If You Don’t Have One, Be One

We have a pretty tight neighborhood. A lot of things have gone into that sweet mixture. None of us are exactly alike, but yet there is the common grounds that matters the most. I’d say some of it comes from community that just plain values the personhood of everyone on the hill. Well that, and we do love a hearty Fourth of July celebration, tracking the latest coyote prowlings, duck crossings or Bald eagles nesting- we love the network of neighbors who offer their latest cooking nummy, or watch our house when we’re gone… or our kids, or our seniors…. or share the latest home brew. We’ll link arms in a heartbeat when something threatens that.

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Maybe one of the more significant strong threads that holds us together,  is a Harvey.

Harvey has lived here longer than a lot of us, and most of us have been here for a while (who wants to leave  this neighborhood?).

If you bump into Harvey, he always has an observation about something. Something you didn’t know about your hill before. The kind of thing that after you say good-bye and head off back to home, you realize you’re just a little more connected to the things that matter for your hill. And I don’t mean gossip.

He’ll let you know the reason why if there’s a neighbor who’s been quiet for a while. Like cancer. Or have you stop to appreciate an exceptional tree in someone’s yard- then point out where there are others. Or, in my case- and how I appreciated him during those years- the stink eye when one of my lead-footed sons didn’t think he was roaring down the street around the corner “that fast.”

Harvey loves a lot of things- his family, salmon fishing, a freshly mown lawn, a pile of firewood for the winter and his dog. Dogs, “they’re just good friends.” Lily is a no-nonsense girl. Friendly and smart- which means her job is to walk the good walk. And bark, but only on occasion.

facebook_1467917630801Neighbors scramble to join them on some of the daily walkabouts. I love a coffee house and good friends, but this trumps that. Our neighbors aren’t an “out of sight out of mind” (thanks Faye for this shot!). Community is our extended family. How sad it is when people don’t make that effort to invest in that connection.


So if you don’t have a Harvey, be one.                                                                                                                                                                             _DSC3200 WEB

One that’s not compromising but not looking for a fight.

One that just knows the things that makes us stronger.

The one who is trustworthy and will look you in the eye over the things that matter.

Be one.






Fly Like the Wind

So here we are. A die hard German Shepherd family. And we have a goofy-looking mixed low rider. I don’t want to offend everyone by saying that those bumper stickers about “who rescued whom” bumper stickers are ridiculously silly, but they are. Loving working breeds as we do, dogs are not about rescue, unless you’re in the woods lost- dogs are about the companionship that is deeply felt between man and poochie.

Dad called GSD’s “Germanshedders” and it’s really the only flaw I can find 20151109-_DSC6697in the breed. So while we still grieve our Sojourner, I still needed a walking buddy, that maybe didn’t shed as much… And as a dear friend has pointed out, had smaller poopies. She was found in Texas as a hurricane survivor. There is a wonderful organization there called God’s Dogs (http://www.godsdogsrescue.org/) which saves promising adoptable dogs on death row and then coordinates with shelters to give them a second chance. This little darling got hauled all the way up to Washington State and found her way to Wenatchee Humane Society (http://www.wenatcheehumane.org/).


They identified her as part corgi and part basset. Corgi had our attention because we have found that GSD people like the smarts of corgi. Less shedding…. smart, smaller doo-doo. Could be a good fit. We met, she liked chasing balls. Sold! A companion to making it unfriendly for those loathsome bird seed stealing, native squirrel tormenting, northern grey squirrels- this could be great.


But look at those legs, and bosom… we’re thinking, dooggoneit, terrier. Someone snuck terrier in. She does not have a lovely trot like a German Shepherd- she bounds like something crazy out of Looney Tunes. And she does it fast. And she loves it. And tries to convince  us it’s a game we’d love.

She’s as smart as she is sassy. She’s picked up very fast on the German commands. It’s what her big brother GSD knows, and what our next black and red GSD will know. Her impish side is good at smelling an opportunity to escape and run. Because it’s less frequent we think she’s learning that we don’t play that.




We’ve had a couple of early winter storms and she’s invigorated by the strong winds. That part of the hurricane must not have been as traumatic. She seems okay with PNW flora- blackberries don’t trouble her princess toes now. It’s only been a couple of months that she’s had this PNW rain, so she’s still tolerating that.

Tulla (too-lah) is at home. We see a settled attitude in her now. This dog hugs. Who knew dogs hugged? You’re sitting at the computer and she’ll wrap her head, front paw around your foot and hug- just leans right in for a long hug. She’s eager to know what her family is doing. Evidently she needed to understand what the Christmas tree angel was for.20151212-_DSC6803

Well, it’s time for that walk, and it will be sans the “offense” of Christmas ruffles. My son won’t let her out the door with it. It’s good for a dog to have someone who has their back, even when it’s a long well traveled one.20151212-_DSC6785