Where did that dog come from?
The dog that just ran off with the croquet ball?
You mean, that dog that was trying to chew up my croquet mallet?
Yup, thatíd be the one.
Every other year at the family reunion I had managed to avoid the croquet game. This year, however, Joyce must have found the green ball which had been missing in previous years, so into the game I dove.
Here, doggie, come here, donít try to chew the mallet.
Someone grab your video camera and get it on film. This dog is a hoot.
The cameras were rolling and the game continued.
Why is she taking another shot? Youíre only allowed two shots unless you hit another playerís ball or go through the wicket.
Oh, just let her keep that shot?
But thatís not fair, why did she get another shot?
Because the dog got the ball?
How does that figure in?
Well, we have to flex the rules when a dog gets in the middle of the game.
Where did that dog come from, anyway?
Youíre asking me? I donít live around here, how would I know. I live on the other side of the bridge from here. I have no idea whose dog that is, but itís a nice dog.
Here doggie, donít chew my pants, doggie.
Donít you know whose dog that is?
What kind of dog is it anyway?
It looks like a beagle or some breed like that.
Finally, Zane, who was through playing already, got a long rope and tied it to the dogís collar as none of us knew which one of the many neighbors at this Halmer Lake Community the dog belonged to.
We finished the game and then we asked some neighbors about the dog, as we carefully pulled it along using the rope for a leash. One pointed us this way and another one in the opposite direction. We kept going and finally someone pointed us to a house down another street and we got the dog back to its owner, who never did know how it got loose, let alone into the middle of our annual croquet game.
The rest of the family reunion was kind of quiet after that. I never did know why Joyce always insisted on calling it a family reunion as Cousin Julie never has made it yet. Neither have any of Jay and Paulineís three boys and their families managed to be able to get away from their busy lives and come and join us at the Zaltman Sanctuary. With my desire to always keep things accurate, I dubbed this annual family time together The Zaltman Family Fun Fest. Why call the gathering a family reunion if the whole family wasnít there. Cousin Lonnie and her fella Jay even brought their dogs one year, as they had been reluctant to leave them home alone.
I always enjoyed these times with my husbandís family as they were peaceful, fun times. This was unlike my dadís family, where there was always some kind of bickering going on or arguing over whose pumpkin pie that was and why someone wouldnít eat the pie unless Betty Lou had made it.
The next morning after breakfast and lunch, we decided not to go to the lake and swim as it was too cold, a typical weekend on Puget Sound, when it would just as soon rain as not.
Some of the group got out the ping pong table and played a game. Following lunch we had watermelon and then the annual watermelon seed spitting contest. Whoever thought that up was nutty. I couldnít spit seeds farther than 2 feet in front of my nose, but I got in there and tried anyway. Some of the younger folks, I think it was one of my sons, actually could spit a watermelon seed over 6 feet away.
Then it was time for evening soak in the hot tub when Joleen, Cousin Lonnie and Carrie sang songs off key but had lots of fun. We named the group the off-key singers and joked about practicing up and going on the road with our wild, off-key singing troupe. For some reason Pauline never would come get in the hot tub with us. Maybe we were just plain too loud.
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