Friday, March 27, 2009

all those rude shocks

We have reached the time in our life when we no longer refer to last year, but to "ten years ago" or "thirty years ago" with a certain amount of awe and amazement that it came and went so fast. The 60s are a blur, the 70s I can honestly not recall as "the 70s" at ALL, as to current events.

Ive learned to date events with the year we graduated from high school, the year we got married, and four years after that, 1972 the year we moved here. Everything else is reckoned by that set of milestones. Photos help me remember the blizzard of this year or that, the year we had the roof replaced, the summer of the turkeys or butterflies (2006).

Last week I was saying to my husband, you know, we might want to consider actually going to our 50th class reunion, and he said, well, I guess, but we got plenty of time to think about it...I said, 3 years. He stopped dead. Do the math, I said. He said my god you mean...I nodded.
We old, baby.

I have become like that lady with the crooked hat. She looks in the mirror on the way out the door and straightens, pulls her chins in and her shoulders back, and marches out to do battle with the world. In her mind, she is that image in the mirror, never realizing that her hat has slid a bit sideways, and as she walks her posture returns to a comfy slouch and her chins appear again. In her mind she is not only who she saw in the mirror, she is that 18 year old kid that lives in all of us.

And when a reunion happens, we all bring our 18 year old along for the ride. Immediately old bonds reappear, old grudges, and "oh you always used to..." rings out across the hall. No matter what you do, everyone insists on forcing you back into high school mode. The CEO of a company, the retired college professor, the guy who showed such promise and now works for the town, they all become who they were, not who they became. Something in us refuses to grow up, and in a way that's cool. Peter Pan lives.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I think we may have made it

Went out in the garden yesterday afternoon, and there, in all the bare spaces, were the very beginnings of jonquils, no more than an inch or two above the ground. This time last year there was a foot of snow and I simply cannot remember the last time we had bare ground this early in the year. (looking carefully over her shoulder) Not, you understand, that I'm complaining, nonono.

Friday, March 20, 2009

burning the brush pile

--and how appropriate, for the first day of spring

Im sure the phone at the fire station was ringing off the hook the minute this started up, since you can't see it from the road, but you sure can smell the smoke. *g*

Saturday, March 14, 2009


For two months my oldest cat has been losing weight, no matter how much she eats. At 17 1/2, a certain amount of gauntness is to be expected, but this was rapid and apparently irreversible. She still had a great deal of energy, went in and out to test the porch for warmth and test the yard for seasonal changes-- and while fragile was not frail by any means. She still had attitude and could still tell off the new guy in language I never want translated. Some old ladies know a LOT of words and aren't shy about using them.

But over time she has become more vague, getting into corners and unable to work her way out of them, and more and more uncertain in her walking. Yesterday I had her put down.

We had her for all but seven weeks, when she came here with Mama, so she was truly Our Cat.
One of the things you do when you take on a new cat or dog or any pet, is acknowledge the reality that you are now all they have. Just like an infant, they are utterly dependant on you for food, shelter, and attention. And part of that responsiblity is to know when they are too ill or too old or too much in pain to continue as they are. There is no next year, or next month, and you have to understand that at the beginning. It's part of the deal.

Friday, March 6, 2009

spring songs

Been up since 5:30. This happens now, as the days get longer and I wake with the light--by midsummer I'll be awake and staring at 4 am; for an avowed night person this can be mightily disturbing, cutting my sleep time down to five or less hours a night.

The crows are out there now, rattling about at the perimeter of the fields, having a high old time. In flocks like this they remind me of my father's family, a huge rowdy bunch of his brother's kids--three girls and two boys, all living in the same area, all married, all with their own kids. When they got together once a week for dinner at Uncle Fred's house it was like being witness to that flock of crows; loud, raucous, never still--and yet they enjoyed each other's company and there was rarely a snitty scene, in any direction. And they were all friends, and very loyal to one another. Large families sometimes go that way, they like--and take care of--each other and become all the friends they need. It's fun to watch, and fun to be included in the mix. These days it happens less and less, and our friends are from 'outside' the family, more often than not.

In the days of large extended families much of your time was taken up with them, and any close friends you made outside of that grouping were unusual. One turned to family first, and friends second. Now we talk about networking, social groups, and scary places like Facebook and MySpace and all the others (five hundred of your closest friends, yep) which in a way only points up how much most people need to feel connected, no matter the risks involved...