The wind is whipping over the mountain, and the oaks are ducking as much as a tree can duck. Sheets of rain are cascading down. It is dark now. My cat Calvin was not at all pleased to take a walk on his leash today, although he managed to chew some fresh green grass that has sprouted over the past few weeks on the way back. The hills are shimmering again. The command of “wait, I have to wipe your feet” he hears from his caretaker before entering the door is completely ignored in the rush to evade the rain, so I have to grab him before those little footprints get everywhere. It’s like having a kid, although probably not too many kids stop on a walk to chew grass.
I had to mail a package today and the frenetic pace on the roads does not exemplify what the Christmas season should be about, so I was glad to get back home. I had to think again how much more pleasant the driving in Oregon is when I visit part of my family than here in the Bay Area. Yet even here it could be so simple if everyone did their part to contribute to civility.
The highlight of my evenings the past few weeks has been to light the Advent candles before going to bed and to listen to Christmas hymns. Thank you God for the peace that comes. Often my cat will come and sit on my knee, silently watching the candles too.
I have decorated some of the vegetation outside with simple strings of white lights and they lend such a glow to the dark evenings. I am rather happy to say that Calvin has learned the words “Christmas lights” – I have a very, very smart cat.
Have a blessed Advent season as we wait for the coming of Christ.
Well, here I am, another year older. Five, if you must know (for those who were not at my birthday party, or to whom I forgot to mail an invitation). In case you were wondering, I did not invite any of my species in the new (one hopes temporary) neighborhood to my party. So far since residing here, I have seen two: the first one is an unruly Calico brute that has tried to pick a fight with me on more than one occasion. He is three times my size, leaving me no choice but to hide under a shed (as I’m clearly outmatched), when I am forced to go “play” outside by my caretaker. My caretaker has heard a neighbor refer to him as a junkyard cat, an apt description if I may say so. Luckily he hardly comes around now, as my caretaker has yelled at him numerous times — and this I note with great satisfaction — has turned the garden hose on him once successfully. It seems to be a deterrent that is working for the most part, only sporadic appearances on the part of the brute may be seen in the distance now and then. The other of my species I saw from the bedroom window sill one night, while I was overlooking the back alley, surveying the goings-on. This one was an unkempt individual of shaggy black and white appearance, that mistook the bird bath for his personal drinking fountain. I am none too eager to encounter that one up close either, from what I have observed.
Now to the matter of my fifth birthday: notice the indignity of what I was forced to wear for my birthday party for the amusement of my caretaker, who calls himself an author and photographer. A nice party hat — I was told — a crass cultural stereotype in my opinion if I may impart my perspective on the matter. Playing along with this nonsense, I at least expected perhaps some fish or maybe even some chicken tacos as due compensation, but fat chance in that regard. I did however get a can of delicious tuna fish (in water – for those who must know), to my caretakers credit. How on earth I was expected to blow out the candle is beyond my comprehension though — luckily my caretaker saw to that particular aspect, once the ridiculous singing was over. One dreads what is in store for me next year.
As I think about the day today, evening has slowly come. The full moon is rising in the east, peeking through some branches in the distance. The sun which has now set, was low on the horizon today as I took an afternoon walk, half closing my eyes while walking, marveling at it’s warmth in late December — a real treat after the cold spell last week. Church was sparsely attended this morning — I guess a sign of the times, as people forget, or don’t know the real reason for the season, the birth of God’s son. I am grateful I could attend. As Jesus said, “where two or three are gathered in my name”. After a busy week, with the joy of seeing both my sons briefly and enjoying their culinary skills, it was a quiet Sunday today in comparison. I had to chuckle as I sat in my chair for a cup of tea, having lit the third Advent candle, as my cat Calvin, the little doofus, decided to chase a pistachio across the floor at full speed oblivious to the peace of the candles.
Have a blessed week