Monday, July 25, 2011

For No Particular Reason

Flowers from my sister's back deck.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Wedding

Spouse and I flew out to northern Illinois to attend my niece's wedding, held on July 2nd. Bethany and Steve have been together for seven years but neither Spouse nor I had met the groom. Not only is he a really nice guy who clearly adores my niece but he's not at all hard to look at! The wedding was simple and lovely and, even trying hard not to, I cried. When my sister was escorted to her seat at the front, I flashed back to her wedding day 30+ years ago. She and her Tom were so ready for marriage and so obviously in love that I couldn't help but shed happy tears.

When Bethany and Steve exited from the service, I bubbled-over again, so the picture is blurry but the memory is crystal clear.

The reception at a resort in a more rural setting was a fabulous party. It was so fun to see my sister finally let loose and enjoy herself after months of planning and preparations. Tom's words for the newlyweds were tender and hope-filled. Both the bride and her sister/maid of honor shed tears when he mentioned times he'd enjoyed with both of his girls camping and cooking out when they were members of Indian Princesses.

To make the evening even more special, the two families had selected pictures of parents, grandparents and the bride and groom when they were babies and young children. A professional then assembled them into a video with appropriate music. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when it finished. It was nice to be reminded of family members who were no longer with us at such a heartwarming event.

Before a delicious dinner and exceptionally good wines were served, the cake ritual took place. No one wanted to see this couple cram cake up eachother's noses as seems to have become SOP at some weddings. Everyone, including the few who tried to encourage such bad behavior cheered after they lovingly (and neatly) fed eachother a bit of cake.

The dance floor was filled with joyous, gyrating youngsters and not-so-youngsters for several hours. Everyone enjoyed letting off steam after the seriousness of the ceremony. And, thankfully, the bouquet and garter tosses were more or less dignified but fun.

Weddings are especially meaningful for people who have been married for a lot of years. We've been there/done that and know how hard it can be. We also know, having hung-in through the rough times, that it is totally worth the effort. Seeing how Bethany and Steve handled the pressures of their wedding and still maintained a confident, loving connection with each other while enjoying time with all their guests was impressive. I have a very good feeling about their future.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is she pregnant?!

Sunday evening I heard what I thought was a fussy child out in our hallway. Didn't think much about it because there is a fussy child living down the hall from us. When it didn't stop, I listened more closely. It was a cat! I've been a life-long dog person but hearing a cat where one doesn't expect to hear one got my attention. Before I could open our door to see what was what, two young women knocked on it to ask if we were missing a cat. No, sorry, not ours. Of course curiosity grabbed Spouse and me and we went down the hall to check it out. This is what we saw. She was very calm and didn't mind being petted and handled but she was determined to get into the apartment door she stayed close to. The young man who lives there had brought out a carton in case she decided to pop kittens. Spouse ran back to get a beach towel to pad the box. When I laid it on its side, she willingly walked into it and laid down. Good. At least she would have a soft, private spot in which to deliver her babies. By now there was a small group of us wondering what to do about this lovely creature. I had called the complex front office and they eventually sent a plastic-badge-security-guard who joined us staring at the cat. A neighbor who owns a cat then joined our little group and suggested we call the Washington Humane Society. I had walked out of our apartment with our cordless phone and one of the girls used her Blackberry to look up the number. Being a Sunday night, the recorded message recommended calling another number, which I did and got another recorded message. [At that point I became aware that I was standing in a group, in the hall with messy hair, no make-up, wearing a scant sundress and nothing else. Too late -- my shame was there for the world to see.] Anyway -- getting back to pretty kitty -- the long and short of it is when I finally reached animal control I had to give my name and number. The woman I spoke with said someone would come to fetch the cat, however, she wasn't "allowed to tell" me when that might be. The young man and two girls mentioned earlier, were on their way to a late dinner date and the crowd in the hall had dispersed, so I felt pressured to "handle the situation til they came back." Now, remember, people thought this cat was about to give birth and I know nothing about cats; neither does Spouse. We tried putting the towel-lined box in front of our apartment door where we could keep an eye on her without having to bring her in (I've got allergies). She had other ideas. She immediately left the relative comfort of the box to return to the floor in front of the door she thought was her home at the end of the hall. S'OK -- animal control would be coming for her, so we moved the box back to the end of the hall and she walked back into it. With heavy hearts Spouse and I returned to our own apartment, closed and locked the door and thought we were finished with the situation. I sat up until 1 a.m. waiting for animal control to call saying they were on their way. Never happened and I've never heard anything back from them. It's been almost two days and I can't get pretty kitty out of my mind. Someone in our impromptu group speculated that a building resident had dumped her on our floor when they realized she was pregnant. The way she stayed so close to the door of the 01 apartment on our floor leads me to believe she lived in another apartment in that tier. I hope someone -- not ME -- investigates that. I also hope she is just a plump kitty and wasn't pregnant. I cannot imagine how someone could so cruelly abandon a vulnerable animal. There was no way she could have entered our floor without human intervention. I hope animal control catches the perp!