Monday, June 26, 2017


I was in that delicious state of half wakefulness when the body feels no sense of connection to the earth and seems to float peacefully.  There are no cares, no drama, just bliss and the lingering images of a fun dream.

I'm sure there is probably a drug that gives this same effect and I am positive it is hugely popular but my sense of well being then was just from extreme drowsiness after a delightful nights sleep. One of those times you realize how blessed you are to be retired and have no demands like work or a schedule to spoil the mood.

Oh, maybe not work but a small dog can be just as disturbing. I heard Callie outside the bedroom door softly whining her need to go outside.  At least it starts out soft and imploring but soon escalates to a cranky, loud demand. "Get your lazy butt up if you want a dry floor. I am doing my best to keep it in."

Slowly so as not to shatter the mood, I swung my feet off the bed and found the shorts that I keep handy for a quick cover up when style isn't important. They are an old, loose fitting pair of stretch Bermuda shorts from my fattest days. They offer a tad of modesty yet are easy to put on each morning when I let Callie out. They keep my exposure to a minimum for the passing traffic as I open the door.
Turning my dog out in the morning while facing a fairly busy highway is just one of the reasons I keep the baggy shorts around and near the bed. They are my, "Oh crap, is that a tornado I hear?" prep clothes.  However they are also handy for, "geez Louise, the house is on fire."  They are my emergency cover ups when exposure is  imminent.  Not stylish but effective.

Trying to keep my delightfully mellow mood undisturbed, I gently slid one leg in the shorts, then the other.   Things seemed just a bit off and I when stood up to pull them up, I almost fell over. Somehow I had put both legs in the same leg hole.

Sheesh, how many years have I've been doing this successfully without conscious thought?  Probably 75, as the first couple of years I was pretty much hit and miss. Perhaps I am reentering that poor aiming toddler phase.

Then the giggles started especially when I found my legs went in the leg hole easier than they came out. No doubt I am getting a step closer to needing a keeper.

Have you found subtle warning signs such as this lately? Care to share? I won't tell.

Monday, June 19, 2017


Don't know about you but today's headlines have put a chill in the cockles of my heart. The division, the anger, the meanness and the violence had really turned down my internal thermostat. Then I found something that warmed those cockles right up once more.

It was a heartwarming news story about an ultramarathoner who had his own cockles warmed and life changed.

An ultramarathoner is one who often runs roughly 150 miles in back to back stages through some of the roughest terrain in the world. Kind of makes regular marathons look tame. Not only the distance is daunting but the temperatures can be wet and cold or scalding hot along with challenging terrain. It takes a special breed to do this.  Dion Leonard was such a man.

Dion ran not just to finish and say he did it, he ran to win. This was serious business for him.  He was married to a long distance runner also who not only understood but she had turned him on to the sport.

In 2016 he signed up to run the 7 day Gobi Desert race in China. On the second day of the race, a very small stray dog ignored all the other runners and  attached her self to Dion.  He did nothing to encourage her for while he loved dogs, this little creature was filthy and stinky. He wouldn't even touch her for fear she carried disease. Ignored, she still ran doggedly at his heals that day.

Coming down from the hills towards the desert floor, he had to cross a shallow river. Not hesitating he plunged in only to hear plaintiff screaming from the little dog who was afraid to try the crossing but desperate not to be left behind. Against his better judgment, he went back and carried her across. The bond was formed.

That little dog ran 77 of the 150 miles with him and was only put in a car during the last stages due to the 125 degree heat. Also since Dion ran fast and finished second overall, she really had to scoot on her stubby little legs covering those 77 miles.

Why did she pick him and why such total devotion and loyalty?  Dion wrote a book about the experience, "Finding Gobi" , that I just finished and actually paid full price for. Usually I prefer free books and three bucks is usually my top dollar limit but I sprung for the $9.99 Kindle price without hesitation. I needed to know more.

Dion knew he had to take Gobi home with him to Scotland but the process was brutal. The red tape from both countries, a language barrier and then the devastating loss of Gobi when she disappeared from the couple watching her while he was making arrangements. Her being lost in a Chinese city of 3.5 million made it all seem impossible. However, I promised you warm cockles so there was a happy ending.

Dion's life has been greatly affected by this little dog. He carried a lot of the hurt and distrust from his early years.  Gobi and the many people she inspired softened or removed that distrust.

Gobi's tale introduced him to some amazingly kind and caring people who eagerly jumped in to help a total stranger and his small dog financially, emotionally and physically. Reading that was just what these ole cockles needed in our tense world.

The sweet article about Gobi  you can find at this site along with some adorable pictures.

Hope this story lights a warm glow in your cockles.

The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude. --Robert Brault