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My sister calls this "Alex at the End of the World." The picture was taken at one of the Great Lakes during his summer vacation to visit his grandma and grandpa in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. (August, 2006)
Years ago (when the Red Dog was more tangible than he is these days), I'd drive past Lake Ella and spy this bit of land from time to time. "Time to time" because whenever the water level got low enough, you'd see this Nessie-like hump appear on the Monroe Street side of the lake.
Not being much of anything, it was a patch of land you'd expect to see warring countries battle over on an episode of Monty Python in an absurd version of Capture the Flag.
But I had a vision for that occasional spot of land no more than a few feet square. Looking out the window of my VW bug as I drove by, it looked big enough to fit a sitting Irish Setter.
The Hibernian bird dog was easy enough to come by, but the hard part was getting him out across the lake to his throne of moist earth and bits of things previously submerged. Of course, then there was the whole bit where I'd make him sit (and stay) while I traipsed back through the marshy water, scaring away any curious carp (they get big in that lake!) along the way to my waiting tripoded camera.
I never got the picture I envisioned... the morning fog still hanging out over the water waiting for the rays of dawn to transpose them to another state of being while Chauncey, dry and perfect, sat still on his little lump of black. Truth be told, I never even tried. Had I, there'd be a funny little story for sure that ended up with either no picture or one entirely different from the one in my mind.
Cut to the weekend, when Candy and I returned home from a visit to rural Pennsylvania to watch my nephew Bobby graduate from college. There was a box from Shannon with long overdue Christmas and Birthday persents for Yours Truly. First of all, yes, there was biscotti. But there was also the wonderful image you see for today's post.
After an e-mail message and couple phone calls threatening her every way I could imagine, I finally got Shannon to send me the original digital image and it is now mine, mine, mine! Forever and ever.
And the even better news... there is another image of Alex and a Great Lake that is different and the same but equally great.
Maybe if you ask nicely...
Until then, let me finish up with the obvious. No, it's not the same, but the image of Alex standing on the rock amidst the serenity of the water flashed me back to that Image That Wasn't of our favorite Red Dog. In that moment, I was connected in a way to things we still don't have words for.
And it was wonderful.
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