A New Life! Retirement at its Best 82

Thunder and Lightning 

Last Monday evening was the first group obedience training for Lani and me at Camp Bow Wow. Our trip started at 5:30 p.m. in the pouring rain with a line of traffic of about a mile long, no kidding, on the Parkway. Construction work had stopped by that time of course, but it was rush hour, not only on the freeway, which we avoided, but also on the Parkway. Good thing we  had left early. I hesitated, since we were early and the traffic eased some, whether I would swing by Costco to get gas, because it was pretty low. But, I thought, since the sun would not go down until eight, and the class would be over at seven, I could do it on the way home. Just then, the “low on gas” sign came on, an orange sign which I had not seen before because I always make sure to tank when the arrow is on half full. But we were past the point of no return and proceeded to Camp Bow Wow.

The trainer came late because of the rain and the traffic. There were two other dogs there, and it was an interesting class. Before we knew it, the clock showed 7:30 and I said I’d better get home before dark. The sun would go down at 8? Yeah right! the sun had not shown all day! The rain was torrential. No time to let Lani sniff and go shishi. Slushing to the car through the streams of water on the parking lot, I opened the door, threw in my purse, the treat bag and the folder I had received, picked up Lani, who was drenched in the mean time, and got in myself. Once on the road again I called Mike and told him I still had to go to Costco for gas. “OK, call me when you leave there”, he said, worried.

At the gas station, standing dry, my Costco card did not work. I mentioned “help!” to the agent in the little house. He first had to put on his yellow rain gear but finally reached me, not all too friendly. When my card did not work for him either he pulled his card out of his wallet, stuck it into the machine, ripped it out, stuck my credit card in, ripped that out too, and left without another word. During the tanking, the loudest thunderclaps I had ever heard sounded right over my head. Not one, but four. And the rain increased in strength from torrential to hurricane force. I wish I could have measured it. But I stood dry, and only got hit full force when I drove away. At 20 mph, hardly seeing stop signs or the center line of the street, I called Mike again to tell him I was on my way and to have towels ready when we came home. When I took Lani out of the carrier, I was not surprised that the red pillow was wet: she could not hold it after such a long time, I thought, and together we ran through the kitchen and the sunroom to the back, where she did a very long shishi. We had a cozy half hour before going to bed. On hindsight I thought that the pillow was probably wet from her soaked fur; in that case I am even more proud of my million dollar doodle!

Turtle sighting

Early on my morning walk with Lani this Tuesday morning, I quickly walked back home to get my cell phone. Because there, by the mail boxes, following the curb, was a giant turtle – a Snapping Turtle, someone said when they saw the picture. It posed for my picture and I could get a good look at it. The back of the shell was beautifully scalloped, the tail fiercely serrated, the hind feet were webbed for swimming and the front had dangerous looking claws. I texted three pictures to my youngest grandson, who collects turtles and he texted back he would tell me all about the difference between regular turtles and snapping ones. When I returned from my walk around the building the turtle sat in the middle of the street and after I had taken Lani home and went back to look at him he had disappeared in the pond. Proof for me again that turtles do not really walk all that slowly! I think the same turtle came through our back yard a year ago, on his way from the Wimbledon pond to ours, but then I did not have quite as good a look at him as just now. The rewards of and early morning walk!


Last Monday night, the torrential rains made the water of the pond rise, and rise, and rise some more. The next morning, at first light, when I walked to the pond, I saw what I had feared: the turtle nest was gone; it had totally disappeared beneath the surface of the water. Two days later, the water had receded, and I noticed two large goose eggs higher up on the slope. The following day, two more eggs appeared, and then one more on the water’s edge. Mother goose and her gander were swimming around, walking around, and then they disappeared for a while. They will have to start over, if that is even possible this late in the season. I wondered if the turtle would not happily snap up the eggs, because they lay untouched and unprotected, but so far he has not been hungry enough.


The first hummingbird appeared at the feeder yesterday afternoon, in the misty rain. I took the feeder in to fill it with new sugar water and hope he will spread the word!

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,




Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.