Brain Dump 11.11.15.

hiking hiking2 hiking3

I notoriously discredit Fall’s beauty. Bryan had to convince me that our plans to go hiking needed greater urgency so we didn’t miss all the colors. He was right. I want to take advantage of all the weekends now! Tonight it is rainy, but two weekends ago, we experienced the above views in the Maryland mountains. Note: Franklin was also delighted with some off-leash hiking.

Old love is a delight and a mystery. Last month, my family celebrated as my widower grandfather was remarried to an 88-year old woman he loves and who loves him. Recently, his new wife revealed she was not sure whether she loved or even was loved by her first husband. The way she talks, my grandfather is the first man to truly love her. This realization expands my awareness of the flexibility of the future: everyone maintains the ability to love and serve and choose throughout our entire life – that includes finding love, developing hatred, and (I hope) growing in grace and kindness.

I spent this weekend waxing poetic about Franklin. And I realized there was more than ‘poetry’ in what I said. How truly dearly thankful I am for the levity Franklin brings to Bryan and my relationship! It is much needed; he is such a goof! We now spend many evenings (that we used to spend in various intense discussions, arguments, or TV watching) in lighthearted laughter at his antics! His favorite thing is to jump on our bed and lay flat on his back with his legs splayed out – as if to invite the most epic belly rub of his life.

One thing that makes me laugh in irony: Franklin’s body/butt wagging (his substitute for tail wags) is much more broad, wide, and enthusiastic for Bryan than for me. I am jealous, but not too much, because Franklin snuggles willingly with me nightly (and slept in my bed while Bryan was gone…!).

Franklin has never shown any food-guarding behaviors. Until this past Friday. I gave him a real bone for the first time, it was in a public place and when a few strange dogs walked by Franklin went on the immediate offense – barking sharply, quickly, and deeply in a warning tone and straining on his leash. Thankfully, nothing happened, and all the dogs that walked by were politely behaved. They looked disdainfully toward the freaking out pup and one owner even pointed at the bone and said, “He must love that thing!” However, it shook me up some. It made me realize that assuming Franklin is not possessive of delicious, amazing treats is not a good (or logical) assumption.

This weekend was full of family, food, and a Carolina victory over Duke in my favorite city. I’m always struck by how much I miss Chapel Hill. I’m not sure if it’s the trees, or the brick sidewalks, or the coziness, or even the running trails (gosh, I miss the running trails…!). But driving down Franklin Street certainly makes my heart beat faster. it is the dearest place to me. What is more, I got to see my sister, parents, and Bryan’s family to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and engagements. I am thankful for a family that celebrates and looks forward to being together.

I started a book club!! This may be one of my proudest DC accomplishments. Its success is yet to be determined so stay tuned. But, our first meeting involved mimosas, Truman Capote, and a living room full of 12 women!

In case you’re wondering about the title: To start off a professional development meeting last week, we were asked to “brain dump.” Essentially, to get all those flitting, annoying thoughts in our head written down on paper so we could stop thinking about them. I view this blogpost in much the same way. Thanks for reading all the dump!


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