Elsie, originally uploaded by Christopher Rauch.
This is Elsie, at a few weeks old. At this point all the pups were up for grabs, and I actually didn't appreciate the fact that Debbie began naming them. Don't name the pups, I said. It's not a good idea. The name Elsie evolved because there were two pups with the black and white coloring that made me think of Chik-fil-A, and I had begun refferring to them as 'The Holsteins'. Elsie was the girl, so she got the girl cow name. I was always gonna keep at least one, and wisely, I presented the ugliest puppies first for adoption. This is always the best policy. Elsie was the last pup standing, but I'd had my eye on her for a while. She was family (I have no biological children. I'm blessed to be claimed as a father by Kelsie, something I find mysterious, terrifying, and delightful). Elsie was the third member of my little 1 man 2 dog household, and she's been gone now for a couple weeks.
I like to walk a little footpath in north Georgia, that makes about a three day circle. A couple times a year. It gives me a quietness inside. A silence that bathes my spirit. I think I am pretty severely ADD. I think if I could live in the mountains, I might be almost normal, my true self. My mind slows and thoughts obtain a rare clarity for me. I was looking forward to trip in the spring, until Chemistry 101 happened. I probably would have been alright, but an out of town job contributed to me falling behind which is not good in chemistry, particularly for a high school dropout with pathetic math skills. I began to fear for my grade. I have bad grades on my transcript from 25 years ago that haunt me. They have kept me out of the school of my choice. Impeccable academic performance by a man in his forties who is sick of life kicking his ass has brought my average up and dreams are looking possible, slightly. Bad grades must not happen again. I pushed back work, reading for pleasure (addict. me.) sleep. Quality time with Debbie. I found killer study aids on Youtube and for six weeks let the rest of my life go to hell. Now I cans configger E-lectrons reel goods, though. Like a mutha fucka, as they say. I guess I spent the summer trying to do the usual financial catchup along with the 6 weeks of academic leave, which hit me in the wallet at a fairly lucrative time of year for a housepainter/carpenter. It was also embarrassing. I am a good student, and chemistry humbled me. Another quarter went by, with no walk in the north Georgia Mountains. Schools back in, and I really felt like a little green solitude was the only thing that would keep sane enough to get through this quarter (This seems pitifully immature, now). I finished up a job and began rushed preparations. I had a sudden brainstorm...I could borrow a canoe and spend three or four days on the Flint River. I could cut my gasoline requirement in half, and take less expensive food. And Beer. I had never taken an overnight canoe trip, but I'm outdoorsy. I've been in a canoe. How hard can it be?