Cat Tales from Kitty Thach

Saying Hello.  Saying Goodbye.

Kathleen Thach -- April 2016

 

I said “good-bye” to Gracie about a month ago.

Saying “hello” had been much easier.

It was in April of 2003, a year of saying good-bye to my counseling practice in High Point and opening up an office in Kernersville.  A home office.  Getting the news that the High Point office was closing wasn’t fun.  I’d been there for twelve years, and even though I was well-educated and well-credentialed, I wasn’t keen on “starting over” in the search for a new place to practice my skills.

I’d said good-bye to associates throughout those twelve years, and said hello to new associates.  My nature is such that I warm up to people rather quickly and people tend to do the same in my direction.

After having interviewed with an Agency in High Point and asking a former associate for a reference, I was asked to consider working for the associate in her private practice.  I’m glad I did. 

So for the last twelve years, I’ve practiced Counseling in Thomasville and in my home office here in Kernersville.

As I was preparing to begin counseling here at home, I said my first “hello” to a little kitten I named Gracie.

It was dusk as I was completing my daily walk.  At first I thought I was seeing a baby owl on the white fence post.  As I got closer, I realized it was a kitten, barely old enough to have opened its eyes to the world.

I ran my index finger down the tiny spine.  I picked her up and carried her home.  The next day I took her to the Veterinary office and had her checked out.  She was healthy and she was mine, and I named her Gracie.

Through the years, I reminded her that she was NOT Princess Grace.  She was a little cat who “had been lost and now was found”.  By ME.  Her “putting on airs” of royalty continued nonetheless.

Initially, I carried Gracie with me wherever I went, and she followed me wherever I went.  As I brushed my teeth, she sat by the sink.  As I did the morning vacuuming, she travelled in my robe pocket. 

She became my therapy cat. 

The first client to see me here in my home instead of the office in High Point came in and sat down.  My transitional chatter included, “I hope you don’t mind a kitten.”  The immediate response was, “A kitten?”  The client immediately looked down at the carpet, scooped up Gracie and held her throughout the session.

Immediately after the session, the scenario was repeated as another former High Point client came into my office.

“A kitten?”  And Gracie was held and petted for another hour by another client.

When Gracie was a few months old, she travelled with me and my seven-year-old grandson to Pennsylvania.  Luke attended to Gracie during the seven hour drive.  We stayed at my sister’s house, and Gracie enjoyed meeting feline cousins as we visited family.  We visited a cat-loving aunt, and Gracie met those feline cousins.

Gracie became close friends with my cat Tuxedo, too.  They napped together much of the time, and when it came time to say the final “good-bye” to Tuxedo, Gracie seemed to be lost again.  She never bonded with the other cats who joined our family.

Gracie became very vocal.  She was my “talker”. “Meow.  Me AH.  Mew.”  She showed up for therapy sessions from time to time, but her purpose was to get my attention.  Her routine was to jump up on to a desk-like wall unit, walk over to my chair and wait for me to take the clipboard off my lap so she could jump into it.  She would do a circle or two before settling into my lap.  Once there, she enjoyed being petted.  If I stopped, the meowing would begin.

Gracie had the appearance of a Maine Coon cat.  Long-haired.  Multi-colored tabby.  She enjoyed being brushed, on her terms of course.  She didn’t walk.  She sashayed. 

Gracie also had her favorite sleeping place.  On my hip.  She got used to my movements and learned how to wait out the storm on restless nights.

I miss all of those times.  I miss hearing friends and family and clients call out, “Where’s Gracie?”

Elvis, Danny Boy, Herbie and Phoebe miss her, too. 

Yes, saying “hello” is so much easier than saying “good-bye”.


Cats aren’t God.  And neither am I.

Kathleen Thach -- February 2016
 

My cat family includes Gracie (13); Phoebe (9); Elvis (5); Danny Boy (4); and Herbie (2).  Those ages are estimates, since they just showed up, and the veterinarian guessed their ages when I brought them in for their initial visits.

Sometimes, as I’m working at my computer, I’ll hear meows or other cat sounds and call over my shoulder, “Who is it?   What’s wrong?  What do you want?”

I pretty much know which cat is making which sound, who is the aggressor and who is the intended victim.  I know my cats.  I know each one’s meow.  I know each one’s presence when I’m awakened by a cat jumping into bed during the night.  I know where each one positions himself/herself on the bed.

