I always take my camera when I go walking or riding my bike, because you just never know what you will see along the way.
This guy was practicing his touch-and-goes up at the lake earlier this year. He did not seem to mind that gigantic thunderstorm was rolling in from the southwest as he banked around for another landing and takeoff before he headed off into the wild grey yonder.
Oh, yes - do the 52-week photo challenge, they said. It will be soooo much fun, they said. Something you and Joanne can do together, they said. She can help you when you are stuck for an idea, they said. So I asked….
…and apparently, this is what I want.
His name is Ralphie - like the kid in the Christmas movie. We got him from a rescue, he had been neglected as a pup and abandoned - did not know how to play, was not trained, did not understand what toys were for, was afraid of other dogs, and did not wag is tail.
All he needed was someone to love him back - don't we all? In our house, he had a brother to play with, two laps to jump up on, 40 acres to run, a boat to carry him around the lake, a scooter and two cars to blow his ears back, and a mom who taught him to say "ma--ma" and gave him ice cream for treat. It took a year, but that little tail began to wag - never could teach him to retrieve a goose, but thank God for small favors.
He is old now and blind, and aside from occasionally barking at a wall, he spends most of his time sleeping. We open the front door, because Ralphie likes to sleep right at the threshold, where the breeze carries him back to the days where he ran like the wind and chased whatever moved and rolled in whatever didn't. And when he dreams by the front door, that little tail still wags. There is nothing I ever dream about that is worth more than that, so he is my photo for this week.
This one was too cheesy to resist - smoke from our burn barrel at the lake, which has numerous holes in it. They say the holes are needed for ventilation, but I'm pretty sure it is just an excuse to shoot a .357 Magnum into something that makes a loud noise when struck - that never gets old.
Early in our marriage, we negotiated a deal where Joanne got a piano and I got two hunting dogs. Her piano brand is a Samick, and so that is what we named our golden retriever. A few years later, after our black lab passed away, I thought she should give up half of her keys - a deal is a deal. But as you can see, the high keys are still all there...and that is pretty much how it has gone for the past 29 years.
One of the best parts of the 52-week photo challenge is that it keeps you on the lookout for images, especially if you try to post each week in the order that the themes appear. I was walking through the woods up north after a rain and this pair of leaves caught my eye. Probably would have walked right over them any other year...