1. Morning walks. I was reminded this week how easy it is to walk just one dog, this morning in particular when Ringo got to say “hello” to all the dogs he encountered. To be fair to my first dogs, Obi and Dexter, it’s not always that much harder to walk two, especially if they get along and aren’t super reactive and stay close even if the leash gets dropped. With Ringo and Sam I had to be hypervigilant about all the potential triggers we might encounter — Sam would freak out if he saw a beaver, Ringo does the same when he sees a heron or someone on a skateboard, and certain things would trigger them both simultaneously and sometimes that meant they’d scrap with each other, which was no easy thing to manage with two strong dogs on leashes and a potential third party. Walking just Ringo, who sure has his own triggers and doesn’t always behave, but it’s just him and as such so easy. I only have to manage his reactions, not a relationship of them, and I’m enjoying the ease of that, even as I desperately miss my Sam.
2. Late summer produce. Corn, peaches, watermelons, pumpkins, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, and so many tomatoes.
3. Good friends. And their babies, kids, partners, dogs, and cats. Making each other laugh, common histories and inside jokes, eating together, sharing what is good and what is hard.
4. Practice. I am so grateful I found it, that I can be lost and still find it.
5. Reading. Besides life and all the things that supported it, the best thing my parents gave me was the skill and love of reading. It has engaged, challenged, comforted, and educated me, brought me a lifetime of joy.
6. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. Eric has a three day weekend and I’m so excited to get to see him more often for a bit. He was missing me the other day so when he got home from work, he asked if I would come sit on the couch next to him and do nothing for a bit. I did and it was so nice. At almost eight years old, Ringo has been such good company at home, is an awesome walk and nap buddy. This morning while I was writing in my office, he came back and napped on the floor behind my chair, something Sam always did but Ringo hardly ever does.
Bonus joy: ranunculus in my favorite jar on my meditation shrine, Ringo getting to say “hi” to his neighbor dog Rizzo (who he usually only smells and barks at through the fence) not once but twice on our walk this morning, falling asleep last night with the window open listening to the rain, laundry, berry bagels with cream cheese, breakfast burritos, sesame cucumber noodles, Ringo lounging in the backyard in the sun until he gets too hot and comes in to cool off and then goes out again until he gets too hot and this goes on and on for hours, clematis blooms, hanging out and writing with Calyx, podcasts (in particular right now is My Favorite Murder), TV (right now: Catfish and DCI Banks), the flock of goldfinches that visit our sunflowers and bird bath in front every morning and evening, good neighbors, the river, vaccines, holding Baby H and catching up with his mom, how sweet and soft Franny is (just like Perrita and Sam were), the way Ringo followed me around the house after our walk this morning, hugging Eric, laughing with him, naps, getting in the pool and the sauna, training with Shelby, grocery pickup, that one corner of the couch, down blankets and pillows, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.