Shame Bomber

My biggest enemy is shame. Shame is the root of probably 97% of my problems. Addiction, anger, marriage issues, eating/weight issues, parenting struggles: shame. They are all shame -based. Honestly, I can’t pinpoint where it all started, but as most emotional damage goes- I’m sure it was somewhere in early childhood.

Figuring out where it came from is helpful, but I’m really more interested in moving forward. Moving forward for me looks like tackling this big bastard and limiting it’s hold on my life.

Yesterday I went to see my therapist (who I have already blogged about because he is awesome) and we were talking about a few things that have happened recently that all had roots in shame. We discussed my reaction when I feel shame and the cycle that comes after that (which is just more and more shame).

But for your benefit, here is how shame plays out in my life: I feel shame because of imperfection. (Because perfection has been my response to try to rid myself of shame. “If I am perfect, I will not feel ashamed”.) Anyway, whether I am imperfect or someone in my life is imperfect- shame comes. Then with shame, comes a bad reaction to the person or persons involved. We’ll keep it close here and talk about my immediate family:

So Vaughn screws up. I want him to be perfect like me (ha.ha.), so I freak out over a small incident. Small incident becomes big incident, big incident becomes rage, rage makes me feel ashamed. Or this: imperfection on my part, imperfection makes me feel shame, shame makes me lash out, lashing out hurts people’s feelings, hurting people’s feelings makes me feel shame. Now, after this nasty cycle, I turn ALL THAT SHIT inwards hate myself and then hate everyone else because none of us is perfect. Shame wins (<—–NOT my next tattoo).

Chris said I’m like a Suicide Shame Bomber. I feel shame, rage on everyone, blow it all up-we all die. I can’t stop picturing it: my whole family sitting in the living room quietly and me running in with a vest full of dynamite. I open the vest ,scream a war cry and blow us all up with shame. (BTW: do yourself a favor and don’t google images for suicide bomber to try to find an appropriate picture for this post.)

The beauty of all of this shame shit is that just like the addiction cycle, I am free to stop it at anytime. Whether it is at phase 1 (“I feel shame”) or right after the bomb explodes. I can stop the whole thing and turn it around.

The new root is grace. Grace when I feel shame. Grace when I blow up. Grace when one of my kids screws up. I can show myself grace. I can show my family grace. I can show the clerk at Wal Mart grace. I am NEVER going to be perfect. Never. And neither are my kids. And neither is Andy. It seems silly to even write that out, because of course. But it’s not silly to me.

My standard has been perfection and that perfection is actually shame. So today…today I’m forgiving myself. I’m forgiving Eloise for not refilling the water dish. I’m forgiving the dog for crapping downstairs. Today I’m aware. I woke up late because I went to bed with a headache. Usually- shame would be my alarm clock and the whole entire day would go in the crapper. Today- grace. I got up to the tune of grace. Instead of flying around the house like a witch on her broom, I said, “Kids. We might be late and that is my fault. I’m sorry. I am not going to yell at you this morning, but I need you to do what I say quickly so we can try to not be late.” Teamwork. Grace.

My new mantra is this: Reasonable Best. I am going to do my reasonable best everyday. Reasonable best. Not perfect, not throw it all away because I can’t achieve perfection: reasonable best. For example, I am trying to change my eating habits and yesterday with my headache, I ate well all day, but needed a Coke: reasonable best. My reasonable best yesterday was one Coke. It wasn’t one coke and a tub of ice cream, though one day, that may be my reasonable best. Not perfection- reasonable best.

Love wins. Forgiveness wins. Grace wins.

XO,

CELINA - signature

 

Before Cancer

A long time ago, before cancer took her away today, I crossed paths with a woman who changed my life completely.

I was in my late 20’s coming off of a couple years of hell. My dad had recently died and on the heels of that I spent two years throwing away everything I knew about God one joint, drink and cigarette at a time. When the smoke cleared for me, I realized that although I had thrown God away- He hadn’t tossed me at all. In fact, His grip was even tighter and with His loving arms He led me out of my desolation and all the way to Montrose, Colorado.

