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  • Reyna Bradford

Quit Dinking Around (Written 1/1/22)

This was one of the worst New Year's I can remember.


It started late New Year's Eve with ominous noises from my heater. By the morning of January 1, 2022, it sounded like a musical band, combined with a small aircraft, had taken up residence in the furnace room.


To add to the drama, New Year's Day morning ushered in the worst winter weather we have seen all season. December treated us so well that no doubt we had retribution coming. But when it arrived, it was cruel and miserable. Temps at my place topped out at about ten degrees that day, with a bitter wind spitting snow and sleet out of the northwest at around forty miles an hour. The typical stress of caring for all the outdoor animals in those conditions, spliced together with my terror at the possibility of the furnace breaking down and also leaving the indoor critters stranded, made for a highly unenjoyable backdrop to the day.



Then there was the food situation. Now that the parents are living on-property, it was a given that we would get together New Year's Day for lunch. I had just found a recipe for wings that looked easy and yummy, and so I boldly volunteered to bring the main dish. I'm not an award-winning chef, but most of my efforts in the kitchen are at least palatable, and some are downright tasty. This recipe looked like it could be another winner.


Um, wrong. Despite my diligence, the chicken wings burned. I lugged them up to mom and dad's house anyway, hoping some of the bits could be salvaged, but it wasn't much good.


"I like the inside meat," mom said bravely, gnawing on a blackened fragment.


Besides that, the batch of tiger butter candy I had attempted to make for a friend's late Christmas gift had failed. I was feeling pretty low.


Please don't let this be a foreshadowing of how the coming year will unfold.


It seems that the last two years have been, if not a total waste, then certainly a major loss. I have lost two years of shows and serious training with my dogs. I have down-sized my dairy herd. At a deeper level, I have lost quite a bit of hope and confidence and self-identity.

On my darkest days, it was work just to get up and out of bed. On the good days, it was weariness and lack of purpose like I had never known. It hasn't been an easy run.


So here we were, changing the calendar yet again, a crummy start to yet another year, and I had had just about enough. Enough of adversity, enough of waiting, enough of disappointment, enough of submitting to circumstance. I had so many goals and plans and dreams for my dogs alone, never mind for myself. It was time to shake off the dust, kick up some snow, and quit dinking around.


First order of business: It was time to get a new puppy.





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