

And a mangerful of hay;

Enough for Him, whom angels

Fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel

Which adore.

Angels and archangels

May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

Thronged the air,

But only His mother

In her maiden bliss,

Worshipped the Beloved

With a kiss.

What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb,

If I were a wise man

I would do my part,

Yet what I can I give Him,

Give my heart.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

"'For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant
wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.'
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.'"
-Luke 2:11-14

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dog Lovers Gotta Love Snoopy!!!

This is a Hallmark Christmas card that Simon and I sent this year to my brother-in-law and his pup Zeus. I loved it so much (H-U-G-E Peanuts fan here), that I scanned it before dropping it in the mail. I wanted to share it with you...

When I found this card, I laughed...because Simon proudly drags tree-sized sticks around our yard all the time. I laughed 'til the tears streamed down my cheeks. I laughed out loud, there in the middle of the isle...so loudly that nearby people stared...which was just fine with me. At 40+, I don't take myself so seriously anymore. Stare, Baby, stare!

Thanks, Hallmark. Thanks, Charles.

Laughter is a wonderful thing. Laughter is therapeutic. Laughter relieves stress, especially during a season that can easily overwhelm us if we aren't vigilant. Somewhere between the social engagements and the obligatory shopping and gift giving and card sending and baking and decorating and list checking and rechecking and thrice checking, it's entirely possible to lose sight of WHY Christmas is a CELEBRATION.

It's December 22nd...when was the last time you had a really good laugh? My most sincere hope is that you have a ready answer, that it was just this morning or last night. If not...

This is your challenge. Take a little break, a few minutes just for you, and watch the wedding dance scene at the end of Hitch...or the "Ruthie Pigface Draper" family sing-along scene in Dan in Real Life. Don't have those dvd's readily available? Watch "The Evolution of Dance" on YouTube (especially if you are an 80's adolescent) or some Jeff Dunham uploads also on YouTube (especially those featuring the terrorist puppet or the old man puppet).

My Christmas Wish for you today? Laugh. Laugh out loud. Laugh 'til the tears stream. Laugh 'til your sides hurt. And maybe, if you're really lucky, people will stare...stare and walk away wondering, "when was the last time I had a really good laugh?"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
and I'm convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts."
-John Steinbeck

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Navigating the Possibilities

Today I went on a walkabout, looking for inspiration downtown. I think I told you about my e-photo class. Well, today's assignment was to look for shapes that look like something else. Because it's a holiday-themed class, I wanted to get out and explore some different Christmas decorations. My downtown district did not disappoint. I found a perfect ornament on our town tree that's wrapped in a metallic netting. When I photographed myself in its reflection, it looked kind of like I was standing behind chain-link fencing.

But that's really not the point of this post. Today's point is inspired by the above image. I stumbled across a nice diagram of all the train tracks feeding into our town, and because I am slightly obsessed with photographing my beloved winter boots (I have two pairs in different colors), I decided to snap this shot just for fun.

Editing this photograph, however, got me to thinking about it's greater implication. I now find myself approaching a junction in life....a transition from primary caregiver to one who governs from the sidelines...which allows me more time to pursue my own hobbies and passions, especially those beyond my own four walls. This morning is a perfect example.

My walkabout was a spontaneous act. I simply caught the inspiration, jumped in the shower, charged my son with watching Simon (I also needed to get groceries), and off I went. I spent four whole hours by myself this morning. Two of these hours were spent tramping around with my camera in hand, making like a tourist in my own hometown. Then I ran my errands and got home in plenty of time to put away groceries and get my son to his basketball game.

I used to fear this time of my life, hovering frantically over my nest. This really isn't hyperbolic. Just ask my now-grown daughter. Ask my husband. Ask my preteen son who r-e-a-l-l-y doesn't need a helicopter mom (boys, more so than girls). Now that I'm here, it's not that bad. It was traumatic at first. Dreadful. But I have Simon and my kitties and my poetry and my camera and my cooking and this blog. I seem to be keeping myself pretty busy.

