Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
A few weeks ago the She got me a really neat thing for the front EastWing Gardens. A set of statues, little boy and a little girl setting down while holding a little jar and inside the jar are three little lighting bugs. Now what really makes this deal so cool is on the backs of these little people are solar cells.
Yeah, ya got that right, when nighttime comes, the lighting bugs come to life inside the little jars. It’s just soooooo cool. I put ‘em out by the flag pole, right out there by the mailbox along 800 South, On the north side of the road.
So I sit inside the EastWing, at the very, very edge of darkness, looking south, I see the lighting bugs inside the jars. Wow! Just to think I may even be able to see lighting bugs on Christmas Eve if the sun shines a little while during Christmas Eve day. I hope It does enough to charge the solar cells. It will.
That would be really special, seeing lighting bugs and hearing the animal talk at midnight at the very start of Christmas, at the stroke of midnight, the very, very start of Christmas Day. I talk to the animals.
Don’t know if I ever told ya ‘bout the time when Axel Rose walked out of my life on Christmas Eve. Axel Rose was a dog, a beautiful blond Chow Dog. A full blue tongue Chow. A prefect Chow, a special friend of mine. A sophisticated gentleman friend who just so happened to be born a dog, and so he played the hand God dealt him.
When #1 son, RJ, was at Ball State, one time he came home with this dog, said it was a stray who’d come to the fraternity house so he brought it home. Called him Axel Rose, he did. After the rock star. And so he was, a rock star, that dog named Axel Rose.
The most gentle of animals. We called him not Axel Rose, he was the Ax Man. The Ax Man was one of the most dignified animals I’ve ever encountered. House trained to perfection when he walked thru the front door, the Ax Man not once in his time with us had an accident in house.
It turned out that the Ax Man was in fact the father of the Mustina James, the Pup Baby. I remember when we all thought the father of Pup Baby James was the neighbors boxer, and every time that discussion came up, the Ax Man would say “Yah, Yah, he’s the one”
When the Gray Lady James came to us, pregnant with child, which we didn’t even know at the time, but accepted her as was, starved damn near to death, and needing a friend. I was that friend. The baby was born much to our surprise, the Ax Man just smiled. I’ll never forget when I first took Mustina James to the Vet for the first time and I told the vet I thought the father of Mustina was a Boxer, she smiled and said “oh no Bob, the father of this pup is a full blooded Chow, look at those purple spots on Mustina’s little tongue. The Pup Baby had the spots. When I got home and told the Ax Man, he said “Uh Oh”
We lived in harmony for many year, me and the Ax Man, the Gray Lady James, and his Pup Baby, Mustina James. Then it was time to say good bye. It was Christmas Eve, and we’d been at my brother-in-law Tom’s for Christmas Eve Dinner much the same as had been for decades.
On this particular night we came back home in a winter wonder land of falling snow on Christmas Eve. Not a blizzard mind you, just a Norman Rockwell Christmas Eve Picture come to life out there in the snow as we arrived back home. It was 10:00 O’clock and time for the dogs to go out for their nightly duty before going to sleep.
As the rest of the family went up stairs to the EastWing I lingered downstairs to attend the 2girldogs and the Ax Man. The 2girldogs ran outside and into the falling snow as fast as their legs would take ‘em. The Ax Man walked from the house. He didn’t run, he walked. It seemed to be a very deliberate journey into the night.
The outside porch lights were on, as well as the two yard lights. The amount of light even better illuminated the Norman Rockwell Christmas Eve. As I stood in the open door admiring the beautiful snow, the Ax Man walked 10 foot in the snow, stopped, turned and looked me directly in the eye.
Time froze. Snow hung suspended in mid air. Time just plain froze in space. . It was a good 20 seconds that me and The Ax Man, Axel Rose, stared at each other. With a gentle wag of this tail, he turned and with his tail still wagging ever so slightly, the Ax Man walked into the falling snow that Christmas Eve. I watched him disappear into the darkness as snowflakes replaced his image before my eyes.
I never saw the Ax Man again. To this day I have no idea where he died, how he died, or when he died. The only thing I know for sure, the Ax Man knew it was his time to go. And so he went into the darkness. He left the EastWing with the grace and dignity unlike any other creature I’ve ever encountered in my whole life.
It was 10 minutes later that the 2girldogs were ready to come back in for the night. Covered with snow, they came thru the door to the waiting towel. What??? Why of course I dry off the 2girldogs when they’ve been out in the wet weather. I also dry off Sophia and Spike The Man Cat, ‘cept the cats don’t go out in wet weather if they can help it. And they can usually help it.
For the next 90 minutes I went to the front door looking for the Ax Man, and somehow all the while knowing, he’s not coming back. It was the 20 seconds of eye contact that told me the story. I didn’t want to face the music, but I’d seen the video with my own eyes. Axel Rose had walked into the snow.
Now on Christmas Eve in the EastWing, we open presents, we just do, we can’t wait till Christmas Morning. We’ve waited this long in December and when we get to Christmas Eve at ‘bout 11 O’clock or so, that’s close enough. Ripping Paper & having fun! Its Christmas!!! I didn’t tell the family that night ‘bout me and the Ax Man out there in the snow on Christmas Eve. I didn’t want to spoil the family fun. That ripping paper apart, and being family on Christmas Eve as the magic midnight of the start of Christmas approaches.
It’s been in our family so long I don’t even know where it came from, but one of our traditions is the belief that at midnight as Christmas Eve turns to Christmas Day, the animals talk to you. God allows ‘em all to speak and they’ve got a full minute to say anything they want to say. And anytime any animal has something they want to say to a person, that person will hear it, and ya can talk back, no matter where the animal may be, ya can talk to the animals.
It was during that one minute that Alex Rose and I said our final goodbyes. He said it was his time to go, God had told him so. He asked that I care for the Gray Lady James, the one true love of his life, and take care of his only child, his Pup Baby, Mustina James. I promised to do so, all the days of their lives.
As the time ran out on that final minute, the Ax Man said goodbye to me. When the clock was done, I cried. The most gentle of God’s creatures, Alex Rose.
Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From The EastWing, Lighting Bugs In A Jar, The Pup Baby, Christmas Eve Falling Snow, The Ax Man Said Goodbye.
I Wish You Well. BobbyRay