Mello takes a romp through the muddy ditch less traveled

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, April 30, 2011

“The habit of reading is the only one I know in which there is no alloy. It lasts when all other pleasures are gone. It will be present to you when the energies of your body have fallen away from you. It will make your hours pleasant to you as long as you live.” — Anthony Trollope

Mello has had little to say the past couple of weeks and that had been brought to my attention. At the moment she sits beside me with her head resting on the top of the couch looking out the window searching for people or delivery trucks to bark at.

On Easter Sunday, Mello rode along with the “better half” to Houston to celebrate Easter. I stayed back, having to work in the afternoon. Jeanne intended to drop Mello off at the farm where she would be attached to the clothesline in back of the house.

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Mello had a change in her plans. Instead she bolted down toward the ditch filled with water. I think if she had it to do over she would have been content with the clothesline. It took about an hour to get her cleaned up before attaching her to the clothesline.

That evening at work I ran across an article by Jana Scott published April 20 about Obama’s young mother abroad. Stanly Anne Dunham was just 17 years old in the fall of 1960 when she became pregnant with the child of a charismatic Kenyan named Barack Hussein Obama, a fellow student at the University of Hawaii who was more than six years her senior. She dropped out of school, married him and gave birth shortly before their union ended. In the aftermath, she met Lolo Soetoro, and amiable, easygoing, tennis-playing graduate student from the Indonesian island of Java. A year later, in 1967, Ann graduated with a degree in anthropology, gathered her 6-year-old child and moved to Indonesia to join her husband.

The four years that followed were formative for mother and son — and are a subject of curiosity and an object of speculation for many Americans today.