|Jim and I with a younger Ella|
... With the outside thermometer reading 1 degree Fahrenheit I decided I wanted to go for a trail run. As the sun oozed out of the Atlantic and brought with it a brilliantly blue day the temperature climbed all the way to 4F! Good enough!
I decided to take Ella with me. Ella has not run with me since last spring. Being the responsible dog-owner that I am I made the difficult decision that running was becoming too painful for her. Even when she stands at the door asking if she can go I have refused her knowing it is in her best interest not to run with me. But this morning I decided I would take her. At 4F I figured even if she was only good for 15 minutes that would be enough for me too. When I asked her, "do you want to go for a run?", her ears perked up, she stood and looked at me as if to say "are you kidding me? Really? Promise?", and then she stood by the door with her tail wagging while I got my shoes on.
I headed for the power lines knowing the sleds would have made trails that would offer us a hard packed surface and make the running easier. I lifted Ella out of Dave's big truck and she immediately ran down the trail a little and threw herself into the first snow drift only to emerge looking like a confection sugar coated sweet heart! Happy dog!
And then she took off running ... RUNNING ... down the trail! I followed her lead and by God that old girl ran for 15 minutes in one direction before she started to ask if we might walk for a little bit. Of course, take a roll in the snow and we'll have some recovery time. At this moment, in this stunning blue day I saw a red-tailed hawk fly directly over us ... "Happy Birthday Jim" ... and then I understood! This was why I got myself out here on this achingly cold day. This is why I brought Ella with me. This is why I preferred to come out here alone.
And this was how I wanted to celebrate Jim's birthday ... on a trail he and I ran together on so many, many times and with this little gal who we both loved and called our "Ella Bella". And as that hawk soared over head I understood ... he was with us at that very moment.
Happy Birthday Jimmy D.
I still miss you .... and always will .... but we're doing OK here. We're Ok.
Loving you all back,