There are so many possibilities before me.

So many passions to pursue.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Puppy-Proof Christmas

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time again to think about my favorite liturgical season…Christmas. Lately, Christmas at the Holland house means puppy proofing. Last year, I crafted a makeshift fence for our tree to protect our ornaments, our lights, and our packages from tiny teeth. This year requires more thought and effort because Simon is now about the size of a small horse. Fencing is moot, so we’ve foregone the family ornaments for a simple, pre-lit tree with shatterproof balls. As for table-top decorations???? Forget it. Everything has been pared down to the essentials: tradition and sentiment.

Somewhere before modern commercialism wooed my wallet, I seemed to have had a better grasp of those concepts. My earliest Christmas memory is a perfect example; it’s become one of my lessons on living and loving stories. I love to tell this story to my students because it's about the power of simplicity. It’s magical. It’s timeless.

My mother and I were living in a new apartment, having recently moved back to Georgia with whatever she could pack in our car. We had very little that year, but that didn’t curb Mom’s Christmas spirit. She lucked up on a second-hand tree from a neighbor. She saved egg cartons and cardboard packaging; she bought tin foil and ornament hangers. Her egg cartons became silver bells, and her cardboard became silver ornament shapes and a star for the top of our tree. We strung popcorn that year with needles and thread. Honestly..I have no memory of lights on our tree that year. But in my mind’s eye, that tree doesn’t need lights. It always sparkles…in my mind and in my heart.

Now that the Holland house is puppy-proofed for Christmas, I find it’s all we really need. It too is simple. Our tree is up and festive. We have exterior lights and my spiffy, new-to-me, vintage Santa is on the porch. There’s a wreath on our door. One nativity sits on our mantle; two hail from tall furniture pieces; a fourth sits in our hall. You may have seen it on my Gratitude 365 page, purchased specifically with Simon in mind. It’s resin and heavy enough that I don’t think he’ll bother. (FYI -- I’m knocking on my wooden head as I type this. Feel free to knock yours.)

When all said and done…when the parties have ended and the packages are open…when my son is grown and reflects…will he remember this Christmas as “the year my mom didn’t put out the GA Tech ornaments?” It’s hard to be sure, but probably not. Probably.

And who know? Maybe…just maybe…my son will have acquired his own lesson on living and loving story, a story to pass along as well.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Soul Cure

Do you know how much I love this mutt? Really? Can you truly fathom the depths of my love? Honestly, I'm not even sure I can begin to adequately express this love with words...and I'm a writer, a poet, a wordsmith.

Now that I've wrapped up my self-portrait project, I've started an e-class on photography called Picture the Holidays. This class assigns me a daily photo task inspired by the holiday season. Today's task was: "use today to remind yourself of your own soul cure so you can have it at the ready for whenever you might need it. What helps you to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment? Capture it!"

So here it is, the image I submitted today. A "no brainer" huh? That's what I thought...at first. Then I thought of so many other things:

---my son's infectious laughter

---playing card games and board games with either of my children

---reading a really good book, the kind that whisks you into timelessness

---the beach, the beach, the beach

---doing anything with my sister

---listening to Yo Yo Ma play The Swan from Carnival of the Animals (Chamber version)

---a really good glass of wine, a quiet, peaceful rain, and a cozy blanket

What's your soul cure?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Bit More Verse

"Ah, Are You Digging On My Grave?" by Thomas Hardy
"Ah, are you digging on my grave,
My loved one? -- planting rue?"
-- "No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
'It cannot hurt her now,' he said,
'That I should not be true.'"

"Then who is digging on my grave,
My nearest dearest kin?"
-- "Ah, no: they sit and think, 'What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No tendance of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death's gin.'"

"But someone digs upon my grave?
My enemy? -- prodding sly?"
-- "Nay: when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie.

"Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say -- since I have not guessed!"
-- "O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog , who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?"

"Ah yes! You dig upon my grave...
Why flashed it not to me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog's fidelity!"

"Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone, in case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
I am sorry, but I quite forgot
It was your resting place."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Simonaic System

Simonaic System

–noun Caninology .

a system created by Simon (and subsequently enabled by humans) in which the dog sees himself as the fixed center of the universe, with the humanly bodies moving about him.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We are Thankful!

...and thank you, dear readers, for visiting Simon Says...

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Much I Know

  1. He who smiles first WINS. (...or she...really not a feminist here)
  2. What goes around comes around.
  3. "I'm sorry" and "I love you" are five little words we all should know...and use.
  4. Kindness and compassion make the world go 'round.
  5. Ignorance breeds intolerance; understanding breeds harmony.
What lessons has life taught you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Material Girl Falls Victim

This isn’t the first time this has happened; I knew and accepted this reality when I brought Simon into my home. Simon is still a pup, a weimy pup, a pup who needs to chew and needs attention and needs to spend his abundant energy.

Simon also has a knee injury, which means he hasn’t been able to spend his energy chasing tennis balls for weeks. And so, Simon did what Simon does. He chewed. He chewed up a brand new willow pumpkin right before Halloween. I was okay with that. He chewed up my Guatemalan, hand-carved rooster I bought in Key West. I grit my teeth and accepted that. But yesterday…yesterday he chewed up my Winnie the Pooh script. My heart stopped. I melted into a puddle of shrieks and sobs and crawled around on the floor like a little child, picking up every precious giblet and scrap.

I sent Simon to his kennel. I sat and flattened out every salvageable page as best I could. I taped what could be taped. I paced with my stack of pitiful pages. I clutched them to my chest. I poured myself a Crown and coke and wept some more.

Before you judge me too harshly, please realize that I don’t always act like a child. But that script carried me back, back to my childhood. That script was MY script, my summer youth theater script, my first lead role script, my Rabbit script.

That script was my most precious childhood possession (next to my brown teddy bear and my snoopy). I don’t think of my childhood as being particularly happy; I was a sober child. But that script represented a truly happy memory, and I have always kept it tucked safely on a high bookshelf…until…until recently. Until photographing my first bicycle sucked me into reverie. Until I took down my script to look at it and finger through it’s pages and be carried away again. Until I placed it where I thought it would be safe ‘til going back downstairs to my library. I’m such a heartsick, heartbroken fool.

I'm ready for that knee to heal.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Furry Friends of the Feline Kind

Meet Zoey. I love this picture for two reasons, one...it captures her beauty...(isn't she elegant?),...two...it captures her spunk. Let me tell you, this kitty is one sassy bitch! Which is good, because she's an outdoor kitty, and I don't usually worry about her.

Zoey is the identical-twin of Zeus, who left this world a year-and-a-half ago. Zeus was "my kitty" and Zoey was "my daughter's"...well...as much as cats can ever truly "belong" to humans. But we have both been left behind, and so...Zoey and I have grown very close. She is, as far as I am concerned, my kitty now. And I honestly believe she claims me as her very own human.

Simon loves her too. And she???? Well...she tolerates him. :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Bit of Verse to Tickle the Ribs

"The Revenant" by Billy Collins

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you--not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair and eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and--greatest of insults--shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner--
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Year One Portrait

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Something A Bit Different

You know what they say about bodies in motion? Well, Karen Walrond's self-portrait challenge has inspired me to share one of my photographs (the image at the bottom of this post) somewhere other than on my own blog.

On Friday, I mentioned Chookooloonks. Well, Shutter Sisters is another blog I follow. It's a community of creative women who share their photographs and thoughts. This site is a great place to go when you're looking for inspiration or a sense of kinship with like-minded women. These are the kinds of women I would like to invite to my house for dinner.
OWP badge

Anyway, each month Shutter Sisters hosts its own challenge, an invitation for women like me to contribute their own images. This month's challenge is centered around the theme "Focus," which works beautifully with my own recent experimentation...Annie Leibovitz writes in her book At Work about sometimes getting out of the way and letting the camera find its own shot, a "shoot-from-the-hip philosophy" if you will. And that's exactly what I did for the following image. I simply placed my camera on the ground, set my lens to autofocus, and let my camera do the rest. Pretty neat, huh?

