08 December 2007

Baby, cat, baby, baby, etc.

3 Beautiful Things du jour:

1. Y., my young Puerto Rican friend who likes to sometimes call me her American mom, phoned this morning and asked me what it means if the test shows two lines, but the second line is lighter than the first. I told her that her baby probably prefers pastels.

2. Another friend of mine, K., a single woman, gave an amazing talk about gratitude this evening at the Saturday session of our stake conference. I got to visit with her afterward and it was sweet to catch up a bit, and also compare notes about our recent thoughts on the subject of her address. K. took care of her elderly mother for ages till she died about three years back. K. told me that for as long as her mother lived with her, every day when K. came home from work her mother said to her, "I'm so glad you're back. It's so nice to have you home." When her mother passed away, K. said it was such a lonely feeling coming home to a quiet house with no one there to greet her with words of warmth and love. I'm sure the house would've loved to offer some, but like most houses, it didn't come outfitted with a tongue. After some time went by, K. decided she needed to get a pet: a cat for company. She carefully conducted a search for just the right creature. She looked everywhere, taking great pains to make no mistake. When she met up with a small cross little kitten she felt such a strong sense that this was her pet, so she took him in, lacerating claws and biting teeth and all. This cat now has a nasty reputation among the neighbors. Wo to the catsitter when K. goes on a trip! There have been stories of blood and gore, and I believe them. Boots, of course, is not a cuddler (not that anyone's offering), and he sniffs at the idea of condescending to purr . . . generally speaking. The astonishing thing is that every day when K. comes home from work, Boots is expectantly perched (as he is at no other time of the day or night) in the front window, watching for her arrival. When she walks through the door, Boots purrs at her with the greatest of genuine pleasure and solicitous affection, and they have their moment of greeting. K. says she knows that Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives, and that he cared enough about her lonely feelings to help her locate a little grumpy cat who would say (in catspeak) the same things to her that her dear mother did. She attributes her recognition of this connection to spending time every night recounting her day and looking for ways to be grateful as she prays. She says, "I'm sure I would have missed that detail otherwise."

3. T., a friend from Salt Lake, stopped by late tonight on his way out of town to say hello and give us an update on life. He is in his early 50s, I think, and his wife of just a couple years, L., is either closing in on or just beyond 40. Their news? A baby on the way, of course. We don't have frequent contact with T. and L., but we like them both a lot. They'd heard from our good friends next door about our recent episode—miscarriage #3—and he was very serious about encouraging us to "keep trying," "whatever it takes," "the fourth time was the charm for us." He shared with us that they had miscarried three times in rapid succession before this one "took." (And at the six-month mark, they are well past their dangerously unlucky first trimester.) T. talked about environmental factors and all sorts of other possibilities that he saw as potential hindrances, so we agreed we should wear nothing but organic fig leaves and get off the consumer grid to help our fertility along. Anyway, he was so kind and so sincere. They've had dreams of two boys like we've had dreams of two girls, so his parting suggestion was that we merge the family lines when the time is right.

Why stop there? I'm also grateful for:

• spotting our friends for the first time out with their new adopted baby, and noticing how thrilled and involved they look
• the fragrant green wreath on my front door (finally a piece of Christmas cheer!)
• a wonderful handmade Japanese-style pin cushion, just arrived from Australia—thank you, Donna, for the fabulous PIF pressie!
• running half of my laps this morning
• no shin splints yet
• Portabella ravioli, sautéed mushrooms, garlic cream sauce
• knee socks
• way too many umbrellas and Rob's plan to give them to strangers getting wet
• clementines
• contrasting friends
• hearing a story about Elder Russell M. Nelson memorizing faces and names of people he'd be with for less than a day
• the white stuff—the right stuff (snow, snow, and more snow)
• snowmen and snowwomen appearing everywhere
• safely accomplished car errands
• not falling down stairs
• the way the tiny girl dragged her dad away from the psychology aisle (also the sexuality aisle, which is where Dad's attention seemed to be stealthily drawn) and said, "C'mon, Dad, c'mon. C'mon, Dad. Kids' books. C'mon, Dad."
• seeing one of our teen friends doing a giftwrapping fundraiser with his speech and debate club at Borders (apparent positive extra-curricular involvement + one very überintelligent, dynamic kid = relief for those who worry about him)
• writing something small and impromptu for a Segullah word game
• News from Lake Wobegon
• walking together in the snow
getting to bed before midnight (at least I think I will)


Gritty Pretty said...

your post title is getting me to sing "baby cat baby cat" to the tune of "lollipop lollipop" by the chordettes.
p.s. i want a geo and rob umbrella!

compulsive writer said...

Loved your entry on the word game.

Lovin' the snow.

It was a great weekend!

b. said...

your title made me sing "smelly cat, smelly cat" from FRIENDS.....I'm sorry, but it did.....

I admire how aware of your world you are....it's part of what is sooo beautiful about you.

Am'n2deep said...

"...wear nothing but organic fig leaves and get off the consumer grid"...this made me laugh (probably because it's just the sort of thing I'd consider trying--actually I think I did try it once, didn't I?)

Oh, and I love clementines! They're so easy to peel, and tasty to boot! Fast food at it's finest!

Rynell said...

I'd consider getting off of the consumer grid. That sounds nice. And good for our health.

And the snow IS lovely.

Elizabeth-W said...

Psychology aisle vs sex aisle...
I try to find stuff for work, but feel like a pervert so I just leave.

Geo said...

GRITTY. After reading your comment, I tried my best to make a trade with my track partner this morning, just for you. I noticed that in the back seat of her car was an umbrella with a chicken on it. I asked her about it and she seemed a little embarrassed—told me it was a kid's umbrella. I offered to swap her a real one, as in it's wide enough to walk with a friend or two beneath, but she wouldn't bite. I guess the chicken umbrella has some sentimental appeal (as it would for me, or you). Oh, well. I tried. but I"ll keep my eyes open for one worthy of you.

C-DUB. Thanks. I thought yours was right cleverly constructed and (as always) well-written. Writing from the hip is a good exercise, whatever comes out.

B. Maybe you and Gritty should get together and work out a duet. I'd welcome carolers.

You are so kind to me!

AM'N. And citrus skins make great dog-repellant too. I confess I like to tease my dog just a little with them (he likes the attention).

Next year when my fig tree does its thing, I'll be sure to remember you want an outfit as well.

RYNELL. This morning my track partner told me that she is really feeling the Christmas spirit this year, even though she's got family troubles, and she attributes this good feeling to her decision to not buy stuff this year. Food for thought!

EW. I suspect many many book shoppers develop a keen interest in psychology . . . .

Lois, Our Lady of Blogs said...

Loved this! But of course, I love all your posts.

Kalli Ko said...

loved it Geo.

I get so sick of people telling me not to give up, and then a random person says it to me one more time and that time it resonates. Guess it's just luck of the draw.

I like success stories.

Here's to one for you and me.

Geo said...

LOIS. You no what I love? STILL NO SHIN SPLINTS.

KALLI. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I encountered one of those sickening-can't-get-away-from-somebody experiences today. At least I know the woman who tried to quiz and console and advise me really has a good heart. She just lacks tact and perspective. I lack patience, so I guess we're even, eh?

I'll raise a glass of grape juice in your honor—may it be a fruitful new year for us both.