by Dave Markwell

This was a weird week. At least I think it was. I’m not sure that I am qualified to determine what’s weird anymore. But, the week seemed weirder than my normal weird weeks.

On Sunday afternoon, Diego, my fun-loving, oft-farting, gypsy of a dog came up missing. I filed the appropriate reports with the appropriate authorities. We drove around and recruited friends and neighbors to be on the lookout for him. And then, we just hoped.

My sadness about my missing dog was a bit surprising to me. This dog has done little but drive me crazy during his seven years as a member of our family. He has stolen food, thrown up stolen food in my bedroom, barked, scratched, crapped and licked himself, loudly and publicly. Many days, I have wished for his demise and, on more than one occasion, may have actually plotted it myself. But, after two days without this stinky hound staring at me every time I sit down, I really missed him and was sad at the thought of him not returning to his home.

As luck would have it, he was found and after a mild lecture from local law enforcement, he was returned. Diego’s significance in our home was verified when I went to pick up my son from Pacific Middle School. I brought Diego with me and as my normally sullen and crabby fourteen year old boy saw his dog sitting in the front seat of my truck, he smiled. He does not normally smile when I pick him up. He was happy and relieved and our family was back in order.

Also, this week, my son had his 8th Grade “promotion” ceremony. While I am always game for recognizing life’s little milestones, this event was a little much even for me. I found myself shoe horned in a hot and crowded middle school gymnasium praying for time to pass quickly. If there is a hell for me it will involve a crowded middle school gym.

As I stood there sweating and wishing myself anywhere else, I noticed that some people actually seemed to be enjoying themselves. Lots of families were carrying balloons and flowers and smiles. Many of these families were of international descent. As I pondered their odd joy, it occurred to me that maybe I was taking for granted how cool moving past eighth grade was.

In many countries around the world, opportunities for a quality education, and thereby a quality life, do not exist. This goofy, droll and meaningless ceremony was not meaningless to the people who understood the value of opportunity. Upon this recognition, I felt like an entitled, selfish crybaby of an American ass and then enjoyed the joy of the folks who knew it was an important day.

Later in the week, another school year came to an end and summer vacation began, the globe kept spinning and my life carried on. And as I drove into my driveway following another day at work to witness Diego hunkered over with his tail pumping up and down doing his business in the yard…I felt a sense that all was right with the world…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]


One Response to “FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: A Weird Week.”
  1. Patricio says:

    Dave, thank you for this article you do every week, I really enjoy specially this one,

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