I moved in with a couple I had met during more “Christian” times who welcomed me -in spite of (because of?) my brokenness. Living in their home were other broken, searching young people and her- this very small, kind, light brown woman with gray, thinning hair and a giant smile. She was related to the couple we were all living with through complicated means: she was an expat from Papua New Guinea and her two children married two of the couples children. David and Kathleen (the couple) had lived in PNG for many years with YWAM where their families crossed paths for eternity. Clara was a grandma (Bubu) to lots of grandchildren, and an Auntie to many, most not related to her by blood at all.

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Somewhere in the 4 years I lived with David and Kathleen, Clara became my “black mama”. Maybe it was the nights we spent awake praying for my (unknown) husband and maybe it was the car rides to WalMart, maybe it was the months we shared a room because the house was full: I don’t know where the shift from “someone I live with” to “someone I don’t know if I can live without” came, but it happened. She claimed me as her white daughter and I claimed her as my black mama.

My first memory of Clara is of how meek and quiet she seemed. But then I saw how I could make her laugh and I knew she wasn’t quiet at all. Clara prayed (and prayed and prayed). She prayed in the shower, she prayed when she walked and she prayed while she worked. Every single act of her hands was an act of worship. You want to see true worship? Watch Clara clean a house! You want to see true worship? Check out the plants she mothered and prayed over. I still have plants Clara tended and they are still alive! Clara seemed meek, but I assure you, she was MIGHTY.

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When she began her treatment for cancer, Clara would go to the hospital and bring joy to every nurse, doctor and patient she encountered. I knew she was sick, and I didn’t know how sick, so a few months ago when she came over to this side of the mountains to visit her (actual) daughter, I went to see her. I brought her some things to keep her warm (she was ALWAYS cold) and I just told her how much she meant to me. How much she added to my life. I felt silly, because she wasn’t “dying” sick, she seemed healthy even, but I knew the end would come at some point- it always does with cancer- and I knew I needed to tell her all the things she had added to my life. I knew I needed to wipe her feet with my tears. I didn’t literally wash her feet, but I wish I had. I washed her feet with my words. I let tears fall and I told her how special and amazing she was. And I’m glad I did because I didn’t get another chance to do that.

Like a mama, she believed in me, cared for me, cheered for me, waited for me when I needed time to learn something and she sometimes stood amazed at what I could do. And I mean simple things like drive a car or move furniture :). Clara made me feel like I was special. If I could do something she couldn’t- she cheered me. If I learned something new, she cheered me. And she did that for many. She loved and cheered and prayed.

So many of the good things about my life came from the prayers of Clara: my husband, our children- both adopted and biological, mended friendships, weight loss, healthy views of others, seeing work as worship and a deeper understanding of a God who is KIND and LOVING and LOVES to bless his children.

You know that story in the bible of the widows mite? That was Clara. When we were raising money for our adoption- she sent out of her lack, not her excess. When the plate was passed- she gave all- not some. Whether the plate was time or money, she NEVER held back from God because she understood that her all was His.

We, and I really mean a collective we- many, many people- have lost a great woman today. She loved so many, so fiercely and you don’t find that kind of person too often, so when you do, you call her Mama and you hang on until the end. Then you wash her feet and you let her go.

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Clara, I have wept all night thinking of you and what we have lost on earth because you’ve left, but then I think about the babies you lost tragically and how you’re holding them and I think about the God you KNEW and loved deeply and I know you are right where you belong. I miss you so much already and I’m so, so sad you are gone, but I am so, so happy for you. You are right where your heart was always set- with Him. You lived one life, but you changed the lives of many and I am so lucky to have been counted among them. See you in heaven, Mama.

XO,

CELINA - signature

Surprised by Kindness

 

Today is Avett’s 3rd birthday. I remember the day he was born clearer than I remember any day I’ve lived. I don’t tell my kids this, but the day Avett was born was the best day of my life. Avett was the biggest surprise. The kindest gift God could have given me after years of heartache.

