This afternoon, we had a break from normal November weather. I went outside to mail some postcards and found Andie wielding a shovel, a hole in what passes for our front lawn.
Tata: Whatcha doin’?
Tata: That looks planny. Planful. Plantastic.
Andie: Plantastic. I’m stealing that.
I walked about 40 feet to the mailbox on the corner. When I got back, some planters were empty, some plants had new homes and some soil had relocated to new places. Andie, working in a t-shirt and jeans, twirled that shovel like a like an extra in a Jackie Chan film. I headed toward the basement to avoid friction and rotor wash.
Feeling overwhelmed and under-enthused? Try writing some Postcards To Voters.
Ordinarily, by this time of year, I’ve finished blankets and toys for the cat blanket project and moved on to other projects, but the postcards had hard deadlines, which also kept me from blogging consistently. I crocheted blankets here and there to rest my hands, so there’s more to do. But I’m really close.
The finish line is in sight.
Often, I think I’m not ready for things. I’m not ready for autumn, despite being ready to quit sweating every minute. I’m not ready for Halloween, though I can’t wait to dress up and give candy to kids. I’m sure as hell not ready for Christmas shopping. You can’t make me do it!
Turns out, though, I’m almost always more prepared than I think I am. I’ve brought plants into the house ahead of the cold and dragged out warm clothes. My closet is full of costumes, and candy is at a drugstore four blocks away. At this point, no one has to go to a store and Christmas shopping is on everyone’s phone. No need to stomp my foot and shake my tiny fist at the sky!
Point: until it’s really cold, I hate socks, but the other day, I bicycled to work in ski pants. I’m ready for all kinds of shit. What I am never ready for is the antics of my siblings. This morning:
Anya: Are you missing a black kitty?
Me: What? I’m starting to panic. What are you talking about?
Anya: Last night we found a little cat wandering around. We took it in. It’s small and black but it’s a dude. We’re hoping to find the family that owns him because we can’t keep him.
Me: Okay, whew! You found a little guy.
Anya: He’s fed, healthy, very much a people cat. Liked to be cuddled, doesn’t mind being picked up. He has humans. We stood and watched him for a while. He kept meowing and followed us and ran into the street here and there. I couldn’t leave him outside.
Me: Facebook is your friend. Ask people to describe their missing cat.
We refer to my sister Anya as the Deputy Mayor. She does not actually hold any office but when Anya leaves for a weekend, the entire town has to find someone else to confide in, depend on and gossip to. That’s a lot of prepositions for one tiny town. Anyway, if anyone can find the tiny dude cat’s people, it is Anya. In the meantime, my bet is that if the cat’s people don’t turn up, that cat will still be the luckiest cat in a town of lucky cats.
You may or may not recall that I’ve worked for the unnamed university a really long time. Tomorrow, that really long time becomes 33 years. In an intriguing coincidence, last week there was a meeting in which my department was reorganized and suddenly I didn’t work for Gianna after 21 years. I’m not a crying-in-the-meeting kind of woman, but this was fucking rough.
Welp, funny thing: for about five years, I was bored and asking to learn about particular things, and Gianna granted my requests. Oddly enough, when the department was divided in thirds, I ended up in a purchasing group because I understood how certain kinds of orders functioned. Although I’m like 900 years old, I am actually a toddler in cool shoes, and my being there is practically child labor, so it’s startling anyone lets me play with money.
Note: I do not play with money. I’m too pretty for prison.
This is all to say that though my life with Pete is reasonably stable and happy, the rest of my life is in flux. My mentally ill mother has turned into a racist granny who isn’t sure I should have access to her family’s genealogy information because her paranoia hasn’t reckoned on publicly held information being on Ancestry.com. My father-in-law hasn’t spent much time with Pete and me because his cancer treatment has made the long drives between our houses difficult. It’s just about time to harvest the last of the summer vegetables from the garden and empty most of the small planters and boxes. Even without the influence of political events, I can feel change coming.
I’m having a Be careful what you wish for moment, since I got that, but the finance people also got me. I wonder what they wished for. Was it a co-worker who shows up in pajamas and makes them go outdoors even when it’s raining? Because they are about to get that.