Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pups and Flowered Strolls

The past couple of mornings, I've woken up to a gentle rub on the shoulder and the sweet nothings of, "Sarah, sweetie, the dog pooped on the carpet . . . and I have to go to work so . . . Could you, um . . . "
I tell you what, there's no other wake up call like it.
Way to get out of it, honey bun. I'll get you back, one of these days.
Also, one day, I will find a way to teach you to clean up pet puke without your turning green. Maybe.

She loves to cuddle in my lap while I'm on the computer . . . and then she starts nosing my hands until I use BOTH of them to pet her . . . Ham, much? Maybe a bit.
Pup's been sick with the runs for four days. Considering that she has delightfully fluffy thighs covered in long, long hair, this posed a slight problem. Let's just say that you can now add "dog butt barber" to my resume. Please and thank you.
Good news--I'm not a terrible furchild parent. I DID take her to the vet and he sent us away with smile, reassurance, and antibiotics.  She never acted sick, except for the obvious, so, now, we wait with a happy dingo and hope the runs solidify a bit. Or something.

Spring has arrived in San Juan Bautista--everything has begun to bloom and it is stunning. Just stunning. There are drizzles, now and again, that go off and on all day.  Sometimes, the sky is bright blue, and others gray, hovering foggy over the mountains the way breathe hangs in cold air. I adore it.  Gray, damp chill brings me back to London.  The fact that the town is small enough that I can walk everywhere brings me back there as well, and makes me think of college a bit.  As a new student, more than anything, I wanted to find a coffee shop, just some little place where I could have a cup of chai and study, a brief walk from campus.

Mississippi, where I attended university, does not have seasons the same as some places, but it has more than Florida. On winter nights, there was a cold that bore into you but no snow.  In summer, the air was thick, heavy with heat and no relief of sea breeze--stiff, smothering.  But springtime, oh, springtime was heaven.  For the first time in my life, I knew was Spring Fever was.  Even in my favorite classes, I'd stare out the window at the Quad strewn with students laying on their blankets, tossing frisbees. Spring was the only time the Quad wasn't as mucky as usual.  The sprinklers never turned off, even in the rain, leaving the dirt beneath the bright green grass perpetually black, damp, slimy, and slick. It nearly stole several pairs of my flip flops and, more than once, nearly had me falling on my bum. Spring time it was alive--all of us were screaming for sunlight after fleeing winter.  I'd wear skirts--the long peasant type--paired with tank tops or t-shirts and flip flops, looking like I stepped out of the 70's. My hair was long, and, sometimes, I'd put flowers in it, plucking them as I walked around the tiny Southern town where nothing happened.  It was the only time that I adored my campus.  My roommate, Emily, and I would lay out on blankets and read, soaking in sunlight.  Then, we'd walk to the local coffee shop, Cups, a lovely, artsy place filled with work of local artists and built in a little yellow house a friend of mine once lived in.  I didn't visit as often as I had dreamed, but my friends did.  I took a full load of classes and worked 18 hours a week at the university library, so I didn't get out much.  Still, very little beat sitting out on that little deck, sipping hot chocolate or chai, with my books and sunbeams.

Sometimes, town wasn't enough to satisfy our hunger for fresh air. We'd go driving out to the Natchez Trace, this beautiful stretch of land with all these little historic spots and pretty, hidden places like my favorite: Owen's Creek. We'd wander the woods, play in the stream. Once, we found a pair of graves from the Civil War.  I might not miss Mississippi a great deal, but I miss Owen's Creek.

Do you see the tiny trickle? The creek ended abruptly in this shelf that, most days, was the tiniest, most pathetic "waterfall" you'd ever seen. the shelf formed this awesome "almost cave" and then continued into the rest of the creek through the woods.  It remains one of the prettiest wooded spots in the Southeast that I've ever seen. I'm sure there are prettier places, but this little spot seemed like a fairytale to me.
Photo credit to my pal Rhyno. :]

I couldn't walk places in Florida.  Not really. Everything's very spread out, built for commuting.  When you do walk, it's brutally hot, suffocating.  You begin to sweat just walking to your car, but it doesn't dry, won't evaporate the way sweat is supposed to, cooling you. It just sticks, drips. Make-up melts, hair deflates, and clothes begin to stink of musk, deodorant essentially useless.  Residential areas are rarely within walking distances of super markets or restaurants. If they are, we drive anyways because it's too hot.  You melt and the milk risks spoiling.  It's dreadful.

Here, in this town, it's different.  I can go for a walk in the cool--almost cold--air and be downtown in roughly five minutes. From there, I have my choice of antique shops and independent restaurants of various tastes and persuasions. If I want to go to an actual grocery store, yes, I have to drive ten minutes or so on a highway, but, to be in town, to see little sights and enjoy an afternoon out, I merely have to put on my shoes and walk out the door. I love that. I have always preferred walking places.  That was one of my favorite things in London. I do not think I would like city life. There's not enough green.  I do, however, adore the commute system.  You walk, you ride the Tube, hop on a double decker bus, swipe your Oyster card, and you're off. I could go anywhere on my own two feet.  I loved that. I love it here, in this tiny, mission town with its buildings straight out of a western film, hidden in the hills from the outside, modern world.

So far, I have found a favorite burger spot. I'm on the look for a coffee shop, now.
Maybe I'll even start wearing skirts and flowers in my hair.


  1. 1. It sounds like your poor pup has anxiety. Ours do the exact same thing when we are gone---don't act sick until night time and then it's all fun and games in the morning. Except for no it's not.

    2. That picture is amazing and I want to visit that little trickle waterfall and cave and creek. It looks like magic!

    3. Your new home sounds amazing! I bet I could walk here but I'm lazy so the thought annoys me. Hahaha

  2. Owwww poor pup hope it feels better soon. Hubby really has a way with words doesnt he, what a romantic :)


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