Saturday, November 24, 2012


IT'S SATURDAY, Reader Dear, but it's still Friday on this blog if I say it is, so I'll say that it is.  We are still in Richmond, Virginia, my yard man and I, and we are still mainlining gratefulness-producing realities.  We went to a park with the Small Actor and his dad (his mum had to put in time at her job).  It was warm and sunny, a marvelous day for strolling around outdoors.  I drag my feet on relaying the unpleasant blip in my otherwise delightful afternoon .   But here's the thing, Dear Reader:

This park has an area where sheep and goats, a large hog, a small ass, and peacocks and numerous  other animals live.  In order to reach this area, the four of us walked (though one of us mostly rode in a stroller) across a wide expanse of lawn, down one hill and up another, and around several bends in the paved trail. It was far from the parking lot, Reader Dear-- that's what I'm saying.  But we were strolling in a leisurely manner, enticing the Small Actor--"Animals! Artie, you wanna see the animals?!"

In time we reached the animals' living quarters, and shortly after, the Small Actor reached out to a shaggy sheep.  Now,  would-be-Viewer Dear, the view was a sight to behold!  The late afternoon sun shimmered off of that shaggy creature (the long-haired one), and lit up the blond curls on that small celebrity! The shaggy ovine nuzzled the hand of the tiny human.  And me--- I snatched up my camera!

Take a moment to calm yourself, Reader Dear, there's a big AAARRGH coming your way!  As I pressed the button that was supposedly destined to record the scene for you, the battery died in my camera.  (You see, that is just what happens to destiny sometimes--it takes a severe misstep! I'll spare you, Dear Reader, the urge to repeat my loud moan, "I've got a back-up battery, but... it's in the car!")  

Okay, I tried to be thankful for all of the photos that already filled my camera; tried to make peace with keeping the spectacular image all neatly recorded in my brain.  But, no!  I knew I could re-trace my steps if I chose; I could make that long trek to the parking lot and return with a workable camera!  I wanted that photo! After just a few moments of teetering, I figured I needed that photo!
Extracting promises that the Small Actor would be right there at the animal area when I returned, I set out for the parking lot, which suddenly looked to be about a half-continent away.

Now, Reader Dear, I'm going to leap over the part about me oh-so-briskly treading up hill and down, backtracking across vast expanses of lawn, and around multiple bends when I kept to the paved trail.  I'm also going to skip over the part about running around to numerous parking lot areas in search of the car (parked in the most far-flung section of all).  What I'm going to do is bring you with me as I arrive back at the animal area about twenty minutes later, huffing and puffing, and a with my feelings of gratefulness having taken a beating.
 (It's intermission time, Dear Reader.  Take a deep breath, as I'm doing)
I glanced around, looking for the Small Actor.  Then I turned my gaze to the grassy enclosure where the long-haired sheep had dwelt.  THEY WERE GONE!  Yes, Reader Dear, all of them had disappeared altogether!  I'm telling you this in a mild-mannered way because that, as they say, is how the cookie crumbles.  It's how the ball bounces.  It's also how the animal-keepers come and collect all the animals and return them to their pens at a certain time of day (just a few minutes prior to my certain return!)

So there you have it!  I had to eat that chunk of disappointment, and it tasted not at all like a crumbled cookie.  Or Thanksgiving turkey, either,  for that matter.  After I'd gulped down most of it, I set up a faux re-enactment for you, Viewer Dear.  Rather pitiful, really, but it will have to do.

And then I told myself how very lucky I was to get this great shot of the geese and the goslings and the grandson on this glorious afternoon!*


*We passed by the lake on our return to the car.  My son knew a shorter route to the parking lot, but I'd dashed off too quickly to hear it!

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