Sarah Smile? #amwriting

As I was writing Snooty and the Book Cover, I found that Brittany aka Sarah was growing on me. She possesses more than a few quirks and I thought it might be fun to see where she goes. If you like what follows, please let me know. If you think it stinks and I should come up with a different next serial, let me know that too.

As always, I appreciate your reading as I hope you know that I write these serials as much to hopefully entertain you as me. Thanks! SD

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Shall We Have Coffee? #amwriting

If we were having coffee right now, firstly I’d never go to sleep. It’s 1:00 am. But let’s pretend, nevertheless.

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Plans Left Beside The Road #amwriting

#14 Snooty and the Book Cover



Plans Left Beside The Road

The setting sun washes the ocean in pinks and lavenders. Sunbathers have retreated from the beach, but the rowdy nighttime crowd rumbles, powered by the liquid refreshment from their coolers.

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Scout, the Faithful Companion, has high-jacked this blog post on the daily prompt of desert for his general opinion on the beach in summer. He is sweet and cute so he is allowed to unleash his opinion.


S. Darlington (and TFC), 7/10/2016

My Pleasure

Because of circumstances deliciously out of my control, I am revisiting my pleasure. Upon arrival, I was sent a rainbow, which I’ll show you tomorrow, because it’s late and I have little patience at the moment for card readers and transferring files.

It was a long drive from DC to Sandbridge Beach, when it shouldn’t have been, but we are talking about I-95, which, for those of you who are not familiar with the East Coast of the United States, is a parking lot masquerading as a highway/motorway.

And then there were so many accidents on I-64, the route that takes one east toward the beaches. I even saw one with several gentlemen navigating cars just a bit too close to each other. But what more could they expect?

Upon arrival, there were multiple thunderstorms…and then a rainbow, a complete rainbow, but I only have pictures of each section (for you tomorrow…ha).

I just went outside where the breeze is blowing temperate air and the sky is full of stars and lightning flashes across the sky stubbornly, yet brilliantly, and I thought: pleasure. Relaxation. Heaven on earth.

I try to be mindful, appreciate where I am in space or time, but sometimes it’s hard. This week was hard and I don’t know why. I am a person given to frequently over thinking and  over feeling and maybe that was it. Maybe it was all something outside and inside and everywhere in between. It would be nice to know where these feelings that catch us up originate from, but would knowing help? Would knowing make it better?

Regardless, I am here in the space that gives me a great pleasure and for which I feel lucky.

I’ve heard people say: oh, I’m not beachy as if it were just some bikinied slathering of sunscreen and inane qualities on the sand. And, I guess I can see where that would have some merit, but being here, with the tide constant and soothing and the stars twinkling and the frogs singing on the bay and feeling the soft breeze on my cheeks, I have only pleasure, even if I’m not bikinied and oil slathered. I feel rejuvenated and whole and I feel enough to push the week’s overwhelming sadness somewhere far beyond me. And, right now, I appreciate just how fortunate I am.


My blog post entitled: erg

I am on vacation at the so-called outer banks of Virginia, Sandbridge, and I mysteriously thought I could continue doing postaday and book reviews. I have been wrong! I have two book reviews lined up and 2 written posts on daily prompts, but none published. My laptop is having connection issues, while my tablet laughs in the face of connection issues, but is not quite adept at letting me copy and paste things so easily. It is user error, I can assure you. I am currently tossing my laptop into the Atlantic Ocean to see if salt water really does cure everything. If it does, a book review will show up in the morning.

Happy evening!

Cha, Memory

sascha baby picThe eve of our annual Sandbridge trip, our first without Cha. Last year, Cha was still here, although degenerative myelopathy had taken its toll and we knew she was literally on her last legs, but my girl had will, such strength and sense of purpose and plain desire to never let me out of her sight even if it meant that if I was out of the room, she barked so that I would return. And I always did. I didn’t take many vacations without her. If I was near, she was near. Even now, ten months after her passing I have this sense that she is not far. How could she be?sascha

I had her from a puppy. She came on an airplane from Massachusetts, such an amazing extravagance. She looked bedraggled, besieged, and perhaps a tad disappointed,  covered in vomit and poo and urine. She looked a bit like she
would never be happy again.

The first night she wailed and carried on. The second night too. In fact, for many nights. She hated the crate initially, although it soon became her place of comfort.

She was just three months the first time we went to Sandbridge. We rented an SUV and put the crate in and put her in the crate. Oh, it was the most horrible experience. She barked frantically until I took her out and she settled down or, more truthfully, settled into a place where she could see and rule the world.

sascha 2

When we let her loose on the beach, she ran. She loved it. She barked at the ocean as if she could make it quiet. She chased the seagulls into flight. She weaved herself into the waves and jumped and licked, her brown eyes fervently bright, her tail a metronome on caffeine.

For fourteen years we lived those summers over and over and then age took over and disease and neither of our wills could persevere.

The last visit she sat on the sand and looked out at the ocean. I think she would have loved to ride the waves again, bark at the roar. She was over sixteen, battling kidney failure and neurological deficits.

sascha at beach

There are many things in life that are hard, I mean, really hard. It’s making true life and death decisions. Creating a will. Burying your parents. Letting go of institutions that have kept you grounded. Recognizing you must let go of dreams of children or such things that others take for granted. Losing the dog that you held as a puppy and house trained and obedience trained and who obedience trained you and taught you how to love with a completely open heart. Yes, she was your surrogate daughter, all fifty some pounds that you nearly lost a decade earlier to some parasite. She who was there to jostle your elbow with her cold nose to remind you time and time again that you were never alone, that she was there. She who barked at you, razzed you because, just because, you did something that she didn’t think was quite so. So much love you had for her. I had for her. My shadow, Cha.

I wish I believed in heaven and rainbow bridge and that someday I would see my girl’s face, her joyful eyes and her lamb-like skip. I have a video, which I watch, and which reminds me that she, the life force to contend with all life forces, has somehow passed beyond me and I am left with hope and longing.

On our last drive to Sandbridge, she couldn’t quite get comfortable, although the vet assured me that this disease left her in no pain. It had been her way to snuggle herself between the driver’s and passenger’s seats and lie down, but she could no longer manipulate her body. Her wails were like her puppy wails and we had come full-circle, but this time there would be no running on the beach. We were visiting for the last time and we all knew it.

sascha last

I have no profound thoughts to end this. I had a beautiful shadow, an English Shepherd who taught me much about living and loving and being loved, who was a boss in a dog suit, who I gave my heart to, and who I cry for on rainy days and sunny days and who will stay with me even when I am old and gray and can no longer cavort in the ocean but must sit in the sand as she once did and maybe in some realm she will be there with me and we will watch the breaking waves turn white and undulate and I will feel the warmth and think it is the sun, but it will be her shaggy-coated self leaning into me.