Yesterday it was snowing as I built a new dog pen, and even wearing a jacket and wool hat I had to stop often to warm my hands. This morning the lawn is dusted white and the wind is blowing scattered flakes in a sullen fog. Ugh. However these days I am trying hard to remember to count my blessings. Yesterday as I worked I told myself firmly,”I have to thank you, God, for no black flies!”

When I bought the welded wire for the dog pen last fall, the salesman suggested I try a green-coated version. I thought this might look nice, and agreed. I didn’t realize I was buying wire so light-gauge that any self-respecting labrador retriever could push through it just by leaning against it. Our lab, Tess, is almost 11 years old, slow, and arthritic. Within five minutes of my finishing the pen, she was sitting outside it. This is just one more example of why I must never take helpful, last-minute suggestions for substitutions in material when I’m building anything. I am too ignorant of the hidden variables. Today I’ll call to see how much long tent stakes would cost, to pin the bottom edge to the ground so she can’t bend it up.

Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day in 25 years that I had no children at home. Lucy is on a four-day hike, and Jon is in Boston. However he emailed and telephoned and I was happy.

Unfortunately on Friday my old computer collapsed and breathed its last, so it may be a few days before I’m up and running again.


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