My motivation, I suppose, in loudly asking the Who and What questions is that I hope my voice will distract them from their tiffs with one another.  It rarely works, but I like to think I have that power.

I’m fascinated by the differences among my five felines.   Each is unique, and yet each is a cat.  When I view cat videos on Facebook, it’s as though I’m seeing my own cats.  Their antics are so much alike.

I’m also fascinated by human differences and similarities.  I’m awed by just how many of us there are in this world currently and how many have gone before.  It’s mind boggling.

During my growing up years and while raising my family, I attended a little white church in the little village of Steelstown, Pennsylvania:  St. John’s Evangelical Congregational Church.  One of our weekly programs was the Wednesday night prayer meeting.  We knelt for prayer, and many prayed aloud, all at the same time.  As I remember those prayer meetings, there’s a sacredness about the sound of many voices rising in prayer to God.  It started out as a moderately loud chorus and then became more subdued as one by one a petitioner came to the end of his/her prayer.  Then only one petitioner remained and closed out the prayer.

I wondered how God was able to give attention to each prayer when so many prayers were being prayed at once.

Do you ever wonder how God can possibly hear you when you call out to Him?  Do you question whether or not He even knows you’re around.  Do you feel lost in the multitude?

Do you question others who seem confident of His presence, those who know He hears them and they “hear His voice”?

As a mere mortal, I don’t always distinguish faces or voices.  I often say, “You look familiar.  Tell me your name again?”  Or I may say, “That voice is so familiar, but I can’t place it.”

Not so with God.  He knows us intimately and immediately.  Each hair on our heads is numbered.  He knows our thoughts before we think them.  He hears our cries, knows our deep heartache.  He knows our joys as well.  He puts desires in our hearts and brings them to pass.

The closest I can come to understanding how God can possibly personally hear each one of us and call us by name is to remember my relationship with my children and grandchildren.   And my cats.

Hearing the voice of God may be a mystery to some who do not have an intimate relationship with him, but Jesus said His sheep know His voice and come when He calls.

My cats know my voice and come when I call.     

Ok.  Strike that.  My cats know my voice.  That’s true.  SOMETIMES my cats come when I call.  At mealtimes, they come when I call.  When I ask if they want to go outside, they come when I call.

I hate to admit it, but my cats only see me as worthy of obedience when it’s to their advantage to “listen”.  Umm.  I’m starting to feel a bit convicted.  This “kitty” is just a bit too cat-like.


Another New Year

Kathleen Thach -- January 2016

 
 

Day 2

Crackling fire

Curious cats

Furry Socks

Visions of coffee

And pancakes

And friends

Soon to come.

How was your Christmas?

How was your New Year?

What did you do?

Any resolutions?

 

Day 3

No crackling fire

Stubborn wood

Cup of tea

Sneezing

Three in a row

Tissues running low

Gotta go

To the Store

Bank account low

Freeze on spending

It will work out, though.

 

Day 10

Quiet

Calm

Peace

Joy

Hope

 

“As your days . . . so shall your strength be.” 

Deuteronomy 33:25


God’s Great Gift

Kathleen Thach -- December 2015

 

We’re right in the final stretch of preparation for Christmas.  For some, it’s great excitement, joy and anticipation.  For others?   Well, not so much.   The “Reason for the Season” gets lost for so many as the pressures of keeping up with tradition and expectations takes over.

In preparation for teaching Paul’s book to Roman believers, I’ve been using the expositional commentary by James Montgomery Boice, the late, well-known pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.  I came across something so inspirational that I want to share it with you as December’s Cat Tale. The author/arranger of the following is unknown, but Dr. Boice included it in his section on God’s Love Commended (Romans 5-8):

God                                            the greatest            lover

So loved                                     the greatest            degree

The world                                  the greatest            company

That he gave                              the greatest            act

His only begotten Son               the greatest            gift

That whosoever                         the greatest            opportunity

Believeth                                    the greatest            simplicity

In him                                         the greatest            attraction

Should not perish                      the greatest            promise

But                                              the greatest            difference

Have                                           the greatest            certainty

Everlasting life                          the greatest            possession

 

                                           Please accept the Gift!

 

A Morning Walk

Kathleen Thach -- November 2015

 

 

Lord, I pray for all the people

Who live in these houses along my path.

