"Hey, where did we go, days when the rains came?
Down in the hollow playing a new game,
Laughing and a-running,
Skipping and a-jumping
In the misty morning fog
With our hearts a-thumping
And you, my brown-eyed girl." (Van Morrison)
My brown-eyed girl is #365 in this photo. Dominique and I were at the State Fair. She was waiting to participate in the Mom Calling Contest.
She was five years old in this picture. Today she is fourteen.
I'm partial to brown eyes. In a family of seven - two parents and five children - she is the only one with brown eyes. That alone could make her special, but she is special for many reasons.
In this picture with her Aunt Kari, Dominique is dressed as a princess. It was her first Renaissance experience at the Salisbury Faire in Des Moines. We all had such a fun day.
Aunt Kari doesn't have brown eyes, so they don't have that in common, but today I learned they share a love of knitting. Dominique is just learning, but she gave me a scarf which she knit herself. During our afternoon together celebrating her birthday, we spent some time in a yarn shop. I think she found a second home. The women in the shop were very helpful in answering her questions and explaining different yarns. Another patron commented to me how glad it made her to see a young person so excited about knitting.
Hula-hooping isn't the only sport she is good at - she is a very good runner - participating in cross-country in junior high sports and road races around the state on weekends.
She has the build for a runner - long and lanky. Today I realized as we stood looking in a store window that she is now as tall as I am.
Dominique is very competitive. One of her more favorite accomplishments is beating the boys in races.
A few summers ago, we took the girls spelunking at the caves near Maquoketa. Mostly they explored the caves and Grandpa and I watched - except for the large caves we could easily walk through.
That afternoon when we visited Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery at nearby Baldwin, I was so surprised when a young woman began talking with Dominique and her sister - they obviously knew each other - but how could they know someone in that part of the state so far from home? I soon learned Dominique had loaned her flashlight to the young woman in one of the small caves they had all been exploring that morning. Just another way she is special; she is generous and helpful.
She is as deep as the waters of Three Mile Lake. She is self-possessed for her age. Her ambition is to be a veterinarian. It is a profession I think she would be good at. And I think she has the determination to become a doctor of animals.
It is going to be interesting to watch this young woman in the coming years.
Happy 14th Birthday, Dominique Danelle Fleming!
"Whatever happened to Tuesday and so slow
Going down to the old mine with a transistor radio.
Standing in the sunlight laughing
Hidin' behind a rainbowed wall,
Slipping and a-sliding
All along the waterfall
With you, my brown-eyed girl."