Life Update

I’m Karen J. McLean, and here is your Karen’s Life Update for the morning of Thursday, March 24, 2022:

I heard the birds greet the dawn this morning, the first time this year. I am usually at my desk at dawn, and today was the first time they sang and I heard them. Spring is here, regardless of the weather forecast.

Trying out a new morning routine here, Chez McLean. Doug left Piper in the kitchen when he left for work. As she continues to age, it has become pretty much impossible for me to be at all productive with a geriatric border collie trying to boss me around because she’s bored.

I love her to bits, and I also have things to do — like online meetings and writing and stuff that requires what little concentration I can muster.

My plan is to spend quality one-on-one time with her when I go collect her after lunch. So if this works, it will be beneficial to both of us.

***

Currently Listening To: Duran Duran’s “Rio” on Apple Music’s ’80s Dance Party Essentials Playlist

Currently Reading: Sarah Polley’s Run Towards the Danger.

Current Hat: Brown Walden Pond ballcap featuring Thoreau’s sketch of a scarlet oak leaf.

Current Writing Project: A short memoir piece about the summer of 1989, to be submitted to my local critique group and then on as part of my application for a Canada Council grant.

-30-


Day 24 of the March SOLSC 2022

This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.

Dark o’Clock

I woke up an hour or so ago, at 3:54 AM, with my fingers, toes, and knees seized up and in pain. This is not an unusual circumstance, unfortunately. But it is also not unusual to feel the solid pressure of my dog, Piper, snuggled up beside me, or the weight of Archie, one of my big orange and white cats, lying across my lap.

I flex my toes, first the left foot, and then the right. Then I do the same with my fingers, then my wrists. Finally, pushing my heels down and stretching out my hamstrings, I can feel my knees shift. This may be enough. We shall see.

I lay my hand on Piper’s flank. She’s closing in on 15 years old, a smooth-coated border collie mix who is smarter than any dog I have ever known. Aside from her back legs, which are essentially lame now, she is in exceptionally good health and spirits. We get each other.

The rise and fall of her breath under my hand is accompanied by old girl snores. Dreaming of squirrels, or her puppuccino yesterday, I do not know.  She stirs slightly, as if suddenly aware of being touched, then I can almost hear her decision: “Just Karen. It’s okay.” And the steady rise and fall, and the snoring, resumes.

Archie, realizing I’m awake, has a reputation to protect. Not wanting to be seen as a mama’s boy, he slides off my lap and pads out of the room.

This is our routine, most nights.

I roll over, feel my bones shift, and try to get back to sleep.


Day 6 of the March SOLSC 2022

This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge

You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.