Out the back door Mama sits, wedged around some summer table we’ve scavenged, complete with sun faded, once white, plastic chairs and our three dogs sifting around her feet for crumbs.
Most mornings, she and Sweet Lorene arrive here at our house on Dogwood street to run the dogs, fold towels and put away things left behind.
These Old Girls have been friends 30 years; taken bus trips and had adventures, stayed up nights in hospitals and buried husbands, watched the day break together over coffee a world changing around them like an incoming tide.
But today, after wearing the dogs down, Lorene’s off to the beauty parlor for her monthly tune up while Mama’s left behind, alone, speaking softly to the dogs.
She’s gotten news from back East, her elder sister has passed away, slipped away after a fall and a short stay in the home. Can’t say it wasn’t unexpected, age, intermittent communication and half a lifetime apart piled distance upon distance.
Still, blood speaks to blood and they say you still feel the limb you lose.
It looks like spring though, soon, even the frozen North Dakota tundra will thaw, fields will flower and the time slowly move away.
Out back, Mama sits at her table feeding bits of cookie to the dogs; hair snow white and bristly as desert sage, to the Dexter Dog curled by her feet, she gently whispers, “dumb dog” and he looks up to the words, only devotion in his eyes.
Barb believes each parting could be the last, whether just a trip to the store or down a road less journey.
I can’t imagine, although of course it is always true, always there.
In any event, here’s to all that have gone before us, each moment precious, may they light the way for us, those left behind, keeping hands busy.
Enjoy the day, hug the ones you love,
George & Barb
Barb has broken her wrist which has precluded our involvement in the Steamboat Inn dinner this Friday, March 8.
We sincerely apologize to our friends who were going to join us there! It is still worth the trip, such a beautiful spot!
SPECIAL MENU ITEMS FOR THE WEEK
Available only as individual plated entrees.
Includes choice of soup or salad with bread and dessert.
Pan Seared wild steelhead fillet with preserved lemon 13.50
Wild river fish from the Quinalt tribe
Succulent Roast pork with apple pear chutney 13.50
A bit of brown sauce and mashed potatoes.
Cedar planked baked salmon 13.50
We dip this in our maple brine, sear it in a pan, then plank it and oven bake. Finished with a bit of lemon caper beurre blanc.
Cajun breast of chicken with tomato ragout 12.50
Pan-fried with roast potatoes and vegetables.