Sunday, April 08, 2007

central park

I made a deal with K: we would finish the kitchen (utterly and completely... well... except for the sealer K's mom suggested we use for the red, which shows scuffs readily) when he deemed it done, but I wanted to go for a jaunt with him and the dogs. Spring is creeping up (note the color: green! where have you been?), and I've been a hermit much of this spring break. I think I needed to be a lump for a while--to recover from the weeks known as "the death march" (that beloved time between winter and spring break) and all events occurring therein.

We only made it to Central Park (check out this map of Red Wing parks), meeting many neighborhood dogs on the way. Ever seen a goldendoodle?

This one is named Toby (we're pretty sure) and he's apparently due for a grooming, though we wouldn't notice. He reminds me of a sheepdog--his fur clumpy, the matty tendrils poofy beneath my fingertips. K told me when Penelope was younger (and Toby was too), they met on a walk, and Toby immediately plopped down in a submissive position. Go Pen! Too bad she's completely indifferent to that power hierarchy.

Green is taking its time arriving, but it's only early April, and I'm grateful for anything we can get. I was looking at the backlog of our pictures--reminiscing about Penelope's early days, marveling at what a little fuzzball she was, now that we're reaching her first birthday--and I began to miss the green landscape as much as Penny being a puppy!

The trees are tentatively budding and the bulbs beginning to peak from the dull ground. Everything is dull--the earth, the garden, the bare branches, the routine. I told K we should take these walks much more regularly (as a foursome; the walks take place daily, often twice daily but without one or the other human); our lives get so hectic and we get so tired that the sofa cushions take hold, the book is too interesting, the email too good, just after this show, please, I don't want to go any more... And sometimes we get so tired we get quiet, but when we're walking, the scenery is constantly changing, and somehow we can say whatever is on our mind without feeling like morons. Maybe it's the fresh air! Everything too still, too stale indoors.

K loves to hoist Penelope onto his shoulders, brawny man that he is.

And I have to point out how devoted the dogs are to him. Look at how Zephyr leans his head... They are thrilled at the idea of his coming home. The motion light will pop on after a passing car, and they'll leap to their feet, pacing in confusion, thrilled until the moment passes, and he doesn't come clomping in the door, heavy laptop bag knocking him off kilter, his familiar tone in his voice saying, "Heeeey puppies!", a rising lilt at "pup." Everyone is happy that K is home; sometimes I have to wiggle in there for attention too.

It reminds me of the snippet from the play Sylvia we saw at the One Act competition (we being me and the director and the kids). It's about a man and his dog and his jealous wife. The man falls in love with the dog (played by a person in an incredibly unique and hilarious way--costumes are great, and the words come out in dog-cadence--"HEY! Hey-hey-hey-hey-HEY! Hey you cat!"). The wife must compete for the dog's affections, often being set aside for the dog's needs. Of course, in this play, the wife only has to compete with one dog. Here, I have two.

But I've loved both from the first. I even missed them last night, which is ridiculous!

It was nice to sit in the sun, brush our fingers on the stubbly grass poking up, watch three boys shouting, playing with a football, tumbling in the sprawling lawn. The sun was still up, lingering, we were safe until seven at least, still kept vaguely warm.

Sunday night, usually such a sad time with the work week just ahead of us. Sunday night and we've seen the slight turn of season, of the earth, of our evenings.

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