Today, too, really, only yesterday was especially beautiful and memorable.
I think it was partly because it came on the heels of several below-freezing days, days in which Lily and I traded off reminding each other every two hours to change the outside animal water. Lily would bring in the frozen rabbit water, and I would carry out fresh chicken water, and every two hours we would rinse and repeat. It was cold.
And then came yesterday. Nigh 60 degrees of warmth and sun and hope.
We headed for the hills, as is our tendency, and found ourselves meandering towards Sherando Lake.
Usually this is a summer haunt, one that includes bug spray and sunscreen and swimsuits. But yesterday it was all blue sky and semi-frozen water. We opted to hike around the lake.
We had almost reached the dam on the opposite end (hurrah for an exciting half-way point!) when we heard a new noise. "Listen!" Ethan instructed. "Can anybody guess what that is?"
It was the braying of the hounds. Way up in the mountains behind us, hound dogs had treed something and were braying away. About two minutes later, we were joined by three pickup trucks, three good ole boys in overalls, and three truckbeds loaded down with dog pens.
As the kids went ice fishing (fishing for ice), I was fascinated by the men tracking their dogs with their GPS devices and ribbing each other about exactly where on the mountain the dogs were and what they had treed.
Gideon was christened "Chief Uh-Uh." Soon after we left the dam, he crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Gideon, don't you want to keep walking?" I asked.
"Uh-uh!" he answered. And then every thing I or Ethan said to him was greeted with the same response. He ended up riding on Ethan's shoulders and drooling red lollipop onto the top of Ethan's head.
|Chief Uh-Uh sticking his tongue out|
We refreshed on Ritz crackers, lollipops, and gum (all I could scrounge from the van before our hike) and finished our walk. Partially-frozen Capri-Suns greeted us in the van, and we traveled home to naps and board games and library books.
It was just such a good day. The kind of day where there's a tiredness behind your eyes that feels good and where you feel like one more breath of fresh air might put you into a coma.
Do you know what I mean?
I mean, I was so refreshed I finally clipped Maverick's nails and then, today, gave him a bath and washed his bedding.
Dog days indeed.