Bless them with safety and health today.

Father, there’s light in that house. 

Bless those who are getting out of bed and beginning their day.

Bless those who are still asleep.

Father, that’s a beautiful house, far grander than those around it.

Bless those who live there, may their souls prosper.

Father, there are many people in debt.

Many people are stressed with house payments.

Many people can’t enjoy living in their nice homes.

Help them.

Open their eyes to spiritual riches,

Riches far greater than physical dwelling places.

Lord, look!

Something shiny.

I’m attracted to shiny things.

Maybe it’s a coin.

An earring?

No, just a thin, round, jagged-edged something else.

But it IS shiny.

You reminded me again, didn’t you, Lord!

All that glitters is not gold.

Just a distraction.

A slow-me-down distraction.

A “now-where-was I” distraction.

I’m easily distracted, Lord.

Oh, Lord!

Thank you for getting me out of bed, dressed and out the door this morning.

I didn’t want to leave my warm, cozy bed and my cats.

I’m so glad I did.

I would have missed that beautiful sky

And that sliver of silver moon and that bright star above it.

What a beautiful sky!

Almost sunrise.

Dear Lord, I don’t want to miss another sunrise or sunset.

I’ve missed too many.


Prompt:  Moment of Awareness

Kathleen Thach -- October 2015

 

Summer has gone by much too quickly for me.   I’ve enjoyed several mini-get-a-ways and weekend stay-cations.  One of the highlights of my summer “renewal’ was the John C. Campbell Folk School experience.  I participated in a Writing Class (“Identity through Place”) facilitated by Elizabeth Gentry.  We received many “prompts” and were encouraged to polish one of our writings from one of these prompts.  Hope you enjoy mine as this month’s Cat Tale.

 

Wisdom

Forty something grad student.

Green.  Lacking experience.

Sixty something supervisor.

Mature.  Full of experience.

 

They meet regularly.

She questions.  He answers.

They role play.

He questions.  She answers.

 

She tries to be like him with clients.

She can only be herself with clients.

 

“I don’t want to be naïve,” she says.

“Naïve simply means you don’t know,” he responds.

“I know,” she says.

 But she doesn’t.

 

Time goes by.

“I don’t know enough.  Is there a book?”  She asks.

“You could write the book,” he counters.

“I know,” she says.

 But she doesn’t.

 

Time goes by.

She asks questions.

One day he doesn’t have an answer.

“Let me think about that,” he suggests.

He strokes his chin.

Silence.  She waits.

SilenceHe thinks.

 

“That’s a really good question, and I don’t know the answer,” he says after what seems like forever. “Maybe we can talk about it again next time.”

She feels a great wave of relief sweep over her.

The wisest on earth need time to think.

It’s okay not to know everything on the spot.  It’s okay not to know everything ever.

No one does.  No one can.

“Sure.  That would be good.  We’ll talk about it next time,” she agrees.

 

And she knows. 

She really does know.

 

Kathleen L. Thach.  September 2015.  John C. Campbell Folk School.  Identity through Place.


Sorting Things Out

Kathleen Thach -- September 2015

 

Even though I love the change of seasons, I feel some sadness in leaving summer behind.  That reluctant sadness gave way to spontaneous joy as I walked by the Lake.  Fall indeed seemed to be in the air.  Friday night’s thunderstorm with its rain, wind and hail had cleaned out trees and bushes.  Leaves were falling.  The water level was high.

Later, in my back yard, I pulled weeds and pruned small trees and shrubs.  I envisioned a beautiful spring garden where weeds had once been.

Still later, in my home, I cleaned out drawers and cupboards and weeded out clutter.  I envisioned being able to find things when I needed or wanted them. 

Throughout my “day off”, the cats participated in the late summer cleaning.  More than once I was startled by a cat hiding out in a cupboard I had just emptied.  More than once a cat decided the item I dropped was a pretend mouse to be chased.  I could hear my son’s defense-imitation of the cat in question.  “I like being helpful.”

I found treasures I had forgotten I had, and I wondered why I hadn’t been using them.  I found junk I had forgotten I had, and I wondered why I’d kept it all these years.

I was about to toss out a piece of paper when I noticed it was a poem.  I think you’ll enjoy it.  It has me thinking about doing some heart-cleaning.

 

I Know Something Good about You

Wouldn’t this world be better?

