Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘children’ Category

CAT STORY #1

 

“You want to know how to wash a cat?” my husband said on the phone. “First you need two people. Don’t try it by yourself.”

 

SILENCE

 

“No, don’t use the whirlpool. Cats don’t like to be immersed in water.”

 

This is all being said very calmly with brevity. Then my husband hangs up.

 

“Who was that?”

 

“Haley,” he said, indicating our ten-year old granddaughter.

 

“Did they get a cat? They already have a dog.”

 

“I don’t know,” Jerry said, “I didn’t ask why she wanted to wash a cat.”

 

Now you see, here’s an example of big difference between men and women. Can you imagine a grandmother not asking right off why her granddaughter wanted to wash a cat? Did a strange cat wander into the yard all dirty or greasy and Haley wanted to help? I did that once. Embarrassing story below.* Did her parents finally agree she could have one?

 

So I catch her father on the phone later.

 

“Did Haley get a cat?”

 

“No, she and her friend started a dog and cat washing business. First they set up a table to sell lemonade and candy. Business was slow. Then a neighbor asked if they wanted to wash her dog for $10. Now they have a ‘business,” as she calls it, and have put $68 in the kitty already.”

 

I could not be prouder. At her age I was selling watermelons out front or seeds door to door. I thought this generation had no interest in such enterprises, but Haley is very proud of her business, as she well should be. I think our country is going to be in good hands down the road.

 

CAT STORY #2

 

Last night my youngest son, Jason, called and said he had a kitten. Is this Raining Cats Week? But the story was an interesting one.

 

Jason’s neighbor was given a loaner truck to drive while his was in the shop yesterday. It had a funny sound, like a cat’s mew, but he drove it all the way to Daytona (from Orlando) and back. The truck was still mewing when neighbors gathered to check it out. Jason could hear the sound was coming from the spare tire well up under the truck, so he dove under there. After three hours of struggle, he came out black and greasy, with a coal black kitten clawing his hands.

 

Someone gave him kitten food and he took the kitten in the house. Now we are looking for a home. If Jason wants to show someone’s future pet in its best light, I know where he can get a superb cat wash.

 

 CAT STORY #3

*Now for the embarrassing cat wash story.

 

A strange cat wandered into our yard many years back. The poor thing was covered in oil or grease and seemed to be pleading to me to help him. I got out soap, turned on the hose and this poor, strange cat let me wash him all over. I hoped the grease poured on him had not been hot and burned his skin. He didn’t seem to be in pain, but I washed gently. The smell was unusual, not like cooking grease, but I couldn’t place it – not until years later. I was sitting in the stands at a tennis match in Hilton Head. Almost everyone there was slathered with Avon Skin so Soft and the scent was overpowering – and familiar. The cat! But why? The same reason adults apply it to themselves some put it on their animals, I was told, to repel insects. OHHHHHHHHHH

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

A Central Florida day-care center is under investigation after a toddler bit a one-year old girl repeatedly. Wonder what fairytales they read those children at the Hansel & Gretel Preschool?

 I know.  Sick humor again.

Read Full Post »

I hope Jerry and I are good grandparents. It surely didn’t start out that way. stjohns3-2-8-032-1.jpgThe first time her parents trusted us alone with our year-old granddaughter we took her to Birds of Prey. It sounded like a good idea at the time. Audubon Birds of Prey in Maitland, FL rescues injured birds and releases them back into the wild when possible.

Haley smiled at the white-faced, barn owl as we entered. That may have been her last smile. We pushed the stroller to the bald eagle cage. There poor, injured, no-longer-majestic eagles loped around an enclosure, some dragging a wing. Haley’s face began to screw into a tortured mask. We quickly turned the stroller toward the cage behind her. On every crooked limb sat an injured vulture. Their bald, blood-red heads popped from fluffy white feathers above their scruffy black bodies. Wings drooped on some, claws or feet were missing on others. The scene we had always looked on with pity we now saw with a toddler’s eyes. Before Haley lay a Tim Burton horror scene of deformed, hissing, grunting vultures. She screamed to the top of her lungs. We calmed her down and cut our trip short, feeling like failures as grandparents. We thought we would be better at it.

Haley is ten years old now and thankfully doesn’t remember our first little foray. Perhaps it had no lasting impact on her little psyche. When we are out in nature now my camera cannot rest in my lap. She shouts incessantly “Ahmaw, take a picture! An anhinga! A gator! An eagle! An osprey!” Is it just possible that we didn’t scar her permanently?

Read Full Post »

Multi-generational epics bore me. Just give me a good read about an important slice in someone’s life and I can be swept away. So I find myself verging on vertigo in my real life. Epics are difficult to avoid when you have lived through a few decades. You can’t say, “No, just highlight this part or that.” The parts string along like toilet paper on your shoe until you find yourself tangled in a true-life multi-generational epic. Well, if not epic then situation.

This is what brought that on. We are planning a few upgrades on the home we have lived in for almost thirty-two years. One son re-roofed for us a few years ago, his friend installed new windows, and another re-habbed the master bath. Our son-in-law (an electrician) upgraded the power box. Strangers installed carpet. How did that happen? Now for a second stage the same friend will tile the other bath, the neighbor kid, now all grown up, will do the plumbing. The son of our son’s best man will do exterior painting.

In that mix of characters are a father fighting for custody of a child, another denying his child until DNA evidence turned him into a real father. That son is being a real father to his new child. A couple of young fathers being fathers with or without marriage, a worker with great promise ending back in jail.

Do you need a scorecard? The point is almost all these very competent workers we knew as children or knew their parents before they were born (except the jailed one). We are aware of many of their most private struggles and successes, many poignant slices of their lives. Those slices now strung together form the ingredients of an epic.

Okay, it’s just a house that needs work and has no other significance. I’ll just curl up with a book of short stories until it is finished. Sometimes I think too much.

Read Full Post »