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September 2, 2013

But aren’t surprises the best. Like real surprises?

Earlier in the week, I told Eloise that we would get donuts for Avett’s birthday from our favorite local donut place. I forgot about it, but being a donut lover- she did not and promptly reminded me when she woke up. We weren’t running late today, but we weren’t early either. Amanda told me that 2 of her 4 kids were sick, so I offered to take the two who were well to The Donut House with us. I wouldn’t have offered if they were all going to school because taking 7 kids into a 400 square foot donut store that usually has a line of people 6-12 deep is a recipe for a really bad start to the day. Anyway, I picked up two Purvis’s and we made our way to get some donuts.

Once inside, I told the kids we would have to get our donuts to go because we wouldn’t have time to sit there. We waited about 7 minutes in line and while the kids certainly didn’t misbehave, the combined force of 5 kids under 10 waiting to get donuts is not a force to reckon with. They were sitting (read: laying/bouncing lightly) on the available comfy chairs, reading books (out loud) and semi-loudly discussing whatever it is that kids age 3-10 discuss. My only correction to them was to Avett to speak a little quieter (since he was essentially yelling to Noah about fish). Overall, I was happy with how they were acting and I only felt a little self-conscious because I know some people (and maybe one of the 9 people in line behind us in the 400 square foot waiting area) think kids should not make any noise or move around at all. But I decided in the few minutes we were there that if someone didn’t like it, it was going to have to be too bad for them.

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Anyway, when it was finally our turn, I called all the kids to the donut viewing window and said, “Avett picks first since it’s his birthday!” The donut man said, “His is on the house since it’s his birthday!” (Side note- always announce your birthday because it gets you free stuff!). We each ordered our favorite and went to pay. But the guy behind me quietly stepped up and said, “I’ve got this. I’ll get your donuts.” I almost started crying and thanked him profusely. “Wow! Thanks!!” I said and started to gather up the kids to head out. As we walked through the door, I thought of the 10 lepers healed and how only one went back to say, “thanks!” and I asked Vaughn if he would run back in and thank the guy again.

The whole way to school I talked to the kids about that man’s kindness. My arms felt all goose-bumpy and an hour later I still have a lump in my throat. I didn’t need that man to buy our donuts, but I love that he did. His extension of kindness is leading me today. It’s been a long time since a stranger blessed me and if I think about it, it’s been a while since I blessed a stranger. Today is the day, though. A day full of surprises and kindness. I’m glad for the reminder to spread my share of kindness around because however long it takes to make it’s way around the world, it always comes back and there is always enough to give away.

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XO,

CELINA - signature

Truth, Love and Facebook Posts

I have a friend who I love with all of my heart. I wrote this message to her, never intending to send it, but wanting to sort out my feelings. After writing it and deciding to publish it as a blog, I felt like it would be cowardly and possibly damaging to our friendship to post this without talking to her first- so I called her. I told her all this in less eloquent words, but I told her. It started as a note- a way to sort out my feelings. It became a conversation with a friend- now it’s a note again that I’m sharing with you.

Dear Friend,

I love you so much. Of so many people I have met in my life, you have truly been a cheerleader and a fan. I can never thank you enough for all you have done for me: professionally, spiritually, and as a friend. You have been faithful through many seasons of my life. You are amazingly generous. Many times when I did not feel I was rich in friendship, I always had you. I love you and so I hope that my message to you comes across as such: filled with love.

The truth is, I don’t always know how to speak the truth in love. I don’t know how to tell the truth and have it be filled with love, because I haven’t had much practice, or much modeling, but I want to learn how to do it and the best way to learn something like this is to practice. Before I attempt to tell the truth in love, let me I assure you: I’m telling the truth and I love you.


I love Jesus. We can agree on that because I know that you do too. Just like me you are doing the best you know how to with your relationship with Jesus. You are trying to live for him and trying to show others what His love means. So am I.

