02 November 2012

Hang Time

It's almost a straight shot from the kitchen, through the living room, and down the hall. At first you just hear the thunder of whippet feet as they rip through the kitchen, then the frantic skratchel of their nails (whippets are hell on hardwood floors) as they accelerate towards the bedroom and gather themselves to leap…


After an improbably long silence they fly from the middle of the hall, through the door, across the bedroom, and 70-some pounds of whippets thump onto the bed. (For whippets, gravity isn't really a law. It's more of a guideline.) If you happen to be in the bed when they do this, particularly if you're asleep, it can be very exciting.

Where was I going with this?

I last posted not quite a year ago. In some ways, it's been a very eventful time. My mom died last January, in June Tuffy graduated from University of Washington, in July she left for Japan, to teach English to high school students, and Scarecrow and I became empty-nesters. In other ways, it seems like nothing much has changed at all. We still have two whippets. They are still thieving, cowardly, and disrespectful (as much as I would like to take credit for this wonderful if painfully accurate description, I got it from Terry Darlington, from whom I also appropriated the term "narrow dog". I am not clever. I admit it. I just steal from clever people). I still have MS. I still have an unhealthy obsession with stalking dead people.

So why now? Tuffy started a blog to record her adventures in Japan. I thought that would be motivation for me to start Howling again (not that we're competitive or anything), but it wasn't. Why now? Beats heck out of me. Really. It does.

Maybe it was because I came across an interesting article, and the only way I could think of to share it was to resurrect my blog. Who knows? An awful lot of bloggers don't have a reason, or seem to need one. Why should I be any different?

Where was I going with this?


  1. Glad to see it was merely a sabattical and that you're back. Always loved your writing, your perspective and your stories.

  2. Oh HI There! I have missed you, and hope for more. I'll consider it a full 70# jumping onto my computer screen!

  3. So sorry to hear about your mom.

    Congrats to Tuffy! How exciting to be teaching in Japan! I just checked out her blog and will be sure to read about her adventures over there.

    I have no reason for blogging. I think there are more without reason than those with reason. That didn't make much sense LOL

  4. So glad you decided to return -- for whatever reason. You've been missed! I loved reading your posts, and I was sorry when you no longer wrote. Good for Tuffy -- I hope she does well.

  5. What a year it has been. Missed you big time glad you posted! Dogs will be dogs LOL. Congrats on Tuffy graduating and off to see a new part of the world. Umm parents must of done something right :).

  6. Well, am late to the party. Or actually have showed up well after the party. Have missed your posts and even started an email to you once in this last year. Alas, that's as far as I got!

    Briefly looked at Tuffy's blog. Her About statement has a similar tone to your writing. A self-deprecating style of understatement interwoven with a dry wit.

    As a daily NYT reader, I saw the headline of the article but chose not to read it. I know where I stand and as a PNWer, have read a lot about these laws. I'm a supporter of the Death with Dignity laws which have been surprisingly utilized little. I realize there are multiple perspectives as well as the potential for abuse. However, many things are subject to abuse potential; that doesn't necessarily negate their value but suggest restrictions.

    So, I skipped the article. I read his article now since it was recommended by you. I thought his perspective about the assumptions from medical folks was more interesting than the death with dignity aspect. While the coma story was compelling, I think I missed the link between his condition, medical personnel assumptions (imagine that) about quality of / passion for life, and true self-choice in end of life. But then again maybe I'm being dim.

    Sorry about your Mom. Good to hear from you again.

    Donna (and the Jake-boy)

    1. Hey Donna! Good to hear from you. Great minds must procrastinate alike, because I started an email to you a while ago but… well, you know.

      I've always been an ardent supporter of Death With Dignity legislation, and I still am. I just thought the article brought up some interesting considerations about how subtle, even unintentional, coercion can be. I can see how, on a really bad day, it wouldn't take much to convince a disabled person that pursuing this option would be best for all concerned. The article didn't change my mind, but it made me think.