I’m sitting on the back patio this morning, enjoying the first nice weather we’ve had for a while – a probably all too short break in an otherwise hot, sticky summer here in Southwestern Ontario. It’s a welcome change, and I’m making the most of it with a good cup of coffee and one of the few pipes that hasn’t been carefully packed away ahead of our upcoming move.
Inside the house, every corner seems to be piled high with boxes, some already sealed and labelled and others awaiting the next portion of the stuff we’ve accumulated over 25 years. Carpets are rolled up, artwork is off the walls and furniture not destined to make the move with us has been sold off or given away. Preparations are, for the most part, going smoothly, though we seem to have hit the frustrating point at which I find myself searching for something I know I own, only to remember (usually after a half hour of fruitless searching) that I packed it last week.
Normally I deal reasonably well with such chaos, but I’m still feeling a bit worn from yet another bout of pericarditis that put me back in hospital for a few days at the end of June. A change in my daily cocktail of medications hasn’t quite settled in either, so the chance to sit and lose myself in the peace and quiet of the pipe smoke is a real blessing.
Joining me in my morning contemplation is Teddy, our recently adopted seven year old Maltese. As dogs go, he isn’t much of one, being equal in size and mass to our rapidly aging cat and about as ferocious as a dandelion. He does, though, have a few redeeming features, first and foremost of which is his incomprehensible yet undeniable devotion to me. Don’t get me wrong, Teddy loves everyone, and holds my wife and daughters in particularly high esteem, but given the choice, he will happily accompany me anywhere, even if it’s just a ten-foot move to the next room.
The depth of Ted’s attachment is most evident at times like the present. Teddy HATES pipe smoke (I heard the collective gasp, gentle readers. I know. I’m working on it’), but he nonetheless springs right up onto the sofa beside me when I sit down for a pipe. He asks only to be with me, to be part of whatever I’m doing, and perhaps get his belly rubbed now and then. I am grateful for his easy, undemanding presence and the simple comfort of his warm little body beside me.
I know this peace can’t last, that in just a few minutes I will be called in to attend to one or another of the myriad sundry tasks of everyday life. As the song goes, the Big Wheel keeps on turnin’, and one can only escape reality for so long. Chores don’t do themselves, kids need driving to summer jobs and Lord knows there’s always another box to pack, but for just a little longer I will drift with the pipe smoke, sip my coffee and enjoy the companionship of my furry friend.
Today is a good day. Thanks for being part of it.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, Happy Piping.