Goodbye to Happy-ness

GroupThis morning at 5:30 AM I said goodbye to Happy, my beloved black Labrador of 10 years. I have written earlier about her weakening condition. Labradors are made of abundant dog fortitude. Happy never whined about the pain she was obviously having. She was strong and brave to the end.

On one of her last times outside, she walked slowly up the little hill on the west side of the house where she would sit for hours and look out across the wide backyard where she benevolently ruled for so many years. There she had chased many a rabbit. She and her brother sampled the latest cologne from a visiting skunk. She even argued with a ground hog once. From her vantage point she would monitor my grass mowing to be sure I didn’t miss anything. From time to time her buddy/brother Cody would join her and silently wait for something to chase or for a passerby to bark at. I remember times of calling her at dusk to come inside and she would look around at me from her post as if to say, “Just a little while longer…?”

But like all of us, time caught up with her. The emergency room Vet who examined her said that Happy had a large mass in her upper abdomen which was pressing up against her heart causing her labored breathing and sluggishness. The Vet also noticed some internal bleeding. Along with her incontinence, drooling, and sporadic eating the Vet said with tears in her eyes that my Happy was slowly dying. (She said that her own black lab had died of similar conditions.) I held Happy in my arms as the Vet administered the injections. She fell asleep and laid quietly at my feet.

Saying goodbye to such a companion is never easy. And yet, even as much as I could wish that she stay with me just a little while longer, such thoughts are selfish especially when such a beautiful animal is suffering. That moment of letting go is never easy. Yet, she has left me so many grand memories of her heart and her love.  I had a decade of days with this wonderful dog, and she will not be forgotten.

TBT - Voyagers

TBTThe journey of Voyager has always fascinated me. I guess it's because it's one of those events - like the moon landing - that was particularly memorable. It has consistently been in the background of my life since 1977, when I was heading into my second year at Washington Bible College. There are other, better, and longer documentary about the construction and journey of this spacecraft, but this one gives a good short summary of the little spacecrafts that could.



It's not an original idea with me - but when I noticed in on another person's blog - and that it seemed as though they had stopped doing it - I thought I'd add it to my Tumblr - Pilgrim Progressional.

What the person had done was take words and placed the word with its definition in a graphic sort of way. Easy enough to do, but finding that right definition is the challenge.

I started added them. I have been collecting words for the additions to the blog for a few weeks now and I have started posting them there.

I think it helps to give a sense of clarity to life - to know the definition of something - maybe something very familiar but which has been lost in the busyness of days.

My Tumblr is over 4000 entries strong. Get a cup of tea, turn on some nice music, and take a stroll through my online gallery, and search for the definitions.


turning to the book

Bookworld2I thought about an interesting incident the other day and how we can still be tied to the ways of the past.  I was driving around with my sister and niece and was telling them about an orange-breasted bird I had seen moving through the bushes in the back yard. At first I was thinking it was just a robin, but then I realized the bird’s breast seemed to be a bit more orange than a robin’s and I was also thinking that its body was more brown. It just didn’t appear to be a robin.

My sister said it was a Baltimore oriole and I hadn’t thought it might be a female.

And I responded with “I’ll look it up in my bird book when I get home.”  My sister said she would look it up as well – and even my niece said she had a bird book, too.

Continue reading "turning to the book" »

american dreamer

I love this overview of Walt Disney's life by Glenn Beck.

I have become very disillusioned with the Disney corporation - in my opinion they have betrayed Walt's dream and his imagination and have transformed themselves into something Walt would have NEVER allowed let alone lent his name to.

I am still a fan of the Man and his imagination and spirit of creativity and innovation. I can only hope that the company will someday recapture those elements.


special event

Picnic2I love spending time with family. Some of my favorite memories are found around a table.

We had great picnics in our community when we were young and times were simpler. It was one of the highlights of the summer when tables would be set up in someone's backyard and neighbors would show up carrying in dishes with lots of delicious food. A flatbed trailer would be brought into the property and local musicians would play into the late evening. Kids would be running and chasing. Baseball would be played. Even if a rain shower would happen to appear, die hard picnic-ers would ignore the downpour and keep eating.

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Majesty and Glory (repost)

Moon The clear, crisp night sky. The stars shimmering like diamonds. The grass had a frosty crunch and sparkled as the lights from the house fell on the ground. It was one of those cold nights that transforms the world into crystal. I would wake the next morning with this song in my head - which I still cannot shake - and this image in my head. I still remember waking up. and hearing the song, and seeing this last image in my dream.


Continue reading "Majesty and Glory (repost)" »

as if no one knows

TBTIt used to bother me...

People going through grief saying they think no one knows what they're going through.

It's not that I think people shouldn't grieve.  They most certainly should, and do. But why assume that the condition of grief is constant? Why think that things will never change? When grief is fresh, it's the same as having an ever-present paper cut or a bruise that doesn't seem to heal.

Continue reading "as if no one knows" »

TBT - Year in Review

TBTIt was quite a year.

One job ended...another began.

I'm closing in on 5000 posts on Pilgrim Progressional.

My niece married in early June. I was honored to officiate, and blessed to be able to attend.

Some of the year's happenings are chronicled here on my blog, which is now over 10 years old. The rest is written in my private journal which I'm thinking I need to gather into one place.

One of my most memorable moments this year? The publishing of my first novel. I still am so excited and proud about the completion of this goal.

FirstnovelCreatespace - the website which was used to self-publish my novel - shows that there have only been 17 copies of the book sold. I laugh when I see it, knowing I purchased 10 of those copies and then gave them away to family and friends.

But it never changes the fact that I finished it and that it can be purchased through Amazon.

I have three additional titles in the Benjamin Sunday series. I'm hoping that in 2018 I can complete the second novel - tentatively title Benjamin Sunday and the Mayan's Viking - and publish it towards the end of the year.

I learn by doing - and I'm determined to keep learning through the new year.


saddle up

TBTI have always enjoyed the musical ministry of Steven Curtis Chapman. But it has been 25 years since that amazing introduction was first heard - and the world was reminded that the life God gives us in an adventure " no other..."

This is the 25th anniversary rendition of "The Great Adventure"...


bill at one

TBTSome boxes just hold all sorts of surprises.

I found a package of photos in my basement and spent a few minutes running through them.

It was a full of memories - weddings, pictures of dad's work buddies, airplanes, etc. BillatOne

But when I shuffled through them, there was a picture of me -- when I was one year old.

The writing on the back of the photo said "19-6" and it looks like I'm not more than a year old. My sister looks as though she's definitely well into being two. I'm guessing the picture was taken on June 19. From what I can tell it was taken in my grandparents' kitchen. While my dad and grandfather were building my parent's house, we lived for a short time with my dad's parents. Memories of that time are long gone, but the picture remains.

It makes me laugh - everyone has smiles and I look as though I'm totally dumbfounded. The last to figure things out.

It's that - or I'm wondering who's going to change my diaper.  (Big grin...)

to where you are

TBTWhen my mother passed away in 1996, I felt like I had come to the end of the road. So much of my days up until then had been focused on making sure she was OK.

She was there one day - and gone the next.

For many weeks I could not enter her bedroom without being overcome with emotion.

Two decades later, I still find myself thinking of her and remembering her. When I heard this song by Josh Groban many years ago, it helped me to grieve and to remind me of how precious she was -- and still is -- to me.