Working and running in the rain

It’s another rainy day on the Oregon Coast. We have had so many wet, cold, gray days that some of us can’t help fantasizing about driving south until we hit sunshine and warmth. The weather reports from back home in California taunt us with temperatures in the 70s and a big “S” for sun. My computer says it’s 39 degrees here right now at nearly 9:30 a.m.

But Oregonians are tough. They know that if they don’t work in the rain, nothing will get ever get done. As I type, the concrete guys are back. A couple days ago, these bold gentlemen in their slickers dug out the mud and scraps of lawn in the shady side of the new dog enclosure to prepare for the concrete. Now they’re laying strips of metal within the wooden forms and getting ready to pour, even though it’s raining sideways. If the rain continues, the slab will be stippled with raindrops. It seems appropriate.

I’m tempted to run out and write something in the wet concrete as soon as they leave. Meanwhile the dogs and I keep looking out the windows, the same mixture of eagerness, curiosity and anxiety on our faces.

Being unable to let the dogs into their enclosure the last two days has been a challenge. Chico jumped the old fence twice yesterday. On the next block, I met a neighbor named Sandy. “You’re the writer, aren’t you?” she asked as Chico zoomed past me and out of sight. “Yes,” I said and resumed the chase. Lord, that dog loves to run. He darted in and out of the driveways somewhat in the direction I was going. We arrived home at the same time. As I opened the door, he skidded over the step and across the carpet, his tongue hanging out like a foot-long piece of baloney. Whew!

Advertisements

Now it’s concrete


I’m going to be calling Chico and Annie the million-dollar mutts pretty soon. I just met with a concrete contractor to cover up the mud in their newly fenced dog yard with $2,000 worth of concrete. I must be crazy. Mud-crazy. The dogs have dug out all those holes I filled a couple weeks ago, and they’ve made several more. The grass is trashed. When I open the door, they cover my clothes with mud. It’s so thick on the laundry room floor I could fingerpaint in it. Outside, the mud sucks at my feet as I pick up the poop and claim the fence stakes Annie has pulled out, approximately 30 of them. The dogs and I have tracked black footprints all over the kitchen linoleum and the den and living room rugs. Sometimes I can catch the dogs and wipe all eight feet before they get in, but they’re quick, and once the floors are muddy, I just give up until bedtime when I mop the kitchen again.

Their whole yard won’t be concrete. They’ll still have a patch of grass and dirt, but they’ll have 12 feet of concrete in the area where the sun never hits. It’s the north side of the house and that section never dries out. In fact, I need to power-wash the mold and dirt off the walls. Welcome to Oregon.

The concrete’s coming next week. Meanwhile I bought some stepping stones at Wal-Mart so I had a dry place to walk. The dogs are using them, too. They’re not dumb, those canines. I think when they see their new yard, they’ll stretch out on the concrete, thinking, Ah, no mud.