It's All Evanescent

“No! Don’t open that Michelle!” I leap quickly to the curb and push Bella’s back passenger door closed.

“I want to see Bear.”

“I know, but that’s not a good way for her to come out. She’s fastened in there.”

“Never do that, ‘chelle. Don’t mess with other people’s animals,” says Michelle’s and Connor’s mom. Michelle puts her head down, ashamed.

“It’s OK. I’ll get Bear.” I go to the back of Bella, open the door. Michelle is right beside me. “Remember when she ran away that day?” The little girl wearing the rainbow tutu, tights and boots nods. “I fasten her in now.” I loop Bear’s leash around my wrist. “OK, open that carabiner.” Michelle does. 8 year olds like to show their competence at stuff. Bear jumps down. “Can I walk her?”

“Uh, OK.” Mom is standing by and knows how this works. Michelle takes the middle of Bear’s leash and I have it by the loop. I’m walking Bear. Michelle is holding on. Bear lunges toward a patch of untouched snow (talk about evanescence!) “Whoa!” says Michelle, laughing. “Bear’s STRONG!”

“She weighs more than you and more than half of what I do. She’s a powerful beastie. Let go, Michelle. Bear wants to roll around. She LOVES snow more than anything.”

Their mom takes out her phone and photographs all of us, Connor, Michelle, Bear rolling in the snow, and me holding Bear’s leash. I imagine that photo in some dim someday.

Christmas. Elizabeth invites me for dinner with her and her husband. She prepares lamb. We have a lot of fun talking and then Bob tells me he has the seat from Eddie Rickenbacker’s plane. He tells me the back story. I’m amazed. I love those early flyers. He goes down to the basement and brings it up for me to see. I sit in it. I sit in Eddie Rickenbacker’s seat. Here, in Monte Vista, Colorado. Bob tells me how the Smithsonian didn’t want it and shows me the letter. “They have another seat.” Bob shrugs.

Eddie Rickenbacker’s Airplane Seat

Then Bob brings up a couple of photo albums from the early 20th century. There are pictures of Europe. I correctly identify the locations as Italy. Milan. There’s General Pershing. In another couple of photos is the Alamo.

“I have no idea who these people are,” says Bob. “My brother got them from the dump in Durango.”

I carry some dishes out to the kitchen. There’s Elizabeth in the winter sunlight washing dishes. I take a photo with my phone. In the foreground is the mince pie I made. The steam vents in the top are cut exactly the way my grandmother taught me.

An “ordinary” moment.

At the Rio Grande County Museum I spy an old gas stove from the 30s. I had one just like it in a house I rented in Denver. It was great. I comment on it to Louise who runs the museum. She tells me the story of the stove. Then I notice what she’s done. She’s set up a 1930’s kitchen, table with embroidered tablecloth and china, ice-box, cupboard, kids’ play table with a kids tea set beside the grown up table. It’s so pretty. Next to it, behind a temporary partition, a screen, she’s set up a teacher’s desk, slate, old text books. “Oh, a school house!” Louise beams.

“You want my grandfather’s history book? He was born in 1870. I have his math book, too.” She says yes.

The boots in the featured photo were my favorite shoes for nearly a decade. We covered miles and miles together in Montana, Colorado, Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona, Switzerland. They were with me on a journey that turned out — decades later — to have been one of the most important in my life, a journey to Zion, Lake Powell (ick), Kayenta, Monument Valley, Arches. My friend (plaid shirt) and I had no idea at the time that we were on a journey of a lifetime that would define and seal an emotional bond that has lasted for more than 20 years.

You can see my boots in this photo. They had blue laces for a little while.

After being resoled three or four times, there wasn’t enough leather left on my boots for another resoling job. I left them behind in ZĂźrich and got new boots for my birthday, splendid boots. I was sad, though, and my friend Pietro handed me “la macchina” (camera) so I could take a picture. Pietro died of lymphoma the next year.

My daily reminder of the evanescence of things is my morning coffee. I’ve finished, Teddy is cleaning my cup.

Sitting Here, Waiting to Be Inspired with a Good Title for this Post

I’m not waiting for much of anything any more, and certainly not for spring (ew). Though, to be fair, once spring comes, I’ll start waiting for winter. Sigh…

Retirement has altered time’s curvature. I don’t have to “wait” to the same degree I did when I was working. I used to wait a LOT. I waited at red lights. I waited in traffic. I waited for the class to start and for class to end. I waited for the end of the semester. I waited for meetings to finally finish. I waited for “luv.” I waited for planes. I waited for — well, the list is interminable, and if I keep going YOU’RE going to wait for this post to end. Or maybe you won’t wait.

