>I remember back in the Winter of ’08, my brother-in-law rescued my dogs by showing up one artic evening with a Jeep filled with bales of straw. My dogs had eaten their dog house. (Yes. Everything in this blog is contrived of the most honest understanding of fact. As I recognize it.) That evening, an artic front had blown in and it was about 20 below outside. Inside my house, it was about 93.2 degrees because I was fuming, having come home to see that the pups had once again destroyed their dog house. How was I to keep them protected while I was at work? Well, a phone call to my sister resulted in Rex To The Rescue. He built a straw igloo, complete with an upstairs apartment (or so Charlie, the dutch shepherd thought). We got through the Winter of ’08 thanks to Rex. Spring came before I recognized it. By the time I recognized it, the straw igloo was no more. It had become straw litter. What took Rex one Jeep load to deliver, took my daughter and I three truck loads to haul away to the dump.
(This is Cali before any Winter had ever set in.)
Come the winter of ’09, I was better prepared. More knowledgeable. I knew not to invest in dog houses, not even the igloo kind with the upstairs apartment, with the widow’s walk on top. My garage was rearranged and the pups were instructed on how not to chew up the Toyota parked inside. And to leave the deep freeze alone. And the spare pickup tires stacked in the corner. I no sooner congratulated myself about having entered a winter proactively when my daughter called to ask if Uncle Rex might loan her grade school students some bales of straw. A Christmas play was in the works and the baby needed a manger.
Once again, Rex showed up with a Jeep load of bales. He saved the baby in the manger at Friendship House right before the winter of ’09 set in with record breaking snow. The road from here to his farm was precarious with drifts and whatnot. We were instructed to go ahead and keep all nine bales of straw at my house until the weather cleared. Last year I might have thought to store the bales in my backyard, but this winter I was wiser. The bales would line my driveway for a week or so. Just until the weather and roads cleared and it was safe to drive back to the farm with the bales.
I asked a good friend of mine if he thought I’d be arrested having that much straw in the city. He told me about a friend of his who throws chicken bones up on her rooftop to feed the birds. Another friend reminded me of how it had taken me a full year to be rid of the Christmas tinsel in my front lawn (one winter I had forgotten to de-tinsel the tree before hauling it out to the curb.) This is what you call a sidenote to the story. Flavor sprinkled onto Fact.
Eighty nine days later. Today the bales are going back home. In a few weeks it will be lambing season out on the farm. They’ll need their bedding. Of the borrowed nine bales, eight of them are returning. Of the eight bales, seven of them made it into a poem of mine. When you do the math, you realize none of it adds up right. I know! If you knew my dogs as well as I am getting to know them….you’d be doing what I am doing – casting a suspicious eye in their direction.