The Eleventh Hour

“Why can’t fellows be allowed to do what they like when they like and as they like, instead of other fellows sitting on banks and watching them all the time and making remarks and poetry and things about them?” ― Kenneth Grahame

This weekend I found myself alone with two perfect June days to spend doing exactly as I wished. My partner in crime had gone off to an academic conference leaving me with the gift of forty-eight unobserved hours.

My initial plan, after dropping him off Saturday morning at the Park and Ride, was to be very productive. I had a list. It was long. It had things on it like wash the kitchen floor.

Returning home, I let Grace out before I officially commenced to get to work. Grace will be eleven in January and she is failing. She suffers from progressive disk disease in her spine. It hurts me to say it, but I suspect this may be her last summer.

She was blissfully unaware of my dark thoughts as I watched her gambol through the grass, nose down in search of Fink, the woodchuck, who grudgingly allows me to have a leaf of lettuce when I beat him into the garden. Satisfied that her fierce presence had forced him to retreat to whatever dark fortress he hangs out in, she threw herself on her back in the sun and rolled back and forth, obviously delighted.

Grace looking for Fink the woodchuck

I thought, “Why not?”  I took my list and ripped it in half. I spent the two days meandering. I deadheaded the roses, and I went for two long walks, one with Grace and one with a friend. I read the book I plan to review this Friday. I sat in the sun and did nothing at all.

The perfect spot

I thought about possibilities for plot twists in Francesca’s Foundlings and about the essay I am thinking of submitting to a magazine competition later this summer. It was an unhurried two days of not doing anything I didn’t want to do. It was wonderful and I highly recommend you try it.

A lot is written today about living in the moment. Sitting on the patio reading and writing, I kept one eye on Grace remembering the advice the dog nanny had wisely given to me when I told her sadly that we were almost at the twelfth hour with Grace.

“We’re not there yet. It’s only the eleventh hour. There will be plenty of time to mourn later, now you should just enjoy the eleventh hour with her while you can.”  So often in my life, focused on the future, I have missed it.

This summer watching my sweet old Gracie, I intend to savor ever moment.

Grace enjoying her eleventh hour