Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Out Like a Lamb/Lions in Winter

It appears that this March will indeed go out "Like a Lamb"...70 or so with sunshine is forecast for today, and things will top out by Friday, Good Friday, at around 80 degrees...things will moderate over Easter Weekend, before the rain is scheduled to return early next week.

My game was cancelled again yesterday due to the wet grounds at New I had no game scheduled until late last night when Eric, the varsity assignor, called from the southwest portion of my area, and asked me to do a game at Benjamin Logan High School. Ben Logan is just east of Bellfountaine on State Route 47, and is a good 60 miles from Celina. A long drive, but I don't mind it....meanwhile oldest son Sam will be passing me on the way to Indian Lake High School, just south and east of Bellfountaine...he will be driving 70 or so miles each way from Columbus, and passing me on the way probably on US Rt. 33.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to go north some 40 miles to Fort Jennings, for a game on the skin infield. Lots of gas to burn, but you do what you do.

Lions in Winter______

With the fog in the morning, Patricia's school and most of the rest ended up be cancelled....the sun came out shortly after those cancellations, and I headed to Coldwater to drop off the Lawn Boy mower for spring service...running late as usual, but we have backups to take care of the early season mowing chores, at home, Anissa's place, and over at Mom's.

With most, but not quite all, of the Spring cleanup work done, I fired up a cigar, drank too many Miller Lites, and got nothing else done for the day. Thinking about nothing in particular I watched the aging Airedale, Reagan, as she chased the ball for awhile, then settled down in the shade, while I smoked Torpedoes and consumed brews.

Looking at Reagan I realized that she will probably be my last Airedale, and most likely my last's been a fun and interesting time, these past 36 years or so. Patricia and I purchased our first Airedale back in 1974, a couple of years before we married...Molly Mop Rag or "Rags" as we called her, was the first and of course among the favorites...the next year we purchased House's Black Max or "Max" as we called him. Max and Rags both lived long lives as far as Airedales. Max made it to 12 years and 8 months, while Reagan passed away after living just a month short of her 12 birthday. They were our constant companions before the kids came along. Camping, fishing, swimming, and even on occasion to Wisconsin on family visits, looking back I'm sure we were nuts and probably drove those we visited nuts as well. Those were good times....over the years "Max" sired well over 150 pups..."Rags" had one litter of 9, and those sold quickly. We have shared our homes with at least 1 Airedale, usually more, and a few mutts, for the past 36 summers.

Reagan is the daughter of our last male Airedale, Jack Drambuie. "Jack" and my college roommate Mick Szabo's dog "Ivy" mated...producing 8 pups which Mick and I each kept 1 female...that one for us was Reagan. She has been a clean, well trained dog, and a good companion. Reagan's only drawbacks have been her allergies, which have cost us a small fortune, and her penchant to bark at anybody that walks by....her way of greeting them I suppose. If she makes it until July 6th, she will reach 12, and that is indeed a long life for the breed.

She will be our last....time, retirement, and the pain of losing them is more than we want to bear one more time. You never know, we could change our minds, but at this point it is not likely. We will grow old as she has, hopefully with grace.

Out to enjoy the sun and warmth....back later>>>>

Photos-Reagan and me, a couple of "Lions in Winter" enjoying the sunshine and warmth of late March yesterday. "Black Max" as a pup in 1976....and Me and "Rags" camping in Michigan back in the summer of 1975.

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