2011 November 10
When Raymond and I were first together, we wanted a dog. A puppy actually. We were completely ignorant of some many factors at that time, that we got our dog from folks who had an ad in the Pennysaver, a "free to good home" ad. When I called to inquire about the puppies, I apparently offended the gentleman who placed the ad by asking if there were still puppies available. He responded to my question by telling me, "These ain't no mutts!" Seems his AKC registered Lab had managed to mate with the AKC registered Springer Spaniel next door. The result was a litter of puppies of which he was attempting to rid himself. He said that we were "in luck" because there was one that a woman had returned because her husband didn't want it. With stars in our eyes, a song in our hearts ("Me and You and a Dog Named Boo") we headed off to suburbia to check out the puppy. The story in a nutshell, was that the puppy crawled up into my lap and licked my face. Needless to say, we took home a puppy that night.
We named her Blue. It was the only name we could agree on. So, our song became, "Me and You and a Dog Named Blue" We were in our very early 30s and loved traveling when we could and camping in our little backpacking tent and sometimes in our sad and pathetic Ford Pinto. Blue was our constant companion. She was our sentry when we camped. She would spend long nighttime hours staring out the screened tent flap. She spent time in NC at both the beach and the mountains, as well as in TN, VA, PA, NY, VT, NH, MA, MD, and WV. We often joked that Blue was more well traveled than most of the people in my family. Even after we added Jake, the yellow Lab mix to our family, we still traveled and camped when we could.
Then "real life" began to interfere. We both worked jobs we disliked. We faced the burden of infertility and the death of the idea of "parenting". We bought a house I never wanted, which was always too much house for us. The neighborhood we lived in began to decline. We dealt with family emergencies, aging parents and family atrophy that we didn't understand.
There were good times, too.
We discovered that you could rent a house to vacation in and if there were beds, friends and/or family would come along. Our wanderlust became funneled into two trips to NC most years, one in the February and one in the fall. Raymond still had a job he disliked and in addition, he worked nights, which meant working from 11PM to 8 AM. I was more fortunate, I found a series of jobs as a nanny, which gave me somewhere to put all my maternal leanings. And In between I also worked part time as a veterinary assistant and discovered I had a gift of empathy. We added and lost dogs and a cat to our family. We never had more than three dogs at a time, but that seemed to be a magic number for us.
Fast forward to now. I awoke from what seemed to be a very long dream about 3AM. The dream had much to do with our first dog, Blue. When I awoke, I spent some time reviewing the dream, as I knew it was important and I didn't want to miss any insights. Since I had no paper and pencil at my bedside to chronicle the dream, I knew I had to do my best to review, evaluate and remember before allowing myself to go back to sleep. (And I am placing a notebook and pen at the bedside today!)
I won't bore you with all the details of the dream. Instead I will tell you what the dream showed me. "Me and You and a Dog Named Blue" became lost. After many false starts and jarring stops and inadequate direction, we are finding our way back to who we were. Gypsies, Old Hippies, 'fly-by-the -seat-of-our-pants' travelers, free spirits - this is who we once were. The dream showed me a part of us that I had nearly forgotten about. It was profound. It eased the jitters that I have been having about getting on the road. It reminded me of the who and what we were and can be again. Wherever the dream came from, I am grateful for it. I am grateful to recognize through whatever means, that we are who we are, regardless of whom we've tried to be over that past 30 years. And with that realization comes a sense of relief and calm.
We have been very blessed, I freely admit that. Because of the when and where of our lives, we now as retired folks, have a good pension that will allow us to pick up where we left off nearly 30 years ago. But because of what we've been doing for the past 30 years, we get to upgrade from a tent and a Pinto to a motor home. We will travel the highways and byways until we get our fill. Raymond, me and a dog named Grey. It might not be as easily sung as the Blue song, but it is who we are and we celebrate that!