Thanks, Annie.

Friday, November 5, 2010

If Simon were a parrot...

I'd teach him to say, "Hello, Beautiful!"

I have a confession to make. I am forty-one, have been married for fifteen years, and I still keep a Christmas card I received from a boy I knew in college. Why? Because it is the only unsolicited, tangiable proof I have that someone, somewhere once thought I was beautiful. That boy told me so in a card. We never dated.

My own husband, however, can't bring himself to tell me that I'm beautiful. He says it feels unnatural, forced. But it's not a matter of diction or his innate mode of expression. He frequently uses this word when he speaks of the weather. Frankly, I don't think he can bring himself to tell me I'm beautiful because he doesn't believe it to be true. Trust me. He can be painfully honest. The last time I tried to talk to my husband about this, he asked if anyone has ever told me that I'm beautiful.

The rest of my life seemed a long time to wish I were beautiful...until I discovered Karen Walrond's blog Chookooloonks. Her posts, her breathtaking photographs have helped me begin to heal my longings for beauty and being thought beautiful. Thanks to her blog, I have begun to see glimmers of the beauty she and others might find in me. And it is on the heels of my budding beauty awareness that Karen posted a new challenge, one I've decided to accept.

It's a self-portrait project designed to challenge readers to "reflect on our perceptions of ourselves, and start really seeing how beautiful [we] really are." So, for the next four weeks, I'll be taking a self-portrait every day, and I'll post these here on Simon Says on my new Self-Portrait page. Personally, I've always preferred to be behind the lens; this WILL be a challenge for me! But Karen says it's okay to take pictures of our feet, our hands, or whatever (so of course, my portraits may include Simon)...as long as I'm somewhere in the photograph. Good news for those days when I'm feeling exceptionally UNphotogenic. Stay tuned...let's see what I can do with this.

Oh, and check out her new book The Beauty of Different. The badge above is modeled after its cover. This one's on my Christmas list! And I've already picked a spot on a high shelf, far from the jowls of my mischevious weimy pup.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


"Man is not an island unto himself."
-John Donne

September 2nd was an anniversary of sorts. It was the day my daughter walked out of my house and out of my life. While it has been a difficult year, one filled with sleepless nights and countless tears, I am living proof that time does heal. Time heals, and Simon has played an integral part in this process...by being. Just being.

Simon's "being" means that Simon has needs. Simon needs to be let outside every morning at 5:30. Simon needs two scoops of food when he comes in and another two scoops at night. Simon needs fresh water in his bowl. Simon needs baths. Simon needs clean blankets. Simon needs tennis balls thrown again and again and again.

Simon has needs, and I need to be needed. It's been a beautiful partnership really, because while I've been busy meeting all those K-9 needs, Simon has become the jelly to my doughnut. In fact, he does all the things the other boys in the house would rather not do. He is my constant shadow, ever eager to tag along at a moment's notice. He is my playmate, my chick-flick-movie mate, my confidante. He listens when I talk, and he never rolls his eyes at my jokes. Oh, and those daily affirmations! Such fur-filled praises and sloppy kisses!

While Simon can never fill the void my daughter has left (that one is hers and hers alone) he has taught me to find joy in unexpected places and at unexpected times. Each day, Simon teaches me something new about living in the moment and loving others while we can. Fellowship and friendship, while essential to the human condition, aren't uniquely human.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hello Again!

Please forgive, dear reader, my long absence. I have no good excuses ...excuses are all they are. Know, however, that I have done a good deal of soul searching lately, and I do intend to be better in the future about posting. I find I have much to say. For now, please check out my Gratitude page. And feel free to comment or query.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

First Snow!