I did my most intense waiting as a teenager, but teenagers are just intense. I remember waiting for my CLOTHES to dry so I could wear a certain shirt because it had to be THAT shirt or nothing, or the world would collapse.

Teddy is here, waiting for his coffee. Even dogs wait.

Kids wait, but live in the moment at the same time. It’s a nice balance. Yesterday when I saw the kids, the little girl had a beautiful soft doll — Elsa. I said, “I love Frozen.” I do. I saw it on the plane coming back from (ha ha) Iceland. It was one of the high points of the trip.

“Me too!” she said. “I just saw Frozen II!”

Their mom told me that they had taken the kids to the movies to see Frozen II, and it wasn’t until they were waiting in line for popcorn that the kids realized where they were. “They’ve never seen a movie in a theater before,” said their mom.

“They must’ve loved it.”

“They did!”

Probably even better because they didn’t have to wait for it!


I was still in California, hadn’t even moved up to the mountains yet. Had a blah and discouraging day at school. It was January. One of those San Diego day’s that’s just gray and nothing happening. People were fractious on the freeway. I got home feeling bored and disgusted. I decided to take Bonnie, a dog I was dog-sitting for a year, a sweet, shy, golden akita mix, to a local park where there was a shady 4/5 mile loop. I would do five loops listening to my tape player, probably playing Nirvana or Sex Pistols but maybe Vasco Rossi or Seal or a mix-tape made by a friend.

To get to Chollas Lake Park I drove through the next neighborhood (a little nicer than my neighborhood) and then up a hill to a location that, during WW II was a Navy radio base. As I headed up the hill, through the neighborhood, a kid — an African/American kid about 10 years old — was standing between a couple of parked cars. He held a sign written in red paint on a piece of brown cardboard. In his yard was a table with various objects set neatly on a purple table cloth. The sign said,

The lake was one of San Diego’s water reservoirs. The park around it was a very popular spot for family picnics on the weekend. On a hill, it often had a breeze on a hot summer afternoon and the lake was shaded by eucalyptus trees.

We arrived. Bonnie I began our walk by squeezing through a small opening in the fence. It was no good to park in the official parking lot that was always filled with kids, dogs, moms, dads and most dangerous of all, hungry geese.

As we walked, my mood lifted and I thought about the kid’s sign. He’d probably gotten a magic kit for Christmas, had been practicing and practicing the tricks. His family was probably sick of it and his older sister was probably locking her door to keep him out of her room at this point. His mom had said, “Take that damned thing outside,” or something so he did.

But whatever the backstory, that little boy had captioned life. The moment we’re born that’s what we get, a free magic show.

Cabin Fever? Not Exactly…

I have not been out of the San Luis Valley since September. That’s a record. I love it here, it is Heaven, but damn… I have not talked to a person in the flesh since my birthday 2 1/2 weeks ago. Yeah, I’ve been busy, and I am an introvert, but seriously? In the first place, I don’t have a lot of friends and here in winter people hibernate. I think a lot of people make quilts and do other stuff inside. I’m one of the few people who’s outside everyday.

I’d hoped to do a lot of X-country skiing but discovered the first time out that 1) my quads had shortened from the months of rehabbing the foot meaning NOT walking and just riding the bike-to-nowhere so, 2) I was having problems getting a good kick which requires extending the leg, 3) the foot, while healed, could only stand to ski for about 1/2 mile. I pushed it, but why hurt myself? I’m not going to. When I figured out what was different between this year and last year I realized I had to focus on walking for a while and langlauf if I was lucky. When I started, a mile and a half (in snow) was the limit of a walk before my foot hurt, now I’m going much farther (in snow). BUT the snow is melting. On the other paw, the dogs are happy to be going out again and so am I. I realize how much I like walking them.

We have a month before the golf course will open to golfers. I hope to get the most out of February no matter what it is. And, some property owner out there in the back-of-beyond has put a locked gate across what was once part of our favorite walk. I understand why — lots of kids driving on that “road” — but it’s really too bad. 😦 Plus the incredible amounts of cow manure on what was once a beautiful nearby trail to the river and the damage to everything growing there… I don’t know about people.