If folks whom we meet would say

“I know something good about you,”

And treat you just that way?

 

Wouldn’t it be splendid,

If each handshake, good and true,

Carried with it this assurance;

“I know something good about you?”

 

Wouldn’t life be happier,

If the good that’s in us all

Were the only thing about us,

That people would recall?

 

Wouldn’t our days be sweeter,

If we praised the good we see;

For there is a lot of goodness,

In the worst of you and me?

 

Wouldn’t it be fine to practice

This way of thinking too;

You know something good about me,

I know something good about you?

 

Anonymous

 

Herb Garden Visitor to Resident

Kathleen Thach -- August 2015

 

It was a Friday afternoon in July that I first spotted a white cat running through the side yard.  A few hours later that day, to my surprise and delight, I spotted the white cat in my Herb Garden curled up in my empty bird bath.  He looked “placed” there, as though part of a Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot.

Spotting a “stray cat” can evoke all kinds of emotion in me, from joy to despair and a whole gamut in between.  You see, I have many experiences of cats just showing up.  I’ve called Animal Control on more than one occasion about twenty years ago when momma cats and babies kept showing up.  I also have taken on the responsibility of finding homes for momma cats and babies.  Fortunately, in recent years, I have not had those experiences, but I have had the experience of being ready to adopt a stray cat only to learn she had feline leukemia.  I had to make a tough decision on what to do with Emmie, as I named her in anticipation of “the adoption”.

So when the white cat showed up, I wanted to welcome him and nurture him and care for him and make him mine.  And I didn’t want to welcome him and nurture him and care for him and make him mine.  Red flags were waving all around me.  You have four healthy cats.   He’ll go away if you ignore him.  Someone else will take him in.  He’ll go back home.  Someone will come looking for him.  He may be sick. 

But the white cat didn’t go away.  So the next day I gave him water.  The day after that I gave him food.  I looked for the white cat every morning when I awoke.  I fed him and sat by his side as he ate.  He allowed me to hold him and pet him.  He purred and talked.  And I found myself de-stressing in the process.

My cats seemed to look for him as well.  They kept a safe distance, but seemed to enjoy the white cat from safe distances.  And the white cat seemed to respect that he was the visitor.  When Danny Boy or Elvis moved toward him too quickly, the white cat would lie down and gave off no signs of fear or ferocity.

Then a week to the day, the white cat disappeared at noon. 

I missed him.  I called for him as darkness settled in.  No white cat.

Then, early Saturday morning, I opened the back door and scanned the back yard and the white cat came running to me.

I took the white cat to the Vet that Wednesday.

I had been searching for just the right name for the white cat.  At first I thought he was she and had picked out Lily as an appropriate name since there are flowers and herbs mingled together in my garden.  But, having discovered that the white cat was male, I considered other names and settled on Herbie, although I like to pronounce it ‘erbie’, since I grew up pronouncing herbs erbs and not herbs.   When I do call him Herbie, I think of him as Herbie the Love Bug.  And I still frequently call him the white cat.

The veterinarian marveled at how beautiful Herbie was and that he had already been neutered.   She estimated that he was about two years old.  He had no chip.  Two different people checked to be sure.

A few days before taking him to the veterinarian, I had brought him into the house, and he had adapted without any hesitation.  He obviously had been a house cat used to other animals.

The veterinarian said “it was meant to be’ that he came to me.  I wanted to believe that, too.

Then a week later I was back in the veterinary office with Herbie.  He had a wound on his back that had gone unnoticed.  I had discovered a rough area along his back as I was brushing his angora-like fur.  The veterinarian said it could have been from a Warble Fly or from a puncture wound. 

So I brought Herbie back home with a shaved square on his back and an open, but thoroughly cleaned, wound.  As he lay on the coffee table, I petted him and looked him in the eye and said, “Herbie, you are worth the $94.00.  Every bit of it.  I don’t resent it a bit.”  I was surprised at how sincerely I meant every word.

But things haven’t remained calm in the cat world here on Lake Drive. 

From the time I brought Herbie home from the veterinary office, Danny Boy has made it his mission to chase Herbie whenever Herbie is in motion.  And Herbie is more active.  A day after Herbie’s “surgery”, Danny Boy chased Herbie down the hallway.  I pursued as I scolded Danny Boy and tried to squirt him with a water bottle.  I’d read somewhere that squirting was better than smacking.  By the time I reached Danny Boy, he was shaking his head and trying to get white fur out of his mouth.

