Two weeks ago, I tried to burn my house down. I came home in time to turn off the burner under the hard-boiled eggs. Eight of them had become missiles and hung in pieces from every surface in the kitchen. Four of them turned black in the Teflon pan. When I put the key in the door, my two dogs came barreling out the doggy door. They had endured the beeping smoke alarms and the smoke.
Today, when I returned to the beach house where this happened, my two dogs weren’t having any of it. Daisy kept digging her way out of the front yard fence. I’d put rocks in the hole and then go coax her through the back gate. Five minutes later, she’d dug her way out again.
Then Pepper cowered next to the gate, shaking. Daisy got back into the car while I was tyring to unload my stuff. What the heck? Then I realized the carbon-monoxide alarm was chirping in the bedroom. Time to replace the battery.
I carried the chirping alarm outside and out to the garage.
Two more escapes by Daisy. I’d take another bite of my salad, and the neighbor would be calling again.
“Your little white dog is on the driveway,” she said.
I moved more rocks so Daisy couldn’t dig her way under the side gate and then escape through the front fence.
By 2:45 I decided I needed to get out of the house. I’d already filled the yard waste can and the garbage can, patched a hole five times, chatted with the neighbor, watered all the pots in the front yard, and repaired a broken hose. Time for some fun!
I locked Daisy in the house, but Pepper wouldn’t go inside, so I left her in the yard and barricaded the gate. I backed up the shared driveway and headed downtown. I stopped at my favorite thrift store, spent $4.00 and headed to my 2nd favorite thrift store. I saw a bench that might be partly made from the four bed frames I donated two weeks ago. The maple wood on the seat looked like it was made from the bedrails of my son’s extra-long college bunk bed.
Then I headed to the Goodwill, with memories of the hardboiled eggs haunting me, the same circuit I’d done while my house was filling up with smoke. I found some fun stuff and spent $20.00. You can’t do that at Nordstrom’s, plus you might run into 80 angry thieves, to boot. Angry thieves don’t knock over Goodwill stores.
I came home at 4:00, coaxed one cold dog into the house, and let one warm dog into the yard. As soon as I turned on the larger TV (which I inherited from my daughter when she left for grad school that we just set up last time), the dogs settled into their cozy spots and forgot about their traumatic smoke-alarm memories.
My back hurt from the yardwork. I missed my son’s conversations that we have as as we both go about our day. Sometimes I love it here. Sometimes I wonder why I come down to the ocean.
Today the dogs were telling me they’d rather be somewhere else.
P.S. I went back to take a photo of the bench, and it was gone. A worker was able to send my phone a photo that the store took of it, but you really can’t see the maple seat made out of my son’s bedrails.