I realized this morning that I didn’t have any oranges or orange juice to make my world famous (inside my house) port wine cranberry sauce to go with dinner tonight, so I grabbed a bag and prepared to walk up to the grocery store.
“I need you to get blah blah blah blah blah,” Ryan said.
“I have no idea what you just said, so write me a list,” I said. Ryan tore a page out of his notebook and started writing things down on it.
Anne came out of our bedroom, and asked me where I was going.
“I need some things from the store,” I said, “so I’m walking up there to get them.”
“How about we walk Seamus and Marlowe up there? They can use the exercise, and then they’ll be calm for the rest of the day.”
I thought that was a fine idea, a fine, fine idea, Stuart, and I said as much. I went to the closet to get their leashes and harnesses. I imagine that the following went through their minds:
Seamus: THE DOOR TO THE CLOSET IS OPEN! A WALK IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AND WE ARE ON IT!
Marlowe: DOOR! DOOR! DOOR! WALK! WALK! WALK! WALK! WALK!
Riley: I’M A DOG!
Seamus and Marlowe ran to the closet, and showed their excitement to get at what’s inside the closet by making it impossible for me to open the closet. You know, like dogs do. This is when Riley realized what was going on.
Riley: OH SWEET DOGGIE JESUS A WALK IS HAPPENING AND WHEN I GO ON A WALK I GET TO SMELL THINGS AND SOMETIMES POOP ON A YARD AND THEN THERE’S A BIRD AND I BARK AT IT AND IT FLIES AWAY BUT I KNOW THAT I COULD CATCH IT IF I REALLY WANTED TO BUT I DON’T WANT TO BECAUSE ANOTHER DOG PEED ON THIS BUSH AND I HAVE TO ALSO PEE HERE BECAUSE OH MY GOD IS THAT A DOG IN THAT WINDOW? BARK BARK BARKBARKBARK!
Seamus: Welcome to, like, an hour ago in dog time, Riley.
So I found myself surrounded by three very excited dogs who were determined to show exactly how much they can jump and bark and generally turn my nice, quiet living room into a maelstrom of fur and jumping.
It took a minute or so (an eternity in “I-am-ready-to-go-on-a-walk” dog time) to get them all leashed up and ready to go.
“Okay, so you guys need to walk Riley,” I said to Ryan and Nolan, “because she can’t make it all the way to the store and back. Also there is no way the two of us can handle three dogs plus a bag of groceries on the way back.”
You’ll note that it never occurred to me to drive to the store, because it’s a gorgeous day here and walking places is usually better than not walking places, for distances under 5 miles.
Anne and I headed up to the store, and the kids took Riley around the block. About ten minutes into the walk, I realized that I’d forgotten my phone and Ryan’s list.
“Ryan wanted me to get things and I forgot the list,” I said.
“Call him,” Anne suggested.
“I also forgot my phone,” I said. We looked at each other. Seamus growled at something that only he could see. Marlowe wagged her tail so fast I briefly wondered how wagging dog tails could be employed to power small villages in the developing world.
“You’re on fire this morning,” Anne said.
“Yeah, I know. I’m awesome.”
We got to the store. Anne told me she needed mayonaise to make the wasabi deviled eggs, and waited with the dogs while I got the things I needed. That’s when I discovered that there is pretty much a wall of mayonaise options in our grocery store, in amounts ranging from “I need a little mayonaise” to “GORGE MYSELF ON GALLONS AND GALLONS OF DISGUSTING STUFF MADE FROM EGGS AND OIL AND SHAME.”
I completed my purchases, in the process reaffirming my superpower of wrecking whatever line I’m in simply by the act of choosing it: I got behind two guys who had two things: Pedialyte and Tums (clearly recovering from a hangover). Instead of it taking them less time to pay for them than it’s taken me to write this paragraph like it should have, they paid with a combination of dollar bills, grimy handfulls of change, a little bit on a debit card … and then remembered that they really needed cigarettes so the whole thing started over. Then we got to wait for the cigarettes to show up from wherever they keep them locked up in the store.
I met Anne and our dogs outside the store, and we began the walk home. Seamus and Marlowe were very excited to see children out with their parents, squirrels everywhere, and something on a yard that couldn’t be seen, but required enthusiastic rolling around and grunting to fully appreciate.
We got home, and Ryan met us at the door.
“You didn’t take my list!” He said.
“I know, I was distracted by dogmageddon when we were trying to leave.”
“I tried to call you and your phone just rang and rang!”
“That’s because it was left on the kitchen counter. Didn’t it raise any suspicions when you called my phone and then something playing my Doctor Who ringtone made noise in the house while I wasn’t picking up?”
That’s when I saw his list, which made me laugh so much, I wrote almost a thousand words just to introduce it on my blog:
I am always thankful for my life and the people who are in it, especially my family. This morning’s walk to the market is just one small reason why.