Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It seems like only yesterday...

The other day I went to the local pumpkin farm to take photos of a friends adorable little one year old boy. Chasing him around and getting him to look at the camera with a smile was akin to wildlife photography in the Serengeti. Gazelles seem slow and cumbersome in comparison, but I managed to capture his sweet face at last while my assistant blew bubbles and lured him with harvest colored balloons. When all else failed, we pulled out the lollipop. We had no idea that it was his first one ever and so I was lucky to not only capture that moment but to elevate it from a simple swirly prop to a memorable event!

My assistant was my daughter C,  a ten year old expert in both bubbles and silliness, and perfect for the occasion - not to mention she was willing to work for promises of pumpkins and Sundrop. After the baby photo session ended, we wandered off to take pictures of the sprawling fields scattered with bright orange pumpkins everywhere. We discovered a beautiful quarry with ancient dripping willows and enormous oak trees, and finally found our way to the corn maze. I realized as I tried to keep up with her through the corn stalks how she didn't need me to help her find her way anymore, and likely it was the other way around.

C asked me on the way home what had happened to the pumpkins there, since they used to be so GIANT! I explained to her that she used to be little and they only seemed giant in comparison. Once again, it was a reminder at how quickly my child is growing and how fast time is flying by.  That cliche phrase "it seems like only yesterday..." - well, it's true. It DOES seem like just yesterday that she was the chubby cheeked little toddler I was chasing around the pumpkin patch, begging her not to bite the stems and eat the dirt and food from the petting zoo. Where does the time go?

I realized later it was not just me that had those thoughts.
After C. was tucked in bed and I was settling in myself, she came back downstairs in tears to me, saying how "today was just like the old days and I really miss them!!" I felt sad and happy at the same time. Sad that our times like those were too few these days in our busy life and yet happy and grateful that the day was as special and enjoyable to her as much as it was to me. It was a reminder to make time for more of those special moments while I still can.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Catman Do

Ok, really? I am not a cat person, more of a dog person. That does not mean I am opposed to cats, I don't mind them at all. I just don't have any. I am simply clarifying this fact as my last blog pertained to cats, and I live in fear of being labeled the crazy cat lady, that's all. Somedays I look like one, only minus the cats.

The other day my car started making weird noises, which is never a good thing. In a hurry with no time to spare as always, I quickly detoured into see our local mechanic on my way into town, keenly aware from past visits that my arrival would be greeted with little enthusiasm, and perhaps, even annoyance. I was right. As I stood there waiting to be acknowledged by men under cars, knowing full well they saw me drive in, I began to question my judgement. Yes, I was being a pain in the butt. The alternative, breaking down with a car full of drinks and snacks for the thirsty and hungry tennis team at the high school seemed like a much worse scenario. So, I was forced to "ahem.". Cough. Nothing. Ok, time to kick things up a notch. Not skirt hiking notch or resorting to feminine wiles or anything, (of which I have none), but I did spew the mother of run on sentences that would make an English teacher squirm or a mechanic do anything to make me JUST SHUT UP.  "Hellooooo, excuse me i am sorry to bother you i see you are busy and i know i don't have an appointment but my car is over here and it's making a weird ticky ticky ticky noise but only when i step on the gas or go over 35 but i think it might be oil related because my husband said it was leaking into the space under whatever its called and it smokes when it starts up for only a minute and i need something thicker like maybe 10w30 or was it 40 i don't know but you might  and it's not my car and i really need to get to the school for the kids and as you can see i am far far from a mechanical genius so can you please help me." whew. breathe. wait. hope.

 They had no choice. If they didn't help me, I might keep on talking. So Mr. J came out from under the car begrudgingly, grunted at me to move mine and he said he'd have a look. He was annoyed, that much was obvious, but I was desperate. While I waited for him to analyze my dipstick, I acknowledged a peachy colored skinny cat that was sitting in the sun. She eyed me up and ran and hid under my car. Not good. I tried to get her out, but no luck. Then I spotted another cat, lying in a sideways card board box looking like it was in a picture frame or a pretend tv. I tried to pet it but it was not amused by this, and acting like a typical cat, it dissed and hissed me and ran away. Mr.J looked at me curiously. I shrugged. Then a third cat, a calico, watched me from the distance, as if deciding whether or not to join in with the others, for a round of this toying with the human game they played. He/she/it decided ignoring me was best and resumed the nap position on the hot asphalt.  Mr.J, now seeing that I was paying genuine attention to his cats, started to warm up and almost smiled.

After informing me all was well and filling my oil up, ensuring the tennis team would not go without nourishment because of a breakdown on my part, he turned to me and said "Come on in, meet Princess." 
In his office, a princess indeed lay before me, like true royalty, the Queen of Cats, perched with attitude and laziness upon the filing cabinet. If ever a cat was meant to wear a tiara, this one was it. Then Mr. J smiled, looking somewhat like the Grinch when his heart grew two sizes that day - his heart warming at the mere mention of his cats. His face then shadowed with concern as he spoke of Cathy, the one under my car and told me that she was sick and had been to the doctor that day.  Brightening up,  his eyes twinkled as he talked about the others, all FIFTEEN of them, and I joked how 2 cats will eventually give you 15 at some point.

So, I discovered, this crusty exterior of his was a facade or else one just reserved for annoying women with clicky clicky cars low on oil who come barging in with desperate demands. I'm still not sure, but I think that inside beats a heart of gold with a huge soft spot for his cats. It was adorable. He invited me back to visit them all with my daughter, also a cat lover. So, sometime very soon, C and I will most definitely be back to visit the Cat Man.

(And once again, I came home and drew some cats, lol)
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