When you talk about how you think God feels about some things, I tend to remain silent or say things that keep you talking like, “yeah” or “that makes sense”. But the reality is, I disagree with many of your Christian perspectives. My silence is not an act of agreement. My silence is my way to listen to your perspective and keep mine to myself. Whether that is the right thing to do or not, it is what I chose. I really don’t think I can influence the way you see things- because like I used to- you see things in black and white. Because I now see shades of gray, I find that I cannot stay silent anymore. I must tell you the truth.

Recently, a mutual female friend of ours got engaged to another female and they plan to be married. They announced their engagement on Facebook, which I clicked “Like” for- because I am happy that she has found love. You, on the same announcement of her engagement said this, “This breaks my heart. I do not believe this is God’s plan for you however this will never change his love for you nor mine”. Many quickly stepped up to disagree with you. I stayed silent, in this case because I felt that your shaming of our friend was inappropriate and I did not want to further detract from the point of the post which was our friend’s happiness. I just need to be clear though, I feel that love never shames another. If you really love our friend, you would call her on the phone or ask her to meet you for coffee. If you love our friend you would try to understand how she feels this aligns with her faith- so that you could understand better. If you love our friend, you can even express confusion- but not the certainty you offered on God’s position. I feel if you love her you would not go onto her public post where she is celebrating the life she has chosen and condemn and shame her using what you think are God’s feelings.

In terms of our friend’s engagement- I honestly do not believe that God is upset about this, because I am not even sure if homosexuality is a sin. And if it is, it really isn’t my business because I am not participating in it. See, I believe what my friend Andy Landers said, which was, “Jesus didn’t say ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’, Jesus said, “Love the sinner, hate your own damn sin”. I don’t believe that Jesus needs us to defend His position on any matters. I believe that our job as people who love Jesus is to follow the great commandment which is so simple: love Jesus and love people. We all have our own messes to worry about and a great way to detract attention from our own selfishness, greed, anger and covetousness is to point our fingers at the “big sins”. The things we think for absolute certain God hates.

The only thing I know about what God thinks for absolute certain is that I don’t know a damn thing for absolute certain about what God thinks.

I have wrestled with my faith in the last few years and maybe 3 years ago I would have congratulated you on your bravery to “tell the truth to our friend caught in deception!”, but now I see it for what it is: Pharisaical crap. I have tossed my conservative Christian views that I once held dear.  This happened for me when I had to start wrestling with my own demons- hidden for so long in my religious garments- big demons like addiction. I had to stop and figure out what God thought of me when I wasn’t measuring up to the meter I set for all people who love God. Wrestling with my own big sins gave me a chance to give the rest of the world grace because I know that we are all broken as long as we live on this earth- Christians and everyone else included. The most perfect churches are full of broken people. None of us is perfect and this conservative Christian viewpoint on the world just isn’t cutting it in a world full of broken people (including me and you- we are ALL broken!).

I’ll end the way I began: I love you and I am so grateful for our friendship, but I can no longer stay silent. I want to come clean as a broken person who loves God, believes in shades of gray, and makes so many mistakes and sins in so many ways that I don’t have time or energy to worry about anyone else. I don’t want to add to the voice of some in the Church who are saying to the world, “YOU. You over there! Come to us. We’ll take you as soon as you look like us.” I want to say to the world, “You! You over there! Look at how broken I am and how much God loves me still! I know He feels this way about you, too. Come as you are, friend and find love! There’s no shame here!”

 

XO,

CELINA - signature

 

Macklemore: Theme Songs For Dieters, Riders and Bargain Hunters

I’d like to introduce you to three Macklemore songs that play like theme songs for dieters, riders and bargain hunters. If you haven’t heard of Macklemore- I’d be shocked since I am generally 2-3 years behind any trend-musical or otherwise. If this is your first introduction, let me warn you, the lyrics are incredibly explicit. .

