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May 11, 2014: With Friends

Nancy and Terri opted to stay in Girdwood Saturday night. Today we had local visitors – our friends Patty Rosnell and her husband Ira came for an afternoon visit. They live in the Knik River area. They brought their dog Fiona with them. Fiona is an English Shepherd—she looks like Ryder – has a white ruff and is of medium size. The difference is that Ryder’s coat is jet black and Fiona’s coat is mahogany.

Patty, Ira, Pete and I took all the dogs for a hike on the trail to Grizzly Camp. The two younger dogs were very energetic. Our two older dogs were far calmer. The trails have dried up nicely.

Ryder and Fiona

We did encounter some muddy, boggy sections – the younger dogs laid in the creek water – Fiona then wallowed like a pig in the mud. It did my heart good to see the dogs so happy.

Pete later told me that Patty has a messed up hip. I didn’t know this beforehand; otherwise I would have suggested that we instead do an easier walk. And I did think this walk would be easier. I had done it last night, but I guess I remained oblivious to the fact that it had its more challenging aspects. It would have been easier if the ATVers had not ripped it apart.

We ate lunch outside, at the picnic table, and then we hung out on the upper cabin porch. Pete and I don’t do this often – it made me realize we need to do this kind of thing more often. All the while we talked, not small talk, but large talk – about things that really matter – dogs, people we know, borough politics.

Patty and I both went to schools in New York State at about the same point in time. We were reminded of this when we began comparing our high school book lists. And yes, we both received Regents Diplomas. This required some discipline on our part – you then had to take three years of Regent science, English, History, and math courses, and then take requisite tests.

Ever since I’ve known her, Patty’s been a sharp dresser. She was yesterday (for example) wearing colorful Bog shoes and knee high black socks that on the back had arrows pointing upwards, and the words Bad Ass written beneath. Sometime, I want to go on a serious shopping trip with her, to Seattle.

Patty’s main area of focus has been on writing the wrongs of the Mat-Su Borough Assembly. She rightly said that recent commentary has indicated that she’s an assembly bulldog and added that this “has made her feel strong.” As I pointed out to her, what’s most important here is that she’s an inspiration to others, like me, who tend to bury our heads in the sand. I added that without people like her, corruption flourishes.

One of many things that I like about having visitors is that I then see our place through their eyes. In particular, Patty was impressed with all the work we’ve done around here these past few years. I took her on the property tour. I was glad that I spent three weeks cleaning this place up.

Sometimes, in fact quite often, I get to feeling depressed. This is mainly about my failings and in particular my work situation – writing grr, grr, grr, it doesn’t pay. And grr, grr, grr. I am just not good enough at what I do. But at times, I realize that while I’ve failed as a writer, in other respects I have not. I have many good friends. This is not by chance, but rather because I’ve sought them out.

My best friends are intelligent, curious, inquisitive, and open to new ideas. They also listen intently to what I have to say, and after, ask insightful and often difficult questions. Most are artistic – for example, Patty crochets. And, all have very good sense of humors.

I may have similar attributes. If I don’t, I at least value my friends, and their attributes. And it’s a given – when friends come over, they become the center of the Squalor Holler Universe. It’s then that my spirits are lifted skyward.

Next: 131. 5/12/14: Mr. Siggi’s Birthday