Thought I’d drop these off from our 4th of July weekend, which also included a celebration of Grandma’s birthday. (Corin: “How old is Grandma going to be?” Me: [a number that sounds pretty high at 5] Corin: “Oh my. I’m not ready for that yet.”) Lots of fun cousin time for the kiddos and lots of good food for everyone.
I knew when I took that last photo, of my dad with his guide dog, Chief, that it would probably be the last one of the two of them together. Chief is retiring from his life of faithful service and this weekend will be going to join his new family in west Nashville, where he will spend his retirement relaxing and playing with his people and their other two Vizslas. After that very painful parting, my dad will be heading up to Pilot Dogs, where he will meet his new guide dog and spend two weeks training before they travel home together. I think my dad would say partings are by far the hardest part of the otherwise remarkable experience of having a guide dog. It is no small thing to say farewell to a friend and companion who has been by your side nearly every moment for so many years. We’re all losing a member of the family. But Chief is 10, has arthritis and has earned his leisure years. We will miss you, buddy, and hope your days are full of love and joy. Don’t boss those young pups around too much.
We’re plugging away at summer over here. Things have settled into a bit more of a routine, as they tend to do. Some weeks are harder than others, but we’re adjusting to the new appointment schedule and are finding space for a little fun, too.
Last week, friends invited us to go sailing on Percy Priest Lake. There wasn’t much wind, but it was a lovely picnic outing all the same.
Yesterday, we went to the early Fourth of July celebration at a church a few minutes away. It was such a fun event, with a community band concert, free Marble Slab ice cream and a pretty impressive professional fireworks display. The weather was surprisingly cool, and my parents were able to join us. Everyone had a great time…except Corin, who firmly believed in his intensely imaginative soul that he was under direct attack by the fireworks and raced to the farthest recesses of the church building as if his life depended on it. I guess we wait a couple years before we try that again.
And when we’re not at appointments or on fun outings, life looks pretty much like this:
I think we might make it through the summer just fine, after all.
Our Fourth of July was pretty low-key. It had been raining for days and was terribly soggy, so we decided to skip any big fireworks shows in favor of a good dinner with friends and family and a few sparklers for Corin. Our neighbors upped the ante with some fun home pyrotechnics, which predictably terrified my cautious son. He’ll still tell you about how he didn’t like that one big BOOM, which he makes sound very impressive, indeed.
Turned out to be a great way to celebrate everybody’s favorite summer holiday. God bless the U.S.A.!