Wallowing in self-pity

By LOTTIE BOGGAN,

Back from my afternoon bounce and run with dog Roo Roo, and not quite time for my slow motion walk with June Cleaver, I was catching my breath when the phone rang.
“I got your text message, Grand Lottie,” Christian Boggan said. “What’s this about you needing me to pick up you and another lady at 2:00 in the morning next week?”
“I’m taking a cruise, and we need you to carry us to the airport.”
“That’s a strange time for a plane to take off. Where are you going?”
“I’m going to Bucharest, Bolivia, Bastrup, Bellevue, and Belfast, with Edrie Royals, Ann Barksdale, Margaret Vise and Carole Kirkland. We’re sailing at the end of the month. I think we’re touring Poland, too.”
“Wow!” There was a long silence on the line. “You must be going for a pretty good while. Those places are kinda far apart.” Christian said. “And very different. I thought Bastrup was in Texas. And Bellevue was a mental institution.”
“Oh, I stand corrected on Bastrup and Bellevue,” I said. “I meant Budapest and Belfast.”
Truth to tell, I didn’t know too much about this trip. But, I didn’t want to own up to that and thought it best to check on a few things first before I did too much more travel talk.
It’s a good day for me now when I can remember my children’s names, not to speak of the grands and the greats, but I didn’t want Christian to think his grandmother was behind times.

The older I get, the more I dislike that old saying that age brings wisdom. Quite the opposite, it does seems like I’ve been getting things a little more mixed up than usual. Nowadays I worry more about my memory loss and less about my hair falling out, my weight gain and what the dogs think when they see me coming out of the shower.
“I’ll be on Facebook, and do some tweeting once we get underway.” I had a funny feeling when I said that though. Something about social media had been on the television news a night or two ago and to the best of my recollection, you might get in trouble. Truth to tell, I didn’t really know what I was talking about but I wasn’t going to own up to that with my grandson.
For a few seconds there was a dead silence on the other line. “Well, if that’s what you’re into. But you’d best be careful and watch what you’re doing.” Christian’s voice sounded a little strained. “A lot of old, I mean, older, people can get in trouble.”
“I’d much rather be fun and interesting than careful,” I joked, but not sure I meant it.
After I hung up the cell phone I thought about calling Christian back and telling him I’d never tweeted and don’t even know how to get on Facebook, but decided against it.
Not sure what to take for a trip to Bolivia, Belfast, Budapest and Bucharest, or wherever we were going. I thought I’d glance at our itinerary before I walked June Cleaver, but when I picked up the travel documents I quickly discovered I was a little off base on a few things. For starters, our flight was not at 2:00 in the morning, but in the afternoon. And Belfast and Bolivia were not on this trip, Belgrade and Prague were.
While I was on the computer I also thought it might be a good idea to find out how to engage in social media. Good Lord have mercy. It didn’t take long before I realized it was all a little bit over my head. I quickly decided there are more important things in life than Facebook and Twitter-ditter and shut down my computer, Bessie Maude.

It was getting dark and almost past time for me to walk June Cleaver. I went to the den where my old lady dog lay on the couch, waiting. With June not being well, it’s hard for her to get down so I lifted The Cleave, hooked on a leash, then with her tail wagging we went outside.
June can’t walk far, and we have to go very slow.
“In just a few minutes, when we get back home, you’ll be upset.” I speak slowly, and comfortingly, knowing that when she sees what’s coming, she will not be a happy camper.
As if she senses there will not be a good ending to this day, the tail wag stops. June plasters it between her back legs.
Soon we’re home; I rub June’s ears. So much gray. Tears spring to my eyes. I lift her onto the couch, and go to the outside closet.
It’s been a year now since June Cleaver’s seen me pull a wheeled instrument through the house; suitcases mean a change in her life. My dog lies on the sofa, not raising her head, but watching me, distress and disbelief in her eyes.
The dogs walked and fed, suitcase out and ready to be packed, the day was ending. I put Roo and short-legged Petey to bed, one in the laundry room, the other in the back bath.
 I sit and watch TV with June Cleaver until the ten o’clock news is over and it’s our bedtime.
June usually sleeps in the bend between my pulled up legs. That night, when I lifted her into our bed, then crawled in next to her, she leaned against me for a moment. Then she stretched out as far away from me as she could.

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1. She took her first ceramics class at seven years old at Pickenpaugh Pottery. 2. She and her father got their black belts in Tae Kwon Do together.