The last time we had legitimate snow was December 20. For a while that was fine because temps stayed below freezing, but now? Every day seeks to imitate spring and hits the 40 F/4 C or above.

It’s all worse because the end of 2019 was very exciting with shows, and readings, and radio appearances. 2019 had its problems, but it was an exceedingly productive year for me as a writer. The thing is, I like to write, but I don’t have a story. I’ve often thought that the times Hemingway didn’t have a story were the times that depressed him and he regarded the blank page as the “white bull.” It must have been hard on him with publishers waiting for a manuscript and sitting there with nothing to say. The uninitiated believe that writers are subject to depression because they write. No. It’s NOT writing that’s depressing.

And money. Prices on things go up all the time and I am, right now, trying very hard to pay off debt rather than incurring more.

Anyway, I’m thinking that this coming week I might just take Bella up to Wolf Creek Ski Area where there is a X-country area and ski as long as I can. Wolf Creek ALWAYS has the most snow of any ski area in Colorado. It has a 75 inch base last time I checked and the X-country ski area is groomed. I just hope I can ski long/far enough to make it worth the trip. I’m also a little worried about the “take a friend” warning. I don’t have one. My outdoor friends are four-legged. Bear has to be leashed. I have yet to figure out how to ski with a leashed dog.

Blogging History

I remember the first time I heard of a “blog.” I was having lunch with a co-worker, another teacher, Michael O’Donnell, who’d gone to work at a private school — where he was teaching writing and ended up head of the English department.

“There are so many ways to write these days. And here we are, harping on the goddamned five paragraph essay. Have you heard of this thing called a ‘webblog’?” He proceeded to explain that it was an online journal, and I thought, “I can’t see why I would want to keep a journal online.” But you know, as soon as you say you’ll never do something you do it.

I don’t think at that time the blog notion had been exploited yet for news. I don’t know anything, really, about how anyone was writing a blog at that time. “Blog” was not a verb yet. That should tell you something.

I had kept a journal for years and years and years — it’s definitely a pile of books one could call “the examined life.” I love the way those old guys threw around those beautiful phrases for the benefit of students taking freshman comp today and searching for an intriguing quote (it was a quotation back then before “blog” was a verb) with which to start an essay. But anyway, one of Thoreau’s most pithy sentences is, “The examined life is not worth living.”

All those books illustrate how examined my life has been. Sadly, when I was cleaning out stuff a few years ago, and opened those books and re-examined the examined life, they yielded only that I love nature, got some Christmas cards, and never fell in love with the right guy or even met him. Those books stopped in the early 2000s. I ripped out a lot of pages in the re-examination of the examined life. Too embarrassing for posterity and I wasn’t ready to throw out the books, so…

I began keeping a webblog in 2008 when I ejected the Evil X. That was a long time after the webblog was invented. I kept it on Blogger and it was a place where I could vent and think and ponder at 100 wpm. Once I started, I found it easy, a lot easier than writing on pages. That blog was titled “The Trick is Not Minding” because I was really hurting. I’d been hornswoggled by a shyster who’d left me financially fucked. My favorite aunt had died. I was working too much. I’d already had one hip surgery and was facing the reality that I wasn’t a young sprout any more and that wasn’t going to improve in time. (ha ha).

I looked through some of them this morning and found some good stuff — and a lot less embarrassing than the content in the tomes.

The following is an essay I wrote for my friend Denis Joseph Francis Callahan’s birthday to cheer him up when he didn’t get tenure at a local community college. I said, “You’re lucky. Now you don’t have to read 5 paragraph essays for the rest of your life,” and I handed him this. He loved it and framed it. It’s a perfect example of a five paragraph essay… It’s green because it was green when I printed it and sent it to him. Denis, being more than a wee bit Irish, sent everything in green… So..

I Like Goats
by Martha Ann Ol’ Gus Kennedy
English 51, San Diego City College
Exit Test
Topic: Based on personal experience, defend your position on goats.

I like goats for many reasons, for example, I have many things in common with goats, goats are useful to have around the house and yard, and goats are entertaining.

I have many things in common with goats. Goats like to climb mountains. So do I. Goats are good climbers. So am I. Like me, goats like to stand on old cars and watch the people drive down the Interstate. Some of the happiest times of my life have been spent standing on old cars counting how many different states’ license plats I see in an hour. Goats like to butt old tires. So do I. Goats are friendly. If I feel like it, I am friendly, too.

