Francine Marshmutt Andersen, a wonderful family member. She joined our family as a tiny puppy. I suspect based on where we are in life now, potentially our last dog as a puppy. Francine was a yellow lab. She joined our family at the same time as our older dog, Gwen. Gwen had moved with us from Cincinnati Ohio to Indiana. She (Gwen) was pretty mean to Fran in the beginning. Fran was a sweetheart and let Gwen be bossy and snippy until Fran realized she was a lot bigger than Gwen. That ended the snippy and bossy phase of their relationship. It is funny, some dogs are meant to be part of a family. To have people and, to be part of that family. Fran was one of those. She was most definitely Jakki’s dog, but she loved everyone in the family and was always in the middle of family events. It is why we’ve continued to have Labs. Fran was the first Lab, you could say she was a lab experiment. Since then we have moved away from puppies (only getting Lab rescues). So the Lab experiment was a success.
I shared this picture from 1999 when there was no pool, and this one from 2000 when we had added the pool. This from the back deck out towards the pond. The pond was actually full of fish, geese, turtles and muskrats. For one two years period we have beavers also. To the left of the picture there is a creek that flowed into the retention pond. If you went up the creek a ways (I did several times) there was another Beaver home about a 1/2 mile up the creek. Our beavers sadly, were killed crossing the road. It was nice to sit on the deck and watch the sunrise in the morning with a cup of coffee. In the rough beginnings of this blog I actually wrote a couple of blogs out on the deck. I started this blog as a once a month blog. Then moved it to a weekly blog and then a daily blog. That initial once a month period was hard. Like my once a month podcasts, there were months with two posts and month’s with no posts. It is sometimes hard to remember a once a month thing.
I remember as a child, the ice on Lake Ripley in Cambridge Wisconsin being thick enough that not only could you walk on it, but my grandfather could drive a tractor (small) on it pulling a Tobago behind him. Or you could pelt down the hill full bore on a sled with metal runners and flying off the bank hit the ice without it even cracking. People, after Christmas in the dead of winter would drive cars across the lake. The Ice was that thick. I don’t think the ice of our old pond ever got that thick. Here is one of the reasons. There was a drain in our cul-du-sac that pushed water out, right to the far right of the unfrozen part of the pond. There was warm street water always flowing into the pond in two places. That flow of warm water prevented the pond from ever really freezing over. It was fun however, to watch the ice begin to crawl across the water. It did often freeze all the way over, but there was always a warm spot that was clearly a lot less ice. I did walk across the creek part to the far left a few times, but the water in that case was 2 inches or less in depth so there wasn’t a lot of risk. Not that the pond was horribly deep – maybe 4 to 6 feet at its deepest point. But the mud was a good 2-3 feet beyond that.