Saturday, January 8, 2011


My MORNING WORKOUT was over. I gabbed with some friends and I waited for my husband to come out of the locker room after his own workout. I asked one of the men how he had broken his arm, and he explained that it had happened due to a fall. He had gotten wrapped up in his dog's leash as the two of them walked on his property. That, I said, is why my husband and I have always trained our dogs to heel along WITHOUT a leash as we walk our property together.

"And what about Bob?" one of the fellas joked. "Do you keep HIM on a leash?" I couldn't help laughing at that. "I have long since learned that any effort to keep my Bob on a leash is fruitless," I told them. "Being hitched to him is like being hitched to a whirlwind."

I shared a few stories, including some tales from the famous Ohio blizzard of 1977. Bob saw that serious weather event as an exhiliarating experience. In our building-company truck, we drove out to breakfast along the deserted highways in snows blasted around us by hurricane-force winds. While he enjoyed the driving, I gritted my teeth and prayed. We searched and found only one restaurant open, and that was because the employees inside had been afraid to go home through the storm.

Then we pushed out way through the storm to nearby Geauga County, to check one of our building sites. Bob got out and fought with the storm as he reattached a piece of siding, and then he drove to a local road department and left his name as a volunteer plow man, should extra help be needed during the emergency. It seemed to me that he wanted to stay with the storm, rather than watch it from indoors.

As I described my husband as a "man who has always had the spirit of a pirate boldly roaming the seas through the worst of conditions," I noticed the guys were looking across the room with big smiles on their faces.

"Here comes your adventurer," one of them said, and I had to join in the laughter. There he was, indeed... my indomitable hero, looking more like a pot of left-over hash... dragging himself slowly toward us... on an ornery leg that suddenly didn't seem to want to go along with its owner.

All I could do was admit that many a dashing pirate sometimes ends up on a peg leg.