Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Cat, The Porch, and Grandma's Home

This is Jabba.
And Max.

They were sitting together on the porch of Grandma's house, when we were in Wisconsin. The fireflies were just beginning to show themselves, and the heat of the day was breaking, a little bit.

That same morning we left Eagle River, the forests, the Hodag, Laura and Gary's sweet hospitality and cabin home.

We've been home for some time now, and it's pleasant recalling the details, and happy days of our summer vacation.

Jabba was Lily's kitty, and now he is Phil's kitty, and on this occasion he was Grandma's kitty guest, passing his stay on Grandma's porch so he wouldn't get his tail caught under feet. Lily had recently shaved him, and he has an interesting face. Max took to him instantly.

Goodness, has it been a year, already? To the day. One year ago when Max brought home his very own birthday kitty, Ferris. Poor, poor Popoki. I know he misses his furry friend.

Grandma's house, the porch, the creek and the swing, the two blocks walk to town... familiar, comfortable, home. Her home is so welcoming... how to describe it? Can I just repeat familiar and comfortable? Then you will know. Geoff played here as long ago as he can remember, and longer than memory. He brought me here at the end of finals, my sophomore year, Christmas. We brought William, when he was four weeks old. There are very few homes, only one other actually, that I have known for so long. Familiar, comfortable, and dear. Very dear.

It's the people, of course. The memories, of the people. Grandma is there, and Phil comes by, Carol, and Tom, their children, and their children. We played, and cooked, and talked. Gabe brought Jordan and Griffin, and we met Evelyn. We invited Paul and his mom. Full, or quiet, Grandma's house is always comfortable, and welcoming. It always has been.

We don't have to be doing any particular thing. We played ping-pong in the basement, walked to the Farmer's Market, we followed the fireflies, and the storm that came that first night. We shared stories, and drew pictures. We ran in the sprinklers, watched Talent shows on the television, and ate zucchini bread.

And we sat on the porch with Jabba the cat. Max and Alex think he is marvelous. I think he looks cranky, but I know his expression belies his sweet temper. I liked hearing Lily, when she scooped him up and smothered him with endearments. Max, and Maria liked to do the same. Jabba got a lot of love that week we spent in Wisconsin.

I am sentimental this morning. I am immersed in memories, and the feeling that cats and children, and porches, fireflies, and summer storms, are gifts that we should enjoy, and recall with thankfulness. Just that. Slow down. Pay attention. Be loving. All that is dear, and sometimes we do not know how dear... all that is dear can be fleeting. I am sentimental this morning, and thinking of these things.

I am thinking of Susan, whose grief, and reflections have touched my heart.


judy in ky said...

Your sentiments resonate with me, Natalie. I love all of those gifts, too.
Susan's post is heartbreaking.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

((Hugs)) Their news has shaken me, and I feel helpless to do anything comforting for them. All I can think to do is to remember to really see the blessings before me. I do not want to *rant* but I do wish people would focus on driving when they are driving... distracted driving-dui driving... I cannot express how seriously maddening those are!

judy in ky said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you, Natalie. I think that driving inattentively deserves a rant. I feel helpless, as I know you do too, at wishing people would be more responsible and mindful.
By the way, I just realized we haven't seen fireflies here this year. Do they hibernate (or the firefly equivalent) when it's too hot?

judy in ky said...

It's me again... I have so much to say to you today. I just wanted to say, I think porch-sitting is wonderful!
(especially with a cat on your lap)

Tina the Lama said...

I feel that this blog is very misleading. Here I sit, needing to express my displeasure with a recent visit to Popeyes Chicken, searching for a chicken blog and this is what I find. The meal was filling but did not please my senses to the poit of satisfaction. The mash potato container was only 1/3 full and I was only allowed 2 half full sauce containers for dipping. The sweet unsweetened sweet tea was very good. The lady taking orders was very pleasant. All in all not a very good trip but I would try again in the next year or two, with less pretense. I don't know what that means but it sounds good. I love cats. BT

Susan said...

Sweet, sweet Natalie...I am touched by the way you chose to honor me in my darkest hours. We are healing a little, but it's a slow process. Much, much love...and I will be around again, when the time is right.