River Report #1

Just a brief update from the might north Umpqua river.


Alone Time

It is quiet in the house right now, only the mechanical whirring of both the computer and the refrigerator, plus the two dogs chewing their fur, looking for fleas. Brook has gone to town with Ju-Ju and Ryan for a doctor’s appointment, a little shopping, and then they will return home. So I am enjoying this rare time alone, writing, surfing the web, probably take a bath to ease my aching body too. I love my family so much, but it is nice to be alone, if only for a little while.

I believe I need alone time because even the day to day mundane activities of life really frazzle my nerves after a while and I just need some time to decompress. My life isn’t even that crazy, it’s just those daily things that most people don’t even think about that really wear on me after a time.

It’s interesting to me that this is this first relationship that I have been in where I really don’t need or even want to have a lot of alone time, just a little now and then. I take that as a good sign. Brook is an awesome partner, and she really doesn’t get on my nerves, so I feel very fortunate that I have found someone like that. I just hope she can say the same, which I doubt. Even if I am able to fool most people when it comes to having an autism spectrum disorder, Brook has to deal with the everyday realities of someone like me:Odd, Obsessive, rigid, hyper-analytical, hyper-sensitive to stimulation, tempermental, etc. In addition to having this serious pain disorder. So she is a queen among women, as far as I am concerned.


The River

It is a cold, gray-slate day on the river today. A low ceiling of clouds hems us in from above, the water of the Umpqua is a very chilly looking shade of blue. All the oaks and our maple tree have lost their leaves, it feels like winter now, even though we have about a month of fall left.

I am up earlier than my family, today is a day to sleep in, which for me generally is no later than eight, but today I woke up at seven. Drinking coffee, surfing the web, and now writing, that has been my morning so far.

I am still struggling with the death of our dog. I expect to see him everywhere, bounding around and chasing everything that moved. It is amazing how much quieter and flatter our household seems without him. I really miss him. I keep looking out at his grave and feeling so sad. I know things will return to a more joyous state eventually, but right now it is all grayness and sadness.


Hello Today

Today is another pretty painful day. As I write this, my hands ache, my forearms have been burning, I have been having pain in my ankles, the ball of my foot, my shoulders (always), my hips (always), and looking at the weather in our area, it’s no surprise. Cold and wet. Low, hanging clouds. Yeah. Fun stuff. I told Brook that all I really need now is a cigarette to put out in my arm, and my day would be perfect. Waah waah! Poor me. Seriously.

Well no, not seriously, as in, I really want you to feel sorry for me. More of a sarcastic seriously.

I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. Compassion I would like, and generally get, but not pity. Pity implies that I am somehow beneath you. It is incredibly isolating, this pain. Even surrounded by people who know me, love me and give me their support, I am really alone when a flare-up occurs, because none of those people can truly share in your agony, nor would you want them to. I talk about my pain a lot here because I generally don’t have a real outlet to express how badly I feel sometimes. It gets old to hear someone complain about their ailments, so I try my best to limit how much I talk about it to others. Not here, though. No, you people are going to just have to bear it.

The good thing is that there will come a point, in the next five or six months, when the pain will start to subside, I will begin to unlock and feel better, and the words of this blog will show a different person.

Today I finished my final essay for writing 121, and did pretty well, only a few minor revisions to be made. But it was painful getting through my first couple of hours at school, and by the time my class ended, I knew I needed to get home, take a hot bath, take an Ibuprofen and hope for the best. Which is where I am at now. We’ve got the Old Skool hip-hop channel on the satellite going, Brook is cleaning and making lunch while I am being generally useless.

Thank God I have understanding, patient people around me, especially Brook. I wear people out, and my pain wears them out even faster, and she is incredibly patient and kind.

Thus ends another rambling blog by Don.


Pompey Wagnus

I just wanted to expound a little on the passing of my little friend Pompey, who died during the night. He was about three years old. I am having a lot of guilt about his death. He was a really frustrating dog, probably THE most frustrating dog I have ever had. He crapped in the house with great regularity, he took off after deer and turkeys, he got into the garbage (which is what ultimately killed him). But despite all that, I loved this dog, and in the last few days of his life I had made sure to give him extra attention and love, which does ease my guilt considerably, now that I think of it. I’m glad I was able to do that.

We got Pompey a couple of years ago when a co-worker of Brook’s asked us to take him. We did, even though we already had two dogs and really didn’t want another. We actually found him another home with Brook’s sister, but he was a little too nippy, so he came back to us. He was a pain in the ass from the get-go. He ran away for several days shortly after we got him, and since we have moved out to the river, he twice ran away chasing deer downstream. I would often joke with people who came over that they could take him home with them if they wanted.

He was a really loving dog, despite his obnoxious qualities, he loved all and sundry who he encountered, a very unusual trait in a Dachshund. He also liked to chew the bottoms of peoples jeans, usually people who were visiting. He was such a typical hound dog. He would catch a scent, or see some animal running (even one that was ten times his size), and he would be off, running like mad, ignoring me running behind him, cursing him. I was certain that he would end up being killed by some deer who decided to put him in his place.

It’s kind of weird that he got into the garbage last night. His food dish was full of food, and usually he would try to get into the garbage when it was close to dinnertime.

I will bury him a little later today. I have him underneath the oak trees, overlooking the Umpqua. It seemed like a nice spot. There is actually another dog buried nearby, so he wont be alone. Not that I think his spirit will linger. Right now, I keep getting images of him running around, frolicking, his tongue hanging out, and I think that is what his spirit is doing right now. But soon he will dissolve into the great flow of energy, and he will be gone for good. But its not a bad thing. Just life. I mourn for my little friend, I will miss him terribly, but I will never, ever forget him.