The next year was one of consolidation and maturing. None of that speedy growth of 1989! Here she is a little more than a year after she came into our lives. She is at the front fence, and most likely she is watching Jonathan go across to the post office to check the mail. Those antique roses down the fence from her are pretty, but they only bloom for a very few days. This particular bush is gone now, as is that stand of tall grass. At a certain point one begins to simplify, and getting rid of the grasses certainly fell into that category.
Ah, here comes Jonathan with the mail! Over time we get lots of shots of dog watching Jonathan, but there are no reverse shots from Jonathan's POV. Too bad, for few things in my life have been as wonderful as crossing back across that highway and seeing a dog, first Huckleberry and later Roscoe, watching for me.
He's made it safely to the gate, and aren't we glad! Note the tail: the closer I would get the more upright it became and the more it wagged from side to side.
She'd' still go down to visit the goats, usually with human supervision but sometimes not. Huckleberry had grown up doing her business down in the woods, and once she moved up to the Big House she still made use of her trips to the woods to attend to such matters. After stupidly stepping into the deposits once or twice, we took to picking up a stick or fallen limb to place as markers once she had laid them down. Smart girl that she was, she then started looking for such a stick or fallen branch by which to relieve herself. Of course, urination could be handled in the yard, and it was a good thing to do that near the fence beside the road as a marker that This Was Her Place.
Obviously a lush spring in 1990. Or possibly an unusually mild winter leading up to it. She is no doubt viewing the goats down in the woods.
That oak tree is in the southwest corner of the back yard. That yucca in front of it never posed problems for her, but a decade later our Roscoe learned that it was not a good idea to lift one's leg onto it: those leaves were sharp!
She loved to hold Tom's arm in her mouth. She was incredibly gentle and never broke the skin. A gloved hand, however, that she thought was fair game for a little tooth action.
This photo and the one above I try to pretend to myself are experiments in the style of Aleksandr Sokurov, particularly his Mother and Son and Father and Son (and if you don't know the two films, you really owe it to yourself to take a look at them). Here we are on the patch of lawn just south of the patio, obviously looking west.
My sister had located this couch and a couple of matching chairs for us at a yard sale in Tuscaloosa. When we got it moved to Sawyerville, it started off on the patio.
Huckleberry immediately fell in love with it. Something just for her, she thought!
Tom liked it too.
I particularly like this view of Huck because you can see how incredibly non-symmetrical her face is. Somewhere along the way Tom ventured the thought that we should have called her Veronica Lake. Too late now, I said.
So often I thought that when posing together Tom and Huck would assume similar expressions.
It may just be my foolish imagination, however.
I see that we have already started laying in a stock of firewood for the winter.
Before long that couch got moved to the front porch. Fine with Huckleberry. She was just as happy to be on it out there. And by now she is filling it up pretty well.
At this time we did spend a good time on the porch if it were not too hot or too cold. Tom and I would be in the companion chairs, for Huck had certainly taken over this couch. Actually, the chairs were best for us, for there were arms to it on which we could sit a cocktail in the early evening, before dinner. Huck didn't get a cocktail, but she did like to be offered the occasional ice cube from the glass. Maybe it had just a hint of flavor to it.
Same couch, different mode. This is looking west, and although the two holly bushes out there provide some shading, it had to be supplemented in the hot summer afternoons.
Our solution: that blind you see hanging there, which could be rolled up or down, as needed.
Whatever Tom has, Huck is certainly interested in having a bite. I'll bet she got it.
Ah! Looks like her powers of persuasion worked!
The front walk points directly at Polaris, making it one of the earliest stars I could identify. Originally the walk came out from the exact center of the front of the house, but once the house was expanded some 8 feet to the east, that was no longer the case.
Huck sees something back at the house requiring her attention.
Huck sees something back at the house requiring her attention.
So that's what it was!
Chipmunks remained the bane of her existence. I'm happy to say she caught very few. I note Buttercup viewing the excitement with some degree of interest. She kept close watch over Huck's activities in the yard.
It's just not fair how they get in there between those logs and just stare out at you! You bark and bark and run about to the other side, and they just hunker in. There ought to be a law!
One cool day in September Huck called us out to the back yard: Something Terrible was going on behind the garage and propane tank! A charming dog not known to us had managed to get his head stuck in a large plastic mayonnaise jar, probably one he had liberated from the trash at the country store across the highway. I pulled and tugged to no avail. Huck barked vehemently at the whole thing, to no avail. The dog's breathing and struggling had managed to exhaust air from the container, creating a vacuum. I called for Tom to run to the kitchen for an icepick. Once I got that, I punctured the bottom of the container, air rushed into the vacuum, and the grip on the dog's head let go. Did the dog give me any thanks? No, I think he blamed me for the whole unfortunate and unpleasant experience. He went running away, accompanied by Huck's barking. I wonder if he developed a distaste for mayonnaise.
So, for the most part, not an exciting year. Just one day followed by another. But pleasant days. Tom is still maintaining his apartment in New York, but increasingly he is spending more time in Sawyerville. He loves his office in Sawyerville, and he misses Jonathan and Huckleberry greatly when he is away. He is making up his mind for the final move, and soon now he will relinquish the New York address and be in Sawyerville fulltime. And Jonathan and Huckleberry will be delighted when he does.
And so will the four friends down the hill!