The Friday morning, beginning the Memorial Weekend, we were parked at the Methodist Church and school grounds, at intersection of 70&321 between Lenoir and Farragut. Being the last morning of school, the entire student body and their parents where gathering for a year-end ceremony/assembly. I was given permission to park, knowing I should be gone before the whole school and church property were filled with cars. We started on the road before daybreak.
The road to Farragut was more straight than the challenging curves of the previous days since Rockwood, the grasses along the sides were just as overgrown on long stretches and the guardrails were tight as we traveled the valleys and hills. . When we got closer to "civilization" more mowed lawns allowed me to do more than stand in place, when cars passed, than roll over into waist-high grass, covered with dew. When the sun rose high it, and a steady breeze, dried the cut grasses enough to where I could roll along ditches and in front yards without soaking the canvas ball with dew. The world gets heavy sometimes...
As we approached one large yard a woman came from the house that was set back a few hundred feet from the road. As she got close her grandson let her dogs out, though she had told them not to. One was an old German Shepard She said he was harmless and got along well with others. The problem was that Nice (the dog) has issues with all German Shepherds, stemming from a heated discussion he had with a retired police Shepard at a fire station in Newark Delaware years ago. As a result Nice (the dog) has not forgotten has an elephants memory of the experience.
The woman kept the old dog, by his collar, at a distance and I tossed her the extra leash I carry while Nice grumbled and lunged at his imagined adversary. She led her old boy back to the house while we waited. When she came out with the leash she also had a bag filled with two portions of dog food ,almonds, a banana, grapes, two protein bars and some water. Nice (the dog) ate one of the bags of food while we talked awhile before heading on our way.
I didn't notice, until later, that Nice had re-injured his front leg joint when he was trying to pull me, with all his might, toward the other dog, staining this way and that to get advantage against my weight.
We had stopped for a few minutes and when Nice (the dog) got up I noticed a slight limp. The sprain, from when he was a puppy has been recurring when he plays and jumps sideways to-and-fro, it was likely he strained it again surging to get to the old, harmless Shepard.
We soon came to an area of well groomed lawn by a golf coarse, after we walked into Farrogut, where Nice (the dog) lay down in the sun and cool breeze. The temperature was Springlike, the grass was nearly that of a putting-green I thought it a good place to let him rest and took off my pack. A dollar bill lay on the ground a few feet from where he lay. A sign of a good choice, perhaps?
When I got up to leave he was slow in rising, his foot was sore, there was no denying it. After a few hundred yards I decided we would need to stop. We were walking no further this day. Even though I had made no contact a for a way back to the van. Far from rural farmland, we were now in a "well-to-do"area, a person with a pickup truck to haul the ball was unlikely.
I told myself not to worry, everything will work out, things happen for a reason, etc. and sat down to post a few pictures on my Faces Book album with my worldwide connectivity devise (otherwise known as a smartphone).
I was going to let Nice rest.
After about a half an hour a car pulled off the road (not suitable for such things). It was a woman and her daughter. They had seen us earlier on the road and... One thing led to another... I pulled the plug on the world, tied it to a fence post while we rode in her SUV to retrieve the van.
When we arrived at the Church Nice got up from the backseat and looked down at the ground...then at me. I lifted him off the seat palaces him on the gravel pavement.
The woman is a fitness trainer. She agreed wholeheartedly, from experience, that exercise and a wholesome diet can do wonders for any body. I was grateful to meet her and her faith that the body- mind, and spirit can transform with some dedication.
I got back to the deflated globe, loaded it into the van and found a shaded spot at a shopping complex a short distance up the road.
I called Nice's Holistic-distance healing-(the stuff really works) veterinarian and while she sent him healing energy we took a nap for two hours. When we awoke Nice had no limp, but we agreed a little rest is necessary.
This morning, Saturday of the Memorial Holiday weekend we are still at the mall and will stay the day. The side of the mall is partially vacant and the shade trees in the green-space is better than some parks I have seen. The man from the Nail Salon said it would be alright when he came for a picture with his daughter. It will give Nice time to heal. This morning he wasn't limping when I walked him over to the grass but he was stiff upon getting out of his sleeping spot. .
This also gives me an excuse to repair world with a little paint , glue and canvas. That world won't heal without a little human intervention.
When Nice finally rose an stepped from the van he obviously favored the sore front leg. The song on the country radio station went something like..."Love starts limpin', love starts limpin' away. This live we're livin' gets harder every day..."