Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Art, Puppy Love, and Inexplicable Horror

My friend Dale is one of the nicest guys I know. He always has a smile on his face and proudly sports a tattoo of #3 for "Dale Senior;" family vacations regularly include a trip to Talledega. He and his interesting Uncle Iggy have done our heavy yard work for six years now -- he even kept up the yard while we were evacuated after Katrina.

That was a tough time for Dale -- those post-Katrina days. Not only was his home flooded (his young family lived in a FEMA travel trailer for over a year, but they still managed to add a precious baby girl to their two sons during that time!), his family's business -- a successful Nursery and Landscaping Service -- also flooded and had to start over from the ground up. To add to the misery, his younger cousin -- a strong, young soldier -- was killed in action in Iraq.

Thankfully, though they'll never get over the loss of his cousin, both the family home and the business have now fully recovered and are doing well. Dale has even added a hobby to his rather full schedule that came about as an offshoot of his late uncle's Bonsai-training business -- he has become an artist!

Yesterday morning when I took a check out to him for doing the yard, he said, "Wait a sec, I've got a present for you!" and he ran to his truck. Beaming and grinning from ear to ear, he proudly handed me this beautiful copper-wire sculpture of a hummingbird hovering near a hibiscus blossom -- just like the one in my back courtyard!

My smile and admiration of his piece pleased him, and he told me that he knew he had gotten good at the complex sculpture when his teenage son recognized the flower as a hibiscus and wasn't embarrassed by his dad's hobby any more! Ah -- the coveted approval of one's own!

I'm honored he chose to give me a piece of his work -- I think he could sell it! Now I can't wait to put it in a pot of mums on the front porch to show it off to the neighborhood, but I'll have to plant some mums first.

The non-artistic pic? Bouie had a close call yesterday when his rear leg got twisted up in the plastic mesh in the front yard. I mean seriously twisted -- I barely managed to cut the tight mesh off, and I was afraid he had hurt his hip or tendons! His poor puppy leg swelled badly, but we don't think he did any permanent damage. He didn't seem to mind the cold compress and baby aspirin too much, but he really ate up the extra attention he got from a concerned dad. See above.

So, on a day of surprises -- both good and bad -- life went on, for most of us.

For others, it was cut short, unexpectedly and treacherously in an upscale Dallas neighborhood.

R.I.P., Mary and Spud. Thanks for sending Bouie to us. And may God have mercy on your souls.


  1. The wire sculpture is just way-cool... and I'm glad your friend Dale is back on his feet. Also glad Bouie wasn't hurt badly. Great pic, too!


    not many people know this, but my nancpop is a plumber by trade and he's made me many ARTicles with his scrap copper - i truly appreciate these qualities in a person.