Lets start with his song, “Let’s Eat“. As you know, I have lived the Paleo lifestyle, but being a person who loves to eat and grew up on Ramen and Chips A Hoy cookies, I do not naturally have a penchant for eating in a way that will truly benefit my body-thus I slip back easily into my pre-paleo eating habits. I love fat (not the good kind). I love sugar. I love ice cream. I LOVE donuts. And I love chocolate. My favorite vice though, is a McDonald’s Coke (there is an actual science as to why McDonald’s Coke’s are so delicious). When we started this blog a year or so ago, I was at my personal best weight thanks to Paleo. Now I am pretty much back to where I started. I won’t add to my current shame by posting “before: when I was on paleo” and “after: when I started eating whatever I wanted” pics, but I should just so you know that I am not perfect and the Paleo life I thought I would live forever has (for now) gone by the wayside in exchange for chocolate cereal for breakfast and cheese and crackers for lunch. So now we have Macklemore’s song called “Let’s Eat”. I.e my ‘diet’ theme song.

Let’s Eat

 

Moving along. I recently got a scooter.  Yamaha scooter 125

Scooters say ‘fun’ like few other forms of transportation do. I absolutely LOVE having a scooter. It is great for running quick errands around our small town, delivering packages and library books, great for giving the kids a quick ride and perfect for escaping in a healthy way. In short, the scooter is just what I needed. Someone asked me, “how are you going to carry three kids on that thing?”.  To which I replied, “that is exactly the point.” Incidentally, I have carried two kids on it at a time, which is also a total blast. My kids love the scooter because it means uninterrupted time with me- and I love that for them because they don’t always get enough. Eloise is my favorite scooter buddy. She asks me at least once a day if we can go for a scooter ride. I dropped her off at a birthday party on the scooter the other day and I kept telling her the whole way there that all her friends would be jealous that she showed up on a scooter. When we pulled up and her friend’s mom started oohing and aahing over the scooter, Eloise put her face in my side and said, “You were right mom, they are all jealous!”.

The scooter is awesome because I seriously smile the entire time I am riding it. I love the scooter because it also makes other people smile. I beep at kids and do the motorcycle wave to people with actual Harleys. What I really love is that I might be going 28 miles an hour, but it feels like 100. The wind is blowing my hair, the world standing still, but I am moving right along (at 28). I love speed and more than that I love the illusion of speed (because actual speed is a little unsafe in a minivan). So, a scooter is perfect. Which brings us to this theme song by Macklemore that sums up Scooter Life. Incidentally, I did not know about this song when I bought the scooter, but had I known about it, it would have been motivation for me to go to the moped store and get myself a hell of a deal.

Downtown

 

Finally, I have always loved the hunt for a treasure. I used to LOVE playing in the attic at my dad’s house which was full of dusty boxes and old junk. I love garage sales and second hand stores. I love not paying full price for something (Craigslist for the WIN!) and I love not having the same exact thing as everyone else. In short, I love thrift shopping. Which brings us to the song you’ve probably heard of Mackelmore’s called, “Thrift Shop“. If you love shopping at ARC, Goodwill or Savers, then this will want to make you pop some tags.

Thrift Shop

 

I think the thing I love best about Mackemore is that he really must not take himself too seriously. I don’t claim to know much about music and when it comes to favorites I am more of a Beatles kind of girl, but this guy is a comic genius- combining something everyone loves: music with something everyone needs more of: laughter.

I’m always good for a laugh and I think that Mackelmore’s songs are the same. They make me laugh (sometimes because of the stark truth) and they make me want to dance. What more could you ask for from a couple of theme songs?

XO,

CELINA - signature

 

 

The Accidental Patriot

Toddler toilet training

I haven’t given him nearly enough blog time, but our son Avett (pronounced A like when you say the alphabet)* is a total and complete hoot. An amazing person. A jolly good fellow.  I really need to get him a twitter account or a producer so the world can enjoy this kid as much as we all do. For now, this blog post should suffice.

Avett is 2 3/4 years old. So almost 3. From the day he was known by us, he was our joy and delight. A surprise we never expected. He continues to surprise us everyday with his wit and personality.

