I’ve always marveled at the fact that the most consistent thing in life is change.
The paradox is so clear that no one even blinks when it’s pointed out.
Unless, that is, the change is occurring to you … and it’s not the kind of change you were wishing for.
Here at Cloud Creek Ranch, Gwen the Beautiful and I have been going through a couple of months of change, with no end in sight. And try as I may to be ready for the new — mostly by keeping myself open to the unexpected so I can go with it — I’ve got to admit that recent, current, and future changes have me … well, how about if I protect my feelings by saying “off-balance” and let it go at that?
My health’s turn for the worse is the “recent” change I’m talking about. And Gwen and I and all the spirits at Cloud Creek (both living and not-quite-material) have been deeply affected.
My body no longer lets me do the things it used to, leading to a situation where I have to face a future without Huck the Spotless Appaloosa. A couple of weeks ago, in this very space, I put out a call for possible caretakers or even owners (as if anyone could “own” a free soul like him!) for my horse brother.
At first, it looked like Burl Jr., Blues Singer Extraordinaire, was going to take Huck to his father’s farm, but that fell through when our still-sputtering economy cost Burl Sr., longtime Paradise Farmer of the Year, control of the spread he’s owned for almost fifty years. This was accompanied by the end of Burl, Jr.’s day job, which means that he, wife Tera, and toddler son Strummer have taken off on another road trip not merely in search of musical fame and fortune but in need of it to pay the bills.
Huck’s future, however, still seems provided for. Even as I write this, the Landry family is packing up for a move from the coast of Florida to The Mountain, to ensconce itself on the property. The Landrys are even bringing their own horses with them so Huck will have plenty of company.
This future change isn’t without its dark lining. The Landrys will be taking over both the Main House and the Annex because Gwen and I won’t be here. Remember last summer, when we spent a month in Port Paradise, on the Pacific Northwest coast? We’re headed back there for an indefinite period of time, to be closer to most of our family … and snug in the bosom of Youngest Daughter Amber and her Amazing Jeremiah.
The easiest way for anyone in Paradise to envision Port Paradise is to think of the Ozarks’ Victorian haven, Eureka Springs. Add oceanfront. Stir in classic wooden sailing ships, galleries galore, nearby Seattle’s modern medical facilities, and a devotion to Credence Clearwater Revival unmatched anywhere else in the world and you’ve got the setting for my recuperation.
Accompanying Gwen and me will be Emmy the Bold, Ditsy Dixie the Golden Lab, and Decker the Giant-Hearted.
In fact, Decker’s already there. Thanks to Our Friend the Dog Trainer, a loyal reader of all I’ve written here, Decker’s natural good-nature, intelligence, and acute awareness of his surroundings have been professionally honed, turning him into a full-fledged Service Dog.
Our Friend is refining Decker’s training now, so he’ll be able to accompany us wherever we go along Puget Sound and, at the command of, “Take us home,” return us to our car or front door.
The perfect companion for a couple as “directionally challenged” as Gwen and I have found ourselves to be over the years.
Because we’ll be living in a small space with the kind of rules and requirements that normally chafe me to the bone (and, who knows, may do that still), we’re unable to take Belle the Wary, Emmy’s daughter and Decker’s litter sister, and Bob the Very Careful Cat.
As a result, Gwen and I are looking for homes for both of these loyal, lovable, and (because who would expect the Brodys to have it any other way?) slightly eccentric friends. If anyone out there, current neighbors and readers and friends of friends, wants to know more about either of these two fine furballs, I guarantee a prompt reply to any email sent to my email@example.com address.
So, there we have it. Change.
Excuse me while I blink.
Larry Brody is an author, veteran television writer and producer. He, his wife and their dogs, cats, horses and chickens live in Marion County. The other residents of the mythical town of Paradise reside in his imagination, however, and any resemblance to actual places or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Originally published March 5, 2010