Break Out Blog

I broke out of detention yesterday. For the first time in two months, I put myself in the car, turned on the ignition, and drove away from the house on my own recognizance. I didn’t go far—three miles only, from our house in Bellevue to my daughter’s home in Redmond—where my grandson, his dogs, and I all went for a socially-distanced walk together in the school yard across the street from their house.

Colt and I didn’t exactly maintain the six-foot mandated-distance requirement at all times since it was usually more than that. At fourteen, he’s probably three inches shorter than my six-foot one, but his 37-inch inseam is three inches longer than my 34. Although we may have taken the same number of steps, after ten paces or so, he was ten feet in front of me. He’s built like my brothers which is to say, all leg.

When I took Bill to his first Busk family reunion back in 1986, he looked around the gathering and decided everyone looked so much alike that he couldn’t tell any of us apart. He told me later that “Busks are like golden retrievers—they breed true.” And looking at long-legged Colt cavorting with his relatively recently adopted rescue dog, Apollo, I was reminded of my three long-legged brothers.

You may remember more than a year ago, I wrote about my daughter and Colt losing their Stormy Girl to melanoma. It was a good six months before a new rescue dog came into their lives by way of NOAH. Storm was an Irish Wolfhound. As for Apollo? He’s a tan Canardly. What’s a Carnradly? you ask. That word came into our lives several several decades ago when we asked our vet at the time, the late Dr. Hughes from Animal Hospital of Factoria, about the breeding background of our newly adopted pound puppy. Dr. Eighty Bucks, as we nicknamed Dr. Hughes—that’s what he always charge, eighty bucks—looked at Boney and said, “He’s a Black and Tan Canardly.” “What’s that?” I asked, thinking we had lucked into some kind of rare English breed. “Well,” he explained, “you can hardly tell what kind of dog he is, but I think he’s half Irish Wolfhound and half German Shepherd.”

Apollo seems to have the same mysterious background, although his forebears probably have more to do with a boxer/shepherd mix than anything else. There may even be a hint of greyhound, because when he flattens himself out at a dead run chasing after Colt, his top speed looks more like mach one! But he’s also a very lucky dog, one who found a forever home with people who love him.

While Colt and Apollo ran, I was put in charge of Snowflake, their fifteen year-old golden retriever, another lucky dog who was rescued from a puppy more than ten years ago. At this point, Snowflake is pretty much stone deaf and blind besides, but her nose works just fine. She could follow Colt and Apollo’s scents and movements and would go meandering off after them. When I tried calling her back, she kept right on walking, paying about as much attention to my calling her as if I’d been your basic telephone pole. I finally had to put her on a leash.

When our walk was over and the dogs were safely back in the yard, I handed over some goodies—some ink-jet packets from Grandpa for Colt’s printer and a blueberry pudding cake and some raspberries from me. Colt grabbed the cake and took off like a shot. He may have waited until he got into the house to open the cake container, but I doubt it.

Colt is fourteen. He’s supposed to graduate from eighth grade next month. That’s not going to happen, but we’re going to celebrate the event anyway, probably over food eaten by sitting six feet apart on our back porch. His mother is a single mom who works long hours. Colt has been home on his own, day in and day out, since the middle of March. Not surprisingly, he’s worried about graduating and working on his homework. He’s also lonely and a bit dejected at this point—no school, no youth group, no bowling. I hope my visit brightened his day.

I know it brightened mine. We were outside. I didn’t wear a mask, but you can be sure that when I came home, I washed my hands!

Now I’m back in detention—until next time.

14 thoughts on “Break Out Blog

  1. I also continue to be in detention or as I think of it ” being on restriction “. Life is still good though. I am so glad that you and Colt had time together yesterday. Beautiful day and memories for both of you. I worry about our daughters daily. Your daughter and mine are busy working and being exposed to so many people. I miss the days when I could surround my daughter with the illusion of safety. Stay safe, continue to wash your hands and enjoy life. Happy Mothers Day !

  2. Some days, stay at home just doesn’t work. Visited a friend confined in a seniors apartment, outside at first then inside. She is more lonely than I am as I have a husband underfoot and needing feeding.

  3. I can hardly believe Colt is that old now. Or that tall. What an ugly introduction to real life this virus is for a kid growing up now.
    I can see now why my mother was so hot to trot to get all of us kids to a place on the way to Kirkland when I was a kid, polio vaccine was being done there. I am the oldest of 10, but there were 5 boys in a row. My mother could not tell them apart from the back. She would pick one name and just keep ticking them off until the right kid turned around.
    Bet your mother did the same thing.

  4. I love hearing about Colt. My grandson Matthew is the same age and also enjoys bowling. Matthew also grew much taller this past year. The biggest adjustment for me was getting used to his deeper voice.
    I raised 2 sons who had bottomless pits for stomachs at this age. So I could very clearly visualize Colt taking off like a shot when you handed him the cake!

  5. I am tired of reading (sorry, but today it is true) and so have spent some time repairing a needlepoint chair cover. Moths were trying to eat it. I’ve found my fingers don’t want to work like they used to. I have a hard time tying knots.

    Schools here in CT are closed for the year. Feel sorry for the kids like your grandson who will miss having a graduation ceremony. I remember my 8th grade graduation. I wore a turquoise colored eyelet dress with shoulder pads that looked like a football players. My hair was a Toni home perm that looked like a Brillo pad. I was in the front row of the photo with a big smile on my face. Ekkk

  6. I really enjoyed reading this. I hadn’t seen the previous one so I read it as well. That one even better. Loved your rememberences.

  7. Just wanted to wish you many blessings on Mother’s Day!?We met years ago in a little book store in Kirkland Wa. on one of your first signings. I ? your blog, as it keeps us as friends! Love all your ?’s. God bless you and your family?

  8. My wife and I escaped from our place a week or so to son’s and granddaughter’s place, for lunch and and a walk on the beach. It was nice to take a break from working in the yard and burning brush. Next week we get to go back. This time to give their dog a grooming. He hasn’t had his post winter grooming and my wife used to show dogs, and has all of the tools.
    Love your blogs….

  9. I love reading your blog, thank you for taking the time!
    You had me with JP Beaumont, years ago, living in Seattle, I loved the familiar places & characters are fabulous! I then followed your AZ stories, my mom was born in Bisbee AZ, so loved that too!
    Moved to OR after 45 years in Seattle, so reading your blog is like bringing an old friend along to my new home!
    Happy Mother’s Day & keep on writing, we love it!

  10. I was intrigued when I saw this: blueberry pudding cake. Any chance you’d be willing to share a recipe for this?
    I enjoy your books, especially the Ali Reynolds series.

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