Monday, March 18, 2013

Limerick for Tatum

In honor of St. Patrick's Day: 

A Limerick for Tatum

There once was a dog who was stubborn
Thought mom woke too early to walk him
She gave him a nudge
But he wouldn't budge
Thought, "Come back when the sun's up and try again."

Tatum is an unusual dog.  Among his quirks:  hates early morning walks, windy days, thunderstorms and people who cough.

This week I was sick.  The kind of weird sick that morphs into a different form every day.  First the headache that moves into your sinuses.  Then the sore throat and then....the dreaded cough.  Lucky for Tatum, I didn't have enough energy to walk him much anyway.  This weekend I was well enough for a stroll around the block.  We made it past about two houses when I felt the tickle.  I tried to suppress it as long as possible until finally I couldn't wait any longer.  "Hack, snort, cough."

Tatum sits down.  "Heel," I command.  Tatum whines.  I cough again and he gets up and starts pulling me back to the house.  "Who's in charge here?" I think and I try to redirect him back down the street.  He picks up his front paw and wraps it around the leash as if he's trying to take it away from me.  When I don't stop, he sort of hop-walks on three legs behind me.  All this effort to avoid a Sunday morning walk.  He looks pretty silly and I can't imagine it is very comfortable.   I manage to unwrap the leash and, after several tries, cajole him around the block.  Whew.  That was exhausting.  Now I need to go back to bed.   I think I'll look for a Leprechaun to walk the dog until I'm feeling better.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Snow Day: A Washington DC Definition

snow day (noun) a day on which public schools or other institutions are closed due to heavy snow.
--World English Dictionary

Maybe that's the case in other areas of the country.  In the Washington D.C. region, we might need our own definition.  The weather in our area is notoriously difficult to predict.  Or so the weather forecasters tell me every time they get it wrong. 

Washington DC snow day (noun) develops a few days in advance with lots of media hype and large scale projections,  "up to a foot of snow possible in some areas..."  Clever people always name Washington DC snowstorms so we can talk about "Snowquester's" impact on our day, the economy, the power lines, etc.  The hype and anticipation is a big part of the ritual because we never know which way the wind will blow (literally) and how it will ultimately affect us.  Kids (and teachers!) share their expert, foolproof ways to bring on the snow...inside out pajamas, spoons under the pillow, ice cubes in the toilet, snow dances.  We haven't had significant snow in our area in two years so We Want a Snow Day! is a popular refrain.

In the early morning hours on the day of the approaching storm, Washington DC snow day (noun) continues.  I don't envy the people who have to make the decision to close schools and governments in our area.  Using the information they receive from the completely unreliable meteorologists, they decide our fates.  Err on the side of caution and hear the ridicules and complaints.  Take a gamble and risk the eight hour commuting gridlock calamity we got last year.  Usually they err on the side of caution.  I don't blame them.  I'd take ridiculing over a traffic jam any day of the week. 

No school! Washington DC snow day (noun) really begins after the announcement is posted.   Our snow day is a day of sleeping in late.  Drinking coffee and reading the newspaper by the fire.  Putting on the snow pants, boots, mittens, hats, coats and heading out into the...hmm.  Where's the snow? 

Washington DC snow day (noun) is a day subject to ridicule--"Snowquester" gets changed to "Slushquester" and most of our area just gets rain.  Residents recently transplanted from the North and Midwest shake their heads in disbelief.  

Yeah, the fluffy white stuff would have been nice.  But I'll take the extra day off anyway.  Washington DC snow day (noun) No snow required.

I didn't get out my camera to take pictures of the slushy driveway, sorry.  But our unpredictable weather went from snow day on Wednesday to sunny and 60 degrees on Saturday.  Washington DC sprinkler day, anyone?

Sunday, March 3, 2013


For the Kellys, March is the month of one of our favorite holidays: St. Patrick's Day.  Just turning the calendar page causes Paul to start reciting limericks in his Irish accent.  He's already planning his menu of shepherd's pie and a Guinness (or two) to celebrate.

I haven't found any four leaf clovers or chased any leprechauns over the rainbow to a pot of gold...yet.  That's OK because I am already lucky--I married my Irish good luck charm.

Paul, how'd I get so lucky?

You take care of me.  When I go for a bike ride, you put the air in my tires and attach the rack to my car.

You are always complimentary of my cooking.  Even when it looks like glob.  You tell me it's the best glob you've ever eaten.  And then you clean the kitchen after I cook.  Sometimes I leave an awful mess and you've scrubbed your fair share of pots.

When you're reading the newspaper, you don't mind when I interrupt you to comment on the article I'm reading.  Or at least, you pretend not to mind.  That makes me happy.

You go to the grocery store for me.  Even when you are tired.  Even when it is rush hour.  And you never complain about it.

I love to hear you sing and play the guitar.  I'm glad we have common interests like riding bikes, running, live music, good books and good food.

You are a wonderful writer and I cherish the poems and notes you write.  I love that you leave the kids notes on their lunchbox napkins. 

Speaking of kids, you are the best dad ever.  When I watch you teaching Katherine how to swing a racquet, I know where the expression "patience of a saint" comes from.  I see you spending time outside shooting hoops with Jack.

And did I mention you are the most handsome man ever?

Life gets crazy.  Life gets busy.  We have our shares of ups and downs. 
Through it all, I am so lucky to have you.