Sunday, July 12, 2009

Daily Report: Quality Walking

Today being Sunday, I worked for a couple of hours in the morning and then took the rest of the day off. Marc and Susan weeded the front yard. Fatima's family has planted some San Francisco bushes for us up on their property, and once they are grown enough, we are going to transfer them down to the front of our house to make a bit of a hedge row.

Epril had some friends over for lunch, and we all ate a dish of pork, potatoes, and green beans, cut into small pieces and served in a soy-sauce-based broth.

Late in the afternoon, Epril and I took Tyson for a walk all over town. We went through the town square (admiring the fancy new lamp posts installed there), then down to the river, then along a lovely orchard path, through town past the market, and then back home.

Along the way, Tyson met a pig for the first time (and voiced his strong disapproval of the species), was briefly attacked by somebody else's dog for the first time (and didn't care for that much either), but did smell hundreds of wonderful things like poo, litter, and plant life in various stages of life and decay.

Epril and I shared pleasantries with the dozens upon dozens of folks we passed along the way. Crowds of kids squealed and laughed and cavorted in Tyson's path and wake, believing they were risking life and limb by flirting with the perimeter of the monstrous crazy dog's leash (when in reality, they only risked a face covered with sloppy dog kisses). The local canine population (with the one exception above) came out and barked a herald of Tyson's arrival in their territory, and then shared some mutual sniffs of pertinent body parts. A tethered goat reared up on hind legs, and cocked its head at Tyson for a good battering before I pulled the hapless and friendly dog out of harm's way (though I was half tempted to find out how that confrontation would have worked out... not well for Tyson, likely).

Everything was lush, verdant, and moist from the daily dousing rain storms this time of year. The river bounced along, with it's low gurgling drowned out by the 2 karaoke stands we passed, manned by local fellows singing their epicedes to Michael Jackson. They stopped and smiled and waved while singing. They told him don't you ever come around here. Further along, women were trimming the grass around coconut trees with hand scythes, while pantless children stood in the doorways of bamboo huts and gaped wide-eyed at the rare trio of black dog and white man and brown girl passing by.

Somebody disparaged the quality of my life the other day. If one measures life's quality by the value of the things they buy, or the intensity of their entertainment, or the decadence of their meals, or the cushiness of their environment, or the ease of their earning, then I can't argue with them.

However, if one measures life's quality by the quantity of casual pleasantries received from strangers, the number of smiles and giggles of children created, the amount of foreign culture experienced, the amount of natural beauty appreciated, the amount of life being lived without modern complications witnessed, or the breadth and depth of memories accumulated... while feeling a great personal contentment of watching a highly entertained, galumphing slobber machine carouse amidst the roadside greenery on the end of his leash while you walk through your own living definition of paradise with the prettiest and most loving woman ever to step into your life, then I disagree: Life's quality is pretty good.


Anonymous said...

You write a good passage, but you could still end up like Thomas.
There are people less intelligent who have secured their future.

Jil Wrinkle said...

I assume you mean Thomas Hunt. I don't disagree with that: Anything can happen. My future is not really secure, but it was never meant to be. Up until September 27th of last year, when I got married, I tended to live every day like it was my last... or at least that was the goal. Now, of course, I've settled down and do indeed plan on creating a more secure existence for myself and my family. What results I get from that attempt remain to be seen, obviously... but I'm generally optimistic.

Anonymous said...

The most anyone could wish for out of life, it seems you've gotten. I'm very happy for you, Epril and your family. It does my heart good to see how happy you are. May it always be so.

Jil Wrinkle said...

That's nice of you to say mom... but we need a couple of kids too before we get "the most anyone could wish for out of life."

Well, that and an Italian sports car.

Anonymous said...

nice blog. show us more from tyson please. i love dogs and he seems to be cute.
do you think he is a good guard and pinoys are scared of dogs? in costa rica where home invasions skyrocket, ticos are scared and avoid houses with dogs.

Jil Wrinkle said...


He is cute... but at his age he is still a friendly nuisance. But he is a good guard dog, and protects his territory. Unfortunately he protects it by barking at people in the street and cats in the yard... so he barks more than we would like, but it is better than no barking at all.

Pinoys are scared of dogs, but it is strange because there are all kinds of dogs wandering the streets which people here tend to ignore completely... but that might be because the dogs tend to ignore the people as well. A dog paying any attention to a person is avoided, a dog barking is definitely avoided too.

Also, walking a dog on a leash makes everybody think that the dog must somehow be dangerous... so taking Tyson for walks sort of advertises to the local population that there is a dangerous dog at my house.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the explanations.
also in my experience, even the dogs are friendly in the phils. in bali for example i got harassed by aggressive dogs more than once. it never happened in the phils riding my bike for one year from luzon to mindanao and back.


Issarat said...

Hello to you and Epril!