08 May 2011

Old Dogs, New Tricks

In the past couple of weeks, our beloved Floey-dog has died, and we have passed the one-year anniversary of my dad's death.  It's been hard to write about an exciting future when I've been thinking about the past.  Linnea has lost her old dog within the last few months as well.  Both Harriet and Floey had long, good lives (14+ years), and they both were "put to sleep" in the end, instead of being left to struggle through to their last ragged breaths.  For both of us, these more recent losses have re-surfaced our feelings about Dad's death, with thoughts of how much harder it was for him.  Ean and I were with him in his last hours, and although I can hope that he was not aware or in pain, his BODY struggled and struggled on.  The nurse told me that I should hold his hand and tell him it was all right to "let go."  I hope the part of him who could have understood that message was long gone by then.  We felt the hanging on, more than the letting go.  The end of a life is a sad thing to see, however it might be accompanied by relief, or love, or happy memories, or gratitude.

One of my favorite pics of Floey - Sunset Lake

But I haven't been immersed in sadness.  Ean and I have been engaged in some impressive change efforts.  Old dogs ourselves, learning some cool new tricks.

Ean has written, already, about our beginning efforts to become sailors.  What a ride!  We have also already written a bit about how we have started to "unstuff" our lives.  While we decrease the quantity in our lives, we try to increase the quality.  One example is our switch from coffee to tea.  Before boat trip preparations, we drank coffee.  We bought fresh, locally roasted, fair trade coffee, ground the beans, used a coffeemaker that required a special brand of disposable coffee filter, and added soy creamer (and I added sweetener as well).  We decided that was too complicated, and we're both trying to cut down on caffeine anyway, so we switched to tea.  Now we have an electric tea kettle - which we will also use to boil water for other purposes.  We are experimenting with different kinds of tea - also rooibos and herbal concoctions - we even went to a little "Tea 101" course hosted by Anaba and Rishi Tea.  I like tea hot or cold - and most temperatures in between, to be honest - and I don't add cream or sugar.  So the tea is also (mostly) replacing what used to be a rather fearsome diet coke habit on my part (like 4-5 per day).