On writing and fear

My view from the milk stool this morning is going to be short and before I even get out to milk. My mind is amuck with stuff. The newspaper has been a bit tough because of the polarized COVID-business.

There has been some very nice light sent to me by several individuals complimenting what I’ve been doing. Those are lovely tidbits of encouragement which are very much needed.

Today, even though I frequently stop and realize that 50 or 100 years from now, whenever someone may look up local papers in Lincoln County, they’ll see my name and whatever I’ve written will be written down in the history of the county. That’s a huge responsibility and honor.

An MFA in creative writing program is tougher than most know. I feel like a giant imposter. I’m in the middle of writing two pieces – one is fiction, which I’ve never written before and it’s killing me. Luckily the teacher is incredibly supportive. The second is a nonfiction piece that I’ve chosen to tell the story of Gel and now Katie. That teacher is pushing me in a direction that I’m very reluctant to go into, but my gut tells me she’s 100% right.
I’m almost three or four (still I can’t remember exactly what year it was) sober. Most people didn’t know I drank – but I did. I grew up with a raging alcoholic mother who seemed hellbent on ruining whatever self-confidence that I might have had. Believe it or not, she still does it from her grave through my memories which are being stirred up by writing this piece.

Alcoholism was destroying me and one day, it was Christmas Eve, I just quit. Wally kindly quit drinking beer on the same day. He didn’t have a problem with drinking, it was done for health and financial (we spent a lot of money on beer and wine) reasons. I still live in fear of picking up that glass of wine again.

The fear stems from the relationship that I’ve finally established with Katie. Gel was a special dog to have put up with what he did with me and still do his thing as wonderfully as he did. He had more talent as a stock and sports dog than I may ever see again in another dog. Katie is looking promising. I worked her twice yesterday on sheep and while she’d crippled by my inadequacies as a trainer, she’s becoming quite brilliant in her own way. She’ll never be Gel. I know that and I think it’s taken me five years to finally figure that out.

I forgot how exhilarating it is to watch a dog’s natural talents emerge. It’s phenomenal.

Until later …