...photographs from the archives

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Well, We Don't Have to be So Pissy About It

I am happy to report that our cold weather let up this weekend. We enjoyed temperatures in the sixties, and Simon finally got to go outside for a walk. He loves walks. He loves slowing to sniff and nibble, and he loves bursting forth until he reaches the end of his leash. He loves walking in circles around bushes and trees and lamp posts, winding the slack in his leash around each new object of his amusement. And he loves it when I walk around said objects trying to unwind his leash...because all the while, he has tracked my circling steps, rewinding his leash in the opposite direction.

Walking (and playing) in the park is a lovely pasttime for both of us. But getting there has become another experience entirely. Simon is now six times larger than when he first rode home in my lap, and he just doesn't understand why sitting between me and the steering wheel now puts both us and those around us at risk. Unhappy with his new riding arrangements and unable to express himself with words, Simon now expresses his bladder all over my cargo floor.

While I should be annoyed with Simon, I find myself waxing philosophic about how humans communicate and relate frustration. What if we ALL responded to life's irritations by hiking our leg? It is perhaps in better form than succumbing to road rage or hurling obscenities at grunt-level, customer service reps. And it would have been kinder than when my husband, waving his arms wildly, exclaimed with biting sarcasm, "Oh my God! The world's coming to an end!" (We couldn't agree about soup ladles...freakin' soup ladles, and while I was trying to map out a plan B in my head, he got pissy all over my feelings.) Today, as I consider the absurdity of all these situations, I prefer the puddle every time.

Human beings can be truly awful; it is in this that dogs are superior. We have opposable thumbs and command the spoken word, but dogs are far more civilized. We store up and unleash our worst behaviors upon those who love us most. Dogs know not to bite the hand that feeds. We are often calloused and petty; they are innately intuitive and loyal. Zen-like, dogs know how to live in the moment. They live for love and affection. And they don't know the first thing about biting sarcasm.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Small World

Not all dogs want to play fetch or curl up for an afternoon snuggle. Our other dog wants none of this. Part Border Collie and part Blue Heeler, Freckles's Blue Heeler blood would prefer the life of a work dog. Don't get me wrong. She's sweet; she loves us. But love and affection have historically been given and received on her terms. It has long been a family joke as to how quickly she would get up and leave if one of us sat next to her on the couch. I have even seen her cold shoulder the cats for daring to rub against her on a chilly day. Simon, however, seems to be winning her over. In fact, I'd swear that he's teaching Freckles the simplest joys of being a dog.

Freckles now enjoys chew toys and shares her bed. She steals their ropes, clearly so Simon will follow and play tug of war. And just yesterday, she jumped into my lap and licked my face while I scratched her ears and neck. We have had this dog for almost five years, and I would wager that I have pet her more in this past three months that Simon has lived with us. As for Simon...Freckles even allows him to stretch out down her back at times for afternoon naps.

I know. It's insane. Freckles is learning to be a dog, and my big burly husband is turning soft. Now don't misunderstand...he's a good man. But being a six-foot-one engineer with strong opinions about "do's" and "don'ts" can make him seem a little rough around the edges, a little gruff. Can you begin to picture him? Now imagine this stern, burly man in the floor on his knees, arms and torso stretched across the couch, petting and whispering sweet nothings into the ears of a sleepy-eyed weim. Imagine him assisting Simon by engaging and disengaging the foot rest lever, helping Simon onto THE recliner, my husband's recliner, a recliner in which no other pet has ever slept. (Don't feel too sorry for the other furries; the effects are trickling down just fine.)

For all this extra work and inconvenience since Simon came to live at the Holland house, he seems to be bringing out the best in each of us. It's more than just his puppy-ness, more than puppy breath and floppy, hound-dog ears, more than those colossal paws. Whether the others have realized it or not, I think they sense this same zeal for life that I see. Simon simply reels us in. I should try to be more like Simon, warm and bubbly and full of life. Perhaps my own world wouldn't seem so small.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chasing Rabbits

We haven't had a winter this cold in twenty-something years, so when Simon first came to live with us, he shivered and shook. He shivered until his little body could acclimate to our thermostat setting (I think my husband was a polar bear in a former life). He shook violently when he slept. I thought he was having a seizure the first time I saw this, but the shaking stopped when I spoke, and that put my mind to rest. Now Simon chases rabbits. There in the warmth of a favorite, furry blanket, Simon drifts into a deep sleep. His four feet flop. His nose twitches. His cheeks puff, and once again Simon is fast on the scent of woodland rabbits, barking and tracking them to their woodland homes.

