Missing Prudence.

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Last September we spent a week on Prudence Island, Rhode Island.  It’s a very special place for me. My grandfather discovered it in the ninteen teens when he was a boy scout, and he built a cottage there which our extended family shared for many years.

 After Grampa and Gramma died, my mom and her sisters inherited the cottage, but it was in need of some major repair and renovation.  My oldest cousin had always spent a lot of time on the Island, and had invested a lot of time and effort over the years to maintain the cottage, so eventually the sisters and my mom sold their shares in the cottage to him. He’s done a great deal of work on the place, and spends nearly every weekend there.  He’s really earned the right to the place, and I’m glad he enjoys it.

Last summer was the first time I’d been to Prudence for nearly fifteen years.  It has changed a lot, mostly for the better.  There are now many miles of trails to walk, and parts of the Island which were inaccessible when I was a child are now open to the public.  We walked all over the Island, averaging more than 5 miles a day, with no repeats for a week.  It was glorious and the weather was perfect. Martha was a very happy dog indeed.

This summer has been less active, and as the leaves start to turn I feel pulled back to Prudence.  I can’t spend a week this year, but I hope to make a couple of day trips.  I don’t intend to wait another fifteen years.

Listen to the rhythm of the sleeping dog.

Martha sleeps for many, many hours each day.  She comes into my office, curls up in her crate, and I don’t hear from her until around noon.  That’s when she wakes up, stretches, and sits beside me with her thousand mile stare, telling me that it’s time to go out to walk and pick up lunch.  Sometimes, if she’s lucky, she gets a little leftover lunch – salad is a favorite – and she likes to sit with her head on my knee while I eat, looking up with great hope and occasionally drooling.

After lunch, she sleeps again.  Sharing my office with a sleeping dog is mostly wonderful.  But when she starts to snore softly, usually around 3:30 in the afternoon, it’s all I can do to keep from cuddling up next to her.   I try to listen to the rhythm of her breathing, and allow that to bring a calm focus to my work for the rest of the day.