Monday, May 31, 2010


I know it isn't the first official day of summer, but Memorial Day always feels like the start. I alternately dread and look forward to summer for various reasons. In the past, I dreaded it because I had being too hot. Being 100+ pounds overweight was not conducive to being comfortable in weather in the upper 90's. In the northwest, it wasn't so bad because the upper 90's were the exception but here in Colorado, it's the rule for most of July and August and frequently September as well. And don't tell me "It's a dry heat" - once you pass about 85 that doesn't make a difference in my book.

Last summer after my by-pass surgery, I had the best summer since I've lived in Colorado. Granted, it was an unusually cool rainy summer, we still our share of 90-ish days. Being 75 pounds thinner made a huge (pun not intended) difference in my comfort level.

Regardless of the weather, I love the pace of summer. When I was in college, I always took classes in the summer. I loved the laid-back pace of the classes and the short terms (anywhere from two-eight weeks instead of the usual nine week quarters). My favorite summer class was an intensive French class that went for six hours a day for four weeks. I think I got 12 credits for that class and then still had about eight weeks of summer vacation before fall classes started again.

Now that I'm part of the workaday world, I still love the slower pace. I've worked as a salesperson or in sales operations in technology companies for most of my career. Summer quarter (July through September) is usually slow for the first two months from a sales perspective so it's a great time to work your day and then go home and enjoy the long sunlit evenings.

This is where I need to pause and mention how much I miss twilight. Because of our proximity to the mountains here in Boulder County, we don't have a twilight. Once the sun starts to dip behind the mountains, it goes from being day to night in what seems like minutes. When I lived in the Fourth Corner (NW Washington State), the days lingered for seeming hours. The sun would sink down below the horizon but the light would linger, giving us the illusion of day pausing to recollect the preceding events before giving away to the night.

I'm fortunate that I have a job that allows me to work from any location, so this year have decided to spend the summer in the Blaine Washington area in order to spend some time with my parents, my sister and attend a wedding in Oregon in August.

I'm really looking forward to the change of pace and seeing my family. However, I'm not sure what I will do without my daily hugs and kisses from Lucille. She is growing so fast and changing every day and I'm loathe to miss it. Thank goodness for cell phones and digital pictures across the internet. I will miss her every day.

I'm dreading this summer less than most and looking forward to it more than most. About the time I am ready for change it will be fall and I will regret any time I spent dreading the season. While I know that I won't be able to stop missing Lucille and her parents, I hope I can embrace the days and twilights I will have while in the northwest.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost Cow Here

In the mid -90's, I lived in the farm town of Snohomish, Washington on Lord's Hill outside of town in a small farm house. I loved living in a small town and hope to live in a town like that again. One of my fondest memories of my time in that town was driving home from work one evening and seeing a 12 or 13 year old kid along side the road with a cow tied to a rope and a sign penned on a piece of cardboard. He obligingly held up the sign he had made when I drove by so I could read it's message: "Lost Cow Here".

My dog, Chewbacca also known as Chewy, disappeared sometime on Sunday night. We are not sure how he got out of the yard yet, but did patch several possible escape routes. We are suspicious that perhaps a neighbor opened the gate for him. I have a couple of neighbors that would not be above doing that (my neighbors are a post all to themselves).

We searched the neighborhood on foot and by car and didn't fin
d him. I checked the Humane Society to see if he had been picked up, we checked 9th Avenue (which is a fairly busy street) to make sure there weren't labradoodle remnants (egad!) anywhere. At about noon, I got the call from the company that makes the locator chip installed in Chewy's back. They had a call from someone that had found him. She had the presence of mind to take him to a vet to be scanned and was able to get the Pet Link contact information who then in turn contacted me with his location. He was only about 4 blocks away.

I am completely sold on the microchip technology for pets. I thought it was a great idea before, but probably wouldn't have invested in it if the Denver Dumb Friends League hadn't provided it as part of the adoption fees. I plan to have a chip put in my other dog, Snoopy's shoulder before leaving to spend the summer in Washington state (alas, not Snohomish). We will be staying at my sister's home in Blaine Washington. Their five-acre lot is not fenced. While Snoopy stays close to home in general, I think I will take this step to protect him just in case. It's a quiet area with minimal traffic, but I will feel much better if I know that Snoopy can be easily identified should something happen to

While the effectiveness of "Lost Cow Here" signs may work great for livestock (although I have no idea if the lost cow ever found his way home like Little Bo Peep's sheep), I like knowing that my pets can be identified and I can be notified that they are found no matter what the circumstances are.