Sunday, May 8, 2011

A little-known fact ...

Willa likes string cheese. Yes.

Didn't know that, did you? She's currently scarfing my snack....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The upstarts

It's true that I didn't immediately register them. And, really, it's been so long, I should've.

They're exciting little buggers, to be sure, but you do have to be paying attention to see them.

In my defense, it's been a long winter. That isn't a very good defense. I already felt nostalgic for snow before it had all melted. Which it decidedly has by now.

Outside, a slew of bubbles are buffeting by the window, driven by the stiff spring breeze. Little wisps of iridescent optimism issued by a happy child somewhere.

Back to the upstarts. My second line of defense is that it was approaching dusk. Still kinda'a weak defense.

My third line, maybe my best, is I did have 45 pounds on my back, and a hill I was trudging up. Distracting, you know? All that panting. But it was only when I saw the second set, with a third nearby, that I realized I'd seen the first without registering it, a little farther back down the hill.

Little flower shoots. Tightly furled against the barely-spring air. But most definitely there. White and purple. Like bunnies, they'll soon be everywhere, may already be. The upstarts of spring. Them and the bubbles.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The world lost last week

Last week, we became one bright spark dimmer. One always-friendly face less. An embodiment of sweetness & kindness, now gone. The boathouse, dock, and river will be lonelier. An unfinished life now finished.

Last week, the world lost Ann Fitzgerald.


I don't think we ever get used to death, unless perhaps we live in a war zone. Long illness might help us brace ourselves a little more, but if we don't know about the illness, the news comes as much of a shock as a sudden accident.

And death, and its accompanying emotions of surprise and grief, also become puzzling for me when the person wasn't a core part of my life. It's still a loss. There's still grieving. But I find myself not knowing just how to react when the loss is a lighter shade of gray -- not an all-out blackout as when it's someone near & dear, not a pale gray as when it's a celebrity or someone distantly known and the loss is more theoretical or intellectual. It's all those shades of grey in between that get perplexing.


I'm not at the boathouse often these days while the river is still frozen, but I was there yesterday, and found Ann very much in my thoughts. As the ice starts to break up over the water, and rowers' water time is fast approaching, I feel her loss & absence. For a purely recreational sculler, too shy or unsure of her ability to come to the coached sessions, she was braver than I when it came to going out in cold & wind. But she'd never gone into the basin w/ its nearly ever-present windy, choppy conditions, so one time we took a 2x into the basin. It was a gorgeous day, the sky a brilliant blue. I find myself cherishing that memory, that first, I was able to give her.

Going for my weekly volunteering last week, tho I haven't seen her all school year, I find myself cast back to last year when I saw her every week. We'd usually meet in the Trader Joe's parking lot & walk over to the school, chatting about her pottery classes or my jobless/freelancing state. She'd always ask how I was doing, how it was coming. She was always positive & encouraging. Afterward, we'd often head over to the boathouse for a row or maybe an erg, b/c our schedules allowed it.

I never knew she was sick, let alone that it was cancer. I don't know how long she knew, either.

Casting about for some way to honor & memorialize her, perhaps looking for something concrete to mark the loss?, I received an email about a fundraising event for fighting cancer, this year open to rowers for the first time. Not really a competitive event, you can choose the distance, up to 20 miles, & boat size, from a single to an eight. I think she'd love it. I think she'd have wanted to do it. I'll do it for her, wishing I could do it with her instead.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best sight of the week

Driving somewhere one of these days this past week, I drove by a UPS truck parked at the side of the road. In the dust on the back of the truck, someone's finger had written:

I pick things up
I put them down

Is that not the greatest?

Monday, February 21, 2011

A bonus day

That's how I look at a holiday Monday, a bonus weekend pearl, tossed my way. Altho another part of me whispers that weekdays are days, too, weekdays are surely a pretty big part of living. Which I have to agree with. As I also agree that sitting on my couch on an early morning (here's Willa, hi, Willa! she's coveting my lap, or more likely just the attention my keyboard's getting) ...

Pardon the interruption, we just had an unfortunate somewhat-explosive barf episode -- lotsa water, some cat food nuggets. Willa, not me. Sucio is now the couch companion.

As I was saying ... sitting on my couch on an early morning with my first cup of strong, dark, sweet tea, some trail mix (hey, it appealed), and one gato or another on the couch, and SNOW (!) falling outside ... it's nice to be here anytime, but all the more on a "workday."

I'm happy to see snow again. I'm going to have to save that secret for your reading eyes, my occasional, meandering reader, as someone hereabouts really might shoot me if I express snow happiness or desire for more. But white fluffy stuff coming down from the sky is still magic in my book.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When 4-leggeds aren't adorable

So, this morning, Willa, whom I generally adore, but who has been having issues lately, leading me to wonder if a cat can have eating disorders ... she barfed ... well, everywhere.

Multiple times.

This is a cat who shakes her head and runs as she barfs.

I'm sympathetic ... up to a point -- we all hate to barf, but you don't see the rest of us shaking our heads and running as we do so.

Anyway, I emerge from the bathroom after one of her barf-o-rama rounds and find she has barfed both on top of and -- wait for it -- inside my workout shoes.


Like, I look down into the shoe and see a puddle of cat vomit.

I take the poor shoe to the bathroom sink and clean it off as best I can, and as I'm peering into it, I see a stream of cat vomit flowing thru the length of the shoe. Yes.

What more can I say?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Not so much as a peep about a blizzard the first five-ish years I live here, and then TWO in less than a month??

Excitin' stuff.

I just saw a runner go by on the main road, wearing ski goggles.

It's heavy, wet snow, so I woke up to a winter wonderland, even though I think only a few to handful of inches have fallen. Every bare tree limb is thickly coated, as well as fences, power lines, bushes, anything outdoors and not mobile. And those are some big snowflakes falling out there! calls for (red-boxed) Severe Weather until 9:15, then just snow & wind all day, until the 2:00 blizzard hits. Weather is so funny.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The loveliness of powdered sugar

It's snowing lightly, everything looks powdered-sugar dusted. Like a giant sieve in the sky is lightly grating loveliness down upon us.

Cliche, I know, but still true, still lovely.

I marvel at the snow; it's still a novelty.

Tonight in yoga, catching glimpses of it drifting down in the circle cast by the streetlight, I wondered what could be lovelier and more zen than falling snow during yoga.