Saturday, March 16, 2019


Here is my new baby, Elliot.  After Patrick had been gone a few days I started looking for a new dog.  My first choice was to find a rescue, but the process was too complicated.  I needed immediate action, and rescue places demand too much red tape and money.  I understand and applaud their thoroughness, but I always want, and need, immediate gratification.  After filling out four or five long applications and spending hours on the phone I looked in the newspaper and saw this ad for Shitzu puppies. A few phone calls and six hundred and fifty dollars later I made arrangements to meet the breeder in Ellsworth and pick up my 8 week old puppy.  The same day two of the rescue places I had talked with sent me emails that I was approved.  Of course it was too late, and I was "stuck" with this little bundle of energy.

One of my problems with getting a puppy was the fear of dying before he did.  I am old enough that chances are good Elliot will outlive me.  I had to put that out of my mind, promising to live well into my eighties.   Meanwhile I am dealing with a dog and a cat who are far less appreciative of the new arrival.  Willy would kill him if he could get at him, I think.  I have introduced them, and Willy stares at Elliot with murder on his mind.  His body is rigid, and eventually he starts to shake.  As soon as any movement happens, he lunges at Elliot, whereupon I snatch him away. Elliot is completely unaware of the situation and wants to play.  All I can do is hope that the situation resolves itself.  Willy was okay with Patrick, but part of that, I think, was that Patrick was here first.  Right now Willy's habit of spending his days upstairs is an advantage.  Elliot is confined to the dining room where I spend most of my time when I'm downstairs, so for now things are running fairly well.  Leah was a no-show for a couple of days, but now she understands that Elliot is no threat and simply ignores him.

So this is my life as I wait for the upheaval of moving.  I don't know how soon that will be, but an opening is coming up soon....a one-bedroom place in the senior citizen building.  When a two bedroom becomes available, I'll move into that.  Timing is important in that the house I live in now failed to pass the requirements for rental assistance this year, as I knew would happen.  I have to move somewhere within a few months.  My life is often in a state of uncertainty and these  things do not cause me any anxiety.  Something will happen.  One is either alive or dead, and I am alive.  I will be somewhere.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Good-bye, Baby Boy

Jim painted this portrait of Patrick just a few days ago.  Now it turns out to be his memorial. For the last several days he seemed to be winding down.  He was increasingly lethargic, stopped eating.  Though I knew he was dying, I couldn't totally accept it.  For days I watched him deteriorate.  He didn't seem to be suffering, and it was my vague intent to let him die on his own.  At the same time I didn't rule out a miracle until yesterday.  I finally decided it was unfair to us both to let him go on.  I took him to the vet and had him euthanized.

I wonder how many more times I can endure the loss of a beloved many times I can tell myself that the joy of having them is worth the pain.  I'm probably not done yet.  For one thing, I still have Willy.  He's still reasonably young.  Though I love him, he won't fill the void left by Patrick.  I will have to decide if I will go through the rest of my life without the intense love I felt for Lytton and Patrick in order to avoid the pain of losing them.  Probably I won't.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Another year beginning, with changes galore for me coming up.  The picture was taken by the waitress at the WACO,  where I was surprised by a birthday breakfast on the 4th.  Years ago I would have been mortified, but this new group of friends has changed me.  To say I was delighted would be an exaggeration, but I was pleased and happy to be acknowledged by these recent additions to my life.  They are wonderful, and I am made new by them.

The next change will be my place of residence.  This time, unless something changes drastically in the next few weeks, I am really going to move.  Thanks to my new caseworker from DHCS, I have been approved to move into a senior (!) facility across town.  It's the same one I thought I was going to go to before, but found was too small.  This social worker, Amanda, has talked the necessary authorities into giving me a bigger, 2-bedroom apartment with special dispensation to have dogs, cat, and birds along with me.  This comes just as leaks have appeared in almost every ceiling in this house.  My chickens will be living down the street with Jim.

This will be a huge move for me since I have become so attached to this house and my life in it.  Until now I haven't been able to detach myself from it, and there is still time.  However, my rental assistance is sure to stop once the various leaks are discovered.  That gives me extra incentive because I don't want to argue with Sue about it.  I know she will resist or refuse to make the necessary changes.  I will never think ill of her because she has given me this life I've led here.  For all intents and purposes it has been MY house.  I've been able to indulge my every whim without complaint from her.  She hasn't raised my rent since 1998.   I will be sad to leave..very sad.  But I have to face the fact that I am old.  It will be good to not worry about shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, checking the furnace.  I will have no heating bills, no trash pick up or water bills or electric bills.  I will be warm.  For all intents and purposes, I will not live the life of a poor person.  Will I know how to do it?  I've been poor since my husband moved out of our family house in Bangor. I grew up poor, had a few years of somewhat comfortable financial means when I married and worked as a social worker.  Then I was a single mother, a student, an artist.  Scrimping and making do have been my life.  Never have I regretted not having money.  I have seen it as an evil influence on the human psyche.  I wear my poverty like a badge, obnoxiously and with pride.  I suppose I will still be poor, but creature comforts will be the "givens" in my life.  How will I handle it?

Well, that remains to be seen.