Goats are very useful around the house and yard. Goats mow the lawn. I don’t. Goat hair makes nice sweaters, but you have to take it off the goat first. Goats give milk. This milk is good for people who are allergic to normal milk, which comes from cows. You can make cheese from goats’ milk. Personally, I hate goat cheese, especially Peccorino Romano. In my opinion, it makes me puke.

Goats are entertaining becaue they are funny looking and do many funny things. They like to scamper around in the back pasture crashing their heads together and jumping straight up in the air. Goats have funny looking eyes, which is why they are demonic, but I don’t think so.

In conclusion, I have many things in common with goats, goats are useful, and goats are entertaining. For these reasons and many others. I like goats.

The end.

Reading through the first blog — “The Trick is Not Minding” — has been fascinating and revelatory. That was twelve years ago and so much has happened in the interval — my whole life changed. It wasn’t until six years later that I retired. In 2008 I was trying to patch things up and hold them together, to regain my hiking abilities after hip surgery and a year of not hiking. I was trying to find my feet again and trying not to hate myself for the mistakes I had made. In 2010 my brother would die and I would start a new blog. Somewhere in there I got the idea of blogs for publicizing my writing and painting and I made public blogs. When I left Blogger, this was my “blog roll.” They are now all private blogs.

“A Lifetime Apprenticeship” is a painting blog. “Alles geben”, “The Trick is Not Minding,” and “Vita Nova” are personal blogs. “Free Magic Show” is about the time I spent with the boys on bikes. The other two are, obviously, about novels, the two I’d written at that time. You can see one is for students taking an online writing class…

Apparently somewhere in there back then I thumbed through one of the tomes and found this. I can still get behind it even some 27 years later.

Poem from 1993

In the sweet blue beauty of the moon
I push aside the air to see if
There’s anything I know, have seen before
but only moonlight
traces the outline of my hands.
Belief is what you do in spite of yourself.
“You gotta have faith in the unknown.”
“Gotta’?” Got to? FAITH??
The “unknown” is all we “know”
It’s the only destination. It doesn’t require “faith”
Only stamina.


Lately I’ve been thinking about how for much of my life I have been restless and in early years, plagued by wanderlust. My adult life has been one of yearning for love and pervasive dissatisfaction with where I was, what I was doing. I don’t feel these things now. I thought about it being the result of being 68 etc. but that isn’t it. It isn’t even the result of having traveled around a bit and living abroad in a pretty exotic locale during exotic times. It’s that I like it here. I don’t think I would always have liked it here — probably not — but after living through all of that dissatisfaction, yearning and wanderlust, I learned some things about who I am.

There’s also the fact that I’m now able to do the things I want to do. I remember cramming a weekend full of writing or painting. Of hiking as far as I could after work or (as my grandma would say) “Of a Sunday.” I think some of my youthful restlessness came from just working so much and having so many intense and hopeless family obligations.

I wanted OUT, but I couldn’t get out.

I’ve also thought about travel. I don’t have a lot of yearning in that regard, either. Have I been everywhere I want to go? No. But I can’t go to many of the places I want to go because it’s not “then” any more. I fell in love with the idea of adventure travel reading Richard Halliburton’s book Seven League Boots when I was a little girl. I imagined that I would do those things when I grew up, but when I grew up the world had turned. I couldn’t travel like him, or Beryl Markham, T. E. Lawrence, Richard Francis Burton or any of my heroes. It didn’t stop me from trying and I had a lot of fun, but my last adventure out into the world really sucked. I had a torn Achilles tendon that made the hikes I’d envisioned in Switzerland impossible. Iceland had it in for me. Never mind that air travel today is humiliating for any one with metal body parts and uncomfortable even for short people. Everything has been “monetized,” even choosing a seat.

So here I am. Stationary and fine with it, a situation I never imagined. Life has taught me that I want to see mountains every day maybe even all the time. I want to live where there is winter. I want dogs. I want to paint and write. I want to be as healthy as possible. I want good friends, and peaceful days without personal crises. I don’t know that that’s old age. It seems to me that those are worthy human goals.

But, still and probably always, I want to go back to Zürich. 😉

Here Come da Judge

Unless you are approaching fossilization, you won’t get the title, but damn, it just popped into my mind as I started to write about what I’m doing.

I agreed to judge a writing contest. I’m not saying which one or what kind of books because a lot of the people who read my blog are writers. I’m judging three categories, none of which are fiction. I don’t think I could be an objective judge in that category. If you’re really curious you can do some research and find out.

