"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien.
"If you wish to be happy, think not of what is to come nor of that which you have no control over but rather of the now and of that which you can change."
Oromis, Brisingr, Christopher Paolini.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

1/18/98 - 6/1/09

I couldn't bring myself to blog this as a bullet-point in yesterday's "catchup" entry. Our dear Molly-monster is gone.

Molly as a puppyDH spoke about having a dog named Molly from the time we first met. Molly joined us around his birthday during the first year we were married. She was an "accident" puppy, one of the second(!) litter from an Airedale mother and the black Labrador male next door. At first she looked very much like a Lab, except for the loop in her tail. The Airedale looks crept in more as she grew. Her temperament definitely tended more towards her Airedale side!

DH and I were both working full-time (plus) when Molly became part of our family. She accompanied me to work as a pup, spending most of the day in her crate, but going out for regular breaks and a long walk/playtime over lunch.

We took "Puppy Manners" classes in the evenings her first year. There were five Bernese Mountain Dog littermates in our first series of classes. Those pups were giant teddybears, doing anything their owners asked. Molly, on the other hand, was a wild child. On the last day of class we played "pass the puppy." Each human took a turn running every puppy through their paces. The only other human who could get Molly to do anything had an Australian Shepherd. She climbed all over the Berner owners! We didn't feel quite so incompetent after that. (Looking back, this would have been a lesson to keep in mind when we became parents. It's not that those other people are better at parenting, but that they are working with a naturally more compliant temperament...)

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park (NV)We took Molly car-camping a few times her first spring, and then on a backpacking trip when she was six months old. She had a blast! Every patch of snow we passed was an excuse to roll and scrabble around. "Molly-the-snow-dog" was one of her many monikers.

boatingMolly was a bundle of energy. When we still lived in WA we took her to the Marymoor Dog Area at least once a week. (There was even an espresso- and dog-treat-mobile in the parking lot!) She ran and ran and ran, keeping up with the whippets and greyhounds. We came to call the dog park "Mollymoor."

bubblesMolly was a star with the kids. High-energy, but gentle. Fun-loving. Patient. Her jaw was so soft that she couldn't keep a ball in her mouth while she ran. The nearest she ever came to biting was putting her open mouth on my forearm when I was pulling a thorn from her foot. (You can't blame her; I'm sure it hurt!)


Our poor puppy-friend succumbed to pelvic cancer. She went downhill very quickly. We were totally unprepared, especially so soon after Marilyn's death. DD2 told us that she couldn't play in the back yard anymore without Molly. Camping without her is weird. We expect to hear the jingle of her tags every time we open the back door. Three weeks later, her ghosts are still everywhere.

Leavenworth, WA
We will get another dog, but not quite yet. Kennedy has been given a stern talking-to about giving us some time before he goes (and about just not waking up one morning, rather than having some great health crisis that forces us to make the hard decision!).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mid-year Update

Wow, it's been a long time since I updated this blog!

The ski weekend was great fun. The kids were fine at home with my ILs, and made it everywhere they were supposed to be while we were gone. We enjoyed the skiing and the companionship of good friends. My worries about not having skied for years were all for naught; apparently I'm in good enough shape to pick it up again without any problems.

We had so much fun skiing that we put all three kids in ski school; twice at Mammoth and once at Alpine Meadows. They had a blast, so we're looking forward to next season!

DD1 did her Primary level RAD exam in May. She had a great time, and was a little sad that she doesn't get to do another exam for two years. Both girls had their ballet recitals a couple of weeks ago. They were wonderful.

DS played in his first piano recital the day after the ballet recitals. It was a great experience; an intimate recital hall at the Steinway Gallery, friends there to hear him play, and cake afterwards. He was told to dress up, so he wore the suit we bought for his James Bond Halloween constume!

We flew up to Jefferson County, Washington to stay with my parents over Memorial Day weekend. This was our first family trip in the plane. We had a fun weekend and beautiful flights both ways. The cousins had a great time together. We stopped in Bend, OR on our way home to get lunch and visit the High Desert Museum. Central OR is a favorite area of ours, and we see the High Desert Museum on a fairly regular basis.

So far this year we've spent 9 nights in our popup camper. We usually stay at a KOA for Mother's Day weekend when they do their free night of camping fundraiser for camps for kids with cancer. This year we went to the Stockton Delta. We won a free weekend in a raffle, so ended up there two weekends in a row. We've also been to Eagle Lake a couple of times. It's rapidly becoming our favorite camping spot.

I haven't read many books lately. It's spring, so I'm caught in the grips of PCT journals (on postholer and TrailJournals). There are a couple of great reads I should mention: The Long Walk and Cactus Eaters.