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We are almost there. A new set of 365 days is waiting for us just around the corner, only hours away. What do the days ahead hold for us? I have no idea what it holds for me. But I certainly wish it holds certain things, like more birds and butterflies, more travel, more losing myself in the world of words, more time with family, and of course fun times with Luci. There is never a lack of fun with Luci around. [In case you do not know who Luci is, there is a link to her picture-blog in the sidebar]

The latest in *luciantics* is her obsession with a mouse she saw in the backyard some time last week. The house-help told me (I am devastated that I missed it!) the mouse supposedly popped its head out of the hole in the ground in the backyard and seeing the waiting dog, ducked back inside, a la Jerry style. This happened quite a few times, frustrating Luci much, but she is no Tom. Unlike other times, she didn’t go berserk. Her usual modus operandi in such situations is to dig hard and deep, making dirt fly all around and turning into a dirt-coated fur baby.  Never mind if the mouse is in Timbuktu by then, laughing its head off thinking of a furious dog working hard, nose to the ground.

This time she adopts a new strategy, of waiting and watching. Yup, wiser, that’s my girl. Her movements are studied and deliberate. Cautiousness seems to be the hallmark. Do not let the enemy know you are closing in. She folds her leg delicately, without making a sound and slowly lowers herself on the muddy ground [Watch the video]. One wonders if she is even breathing. It is a sight to watch the otherwise out-and-out-action-dog adopt the total-stillness-mode as her strategy to get better results. The mouse is not yet in her kitty, so I can’t say if it will work or not. One way or another, the mouse is in for troubled days ahead is all I can say.

Talking of Luci, did you know she has admirers from all around the globe? What’s more, a couple of friends have come over to meet her. Others have requested me to get her along too when I go meet them. Point to be noted, M’lord. I was not their reason to drop by or invite me to rendezvous. But what took the cake was when a dear friend told me meeting Luci was in her bucket-list ever since she had seen Luci’s puppy photos shared by me. Ruchi of Wordcoiner, whose bucket-list Luci figured in, had qualified for the Nationals Shooting Championship (air-pistol) and was coming to my hometown to participate in the competition. And she wanted to come visit Luci!

Ruchi and Luci

So, the day dawned bright and clear as December days are around here. Ruchi and her mom arrived and guess what Luci did as soon as they were in? She was all over Ruchi, welcoming her like a  long lost friend come home, her tail thumping away, trying to give her slobbery kisses, grinning from one silky-ear to the other all the while. Well, you must be thinking Luci gives this treatment to everyone. Nope. The welcome extended to Ruchi’s mother was more restrained and respectful.

This last month of the year has been a really full one. My sister and brother-in-law came over and so did my niece. Fun times! There was the endoscopy (no fun, this one) with the doctor pushing the tube down my throat without so much as by your leave (Then he had the audacity to tell me ‘to stop fussing’ because I started coughing involuntarily. Like, really?!!!). Next came Ruchi’s visit home, followed by our trip together to Kovalam. I’ll be sharing pictures of the wall art I saw being created there on the walls of the promenade.

I also went over to spend time with my daughter-in-law (-of just over a year) and also got to be with the Second Born who dropped in. We all enjoyed  doing an app-based treasure hunt and also some fine eating. Fun times again! The taste of the baos from The Fatty Bao still lingers. This month also saw me meeting another blogger friend, the story teller and poet: Leo of I Rhyme Without Reason. Not surprisingly we talked books, books and more books. Of course Leo is a a huge Luci fan and is one of them who wants me to get her along if I possibly can. The month also held some niggling knee pain that slowed me down and then decided to disappear just like that (for which I am thankful).  Mid-way through December I joined the Square Sky Challenge and have been occupied clicking and posting pictures of December sky on my photo-blog.

After reading this far you might wonder why there is an ‘almost’ in the title? Well, apart from the fact that we are almost to the last few hours of the year that is. The fact is, it almost has been a year full of ‘almosts’ for me. I almost did This or That or Something Else when what I actually wanted was to have completely finished This, That or Something Else. So here’s hoping I will not simply remain at the almost-stage and come up with the finished products each and every time in Twenty Eighteen. Just hoping, for I believe: Make no resolutions and none shall be broken. Just start from the very moment you decide. That’s a #shailism just for you, one last one before we slip into a new year.

And oh! Wish you all a very happy Twenty-Eighteen!

©Shail Mohan 2017

Daily Prompt: Almost