Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Muffin Saga, Part VII

Life changed for us in the parsonage after Muffin and I became the only residents of the parsonage. Although I enjoy cooking, much of my joy comes from preparing meals for others. Muffin, with her desire for meat and only meat, limited my culinary adventures. I found myself even eating out at restaurants. These were primarily luncheon meeting with the county Clergy Association and invitations to dine with parishioners, who seemed overly concerned about my living and dining alone.

Much too often I would walk across the street in front of the parsonage to the convenience store and purchase “dinner”—always junk food. For example, I developed a craving for Hostess Twinkies and chocolate milk. Add one of the ready made, plastic wrap covered sandwiches they sold at the store, and I had my dinner.

One evening I walked back to the parsonage with a ham and cheese sub and the inevitable Twinkies and chocolate milk. I warmed the sandwich in the microwave, put it on a plate, carried the meal into the living room, placed it on a table beside my recliner, plopped down in the chair, and used to TV remote to locate a program that was the equivalent of the junk food I was about to consume. 

I was just about to take my first bite of melted cheese on ham when Muffin, who had been beside me throughout the “meal preparation,” ran from the living room to the front door, barking her head off.

Through the years Muffin had become our doorbell and alerted us whenever someone came through the gate into the yard and up on the porch. So I put the sandwich back on the plate and reluctantly left the living and through the hallway to the front door. Through the glass, I could see no one on the porch; I opened the door, went outside and looked around. No one was there.

“Dumb dog,” I said as I returned to the living room, “no one’s here.” I sat back down in the recliner and reach for my sandwich. The plate was empty. Then I looked at Muffin, who was in her sphinx position a few feet from me. She was looking up at me, with her tongue out and her eyes sparkling. I few inches in front of her on the rug was my sandwich, now with doggy tooth marks on it. 

It was then that I suddenly realized that Muffin had (again) out smarted me. She hadn't eaten the sandwich on the floor in front of her and didn't chomp on it until I said, “Go ahead, Muffin, I am not going to eat it now that you've had it in your slobbering mouth.” She then scoffed it down in three bites. It is very humbling to be outsmarted by a dog!

Muffin and I now spent our free time watching TV, listening to music, (me) reading and, of course, taking our walks through town. During that summer we also added rides in the country. My MGB was running again, at least briefly. Muffin, who had vomited in our car the day we brought her home from the dog pound, had since developed a tolerance and a real love for riding in cars; she sincerely enjoyed having the wind blowing in her moppish face. So Muffin and I would ride in the sports car with its top down, the airstream ruffling our hair, and the warmth of the summer sun tanning my skin a deep brown.

By the end of the summer, Muffin and I were preparing to leave the parsonage, which had been our home for eleven years, and move to Louisville, where my (soon to be ex-) wife was attending school.

The Muffin Saga will continue next Sunday. 

If you enjoy Nick’s Bytes, please consider donating just $1.00 a month, a smidgen that will provide Sometimes Saintly Nick and his Kitty Kids with enough income to live from Social Security check to Social Security check. 

Thank you, my friend.

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