Sunday, March 31, 2013

Charlie the Cat

Artist:  Hulya Ozkok
  If a blind, deaf cat were to be lost from home and wandering about in the rain, you can be certain that it would make its way to my house, as all things lost and damaged seem to find the path to my door.   My daughter would be first to sense the overwhelming need of a malnourished, half dead cat making its way here.

  As we had just finished a large Easter feast and returned home for lengthy afternoon napping, it was Allie who ran in to inform me of a crazed looking cat attempting to limp down the road, blind and deaf to barking dogs and oncoming traffic.  I stood in the rain and watched my child stare at the wildebeest looking feline who wandered aimlessly past our house in an unsighted world making its way forward with no plan and no hope.  It's sides were sunken, it's eyes were matted and its fur clearly told how it had been lost in the rain and cold for a lengthy period of time.  It was oblivious to the dangers around it and simply continued forward as there were no other options.

  Plan A was to dump some cat food in front of the cat, pray for sudden strength and hope that it would wander on its way to better places.  Unfortunately, that plan failed quickly as the cat was past the point of eating.  It continued taking one step after another into the mud and the mire. I'm uncertain exactly what it was looking for at that point as food and water were there before it.  I suppose safety and comfort were a much greater need than Meox Mix and rain water. It was time for Plan B.

  I donned my favorite furry gloves and proceeded towards the cat with a giant beach towel, hoping that gloves and the towel would somehow separate me from unknown cat diseases should the gentle kitty suddenly turn wild.  He stopped in his forced march forward and allowed me to scoop him up in a dry towel and place him in a bin that separated him from the rain and cold and certain demise.

  Charlie, as he was quickly named, is now sleeping quietly in a kennel in my garage surrounded by Cat chow crumbs and fluffy towels.   Tomorrow he will travel to the vet for a better assessment than I can give.  If it's safe to remove the barrier of furry gloves and beach towels that still stand between my children and the cat, then Charlie will continue with some much needed nursing and make his way to a cat shelter in Hot Springs, a popular resort town for retirees and lost cats.  Good Luck Charlie.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To My Old Lady Self

Dear Me, 

   Should I be blessed to enjoy a long life and one day find I have plenty of time on my hands,  I should read this list and remember the things I didn't have time for now, but should do then.

Paint the kitchen Sherwin Williams Windy Blue

Go on a Mission Trip

Scrapbook old photographs and write down the names of everyone in the pictures

Take the Viking Cooking course in Greenwood, MS

Send your kids a surprise check in the mail (and no they didn't insert this)

Play Barbies

Sit at the base of Mt. Whitney and drink Pinot Grigio with my brother

Visit the local library

Take a train ride anywhere

Visit the beach in the winter

Be a ridiculously big tipper to those who least expect it

Carry silver forks in my purse

Always have something nifty to give to a child

Sit with strangers in a nursing home

Read all the classics

Record the stories of those older than me

Travel to France and never cross the Atlantic to get there

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tracking Joey

  My son has embarked on his Senior trip and is currently somewhere in Italy.  Because of the high cost of international calling, we've worked out a plan for him to send text and video messages when he is in a wifi spot.  My last instructions as he boarded the plane were for him to send me a message to let me know he made it safely.   So far, I've received nothing.  While checking my bank account this morning, it became clear to me that he had indeed made it to Italy as my debit card was working it's way across Europe. While I may never get a text message or video message, I can track my son's progress by mapping out the ATM withdrawals along his journey.  It's not the plan I had hoped for, but at least I know he is alive and well.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Dear Future Me

  Getting emails from old friends is always nice, but what a surprise to find an email that I sent to myself last year, only to be delivered exactly one year later.  It began "Dear Future Me".  This letter from my past to an older version of me had only one line.... "What have you accomplished over the past year?"   I thought this was rather brilliant as it prompted me to reflect on the year and what I had or had not accomplished.  My children were quick to interrupt my quiet reflections and point out that my one sentence email was lame and lacked details.  You can always count on your children for brutal honesty.  They educated me on how I should have talked about what I was doing a year ago and described what that day was like.  So.... with that being said, my children and I crafted our next letter... "Dear Future Us"

  The letter began by explaining that it was close to midnight on a school night and my children should be in bed.  Instead, they were piled in my bed demonstrating their version of Cirque du Soleil acrobats and tossing my daughter into the ceiling fan.  We listed details about our day so we would know exactly what was going on when we read about it a year from now.  After I finished my typing, my daughter typed in that she is very cool, making it look like I had written these words and then added several smiley faces and hearts.  My son took his turn and added some unknown statement and hit "send" before we could read it.   Giving only subtle hints that would drive my daughter mad, he left her to believe that a year from now we will open a letter that shows my son loved me much more than my daughter did.  What a terrible, yet typical thing to do his sister.  He smiled at this brilliant plan as she desperately tried to retract a message that would wait in the ethers for a year. 

  Unable to retrieve the mystery mail that was resting silently in a distant server waiting for delivery, I thought about the power of such a tool.  Had I known better so very long ago, I should have drafted the following letter to be delivered to the future me at twenty, thirty and forty years of age. 




Early Retirement and the Great Resignation

        At the age of 57, I stared at my 35 year career, whispered a polite thank you to the heavens and hit the send button on my retiremen...