Advanced state of Frühling

29th IV 2016

Climbed the dead end road Beth lives on a half an hour before sunrise to walk and write.

Our last night in Germany, mom, Eberhard and I laid out the drugs on the table for the cat and the dog for the flight the next morning and laughed, it looks like a beatnik party here, Drugstore Cowboy style with the plastic syringe, the tranquilizer for the dog, the incontinence pills for her nervousness, her inverted vulva — the vial of liquid valium for the cat that’s the same they use for humans Eberhard said, and we laughed and joked, because we’d been drinking and everything sounded funnier: and I said we should get mom’s vet Dirk on the phone, on his handy on the boat and tell him we’re sorry but we can’t figure out which end to put the syringe in — and it was hard to read the instructions because they were in small print in German and the light was bad, so Eberhard got Dirk on the phone, on his boat, and started talking in Swabish five times louder than he needed to mom thought, and we moved to the side of the room to wait for the outcome, to get the math calculation right based on her weight, and agree on the right dose.

But in the morning, when we got off the A6 at the last rest stop before the airport to try to get her to pee, the tranquilizer was the color and consistency of maple syrup when I squeezed it on some dry food and gave it to her, and it left a stain in my palm the color of Turmeric that never comes out, and I remembered Eberhard said in the instructions to make sure you don’t get any of it on you because it can knock you out in one dose, and I tried getting it off in some wet grass but couldn’t — Eberhard had to scrub it off my hand with bottled water and when he did it was like a first aid procedure, and once we got back on the autobahn and switched driver’s seats I started to feel weird, and Ginger was circling in the back with my mom, starting to drool.

I realized I’d made a mistake when I got her to the check-in counter and knew she couldn’t stand or really walk, but tried to bully my way through the mistake convincing myself to stick to the plan, to get her on the plane with the cat so I could return them home to Seattle and be done with all this transition — but the agent told me Ginger could get sick and choke and die and no one would be there in the cargo hold with her to notice, and it’s all on our website, which I didn’t remember seeing, even though I read it many times.

So we had some time but not much to decide what to do, standing there at the check-in weighing our options: to insist on her flying still (which was too risky and not an option), to take just the cat and leave the dog for a spell, to leave them both, to rebook and pay more fees, to repeat the goodbye process, the early morning drive to Frankfurt, which sucks even when everything goes smoothly as planned.

I tried to argue maybe she wasn’t as high as they thought, but she was out of her cage on the floor fanning it with her paws and mumbling, weeping, and her eyes were the color of melting crayons or lava, and I knew it wasn’t right, I had to accept I’d screwed up, which is hard.

By the time I got on the plane and lowered my tray table I realized my hands were still shaking, I’d left the animals behind for mom to keep a bit longer until we got our plan together and all the logistics.

And the in-flight info started on screen, that’s changed since the last time we’ve flown. Now, it’s more realistic and the plane looks 3-D almost, a real quality avatar you can imagine yourself turning inside, hovering over the earth, pointing out the names of the places below, the route a white arc over Greenland and Canada, Frankfurt to Seattle.

Our last night, Eberhard kept emailing my mom screenshots from a flight tracker app he has that shows the real time location of Dawn and the kids on the plane, since they flew out a day ahead of me and I was to follow behind with the pets. He seemed really fixated with it though, and kept his tablet on the table for the three of us to watch the plane as it moved like a game piece and you could zoom in to the precise whereabouts as it got closer, flying right over the wooded area and Beth’s house, near the lake.

I had been up close to 24 hours but had to take a walk to smell the new smells, to be reminded of this neighborhood where my mother-in-law Beth lives, where we’ll be staying a couple months until we move back to our ‘home-home’ that we’ve been renting to our friends for a year.

And with the record-breaking rain they had here followed by record-breaking heat and sun for April, all the flowers are in bloom and the green is almost electric, spring is in an advanced state, and in just one day we’ve gone from one paradise to another.


This post bookends one published nine months before, July 29, before we started our nine-month tour of Europe. It’s formatted similarly to a book I’d just finished then, the marvelous Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, a number of ‘stories within stories’ that’s interconnected in mysterious ways — as you and I have been friends and readers, these past nine months– thanks for reading and being here.

Bill Pearse

Categories: travel, writing

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

22 replies

  1. Phew! Touch-down! Well done and good luck with the onwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great atmospheric post as always. Hope the pets are not long behind and that your mum’s stopped drooling!


  3. isn’t that amazing? that you can be in two very different worlds within hours. ?


