Tag Archives: Nelson the Terrier

Farm life, part 2

Looking south, from the bedroom.

Tuesday dawned wet with rain, and the rains fell off and on all morning.

By noon, the sky was clear, and my meetings were finished, so Nelson and I took a ramble.

The cows were up by the fence today, just a few yards from my back porch:

Nelson thinks cows are something at which to bark.


I didn’t try the swing, but I can imagine how fun it is for a kid, or an overgrown kid.

After lunch (ham salad sandwich, pineapple, grapes), I went the front porch to read.  Here’s the report:

I was sitting on his leash and reading a book.  And he jerked so hard that the leash went flying, he went flying to chase cattle, and I went flying to chase him, and we ended up panting (both of us) and sweating (me) only after a kind driver stopped a full 1/4 mile away, stepped on his leash, and he (the dog, not the driver) walked with me in shame back to the homestead.  He’s an adventurous and brave little shit, and also supremely unaware of danger.

And Tuesday’s dinner:

Tuesday morning

Tuesday morning on the farm.

I have a candle lit to dispel the gray gloom and to bathe in light the weathered yellow plank walls of this cozy kitchen. An oil lamp is on the sideboard, but I have no paraffin oil to burn, so a candle must suffice.

The walls in the kitchen appear to be original planks.  Over the stove is an original brick flue, with a twin in the living room.  This was where the coal or wood stove was vented; the stoves would have provided the only heating in the house, back in the day, with a stove in the front room and one in the kitchen.

Nelson has now spotted the horses in their enclosure to the east of the little white farmhouse.

The problem with Nelson on a farm is that he has apparently never seen a big animal, so the bull on the other side of the (electrified) fence seems to him to be a challenge.  And challenge to perhaps engage.  I had him on a leash, of course, so no engagement took place, and the bull, brought in from a neighboring farm in hopes of making bullocks, as it were, munched on grass and completely ignored the little varmint.

Now it’s the horses that need engaging.  We shall see.  I brought apples to feed them, so we will take a (leashed) wander over there soon enough.

We both had a restless night.  Nelson seemed to be disturbed by a couple of moths flying around, a price we pay for life on the farm.  He was up and down all night.  Truth be told, so was I, thanks to a noisome chattering fan that seemed slightly out of kilter, and my poor decision to turn off the air conditioning on a muggy but cool night.

We had a rainstorm come through around 5 p.m., and at 11 p.m. we were still getting a shower.  The pond was glorious in the rain, and mist-shrouded this morning at daybreak.

Our first morning walk in the dewy grass led to me doing battle with a horsefly that was determined to dive-bomb.  Fool me once . . . fool me twice . . . but the third time . . . well, the string of expletives I unleashed upon the little flying creep must have scared it away.

Nelson meanwhile sniffed and peed (and pooped) thoroughly.  There isn’t a fencepost that hasn’t been marked by the little terrier.

Connie, my host, has a wee dog too.  Sugar.  She’s black with some white markings, and looks like she has some poodle in her.  She’s a sweety.

Today is, in the communion of saints in the Episcopal Church (USA), the Feast of Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Frederic Handel, and Henry Purcell.  Reading their hagiographies at Morning Prayer reduced me yet again to tears, something that seems a near-daily occurrence.  I think the tears are a release from the weariness with uncertainty, our national devastation of leadership, the pandemic, the state of the world, and much more.  I’ll own these tears if they keep me out of therapy. (And so far, they have.)


Holiday 2020

My summer holiday has commenced.

I am staying in a four-room farm house (an old house, full of character and bringing me much joy), in southern Illinois.  The plan is to read, write, relax, sleep, chill.

The telegram would read like this:



Jugglemob? Jugglebomb?

Jessica the Circus Lady (and Miss Maple) and the Bailey family stopped by today after a gig out in the county. I knew I was going to see them, and had prepped the garden for some distance visiting (including mowing and putting mower tracks on the lawn, which I find intensely satisfying).

But no!

I got a little circus show, complete with juggling and unicycle. And two dogs vying for attention.

What a delight and boost for the spirit!

More Nelson

Because the world cannot have enough Nelson in it . . . .

No matter where I go, he is usually at my feet or beside me.
In the glow of the setting sun on July 4.
July 4. On my lap because of the fireworks.
You cannot see the people, but he was a social animal at this distanced birthday gathering.

At a birthday party Sunday evening.

In my garden on Monday.

And a story:

Nelson: five weeks

The boy received a major trim this week, since we went with a summer cut to cool him down.

And he is terrified of fireworks.  Thunder comes a close second.  He is a frightened, wandering, inconsolable little terrier when the sounds come in from outdoors.

Lounging on the living room carpet after haircut.
Don’t let the face fool you. He is panting and his heart is racing as he presses up against me for comfort at 10 p.m.
New haircut.

And when Nelson wants to come indoors, this is what he does:


Nelson the Terrified

May the fleas of a thousand rabid stray dogs infest the mangy hair and silky sheets of those setting off fireworks in The Grove and terrifying my already-terrified Nelson who doesn’t like thunder (on a very rainy day) or things that go ‘boom.’

He was sound asleep on the rug.  A fireworks burst woke him.  He jumped into my lap and pressed himself against me.

It’s going to be a long holiday weekend.  This boy shakes and is inconsolable.