With her flirtatious spirit, summer is nearly here, and the dog and I trot up the hills–pacing with matching breaths. I wait for her to catch up with me–her old limbs slowly bending in the direction of our journey. She is cautious but she is carefree. She looks to her right and to her left, stops to sniff the grass, then uses every thistle as her personal licking buddy. I know not of what she’ll find. I stand patiently waiting for her to join me once again.
The sun hasn’t fully awakened–its eyes not yet focused on our backs, so we walk toward the wind. I smile at my neighbors, nod a “Hello,” and gently pull Jernee closer to me. I take no chances. Some people love to approach dog owners, and usually, I am okay with company but the pandemic’s ongoing stay has me even more skeptical of allowing space. We circle the block, breathe in and breathe out, and welcome our home away from home. We finally made it.
a long morning walk with my old girl by my side escaping summer
Rufus was the town postman—employed for thirty-six years before he had a heart attack on his route during a blazing hot summer.
Died on the spot.
His manager, Paul Scheltz, had to identify the body, call his wife, and drive the mail truck back to the distribution center. EMS wasted no time hauling his bloated body to the local hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead.
All their potential life-saving efforts stood before them laughing—making fun of the ten minutes they had pumped the man’s chest. He was deader than dead, and there was nothing they could do about it.
Sylvia arrived at the hospital. Her heart weighed a ton. They’d just taken out a second mortgage, and their youngest was about to enter college. All these thoughts raced through her head as she stared at her dead husband—body as stiff as a board.
They buried him underneath the Jane Magnolia tree in their backyard four days later. No other family was there other than her and their three children. No friends except for Paul and his wife. Sylvia sang, “The Old Rugged Cross” while tears waterfall’d upon her face.
“May he rest in peace,” she said afterward.
May he rest in peace.
— This is in response to a challenge request from fellow Simily contributor Rod Gilley where he challenged me by stating the following on my previous post: “I challenge you to write a Flash Fiction (1,000 words or less) on the subject of that tree (any genre). That is a beautiful tree – eager to see what your imagination can come up with for a story about it.”
The dog and I walk our path just as we do each morning–the gift of sun and a slight breeze await us. We breathe in the fresh air and breathe out the peace of another day beginning. In this part of the South, Spring greets us just as she should, but she has on her wings a thick strip of pollen to sprinkle everywhere as she sashays by.
I am an allergy sufferer–one of 50 million in the United States. The culprits? Pollen and shellfish (when not eaten in moderation). As much as I love to feel the sun’s rays beam down on my skin, during the spring months, I suffer the worst. The dog–also not too keen on pollen, does her share of sneezing and coughing. While I take a Claritin-D every morning, I also do nasal spray, and eye drops, and I sometimes have to take two Benadryl at night if the pollen count has been extremely high during that day.
I’m no stranger to Spring’s many gifts and I appreciate life awakening from the dead when she comes around. She lends us the beauty of sunny and longer days, the peace that can be found in birdsong, the cheerful laughter of children’s voices, beautiful blooms on trees and bushes, and wearing less clothing because of warmer temperatures.
But she can be vindictive, too.
It comes at a high cost when you’re an allergy sufferer. Spring can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I try to find the beauty in her without slashing away at her for the many days I struggle to breathe. I try to focus on the positive rather than the negative. I love the newness that surrounds me when she makes an entrance.
At least I know, I’ll garner more photos to look back on when I need a quick pick-me-up.
Spring–dawn’s gift to us comes at a high cost sometimes yet we welcome her.