And yet, I had a really wonderful time this year. Maybe the economy helped people remember what's really important. Or maybe it's always like this, or I'm seeing things from a skewed perspective. It's not like that would be a shocker ...
I do miss our little stray dog, who we named Chase. Turned out her name is Decker, and she lives up the road. We experienced the reverse of what we went through when Brian went missing. After having Chase/Decker in our lives for a month, the owner found her. After bonding with us, she seemed confused and wasn't really ready to go with her owner, but then he triggered her with a familiar phrase. "Come on, let's go for a ride in the truck!"
And like that, she was gone.
I'm hugely comforted by the fact that she was part of a family with kids, and that those kids got a fantastic gift--a reunion after most of their hope had fled of ever seeing their dog again. I remember how I cried sometimes weeks after Brian went missing, and how much I laughed, and cried again but this time with joy, when we got him back. When I come home and Chase isn't there, I'm so grateful for my own dogs being home that I linger with them, letting them know how much I love them, and how awesome they are. We have great dogs. We really, really didn't need another one.
So, that's it, I guess. A winter story with a magical ending and a little hint of sadness. It's quiet here, and subdued, but good. The days are finally getting longer, and before I'm ready for it, spring will be here.