Friday, March 18, 2011

2:30 AM!!!

Well, now I have done it.  It is 2:30 am and I am wide awake, here in my shop office drinking coffee.
I have strange sleeping habits I admit.  I go to bed when I am tired, haven't yet learned that napping ability.
My wife works graveyard shift from 3:30 pm until midnight so she is not here to entertain me or keep me awake with chatter.  Television puts me right to sleep and my body says if that is where I want to be I might as well go to bed!  Last night that was 6 pm!  Then at 2 am there was a gentle knock on the door!
     "Jerry, I can't find the dog!"
     "Tuxedo" is actually my daughter's dog.  So I will tell you that story.
Jane and I were married for over fourteen years before we decided to have children.  Getting married was one thing and having a family and a ton of responsibilities was something else entirely.  I had school to finish, a house to build, things to do.  We met by accident on a train in Italy and really only knew each other for three weeks before we got married.  Well, this was the sixties, that should explain it all.  We had discovering to do, more travel, more adventure, more getting to know each other before we wanted children.  Then there was the other problem.
     The flight from London to Portland, Oregon is about 16 hours and Jane sat cross legged the whole way.
She was stiff and sore upon arrival but otherwise okay and we were pretty excited to see each other after three months of letter writing and only one phone call.  A week later we were married!  No immigration hassle and paper work in those days.  A week later she was in the hospital and almost died.
     That deserves a chapter in itself and I will tell it later.  $2,500 later (think $25,000 in today's money!)
with no insurance of course, she was safe and out of the hospital.  No one knew anything in those days and we were just married, right?  So she gets on "the birth control" and a week later she is back in the hospital
with more blood clots!  Again, inches from death.
    So, having a baby fourteen years later was a huge decision, not really the fun of saying "okay, let's do it."
There were huge risks involved.  She had to, "administer" would be the word, heparin twice a day because
warfarin taken by pill would affect the baby.  These are shots injected in the stomach area twice a day which she did herself for the entire pregnancy.  She was black and blue all around the mid section, looking like I might have beat her up!  "Maybe this will work," the doctor said, "there is some risk and it may affect the baby".
     All during this time I did what I do, I built things.  My mind of course is racing, what if this and what if that?  I built a changing table.  I built a rocking horse.  I built a bed and a storage box for toys. I built a set of alphabet blocks all the letters from exotic hardwoods inlayed onto oak blocks.
    Nine months later, "Jennifer" arrives, healthy, ten fingers and ten toes and I am the proudest, happiest dad in the world!  It is funny, having children.  My daughter is certainly her own person but I can see her mother in her and maybe a little too much of me!  As she grew older she developed my wanderlust, my sense of adventure. an urge to travel, always after that expanded horizon.  A genetic curiosity to discover what is on the other side?  This comes with an aversion to being tied down.  My daughter, the traveller and she did it more and bigger and better than I ever did.
    Europe several times, teaching for over a year there somewhere, and she was in Africa in the Peace Corps.  She would do what I did, come home and work for a year, save her money and take off!
    About four years ago she realized that this was going to be a continuing life style unless she could find something to hold her down.  That is when she found "Tuxedo", three months old, a mix breed dog.
He looks ferocious but he isn't.  He is a mix of Pit bull, Rottweiler and Mastiff and now at 128 pounds he is a big boy!  For now Jennifer is in Texas (another chapter to be told later!) and "Tuxedo", so named because of a white single spot on the chest of this otherwise black dog, is in my care.  And now he was missing!
    My yard is fenced and cross fenced, all ornamental iron work, both beautiful and meant to contain my daughter's dog and keep out the uninvited.  Somehow he jumped the damn fence!  How in the heck did he do that?  What excitement goes through a dog's mind?
    So I am up now and I found him quickly, tail wagging and the most thrilling expression on his face!  He had his own adventure!  I will be discussing this with him when it gets light.  We will walk the fence line together, dog and man, talking about "things",  the dangers of the real world, the need for adventure.  We will talk about poetry and love and the necessity of boundaries.  I will explain to him the best that I can, that responsibilities are also valuable.  He is a good dog and will listen intently, looking deep into my eyes, but he can't stop wagging his tail.
My Other Blog is HERE!


Barbra Joan said...

so ok Good Morning , Jerry, here I am reading your wonderful tale,, the Jane part I've read some before and it is indeed an adventure you shared..
I'm so glad you found Tuxedo, remember my episode with Jake? Well, like you told me then he had his 'adventure' I sure hope he doesn't do that again... There's danger out there for animals who wander.

rama said...

It was a real pleasure reading your blog today. Such a naughty, yet lovable dog. Do tell us more about your wife, and don't after little bits and pieces of information, tell the whole story.
Have a very good morning and a very good day.

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

I am often awake and that time of the day/night but not worrying about a dog. But, there is always something.
Have a great day and weekend. Make something!

Constance Stanza Extravaganza Extraordinaire said...

Maybe some of us never really "grew up" and out of the Sixties Jerry. Threw caution to the winds and flew away with nothing but a man she loved so deeply and passionately, yet had known for only three months across three continents and a mighty ocean to be happy.

Tuxedo is another Free Spirit :-)

Anonymous said...
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Clipped Wings said...

A joy to read your post today, Jerry.

AutumnLeaves said...

My gosh Jer...I've loved this post, stem to stern.