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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Changing Seasons

Go away for less than two weeks, and everything changes. You leave in the height of summer, when the grass is green and flowers are blooming, and you come back to see drought  conditions, with trees shedding their leaves, butterflies on their last wings, deer looking starved and emaciated and blackberries turning into prunes.

People and animals who were alive when we left are now dead.  The landscape is eerily different, and we feel as if we had been through a time warp.

We are back from a trip to visit my mother in Bloomington and to speak at the Missouri Libertarian Party Convention in Jefferson City.

Bow on our return

Lawrence stayed with Bow and took care of our dogs and birds as well. We had to come home immediately after the Missouri Libertarian Convention, because, while we were in Bloomington,  a son of our neighbor friends was killed in a tractor accident, and we wanted to get back in time for the memorial service. But while we were still in Jefferson City, Lawrence texted us some more bad news. Brownie had just died.

The Memorial Picture that Sword posted about Brownie
When we got back, Bow did not say anything to me about Brownie's death. He just set about grooming me very meticulously.

Sword and I had gotten a manicure while away, but Bow thought I needed a new manicure, and a pedicure.

And a facial.

I went outside to mow the backyard the next morning, but a butterfly came and landed on a leaf and stood in my way, so I had to stop.

It was the red spotted purple that we had seen many times before around this time of year.

The dead leaf the butterfly was standing on is one of many leaves that our tulip tree shed during the drought that had fallen on the land while we were away.

The orange spotted purple on a dead tulip leaf
Leo is now our only dog. Here he is, amid a multitude of dead tulip tree leaves.

Leo in the backyard amid dead tulip tree leaves
There had been grass fires while we were away. Not on our property or near it,  but close enough that it impacted people in our community. And unrelated to that, a young man, thirty-one years old, a husband and a father, and a pillar of the community, had been cut down  in his prime in a tractor accident. He was the eldest son of our neighbors and friends, and Sword and I went to the memorial service. The local elementary school gymnasium was packed to overflowing with the hundreds of people who had come to pay their respects. We sat next to Bow's friend Charla at the service.

There were many more people mourning this young man than there had been libertarians at the Missouri Libertarian Party State Convention. He was well loved and will be sorely missed.

I asked Lawrence later whether Bow had said anything about Brownie's death. Lawrence said he had told Bow that Brownie had died, and Bow spelled out "b-a-d". "Bad? What do you mean, Bow?" Lawrence asked. Bow elaborated by spelling out "s-a-d". But soon after that, he asked Lawrence to play chase with him. 

Life goes on. 


  1. Sorry to hear about Brownie and the young man who passed away. Bow seems happy that you were back.

    1. Thanks, Julia. It is always so sad to lose people and dogs. Bow was glad to see me, though.

  2. Love the picture of your purple butterfly, Aya! Proof that yes, amid all the chaos and death, life does go on. So sorry to read about Brownie and the young man that died. He must have been very well known for so many people to come to his service. Was Brownie sick or was his passing due to old age? Glad you were able to go to the Libertarian convention...wish more people had been there. I was rather hoping the tide would start turning, but I guess I should lower my expectations.

    1. Hi, Kathy. That butterfly did seem like a sign of hope amid all the chaos. The young man who died was well known and well liked throughout the community.

      Brownie had not been ill, but he was quite old. He was almost completely deaf and walked slowly with arthritis. In the summer, when it was hot, he was bit winded. I think the heat wave that hit while we were gone had something to do with the timing of his passing, but it was his time of life to go. We knew he would not live forever.

      The libertarian convention was interesting. Here is my report on that: