#tenyearsdunne

Like it was just yesterday. I still remember you on one knee at Manchester Airport (if you want me to say yes to something, asking when I’m jet-lagged and just getting off an 8 hr flight is a good time to ask), and I remember Louise looking concerned that I might have said no when we got to the car. I can still feel the loose buckle on my left shoe that made my leg wobble throughout the ceremony. I can still taste that first sip of Yorks Tea at the reception. 
How are we ten years older in the picture on the right than we were in the one on the left? How have we had ten Christmases and Easters and moved house twice and country twice? How has our house been home to seven dogs and a cat in that space of time? Didn’t I just arrive at Heathrow and have my visa stamped? Wasn’t it just a few minutes ago when we drove to Atlanta to get my biometrics done, or to Berea to sort out your social security? I’m certain it was only a week or so ago, maybe a month, that I picked you up at Hartsfield right after you collected me at Manchester when we were basically living at various airports and train stations. Wasn’t it?
I’m so grateful for the macaroni and cheese, the shared nerdiness, the willingness to put up with my shenanigans, the flashlights bought for me to take to faire, the resolve to get up when the girls are howling so that I can lie in, the whispered, “love you, bye” when I think I’ve managed to get out the door without waking you, the love of travel and history, the debates over whatever has just been said on telly, the ability not to laugh in my face when I think I’m speaking Yorkshire, the shared love of Greenville, the support and encouragement to be a writer, the shared – and different – expat experience, and all the other things that I have been given over the past ten years that I most certainly did not and do not deserve. 
Ten years done and dusted, and as many more as I can get to come. Love you to absolute bits, Simon.

FTH Oopsie Daisy, 14 August 2004 – 2 December 2016

She truly was transcontinental.

You know, I’m sitting here staring at the blank screen and can’t even bring myself to type the words that she’s gone…and she’s been gone for two months now.  I still expect to come home and hear her whistling from the bedroom, demanding that I hurry up and let her out. But the whistle has fallen silent.

I listen for her toenails on the hardwood floors and remember how, when we lived in the UK, she made no sound at all on the carpet and could sneak up on me, suddenly jamming that needle nose into my ear and exhaling. There’s nothing in my ear now, no cold nose or loud exhalation of warm doggie breath. It’s just silent.

I call the other two dogs by her name and they look at me, with a mixture (I think) of confusion and sadness, wondering simultaneously who I am talking to and where Daisy is. I wonder that too.  Is she with the Fab Five Plus Clowny? Are they now the Magnificent Seven? I don’t get answers, though. As always, my Bridge Pack is silent.

We see things that she would have loved, go to places that made her happy, and the memories are sometimes so strong that I can smell her Frito Feet and feel her nose pressed up against my neck, as she would do to make sure of me. I think for a moment that I can hear her Snappy Jaw that should have struck fear, but didn’t, not in me…but there is no snappy jaw, not anymore. Everything is silent.

She was a larger sized female for her breed, but she was Bryn’s Little Big sister.  She was a good foot taller than Willow, and lorded that size over her Little Little Sister. They still run and play and I can hear their tags jangling as they bound up and down the stairs. But Daisy’s tags, still on her purple dragonfly collar, remain silent.

I want a do-over.  I want more time. I want for her to not have suffered through the heart murmur and the heart disease and the Lasix. I want to take her to Ireland and to Canada. I want her to have the jacket with all the little patches from everywhere she was able to visit. All these things I want…and all she wanted was to be able to rest.  Rest well, my world traveler, my Psycho Puppy Girl, my Angel…my Mei Mei.  You earned it.  I just wish it wasn’t so silent around here.

Quickie…Cross your fingers, please?

Proud Racer: An American Greyhound
in Yorkshire, by Nancy E. Dunne

Just wanted to give you guys a little heads up that Daisy’s second book, An American Greyhound in Yorkshire, has been entered in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest for 2013.  I don’t expect that it will go anywhere but…you never know.  Three cheers for Daisy Mei Mei, international dog of mystery…and for her mommy for finally sprouting a pair and going for a contest.  Fingers and paws crossed!

I don’t think I can jinx this…

My little girl, my psycho puppy, my sweet Mei Mei who has gone so native she’s forgotten that cookie means biscuit…is coming home to me and Clown VERY VERY soon!

I’m not mentioning anything else because I’ve already jinxed that once, and we didn’t bury St. Joseph in the backyard yet. Mainly because we don’t have a backyard, and we’d have to bury him upside down in a plant pot. And then the plant pot would get sold and …. yeah, I wasn’t going to mention that, was I?

Coming soon to an airport near me…FTH Oopsie Daisy, world traveler and my baby girl. I might even get her some choccie bikkies to celebrate.

SOLD! Almost…

Yep, after almost four years of waiting and tidying and waiting and chasing down estate agents for feedback someone wants to buy our house.

Let me say that again, because I’m not sure I believe it yet… SOMEONE WANTS TO BUY OUR HOUSE IN KEIGHLEY!

I’m not sure how I feel. I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed and when you add in that I’m probably overtired I find myself to be a little bit…sad. Yep, as much as I used to scream that I hated that house, I’m sad. It was our first house after we were married. It was the house where I stayed the first time I came to visit Hubs.

But at the same time, everything is coming together in a way that I admit I never thought it would. Hubs has his interview at the end of February, almost a month from today. The buyer wants to take possession of the house in four weeks. I may very well be picking Daisy up from Atlanta in less time than that. It’s all more than I ever thought would happen.

Now to find a place to live so that the four of us aren’t continuing to squat in Anne and Damian’s house…

Hey, did I mention I’m now working at Clemson University? No? Oops. Next blog post. Swear.

Lurve

Lurve by Nancy Dunne
Lurve, a photo by Nancy Dunne on Flickr.

Well, my bags are packed (not really), it’s early morn (in the US), the taxi’s waiting (he’s here for a neighbor I guess), he’s blowin’ his horn (not really, that’s just someone jaywalking)…

I don’t leave till tomorrow, but I am trying to go on and process it today so that tomorrow isn’t so awful. Flying days SUCK, but at least there are some bright spots this time:

I start a new job on Tuesday. More details on that later, as I’m not sure they’ve told everyone else that applied for the position.

We are an interview (and possibly a piece of documentation or two) away from Simon having his green card.

I will be living with my ClownA at least M-F and hopefully more if I can find a place to live that I can afford.

But still, something is tugging at me. This tiny island grabs hold of you with all it has when you let it, and it is so very hard to let go. One day I’ll be back for good, but for now we are ready to start a new chapter living in America. I’ve been ready to start that chapter since May!

See you guys on the other side of a big ocean and a tin bird.