Dogs and Fireworks and Bunnies, Oh My!

Mister B spent nine years with his first human companion, an older woman. After she died, her family placed him with a dachshund rescue shelter while they debated whether to take him in or let us adopt him. Since they had six other dogs, we got the nod. They check in with us every year to see how he’s doing. We exchanged messages last night, and I attached two recent photos. There was no need to explain that Mister B owns that couch and all the pillows and blankets on it. As he should, being a very very good boy.

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Donna and I celebrated New Year’s Eve with dinner and a movie: I grilled steaks, which we ate on trays while watching Harrison Ford chew the scenery in Air Force One. Can there be any doubt Trump’s mental picture of himself as president comes straight from this one movie? The heroics, the deference and adulation shown Ford by the actors playing his underlings, the Sir-thises and Sir-thats? I think not! Did Mister B get a bite or two of the steaks he helped me grill? I think so!

Donna didn’t stay up but I did, thinking Mister B might need comforting when the neighbors started setting off fireworks. We watched a new episode of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (what’s up with her lipstick?) and an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while we waited. I nodded off just before midnight, but the thumps, whistles, and bangs woke me up. Mister B handled the commotion like the old pro he is, and we joined Donna in bed shortly afterward.

I ended 2020 worrying what Trump’s earlier-than-scheduled return from Florida to the White House might mean. Can he be planning some kind of military action against Iran, thinking it’ll give him cover for declaring martial law in order to stay in office? I greeted 2021 still worried. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that assuming the worst is never an over-reaction when it comes to Donald Trump. The new year’s less than 24 hours old; anything can happen.

Wednesday, the day before New Year’s Eve, Donna went out for some last-minute groceries. She called from the car to tell me there was a check engine light and it was running rough. We agreed the best thing to do would be to forget the store and drive straight to our mechanic’s garage. Since it was late in the day and they’d probably have to keep the car overnight, I’d meet her there and take her home, stopping at the grocery store on the way.

I left right away, and by the time I arrived they’d popped the hood and identified the problem, a rabbit hiding in the engine compartment. Donna was the one who actually pulled the creature out … she was the only one with hands small enough to get into the tight area where it was trying to hide. It jumped from her hands to the top of the car, panicked, then bolted behind the garage and disappeared. She and the mechanic got a brief but good look at it and it appeared uninjured. That is if you don’t count a bad case of bunny PTSD.

I feel terrible for the rabbit. They’re territorial, and even though it wasn’t physically hurt it’s in a strange hood now and may not survive long. It did some damage under the hood, chewing through a wire bundle (the cause of the check engine light and roughness). They were able to fix it early on New Year’s Eve. The bill was small: one hour’s labor, no parts. When they called to say the car was ready they asked if we’d come get it right away … one of their mechanics had tested positive and they wanted to close shop and send everyone home. We got in the truck to drive there and wouldn’t you know, now it had a damn light too, a low pressure warning on one of the tires.

The pressure sensors on the truck tell us how much air is in each tire. Since the low one was just one pound under the warning level I decided to drive to the garage and fill the tire there while Donna paid the bill and got her car. Our mechanic works for one of the last garages in town with full-service gas pumps out front, so I treated myself to a proper fill-up, the kind you see in black & white 1950s movies, where the people in the car stay in their seats while three guys in uniforms bustle around outside taking care of everything that needs doing. Wow. Okay, so it was just two guys, and they had matching caps and masks instead of uniforms, but wow. Haven’t experienced that in like 40 years! It was nice, driving home with a clean windshield and pumped-up tires.

And that’s how we closed out our 2020. Some excitement, but mostly mellow and relaxed. Let’s hope there’s more mellow ahead, though I think it’ll be a while before anyone can relax … especially our incoming president and vice president.

Happy New Year! And get your shot!

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