Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Chasing windy weather

Last week the weather people started talking about a wind advisory for Saturday. Lots and lots of strong wind, they said and I wondered if there would be big waves over on Michigan’s west coast.

Heading out to surf Lake Michigan’s waves.

I wondered if it would be worth driving over there to see. It’s a long drive, between 3 and 4 hours, depending on where I go. Still…it was going to be warm, unlike other drives I’ve made to see storms roll in.

St. Joseph lighthouse, taken from a safe place with a long lens.

So about 10 a.m. I made a snap decision, grabbed my camera and jumped in the car. Even on the way I wasn’t sure exactly where I’d go…but construction on the roads made the decision for me.

People NOT in a safe place on the other breakwater.

I ended up at St. Joseph Michigan, where I’d never visited before. I knew there was a lighthouse out on the end of a cement breakwater, and I was hoping to see big waves crashing over it.

A beautiful place with dunes and a big sandy beach.

But what I found was very different.

The wind was coming from the southwest, and just south of the lighthouse pier was another breakwater, which did what it was supposed to do, and broke up the waves before they reached the lighthouse. So…in reality it was sort of boring, even though the wind was blowing very hard and just as I left the rain began to whip sideways.

And then it started to rain.

I figured the trip was something of a bust…and was going to head back home when I decided to just stop by Grand Haven on the way (even though it isn’t exactly on the way home. At all.) for a sort of drive-by look to see what the waves were doing there.

Of course there was a barn waiting to be noticed along my way.

Well. Even though I’ve been to Grand Haven before, seen waves crashing there before, I was thrilled to see it again. The red lighthouse against a changing sky is always photogenic.

My first glimpse on Saturday of the iconic lighthouse under dark skies.

When you add white capped green waves, well, it’s just stunning.

Lake Michigan’s green, almost tropically colored water froths around the brilliant red building.

I don’t know how many images I took…but it was a lot. Sometimes I was just holding the shutter down while trying to stay upright in the gusting wind.

Wind gusts changed the image, always something photogenic.

I actually turned around to go back to the car a couple times then turned back because it was so mesmerizing.

I was not alone out there on the beach!

I tried to find different angles, moving up and down the beach…running away from the water whenever a rogue wave slid up the sand overcoming where I’d just been standing.

Standing safe behind the rocks at the base of the breakwater.

The sun actually peeked out for a brief moment just as I was leaving, so of course I stayed. But the wind was getting stronger and I had plenty of images.

A bit of sunshine makes the lighthouse glow.

Luckily I was inside the car when a huge burst of wind began throwing sand around and people began running for their vehicles.

The dark clouds moved off to the east.

I smiled all the way home, even though I arrived long after dark.

Was it worth the drive?

Nice place to walk the dog.

Oh yea.


Remembering Ricky

Katie here.

Mama said I could get on her blog to tell you about my buddy Ricky who crossed the Rainbow Bridge last week. He was one of the original dogs with blogs, and mama found his blog years and years ago when we were all youngsters. There were a bunch of shelties with blogs back then — Ricky and Misty and Miley and Reilly and Ludo and Morgan.

Mama thinks there were more, but she can’t think straight when her eyes are leaking.

Anyway, we noticed Ricky right away because he was such a dapper little man. So much sophistication in such a little package. Mama likes to call him Little Ricky, because he was tiny.

But he had a big personality.

Ricky had fun with agility, but he liked to do it his way. His mom worked and worked to speed him up, but Ricky was his own guy and took those obstacles at a speed he deemed appropriate. Especially, as we remember, the dogwalk where he liked to survey the entire facility as he moved arcross the top. Ricky, always so elegant, never felt there was a need to hurry.

Ricky was really good at learning tricks too, and for a time he learned a new trick every week. His mom posted videos of his latest accomplishments and we were always so impressed! He learned to hold things in his mouth, and spin to the left and the right, to play dead, and so much more. He was so smart, and he made mama and lots of other people smile every week.

In fact, Ricky was something of a celebrity, he had so many people that enjoyed watching him learn new things. I told mama that we should try to meet him, and she said she’d see if she could arrange it. And guess what? I got to visit Ricky two times! It isn’t often that a girl from a small town gets to meet one of her idols in real life, you know?

In fact, visiting Ricky was one of my very first big adventures, cause they lived hours away from me and in a different state and everything! It was on a trip to visit Ricky that I proved to mama that I was a good traveler!

Ricky was such a gracious host. He shared his house and his people and his beautiful yard with me without any protest. He was such a cool dude, we got along great because we ignored each other most of the time. He didn’t even get mad when I drank out of his waterbowl!

He was so polite and nice to me that when we stayed over night at his house I decided to invite him into our bedroom (OK, it was really his room, but he let us stay there) to do obedience with mama and me so that he could get some treats from her too. Ricky really loved treats.

And that first visit he took me in his car to one of his parks! I was so excited! Ricky, of course, was too cool to be excited about a car ride with a silly girl.

It was a very very beautiful park with a little stream at the bottom of a big gorge. We walked and walked, with lots of sniffing thrown in. Wherever Ricky sniffed, I sniffed; he was sharing all the best stuff with me!

