|First Zinnia Bloom|
It may be wet out there, but the flowers and birds are happy. It's not cold, though the sky's grey-white today. I stand on the back step in my housecoat and breathe it all in as long and as deeply as I can. I love having this privacy and solitude in a place where traffic noise is minimal to non-existent and no other houses are in sight, though the neighbours' yard is within earshot.
In the inlaws' farmyard a mile south, standing outside under the stars on a frigid winter night, I remember hearing the dog from here barking. We inherited him when we took possession of this place; and overnight he became fearless and friendly, when always before he'd been standoffish and timid. Unfortunately he didn't live long; one morning Scott went outside and found him with part of his intestine swollen and bloody on the outside of his body. The vet pronounced it impossible to repair, and advised putting Buddy out of his misery.
Sometimes, walking around the yard, I think of Buddy living here many years; I also think of Chloe, the year-old pup we had to euthanize, and still feel bad about it; and old Casper, who is buried near the crabapple trees. If dogs can live on in spirit, I fancy they still accompany me on a ramble and traipse over "their" territory, warning off the foxes and coyotes.