Saturday, July 5, 2014


. . . and by a cool Fourth, I mean that it was not a hot day. After 94 degrees on Wednesday (July 2), I rather expected the Fourth to be nice and hot, but the morning was chilly and Mike and I started the day in long-sleeved shirts. Maybe it got to 80.

It seems like the Fourth should be a hot day – picnics, potato chips, and lemonade with plenty of ice. But some years none of that happens.

“Plenty of Fourths we had a fire in the fireplace,” remarked Mike. So true! How well I remember July 4, 1986. Uncle Chuck came with a box of fireworks, and it was c-o-l-d – so cold that I put four-year-old Hallie in her brand new winter coat.

We stayed here at the farm, partially in deference to the fact that fireworks upset “Nervous Nellie” – yes, Nellie the hunting dog. There’s a difference, she says, between going hunting and target shooting. When Mike gets out the .22 or his pistol, Nellie cowers. But when he cocks his shotgun – now that’s different! As it was the neighbors did some target shooting and also set off fireworks, and Nellie wouldn’t eat her supper until things quieted down.

After lunch, Mike took Nellie and Bess and hiked into the canyon. I stayed behind. That “Peanuts” Christmas quilt kit was calling my name, and so with cutting board on the kitchen counter and rotary cutter in hand, I commenced to “fussy cut” the cartoon panel into 5 ¼” squares.

Mike and Nellie came back – I suppose in about an hour – but Bess wasn’t with them. Mike said he called and called but she didn’t come – and she still hadn’t rejoined by the time they were back. So, he settled Nellie and headed out again on the 4-wheeler, expecting Nellie to stay here.

Nellie, now in her 11th year, is full of surprises these days. She greets the opportunity for a walk or a hike with enthusiasm but she tends to amble along, exploring here and there, while young Bess runs ahead. She has opted not to follow the 4-wheeler for several years, but when Mike left the yard, heading south to find Bess, Nellie followed. Well, as it turned out, they didn’t have to go far. When they reached Stove Creek, here came Bess along the edge of the field.

And that was as exciting as it got. I made a pan of microwave brownies. Mike made ice cream and grilled burgers for supper. And the neighbors? It became very quiet in the early evening. I suspect they left. KW

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