Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jack Mack has inspired me!

The View from My Front Porch March 15, 2009/Jack Mack

The rain was coming down…lightning lit up the sky. An early spring rain. Coming home from work, Mackenzy ran from the car into the house. Loud and stern, she was telling Callie, our dog, to stay out…she was covered top to bottom with mud and was wet from end to end. Why she wasn’t under the protection of her dog house, I don’t know. Progressively getting louder, Mackenzy’s screams brought us to our feet. We ran from the sunroom upstairs to see what was going on.

As Steve entered the living room, he exclaimed, “it’s a little dog!” Upon entering the kitchen, after flying down the stairs, I saw my daughter, Mackenzy, on top of the kitchen island. Petrified, she didn’t know what had ran into the house as she was making every effort to get Callie back out.

This is how Jack Mack (named by us) came to live with us. Where he came from, one only knows. How he came to our place is anyone’s guess. A most jovial dog, he has made a home right in our hearts. This, alone, is an amazing feat for me.

You see, dogs and cats just really aren’t my thing. This wasn’t always so. When I was little, I had a cat named, Cartoon. We’ve had pets all my life, but, I prefer them outside to inside. I love having Callie around and I’ve even gotten soft with her, letting her in the house on cold winter evenings. She’s old enough now that she’s easy to have in the house. Not exploring all over the place, wanting to be petted and licking your face. She’s mellowed out, so to speak…my kind of dog. She’s mellowed, and I’ve softened. It must be an ‘age’ thing.

So, this little Jack Mack has been chipping away at my heart, much like my nephew, Camden, suggested to me he does. He is endearing, he minds well, although he has had a few accidents, has a really cute face and whines when my husband leaves to go to work or outside. I’ve gone so far as to let him climb up on the furniture and nap with me on the bed. This is really something for me. What is it about this little dog, Jack Mack?

Knowing he’s really not ours, we’ve taken over the role of care-takers until we find out who he belongs to. I’ve asked around town, checked for ‘lost dog’ signs in the local bank, post office and gas station. Who could he possibly belong to? Why isn’t someone looking for him? Our place would not be the easiest one to find and go hang out at. A trip to the store to get a few things for the dog, has provided food, treats, breath and teeth cleaning ‘bones’, a collar and a leash, and a little stuffed pig that squeaks.

We took Jack Mack with us to go visit my sister and her family (another milestone for me). We were talking about all of my efforts to track down the dog’s owner. I said, “I just can’t figure out why no one has put up a lost dog sign?” My nephew, Riley, said, “Maybe they don’t have a computer” Now, if that isn’t a sign of the times, then I don’t know what is. As soon as he said it, we all giggled…and offered this to him, “they could do it the old fashioned way with markers and paper”. Now that I think about this, maybe I need to go online to the ‘lost and found’ and see if anyone has posted anything on the newspaper websites. I guess it’s a bit old fashioned to look in the newspaper, after all!

Jack Mack has a place with us, if that’s the way it turns out. I firmly believe that things happen for a reason. That’s the only reasoning I can give for this…a couple of days after Jack Mack came to our house, I picked up my husband’s copy of the Progressive Farmer magazine (not a regular read of mine) As I always do, I flip to the very last page of a magazine to read the article found there. The page was filled with little antidotes. The first one I read was this, “Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.” Thom Jones. Now, what kind of an explanation could you give for that? I’ll leave you with that thought. And this folks is the view from my front porch.

Beth Voltmer lives on a farm in rural New Virginia.

Monday, March 9, 2009

November 11, 2008 The ultrasound

The View From My Front Porch
December 2008

It was such a special day for us…so much anticipation. So much excitement! And, it all started back in August. Just passing the day in the usual way, I picked up the ringing phone and heard this on the other line, “Mom, how do you feel about being a grandma?” I replied, “Do I have a choice?” and we both laughed. Then I said, “what are you telling me?” “Alisha’s pregnant!” Tanner exclaimed.

The questions didn’t really come at me too fast. I just sat their taking the news in. How did I really feel about this? No great emotions…that I recall. Maybe a little giddy, as the news sank in. Then, as I came to my senses, so did the questions. When? How far along is she? I handed the phone to Steve…absolute happiness could be seen on his face. I sat there with a smile on my face wondering: Is she far enough along to find out the sex of the baby? Do I really want to know? Yes, No, Yes, No! and, then finally, YES!

We hung up the phone after telling Tanner we wouldn’t tell anyone. We wanted him to be the one to call his sister’s and grandparent’s, with the big news. This was good news…really good news.

The day that was filled with so much anticipation and so much excitement was November 11th, 2008. Courtney, my oldest, and I, were included in the ultrasound appointment…this was the big one. We, along with Tanner, Alisha (of course) and Alisha’s five year old son, Kobe, and her mom, anxiously awaited the nurse’s coming. Let’s get this show on the road, I kept thinking. Patience would not be one of my virtues!

Tha…thump! Tha…thump! Tha…thump! There it was, the heart beat…good and strong! Oh, and there was the hand…an arm, it’s nose, tha…thump, tha…thump, tha…thump. And the heart beat, some more. Instantly, I loved this little thing. Tha…thump, tha…thump, tha…thump, went my heart. In unison…we were bonded together, each of us, by this one little baby in the safe cocoon of its mother’s tummy.

From my vantage point in the corner, I was able to see the face of my first born, as she watched her first niece or nephew on the ultrasound. I got to see Tanner’s face, up close and personal, and I wondered what he was thinking. Tha…thump, tha…thump, tha…thump. I was sure I knew what he was feeling.

On this same day, November 11, 2008, Courtney was celebrating her 30th birthday. Tanner was concerned that his baby was healthy, I enjoyed watching my children witness such a neat event and we all found out that Courtney would be an aunt to a niece, Tanner would be a daddy to a baby girl, and I would become a grandmother of my very first granddaughter.

Tha…thump, tha…thump, tha…thump. My heart beat, is her daddy’s heartbeat, and her daddy’s heartbeat is hers…and the love continues one heart beat at a time... Tha…thump, tha…thump, tha…thump!

And this folks, is the view from my front porch
Beth Voltmer lives on a farm in rural New Virginia