During my ever wandering mind, I’ve been doing much gardening these days. However, I do have a landscaper who just put down my mulch and planted a nice line of rhododendron and hydrangeas for me along the driveway. They have pink blossoms and look gorgeous, the kind of blossoms you wish would last all summer. It seems he planted them before we started to get a lot of rain so I am grateful for it. I do have to follow up with watering though if the rain stops. I also planted in the front of my house beneath a bay window a rounded curve of impatiens and they look very lovely. That was my contribution to the project.
When I look out my window and see them, they remind me of the landscaping I had at the original Blyss house where there were many of those kinds of plantings. I miss them, as I do the stately, ponderous pines. There is much that I miss here, but I do have little bits of it scattered around here and there to remind me.
They are also there in great abundance in the Watchung Reservation. I took Jelly for a rather long walk there yesterday, just her and me. It was toward the western section of the forest, into what was known as “The Pine Forest”. Unfortunately, what was a pine forest in my childhood of many decades ago is now gone, and I could scarcely find the abundance of pines that once comprised it. The trail through it abruptly ends at a small stream that is easy to hop across. It is not Blue Brook. That lies ahead. We, both hound and myself, were very excited with palpitating hearts.
Unlike many of my friends, I do not play golf or tennis but surely wish that I did. They must be very nice sports to know to know how to play for social reasons. They are much better passions or interests than dogs. Dogs are more arcane. I know I envy people who are more mainstream, the country-cub or marina type, but mainstream never happened in my life. However, I am accomplished in other ways. I am just not very athletic except for gardening, swimming and ballroom dancing. I do yoga out of necessity, not love. My greatest thrills come from being with my friends who have dogs and horses, being in their company, listening to them talk, and engaging them in conversation. From that springs many dreams of hope: hopes for things that lie ahead – dreams for the future – the borzoi who will be the new hounds of Blyss Kennels – ten years from now!
In May, I spent a week in Huron, Ohio at the Borzoi Club of America’s Borzoi National Specialty show. I felt as if I were in another world, and I truly was. I sat ringside over the course of the week. During that time, I saw two bitches who were grand-daughters to my lovely “Mikhailya”. I was sad by the first one, she looked nothing like her, there was nothing of her there. A few days later, on the final day, Saturday, there was a gorgeous bitch in the ring that was another grand-daughter, and she was like a clone of Mikhailya, so there it was! The genes came down and expressed themselves. She even had Mikhailha’s mannerisms in the ring, and they were more “faults” than “qualities”! I felt like taking her in again and correcting her for being so naughty for her owner. Being back home, I wish I could have a second one, a male, but truly I know I cannot. My one female Jelly is best for me, and I am wise to keep that foremost in my mind.
I see my life defined by the passing through addresses along a circuitous path and their respective husbands nonetheless I have ended up here alone at the final destination. Yet I am not truly, completely alone or a failure because of my beautiful borzoi. They saved me once, especially ten years ago through the infinitely beautiful gift of Opal’s love, and today that of Jelly’s. Although I shall never quite feel it is okay that Opal died, how and when she died or ever, I feel all is well with me today, even if things are not. But for others, for those who may read, I encourage the achievement of greater accomplishments and higher goals in order to be better buffered by the vagaries of life’s unforeseen disappointments. For I recognize my upbringing was deeply flawed, and I arrived at my adulthood unprepared for what would lie ahead.