I haven't updated this blog in quite awhile -- excuses or reasons aren't really necessary. RWA National is in full swing in Orlando and I hate that I'm missing it, and reading everyone's Facebook updates is great and equally agonizing. Rick and I had planned to go when it was in Nashville -- not only go but get married there as well -- and so I sit here and think of what classes or book signings I may have been at if the venue hadn't changed, and if I'd be Brenda Sanders by now or not. Sigh.
A couple of nights ago, I finished my skirt. I'm so thrilled at how it turned out. It's really full, so if you spin, it'll twirl around. It's a perfect fit and first clothes I've made myself since I was 13 and Mom first taught me how to sew. I'm SO happy with how it turned out. Here's a pic:
Then today, Wednesday, was a day for heart issues. I went to let the 5 dogs back inside, and no dogs to be found. The gate was opened. My heart dropped. I yelled and two of our big dogs returned immediately. I walked around the front, still yelling, and turned around to see Casanova, the basset, who I was really worried about because he's so skittish, but he darted right in. So two to go: Keiko the Akita, and Oliver, the little black pug.
So I go back inside, tell Rick, and we load up in the van to drive and look. Nothing. After several times around the neighborhood, there was Keiko in the yard. No Oliver.
Now I'm seriously concerned because Oliver was out on his own. We decide to take Sassy and Keiko out on leashes, thinking (hoping) they'd lead us to Oliver if he was hurt. We walked around and nothing.
Shandie and Sydney load up in her car. I post on Facebook to see if someone knows something. We'd asked everyone we passed and nothing. I knew he wasn't ran over because we'd covered all the streets already. My greatest fear was someone took him, and would keep him. He's so outgoing and cute and funny and well-trained. We would never get him back.
And all the time, Carly was at work, having no idea this turmoil was happening. I had no idea what I'd tell her. Oliver is hers, and they are inseparable. He's like her child, and I'd have to tell her he was gone. Of all the five dogs, THAT one was missing and there was nothing Mommy could do to make it okay again.
Rick asks if I want to drive around in his truck with him, looking. I felt there was no need -- we'd covered everywhere. He. Was. Gone. But I loaded up, and we drove.
Peering into shadows, driving in areas we knew he couldn't be. We kept going. And that's when fear and sadness sank in and I made my bargain with God: Let me find this dog, LEAD me to wherever he is, and I promise I will be in church TONIGHT.
And I opened my eyes, and there he was in a driveway. Rick hadn't even seen him and I said: There he is!
Rick still didn't see him but stopped the truck and I jumped down and grabbed Oliver up and I twirled, holding that fat little black dog so hard.
We got home and he darted into the backyard, and Casanova, his best buddy, danced around him. Then Oliver jumped in the dog pool and plopped his bottom down to cool off while lapping up the water around him, so hot and tired from his adventures.
I don't know if it was coincidence. I can't swear it was something divine. I just know neither of us saw him just a few feet down from that spot. I just know I opened my eyes after my desperate prayer and there he suddenly stood. And I cried with such relief.
My daughter's heart would not be broken.
And guess where I'll be tonight.
Saying "thank you".