I am back in Erie. This is the place I have called home since I was 18 months old, yet for the first time in my life, I feel as though I am here as a visitor. My new home in Sarasota has set in and become real to me. It is unbelievable even to me that the transition came so easily and without effort, but it is the truth. My home is in Lakewood Ranch, FL. I am from Erie, PA. The two are separate. And I am at peace with that.
Even though I have a home somewhere else now, I was and am excited to be back here for this week. I'm excited to sit in my old seat at Panera, see my family, sleep in my comfy bed and drive on the streets I know like the palm of my hand. There is an ease to being in this place, like a well worn pair of shoes that you can't bear to throw away. That is Erie. It is the place I will always be able to sink into, even if only for a few days.
The trip to get here wasn't an easy one, though. My health has been in crisis for the better part of a week and 22 hours in the car was a challenge. Thankfully, we made it safely. That is the most important thing. Driving on the interstate you are bound to see an accident, fender bender, or left over debris from a collision earlier in the day. We saw just that on I-75. Two cars, burnt beyond recognition and their contents spewing onto the road. The scene looked more like a junk yard, not a highway. It was a stunning reminder of the risks involved in travel and the thankfulness we should carry with us every mile we drive without incident.
Thank you, God, for getting us here safely.
The trip was filled with more than just a reminder of how quickly life can turn on its head, but it was a new look at Pippy and the lessons she has to teach me.
This was my first time in a hotel with the Pipster. Mom traveled down to Florida with her and raved about "the best traveling dog" ever. I had only seen this marvel in short bursts. The farthest we had ever traveled up until this point was 8 hours in the car and she was just as Mom put it, the best ever. Now I got to see it 3 days in a row, 22 hours in all.
She was perfection. The best doesn't even grasp the amazing puppy I have. There is no other dog like her, I am sure of this. She laid on the back seat the entire trip, never barking, never shaking from fear of the car, never whining because we weren't at our destination yet, never making a peep. She sat up at times and did a little normal dog panting with the tongue hanging and ears flopping. But mostly she just slept. On bathroom breaks and quick walks she pranced with glee. She soaked in each new surrounding and never complained when it was time to get on the road again.
And once again, I started to learn lessons from my traveling companion.
I started learning lessons on the road with Pippy.
I can't get into them all in one blog post. I don't know if a book will ever be able to contain them all, but little by little I am going to share them. Pippy has come into my life not just to enhance it solely, but to enhance the lives of everyone she meets. She is the star of every encounter, the greeting committee at every open door and a comforter in times of need. And I don't want to keep her to myself. I want to share the amazing gift she is with you.
Pippy is teaching me lessons of life, love, and how to live with a joyful spirit. If I can convey even a fraction of who she is in these words then you will get to meet an amazing dog pouring out gifts in the form of lessons. Get ready to receive!