Category Archives: Samson

National Dog Week

I made a dog post not long ago, but here’s another.  Today starts National Dog Week!


I’ve been watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show this week. And thinking about the dogs in my own life.

So many of them — recently Samson and Auggie, and the childhood dog Snowball.  And the 1990s dogs Elmo the Bassett Hound, Sam, Goldie, and Phantom, the latter two West Highland White Terriers.  And Delilah.


Auggie watches the Westminster Kennel Club show.


With Flora Carter and my doggie Sam.


Where I’ve lived

An almost-exhaustive compendium of
photos of places I’ve lived over my 56 years

1961. The New Orleans hospital in which I was born.

1961. With G-ma Ruth on the steps of my parents’ residence hall at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

1962. Coushatta, Louisiana.

1964. My parents’ rental house in Columbia, Missouri.

1965. The house on Clayton in Columbia — my parents’ first home purchase.

On our way to church in Columbia, 1967. I am 5, Karen 3, and Beth a newborn.

1967. The rental house in Hannibal.

Inside this rental house in Hannibal.

1969. And just next door, the home my parents purchased in Hannibal.

1971. Lee’s Summit. The home on Wingate, in Briarcroft subdivision.

Inside that home on Wingate, my parents are canoodling.

1975. At the piano, in the home on Wingate.


1979. Just before I started college, my parents bought their dream home in Lee’s Summit.

1979. Landen Hall, at Southwest Baptist University. My college home for four years.

In my dorm room, decorating a Christmas tree during my freshman year at SBU.

I am missing photos of the places I lived during the summers of 1981 and 1982, as I worked in Missouri between college semesters.  Summer 1981 was at Southwest Baptist University in the Admissions office; Summer 1982, in Tarkio as a summer missionary.

1983. Willow Springs. My first rental home.

1984. A townhouse in Blue Springs.

Townhouse living room. Drab. The painting on the wall is by Aunt Esther. The bookshelf is one I made as a kid. The coffee table was a Mom-&-Pop hand-me-down.

1986.  I am missing a photo of the house I rented in Bolivar while I was Director of Admissions at Southwest Baptist University.  The building has subsequently been demolished.

1987. A townhouse in Blue Springs, on Arlington Place. I was there four months.

1987. A duplex in Blue Springs, near Highway 7 and I-70.

1988. The first home I ever owned, on Summit Circle in Blue Springs.

1995. Just back from the UK, I rented out my home, and moved into Kansas City, where I lived in a loft in this building in the City Market.

1997. During my time at the University of Kansas, I lived in two different apartments in this townhouse building. Some of the best memories of my life are here.

1999. I am missing a photo of my townhouse in Owensboro, Kentucky, where I taught college for one year.

2000. A gated community in Muncie, Indiana. I lived in a condo in this building for 8 years.

Christmas at Halteman Villas.

At the condo, with students for a final meal as we wrapped up the show choir year: a big pan of canneloni, with Derek Wilson, Luke Meyer, Brian Calvert and mohawk, Amanda Krupinski, Jesse Diaz, Meghan Reiser, and Adam Hendrickson’s arm.

2008. The rental duplex on Alfred Avenue in Saint Louis.

At the duplex on Alfred. We were getting rain.

And then I bought my own dream home in November 2008.  And I’ve been here ever since, with one dog and then another.  I like it here.

Here’s a bonus: my elementary school in Lee’s Summit.

1971. Pleasant Lea Elementary School.


A trip to the vet

auggie16oct-1Auggie, according to our vet, is “an extraordinary dog.”

Dr. Bret mentioned Auggie’s beautiful hips (which is true), his easy and happy temperament, his peacefulness (at least at the vet), his perfect-sounding heart.

Auggie does have some mild allergies that manifest themselves as a bit of skin trouble, but it’s nothing we can’t manage.  He weighs 14 pounds.

Auggie took his rabies vaccine and his blood draw without a whimper.

And Auggie still does not like concrete or tile floors.  He just wanted to be on my lap, which was endearing in and of itself anyway.

Dr. Bret looked me in the eye and told me how blessed I was to have found this guy.  And then he gave me a hug.

Of course part of the hug was that I was in tears just passing the room where I held Samson as he died just over a year ago.  Just seeing that room sent me into a mess of emotion.

I’ve told people so many times that grieving is like dropping a rock in a still pond.  Big initial splash. Concentric circles that follow the Fibonacci series, each circle of the wake becoming less and less pronounced, but existing and stretching into infinity.

The grief occasionally rises up again, and all we can do is ride the wave.