All posts filed under: Life

Cats and Plants

Yep. That’s a Maranta leucomeura. A scraggly specimen, too. The WideEyedSpouse espied it lurking on the back of a table at the Home Depot. “Special Buy” the tag said. I snorted. What a mess. The Maranta lives in the WideEyedHousehold now. You may be unimpressed by this prosaic moment. So would I be except for one extraordinary and upsetting fact. The Maranta can live here because Ancient Wiggins the Cat no longer does.  Old-struck, life-weary, that creaky, foul-tempered and steadfast pal of mine left the building on Saturday morning. By Sunday afternoon the Maranta had moved in, that opportunist. For eighteen years the household could harbor no plants without inevitable hoorka, hoorka, hoorka noises and slimy green piles on the carpets. Always on the carpet, never on the tile. Eighteen years of raptor intensity attacks on even ears of corn from the farmer’s market left unguarded on the counter. (We once hid them in the oven to prevent the hoorkas, forgot them, found them two weeks later moldering, warm, soft.) “As soon as that cat …

Battle the dark.

I ride to work in a late fall pocket of peace. The smooth ride shifts in tiny increments, only the push of gravity and receding traffic tells me we’ve accelerated. Through mad, alchemical witchery, phone and car share intelligence and only my favorite songs play on the sound system. The dim and grim winter days are flirting with Buffalo. Moody cloud formations flow over church spires and behind the neon bright signs of Main Street tattoo parlors and take-out shops. Pedestrians turn to moving bundles of dark coats, dark pants, dark boots. Campus is funereal: black leggings and dark jeans clad, bruised-eyed, and stressed the students approach finals week with the sick feeling that something has gone wrong. Wretched regret and infrasound wailing pollute the air of Memorial Library. I wore my sheep socks today, in defiance of the dim, the grim, the end-of-semester foreboding. Gamboling pink and white sheep ought to keep my feet light and my mind happy. But looking at them now, I think the sock-sheep might be in states of meditative …

The Kraken came to Buffalo.

Hamish the Corgi and Miss Tibbit-the-Useless forced us, absolutely forced us, to go to the land of whale hunters, pirates, beach plums, and Range Rovers. Hamish felt that his territorial expansion needed more activity in the Northeast. Miss Tibbit thought she sniffed something interesting coming from Boston-ish. We rented a house, packed ALL of the bikes and some of the wine, and aimed the Mighty Pathfinder at Cape Cod.  Hamish remembered that he cannot swim at Sheep Pond in Brewster. He remembered that a body can’t drink wave water on the beach flats of Crowe’s Pasture in Dennis. Sweet Tibbit watched ants march across the kitchen floor toward her food bowl. WideEyedUncleB graciously hosted the mass of us for an afternoon in Scituate. “Hack!” Miss Tibbit coughed with purpose above his living room rug. We waited, alert and conversation suspended, for more. Later, the Spouse reported that he was prepared to catch pukies in his hands. “Great,’” I said. Later, I found the Spouse swabbing Tibbit-pukies from WideEyedCousinA’s pantry floor in Norwell. “That dog needs …

Independence Day.

Thanks to the bold minds and brave signers of the Declaration of Independence, and their willingness to see it through we are here now:  equal, free of abuses, repeated injuries,  and usurpations from Government, free of a Government which refuses to pass laws, free from the obstruction of justice, free of taxation without representation…er. Ok. Well. Thanks to the bold minds and etc. etc. were here now: basking in a glorious summer day of picnics and simply joys. The people of the WideEyedHousehold came of age in one of the New Jersey shore towns, working to serve the holidays of one hundred thousand city-folk. Now, we wallow in the quietude and privacy of a day of independence, without obligation. Sweet Tibbit the Useless-Little-Black dog waits patiently for more raspberries to ripen on the thicket in back yard. She already harvested all within reach using her front nibble teeth, stretching her neck, balancing her dainty toes on the edges of the raised beds to reach more. Hamish watches, pretty sure this is Not Allowed but not sure …

Blink.

Six months I ran before the storm, eyes-wide, mind-revved, fingertips-atingle. Grim winter in my rust-belt city disappeared during a week hiking high Oahu ridges. Useless hounds, beloved corgis, and ancient cats snoozed on my tense feet during long hours at the desk. Spring came and went: the cherry blossoms, the tiny green perennial shoots, the new gardens. Summer sneaks replaced Joan of Arctic pack boots. Amid the lightening and squalls and winds of change in the WideEyedProfessional life, everything life passed as moments in time, each separated from the next by nearly unachievable work-burdens. The Spouse, he was there through this long storm. This catastrophic professo-ecological  shift. He’s still there – I’m looking at his head nod, eyelids heavy sitting at his own desk in the WideEyedOffice this evening. HeavyEyedOffice more like. Then, not long ago, I blinked. I blinked against the shocking glare of desert sunlight at Elder Brother’s house in Arizona. I blinked and my heart thumped hard twice. Like tiny bio-earthquakes in my soul. The howling in my mind eased and I …

The meatballs are in the crockpot.

The outside world was a rude -6°F this morning. The dogs wasted no time out there during morning walkies. They failed utterly to enjoy the hard, crystal blue sky and sparkling snow. Fair enough. I am appreciating it from my office window. Death dealing icicles are dangling from every house for blocks. One neighbor has glaciers forming in the deep vee swales of his roofline, the forward ends are ten-foot long broadswords aiming for earth. Or his car. Because he parks under them. The snow squeaks under feet and tires. The ground isn’t the ground anymore. We’ve all given up trying to clear sidewalks and driveways entirely – we’ve taken to forming a smooth surface of the trampled up, super frozen mass. My boots thunk on these elevated walkways. Miss Tibbit-The-Useless-Little-Black-Dog pees on them and it all disappears. She can’t be the only one. Melting day is going to be awesomely gross. Bleach down the neighborhood gross. In desperation I applied Swarovski Crystal tattoos this morning. They are tiny, wee crystals on adhesive. Now my cheek …

Seal-self doesn’t see in grayscale.

I cross my legs at the ankle and spread my arms, belly down in the water. Friar’s Bay is shallow and calm, the water extra salty, the same temperature as the air. I float effortlessly: only nose, forehead and eyes above the water. The rest of me lurks just below the surface. I am a seal. I am a seal, and I monitor the strange beings hauled out on the sand before me. I flip and spin, to watch out to sea where the moored sailboats disgorge more of the many-limbed creatures. They too will haul out on the beach. I flutter my flip…er, hands and feet to float over the little reef. There’re fish and seaweeds and urchins to be looked at in there. I flip and spin. The little black dog occupying the beach is heading toward two empty beach chairs and blue beach bag filled with snacks and novels. My seal self doesn’t care. My person self has concerns. The dog passes the chairs. Seal self dives, disappears among the rocks, emerges …