Oh, how I've missed watching these videos.
Autumn is in the air. It was this morning, anyway. This is Central Texas and the temperature is still in the 80's – if not the 90's – during the day. But, we can pretend. I lift my head and try to get a whiff of that technicality in the air, the one that says that the autumnal equinox has already passed and it's time for the leaves to change colors, the temperature to drop and the nights to grow spooky. I can almost taste the nostalgia. It is October.
Being that it is under 100° I felt compelled to be outside today. I love front porches and I live in a house that has one. Oddly, I never use it. (Actually, for reasons I can't comprehend, the front door is nailed shut, which speaks volumes for why I don't use it. But, we're gonna let that go before we start a fight.) So, this afternoon I dragged the two rocking chairs and glass-top patio table to the driveway and swept the wooden floor and tried to get the cobwebs down from the walls and ceiling. There was one wasp nest that I didn't want to disturb, (and I didn't want to get sidetracked by getting rid of it.) I then turned my attention to the much-neglected rocking chairs.
They are nice chairs – made from wood and painted white. There have been a couple of storms that blew rain and dirt on them, though, so only the residents of this household were aware that they were actually white. To most people they were a dull brown. I had more success cleaning the one that was further away from the northeast side of the porch. The storms that came tended to blow the dirty rain from that side, as wind blew across the dirt driveway/parking area. As I was cleaning I saw a spider and before I could catch myself he had been washed off the chair. What if that was my father trying to visit? Sorry Dad.
After all that I poured lime-flavored Topo Chico over ice and sat on the newly cleaned chair on the sort-of cleaned porch with only a few mosquitoes and a tiny wasp nest that I hadn't disturbed so I felt comfortable that they weren't angry at me. Tired. I'm probably still anemic; that much activity should not have made me as dizzy as it did. However, let's lose about 30 pounds and see if we don't feel better. I hope I do; I'm running out of possible reasons for the anemia.
As I recovered I sat thinking. I thought about what I would like to do with the shrubs, how to trim them to make the house look better and keep from blocking the view from the porch. It was hot, but a breeze came by every once in a while and felt very nice. I got up to refill my Topo Chico and saw Dad again on the door. This time I just said, "Hi Dad" and kept going. I didn't knock the spider off.
The family across the street was cleaning a building in their back yard. I know this because the woman was "directing" activity the entire time I sat outside. She was yelling almost nonstop about every conceivable thing – related to cleaning or otherwise. Next door to them a Mexican man rode up on his bicycle and leaned it against a tree near the house. After a few minutes another man rode up and they sat together on that porch, chatting quietly.
This is the small town I live in. This is what I call home. I'm not really used to it. I need to take tips from my friend, Tamara, who is a yoga master at keeping things tidy and de-cluttered. For the most part it's easier to take a nap and forget about it, but I could learn to love being home so much more if I spent a few minutes a day keeping things up. That's a lot of work, though. I need a nap just thinking about it.
The angels have come to take another angel home. Charlotte, who has been with us since 2006 and whose two beautiful babies we found homes for in Dallas, left us today. In 2006 she was already not young, so eleven years later she was quite an old lady.
Never has there been a more gentle soul. If you sat on the sofa she would come nuzzle your hand with her head until you pet her, but other than that she was never demanding. She couldn't meow very well, so she did most of her communicating with her eyes. Beautiful eyes. Expressive. And, quick to slow-blink at you.
When we had to keep an adopted kitten isolated until she could get her shots, Charlotte came and lay beside her kennel, keeping her company and cleaning her as well as she could. She just took it upon herself to be Mom to this scared orphan, and she continued to be Mom long after the kitten was let loose to roam the house.
Throughout the years Charlotte has helped us keep peace in a houseful of cats, and she has helped us entertain our guests. If you were tired of petting her, she was always up for a game of Cribbage.
We adopted Charlotte, along with her companions, when our friend, Richella, was going into the hospital. It's hard to imagine that Richella has been gone eleven years, and it's amazing, really, that some of her kitties have still been with us into 2017. But, it is still a bit of a double whammy to say goodbye to one of Richella's babies.
I'll leave you with this small poem I wrote for Charlotte today. Take time to play with your cats, and if you see Barry, give him a hug.
We were not adversely affected by the hurricane that struck the Texas coast. I simply have a tiny collection of pictures that I took of an increasingly rare rainy spell in Central Texas. The temperatures dropped and the lawns and trees were given a much-needed soaking.
Water is the most natural thing in the world. It is necessary for our life, but its force can be the most destructive to the civilizations we have built for ourselves. Things are changing and I do not believe there is a way back. But, I take comfort in thinking that life on Earth will continue, with or without the presence of Man.
Carmela contemplates life and weather after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, blessing us with beautiful rain. She is fascinated with water off all kinds - faucets, bowls, buckets, the kind of water that falls from the sky...
We're praying for those along the Texas Gulf Coast, for whom this storm has been more of a curse than a blessing.