"If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies."
Realize I must, all the changes that have come about since the begining of my writers block. First and most importantly I need to properly introduce Mr. Dexter Morgan Rhew Bell.
This is the first picture made of him...he was a tiny 6 weeks old weighing in just under 3 pounds. We had to soak his food with water because he didn't understand how to drink. It took him probably a month before he found the condensation on my liquor glass interesting and started licking the droplets. Oh, how I had forgotten what life was like with a puppy. He's 1 year and 5 months old now...not that he still doesn't have crazy puppy energy, but the super challenging parts of puppy-dom i.e. Potty training and chewing are behind us now. He actually has a very extensive vocabulary, even much more than Roger ever developed. He understands "Do you need to go poop?" And will give you an appropriate answer of either heading for the door or returning to what he was doing...this, of course, after he turns his head and looks off into the distance as if contemplating his response. The color of his babies, whether it's because they are shaped different or if he can see color, he will bring either blue baby or red baby on request. Giraffe is his favorite and he has certain times of day that he will bring him out to play. Certain words, like Sugar and girlfriends and cat and camp must be spelled out in standard conversation as to avoid the Pug meltdown. Dexter is Velcro's first dog as an adult and first inside dog ever. I doubt he could have ever anticipated the love that comes from furry four legged kids.
This is his mostly grown-up self. He dresses out just under 20 pounds now...judging from his appetite lately he will be putting on a few more lbs.
As far as the Homefront is concerned, we have relocated a few miles down the road, or up the road as the case may be. You know my feelings when it comes to things being meant to happen...if you feel like it's a struggle or there's a lot of effort going into it, then it's probably not meant to be. But if shit just flows and there doesn't seem to be any real decision making going on, then it's supposed to be happening. Somehow I looked up inexpensive lots and we decided to drive by a few...no real reason. Most of them had obvious reasons for being so cheap...like a couple of them you couldn't even park a car on, much less build a house because of the almost shear drop off of the land...and we don't even live where there are hills. Others where in super sketchy areas that back up to woods frequented by homeless tents and what not...no thanks. One particular lot looked absolutely perfect. It was level and without a transient tent community next door and as a bonus, walking distance or stumbling to all kinds of cool bars and restuarants. So we throw an arbitrary low ball offer, half expecting it would piss the folks off, only to have it accepted. We look at each other sharing a response of "Well shit...I guess we're building a house..." And that's how life takes on changes. It took us about 10 minutes to pick a house plan. I googled raised beach cottages 1500 sqft and 3 plans popped up. Both of us pointed to the same one...house plan picked. About 5 months later we moved in. My minimalist side went into shock/overdrive and it took me the better part of a month to be able to actually sit down in the house. I have scored free furniture and free all new kitchen stuff...blenders, utensils, glasses, knives and even a full set of 8 fancy plates. The Junior Soprano plates that I paid a quarter a piece for were sent along to a better home. Now I'm a complete homebody verging on recluse. In the garage I have project tables and fill my time painting junk furniture from thrift shops and gluing wine corks onto shit. Still the bathroom houses my ratty bathmats that Dexter chewed the corners of when he was a puppy...as a way of keeping my minimalist tendencies alive and well.
Sometime in the early 90's I went to a boat show at the Convention Center in Charlotte. It was there that I climbed aboard and all around a little sailboat that cost I think about $30,000. Begin my infatuation with the idea of something that you could live in and move around. I don't have any specific memory of when I became enamored with the VW Bus. I would do Internet searches of buses for sale and pour over the pictures and save them, then look up more sites and compare Junkers to full restorations...pretty much a classic example of a pipe dream. The thoughts of coming to a point of actually being able to buy one were so far out there. Mostly you are limited to purchasing through EBay Motors and having a car hauling company go get it and haul it clear across the country, everyone I had looked at was somewhere on the west coast, costing additional thousands of $$ and buying site unseen. You can see the concern and logistical nightmares. I happened to find one for sale by a small antique car dealer in mid state SC. It was a 1973 (the year I wanted) orange VWCamper, mostly restored...meaning in decent shape and with a new engine for $18,500. Being the first and only real chance that I have had, I sent the guy an email. I got a reply right back from him...he had sold it almost immediately, but he had a friend in Florida that had one almost exactly the same and included his number. I left him a message to send pictures, a little info and let me know what he wanted for it. As things go, it all fell into place and we now have Old Hippie as a family member.
When trying to come up with a name, I was having trouble deciding whether it was male of female. Several mornings in a row I woke with song lyrics bouncing around in my head...an old Bellamy Brothers song. It was my sign that the bus had chosen to be gender neutral and "Old Hippie" it was. Hippie is currently in the body shop having the little bit of rust taken care of, new paint and the camper top refiberglassed. I went by to check on Old Hippie last week to see the progress and found it ironic that my gender neutral bus now says "PAT" on the window. We are looking a bit naked with all the hardware stripped off.
I believe that should pretty much catch up the changes the last year and half have brought about...all the major ones atleast.