And when we climbed back out of the ravine there were beautiful gardens and we sat close to each other on this little wall so the moms could take pictures. He was much more patient than I was with the whole picture taking thing. This was way before I contracted with mama about the one picture, one treat clause, so we ended up sitting for way too many pictures for way too few treats. But Ricky never got upset.

He was such a special boy.

I visited him a second time, and by then he had a little sister who was, of course, bigger than he was. We all went to a park together again and had a wonderful time. Ricky was so patient with all the girls, his mom, my mama, his sister and me.

I am so sad that Ricky had to go on ahead. But I can imagine him exploring the whole place, and finding the best sniffing spots, and where all the good treats are. And I bet he’s found Ludo and Reilly and Denny and Morgan and Misty too by now. Just picture it, all those shelties running and laughing and enjoying snacks. All those sheltie smiles as they play together while they wait for the rest of us to arrive.

It’s got to be one amazing place, over the Rainbow Bridge. I wish he could have stayed here with his mom and dad and sister, but I know he’s happy there too. He may have been a little guy, but he sure shouldered a whole lot of love from all of us who knew him.

See you later, Little Ricky. I’m so glad I got to meet you, and I’ll never forget your friendship. You were and always will be one classy dude.

-Love, your pal forever, Katie.


My turn

Katie here.

I’ve been bugging and bugging mama.  Every single day I ask her if I can tell all of you about my adventure visiting my friends Ricky and his sister Callie, but mama said I had to wait my turn.  Obviously she has forgotten that I am a princess.  Though I don’t know how cause I remind her daily.

Anyway, mama and I were taking Callie my teeter and some weave poles cause Callie is an awesome agility dog and I don’t really like to play on the teeter, so we took daddy’s truck.  That meant mama couldn’t put me in my crate in the back of the car.  So guess what?  I got to sit up front with her!

This is my daddy's truck!

This is my daddy’s truck!

My boyfriend Reilly sent my mama a seat belt and she got me a harness and I was her copilot!  I’m not so good at reading maps, so she used Garmin to find our way, but it was awesome being up front.  Mama says, though, that when we’re in the car I’m still going to be in the back seat cause it’s safer back there.  Whatever mama.

I was a good girl and didn’t bother my mama at all except when I wanted to get out and do my business.  Then I just stood up and stared at her.  She’s pretty good at reading my mind so we’d stop at the next rest stop and I’d get to sniff around a bit before we moved on our way.

Resting at a rest stop.

Resting at a rest stop.

After a long time (OK, 5 hours) we got to Ricky and Callie’s house!  Ricky and I are old friends so we weren’t that excited to see each other, but Callie was very excited to see me!  I guess she’s never seen a real life princess before.

Beautiful Callie

Beautiful Callie

I tried to be very regal, but it was totally hot that day.  Mostly I sniffed around the yard and hung out in the shade with my mom and Ricky and Callie’s mom.  I wasn’t interested in playing on the teeter or running weaves but it was fun to watch them do that!

Tandem teeter!

Tandem teeter!

And guess what else?  I figured I’d have to come clean and show my mama that I can do stairs after all.  Outside I had no problem going up and down the deck stairs, but inside I would only go down the stairs, and only if my mama was going down.  Then I’d race down so as not to be left behind, which startled mama the first time.

Handsome Ricky!

Handsome Ricky!

The next day we went for a walk in the park.  It was still so HOT that I was pretty slow, always lagging behind. My mama decided we better not go too far so we cut the walk short.  We’ve decided we will visit again sometime when the weather is cooler!

Going to the park!

Going to the park!

I had a really good time.  I think if I was around other shelties every day I’d learn to play with them.  Poor Callie really wanted me to play but I just wanted to sit near my mama.  She even offered me one of her favorite toys and I wasn’t interested.   Ricky says he understands and we just hung out together.


Me and Ricky near the pool.

Me and Ricky near the pool.

Mama and I left that afternoon, heading home to daddy.  It was a long drive home because weather wasn’t very good and we stopped a lot along the way.  I pretty much rested my eyes the whole way, no sleeping, but a lot of head nodding.  Toward the end I put my head down and with a big sigh fell asleep.  My mama laughed at me, but I think a princess is allowed a little nap, don’t you?

I really want to thank Ricky and Callie and their mom and dad for letting me and my mama visit them!  We had a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to another visit sometime!

Posing for the camera.

Posing for the camera.



It’s raining here

Three killdeer

Three killdeer

I feel like I’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest.  It’s raining here.  Every day we wake up to 35 degrees (1.6 C) and mist.  Or 35 degrees and rain.   It rains off and on all day and all night.  We haven’t seen the sun in so long I’ve forgotten what it looks like.  I have faint memories of walks in the park under a warm sun, but my most recent memories of the park are walking through slush in my winter coat, wearing gloves and telling Katie to hurry up!

Today it’s overcast and 35 degrees.  The week long forecast holds a little hope of warmer temperatures but looks like rain every day.  I guess we can dream.  I have an adventure brewing that would be nicer if the temperatures were above freezing.   And if it doesn’t rain on me that would be extra special.  On the other hand all this rain could be snow, like my friends up north are experiencing. And Duluth Minnesota just got 7 inches of snow with more coming tomorrow.

Maybe I’ll just sit down and be quiet.