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He is funny, friendly, adorable and an incredible communicator. I know that as his mother my opinion doesn’t count for much, but you can really ask anyone he knows and they will verify these statements as facts. Avett knows every one of our neighbors names and he calls to them from across the yard when he sees them. Avett: “HI! HI! Mr. John!! I’m just, I’m just playing with this stick.” The other day out of the blue he asked Mr. John how old he was? I don’t know why he wanted to know.

One time I asked him who he liked better- mommy or daddy. When he said without even a second pause – “Daddy!” I laughed too hard to which he replied with vehemence, “NO! I do. I do love Daddy better!”.

He doesn’t know much about birthdays, but he KNOWS that he wants a balloon and a car “so I can drive my buddies around”. Every kid he meets is his buddy. Even if said buddy chokes him like this (Avett demonstrates rather hilariously how his buddy choked him).

Avett also talks about what he wants for MisMas (Christmas). Spoiler alert: it’s a balloon.

image_5When one of his siblings does something wrong, he comes to me with the tale and then says, “Can you talk to Ewowise about it?” To which I’ll reply, “What do you want me to say to her?” He says, “Tell her to never do that again!”

As much as he is like Andy in all the best ways: easy-going, not ruffled easily, happy to work, he is in many ways also just like his mama (see bedhead photo).image

I really love guests and company and time with people, but when I’m done, I’m done. Avett is the same. He’ll say to my mom out of the blue, “OK Bye! Time for you to go to your home.” Last week one of my good friends came by for lunch. Her name is Aunty Q. Avett called her BAR-B-Q. The only association he could make with the letter Q. While BBQ was here, she gave him gifts, she shared her lunch (literally right off her fork and plate), she talked to him and laughed with him- all in all a good visit. After she left I said, “Did you like Aunty Q?” “Yes!” he said. “What was your favorite thing about her?” Avett: “When she said BYE-Bye”.

Avett’s best friend is our 70-something year old neighbor- Mr. Gary. Avett and Gary practically both run to the fence for a chat every time they see each other. Mr Gary will say, “Where’s my little buddy?” Avett tells him what he’s doing that day and they chat for a few minutes. I don’t usually stay and listen because I want Mr. Gary to get all the joy he can out of these encounters. They have their own little friendship that I really love. Avett’s other favorite person is his Bampa (grandpa). Again the delight these two get out of each other is totally mutual. I’ll say, “Grandmas coming over!” He’ll say (with much excitement!), “Is Bampa coming too!!!??” image_6

image_1The other day (and many days before that) Avett decided that he needed to strip down to nothing in the backyard. I caught him just as he was completely naked. While I did try to get him to put his clothes back on, I didn’t try nearly enough because I was laughing so hard. I asked him why he had to take his clothes off and he said, “So I can go down the slide!” He then did this on the swing set.

Avett is a politician in training. He meets everyone, asks, “what’s your dogs name?”, shakes hands with strangers, charms everyone and then remembers their name image copythe next time he sees them. The other day we decided to take a walk. We all got dressed and hustled out of the house. Once we were outside I realized that we had a brought our own little patriot. Aunty BBQ had given Avett these flags which he didn’t put down for the whole day. He’s had these red Toms for a month or so now (he calls these his Uncle Toms because he has an Uncle Tom). He had been wearing his National Guard hat all day as his own personal choice and then without even thinking I put on this blue and white striped sweater shirt. I realized as we started walking that he was perfectly dressed for the 4th of July. I told him so and he started saying, “Happy Juwy!” and waving his flags.

So to you we say, “Happy Juwy!”

*Update and clarification! Avett is a hard name to get. Whenever adults ask him his name and he says it, they smile blankly and say, “Well, hi there…buddy.” A friend pointed out that my explanation of pronunciation does not in fact, help. The way you say Avett is when you say the alphabet, not the word alphabet, but when you say, “A,B,C,D…” It’s that kind of “A” sound. Hope that helps…..but I’m sure it doesn’t.

