Poodles and Atmosphere

Yesterday was sunny and cloudy with a brisk wind. It was a perfect spring day for riding a bike or sitting by the fire, so we did both. On our way home from our bike ride, I spotted a small white poodle by the bushes, sniffing around. I stopped to find it’s owner because the road was busy and no one wants to see a cute little poodle get hit by a car. She was alone. She smelled like perfume, freshly groomed. She was older with poodle cataracts in her eyes. She was well loved and probably missed and so I scooped her up, dropped my gold bike to the pavement and rang the doorbell.

No one could claim the poodle. My husband took the boys home, rolling his eyes and saying, “leave her there, she won’t run into the street”.

I couldn’t do it. So I wandered along, asking everyone if they were missing a poodle, even the men wearing football jerseys who seemed a bit taken aback by the question.

Defeated, I walked home, carrying a poodle and mumbling, “I don’t want a poodle” all the way. It seemed the poodle was to be staying for a while, and honestly, a poodle is probably the LAST thing I need in my life. Luckily the tearful owner drove by when Derrick was outside a few minutes later and all was well.

This morning I woke up, poodle-less and happy. The boys are curled up on the couch watching Thomas and I’m alone with my thoughts and my coffee cup. We had planned to go to church today, for the first time in weeks, but now Q is sick with a barking cough. He’s still asleep in my bed with my husband, so it looks like a quiet, “at home” day. I don’t mind. I think we’ll have another fire and some old books to read with the bindings loose and yellowed. I might make coffee cake, and later, grilled cheese sandwiches with soup. We might play outside for a long time, or we might sit on the couch and dream.

I usually hate to be up in the morning but lately I haven’t minded. I’ve been going to bed at 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. doesn’t seem so unholy. I like to be up and in charge of setting the mood for the day. Today I decided we would be cozy, so I pulled out comforters and piled them on children who were rubbing their eyes on the couch. The dishwasher is humming and it smells like toast and coffee. I did that. I made it smell good, and I made it sound homey, and I made my children feel soft and cozy on a cold Spring morning.

I think I’m just starting to learn about the power of a mother, after five years of being one. A mother can make magic just by making toast. I like being in charge of creating a whole atmosphere for people. I like setting the mood. It’s not as hard as I thought. It just requires a blanket here, fresh squeezed orange juice there, a book or a bouquet set just so on the table.

Director of Atmosphere. It’s a nice job to have.

10 thoughts on “Poodles and Atmosphere

  1. Joann,

    So glad you stopped by my post “Sign Language Theology” a few days ago. Sorry for my reply in getting back to you.

    I'm joining you from MN with the coffee and the mommy pondering (sans poodle, sorry). Director of atmosphere is so true, and so easy to forget some days. But the payoff? Priceless. Wow.

    Enjoy the snuggles,
    Jennifer Dougan


  2. Director of atmosphere. I like that.
    I had a cranky afternoon yesterday – I think b.c my sleep and eating are horrid. I need to get back on track with that – it will probably make a diffence. šŸ™‚
    The best way I made “magic” this weekend – playing hide-and-seek with Cole. He thought it was hilarious to see me squeezed in behind chairs and trashcans…
    Hope you enjoy your cozy day!


  3. You are the Director of Directors. I'm still learning about the role of mothers and my babies are in college. At least it's never too late to set the atmosphere. Happy day to all of you!


  4. Thank you for rescuing the poodle. I would have been oh-so-grateful if someone had been able to rescue my cockapoo, and I'm not even one of those “doggie mommies”.

    I love the idea of Director of Atmosphere. I must remember that!


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