“If you go slowly enough, six or seven months is an eternity—if you let it be—if you forget old things, and learn new ones. Even a week can last forever.”
Rick Bass, Winter

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 26: New Year, High Spirits

New Year's Day, 2012

Part I: The first Sunday Lunch of the year.

Menu: Greek Meze

lamb and mint balls (with fresh ground lamb from 8 O'clock Ranch farm)
tabouli salad
roasted red peppers
pita bread
champagne, beginning in mimosa form

Platter of goodness, before and after

Part II: Zoe rebounds from yesterday's slump

We tussle on the rug, rolling around in glee, until she accidentally clocks me on the check bone with her mighty jaw.  For the rest of the afternoon she stares at me, looking for evidence of the shiner-to-come.  I think she feels chastened, but I could be projecting.  She's got her high spirits back, and now I know the truth about our relationship.  I'm my dog's bitch.
I was experimenting with the ISO and didn't want to use the flash.  The look she fixed on me was intense.

Later, at afternoon walk time, I drive out to the track at St. Lawrence University hoping no one will see my bruised face.  Of course we immediately run into Richard, who is walking two of his neighbors' dogs along with his dog.  Later, we see Claudia, who is walking her dog and is impressed with how much energy Zoe has.

For the first afternoon walk of the year, Zoe gets to run with the physicist's 11-year-old sheepdog, a lovely white-and-gray combination of dignity and grace; Richard's spry, 11-year-old Australian blue heeler, Spot; and the yoga teacher's brindle-coated mixed breed who is the alpha member of this improvised pack.

Zoe realizes halfway through the walk that although she is the only tripod, she has more energy and sass today than the sheepdog, who has arthritis, and the blue heeler, who, poor thing, has a plastic bag caught in its digestive track and won't be comfortable until it comes out.  The yoga teacher's dog yells at Zoe the whole time, perhaps reading her mind.  Zoe is usually number two in the pecking order, but aspires to be top dog.

Zoe sees her chance to return to her old mischievous habit of turning her herding instinct into a game when she hides under some athletic fencing and then ambushes the physicist's sheepdog, telling it to move it along.  The yoga teacher's dog yells at Zoe for flaunting her relative youth and agility, but Zoe is unmoved.  She has her game face on.  The physicist's sheepdog seems not to mind the encouragement at all. 

We part ways and I take Zoe back to the car, but it's clear that today, on this first day of the year, she would happily walk for hours and hours.

As I am working off a rather large lunch, I agree that the walk ended too soon, but as dark falls around us, we drive home to enjoy the first night of the new year.

In high spirits

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