Some of you may know that our dear old Calvin died in December. He disappeared one night, and we thought he'd just taken his beer money and gone walkabout. We searched and hunted, got the neighbors involved, all to no avail. A few days went by, and on a morning when holiday vistors were expected, we found Calvin. He'd apparently dropped dead of a heart attack or something, falling into a stand of lilies hidden in the oak trees. He had never put a foot out of his own yard. Devastated, we buried him and tried to avoid talking about it as we marked the year-end holidays.
In an almost uncanny turn of events, we were able to re-home a dog we'd previously fostered, and already loved, Bandit. Here he is, doing what Boxers do best, which might be summed up as "Sitting Where People Might Like to Sit, If Only the Sofa Belonged to Them". From left to right, here are Ty for Short, Meg, and Bandit, who is also known as Burgermeister Meisterburger. Happy news for us, who are so dependent on dogs for mental health and well-being; happy news for Bandit, who's finding himself at home in a pretty comfortable pack.
Here, too, is a sunset photo I took in December, looking back to the west from the west side of the Tolomato River. In this image I'm thinking of my dear friend Annie, who is dealing with new challenges as I write this. It was Annie who shared the ultimate parenting advice with me, which becomes more true each day my boys grow older: It's all about letting go. It's great advice, Annie, and I'm working on it. But for now, with you, can it all be about hanging on? I'm sending you love, love, love.