    • Really amazing and strange. Arriving there last July and home now, this April, I stayed up +24 hours, ate about six or seven times, walked a long ways, soaked my feet in cold water to get the numbness to stop, went through wine and beer cycles with coffee in between. God, I think I understand Keith Richards now more, or the rock and roll lifestyle. I just need to make more rock myself. Happy Friday Beth!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m feeling sad and wistful now. Probably because of the dog. It’s always because of the dog, right? Fiction tip: when in doubt, include a dog.
    Welcome home.
    Reading some Alice Munro these days. Talk about wistful.


    • I’m always sad and wistful, especially when I’m not: it makes me feel wistful for missing the wistful times. Sentimental for when I was nostalgic. Thank you for the welcome home and for reading all the while. Friends are friends when they accept you for your crappy, normal self, which is often how one shows up in blogland. At least I do — I’m not reading, I’ve interrupted that. I’m reading the seed pods under the maple leaves trying to get good close-ups and not draw too much suspicion in the suburbs, here. Enjoy your day and weekend. Nothing like a good, Northwest April rain…. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome back! Would love to grab a coffee beer walk bike ride whatever once you’re settled…8-)

    best, gregg

    gregg s johnson 206 399 3066

    Pardon my brevity, I’m sending this message from a mobile device.



    • Yes, me too Gregg. Thanks for the welcome. I’ll pen you an email and tie it to a carrier pigeon, be on the lookout — it’s right by that Amazon drone above the Hendersons’. Bill


      • Is that what that was?? Welcome home! It must feel strange to be back… More adventures ahead, though! I hope we get to continue to follow along!


      • Thank you Doug — doesn’t feel as strange as I thought, feels really good. And yes, here’s to more adventures ahead and seeing one another soon. Lily’s excited to see Solana today of course. And that high pressure system setting up, good stuff. See you soon! Bill


  6. Great post! Have really enjoyed reading about your travels. Interested to see where the writing takes us from here? Thinks its gonna be a bit of “out of the frying pan and into the fire”, but hopefully in a good, that hurts just enough to let you know its real way, but not enough to cause any real harm. Reminds me, did the dog make it out okay? Thanks again for the great reads.


    • For as much as you read, and how I understand your tastes in reading, I’m so glad whenever you are able to read my posts and comment, truly. Yes, I’m having some thoughts on where it takes the writing from here, because there’s a lot to distill and I’ve been doing other, “offline” writing also, and it’s really interesting and weird how the threads are coming together, and how I’ve been experimenting with the process of tying story details together by playing with time, lots to learn and very fun. The dog (Ginger) is back in Germany still, we had to leave her behind as she was deemed ‘unfit to fly’ with the sedatives I gave her. Too bad, because on the way out I used sedatives but she didn’t react as strongly, and I felt bad and irresponsible. But so be it. Not the first or last time to feel that way — thanks for asking, and for your encouragement. It means a lot — and hope you stick with me as we switch over to the next season. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck with the next leg of your adventure!


  8. Glad you made it back safe, duder. Funny, Sammamish was where my brother lived when he first moved up there. Strange to think that you’re home yet have another two months before you’re ‘home’ home. I kind of feel like the book I thought was just about over has suddenly sprouted a denouement.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Cloud Atlas was a wonderful read and a fine book to measure your posts by. So long/welcome home/see you this summer…


    • What a book — the kind that can either inspire you to write or freak you the F out so that you never will. Thank you for the note Jadi and yes, will be fun to meet up this summer. And how stinking strange is that? Cloud Atlas style.

      Well, since I started a precedent with you talking about the weather I’ll say it’s magnificent here now, though freakishly so for mid-spring in the PNW. I’m not complaining. Enjoy your evening and May day celebrations. Bill


  10. So that’s it? It’s over? Kind of hard to believe, actually.

    An inverted vulva? Are you messing with us? Our filthy dog is on proczak. Like…people proczak. It’s not really helping.


    • You see, it’s that inverted vulva type thing you would think is me messing with you, but I don’t play that. You know the whole ‘stranger than fiction’ bit, it’s true. I’m trying to get my head around how strange things are, even when they don’t seem so. Your friend David Sedaris, right? I know about your filthy dog. If you weren’t so cool and grown-up, you would have banned me from your blog after some comments I made when we first met and I got really angry about that dog, because I felt for you man. That’s how much of a feeler I am, I get my hackles up over animals like that: DOGS.

      That’s it, and kind of hard to believe I know. Must be as strange for you reading it as it has been for me living and writing it. So glad you were able to follow along and no, as you have said, I won’t get all Oprah now about it but you get me. — Bill



  1. No soft shoulders | William Pearse | pinklightsabre

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