Saturday, January 30, 2010

Plenty of Snow

We got hit again last night with a snowstorm here in the southeast, leaving in my area about 8 to 10 inches, considerable more in the mountains a little north of here.

Of course I'm working the closing shift this week, so it meant driving home at 3:30 in the morning through the stuff. And again, having to leave in a couple of hours to go back there. Getting out of here might be a little sporty, but if I can make it to the main road it should be fine.

I was happy at least that the power didn't go out this time, so I had lights and heat. But as always upon arriving home, Tanner meets me at the door for my hug, then emphatically tells me he needs to go out. Explaining that it's not very nice out there, but we'll do it anyway, I swept snow from the porch to open the door, and away we went. It's like a kid at Christmas time...the snow came up to under his belly, and it was playtime. Even though I was pretty wet and cold, it was fun to watch him run and jump in the snow like a puppy. Then of course this morning it's the same thing, go out and play, make yellow snow at every tree and bush we can get to. I don't know where he gets all that stuff....

But here we are today, it finally stopped snowing early this morning, so in a few minutes it will be time to begin my usual ritual of getting ready for work. I don't expect much business tonight, so I think I'll carry along my putter and get in some practice.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drivers License Renewal

Well, today being a day off from work, I decided I might as well go to the DMV and get my drivers license renewed. It expires next month, today is a nice day outside, so why not get it over and done with.

I knew that sometimes it's a little crowded there at the DMV, but wow.... it took me 2 hours for a simple 5 minute test and picture being taken. As I went in to the desk, I gave the lady my current license and told her I was there to renew it, she gave me a number "A174", and was told to take a seat. Where??? There are about 30 seats in the place, but they were all in use, so I, along with a couple of others, stood by the door.

After about 45 minutes there were a couple of empty seats, so I chose to sit down. Good choice. Another 45 minutes later, I was watching the numbers on the screen as they were being called, and up came 174! I went to station 3, sat down in front of the examiner, and looked at the signs, did the eye test, and was finished in about 3 minutes. Then went to another desk to have my picture taken, and that was that. Instead of giving me a new license, I got a piece of paper. They now mail your new license to you from a central location in Raleigh, so they should come in about 7 to 10 days.

I can't help but wonder, if there are so many people every day, why don't they just hire more examiners? Oh well, it's ok because I don't have to worry about it for another 5 years. I'm home now, I'm legal for another 5 years, so I think I'll gather Tanner up and we'll go outside and hit some golf balls in this beautiful weather.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tanner, the Makulit...Love of a Dog

That's my boy...Tanner. Another day at work, after waking up at 5:00 AM for the opening shift, getting through the day without too much trouble, and looking forward to some rest after a long day. NOT!

Oh, it's nice that Tanner meets me when I come in the back door, and he sits up to give me a great big hug. In fact, it's one really important part of my day that I look forward to. Moments of pure, unconditional love. Then of course, it's time to go out, because my boy has been waiting for hours for this moment too, and what relief it is for him. We usually take a little walk, and play a little in the yard, though not as much right now as it's winter, and it's a little too cold for me to stay out for any real length of time. But we are still able to get our bonding time together.

Now for the next treat. You see, Tanner knows I work as a restaurant manager, and he also knows he gets his grilled chicken breasts for dinner when I come home. Little wonder that he hasn't touched his Purina all day, the bowl is still full. But, after he finishes his chicken breasts, that's the Purina time.

Now I get to sit down and relax on the couch for a little while, watch some TV, and simply rest. Oh, let's not forget the makulit....there has to be 120 pounds across my lap, turning to lick my face, and don't even try to stop scratching his head, oh no, that won't do. But can I get mad at him? No way! Just more unconditional love.

