Summer has left us. Seemingly overnight. The mornings are now cold, damp, and dark. It is November so I shouldn’t be surprised but it catches me off guard every year. It’s just that I enjoy Summer, the hot weather, and long days. I love the warm nights on the patio listening to music with Holly and sharing a bottle of wine. I enjoy the early morning walks with Kali – me in shorts and flip-flops and Kali with just one of her two beautiful golden coats. I enjoy the street fairs, festivals, and wine events that go on during summer in our town. I love seeing my garden explode in color during spring and staying vibrant throughout the long hot summer days. I embrace major league baseball with a passion beginning with spring training, into the dog days of summer, and ending during the warm days of October.
And there it is – baseball. The major league baseball season starts the cycle and ends the cycle of warm days that I love so much. The SF Giants flags in the backyard convey this cycle to friends and family. If the flags are up – life is warm. If the flags are down – it’s time to hunker down, put another log on the fire, and wait for the beginning of the next cycle. In other words the countdown to spring training…
Throughout the baseball season my wife and I watch just about every SF Giants game. I can’t say that Kali “watches” with us but she is a very loyal fan. This I know because she sleeps at my feet through every inning of those games rarely getting up even during commercials to get a snack or beer from the fridge… She did, however, seem a little put off by some of the start times of the playoffs.
Kali’s afternoon playtime is usually around 4:30 or 5:00 when I’ve begun winding down my day. Many of the baseball playoff games overlapped with our afternoon play time. Kali was not real happy about this. As loyal a fan as she professes to be (as evidenced but he aforementioned sleeping at my feet during all games) I believe she would have forgone the first couple of innings of these games and not have had them preempt afternoon play time.
Kali’s internal clock is amazing. At 3:30 she comes into my office and pokes me with her nose. Tail wagging she looks at me as if to say, “I’m bored. You’ve been working all day and it’s really time to stop that and give me some attention.” I tell Kali that it’s not time, that I have work to do, and she’ll have to be patient. She’ll make that low grunting sound in her throat that Goldens do and reluctantly lie down to wait. Admittedly, there are many days when her big brown compelling eyes combined with a willingness to wait for me are too strong a statement for me to ignore. “OK”, I tell her. Let’s fill up that Kong of your’s to keep you busy until I’m done. Kali loves her Kong!
Kali is a bit of a paradox: creature of habit but yet so flexible. So it will be interesting, Kali’s first winter here in America. Shorter days may mean walks later in the day or a wet walk or (gasp!) no walk at all. As Kali sees the sun setting earlier and earlier each day she must be thinking, “What will happen to afternoon playtime? Maybe I should poke him earlier in the day. Can Dad be as flexible as I am?”
Probably not. But like Kali I’ll have to adjust, make the best of the change, embrace Fall and Winter, and wait for Spring Training.