No Easy Way

Good morning, Team Fencepost!

As of late my posting has been sparse, which is unusual for me. Circumstances out of control contribute to my absense.

Sad news, medical emergencies, not to mention the everyday activities that must take place and being on the go is a constant.

And the building of a doggie deck. Which is what I was doing when my family was trying to let me know about my cousin.

As some of you know, I have a doggie door in my laundry room that leads to a fenced in area for my canine critters. They have plenty of room to run, play, sun themself…..

But the steps leading from the doggie door were too short for my looooong weinie dog to maneuver.

This is what happens when he tries to go down the steps. He gets stuck.  He can’t turn around and go back up and he refuses to go down. He just stands there and yelps. And the human people have to rescue him.

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So we had to restructure, in order for him to have access to his outdoor sniffing range and bathroom. I just don’t have time to keep taking him out on the leash. I sometimes wish I lived further out in the country so I could just open the door and let them run.  I have lost one dog too many to the heavily traveled two-lane highway that runs near my home.

So we had to add a ramp and longer steps.

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And then had to add a step up from the ground, as the bottom step was too high for him to hop up onto.

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Stretch dog, that’s what I call him, just like Hunni girl, Nanook dog and Casper dog.

(say that “Casper dog” kinda drug out, think “Wonnnderrrrr Dooooggggg”)

Anyway, Stretch dog is not as agile as the others, nor does he have the confidence the others have. He’s more timid. So the less timid, less agilility and short legs are the reason for this doggie deck revamp.

They had a smaller deck before, we just extended it and made it more accessible for the less agile dog.

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Kind of a handicap accessible entrance to the laundry room/dog house.

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I still have not told my brother of my cousins untimely death. He should know, yes. But he, himself, is still in the hospital. He should be moved to a rehabilitation facility within the next few days. I’ll tell him then.

The last time I had to deliver sad news, such as this, is when my Father died. I, along with my husband and brother had to deliver the news to my Mother who was in a  rehabilitation hospital due to a broken leg.

You know, I’m just not good at these things.

Is anyone?

I’m one of those people who don’t like to beat around the bush. I get straight to the point, most of the time. And things like this are not a straight to the point conversation. So I must to have time to think of the best way to break it to them.

My cousin and I were not close. Not that I didn’t love him just as much. I love all my family and wish I could see them more.

We were far apart in age and miles. I’ve only seen him a handfull of times. He was closer in age to my brother. And, well…… they just knew eachother. They had lost contact over the years, but had recently spoken to eachother, I’m not sure who called who, but it doesn’t really matter.

It will be the last time my brother ever speaks to him.

How do you tell someone that the long lost cousin, they had just recently reunited with (if only by phone), is gone?

It’s just not gonna be easy.

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Gone But Not Forgotten

Early Monday morning I received news that a cousin’s life had been cut short  just hours before.

I cannot fathom the amount of grief his family feels at this time.

My heart goes out to them and prayers are sent up hoping to bring them some kind of comfort and a peacefulness that only God can administer.

His work kept him traveling for a major portion of his time, but I understand he was recently able to stop in and visit with his mother and sisters for a few days.

And for that, I know they are eternally grateful.

My own brother, who had not spoken to this cousin in several years, actually had a phone converstation with him the day before my brother went in the hospital.

Our days, hours, moments are not promised, so tell someone you love just how you feel, before it’s too late.

There may not be a tomorrow.

Cousin, you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten!

And family, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Peace be with you!

Mongoose Box

On a previous post, I asked if anyone had ever heard of a mongoose box.

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Not one person mentioned ever having heard of one.

Personally, I’ve never seen one. But because my Dad, being the jokester that he was, I have heard of one.

Before I was born, my cousin lived with my parents for a short time, along side my brother. They were the same age.

My Dad came home from work one day with a box. The box sat on the counter through supper and into the evening. Boys, being boys, their curiosity was getting the best of them.

My Dad was a great story teller. He could describe things so vividly, you’d think you were there, living it. He would describe in such detail that by the time he got to the end, you were bursting to know the outcome.

He began telling a story about a hunter and a mongoose.

I can imagine how my Dad had them enthralled with this elusive mongoose.

I can see those two eight year old boys sitting in the floor at my Dad’s feet. Wide-eyed and hanging on every word as my Dad unfolded the tale before them.

My brother, knowing my Dad, would not be duped into sticking his nose anywhere near that box.

My cousin, on the other hand, was in the middle of everything. Wanting to be the first to receive the candy or the first to hear the good news. Whatever the situation, he had to be first.

And on this day, he learned a valuable lesson.

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Let me tell you how this mongoose box was described to me.

The box looks like a cage, but you can’t see what’s inside.

It has a squirrel tail attached to the inside top of the box that moves when the lid is lifted.

Also inside, a thin piece of wood that slaps a piece of tightly stretched screen. Causing a shotgun blast sound you hear when the lid is lifted.

I can only imagine how my Dad had built up the imaginations of these little boys as he yarned the story of this captured mongoose.

The mongoose that was supposed to be entrapped inside this box, trying desperately to get out.

I can see my Dad holding this box, jerking is around as if something may be moving inside. Maybe occasionally, scratching or tapping the box, just to add more drama to the tale.

As he approached the end of the story, he moves to the floor, so the boys could get a good look at this mongoose in the box.

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He lifted the lid, the squirrel tail twitched, the shotgun blasts…

My Mom and brother jump…

And my cousin who is hovering over this box, runs screaming across the room headlong into a wall, that he desperately tries to climb.

My Mom could not tell that story without tears of laughter as she remembered the day my cousin tried to climb the wall.

My brother would laugh.

My Dad would chuckle, as he always did.

And my cousin’s eyes would widen and a slight grin would appear as he remembered. It was almost as if he relived it everytime it was told.

You know, I don’t think he ever got over that.

But I promise you this, he learned, that day, to stand back when my Dad began yarning a tale.