[ I was unable to write yesterday, so I owe 200 words because that’s how it works. I’m on remotely today – dial up – which is quaint and kind of frustrating.]

After dawdling on the porch for as long as possible, the light starts to fade back across the lake and up through the trees on the opposite shore, which leaves the porch dark and cool. Sam, the white german shepherd given as a consolation gift by friend Alicia (“better a dog by your side than that slimeball. Besides, she’ll be good protection”) when she’d first moved to the city, tires of chasing squirrels and wants her dinner. Still very much a puppy after only eight – had it only been eight?-  months, Sam required twice-a-day feedings followed by play and then a nap.  Father wanted her to have a gun but guns just don’t seem to work out in the city. Here in the wilds by the lake though…
After a bit of tug-of-war and a cookie, Sam settles down to digest and dream doggy dreams on the faded braided rug at the foot of the stairs leading up to the second floor. Looking up, the suitcase still waits at the top; waits to be unpacked, waits for the stay or go decision. 
Darkness falls outside and the wind rises, brushing branches against the attic with scratchy thumps.  The once familiar house noises, now strange from long – only eight months? – absence, increase with the temperature change.  A quick circuit of the lower floor to check the locks and a stop by the kitchen to put the now empty merlot bottle left sitting on the green counter into the recycling tub. Yes, recycling – and why not? And gardening, and rain-water catching in the original barrel used for that purpose – only the drown spout needs to be reconnected. The house could be more self-sufficient. Like its new owner (or current re-owner?)… just a little more self-sufficient. A night light left on in the kitchen just in case, but the rest of the lower house sits in silent gloom.