10 January 2005

December 22nd, 23rd and Christmas Eve
So nice to be on vacation! These two days we lounged around for the most part. I took very seriously the need to rest and get extra sleep in the first trimester. Ryan and I also had some dental work done while we were there. We shopped for a few hours one day. I spent my time in the mall and Target wisely (or so I thought). We also visited a pet store to pick up a few items which brings up a sad story with a happy ending:

Sadie, the black lab
Mark and Eunice (Ryan’s folks) have had this golden retriever dog for a long time. Trapper was Mark’s buddy. Mark would sit in his chair partially leaning to one side so he could reach down and pet his dog. He even traveled with them when they’d drive back and forth to AZ. Trapper was up in age and had been having occasional seizures. He had one when they were at our house for Thanksgiving. When asked, Ryan informed them (as a veterinarian) that eventually they would have to put Trapper down. They asked when and Ryan said when his quality of life goes South. Well, the day before we left, they had Trapper put down. That Saturday night he had 2 seizures. And the same thing Sunday night. It was more than the occasional seizure and by now Trapper wasn’t getting around well and things like that. So, we got there Tuesday night and Mark seemed depressed but who wouldn’t be after having to do that with their pal?
Ryan and I went to bed that night and the wheels were spinning in my head. Just two weeks before in one of our weekly conversations, Kristine shared with me that she had a lab puppy that she hadn’t sold and I could have since I’ve been wanting a puppy. I ran the idea passed Ryan to see what he thought about giving his dad a puppy for Christmas. Lots of things to consider of course – is it too soon, does she still have the puppy, getting it to AZ, their upcoming vacation, dealing with a puppy and of course, what if he doesn’t want it. The next morning, we ran it passed Eunice. She thought it was too soon and of course wasn’t eager to deal with a puppy. I started making some phone calls and it all worked out perfectly. The puppy was the runt, she’d been a little sick, was pretty thin but was being spoiled. Kristine called her mom who was caring for the puppy. That day was the first day she didn’t have the sniffles. So the adventures of the puppy, now named Sadie, began.
Kristine’s mom, Theresa, made the hour drive down the mountain on Thursday to drop the puppy off with Kristine. Kristine purchased all kinds of stuff for the puppy – a blanket, toys, food, etc. My dad was driving passed Kristine’s on his way to AZ to celebrate Christmas with us in Prescott. Friday morning (Christmas Eve), on his way out of town, Dad picked up the puppy and she traveled with him on the 10 hour drive to Prescott. Once at Mark and Eunice’s, Ryan hid the puppy in the water heater closet until we opened Christmas gifts. Sadie made her grand appearance as the first gift. She stumbled her way through the living room, curious about everything and made her way to Mark where he picked her up and held her. Ryan then shared with his dad that we weren’t trying to replace Trapper, we just thought he would enjoy having a dog around. I think he fell in love with another woman that night (it’s okay Eunice, it’s a different kind of love). Everybody gave and received nice gifts but we were all focused on Markee and his new puppy the rest of the night.

Other tidbits from those few days: I think we brought with us to AZ, the cold weather from home. It froze two nights in a row and got down to about 16 degrees. Christmas Eve while we were running around the house getting the last minute gifts wrapped and Eunice and Ryan were baking, a pipe broke. A pipe for an outside faucet had froze and busted and as it thawed after noon the next day, we saw evidence of the water in the house. There was water sitting on the wood floors in front of the wood stove and had gone down the wall into the new room in the basement. They added on to the basement (it was all open underneath already) for Mark’s dental chair and wine stuff. The water was also puddled in there. So, we all rushed to get the water of the floors and dried up. It made for a busy afternoon that was already quite busy.
One of the other fun things was giving my dad his quilt for Christmas. Jen, my sister, had sent me some squares that she assembled with the directions to finish the quilt. Last February, while in AZ, Eunice helped me pick out the fabric to put the quilt top together. I was quite impressed with it. This summer I had it quilted by a friend here in Elkader and sent it back to AZ. Just before Christmas, Eunice taught me how to put the binding on. She actually did all the binding since she’s a quilting pro and I’m very limited in my quilting/sewing abilities. Dad, the quiet humble one, didn’t say much but you could see that he was grateful. Here’s this quilt that his kids made for him that he can put on his bed. I thought it was pretty special and he did too because a few days later he shared with my mom that he would be putting it away so that someone didn’t walk off with it. I sure hope that he uses it on his bed since that’s what we made it for. It was fun to give him a thoughtful and creative gift – something besides the normal clothes that he gets for Christmas.

More to come, keep checking back. Lots has happened since returning from AZ.

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