Sancocho, Canis Lupus, and More


We have been awaiting a truly delicious traditional Dominican meal—sancocho—for several months now. (Doug: One of us had resorted to pleading and begging.) On Friday we were invited over to the DaLaCruz’s home for such a rich and delicious meal and also a great time with Mahli and Miguel and their family and friends. The aroma from this meal really brought us back to our visits of the Dominican Republic. How we long to be back there! (Perhaps next year.)

Canis Lupus

Friday night we got the kids excited about a surprise trip we were going to take on Saturday morning. All they knew was that they were going to woken up early and then we’d be off. We managed to get out the door before 8:30 a.m. (and for us on a Saturday was extremely impressive).

I made breakfast sandwiches and got other snacks and we were out the door. The trip was wonderful. The scenery was spectacular. During the trip, we had the occasional inturrption of “noise” such as: “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?” but, besides that, it was peaceful. We were headed for the Wolf and Wild Canine Sanctuary in White River Junction, Vermont. We really picked an ideal weekend to go. Such breathtaking views.

Mica is the most handsome wolf I’ve ever met.

Some of you may be wondering, “A wolf sanctuary? Why?” We had purchased a six-month wolf adoption, after learning about it from Beth Costine’s BLOG, for Isaac’s 11th birthday, and the adoption includes visitation privileges. This was our first trip up there. Isaac’s wolf is named Magic, but my favorite was Mara and then Mica. All of the wolves are beautiful. (Doug: They are all beautiful, but I think Mica was by far the best looking.)

When we arrived at our destination, Isaac recognized the name and beamed. David and Naomi were thrilled, too. I couldn’t wait to see them and the same with Doug. We were greeted by the owner, Peter Porter, and he gave us the tour.

Pete Porter certainly loves his wolves, and vice-versa.

David was the only one of us Magic would approach closely. That weasel!

The first wolf we met was Mica. He was simply lovely. We could, through the fence, pet them and have them give “wolf kisses.” We all had that opportunity to do that with each of the wolves. Although, Magic wouldn’t come very close to us, except for David. That lucky weasel!

The last wolf we met was Mara. She’s not 100% wolf, and appears to be part Siberian husky and part collie. She was very gentle, considering her size, but very playful.

This plywood, guaranteed for 50 years, lasted only about 3 weeks in the kennel with Magic.

To top off the entire trip, Peter had asked Isaac if he would like to go in the kennel along with him. Isaac turned him down. (Yeah, right!) Isaac headed in, and Mara was right there to great him. Doug had the camcorder running and took many pictures. We were told that Mara loves children and she really does. She was all over Isaac and he loved every minute of it. David got a turn in there, too.

Isaac gets “wolf kisses” from Mara.

Peter also gave us a tour of his “man room” I believe that’s the name his wife gave it. It holds his hunting trophies of many kinds (perhaps most impressive was a huge boar skull) along with other “toys.”

Looking down on the wolf pens and exercise area from the entrance to the “man room” above the garage.

What an experience we had! It was a treat for all of us and I/we do hope to return before the adoption expires, but I am certain we will renew it. David has also mentioned wanting one for his birthday.

Isaac with Pete Porter in the background. Naomi actually took this photo.

… and More!

After we left the Sanctuary, we headed to Queechee Gorge and had a great hike and some time to climb on the rocks.

Looking down into the Quechee Gorge.

Before we got to the base of the gorge, we stopped along the way so the kids to catch the falling leaves. Simple things, but very sweet and many great memories.

Naomi, Nichelle, and Isaac during our hike at the Quechee Gorge.

I also had the opportunity to watch my husband walk up a tree (30 footer) that had fallen down over the riverbed. I was, of course, concerned for him, but one of the things that went through my mind was what would happen to the camcorder and digital camera if he had fallen. Twisted, I know. (Doug: I thought about the cameras, too, but once I started, there was no way I was going back down; it took a lot of nerve for me to walk along the tree, and I’m actually surprised—although glad—that I did it.)

There I stood, on what had once been nearly the top of a large tree, now fallen, facing the deadly 30 or 40 feet upward slope of the fallen trunk. Gripping the dead branches tightly, I forced myself to breathe more slowly. After standing there several minutes, I took a baby step. Then I let go of the branches, and tried not to look down onto the jagged rocks below. After a few more minutes, I was able to take another baby step or two, and soon passed beyond the reach of supporting branches. Slowly, I took a couple of regular steps. Then I discovered if I crouched down very slightly, and stared at the tree trunk, I could actually move fairly rapidly without succumbing to rising panic. Moving increasingly rapidly, without daring to look back, I reached the roots at the base of the overturned tree. I was elated! I jumped down about 6 feet from the trunk, with a grin of accomplishment on my face … then grin turned to an expression of panic when I discovered that the brush underneath the tree had hidden a very steep slope, down which I was starting to tumble.

Ah, yes, the memory of seeing my husband jump down off the tree which was on an incline, which he hadn’t noticed. He jumped and then slid. He was fine, but I was glad he was finished with his “climbing” that day. All in all, it was a great weekend.

I should also add that today, Sunday, was my second time back in choir since December, 2005. This coming Sunday I actually get to sing in service. I have longed to be back in that portion of ministry for such a long time and the time has finally arrived. Special music, here I come. I’ve been healthy, nearly perfectly healthy since July. I’m thankful and grateful for all that I’m able to do. So, to all that have been in prayer for me and my family, many, many thanks to you, and please do continue to pray.

3 Replies to “Sancocho, Canis Lupus, and More”

  1. Yes, Mica is the prettiest- that’s my wolf. Isn’t Pete’s “man room” great!
    Nichelle- you look terrific!!! Just Beautiful!!!

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