What Could Go Wrong?

The curtains billow gently from the open windows in the Sanders house on Dogwood Drive this morning.

Big ‘ole fans in the ceiling whirr ‘round and ‘round. Cooler temps and a more serious summer breeze sure would be welcome. It’s gonna be another hot, humid day in Shady Pines.

In the kitchen, Edna Sanders pulls out her latest batch of chocolate chip cookies from the oven. “Perfect for desert later on.” She sorts through her favorite recipes. “Oh, fiddlesticks. It’s hard to come up with ideas for supper when it’s this hot,” Edna mutters under her breath.

Boomerang, the Australian Shepherd dog, lies on the cool tile floor, gently panting.

Edna gets up to put more water in his bowl. “It already feels like the dog days of summer, doesn’t it, Boomer? It’s tough on you with your beautiful thick coat.” 

As she leans down to pat him, Edna thinks about her cat, Halley’s Comet.

“I wonder where she is,” says Edna. “By golly, I know. Edna makes her way down the hall to the bathroom near the front door. She quietly pushes the door open and sees the grey and white cat curled up sleeping in the sink.

“She’s so smart. That’s the coolest place she could find.”

Wait. Edna has one of her ideas. “Ooooh, that just might work. I need to call Harold.”

And So It Begins

Edna’s husband, Harold Sanders, is at work at his Nuts ‘N Bolts hardware store downtown. On Saturday the store closes at noon.

Right now, Harold walks up and down the isles checking supplies. “I can always tell when there’s a heat spell,” he thinks to himself. “We start selling a whole lot of fans, garden hoses, wall thermometers and those sorts of things.”

His cell phone rings. “Hi Honey, what’s up?”

Edna is happy she reached him. “Harold, I have an idea.”

Harold sits down. “Oh, boy. It’s not going to be like the last time, is it?”

Edna frowns. “Harold Sanders. You know perfectly well the bake-off worked out just fine in the end.”

Harold chuckles. “Yes, but the repairs to the stove and the new fire alarm units were a bit – unexpected.”

Edna shrugs. “Yes, well, this is not that. What do you say we get the kiddie pool from the garage and let Boomer and Halley play in the water to cool off?”

“Huh. OK. Except, do you really think Halley will go for this? I mean, she is a cat after all.”

“Don’t you worry. I have a plan, ”Edna says.

Harold shakes his head. “All right. We’ll give it a shot. I’ll be home soon.”

Edna is excited. “Great. I’ll get everything ready. It’ll be fun. You’ll see!”

Harold stares at the phone. “Uh-huh. Love you.”

Edna smiles and says, “Love you, too.”

The Plan Comes Together                  

Oh, boy. There are things to do. Edna makes a list. First, she’ll make some lemonade. Besides water, one can never have too many cold drinks on a day like this.

“What else can I get done ahead of time?” she wonders. “I know. I’ll whip up a pasta salad with vegetables and some of that leftover roast chicken from last night. I can put it in the refrigerator for later.”

She looks at her handsome dog. “Boomer, buddy, I just figured out dinner. Plus, you and Halley can have some of the chicken, too!”

Boomer wags his tail and barks. Sounds good to him.

As soon as the big bowl of pasta salad is finished, Edna moves on to the next step.

She hesitates for a moment. “Maybe I should put on my swim suit. No, I’ll just change into some shorts and a tee-shirt.”

Later, as she heads for the door leading from the kitchen to the back yard, Edna makes sure that the doggie door is open. Halley! Boomer and I are going outside! C’mon Boom.”

Boomer can’t resist shouting. “C’mon, Halley. You snooze you lose!”

Halley is already on her way. The noise and smells from the kitchen had gotten her attention. “Oh, for goodness sakes, you overgrown fur ball, I can hear you.”

Getting Everything Ready

The Sanders fenced backyard is filled with big, beautiful shade trees and lots of grass. Edna is especially proud of her flower garden with its different kinds of roses.

