Cold Monday Morning Rain

It’s Monday, at about 5 a.m.  Outside, the rain is pelting down.  It’s a cold rain, driven by a cold wind.  The streets are slick with now-saturated leaves waiting to be picked up.  The dogs don’t want to be outside, and I can’t say that I blame them.  They keep stopping dead in their tracks and looking at me stubbornly, or pulling the leash hard for home — but their work must first be done.

When we finally get back home my pant legs are soaked, and I am treated to the sharp odor of wet dog as I towel them off and hope to avoid the spray of debris across the kitchen floor when they shake off the remaining water.

It’s not the best way to start the work week.

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In Need Of A Day Brightener

Ugh.  It’s wet, cool, windy, sloppy, and gray this morning — so crappy that even our hardy canine duo quickly did their duty and then pulled relentlessly toward home.  For the human on the stroll, the challenge of managing two leashes and a buffeted umbrella while trying to tie off a full dog poop bag and getting coated by wind-blown rain wasn’t exactly a shining start to the day, either.

We need a day brightener!  I’m going with this picture of the mass of orange and yellow flowers spilling from one of our flowerbeds, taken on a bright sunny day last weekend.

The Things We Do For Our Dogs

You wake up and feel pretty good.  You walk downstairs, look outside, and see that it’s windy and raining, fat raindrops blowing sideways.  Ugh.

Penny is up and alert in her crate, famished and aching to be fed.  You put out food, and she bolts it down with gusto.  In the meantime you conclude that raincoat, ball cap, and umbrella are the best defenses against the crappy weather given what you must do when you are outside.  Already, you are dreading it.

You put on Penny’s leash, open the door, and head out into the elements.  Boy, this weather blows!  Penny, who doesn’t relish the rain, takes care of her first chore straightaway — but there is a cadence and a rhythm to a dog’s life, and the principal outdoor responsibility can’t be rushed.  So she noses around for a seeming eternity, zig-zagging here and there, until canine sensibilities tell her that the right moment and right spot have arrived.

You fish the little plastic bag out of your back pocket, turn it inside out over your hand, and perform pick-up duty with one hand while you are trying, ineffectively, to hold the leash and the umbrella in the other.  My God, what did she eat yesterday?  The familiar, disgusting odor is overpowering.  Then you reverse out the bag and tie it off, rain coating your face and glasses.  While you are performing this delicate task Penny circles around with renewed, lighter than air energy, helpfully binding your legs with the leash.

After you are back inside, one final job remains — toweling off Penny so that you can add that eau de wet dog odor to the fine symphony of scents you’ve endured already this morning.  To add a final element of insult, Penny does the wet dog shake and splatter as you are down in the wipe-off zone.

She trots off, happy and contented, and you stand there, water-coated and nostrils still befouled, and realize that people without dogs are still happily abed.

The Hat Season

This is a crappy time of year for the glasses-wearing population of Columbus.  It’s been raining for days, and it’s like the scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest talks about the rain in Vietnam — sometimes big fat rain, sometimes sharp stinging rain, sometimes drizzle that seems to blow on the breeze.  Inevitably the spectacles end up coated with moisture, leaving the now-blinded, hapless glasses-wearing wretch stumbling through the mist.

Umbrellas aren’t a great answer, either.  For one thing, they’re cumbersome and a pain to use in the wind.  And if you’re lugging a satchel and notebook, you’ve got no hand free to hold an umbrella, anyway.

So, I’ve decided to wear a hat and trench coat on foul weather days.  I’ve had a Country Gentlemen Lite Felt hat for several years, but I haven’t worn it much.  This year, I’m going to change that.  I’ve worn the Country Gent the past few rainy days, and it’s perfect.  It’s warm, water repellent, and has an exceptionally wide drop down brim that keeps the raindrops off the lenses.  So what if I look like a bit player in a ’40s crime movie?  It’s worth it to be able to see on Columbus’ drizzly winter days.

The Unexpected Freedom Of A Rainy Sunday Morning

It is raining cats and dogs in New Albany this morning.  Steady rain, with an occasional thunderstorm, is expected to be an all-day thing.  So, the weekly round of Sunday golf has been canceled, and at 9 a.m. I look forward to the day and wonder what I will do to fill it.

There is something a bit exciting about an unexpectedly open weekend day and the unforeseen choices it presents.  You can be industrious, of course.  You could do the work you brought home, and perhaps tackle some of the chores that have been piling up.  In my case, those chores would include straightening up the basement, shining my work shoes, and putting the overflowing coins that have been spilling out of the box on my dresser into paper coin sleeves for eventual deposit.  (The chores that I really need to do, like weeding our brick patio and back beds, can be rationally deferred due to weather conditions.)  Or, you can be intellectual and inclined toward self-improvement, and curl up with a good book and catch up on reading.  Or you can have some fun, and work on a personal project like editing your Ipod.  Or you can be lazy, turn on the TV, and sink blissfully into the rich silt of American popular culture, remote at the ready.

What to do?