The weather this weekend was eerily similar to that of a year ago, a fact I remember because of
an occurrence of events then.
Stephanie had arrived in Raleigh Thursday night and driven on to Tarboro, arriving just in time to watch a number of doors being locked, but not at Mama’s Pizza.
That Friday, we got up and I started giving her the tour of the community we now call home. I used every bit of knowledge I could must from my month on the ground here.
It was an unusually warm day, almost like late spring, as we drove around town looking at houses.
By mid-afternoon, we were talking food and were looking forward to eating some pancakes with the Kiwanis ... but we both wanted to crash a bit, so we went out to Lake Valley to grab 20 winks before heading back into town.
Well before dark, I awoke and looked at the window. I thought we had overslept because it was so dark outside — but it was because of the storm clouds.
The winds really began to blow and, according to weather bulletins, a tornado-carrying storm moved from west to east to the north of us.
We never left the apartment.
The next morning we were scheduled to look at houses and wanted food, we we headed to the Kiwanis pancake breakfast (since we missed the supper).
As we went outside, we were blasted with a cold wind that blew hard all day and throughout the day Sunday.
This year, it was cooler on Friday and wet and warmer on Saturday.
The pancakes were great both times, but more enjoyable this time because we both knew people there and for me because Stephanie is here and not heading to the airport.
• • •
We adopted a Lab mix about 20 months ago. Bridget, like most Labs, is a gentle and loving creature who has become ingrained in our lives.
But she has her moments of mischief.
Take Friday night, for example.
As we were preparing to leave the pancake supper, I went back to the griddle one more time and got some more pancakes — including a couple for Bridget.
As we got home and were walking toward the back door, Stephanie said “the kitchen door is open.”
Now, if Bridget is home alone, that’s never a good sign as our Punkin’ can dumpster dive with the best of them!
As we walked in the back door, there she was ... lying on her bed with both front paws securing what had become an almost empty jar of Jif peanut butter.
You see, she had gone into the kitchen (I closed two of three doors) and managed to push the trash can across the room but was unsuccessful in tipping it over. With that avenue blocked, she did what any enterprising Lab
with time on their hands, er, paws ... she managed to open a pantry door and get the Jif off a shelf that’s about chest high.
After a quick scold from Stephanie, Bridget, whose tail was going 90-to-nothing on our return, stuck her nose back down in the jar and started after the peanut butter again!
• • •
For such a loving pup, she doesn’t handle spare time well. She’s eaten Stephanie’s blueberry pretzels off the counter and grabbed a peanut butter cookie out of my hand when my attention wandered.
We now close bathroom doors when we leave so as to keep her from checking out the trash cans and the kitchen’s been off limits for a couple of months.
Sometimes, though, she’s like the 2-year-old who can’t stay out of trouble. The other night, we had just left the kitchen when Stephanie heard a noise and went to catch Bridget checking out the cooktop!
• • •
Still, even through we’d like to shave her bald on occasion, we wouldn’t trade her for the world.
She always meets us at the door with one of her stuffed animals in her mouth and she makes a little whining noise as her rear shakes from side to side as she lets you know she’s glad your home.
And Stephanie and I have both learned that after a tough day, having her come up to you and place her chin on your leg so it’s easier for you to pet her is probably the best stress reliever in the world.
(John H. Walker is editor and publisher of The Daily Southerner.)