Once I knew Herbie was unscathed, I had to laugh.

For the most part, Herbie and the rest of the cats are a happy cat family.  Each is learning about healthy boundary-observation.  Herbie continues to make himself at home, but he scans the surroundings before he moves about.  He attempts to play with the other cats from his coffee table perch.  He extends a paw and takes a swat at Elvis as Elvis chases the laser beam.  He and Elvis have enjoyed crazy cat nip times around the scratching post. 

Last night Danny Boy began an out-door chase with Herbie.  Herbie is about two years younger than Danny Boy and about twice his size, so it was quite a chase.  It began in the back yard.   Danny Boy chased Herbie around the perimeter of the back yard, across the driveway and into the front yard.  He almost caught Herbie several times, but the chase ended when Herbie decided simply to lie down and rest.   

I marvel at the blessing of Herbie.

Having five cats instead of four has changed things for me as well as for the “cat siblings”.  I now spend time interacting with them each morning.  Despite the stress of the added cost and the cat skirmishes, Herbie has facilitated de-stressing.  After the morning feeding, Danny Boy and Elvis now sit by my chair, waiting for family time.  Herbie perches on the glass-topped coffee table, ready to watch the “games”.  Danny Boy loves to jump high into the air as I wave the wand with the fake mouse and bird feathers.  He loves to catch it and attack it with all four feet and his mouth.  He loves to offer resistance as I try to get the want back in my control.  And Herbie loves to watch it all.

Elvis loves to attack the red moving dot of the laser.  And I’m thrilled that Elvis is getting exercise.  He’s become quite obese and is supposed to be eating his weight loss cat food.  I have to supervise feeding times, since he likes to steal the other cats’ food.

Herbie has fallen off the coffee table a few times as he tried to get in on the action without leaving the security of the table. 

Gracie watches and talks.  She gets up on the chair with me and meows until I pet her.  When I stop petting, she meows and looks at me intently.   At times, she joins in the play.

Phoebe has her own unique routine.   She eats, walks around a room divider by the front door and waits patiently for me to open the door and let her out.  She walks behind the room divider for safety reasons.  She, too, has been a moving target for chasing by Danny Boy and Elvis, but she is small enough that she can fit under the Larkin Desk in the foyer, and she can hide behind the divider until I open the door.  Herbie is a BIG cat, and he can’t fit into small spaces.

I marvel at how so many blessings in my life once appeared as burdensome intrusions.

Herbie is just the most recent.


A June Staycation

(Part II)

Kathleen Thach -- July 2015

 

I sit at my deck table strewn with notebooks, my Bible, commentaries, devotional books, pens and markers and reading glasses.

As I sit here, stroking Elvis, I am reminded that some things can’t be hurried.

It’s been nearly three hours since my Sunday morning respite began with a walk by the Lake.

My experience—my journey—has had so many elements.  None of which could be hurried if to be truly experienced.

The whole experience could not have been orchestrated, managed, or directed to fit into fifteen minutes or even an hour.

Time is required.

Unhurried time.

No agenda.

No schedule.

No shoulds or oughts or musts.

Elvis is now off on another aspect of his Sunday Morning adventure.

I’m into my reading element of the morning.  I finish up with my commentary on Romans.

Now my topic of interest is the Kingdom of God.

“Did the Kingdom come?”
“It has come and it is yet to come.  It is here and it is tomorrow.  It is now and it is future.”

I continue reading and marking in my Israel, The Church and the Last Days by Asher (Keitl) Intrater and Dan Justen).

I pause and reflect on my Christian journey.  I’ve been a member of several different denominations over the last sixty years.  (Yes, I’m THAT old.)  I just “happened” into churches as a child, because I was taken there by parents and/or grandparents.

I recall those days as a young adult in the 1960s when I devoured study guides and concordances and Jamieson, Fausset and Brown’s commentary.  I wanted to know what was true.  Churches disagreed on doctrine. 

I’ve come to realize that I’ve been enriched by that fact.  The fact that churches disagree on doctrine.  If led me to studying on my own.

I’ve discovered that if I rely strictly on what I get in church (any church) for my spiritual sustenance, I’m going to be spiritually anemic.  It doesn’t matter where or how often I go to church.

