July 3-5, 1970
After our landlord’s definitive word that Baron could no longer stay with us, we considered moving. Linda, one of my old carpool buddies, had a dog and it was fine with the landlord where she and Ron lived. There was an extra fee for “Rip,” but at least he was legal.
Our lease would run out August 1st, and though we had been planning to stay there another year, I began campaigning to make the move. The Country Fair apartments had something we didn’t: air conditioning. And it didn’t hurt that there was an outdoor swimming pool, too, since the weather was hot and muggy. Both Nate and I loved to swim, and I knew we’d have lots of fun in the pool, as well as being able to spend more time with Linda and Ron.
But Nate didn’t buy my logic. “What about wintertime? And the fireplace we love so much here – not to mention the huge effort and expense of moving.” I hadn’t thought of those, and by now our 3 rooms were full of heavy furniture… three stories up.
“But what about Baron?” I said.
Nate reminded me that my parents had offered to take him — with joy. “And,” he said, “whenever they visit here or we visit there, we’ll get to see him.” But I wasn’t convinced.
Nate continued. “Only one year from now, we’ll be done with law school and moving away from Champaign. We could choose a dog-friendly apartment then and get him back.”
He was right. I was so busy with school work I couldn’t imagine finding time to pack and move… or even swim. And Nate was considering a couple of law courses during the second session of summer school. They would be on double-time overload and very difficult, but without a job, he needed to get something accomplished with his summer. Moving would be hard to pile on top of that.
So, while holding Baron on my lap, I dialed my folks. After Mom heard about the landlord she said, “Why don’t the two of you and Baron come this way for the 4th of July weekend. We’re going to celebrate in Michigan, so drive straight there. Baron will love playing on the beach again, and… we’ll be delighted to take him home with us.”
When I hung up, it was all set, though both Nate and I felt queasy. We told ourselves it would only be temporary, which seemed to help – at least a little.
The holiday weekend in Michigan was a mix of good and bad weather, happy and sad conversation, and a very tearful farewell to our puppy. When we arrived back in Champaign, our spirits were sagging, and we almost didn’t want to go in… because some of the happy life in our little home had been left in Michigan.
“Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us.” (Ecclesiastes 7:3)