This isn’t the first time I’ve judged writing. I was an editor for the Proceedings of the Journal of Association for Business Communications, The International Journal of Business Communication and the African Journal of Business Management and more stuff but I don’t remember it all.

This has turned out to be pretty interesting especially as I’ve entered my own books in some writing contests. I have never won — though Martin of Gfenn won some close calls. Knowing that anything I publish, in spite of everything, will have mistakes, I get it. The first thing a judge does is look through an entry to see if it’s something that could sit on a shelf at Barnes & Noble. Even if I don’t think that’s a 100% legit standard, the first requirement of any book is that it’s readable.

Some of the entrants clearly had money and spent it on getting their book professionally designed. That gives them an advantage it perhaps shouldn’t. Some of the entrants did no research at all into how to put a book together (or, perhaps, have never looked at a book?) and their book is just a giant PDF dump that’s almost impossible to read. Some entrants have no knowledge of the conventions of writing such as why we use paragraphs (in English, anyway. The Italians have no such silly fetish). Some writers don’t consider how a person might USE the information in their book, and while the information is good it would be hard for someone to get to it. There are dozens of ways books don’t “work.”

I’m finding that I’m biased toward an attractive book, and I kind of hate myself for that because I’m never going to be the self-published author who can pay big bucks to have a book designed and printed on expensive deckled edge paper. Some of the books are labors of love and that shines in the writing and appeals to me. Is that a bias? I have no problems seeing fine writing in a book I would never buy. I guess that comes from years and years and years of teaching people to write.

My favorite book so far, though, is not one on which someone spent a year’s salary on professional design and production. It’s an attractive, readable book that tells a sincere and important story.

That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Concussion Comments

Today I finally feel a little bit like myself. Really three days isn’t a very long time, but it’s amazing how a blow to the head — not even a major one — can knock a person out of the game for a few days. Being on the literal cusp of 68, I can no longer say, “That’s not me” when Dr. Google says, “Recovery from even a minor head injury takes longer for elderly people.” I just accepted the advice of the Mayo Clinic and rested. I didn’t push through anything even though my golf course has been groomed for Langlauf and I really want to go. I also accept that things could still go wrong. The good thing about a black eye is that when one has one, one isn’t all that interested in meeting the public. It’s better, but it’s at the icky brown technicolor stage…

I also had an epiphany while I was riding The Bike to Nowhere. The situation in my country is, to me, sad and scary but no one is listening to me about it. I can push and tweet and post and speak out all I want but the world in which I live is absolutely NOT the world I worked toward all my life. It seems my fellow country-people wanted something else completely. People bitch about the decline of democracy but his egregiousness was elected by a process that is, essentially, democratic (though flawed) and his supporters love him.

I am not “at one” with the “spirit of the age,” and that being the case (not surprising) I can best use the remaining years, months, days whatever of my little life living that little life undistracted. I have paintings to paint. Skis to take out. Dogs to walk. Maybe that’s not much, but it seems to me that one more happy person in the world is not a negligible contribution.

That Was the Year That Was

Recap of 2019 — I bought Nordic skis in January and skied (Langlaufed) maybe 10 times before the snow melted. 

One of the happiest days I can remember is the first day I took them out and found I could still ski, even after 20 years. I got to take Lois out in February and we had a blast. We had SO MUCH SNOW it was a dream come true for me and Polar Bear Yeti T. Dog. Winter also brought Bear and me a small herd of mule deer to watch and kind of hang out with daily — from a distance.

The Tracks of my Deers

In the winter I did some watercolors (of which I’m very proud) of the world in which I now wander and an oil that is, I think, my best so far. All of these are of the Rio Grande and the San Juan Mountains which I watched changing every day I took Bear out for a long ramble. Winter 2019 was a spectacular winter for me.

Storm on Windy Peak

In late June, I lost my Dusty T. Dog after 14 years. I. had adopted a mini-Aussie pup, Teddy Bear T. Dog a few weeks before losing Dusty. 

