At long last, hard rain fell on the Oregon Coast, the first big rain that arrives around Halloween that Ken Kesey immortalized in Sometimes a Great Notion with his unforgettable lines on rain and Jack-O-Lanterns with their mildewed grins.
Time to read that novel again. There will be something new in there again; there always is with scripture.
I drove the slick road to the sanctuary wondering what the river would look like after seeing it almost slack for six months. I was also wondering what it would be like to only walk with Clyde. Jacque had called a couple days earlier with the terrible news that Bonnie had a torn ACL that required surgery, a procedure that cost $1300. Bonnie was confined to the house and back yard for the foreseeable future but the hope was that she would ramble again after surgery and convalescence.
Clyde met me at the gate and barely made a sound. He was greatly subdued without his veteran running mate. He wasn’t even excited about treats.
Rain battered us as we traversed the pasture. Clyde struggled to keep up with me.
We reached the river and I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was moving high and fast and covered everywhere I had previously stood or sat the past six months.
Rain continued to pour into the river. The water was rolling down the watershed and gathering momentum. I watched it for a few minutes. It was strange not having Bonnie around. She provides a healthy dose of much-needed mysticism.
I looked up.
Cirrus clouds were silver and black and trailing dark tentacles to the top of the clearcut hills. Everything felt heavy, like the sky was going to collapse and bury the world in a congealed gray. Ominous was the word. For the the first time, this riverine place felt ominous.
Clyde started back without me. He got it.
Back in the yard, I gave Clyde a final soggy treat, petted his wet head, and he trudged toward the house. Sadness was infiltrating me and I felt powerless to defend myself.
Then I remembered something. Pumpkins! Pumpkin was afoot. It was time for trick and treat for my mates.
I went back to my car and fished out two glazed pumpkin doughnuts from Costco left in the back seat, a gift from friends to feed to the gulls.
Doughnuts are not my kind of food. Nevertheless, I took a bite because I’d never tasted a Costco pumpkin doughnut.
My god! Lard, sugar, and perhaps traces of real GMO pumpkins grown in Mexico.
I sacked the doughnuts and went around the back of the house and entered through a sliding glass door. The rest of the dogs went berserk and Clyde nearly ripped the sack out of my hand. I released Bonnie from her enclosed area and three of us went out to the back yard. I tried to limit Bonnie’s movement, but the doughnuts, you know, and she was doing a little doughnut dance. Clyde was losing his mind as well and making the most delightful guttural sounds.
There we were, near the river, it was raining a sheet of plywood rain and I had a sack full of sweet spiced lard and I was going to feed it to a pair of old dogs who surely shouldn’t be eating such food.
I fed the dogs and then ushered them back inside, put Bonnie into her enclosure, said my goodbyes, and wished them a happy Halloween.
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