Downtown Abbey in September

On this visit to Downtown Abbey we celebrated our wedding anniversary and Mr. Carson’s birthday. Then he left for his brother’s bachelor party – a hike in the Sierras – a guy tradition no matter the already changed bachelor status.

The Alaska end of September weather seemed familiar – cold, with darkness creeping in. We even woke to snow one morning, flakes filling the street lamplight and accumulating on cars and lawn. It didn’t last – by mid-day the sun shone and the mountains wore “termination dust.”

Lady Baby and I took walks with her stroller to the park. She’s bundled in a fleece suit now and wearing her new pumpkin hat. With bottom drawstring tightened up totally, one of Mr. Carson’s jackets slips over her legs like a small sleeping bag – the hood and arms cozy up and around her making her wind and waterproof. We had great walks – often with Lady Cora.

Lady Baby knows what it is to be alone in a room now. If you are nine-months old and sitting happily on the living room floor, surrounded by intriguing plastic objects that nest and clunk, and nearby is your mom or dad or other familiar big person – the world is good. If that person leaves, to stir the soup or get a cup of tea, a small fret crosses Lady Baby’s face, followed by specific vocalizations. It’s easy to put yourself in her position – just barely mobile and very small.

It seems to make evolutionary sense for a baby to develop separation anxiety at this “cusp of moving” time – it must have kept caregivers nearby and prevented many a baby from a crawl toward the fire or the cave’s entrance.

Lady Megan’s passing colored the week, will color life. She’s been such an important dog, so sweet of face and disposition. I am thankful for her last summer of lying on the back porch to bake in the sun. To write here about her is to recognize her loss for Mrs. Hughes – they had such a life together before anybody thought of Downtown Abbey or its denizens.

I read Ann Patchett’s “State of Wonder” on this trip, and she reminded me of the painful truth about loss: “There was no one clear point of loss. It happened over and over again in a thousand small ways and the only truth there was to learn was there was no getting used to it.”

I will miss Lady Megan. I am sorry she is gone, and thankful Mrs. Hughes gave her such a good life full of love.

5 thoughts on “Downtown Abbey in September

  1. Such a cheerful watercolor to mark the season of fall and coming winter. And a beautiful tribute to Lady Megan. And Lady Baby learning about “missing”. Life is bittersweet, that’s for sure.

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