Because of all the snow we got, the snow melt was record-setting, and I got to see “my” river in flood for the first time. Really, really amazing

Rio Grande in flood at Shriver/Wright

The year brought a few visits to Colorado Springs to see friends, to get my new hip checked, and a pilgrimage to Denver with Lois and lunch with one of my oldest friends, Ron, and his wonderful wife, Joni, in my old hood which had not completely changed. (I was happy). From that came a deep understanding of my life, the changes, the distance I’ve traveled — heart, mind, soul and feet — and the consistencies of which I was unaware, leaving me grateful for old friends, new old friends and my own courage. ❤

At the Narrow Gauge Book Co-op

I had the incredible experience of writing As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder (and another book, Fledging, with its very tiny audience of three people including me, but a beloved project nonetheless). Reading Baby Duck at the Narrow Gauge Book Co-op was a little scary, but it turned into a very sweet event, supported by my incredible friends. The reading, the newspaper articles, and all that experience ended up entailing was great — including being on the Radio. (Video will NOT kill this radio star, believe me.) 

In November/December I had the opportunity to participate in a group art show at the Rio Grande County Museum with other San Luis Valley artists. I exhibited and sold books (I sold four) and read from Baby Duck again, this time to a different audience. It was wonderful, inspiring to me as a writer. Along with the show, I got to know the women who run that museum and I like them very much.

Some health weirdness, but who, at 67, does not have to deal with some of that? The weirdest was the horse-fly bite in June. 

Adventures with friends — some lunches in various and sundry places .In early spring we went to Creede and wandered around that lovely town. We tried the new restaurant in Del Norte, and went to studio tours in South Fork and Crestone. December brought Christmas lunches, tea parties and dinner with precious friends.

Health Food lunch in Crestone

The year brought only a few good walks with the dogs, not as many as I wish because of an injury I sustained in late September that has taken almost 3 months to heal. But now it’s healed just in time to Langlauf which I’ve done twice already this winter. Karen and I were finally able to ski together after talking about it for 3 years!

There’s much more, but this is long enough already. Thank you again fates for conspiring to bring me here, to Heaven, where I am and have been so incredibly happy. â¤

…The Moccasins and Other Things

Here’s what I came up with for the museum about my mom’s moccasins. They are made of deer hide, not thick and not warm, kind of like leather gloves for the feet, but (and I’ve worn them) very comfortable. 🙂


These beautiful moccasins with wild rose beadwork were made for Helen Tibbs Beall when she was teaching at the elementary school in Crow Agency, in South Central Montana, not far from Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. The woman who made them was Florence Real-Bird, the mother of one of Helen’s students and Helen’s friend.. 

Helen was born on a farm near Hardin, Montana in 1920. She had nine siblings, three brothers and six sisters. She was the eighth child of Sherman Beall and Emma Harriet Tibbs who settled in Belfry, Montana in 1914. Helen was baptized in the Little Bighorn River by Reverend Chester A. (Chet) Bentley who spent most of his life as a minister to the Crow Indians at the Crow Baptist Mission. 

Helen attended what was then the Normal School of Eastern Montana State College. Her teacher training consisted of a year of coursework, a year of teaching, a year of coursework, a year of teaching and so on until she graduated. 

Her first school was Warman School, a one room school on Warman Creek between Crow Agency and Fort Smith. Helen ended her teaching duties on the Crow Reservation at the elementary school at Crow Agency. She graduated with her teaching credential in 1947. 

Soon after marrying, Helen and her husband, William B. Kennedy, moved to Denver where Bill attended the University of Denver, earning a Masters Degree in Mathematics. Helen continued to teach in the Englewood, Colorado school district until the birth of her daughter in 1952.

More news like stuff…

My injured foot is a lot better, but not quite well. I injured it on September 20, but reinjured it on October 24 so I don’t know exactly if I should be measuring its recovering from September or October, but I guess it’s really up to my foot… I’m still wearing a brace, still using a cane when I walk the dogs, still walking awkwardly, but it doesn’t hurt unless I stand on it too long, and even then it’s not the searing pain it was at the beginning.

Bear and Teddy have adjusted to not getting daily walks. I think that’s a good thing. Bear and I have been out a few times — last time to Shriver/Wright on a blustery gray perfect November day. We both had a wonderful time. From Bear’s perspective there were a lot of new and fascinating things to smell. From my perspective the snow flurries and cold breeze were refreshing. We were happy to be out there together. I learned my lesson about walking them together, for now… Mostly they play in the yard like two hellions — Teddy essentially FLIES when he starts chasing Bear around. Bear doesn’t move much at all. She just lets him go nuts then ambushes him when she feels like it. They like to roughhouse in the living room and I should mind, but I don’t. I just clean it every day…

That’s the news from the Back of Beyond for Tuesday, November 26, 2019