When I’m at my mom’s for a week, that’s enough time for me to settle in and for good things to happen. These were three:
1. On Roxie’s morning and evening walks, we often saw deer. Most of the time, they saw us first and bolted into the woods, leaving a bobbing white tail in our sight. But one time, when Roxie and I had just gotten to the point that’s as far as I like to walk in the dark, I looked up from Roxie to see a deer watching us. She was sitting in the grass, legs tucked beneath her. We watched each other for a good minute before Roxie flinched and the doe bolted.
2. I was worried about negative comparisons to Leda, but Roxie did great. When Roxie first saw my mom, she went right to her, tail wagging. My mom reached her mottled hand down and patted Roxie’s side (imagine someone trying to pet a dog without touching it). For the whole week, Roxie didn’t bark, whine, or fuss. She also did well in the hotel, not even barking at dogs who barked at her. Roxie’s a good little traveler.
3. When Mom moved into Meadow Lakes, there were twelve Bettys. Now there are five. They all have a nickname. “John’s Betty” is still John’s Betty, even though John has passed away. The most energetic of the Bettys is the appropriately nicknamed “Betty Boop.”
Betty Boop is my biggest fan. I made the large print version of Sweet Baby Lover for Betty. The next time we crossed paths after she had read it, she flagged me down and made me sit with her on a bench. “I know a real author!” she exclaimed. Her hand clutched mine, and she grinned. “A real author.”
Because her health is declining, Betty initiated a move out of her large independent living apartment and into assisted living. I visited Betty in her new room, filled with what she had kept, her twin bed holding court in the center.
Betty said she was tired, and I suggested she lie down. I thought she would get under the covers, but she lay on top of the bed. She said she was cold. There was a pink blanket in her closet and I laid it over her. Then I did something someone had done for me. I tucked in the blanket along the length of her legs and under her feet.
She smiled. “This is so cozy.” It made me happy to make Betty happy.
Chewing the Cud of Good
Thankful for Roxie learning to relax with people…
…and in hotels.