The Canoe Trip

A Comfort Vest, you may know, is a garment that’s designed to calm dogs who become frightened due to loud noises like thunder. You zip or click or velcro the vest onto them and the close fit provides the soothing comfort of a full body hug. I only learned of these at 4th of July when the local animal shelter was recommending them for dogs who are afraid of fireworks.

Yesterday was my solar return, 1:12 PM, aka birthday. It was the day that the sun returned to the exact position in the sky that it occupied at the time of my birth. Kind of amazing. I reflected on the cyclical nature of life for a bit, and on being a pin dot in the universe.

I drank my green drink and ate my birthday cupcake, then suited up in long sleeved denim, jeans and apron to pick three gallons of blackberries in the bramble patch.

blackberryjellyReturned to mash and sieve the berries into juice and finally made blackberry jelly~ enough for a whole year’s worth of low sugar jelly on homemade wheat germ toast.

Against my better judgment, I ate another cupcake. My excuse is that they were smaller than regular homemade cupcakes. Of course, I also frosted them thicker so that they wouldn’t look like smaller cupcakes…

Since it didn’t appear that this day was going to be much different from any other day, I tucked into a quilt in the living room and did some suitably calm reading (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking) for the most of the afternoon.

I admired the sun sparkling through the perfectly blue-black jelly, heard “pop, pop…pop” as the lids on the jelly jars sealed down, found a Sharpie and dated the lids.

Suddenly I decided that I wanted to do something to celebrate my birthday, something active, something physical. (Something to counteract cupcake guilt.)

I awakened my husband from his afternoon nap and told him as much. Something active, something physical.

Then I announced that we were going to take a canoe trip.

Did you know that a “canoe trip” is a euphemism for having sexual relations?

No, I didn’t know either.

Apparently the meaning of a “canoe trip” as above (getting f***ed) has also now led to a “canoe trip” meaning getting the raw end of the deal. (see Urban Dictionary)

Their Mad Men example:

Wife: “Honey, how was work today?”
Husband: “It was a real canoe trip.”

I retrieved the life jackets from the garage. Two human and one canine. Our golden retriever, Lily, loves her life jacket. When she sees me carrying it, it means doggy heaven on the water. I think she enjoys the same weightless feeling that we enjoy when we float along on the water. As soon as I buckle on her jacket, she becomes Zen Dog, epitome of all things Calm. She hops into the canoe, settles down and takes in the sights without a single “woof”.

True to form, we put in the canoe within range of four dogs frolicking on the shore. Lily totally ignored them, but maybe she was just being snooty. She was going on a canoe trip. They weren’t. And they weren’t wearing stylish yellow life jackets. About 50 feet after push-off, a sea gull cruised down low to scope out the furry critter with the stylish yellow life jacket. Again, no response from Lily. Silly seagull.

A bit further on, we passed a docile blue heron stalking along the shore. He and Lily exchanged bored glances.

I began to make the association between the life jacket and Lily’s calm behavior. She’s been wearing one for boating for three years already, but I never knew about comfort vests until last month. The life jacket fits like a comfort vest. That must be why she’s so chill when we canoe.

What’s my point?

It’s now 26 hours past solar return 1:12 PM. It’s just another day.

“Calm” is what I like to think I am, but my personal symbol of comfort calm, my comfort vest~ my license plate, will soon no longer be mine. Having moved to a new state, I have to remove it, and someone else here already has dibs on my content.

That’s OK. I have a better one arriving any day. Stay tuned.

dotcalm

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