But right now, Edna is looking for the hose. She’ll make sure it’s hooked up and ready to go.

“We’ll need this to fill up the kiddie pool once Harold hauls it out here for us.”

Boomer scouts the backyard, trying to find the bone he buried. Halley watches a squirrel that is eating nuts up on one of the lower branches of the tree near the house.

“Halley, do you remember where I put that bone?” asks Boomer.

“Pipe down will you, Boomer?” hisses Halley. “The bone’s in your mouth. Can’t you see I’ve got a bead on this critter?”

Boomer comes flying. “What critter?” When the squirrel sees the dog running, it races away.

Halley gives him one of her looks. “Really? You didn’t see the squirrel?” Boomer grins at her. “Nope.”

Meanwhile, Edna untangles the hose.

“Oh, good it already has a nozzle on it.”

Bored with Halley, Boomerang wants to see what Edna is doing. “I’m going over there.” Halley will not be left behind. “Me, too.”

Edna holds the nozzle before turning on the water. “OK kids. Let’s make sure it’s working, shall we?” Edna turns the water on just as Boomer arrives and sniffs the nozzle. Halley is close behind.

In a matter of seconds, water is gushing through the hose full force!

Oh, no! Edna didn’t realize the nozzle was locked in the open position.” Before you could yell, “there she blows,” the nozzle darts out of her hand. It snakes through the air like a crazy, whirly, swirly, out of control object.

Look Out Below!

Edna tries to grab the darn thing but misses. Water sprays wildly in every direction. The only thing Edna can do is scurry back and turn off the water.

She remembers hearing is a dog barking like crazy and a cat screaming.

That’s when Harold arrives. He bursts through the back door and surveys the scene. His wife is drenched from head to toe. His dog is sopping wet, cowering in the bushes. Where’s the cat? Oh. She’s up in the tree trying desperately to lick herself dry.

“Edna, honey, are you OK?”

Edna pushes wet hair out of her eyes. Her tee-shirt and shorts drip with water, and her flip flops splish and splosh as she walks towards him. “I don’t think we’ll need the kiddie pool just yet.”

“No. I don’t think we will.” He walks over to Boomerang and puts out his hand. “Boomer. Boy. Come here. You’re OK.”

Two, big, brown eyes blink and look out from the brush. Slowly Boomerang comes out of hiding and puts his head into Harold’s hands.

“Oh, my,” says Harold in a soothing voice. “You’re okay, big boy. You’re fine.”

Halley looks down from her perch. “You’re a mess, Boomer. But you’re not hurt, are you?”

Boomer looks up and sees her way up in the tree. “I’m OK. But this shows you are the ultimate scaredy cat.”

“Am not.”

“Are, too.”

Edna joins in. “Oh Boomer, I’m so sorry I scared you. You, too, Halley,” she calls out. “Harold, we’re gonna need a bunch of towels, and a whole lot of tuna if we expect to get Halley out of that tree!”

All’s Well That End’s With A Meal

It’s late afternoon now and the shadows in the backyard grow longer. Finally, a cooling breeze causes the wind chime made of spoons to sing.

The wooden table with blue and red checkered napkins is set. Here we find Harold and Edna enjoying their pasta salad, crusty bread, and sipping on lemonade.

Two bowls are set out on placemats on the ground. One bowl says, Boomer and the other says, Halley. Both are filled with their regular dry food, plus a few pieces of chicken.

“Mine has more than yours,” says Boomer.

“Does not,” says Halley.

“Does, too.”

Harold is relaxed for the first time. Edna has changed into a short-sleeved summer dress. Harold figures it’s safe to ask. “So, exactly what did happen with the hose?”

“Well, it all started when…,” Edna begins. Boomer is lying in the shade, chewing on a new bone. Halley snoozes in the well worn seat of a lawn chair on a lovely evening in the small Southern town of Shady Pines.

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