I’ve been leaving everyone to their own devices to figure this place out in the week since we’ve moved in. I’ve been too busy unpacking and Christmas-ing and tagine buying to coddle the cohabitants. The cat has figured out where the litterbox is (it took a while), the dogs are learning where they are supposed to sleep, and slowly but surely it is dawning on them that this is their new abode.
There are different sounds to learn, a new territory to navigate. Apollo has to re-learn where the sunny spots are and where I’m keeping the alpaca blanket he likes to snuggle on. For the most part, they’re doing great. The neighbors are quiet as doormice, and no one but us seems to have a dog on the street. It’s us and a bunch of retirees, as far as I can tell. I’m not sure how THEY feel about this clown car moving in, but we like it.
So this is why I was surprised this afternoon when Brody started growling at the back door. Not just a startled growl, but a sustained, there is something nasty I feel the need to warn you about sort of growl.
I let him out, and instead of chasing whatever it was he saw, he just kind of stood there eyeing the back wall (ignore the packing tape on Kekoa’s tail. She was helping me unpack).
Then I saw it. I heard it, actually, before I saw them. UFOs.
Many years ago, when we still had Emmett and Mulan, we lived in this region. So, I was familiar with the evening routine of hot air balloons drifting by. I had forgotten how lovely they were in the sky. I also forgot how much they freak the dogs out.
One time, in our other house, a hot air balloon landed in the field behind our house. It flew directly over us, obscuring the sky with its massive breadth, the WHOOSH WHOOSH of the hot air hitting our ears like an accosting drake come to steal the gold. I have never seen Emmett, a supremely confident dog, tuck tail between legs and bark like that before or since, the merry laughter of the people drifting overhead close enough to hear, bemused at my dog’s abject terror. Granted, it is very loud when the balloon is twenty feet overhead.
They were a bit further away today, fortunately. So Brody was able to quickly determine these ethereal bodies were not a threat, and went back to doing what he normally does, which involves rolling on the grass and scratching his rear.
I can’t look at a hot air balloon without being reminded of Grover the disenchanted disillusioned disgruntled imprisoned Scottish balloon pilot we met in Tanzania. I hope he’s well, where ever he is, which is no longer, I think, Tanzania.
And that where ever he is, he flies a kickass balloon with a big bottle of hot sauce on it (is that what you all see there? I can’t tell.)