Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Bedtime seems to arrive later and later now that sunshine, not a boss or school bus, throws off the covers.  Two daylight dogs have replaced our alarm clocks.  "Hush," I want to say as they whine, briefly and quietly at first.  I stay silent because if I show any sign of wakefulness, they will quickly crescendo into certainty, not that it matters at this point.  Anything short of rising will not return the silence I had been mining for gold.

"How about if I take them for a run first thing?"  This is one of those questions that really doesn't require an answer in our house.  It means I'm taking them out so please don't feed them now as you usually do because if you do I'd better not or we may face some big vet bills and unnecessary sadness.  So why don't I say what I mean?  I guess I do.

Dog fence collars off, Rosie and Lex, Rosie especially, turn a few circles.  I can't get dressed quickly enough.  Off we go.

To the field.  Hurray!  Nothing beats exploring our 25-acre field.  Who knows where a deer, groundhog or skunk might be waiting?  Today the snow I mentioned yesterday ("The Boss") has closed the perimeter and limited our smell-search options.  The James River is close to overflowing as Elk Creek drowns the corner of our field.

Let's examine this corner, which reminds me of a filibuster.  Yesterday the creek was rushing madly, foaming, bubbling, swirling, an expert kayaker's paradise, as if it couldn't wait to become part of the river.  Today it's even higher but the river has tamed it into what looks on the surface like a gentle pond.

Yes, it reminds me of the Senate, where one party or the other can rush to pass a bill like healthcare legislation (maybe not a good example because it has taken so long), and then the threat of a filibuster and the need for 60 votes to approve cloture calms everyone.  One of the theories is that this will force Congress to take a last moment to carefully re-think, reconsider and compromise.

"I don't think that's what the James River and Elk Creek are up to," says Virginia.  "The James definitely is in control."

"Well, at the moment, the Democrats are in control, too," I say.  "If they really wanted to, they could change the rules."

"I suppose politics prevents that, much as some Senators want to pass a healthcare bill," says Virginia.

"Most likely.  What's Rosie digging?"

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