Today I am thankful for trees with leaves on them, and for the fact I live on a hill, which means I cannot be seen from the road. All of this thankfulness stems from the fact that my dogs needed to go out this morning…in the rain, and the cold. I, groggy with sleep, leashed them up in my nightgown, and my husbands too-big-for-me slippers. They were the closest shoes I could find in my half-open eyed state. I stepped into the garage and realized it was pouring. No umbrella to be found, I grabbed a coat from the closet near the door that looks like it threw up coats of all shapes and sizes. It was not a rain coat. It had no hood. I held it over my head with one hand, and had the wild and crazy leashes in the other. You can tell this is going to be good can’t you?
Out into the woods we went. It was evident right away that this was a bad idea, when the dogs went in differing directions and wrapped their leashes around my freezing cold legs. I had visions of Knee Replacement II…the sequel. When Bella decides she is going in a direction, she cannot be stopped, so I had to rearrange Rusty with my arm twisted over my head, which of course was covered with a coat. Trying to get the leashes untangled with one hand was quite a trick. Now the too-big shoes come into play. Because while I was trying to go over my head with one leash, I was simultaneously trying to step over the other…this should never be tried in shoes that are two sizes too big…in case you were wondering.
Meanwhile, Rusty decides he is ready to do his business as Bella wants to continue on to Alaska. (Remember it is cold and whenever it is cold Bella runs for the Iditarod.) Now I am being pulled apart, while trying to keep my feet under me, with the coat still over my head….in my nightgown. The wind and rain laugh at me. The dogs are oblivious to my plight. I begin to pray…in earnest, that I will make it back to the house without significant injury. Thankfully Rusty takes his time and it is long enough for the toe of my shoe that is caught on his leash to untangle itself and finish the step over. Now I am straddling one leash, and the other is wrapped around one of my legs about to amputate it and drag it to Nome. Never one to doubt the power of prayer, I cry out to God in a loud voice. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a prayer…but it was a loud voice. Loud enough that Bella stopped for a split second to look back. She had pity on me then and decided to do her business. I managed to step once again over one leash, and untwirl myself from the other. (The untwirl is my signature move. It can be given a higher level of difficulty if it can be completed one-handed, in the rain, with a coat over your head. ) Once untwirlled, we headed back to the house, which seemed a mile away though it was just a few feet.
The trees were clapping at my routine so far, but the wind was doing all within its power to bring me down by trying to blow the flapping coat out of my hand. My nightgown did not help my cause when it blew around the leashes. By this time, there were only seconds left to my safety so I made a bold move and dropped the coat from over my head. I dragged the dogs, using both hands into the garage, but not quick enough to avoid being drenched by the deluge. The resulting chill had me shivering, cussing, and trying to avoid tripping going up the back step into the kitchen. (Yes, I said cussing. That tells you how bad it really was.) Once inside the dogs stared at me with smiling faces as if they had the time of their lives. I, on the other hand, was wide awake, drenched, and freezing…not to mention angry…no going back to bed for me now. Instead I brewed a cup of hot coffee and decided to look for the silver lining…thankfulness for trees and hills.

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