It’s overcast in Shady Pines this morning. Already warm, the forecast calls for temperatures to soar to 87 degrees with a decent amount of humidity by afternoon. It feels more like summer than mid-October.

Edna Sanders has the TV on as she finishes washing the breakfast dishes. She is paying attention to the news about the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael. The monster category 4 storm slammed into Florida before heading up through Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia.

“Honey, have you seen my car keys?” asks Harold. Edna smiles. “They’re right here on the kitchen counter where you left them last night, dear,” says Edna. “I think I’m going to put up some little hooks right by the door from the garage. That way, when we come into the house we can put our keys there and not lose them.”

Harold hugs Edna. “That’s a fine idea. I love you.”

“I love you, too dear,” says Edna. Scenes of houses destroyed, trees down, and debris everywhere flash on the TV screen. people are seen wandering through the wreckage. “Harold, what can we do to help these folks who have lost everything?”

Before he can answer, Boomerang, their Australian Shepherd dog, wanders into the kitchen. Harold reaches down to pet him. “Hi ya fella. Where’s your partner in crime?” asks Harold.

Edna scolds him. “Harold Sanders. You shouldn’t speak that way about Halley.”

Harold chuckles. “Well you have to admit, when Boomer and Halley get together, they tend to get into mischief.”

Just then, as if on cue, Halley’s Comet, a silver streak of a cat, trots in with her favorite toy mouse in her mouth. Now it’s Edna who’s laughing. “OK You’re right. They’re quite the dynamic duo.”

Boomer barks and wags his tail.

“Now, getting back to what we can do to help the people who’ve been affected by the hurricane, what are you thinking?” asks Harold.

Edna sits down at the kitchen table. “I feel overwhelmed. Just last month we were organizing relief because of Hurricane Florence. Remember how the whole town donated food, clothing and other items? Now this.”

Harold pulls up a chair beside her. Boomer senses Edna is upset and sits at her feet. Even Halley gets into the act by jumping on the table. It’s now an official family discussion.

“I think we have to consider how horrible it is that some of these families have lost their homes,” says Harold. “And that includes their animals. They’ve been displaced, too.”

“Hey Halley,” says Boomer. “That wouldn’t happen to us, would it?”

Halley rolls her eyes.

“It could, you silly dog.” Says Halley. “We just got lucky this time.”

Boomer looks sad. “I can’t imagine not having our house.”

Halley looks at him. “Me, either.”

Edna is thinking. “There are so many needs. Maybe we should focus this time on all the displaced and rescued dogs and cats who may be separated from their owners.”Harold lights up. “We can think of it as our very own Boomer and Halley project.”

Edna likes that idea. “Perfect! I’ll get a list of all the animal rescue groups that are involved. I’ll find out what they need most and write it all down.”

Harold looks at his watch and realizes he’s got to get to work at his Nuts and Bolts hardware store. “You do that, and I’ll put up a notice at the store that we’re looking for ideas and donations.”

Now Edna is energized. “Why don’t you take Boomer with you. Meanwhile, Halley and I will work on a poster that can go up around town. Oh, and I’ll make a version to put on social media, too.”

Harold is reaching for his keys and Boomer’s leash. “Those are great ideas. Why don’t you and Halley bring some posters by the store? We’ll give them out to people to put up for us. After that, we’ll have lunch together.”

Edna likes what she’s hearing. “That all sounds great. I’ll make sure Zulah Talmadge and Scoop get the word out through the Shady Pines Gazette newspaper. I’ll alert the mayor’s office and make sure Rita Malena at the Community Center knows, too.”

Harold is on his way to the door when he stops. “Honey this is a really positive thing. It makes me feel good to know we’re making a difference.”

Edna strokes Halley’s head. “We’re so blessed, Harold. We have a lovely home, a great community and these two, wonderful critters. We should never take any of it for granted.”

Harold looks lovingly at his wife. “I agree. These two kids may be a bit wayward at time, but by golly, they’re family. It’s official. The Boomer and Halley Project is on!”

Boomerang barks his approval.

Halley’s Comet states the obvious. “We’re gonna be famous!”