Pete and Pippa meet at last.

He clutched a brilliant bouquet when he came to the fence. So bright and colorful I thought the flowers were artificial at first glance. But no, with Hailey’s help, he picked them from the raised garden that he helped plant months ago — glowing orange and hot pink geraniums, a pink begonia, a deep red celosia plume, pink polka dotted hypoestes.

And I’d brought along a surprise to show him. Pippa. I’d held off introducing her until I felt comfortable with the idea. Even though Leslie and Carolynn were convinced their dad had forgotten his Golden Doodle Nobby, I was convinced meeting Pippa might spur sad memories and upset him. It didn’t.

Peter did refer to her as “him,” and he called her Nobby several times. He tried pet her through the fence, but she would have none of it unless I would let her squirm her way under the gate towards him. I wouldn’t. But lively little Westie that she is, she “talked” constantly in her squeaky little voice. We didn’t understand a word, but she made us laugh anyway.

We talked for nearly an hour, mostly about Pippa. When I got ready to leave I thanked Peter again for the flowers. “What flowers?” he said.

“These!” I held them up.

“Where did they come from?”

“From you! From that raised bed over there that you helped plant up last spring.”

He shook his head and chuckled. “If you say so.”

“I do,” I said.

Header photo: Peter presents me with a posy.