jayellebee's Blog

March 21, 2011


Filed under: Musings — Joanne @ 2:39 pm

      If God wanted people to fly, She would’ve given us wings, or at least pin feathers and pigeon toes.  When there are no other options, I fly.  But only in the company of a loved one who allows me to squeeze his/her hand very tightly during take offs and landings.   Even with that level of support, tears escaping my eyes  ricochet off the seat (placed in the upright position) in front of me as I am catapulted down the runway, gathering speed.   Sometime later, I instinctively bear down on the floor of the passenger compartment during those first  e-l-o-n-g-a-t-e-d  moments after touch-down, trying to single-footedly halt the speeding fuselage’s forward motion.  In between the terrifying starts and stops, I bury myself in reading material in an attempt to forget where I am and avoid use of the dreaded vomit bag. 

     A few days ago I put aside a lifetime of legitimate fear.  I willing paid good money, endured lengthy TSA lines, made do with a miniscule bag of peanuts for lunch, and flew solo to Seattle.   Why?

     I’ve come to the great northwest to spend quality time with my grand-dog, Meike (pronounced MY-kuh).  Seems her people, my son and his girlfriend, needed to spend a long weekend in Chicago attending the opening of an art exhibit.  No, they’re not aficionados of great art, but this was not just any old art exhibit, either.  The girlfriend’s younger sister is an art student and this was her first ever showing.  Their whole family met in The Windy City to support and celebrate the impressive milestone.  Parents, grandparents, cousins, sisters . . . .  What a great family!  How could I say no?

     Meike spotted my son and me walking through the SEA-TAC parking garage toward her car and greeted us with enthusiasm.  This canine bundle of energy really knows how to make a person feel appreciated.  She sat in my lap on the drive home, holding the plush green frog I’d brought in her mouth.  We cuddled after dinner on the sofa and slept together that night.  Not until the next morning when her people left, closing the front door behind them, did she give me “the look.”

     “Why are you still here?” Meike’s eyes asked. 

     “Want to go for a walk?” I countered.

     “Let’s walk.  Let’s walk now!”  her tail answered.

     We dressed for the cool weather – I in my layers, she in her burgandy collar – and hit the streets.  Like good grandmothers the world over, I arrived with goodies for my little girl.  On our first outing, Meike finished off a pocket-full of dried liver snacks before we reached the first corner.  After another four or five blocks, she reconciled herself to my pocket being empty and led me on a brisk tour of the neighborhood north of her house.   Several miles and an hour later we dried four muddy paws and  Meike went back to bed for her morning nap. 

     The girl  brought me her new froggie when she awoke.  The cute little toy chirped “ribbit-ribbit-ribbit” when she bit down in just the right place.  We played tug-of-war and catch to simulated amphibian accompaniment.  However, when the games ended, the ribbits did not.  I tried to ignore the annoying noise for ten minutes before tossing the frog into the backyard.  After another ten minutes, the battery was still going strong.  My patience was not.  I went in search of my son’s hammer.  Let’s just say the frog used to ribbit, then it croaked, now it rattles.  Some grandmother I am.

     Meike is a little too smart for my own good.  She quickly came to understand my empty treat pocket got refilled before each walk.   Now the little sweetheart thinks she should be walked every couple of hours.   There’s a terrific open space area called Boeing Park about three-quarters of a mile away.  I’ve taken Meike there each afternoon.  We play fetch and explore the many paths, some of which parallel churning creeks at the bottom of fern covered cliffs.  Yesterday, we followed a new trail winding up a steep hillside.  Looking down into the gully we’d left below, I saw so many fallen hemlock and fir trees it was easy to imagine a giant had tired of playing pick-up-sticks and left the abandoned logs all helter-skelter.  My son’s warning not to visit the park on a windy day or risk “being brained” suddenly made sense.  Today was windy.  Not wanting to be mistaken for Dorothy’s brainless scarecrow, I let Meike take me down a different yellow brick road.

     I’m staying up late as the weary travelers will be home soon.  Meike doesn’t know.  She’ll be so surprised and happy to see them.   I’ll probably lose my roommate tonight.  Tomorrow, we’ll both enjoy her people, then it will be time for me to leave.  This probably isn’t the way most visitors spend their time in Seattle, but Meike’s house isn’t on the tourist maps. 

     I’ve set out a fresh pair of shoes to help bring my plane to a safe stop when it gets back to California.



  1. Hi Joanne, I really enjoy your writing. This one was particularly special because it involved a dog :^). Who doesn’t LOVE a dog story. Thanks for sharing about your grand-dog.

    Comment by Chris Pedersen — March 21, 2011 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  2. Charming! I am full of smiles and chuckles. I imagine Meike will miss you enormously. What a wonderful grandmother you are!

    Comment by Jean G — March 21, 2011 @ 7:00 pm | Reply

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