Gettin’ potted …


Having cats in the house can make raising potted plants a bit challenging.

IMG_0152My cats liked to eat and/or play with house plants. Their favorite targets were peace lilies and violets but any old kind of plant would do in a pinch. They did not, however, mess with ficus, which is why I have two 7-foot-tall beauties, grown from sprouts. Any other kind of plant, though, was fair game.

IMG_0159Both Ollie and Emily passed in the last couple of years. I adored them (even when they were being evil) and miss them terribly.

The house felt kind of empty without them (I’m just not ready for more lovable furry creatures) so I decided to get a peace lily. That led to a finger leaf philodendren, which led to a croton, then a spider plant.

I think it’s beginning to get out of hand 

IMG_0154They’re all here in my home office, keeping me company on the days I work at home—and not making a single mess anywhere.

No more drifts of fuzzy hair under the furniture, no spills around the water bowl, no water bowl. Ah, the joys of no litter box.

On the flip side, there’s also no snuggling or purring or leg rubbing.

Hmmm.

Friendship and passion …


Friendship comes in many forms—family, pets, people we know, and people we used to know. Losing friends is hard but the natural way of things. Friends move away physically, mentally, or emotionally. Friends grow apart. Friends pass away.

I lost two friends this week.

My Siamese cat, Emily, lived with me for 14 years and, yesterday, I had her put down. She had been ill for some time and it was best for her, and for me as well. My house feels so very empty.

This morning, I learned that an old friend from college passed away a few days ago. We were best friends back then and we brought out the best, and sometimes the worst, in each other. We both drifted away over the years. Maybe because I thought she made crazy life choices and I’m pretty sure she thought I was a stick-in-the-mud.

She dated a friend of mine in college. One of the kindest, most honorable people I’ve ever known. She dumped him for another guy. I chalked it up to immaturity. We were still friends but, looking back, maybe that was the beginning of the drift.

After a while, she married the new guy and settled into what seemed to be the perfect life. A few years later, though, she left him. I knew what happened, the event that finally drove them apart, but can remember trying to figure out what was at the heart of what went wrong for them and I couldn’t so I chalked it up to selfishness. We were still friends but drifting further and further away.

A few years later, she reconnected with my friend from college. They got married and had a couple of kids and I was very happy for both of them. He’d won back the girl he loved and she seemed to be at peace with herself and very happy. She adored being a mom. She loved her children and would move the world for them. The marriage, unfortunately, didn’t last. I asked her why she left and she said she needed passion in her life. I chalked that one up to pure stupidity. I just didn’t understand.

A bit later on, she married and had a third child and seemed to finally be really happy. We drifted further apart, however, and over time just lost touch completely. I’d think of her from time to time and wonder whatever happened to her. If they were still together, how her kids were doing, where she ended up living? The usual kind of things we all wonder about old friends that have drifted away.

A few years ago, she found me on Facebook and we reconnected. From her Facebook posts, I learned that she was not well and that her marriage was in trouble. We made plans to get together and, when I visited her, we spent a couple of hours sharing our lives since we’d last talked, some fifteen years earlier. I’m glad that we had that time together. It was the last time I saw her.

Since that visit, though, we kept track of each other on Facebook and that’s how I found out this morning that she had passed. We hadn’t been close friends in many, many years but it still breaks my heart that she’s gone. That her children have lost their mother.

Back when we were close friends, I would tell her ridiculous stories just to hear her laugh. I loved the way she laughed. She was one of the most vibrant, alive people I’ve ever known. She was intelligent, capable, curious, creative, adventurous, free-spirited, exuberant, and she loved her children, always.

She had a passion for life that I will never fully understand but maybe I’m beginning to.

She was full to the brim with passion and I will miss her, always.

Regrets and reprieves


Ever wonder about what might have been?  I don’t very often but in the last few weeks have indulged in a romanticized trip down memory lane.

A friend from college recently mentioned via Facebook that a mutual friend from back then wasn’t doing very well. You see, the mutual friend was tucked way back in a cubbyhole in my brain as “the one that got away.” It’s a really long story and I won’t torture you with the details except to say that I always thought it was my own fault. I’ve carried around regret for years and, from time to time, wondered what might have been—until my friend and I took our conversation offline (yes, people do still have conversations outside of Facebook) and I learned more.

You see, I’ve always believed in fate, that things happen for a reason. Maybe not the things I want, much less the reason I want them, or when for that matter, but there is always a reason. As a result, I’ve pretty much strolled through life going with gut instinct. I learned early on that over-thinking big decisions leads me down the wrong path. Doesn’t matter what the decision is about. Whether it’s to pick up and move across the country or what color car to buy, if I over think it, it does not work out well for me. (I still, to this day, can’t fathom why I bought that gray car. I hated it. I hate gray. Yet, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.)

I digress.

Hearing more about our friend, and how he’s conducted his life, brought an end to my little excursion down memory lane. You see, it turns out that if the “one that got away” hadn’t, I would have gotten what I wanted at the time, but would have regretted it year after year after year. That regretful reality would have been so much worse that my regretful “what might have been” illusion.

Which leads me to reprieve.

From where I sit now, it looks like that fateful day, regretful though it was at the time, was my reprieve from a lifetime of disillusion.

Moving forward

This happy camper’s big decision today is whether to go with dusting first or running the vacuum. H-m-m-m, my gut says read my new book.

😉