Cheese is Love

Its been two years. Time to check in. Can I sum up the difference between who I am now and who I was when I last wrote? Maybe I could say I am no different than I was, but there is less of an “I” at all. I feel more connected. It might have something to do with this guy:

 

I saw Rocky online, scrawny, shaved, and described as a “love bug.” I drove in a blizzard to Long Island to the shelter, whose website was backed by the Roberta Flack’s “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” on loop.  I arrived and met Rocky, who promptly nipped me. They instructed me to give him water and he drank and drank from a small bowl I refilled wedged in passenger seat. I took him home on the ferry and we split a sub.  That was our first date.

Rocket, the Rockstar, Rocco, Rockland, and I have been together for two years now. Liz told me, sometimes animals come into you life for a reason, and she was right. He was a biter, a yelper, a suffer of crippling separation anxiety, and a produces of smells from every orifice of his body (mouth? ears? eyes?) that suggested his mother may have mated with a skunk. A reluctant athlete, a voracious eater, and a general malcontent, Rocky showed me how to love.

Those first few months, I’d take Rocky on five mile runs or mountain hikes, doubling back so he could catch up at he padded along, mouth open, eyes wide. I took him on the trail and he followed me until he gave out and retired to his perch in my pack, taking the views from over my shoulder. Camping, He would stretch out his leash line as far as it would go and yelp in my direction until I returned.

Knowing Rocky as I do now, that he prefers an 80:20 ratio of slumber to consciousness, detests the cold, and prefers to be carried or lifted rather than leave the ground under his own force, I marvel that he tolerated all that exertion. I have to think it was not out of joy for the experience, but a recognition that we needed each other, or at least I was the one with the cheese. And cheese is love.

I suppose the reverse was true. I got Rocky because I selfishly needed someone and I got Rocky. I couldn’t get rid of him, thank goodness.

Its been two years since then and if I can describe the overall experience of that time, it would be one of love, creativity, gratitude. It isn’t the exploration I thought I’d take, traveling through a canyon or out to sea, but as far a new territory is concerned, it is an adventure just the same.

 

 

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Sojourner in civilized life again

So, now that I am not studying I spend the last week: hiking, watching old-time baseball, bike riding, exploring local woods, movie night with papa, and scouting for the winter project: skin-on-frame kayak building with my favorite step-father!

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Sunrise and a jar of tea

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Crawford Notch

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Mom and me on Mt. Webster

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View from Mt. Jackson

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Alpine Bird

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Old-Time Baseball. The guy with the beard is the umpire!

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Happy Pig

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Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

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Environmental Impact Statement

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September 23, 2013 · 10:01 pm

Autumnal Equinox

Another lovely weekend. This is the last one before my big BCBA test next week, so I stay close to home. Really, I can’t think of a nicer place to be anyway. Saturday went to the library and got a big stack of sailing books then went to Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, located on the shore of the Merrimac River. I had spotted the shop on a bike ride several weeks ago and noticed the inviting “come row” sign on the fence and some wooden dories bobbing in the water below the shop. The same week I found an acknowledgement to the folks at Lowell’s in the back of the book I was finishing about dories in the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.

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I lucked out and made it to their open house this week where I learned that Lowell’s is the oldest continually run boat shop in the country and that seven generations of boat makers worked there! It is still a working boat shop, where you can smell the wood, see the years of wear on the floors and stairs, and feel the breeze coming through the rows of windows off the Merrimac. The familiar “shop” details were present: sawdust covered coffee maker, templates handing from the walls, years of built-up paint drips casting patterns on the floor. They have classes in rowing and boat building! Thinking of joining and taking a dory building class in the spring in preparation for getting out on the water next year…

Also visited lovely Maudsley Park where they had their fall art walk.

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And, of course, went for a swim in the creek (perfect mid-day high tide). Saw a man with an English accent and a dog both days! I think the pup enjoyed the water as much as I did. Very high tide! The man said that two days after the full moon is the highest, called “spring tide.”

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“hipstamatic” quality courtesy of extra sunshine

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The big green field

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Happiness

 

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More happiness

 

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To remember in the depths of winter : )

 

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Essex

Explored along rt. 133 today. First Stop: Stavros Reservation.  Included a delightful map detailing the 600 foot trail with 10 foot elevation contour line.Image

After taking in the view, we drove on to Cogswell Grant. I had taken a nice marsh walk around that area a few years ago and we went looking for the trail. Inevitably, we found ourselves again traversing marshlands face to face with tidal channels.

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Was there suppose to be a trail?

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Can you spot our crab friend?

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Prickly Cucumber

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Milkweed

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By Sea

Bryan joined me for a lovely sunset swim in the creek. 

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I think I am about to embark on an aquatic journey of discovery (that may include a winter spent in training at the YWCA). Swimming? kayaking? Sailing lessons? Rafting? Visiting the dory boat shop? Sail kayaking? Yes! It exists. Put it next to mountain waterfall snorkeling.

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Folly Cove

Had a beautiful end-of-season swim in Gloucester this weekend and got to test the water seal on the camera. 

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