Carpe diem… thank you for the reminder, Frankie!

We have had very few opportunities to occasion together. A very small family. The biggest pandemic.  We vaccinated to protect. We tested to protect. We safely gathered. At the kitchen sink my hands were buried in suds while my heart was enveloped by the warmth of the familiar voices that floated through the house.

Our Vermont “Thanksgiving Day” came just a couple of days past the actual holiday. Arriving in modest shifts our small house on the hill was soon filled. Six adults, a fourteen-month-old and three dogs. The dynamics of the humans has long since been established but for our four-legged friends the jury was still out. TBD.

Cub, the senior in the group has perfectly mastered passive aggressive behavior. His home. His kingdom to be shared. Newly rescued Frankie, our son and daughter-in-law’s bundle of brindle arrived on Friday. Cub and Frankie had already met in New Hampshire. Frankie’s turf. They noticed one another. Cub was reticent. Frankie was nonplussed and soon settled in for a nap after ample and much deserved attention. Casey, our daughter, and son-in-law’s 9-year-old dog a Brittany Spaniel and the most outspoken of the three was last to arrive on Saturday. Would she be the linchpin or the whirling force of chaos? They coexisted sublimely. Remarkably…

Frankie had been studying the cows at the farm next door like he was prepping for the California Bar examination. Our 3-season porch with the gas fireplace glowing became his perch. The snow was gracefully falling. An inspired visual sensation for this pup from Tennessee went virtually unnoticed. Yet, he was “utterly” obsessed with the ladies next door. Purposefully shifting from seated to lying down, Frankie watched the bovine parade with an unflinching focus. His eyes never looked left nor right. Straight ahead and across the rolling hills were five Hereford cows. He waited for his opportunity…

Our sweet strong and healthy two- to three-year-old “Dillinger “was planning and plotting his escape from “house arrest.” His jailbreak from what we had hoped to be an escape proof house was upon us. The moment perfect. Cub’s slow moving fourteen years created his opportunity. The door remained opened just enough. There was no hesitation. Frankie bolted with an envious yet alarming speed. No question of direction or want. Frankie made short work of the distance to be covered and so did our son-in-law. A barbed wire fence was handily navigated by both. Flashes of movement now out of view. We scrambled to get out the door and down the street to wrangle our cow chaser. The ladies of the field were not happy to meet their new uninvited guest. We could hear their protests. We were worried that Frankie would be injured in the flurry of cow kicks, or he would take to the thick dense Vermont woods. A yelp was heard in the cold still early morning air. Our son-in-law was able to grab our naughty and adventurous boy. My son soon came across the yard with the escapee limping. Frankie appeared only slightly injured but remorseful? We all thought not…


                                 Carpe diem… thank you for the reminder, Frankie!


“The question isn’t ‘What are we going to do?’ The question is ‘What aren’t we going to do?’” Ferris Bueller






Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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