Walking the Dog Today

Our dog Star, who is not a star, randomly threw herself at a moving car on our walk today. I wasn’t ready, because she typically saves her “crazy” for big, mean trucks and yappy little dogs that look like bunnies.

I don’t know what snapped in that dog-brain of hers. It’s a beautiful day. A regular car. No loud car rumble. No young pup hanging its head out the window taunting her.

But her leash was loose. I wasn’t ready.

My dog was hit by a car today. Or really, the car was hit by Star. A full body slam.

A smack and a yelp.

The car slowed, but drove on.

She hobbled to my side. Sat down, holding her paw up to be checked like she knows the drill. Like she gets injured battling evil cars all the time.

Then Star, who is not a star, dragged me around the neighborhood as if nothing had happened.

I kept the leash tight and Star close. She ignored the yappy dogs. Discovered no bunnies. Didn’t notice the other cars at all, until a little red sportscar passed on our return home.

I don’t know what snapped in that dog-brain of hers, but this time, I was ready. Star and the car survive to see another day.


Independence is Good, Mom

My friend moved back into the neighborhood where we met more than 40 years ago, and recently described how the quiet streets where we roamed have opened up a new-found independence for her daughters too. Her girls ride their bikes to the pool like we did, walk to restaurants for lunch, stop in at the grocery store for snacks like we did, and sometimes don’t come home until after 10 at night. It’s summer after all. And she is excited for them, because she remembers how much fun we had at their age.

Soon after, my sisters were re-telling a story about a funny walk home from the same grocery store, now remodeled and shinier. We laugh every time we remember it, and top that one with other oft-remembered suburban adventures with each other and our friends.

But our mom worries that too many of our stories were unbeknownst to her. She wonders aloud, in fact, if she was the engaged, good mother she thought she was.

Silly wonderings of every mom – jennswonderings  – as our children grow up. Was I a good mom? Did I guide them well? Did they know how much I loved them?

What she forgets, as she worries, is that our stories are happy ones. That we look back on our childhoods with humor. That as sisters, our stories were shared ones in which we all played a part for much longer than most.

Our mom trusted us to go out into the world and play. So, she missed a few things. That, at some point, was her job.

My hope for my kids is supposed to be that as I let them loose to play in the world, they will have fun stories that I won’t remember because I wasn’t there. Yet such letting go breaks my heart. I want to be part of their days, laughing, listening.

And I worry that as they collect their own stories, my stories will be less … less everything… because three sweet boys are not always in them.

Garage Sale: Day 2

Yep. More long conversations about what must be the most interesting coffee maker in the world…that won’t sell. Raising the price did nothing to entice a buyer.

The lady who advised me on the $5 table yesterday is making the rounds again today. She snooped through the many boxes at the sale across the street. I can’t believe all those boxes fit inside their house!

Six hours today produced less than the $42 I raked in yesterday. A few people asked me to sell things for them, so… $12 made for my sister, $3 for our neighbor, $6.50 from the kids’ lemonade stand, and only $4 from our items sold at the garage sale.

Is it considered poor garage sale etiquette to give yourself a pedicure while waiting for someone to buy?


Garage Sale: Day 1

I don’t really get garage sales.

I’ve been doing one today for more than 4 hours and made only $21.50. And people never buy what I expect them to. The nice stuff stays sitting in the sun. They only take the $1 pieces of junk.

And it feels strange to buy your neighbor’s hand-me-downs, so they drive by and wave. Their kids might come over with a dollar to see if they can buy a cheap toy.

Some garage sale moments:

• The woman who said “no” to paying $3 for a stuffed animal, but bought the $2 one and immediately threw it in the back seat of her car, where her little dog greedily bit into it. As they drove away, I heard her say to the man driving, “See how happy she is now!”
• A woman who pointed out every flaw in a table I was selling for $5, then recommended ways to market it. It thought selling it for $5 was marketing enough!
• The twenty-something guy in gym clothes who bought four pretty sconce covers and a miniature Lego game. Purchases just didn’t match the person.
• The multiple adults who telephoned someone before making a purchase, even though they were spending only $10. Do they do that every time they shop, or only at garage sales?
• A coffeemaker that generated interest from nearly everyone but was never actually purchased at the $5 asking price. I am going to try raising the price.
• The giant Hosta my dog sat on during the garage sale. Its replacement will probably cost as much as I made today.
• The fact that my kids think we are splitting the proceeds from the sale four ways.

The disheartening thing is that I signed up to do this again tomorrow.

Neighborhood Sign Posted by New Dog Owner


One vial of puppy poop.

Our vet asked us to return with a fresh poop sample from our new puppy, so she could test her for worms and, I assume, other bacteria. So, despite my reluctance to gather the sample, I put some in the tube she gave us. I was so proud of myself!

Then I put it on the hood of my car in the garage to await our departure.

You’ve already guessed what happened. Multi-tasking mom drove off with it still on the hood of my car.

It has now gone missing.

I searched for it in the garage, on the driveway and down our entire street.

So, neighbors – especially the lovely neighbor who picks it up, wondering what it could be – I am sorry.

I am just a bit lost at the moment!