I love rabbits. I love their long ears and fluffy tails. I love to watch the wild ones venture from our woods to nibble on the tender grass. But I think I mostly love rabbits for the memories they bring, memories of a once-close friendship. Beautiful in spirit and authentic in Southern charm, Sondra was one of those people who made my life brighter. And...she loved rabbits. Throughout her house, there were elegant rabbit statues and fine rabbit paintings. Still today, I cannot venture into specialty stores and what-not shops without being drawn to their rabbit-themed merchandise. These things remind me of my long-lost girlfriend.

But I don't have Alice's tenacity or courage. Marriage and family and all Sondra's burgeoning family activies pulled her into a life of charity balls and European vacations, and I could not follow. I last saw Sondra in a dream after my father passed. Oddly, I dreamt it was she who had passed and I was attending her estate sale. That morning, I awoke with fresh, hot tears on my face, having wandered from room to beautiful room, having touched all of those precious rabbits with my fingertips, having found none I could afford to buy. Perhaps it was foolish of me to let her slip away. But if anything, I have learned to value my present friendships more. I am fortunate to have found two good girlfriends, gals with whom I can laugh and cry and rant and rave, friends who live and work and play on my side of the rabbit hole.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mornings at the Holland House

Mornings at the Holland house come early, 5:30 to be precise. And while Simon is not our only pet, he is the one who has upset and reshaped our morning routine, sounding his anticipation well in advance of the alarm, galloping through the house toward the yard, sending walloping vibrations through the floorboards, through the bedposts and springs and mattresses and pillows to the unsuspecting ears of all who dare to eke a bit more sleep.

Thankfully, my husband has been a good sport about all of this. My appreciation grows daily because I can't help feeling sorry for him, head buried beneath mountains of pillows -- his futile attempt to muffle those thundering, behemoth paws heard dashing from food bowls to chew toys to our son's discarded socks. Still, I'm beginning to enjoy these mornings. I enjoy witnessing the rippling surges and shudders of pure joy as Simon bounds wide-eyed and ready toward the day. It's hilarious! It's infectious. And it's gotten me thinking...

Shouldn't we all greet our mornings more like Simon, eager to discover what today has in store, rather than stumbling bleary-eyed toward our lime-scaled coffee pots, scratching our asses and grumbling about whatever we have allowed to steal our joy? Slowly but surely, I'm waking up to this idea.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

About Simon

Simon is a fifteen-week, blue weimaraner who possesses that perfect blend of tenderness and bubbling curiosity. He joins me on walks, cuddles with me on the couch, knows how to sit, and is learning to play fetch. His latest guilty pleasure is untying my apron strings while I cook. Yesterday, he got his first Rabies shot, a rite of passage in the life of a young pup, and at twenty-eight pounds he's already outgrown his first collar.

I've always wanted a weim, but humbled by the energy and demands this breed reportedly makes of its owners, I thought it best to wait until my children were raised and grown. Ha! One flew the coup. And though another's still here, I found myself blind sided by grief from a wayward child on the heels of a brother's sudden death and a father's lost battle with cancer. Then I found Simon at Beck's Grey Ghosts here in Georgia, sired by a silver and born to a blue. I just couldn't say no. Now I can't imagine my life without him.

Simon proves to be exactly what I've needed. Initially, he kept me busy chasing puddles and poops, leaving me little time to sit around feeling sorry for myself while neighbors put out jack-o-lanterns and harvest wreaths and Christmas lights. Now Simon is pretty well house broken, and I've made it through "the holidays" with surprisingly fewer tears than expected. And...somewhere along the way, I've begun to rediscover what I've always known. Life goes on, and that life is still good. Truly.