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August 10, 2006 - Pennsylvania

Into the realm of relaxation. Away from the city noise and rush, no work, no chores....

ahhhhh bliss.

We have a moment. It is a beautiful afternoon - late - we finished dinner and are pleasantly stuffed. A walk would be the perfect way to top off a relatively great day. I say relatively because we never got to go rafting today. We got here so late last night that all the adults were exhausted. We all needed the entire day to regroup. Except, of course, for the kids. Alex must have asked 100 times about going rafting....

Mom and Grandpa Charlie were keeping the little darlings busy. Sooooo.... Frank and I snuck away. He was quite entertained by the marine fog horn I purchased before the trip. Yes, I mean the really loud horns you hear out at sea... I got it as a bear deterrent, and seriously hoped I would never have the need to use it. I choose the largest one, which seemed to give Frank even a bigger chuckle.

Down the road we went. In our glory - no children - no noise, except that of nature - binoculars in hand... how great is this?!

We meandered along the dirt road, under the cover of trees and sky. This country is so beautiful! Sometimes it doesn’t seem real.

Sadly - amongst all this beauty and wonderment is the ‘perfect’ junk yard. Isn’t that always the case? We had to pass the rubble on our walk. We stopped to chit chat with the guys working on a beat up old car... they were getting it ready for the demolition derby on Saturday night. This was one of the reasons for our trip - Pennsylvania’s infamous Wayne County Fair. You know the biggest cow, the smallest cow, the biggest horse, the smallest horse, rides, cotton candy, strange people, and the demolition derby. All these country boys get together with the loudest jalopy cars they can find (not that I think it is hard for them to find....there seems to be an abundance around here) They smash into each other till one moving wreck is left. Lots of noise, lots of smoke and dust, lots of entertainment. It was fun to see the work in progress.

We continued past the rubble looking to the road ahead. There was a canopy of trees creating a virtual tunnel. What a welcome mat. So inviting.

Yet... something was not right. Ever get that feeling that something is lurking? Maybe even following you? Ever have that feeling come true?! I had that feeling! Forget feeling! It was reality! I turned around to check. Frank was still talking. There it was.... a giant brown lab - the junk yard dog that went with the junk yard! Now that it saw me look, it was growling, snarling, barking, and headed right at US! My senses reeled. I didn’t know what to do. Frank saw my reaction first, then the dog.

I saw the inevitable doom and the pending pain. I gasped. Frank stepped in front of me to get ready to defend. All he had in his hands were the binoculars. He planned on using them to club the dog. I couldn’t see any trace of a human monitoring this beast... nor did I see any sign of a very long leash... chain... rope.... no electric fence.... nothing. Good God! We were doomed!

I let out a blood curdling scream. I don’t know where or how that noise came out of my body, it was just there. I got everyone’s attention... the dog’s... and Frank’s. The dog stopped for a moment as if to ponder, Frank just looked at his ‘wife’ with a very quizzical expression. Apparently he too was surprised at the vocal talent I possessed. The dog didn’t stop for long. Frank was back on guard. That was when I remember the fog horn. I lifted it into position, pointed, and pressed the button. Well...... The forest shook! So did the dogs legs. They actually went limp - as did Franks. (Sorry honey, it had to be. I realize you were standing in front to protect me, but the situation called for drastic measures... besides you were already going a little deaf.) The dogs’ tone changed from snarling and barking to a yelp. It also went from charging to stepping backwards. Still keeping a watchful eye on us... Boy was I glad for this fog horn - it sure prompted a speedy role reversal. Now the dog wasn’t so sure it wanted to have anything to do with us.

It kept its distance long enough for the owner to get involved. (Better late than never!) Here he came, yelling at the ‘beast’ to ‘COME HERE!’ I was very relieved - since I wasn’t sure how long the dogs confusion would last. And now, I apparently would not be able to communicate with my brave knight of a husband... since I deafened him as well.

We continued to walk backwards keeping our eyes glued on the dog until we knew it was gone.

Our relaxing walk was ruined, at least for me. Frank was able to calm down quite quickly. Not me!! I could feel my heart pounding. Hearing it was out of the question, since my ears were still ringing. I was, however, able to hear Frank renege on his original opinion of my fog horn. "Boy, it’s a good thing you had that!" ‘Yeah’ I acknowledged half heartedly... I couldn’t fully enjoy the ‘being right’ moment. You see... it wasn’t over... we still had to walk back.... past the house... and the dog.