Saturday, November 13, 2004

Liza woke up chilly and early. Way early. She had to be at work at 6am but it was still close to 4 and she was wide awake. Faith flopped around like fish out of water trying to get her nest made since Liza had stirred her from her usual deep puppy slumber. Finally, they both gave it up and stared at each other across the pillow. “Oh MY GOD” Liza thought to herself. “I’m sleeping with a dog!” Faith licked her face and turned over again.

The day was not bad for a first one back off of vacation. Weekends tended to be like that because all the usual weekday activity was at a halt and only the hospital in-patients demanded attention. All departments were short staffed on weekends and holidays, not just the lab.

Liza had enough energy to pack her week’s garbage into the trunk of her Camry and take Faith for a ride to haul it off. She loved looking into the side mirror and watching those brown ears flap in the breeze while Faith hung out the window. As she approached the bar, she spotted Mary Beth’s car and turned in on a dime. Her old home away from home had been a blur as she drove by in recent months and she had missed Mary Beth. She knew several of the other vehicles too, and sure enough…..there came Gerry out the front door on his cell placing a bet on the day’s game. Liza left Faith in the car ( though dogs ARE allowed inside, if well behaved! ) and wandered in. As usual, it took a few minutes for her eyes to adjust to the darkness inside. She headed straight for Mary Beth and they hugged like the year since their last meeting had vanished into thin air.

Nothing had changed, nor would it ever. The length of the bar was seated with men silently enjoying the brotherhood of college football and enjoying their favorite beer. Saturday at this bar was definitely NOT an opportune place or time to strike up friendly conversation with the male species. Liza greeted the ones she knew and headed for Gene on the way out the door. “ Where you been baby?” he crooned. His face showed the hangover from Friday night but she gave him a big smooch anyway. “All I ever do is work and go home….you know the routine”. “I know you’ve missed me though” she said. “Good to see you baby. Come back when you can stay longer”. Faith’s vet was peering across the neon beer sign in the window to where she was checking it all out from the car.

Woofie was pacing on the car seats but enjoying the view. As soon as the motor started up, Liza lowered the window enough for that big brown head to hang out and feel the breeze on the way home. Life is good if you let it be.

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