It was going to be a routine drive…just me and Sadie cruising down the highway on a beautiful Sunday to Greenville, South Carolina. You know the kind I’m talking about…when you want to call every single person in your cell phone directory just to break the monotony. That’s the bad thing about driving off early on a Sunday…everyone is sleeping.
We stopped for a fill-up and a Red Bull and while idling at the cashier stand plastered with lottery advertisements, I asked…”Hey, did anyone win the big Powerball last night.”
“They sure did,” the clerk lazily replied in her very southern twang, “someone up there in West Virginie won, but they ain’t come forward yet.”
Suddenly I was more alert than an entire case of Red Bulls would enable me to be and I asked her to repeat it…seems she was certain…someone in West Virginia could right now be sitting on a fortune phone…. Hold on a moment…hey…that someone could be me! I was from West Virginia! I had a dozen tickets for that game securely sitting in my lingerie drawer (I keep everything special in the lingerie drawer).
I ran back to the car and excitedly relayed the news to Sadie who couldn’t stop licking my face. Well, even when I return to the car after being in plain sight pumping gas, Sadie always licks me like I’ve just returned from a far off land, so that didn’t mean anything, but I felt FOR SURE…this was it.
Despite the early hour, I called Rodney. Nope, he had not heard anything about this while sleeping,but would get right on it when he got up…no deal…get up…I needed him to run to his computer and get on the lottery website and tell me WHERE the ticket had been sold. Of course, thats right when I lost cell service as I traversed through the North Carolina Mountains.
But lack of confirmation as to the location of the ticket sale was no hindrance to immediately begin spending my new found riches.
I knew that right away, I’d call the Westin Oceanfront Resort at Hilton Head, South Carolina. I’d reserve all the rooms on the top floor directly facing the ocean. This is the most favorite hotel of me and Sadie…they know how to treat dogs and people splendidly.
I’d hire one of their personal trainers and get going on a new round of DOGERCISE and more. Rodney could sit on the balcony looking up and down the beach to his heart’s content.Id get him the best nicotine addiction expert in the country to end that horrible habit once and for all and help him get healthier. Sadie and I would order healthy room service meals and desserts too. We’d run those calories off on the beach; we’d shop at all the wonderful shops on the island.
While at Hilton Head, Rodney and Sadie and I would make a list of all the people we’d do good things for. My Mom and Dad, Jeremy and Sarah- my niece and nephew, Rodney’ sister Jan and her husband, friends we’ve treasured over the years.
We’d build a new facility in West Virginia for homeless dogs like Sadie once was…a no-kill resort for dogs and other animals that would be light and airy and have the best medical care available. A big endowment to the Virgina Tech School of Veterinary Medicind and the Hurricane Animal Hospital (they saved Sadie’s life) and the Humane Society of the United States, Tails of Joy in Hartford, Connecticut and many other worthy animal organizations that always have way more needs for animals than moneyfrom people. We’d call our place the Sadie Sanctuary where people could take the trip of their lifetime to and return with a forever friend.
I’d fly in a real estate consultant for the Caribbean. I could see the house now…perched clifftop…360 degree views of the Caribbean Sea…infinity edge swimming pool…gym….spa room….jacuzzis everywhere…high tech kitchen….office for writing that is an outdoor gazebo easily opened up to the sea air and closed with shutters and glass when weather demanded it.
Plush cushions everywhere for Sadie to lounge on at her heart’s content. A separate sub zero refrigerator just for Sadie which she would fill with treats. And we’d have a dozen or so brothers and sisters for Sadie to share her new home and abundance with. All of us would jump in our open air Land Rover and drive to the beach every day and frolic and chase balls and sea birds.
We’d have a view from this house through our telescope of our large catamaran in the harbor below. Every so often we’d load up the boat and go exploring…all the dogs could come along as well.
And on and on it went as I pictured a be-ribboned car carrier pulling into my family’s driveway…my Mom walking through a new kitchen…handing over keys to people who deserved a home of thier own…a private jet…until we pulled into Greenville and checked into the Westin Poinsette where Sadie was given a greeting befitting all polite canine guests and we were most pleased with our beautiful room.
Greenville is a wonderful dog friendly town…with many dogs and their parents enjoying the splendid weather and the early Sunday evening walkabout. We window shopped…we pondered what else we would do with all our money. Missy, one of our hotel clerks had recommended we try Larkins on the River for dinner. It had a scrumptious menu and an outdoor seating area where Sadie and I might enjoy the setting sun and evening meal together. She was right. Larkins was wonderful. I had the Shrimp and Grits and Sadie had a hamburger. I offered her a hamburger from the kids menu never dreaming it was going to be a Kobe Beef burger that smelled so good I confess, I had to take a bite first. I also told her she could get used to this after we collected our lottery money…after all the burger was $11….quite a large treat for my dog who is most content to use her McDonald’s gift card to pay for her $.99 plain double hamburgers at Ronald’s House. But what the heck…we could afford it now, right?
The dream ended Sunday night when Rodney told us the ticket had been sold in a city about 200 miles away from Charleston…not where we had bought our tickets. Oh well…easy come…easy go…isn’t that what they say? But as Sadie and I settled into our Westin Heavenly Bed…comfortable…warm…grateful for a safe journey….the flight of fancy we’d embarked on was over….but our dreams….they continue.
Thoreau once said…”there is nothing wrong with building castles in the air, that is where they belong. Now, put foundations under them.” A good lesson for all of us…dream on…keep working.