The Midwest took a huge hit in flooding again this year. Whole towns have been swallowed up, and may not reappear. Disasters abound at an alarming rate. Landscapes are changing, geographically, politically and socially. Some say it is a dark day. I can attest I have seen some disturbing signs in the agriculture ranks as well. I used to witness more honorable actions and compassionate expressions of kindness and understanding. It hurts my heart to say, that I see an increasing regard for money and status, whereas in the past, it seemed only folks we knew had low self esteem, would opt for lying about what an animal brought at auction, or their genetics. It isn't that in ag you felt ethically above other industries, it was just that your hopes and thoughts are so often conversing with God, you had more grace to give I think.
So what is happening now? Is the work too hard, mentally or physically, is witnessing the high dollar farm sales to developers and big business, then watching those people go off and relax and travel tugging at your heart now? You feel you deserve a break from the barrage and misconceptions about the industry? We see new laws that don't understand the true repercussions of their existence, because they are based off of emotion and not enough fact finding or calculations? The finger pointing seems too much. People spouting off instead of taking the time to look inside themselves and figure out truly why do they think this way, is it right, is it about Love or Fear. We all struggle with this, we are one in this tug of war, it always begins with me and you, not them over there.
So what do I want. First, Love of self so I can truly be at peace and love others for exactly where they are, without judging them. I have not walked in their shoes, if you have been told all your life something is blue, you are not going to for a second believe otherwise, unless, you are open to a new possibility, am I open minded enough, are they, is it worth a conversation, or just a hug?
Second, think/feel and be present enough, to give "it" the time it's due, estimate the impact, and find a smile in it. Damn it, I do make a difference. And, yikes, these two "wants" give me enough to focus on, for like, ever.
So much easier to spout what I really don't like/want in the moment:
Well, I can positively affect climate change in some area, my yard, my house, my family, my thoughts. I can do it. I can love you without even knowing all about you. I just need to keep practicing. Baby steps are just as good as giant leaps, dang life is a miracle, for goodness sakes, we exist here, on this wonderful, mystery of a planet, in a massive universe, there, I feel better already. How could I have forgotten the beautiful, miracle of us?
Now, My little ol soul is dancing in the light, cause this is not all there is, and we are all gonna be just fine. I am hugging you virtually right now!
A Life with Kitties
I so love kitties, their independence and attitudes make for some very interesting personalities. They are lower maintenance, although like smart dogs, know how to give a payback if displeased, and you will surely know why it happened.
Rosemary my childhood cat was a relaxed, pliable fluffy calico. Easy going, perfect for little kids. Then came Tigger the grouch, (we had photo ops of grown men trying to brush out his matted hair be gloved and those growls would raise the hair on your head)! He once circled a friend growling who happened to have put on a devil horn headband for Halloween, she flung it on the ground and he pounced on that thing, ripping it to shreds. Missy the Siamese, delicate and a tad aloof, watched from her perch.
My very first cat on my own was Mama Kitty who lived 28 years people. My vet actually checked the world book of Guinness records, alas 31 years in Russia won. She picked me as I walked through the Humane Society, first one paw grasped my shoulder on the way in, and as I carried my cute black kitten Mooner out, she grabbed me with both paws. You can't say no to that, she was already a year old, small, skinny gray Tabby, with piercing green eyes. I named her Bug, but she started carrying the kitten around, so ended up Mama K. She would wail if you closed a door until you opened it, she was difficult and I had roommates, so one night I had to tell her, if this does not stop I have to take you back, I cried hard, she never wailed again. As you can imagine 27 years of stories I have, she lived in every place I ever did, Colorado, MN, Iowa, she had to be tranquilized for those big moves. She would travel on my shoulders, she had specific meows for different things, and was a talker and lover of any human that rested at my doorstep. She caught snakes, and ate hundreds of grasshoppers. She lived to see my second son born. She had not meowed in 2 years, had really no teeth left, and then lived only in the downstairs bathroom, as that got the most use, so she could still get her pets in. Finally she was only a couple of pounds, I held her head so she could drink water, she no longer ate. We were moving to another home which was still under renovation, so had to hotel it for a month. As we drove her in to the vet, she meowed to say goodbye, my hubby and I both cried our hearts out, for this beautiful, sweet feline.
We have had regal Winston, the blue Russian given to us by my bro, and Target the skittish, rarely did anyone see this cat, but then again, he did have a bullseye pattern on each side of his body. They both left for separate homes once it became clear they had issues with each other and my carpet. We had Sweet Pea, found up a tree by my hubby, who brought him to church to show what he got for us! She was a lover too and got along sort of ok with the dog. She once kept eye contact with me while I was on the phone, jumped on the counter and into the sink and then peed. I ran down to see her rock hard litter box had not been tended to....yep very clear messages!
Then we brought in Whiskers, who had been dumped on our farm 8 years ago, he hacked, and lived in the garage and barns. After he became the only cat outside we brought him inside, he loved our dog so much, he never wanted to leave his side. That cat was by far the biggest lover of the bunch. He got ill in nine months in and when I took him in they said "she" had a very contagious feline disease and needed to be put down immediately, it was painful. I was distraught with the unexpected news, I actually got lost going home. Then wondered if that is what happened to the other outdoor cats, but this cat hacked since day one and made it 9 years here. Coyotes we assumed had gotten the others. Sounds harsh, but the circle of life is harsh at times.
For two long years I had no kitties, it was to honor our 16 year old doggie Bear, who deserved to have our full attention. But it was hard, as I am a cat person.
Then we went to the shelter and got ourselves Boo on my youngest birthday. Huge black cat, that scratched my son as it lept out of the box in the car and then proceeded to pee and poo on Papa in the front seat. It was not a pleasant ride home, but we did not give up. She started to acclimate but the drive to the vet put her back. She had been abused no doubt by a male, hid under beds, would not come downstairs for a month. Slowly she came around, her fur got soft, she slid under the covers, she played! She now will ask you to brush her out, she won't hide when guests come over. She does not like change, but forgives quicker than most. She is a delight.
Ahhh, I love how nature's beasts will allow us humans to play with them, love on them. They become such a part of our experiences, we can't imagine to have had a life without them. I am so very glad I am not allergic! Some of you like dogs better, I get it, I love them too, but cats will make you keep your wits about you!
Life on Gravel
About the Author
City girl sharing stories of a life full of country glitter and other shit.