It's was officially four months yesterday. Yep, four months as residents of Wisconsin's state capital. It has been an adventurous ride. The fact that we sold our house in Appleton in six days and moved here without incident is nothing short of a miracle and we know it. We really do feel blessed. We have had lots of terrific company visit us. Family and friends and friends who are family. We have explored many exciting places in Madison and will continue to. The farmer's market is truly an awakening of my food senses. And on that note---I've started cooking a lot more. Partly because I'm 44 and want to eat better so that I can be healthier. I must say something must be working, at least a little, because I had to buy a belt yesterday. But the main reason for cooking more is to have a great time with my family each night. We sit down, we eat and we share our day's happenings with each other. That kind of nourishment does not come in a can.
Some other happenings in the past four months are that we found a great church. We felt at home there from the start. The new friends we are making are terrific. We are burrowing into our new surroundings. We have routines again. Certain things on certain days. You know how it rolls. I'm learning short cuts around town and what time to avoid the belt line. That traffic is not for the faint of heart. I'm glad it's an option for us. But for some it's an every day thing. Twice a day.
We all had our first birthdays here away from the familiar. For some it was just another day and for others it was both happy and sad. We did well though. And that brings me to a wonderful birthday. Chester had his 17th birthday on August 1. What a great guy. Such a faithful, funny dog. His hips were certainly causing him some trouble, but he was doing very well on all other accounts. Chester made this transition to Madison with us. And he made it easier. Especially for Gracie. Chester was HER dog. They cuddled every morning. She loved to touch the edges of his ears. And he would let her do it. So soft, she would say. We had steps in this house and that was a challenge for Chester. But we made do. He was so laid back and just took every day as it came.
Last week things changed. On Thursday Chester collapsed in our living room. We took him to an animal hospital. They said he had low blood pressure and needed fluids. They would like to keep him overnight. We all came through the back door of our house missing our boy. We got a call from the vet and she said he was perking up and she'd call in the morning. In the morning the same news and that I could pick him up. I was so glad. But something changed in the meantime. They did an ultrasound and found a bleeding mass in his belly. He was 17 years and 2 months old at this time. The chances of him surviving any procedures were slim and even then recovery may not happen. We gathered the family and all were with him in the end. We all held him and talked to him and petted him. Such sadness. We miss him terribly.
On the other hand I want to say such gladness. Chester was with us through all of our huge changes this year. When Winston died Chester started sleeping on Winston's bed and never went back to his own. I think it was his way of staying connected to Winston. And it made missing him more bearable. Chester was always happy to be with us. Whether it was in Appleton, at the cottage, at Howard Johnson's, where Scott lived until we moved down to Madison, or in our new house. If he was with his people, he was happy. I believe that Chester hung on to see us through some of these times of change. I think he held on for Gracie and needed to see her happy and playing with friends. And that's exactly what she was doing on Thursday.
In four months a lot has changed. Mostly for the better. We miss Chester and we thank him for loving us.
©2010 Ann M. De Broux