OK, let's play the banjo for a few minutes. He's always ready for that. So as I play, he sits in front of me and watches until I nod my head, then he begins to sing along. This happens usually several times during a song, and believe it or not, he knows most of my ending licks. As I start one, he comes up to me, and as I finish my last note, he lays his head on my lap so I can tell him what a wonderful singer he is. It doesn't do a lot for my concentration when I practice, but again, how can I get mad at him for joining in.

Let's fast forward to bedtime. Now I really get to relax. I just finished my shower, I'm tired, so I lay down in the bed, usually to read. But first things first. When it's time, he's already on the bed waiting for me. It's treat time! First the 2 butter cookies, then the rawhide stick, and lastly a couple of snausages. So now I can read. Oh no, not yet. Now we have to play. It's snuggle time, so after rolling around and again laying all 120 pounds across me while I scratch him some more, he has to do his cuddle. That's when he comes and lays across the pillow with one leg across me and the other behind my neck, to make me totally available for all the dog kisses he can muster. You have to understand, all these things are nightly rituals, and he must do them without fail or he just can't rest.

Well, after all this, I actually do get to read, he goes to the end of the bed, and we sleep until the alarm goes off again. Snooze button? Who needs it. My makulit is right there, standing beside the bed, looking me in the eyes, with his tail thumping against the dresser like a drum until I open my eyes and decide to get up. A couple of mornings I have told him to go and let daddy sleep some more, but that just brings out the squeaky toys next to my head. Have you ever been in that place between sleep and waking, and had a stuffed monkey 6 inches from your head going "squeak squeak squeak".... well, nothing to do but get up and start the day.

My makulit boy....there's nothing like unconditional love.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tanner and Me

I was just sitting here thinking about all I have to be thankful for, and it came to mind that there is really quite a lot. I have a decent job that I've been at for quite a few years, which even though it sometimes gets pretty stressful, still allows me to have the things I need in life.

Then there's Katherine and the family, which I can't say enough how complete it makes my life. As in everything, there are rough spots and hurdles to cross, but in time things always seem to work out for the best, and I'm truly thankful to have that.

Then of course there's Tanner. In my day to day life here at home, he's the constant presence in everything I do. I had to work the closing shift last night, so I had the whole day here with him and we watched a movie on cinemax that I thought I wouldn't watch after having heard about it, but I'm glad I did. Many of you have probably seen it, the title is "Marley and Me". So with nothing to do but wait until time to go to work, I sat on the couch, with all 120 pounds of Tanner laying across my lap and we began to watch the movie.

For me to say it's a really good movie would be an understatement. I think it was great, even though it brought tears to my eyes toward the end. But that's the reality of life. I kept thinking, it's a movie, they could just write a different ending, but then the reality would have been lost in a big way. Throughout the movie I laughed, watching Marley grow up, and in a lot of ways it was just like my makuilt boy Tanner. The things he did, the way he got into trouble, just like when Tanner ate my Levi's the other morning when I wouldn't get up early enough to suit him, and I watched for 3 days waiting for him to pass the button snap from the waistband; the way he cocked his head while watching me go through his poop, with his eyes wide in astonishment. I'm quite sure the neighbors got a thrill out of that also.

Before Tanner came to his forever home with me, I had a Siberian Huskey, Yukon. That too was just like the movie Marley and Me. I had Yukon for about 11 years and finally old age caught up, and the day came when I too had to sit in the vet's office while he was put to sleep. He couldn't even walk, so I had to carry him inside. But then I've mentioned that before too, so I won't go into details here again. Suffice it to say that it went along with Marley's script to a tee.

I guess the thing is, this is my way of giving tribute to the things that matter to me. I won't ever forget Yukon or the years we had together, and Tanner was truly a Godsend in the aftermath of that loss. If you're a dog person, or a true animal lover then you understand what I say and feel. Tanner is quite contrary at times, hardheaded when he wants to be, but he never meets a stranger, and I wouldn't trade my days with him for anything in the world. He is as my child.
Oh, and if you want to watch a great movie that will make you laugh and cry, try "Marley and Me".