 

XO,

CELINA - signature

 

 

A Note to My Neighbors About My Dog

Dear Neighbors,

Have you seen this dog??IMG_4675

My guess is that if you live within a half mile radius of my house you have. If you haven’t met him already, allow me to introduce Wilson. Wilson is a pretty cute and super friendly Wheaton Terrier/Poodle Mix (Whoodle) who my husband and I have loved for 7 years now. He is still loved by us, but with 3 kids, his position has been downgraded a bit from favored child.

Anyway, Wilson’s favorite game is Chase Me. With 3 children, Chase Me is a game that absolutely I refuse to participate in with my dog. If I’ve learned anything from the 16 trainers we’ve hired over the years (and I do believe I only learned one thing) it’s this: “don’t chase a dog that likes to run away”. So I don’t. I won’t. You can judge me or call Dog Social Services, but I will not chase this dog. My husband is another story, but since I am the author, I will tell my version of events.

Allow me to explain a little further so you don’t think I am callous or unfeeling or don’t care about the welfare of my dog. I actually do care, but I will not add the stress of chasing my dog around town to my list of things to be stressed about. I actually do care, but I have also been known to call my dog a jerk, a bastard and a son of a bitch (all of which he was being at the time). My 1 year old son actually thought all dogs were called “Dummy” because of how often I called Wilson a dummy. I know, it’s sad, but when you have 3 kids who are home all summer and your job is to keep them alive, the dog takes a lower ranking. However, let me state again, I do care about Wilson- just not enough to chase him when he runs away.

I know, I know now you may be asking- “How does your dog get out and why haven’t you solved this problem, neighbor?” I’m glad you asked, neighbor! Although we have a fenced yard, there are 3 gates and if you are a dog who loves the game Chase Me, you are always looking for an opportunity to slip out of the gate when the children are endlessly coming and going (do they ever stop opening and closing gates and doors??). We also have a new front door (have you seen it yet!??) and the front door has no screen or other barrier that will help slow down the dog. Additionally, we do sometimes open our garage door and if we are not careful, this sweet pal of ours will charge right out the garage door stopping only once to look back after he is far enough away that we could never catch him. Don’t think us poor pet owners based on this one small glitch in Wilson’s personality, he does not run away because we are unkind to him (though Avett does love the game, “Ride Wilson” and “Pull This Tail A Little”). He runs away because he is a dog and also an idiot. I believe in survival of the fittest and if this dog is dumb enough to run away from a warm bed, daily food and a cat to chase around- so be it. If you steal him from us because you think we are callous pet owners, I’m fine with that- he’ll want to play Chase Me with you, too and he’ll eventually find his way home.

 

Neighbors, please forgive me for not being willing to chase the dog around the neighborhood. I assure you I would not be so nonchalant if I thought for a second my dog would harm someone or was in some kind of great danger. Could he get hit by a car? Possibly, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Regardless, he is incredibly friendly and cute and I know whoever he encounters will not be hurt by him.

Not chasing my dog around the neighborhood is also what I love about this neighborhood. Wilson’s wanderings provide an excellent opportunity to meet my friendly neighbors who capture him as he darts by and kindly return him to us. I have literally met a dozen neighbors this way and whether they are judging me for having a dog that runs around the neighborhood or wishing they had a dog as cute as Wilson is not known by me. What is known is that I didn’t have to chase him for him to come home. So neighbors, in some ways, this is your fault. Like Pavlov’s Dogs you’ve conditioned me to stay home and enjoy my iced tea while you play Catch Me with Wilson. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. It’s hard to know what mistakes you are making while you are making them. If you stop bringing him home, he’ll either come home on his own or Andy will go find him when he gets home. Either way, in any scenario, I have not had to chase the dog. Win for me.

Anyway, do forgive me if Wilson has bothered you in any way and if you see him- feel free to ignore him (he’ll make it home somehow- he always does), or call me (my number is on the tag) or just bring him home. It will be great to meet you! Maybe you can even come in for some tea.

With much appreciation,
Celina Baldwin
597 Vista Dr