There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief. . . and unspeakable love.

Washington Irving

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We met her nineteen years ago, the runt of the litter, with giant ears and ever so much fluff. Smitten, we were, and instantly. Loving and cuddly one moment, wild and willful the next, she brought us much joy and many surprises. Like the time she caught a tiny mouse and held it in her mouth, without so much as a scratch of harm.

Her fur was silky and I could never get enough of its sweet scent, while constantly marveling at the wild riot of curls on her belly and the shock of fur protruding from between her toes. She meowed often, kindly and fiercely, depending on her mood, and purred even more.

She was our Paris, Birdie, Buttercup, Princess, Sassafras, Fluff and Stuff, our Favorite Girl.

She had gotten old, and it was more obvious with every passing day, the usual ailments of frailty, faulty vision, intermittent hearing (or maybe not, she was crafty like that), and others, too, more painful and not worthy of describing. So we decided it was time. Yesterday would be her final hurrah.

She ate well, with treats and tuna and an extra helping of dinner. She wandered the yard, purring, always purring, eyes closed to the sun and catching a multitude of scents on the breeze, before gazing at the birds and squirrels as they flitted and hopped. She dozed in her favorite spots and cuddled on my lap while I read. When the hubster came home, she curled up in her favorite basket and dozed some more before resting on each of our laps.

And then, this morning, my last picture with her. She smelled so good and meowed and chirped like no other kitty I’ve known. A quick needle prick by the deft hands of Deborah Rotman, a most compassionate and caring vet, and she fell quickly to sleep. I kissed her and held her again before the final dose was delivered. I cried.

I am crying now.

Bye, bye Birdie. I will always love you.


One Minute

Good advice:

For one minute, please, stand here in silence, look at the sky, and contemplate how awesome life is.

At Home

When the hubster and I were traveling this summer, and any time, really, over the last few years, we have felt at home. We arrive, despite perhaps being travel weary and discombobulated from hours of flight or driving, and are at peace. We are here. This wondrous place is for us. For now, for however long we stay. Whether it be new or a comfortable, oft-visited destination, there is an air of the familiar. A warmth that embraces us, no matter the weather nor the language or custom of the inhabitants.

I think that is why we aren’t afraid to part from Portland. Though we will miss this skyline, and these most fabulous friends, Pittsburgh is already home. There is a well worn path to the supermarket stamped with our names. It meanders along a tree-lined road. We wave at our neighbors and friends, maybe stop to chat. The hubster pets every cat along the way.

It is all we have ever known.

Happy 46th Wedding Anniversary to my Parents!


B I G News…

Fun times at the Aladdin Theater this past Wednesday! We attended the taping of Wits!, a public radio show, if you aren’t in the know. To be honest, we didn’t know much about it, but when Reggie Watts AND Jim Gaffigan occur on the same billing, you betcha we’re going to buy tickets. Hilarity, ingenuity, silliness, and some mighty fine tunes from Thao Nguyen ensued.

The timing really could not have been better, either. The hubster and I had been working ourselves ragged, the reason why you haven’t seen much of me here. Six weeks of cleaning, pruning, polishing, purging, painting, all in preparation to sell our house and move to Pittsburgh. W h a t ? ! I know. I waxed poetic about Oregon being home in July! Well, what can I say? A mind changes.

Our house has felt big lately, and we began pondering a smaller one. We looked around town and didn’t like what we saw. Then we wondered about other places and how much we want to really know America and how difficult it is to visit the unknown places from three thousand miles away. Click, whir. Click, whir, our collective brain (after twenty three years together, we DO have one) searching and searching. It stopped on Pittsburgh, another city of hills, rivers, and bridges. A day’s drive to New York City, Montreal, Providence, Boston, Chicago, Louisville, Burlington, Memphis, Charleston…

So here we are, nearly not Oregonians any longer. Jubilant to start a new chapter in a great, and very Portland-like, city! Melancholy to leave such marvelous people and a home we truly love. Our wonderful home, which pretty much sold on the first day we showed it, with buyers to spare. It was a fine bit of recognition for our labor and incredibly sad to disappoint such kindly people.

Now we play the waiting game. Hoping nothing major is wrong with the house, radon tests and inspections, nerve racking and not much sleep. Send us your kindest thoughts, a prayer or two, won’t you please?

Now, a taste of what we will miss.

Wacky Oregonians!

Walking to the Slingshot

and the Albina Press

and every neighborhood gem we pass along the way…

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