An old, but definitely not elderly, woman thinking and writing about memories. Since there is no such thing as absolute truth in recalling the past....or is there?...I tell life stories that are almost the truth
I watched her take her first breath. I was the fourth person on earth to hold her in my arms. Every year on her birthday, I thank her mom for having the courage to be a single parent.
When I took her to school, we sang “I heard it through the grapevine” by the California Raisins.
I watched Saved by the Bell with her. She loved Da Whizzer da Boz, even the scene with the monkeys. I showed her the original black and white King Kong. Her first Hitchcock movie was Lifeboat, and she named her cat Tallulah.
She has a soft voice, beautiful long hair, is pure D gorgeous, loves a guy named Dave, and is getting her PhD in something complicated.
She hates cold weather, is a vegetarian who sometimes eats fish.
My friend George was in Hawaii, and had asked me to feed her semi-feral kitty.
Shortly after she left, a series of ice and snowstorms began in St. Louis, bringing killing cold temps with it.
Her cat refused to endure the warmth of her house. He preferred the skimpy shelter provided by a raggedy pile of lumber at the edge of her property.
I would lie awake at night, listening to the wind howl, wondering if the old grey cat would be alive the next morning, and guiltily swearing at George basking away her days on A warm chain of islands in the Pacific.
Then, genius, or perhaps despair, handed me the solution.
I remembered that at the end of her porch was a small cupboard with a plug-in.
I gathered the materials I needed, jumped in my car, and drove to her house. In a near whiteout, with icecicles hanging overhead, I assembled a cat cozy dwelling. A deep basket, a heating pad and a folded pillow sham on top.
The cat was in it almost immediately. Thus he would live, with unfrozen water and food, until his mom returned from paradise, and long after.
I’ll admit that I was overly proud of myself. But I still think I should have gotten a medal in IceSaving
My hair began turning white while I was still in high school. Just a small streak, inherited from my mother. My sister also inherited it.
At age 30, it was too much. I had it professionally dyed until I was in my fifties. At that point, I went au natural, which I discovered was a beautiful silver. My sister never bothered with such frippery, and was silver at 40.
The older of my two brothers began losing his hair, and is now pretty bald. Oddly enough, he got that from mom, too. Her father, ironically a barber, was a bald man. That gene is passed on by the mother to her sons.
My youngest brother has a full head of hair. I’m not sure of the color, because I think he cheats.
As soon as we heard that the New York production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess was coming to the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis, we knew we were going.
There were six of us. Great friends, going out for a fabulous evening.
The Fox had undergone a complete rewrite, down the tiniest detail. So we decked ourselves out, New York style, and headed to the wonderful landmark, were ushered to our seats, and prepared ourselves for an unforgettable night of music and lyrics.
What we got was a Porgy with a vibrato like Bert Lahr, and a cast which had forgotten to enunciate.
At the intermission, our little group huddled in the lobby. My friend Jeff, a singer with a powerful good voice himself asked, “does anyone know when the English language version comes to town?”
That settled it. We departed en masse from the New York City Production before the curtain rose on Act II. The theatre was fabulous, though. You know, for flyover country.
Buster, Shannon, Marcus, Maewest, Lily, and Billie Jean.
Buster, protodawg, brown midsize longtailed mutt, I dragged home on the schoolbus as a second-grader. The nun smiled as she lifted the fat puppy from the box someone had dumped and handed it to me, a wide-eyed seven-year-old.
He could jump any fence, bounding out to mate, fight and come home, bloodied but unbowed. We knew nothing of neutering then. He was loyal only to us, hated the mailman, and lived to be 16 years old.
In another life, I came out of the grocery store to find Shannon cowering under my car. I had cans of cat food in my bag of groceries, and made the rookie mistake of opening a can, which lured the starving dog from underneath the car directly into my heart. As I drove home she crept onto my lap and put her front paws around my neck. I was a mom. She was never, in her 6 years, quite housebroken. I finally learned the cause was bladder stones, and the vet put her down.
I had hardly recovered when a dear friend opened a large cage in her back yard, releasing the hounds! Three gorgeous standard poodle puppies. One of them, a deep brown, curly coated male, made three wide loops around the yard and jumped into my arms. Marcus would be with me for 14 wonderful years, clowning, playing, and guarding me ferociously. He was my first standard poodle, but not my last.
I thought, poodle it is, and adopted a big, blond female named MaeWest. I wanted to love her. But no matter how long I walked her, played outside with her, let her wander around the yard, she came back into my condo and crapped on the hardwood floor. Fortunately, my neighbor upstairs adored her, and even with full crapping disclosure, wanted to have her.
When I married and moved into a house with a fenced yard, I adopted Lily, a gorgeous bi- color standard found at the side of the highway with two pups. We built her a huge kennel in our bedroom. She barked at my husband and hid under my knees. We hired a trainer. One day we left for a few hours. She tore her kennel to pieces and chewed a huge corner off an oriental rug. We took her to the dog park, where she ran like a greyhound, let the puppies maul her, rolled in shit and wouldn’t come when we were ready to leave. We tried some tranquilizing drugs. Finally, we bought a ridiculously priced item called a thundershit, designed to calm frightened dogs. We tried, and tried. For a year. Then, tearfully, We returned her to her previous owner. She was a broken dawg, probably a breeder used only for having puppies. Another owner tried with her for another unsuccessful year. Then put her down.
Next, into my life pranced Billie Jean. She was discovered at the pound. We don’t know why or how she got there. But she’s a pound poodle. Black curly coat, sweetest heart ever, bed hog, English speaking, joyous and (we think) about 12 years old. We’ve had two near-death experiences with her, but she bounces back. It’s impossible not to love her, and when it’s time, I will provide her with a fear-free, peaceful and painless exit.