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This is for Kelly

The dogs woke me up this morning like they always do. Luckily, they also woke Elaine. I laid in bed pretending to be asleep until Elaine got up and let them out. I was afraid to look at the clock. If Elaine saw my eyes open she would know I was awake and my turn to let the dogs out. (Oh come on! Tell me you haven’t done the same thing.) I think it was about 5:00 AM.

Elaine let the dogs out and went back to bed. At 6:10 AM the dogs wanted out again. I was going to pretend to be sleeping again but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I think that’s called love. I needed to get up and write a story anyway.

I got up, let the dogs out and made coffee. Just like every Sunday morning. While the coffee was brewing, I sat down to write a story,

Something was amiss with the internet. I didn’t have access. I write these stories on some program accessed through the internet. No internet; no story.

By now Elaine is awake and enjoying her coffee. This is a special time for us. Elaine is usually reading and I’m typing. Well, I call it typing. I type a word. Hit backspace, add a word, hit delete and after a while there is a story on the screen.

Anyway, I mentioned grumpily, (Is that a word?) to Elaine, “I can’t write, the internet is down.” Elaine is a problem solver. Elaine suggested, “You can do your story in Word, then Cut and Paste it when the internet comes back.” I could do that I guess but that would be a change. I don’t do change. I told Elaine I was going outside.

Once I was dressed I decided it would be a good time to clean the corrals. That’s what people do. When they can’t write stories, they clean corrals. What could be better on a Sunday morning, than shoveling wet, rotting hay mixed with wet decaying llama and yak manure. (That would have been a great time to inject some construction language, but it is Sunday.)

We could chat about the smells I was enjoying, but the internet is back. I need to write a story.

I’m not liking this spring so far.

Eighteen years ago, Elaine the kids (first batch) and I took a road trip to Kansas. We were going to Kansas to pick up four llamas. Four fantastic llamas, each one with a different personality.

The first llama was Joe. Joe was the biggest llama I have ever seen. Joe was also the smartest llama I had ever seen. Joe had been taught to shake hands. Should a person walk up to Joe and ask him to “shake”, Joe would hand the person his front foot.

TK was the second llama. I have written about TK before. TK the cantankerous llama.

Zack is the third llama. I’m not sure there is a more beautiful animal on the planet. Zack is the shy llama. Zack is friendly, if you give him a chance to approach in his own good time.

Then Kelly; the athlete. Kelly is the llama that you would see chasing coyotes out of our pastures. Kelly is my all time favorite llama.

There is a man/llama race every year in Fairplay, Colorado. Men (or women) lead llamas on a course outside of Fairplay. Mostly the llamas lead the humans. Kelly and I have run in that race. The race is run on a trail that forces llamas and humans to cross a waist deep river a couple times, run up and down some rocky hills and finishing in “downtown” Fairplay. Kelly and I should have won but, Elaine was running with Joe. Joe decided he didn’t want to race, Kelly and I turned around to go back and get Joe and Elaine.

Hey, I just realized Joe and Elaine cost me my glory days. Oh well, I’m telling the story anyway, I’m just blaming someone else for not winning. Just like real glory days.

Kelly passed away last Friday. I’ve lost my friend.

Our crazy lives!


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