Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

The Lady With The Dog


“Hello there!” The woman patted Simon on the head and chatted with him while I stood off to the side, curious. We were at the counter of my vet’s office. Simon and I had just paid for his shots and were getting ready to leave, when this smiling woman came in with a cat carrier on her arm. “Hello!” She finally turned to me. “I recognized your dog. You walk by my house every morning. I live in the house on such and such a street…”

We introduced ourselves and had a few moments of small talk. I’ve never read Chekhov’s “The Lady With The Dog” but that’s how I feel. The lady with the dog.
People may or may not recognize me, but they always know my dog. 

Simon and I walk three miles almost every morning. I mapped out a one-mile-loop and we do it three times. Fortunately I live within a mile of the only hills in Modesto, so it’s a great workout.

The mile includes some lovely, expensive homes; some rather run-down homes; and a stretch along the river that feels almost like countryside. I love to watch the changing seasons as we walk the same route every day.

It’s completely residential, but I hardly ever speak to anyone because I hardly ever see anyone. A couple of times a week I see someone pulling out of their driveway and I always get a cheerful wave and a smile. On the rare times I see someone in their yard they smile and seem to know me. And they always greet my dog. One lady actually came out of her house one day to take a closer look, and comment about Simon’s new very short haircut. She said, “I almost didn’t recognize him.” (We had never before had a conversation.)

A few years ago there was a woman who walked by our house every single morning at 6:45. If I was in the yard, we said hello and exchanged pleasantries.  She was so faithful. I think she walked by our house every morning for three years. I didn’t know her at all, but I felt a warm feeling toward her because of her faithfulness.

Faithful. It occurs to me that that’s how people see me: “The lady with the dog – they walk by every morning.”

I like to think that my faithfulness in this small thing is making a tiny impact on the lives of people who see us walk by every day.

And it makes me long to be faithful in even bigger things.


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

8 thoughts on “The Lady With The Dog

  1. I meet the same set of nodding acquaintances on ‘bunburner hill’ and they always notice if Niff isn’t with me. Lately I’ve been walking Mercina’s pair because they need the exercise. I think I’d get fewer comments and looks if I were cheating on my spouse!

  2. Rick is used to walk everyday to work downtown -with a spring in his step!- and one day he ran into a lady at the grocery store who said, “Oh, you’re the man I set my clock by! You walk in front of my house every weekday at 8:20!” Now, that’s punctuality!

  3. I love that story Judi! I guess we never know who’s watching us!

  4. Oh yeah, we canines tend to steal the show. When my humans meet folks and get introduced its often as, “Sandy’s mommy and daddy.” I’m also the official neighborhood greeter. I’m sorry for your plight, but face it – canines ARE the superior species!

  5. This is so sweet mommy! I cry EVERY time i read your blog. You have a beautiful way with words and I can feel your heart in every post. 🙂 I love you. (Also this pic of simey is adorable!)

  6. I cry EVERY time i read your blog mommy! I can feel you heart in ever post. I love you! Thank you for being so faithful! (The picture of Simey is SO cute! I cant wait to see him!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s