Well, here he is. After visiting six different shelters in three different cities and perusing endless Craigslist ads, this is the winner. Rajesh. His former owner said he’s a year. Maybe. No clue about his pedigree. He’s WAY BIGGER than we’d wanted. And drooly. And floppy. We were told he’s 58 lbs, but his paws are bigger than my hands, and he’s sturdy and thick, easily 70 lbs. He’s a Big Galoof. Think Clifford the Big Red Dog, but sandy. His tail is like a rear windshield wiper on high speed, flopping back and forth, knocking things off the coffee table. We nearly renamed him Thumper.
Keen on chewing and chasing Roxie endlessly around the yard, he’s forced her heart to pump more than it has in years. In fact, I don’t think a dog has stared into her eyes since Tonto lost his years ago. She shook. She bared her teeth. She growled. And eventually, she enjoyed the chase. They’re still getting to know each other. So we’ll see what this new chapter holds. Transitions take time and patience.
After a harrowing week, the sun finally came out on Saturday, and we drove to nearby Georgetown for a sip and a sit at Mesquite Creek Outfitters. With the doors open, the lovely breeze made it hard to believe the streets had been covered in ice only 36 hours prior. New bars are much different than when I was young; everywhere you look, we see families and strollers, babies who look just weeks old. Many craft beer venues have playscapes as well. Can you imagine your parents taking the whole family out to get stouts and ciders? Or your grandparents?
The generational shift is here, and the vibe is casual and upbeat. No bar fights, no drowning the thoughts of an ex and playing six sad songs in a row on the jukebox (although there is a time and a place for that). This place was warm and inviting, and after an IPA and a sour, I began to breathe freely.
It’s been another rough week in Central Texas. Tuesday’s freezing rain closed all the roads, schools, and businesses. An inch of ice accumulated on power lines, power went down, and no power to pump water means boil notices or no water at all, and the propane companies can’t get to any homes to fill tanks. So we stayed home Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. Cell towers stopped working. My son’s university lost power, and they are not allowed candles in their dorms. Students don’t keep a week’s worth of snacks in their rooms, nor piles of blankets. And with no way to travel, they were stuck.
Today makes day three with no power for over 150,000 Austinites, now tossing everything in their fridges today, due to spoilage. They still have no power. Each day passes, and they wait. It was still below freezing this morning. You can’t boil water if your stove is electric. You can’t nuke it in the microwave. Those of us with generators fare better, but that only goes so far.
All day yesterday, as temps inched above freezing, the sounds of huge oak and cottonwood branches falling filled the greater city area. Every couple of minutes, footlong icicles, sheets of ice on roofs, and tree limbs would crash to the ground. Limbs landed on cars and fences, blocking driveways. Everyone within an hour’s radius lost trees. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire Austin area lost half its trees. Everywhere you look, 8 and 10 foot limbs litter the yards and roads. They just weren’t made to support so much ice for three days.
Honestly, I don’t know why people keep moving here. My suburb town alone has grown 30% in 10 years. 30%. We have nowhere to put them. Hopefully, this ice storm scared them off. This is three challenging winters in a row. Of course, we’ll be in sundresses and sandals by Sunday. Nothing makes sense anymore.