It’s been bizarre, as well, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
How do we stay sane? Let’s try love. And good news.
So, this happened Sunday.
Not for the first time, but for the first extended time.
Harley Blu was lap-side first, a little bit lazy, because that’s where the sun was. Nala-lilly anti-spoke up with that octave-crack she acquired when ambushed last summer.
Sleeping so sweetly, on the porch, she screamed so loud she lost a section of voice that night. I shouldn’t laugh, but, dang. It’s just cartoon-funny when she looks at me so earnestly about to ask a question and only oil-deprived, rusted hinge noises come out of her petite little mouth. Trust me, she has plenty of other inflections and she uses them just fine.
Anyway, I invited her up. Patted the chair; showed her it was solid.
She was tentatively talkative using her audible “I’m here” announcement way she does when she’s behind Blu. Such a considerate sweetie. She also rolls when she’s in front. I’d say he’s getting more tolerant, but I really think it’d be more accurate to say he’s somewhat less irked.
She’ll roll, he’ll bite her tummy (ineffective due to his lack of chompers), then, immediately lick the same spot right away. Copy-cat routine with the ear: bite, lick. Weird but also wonderful when compared to the previous hissing and moaning, warning caterwauling.
HBlu huffed and snorted a little when she slid in beside him, but didn’t budge. Sweet Nala-Lilly (who btw is now more often referred to as Nala-Mia) parked herself shoulder-to-shoulder, eventually, laying her sweet chin on his front paw-arm.
Sir Harley of Perpetual Surprise’s first pleading looks are pretty priceless. I have to admit I was really just hoping I wouldn’t get shredded in a melee.
20 solid minutes and a painfully sleepy foot for me later, the end result was pretty priceless, too.
So, it’s been a week since I declared I wanted to be happy.
And I’ve had some interesting thoughts since then.
I’ve joined an art challenge group. I’ve been communicating with someone whose art I admire. I’m paying more attention to posts everywhere and more than one-click interacting. I’m using words. LOL.
Thank you for all of the notes, messages, IM’s and emoji support. In the past 7 days, I’ve gone from one-way communication to two-way comm. Before you start in with vibes of technical fouls, I’ll agree with you. No, it’s not ‘in-person’ or on the phone, but I’m saying it counts, because it’s more than I’ve had in a few years.
So, what was I gaining from all that walling off?
Not adding people to my life means I won’t be losing more than I know I already will.
The easy obliteration of as much drama as possible. I don’t need any extra help being dramatic. Odd stuff happens with cosmic commonness, and I certainly don’t need anyone’s ramp to help push me along. I can do that just fine by myself.
What else? Oh! Not dusting every week. Sure, a few times pre-planned times a month, someone stops by for a nice chat or an adventure. Everyone knows advance notice is more than appreciated. Since COVID March-ed in, there has been only one threshold crossing in 8 months.
And that’s only because I begged for an out of control coif shearing. A few electric trimmer (with guard swipes) left the multi-color multi-length mullet behind and revealed my new ‘true’ hair color. Which, interestingly, isn’t anything like the hair color I had gotten used to thinking was under all those years of hair dye.
Happily, I’ve got sparklies! Not Jamie Lee Curtis level, but a girl can dream, right?
I tried the ‘going-silver’ in salon route repeatedly without success. I’ve also tried boxing it with unusual results. Light pink -peach, brownish-watermelon, and one an entirely hideous seafoam green which hilariously garnered some not in the least subtle why’d-you-do-that comments.
It’s safe to say, I’ve figured out a few truths since last Tuesday:
My hair has stopped reacting normally to processing.
My body and emotions seem to be sharing the rebellious path.
All of me is no longer responding in a biologically correct way.
The first thing I remember about October 6, 2006 was entering church and seeing one, lone, beautiful flower wreath.
I’m not sure how Jeff’s October 6, 2001 wedding portrait got there. I assume I brought it, since it had been hanging in our home.
In that little space of wall next to the front door, I saw his love every time I left the house for work. Mine was there, too. Jeff saw it every time he left the house for the store.
The placement? Prophetically, romantically poetic now. I left Jeff’s photo on the wall until I moved out of our house, 4 years later. But, I took mine down right away. I wasn’t that person, anymore. I still had the name, but I wasn’t a wife.
After we were married, my father inquired, when I was going to change my email address for work? I tried way before he ever asked. Corporately, it wasn’t allowed. To this day, my maiden name remains in the root. But, I’m not that person anymore, either.
Although, it’s painful to admit, I’ve (more recently than not) typed or scrawled my signature on more than a few communications with my prior surname. Last week, I scribbled a return address on an envelope that way, too.
Why? Dammed if I know.
Maybe I should carefully consider this. Maybe it means something.
I’ve been undefined for years; unacknowledged and unreasonably delayed. So, I suppose, it’s time to declare:
I’d sighed earlier at the half-read “Box of Butterflies,” by Roma Downey. Rather than re-shelve, I re-homed it to my priority chair-side reading table.
Because, 1. it was only/already half-read and 2. it would be a light enjoyable distraction because 3. I was giving up on the missing missive.
To feed my belly, there was a quick reheat of lemony chicken and roasted zucchini with garlic. To feed my soul, I dragged a zero-gravity folding recliner, my lunch and the book outside. For while I was pleasantly afternoon porch-sitting in the shade of my massive oak, enjoying the lovely light breeze.
Readings, prayers and stories blended, touched me, encouraging an emotional urge to sad-cry. Though, not something I do much, I also don’t reserve them as a resource. No, my tears map; mostly chartered for overwhelming frustration or anger.
When I do give into melancholy, I self-console it’s not entirely squandered time; there is scientific data on the toxin expelling benefit of tears.
To be sure, my dead-end searching contributed, but the reason was indeed sadness.
Yep. I wasted a solid thirty seconds pity-partying, which is a bit of significance. If you’re inclined, go ahead and time thirty seconds. It’s a lot longer than you think.
I sniffled, wiped my eyes and closed them just for a moment being miserable and thinking about Jeff. And, then, everyone gone.
I blotted to remove the refractory glare of still welled tears, Un-smudging my glasses, I began again (because I can’t not finish a chapter, or a song for that matter.)
Soft-stop blink-leaking, something glinted peripherally. I expected to see Blu and his shiny gold collar tag at the screen. When I am out and he is in, HBlu’ll check where I’m at, what I’m up to and yell at me to let me know he’s monitoring. I say hello, tell him I’m fine and he lumbers back to his most recent favorite indoor spot.
I was surprised it wasn’t Sir Harley. It was a flitty thing.
It took another swipe-rub and a second sweep to determine it was a butterfly – in orange.
The flutter-by stayed around a bit. Dipping, rising, dancing for fifteen seconds or so, until the gusty stream took it wherever it was going next.