I often hear people say, “I believe in God.  I just don’t go to church.”  And I think immediately of the Hebrews passage cautioning us to “not forsake the assembling of yourselves together with believers”.  And I think of other admonitions about being community and having fellowship and doing service.  And I know it’s true.

Then, at the other spectrum, there are those who answer the question “Are you a Christian?” with “I go to church.”

I’ve heard variations of both spectrums in my counseling offices, and I quickly say, “When I asked about the faith dimension in your life, I wasn’t talking about church.”

Don’t get me wrong.

I believe in Church.  Capital C.

I believe in the invisible body of Christ.

I believe in the church.  Lower case c.

I believe in the fellowship of believers I can see and the bond that unites me with believers around the world whom I’ve never seen and will never see in my lifetime.

Yet, in my experience, church with a lower case c hasn’t been enough.

There are needs in me that won’t be satisfied with pot luck suppers and chit chat.

 

There are needs in me that won’t be satisfied with an hour or two or three of being in a church building each week.

There are needs in me that won’t be satisfied with liturgy and creed and propriety.  There are needs in me that won’t be satisfied with lack of liturgy and creed and propriety.

There are needs in me that won’t be satisfied with “playing church.”

When my children were small, my older son liked to play church.  He was the preacher.  He enlisted me to be the pianist and his younger sister to be an usher. It was almost like “real” church.

The basic elements were there.  Sermon.  Music.  Offering.

There are needs in me that only intimacy with Jesus Christ can satisfy.  Such intimacy comes from spending time alone with Him, time when all other voices are quiet.  Time when I put down the books and pens and markers and listen for His still small voice inside.  Time when I stop my incessant “worry prayers” and listen to His “Be still and know that I am God.”

 

Another day of retreat and solitude and worship right here at home.

A taste of retirement.  A foretaste of Heaven.

 
 

 

A June Staycation

(Part I)

Kathleen Thach -- July 2015

Saturday

I love vacations right here at home.  There isn’t the stress of getting the car serviced, and arranging cat care, and packing.  Vacation is right here at home.  There is a catch, however.  I need to schedule a staycation and put a boundary around it.  Otherwise, it won’t happen—unless burn out lays me low.  Blame it on my personality type, if you will, but I just keep on going and going and going until I can’t go anymore.

I didn’t have the usual Saturday morning get together breakfast and Bible study this particular weekend.  I had expected overnight guests, but then discovered they wouldn’t be coming until next weekend.  I’m glad I got the weekends mixed up.  I so much needed a break from the routine.  I didn’t realize until it “hit” that burn out was barreling toward me. 

I had talked and written about how I needed to slow down, to stream line my schedule, to take some time off, but never got past the “acknowledgement” stage.

So after shopping at the local Farmer’s Market, I spent Saturday morning on the deck.  I ate my breakfast, read my bible and devotional books, took notes, journalled, soaked up the sun, relaxed and slept.

 

Sunday

I walked by the Lake before sunrise.  Early mornings by the Lake are so peaceful.

A large oak tree had been uprooted since I last walked there.  The root ball was incredibly large.  I stood by the tree for a long time, thinking of the tree, its massive trunk and seemingly healthy branches and leaves.  I wondered what it was that toppled that tree.  Was it a storm?  Stress?

As I headed back toward the small fishing pier, I noticed the large orange koi I’d seen in the Lake years before.  I wondered if the white one was still in the Lake.

Within a matter of minutes, as I stood and watched the nearly two foot long gold fish, I noticed a smaller one swimming by the big one’s side.  Then at almost the same time, I noticed an even smaller, more slender one with black bands.

I watched the three graceful swimmers for a long time.  Then I was surprised to see the white one close to the shore where I was standing.  I glanced about, taking in the larger view of the Lake, and then looked back to where the three gold fish had been enjoying their quiet morning.  They were gone, and I was about to continue my walk when I noticed they had joined the white one.    And there was another orange one, too.  To my amazement and delight, there were now five fish close to shore.

I walked along the other side of the Lake.  I passed by and through the geese and mallards waiting to be fed by residents along the Lake.  I smiled as I noted a family of geese—two adults and seven adolescent goslings.  One of the adults hissed at me, and I quietly exchanged greetings.  “Good Morning!  You have a fine family.”

I wondered how things might be if I didn’t “hiss” back at friends and family.   Or if I didn’t start the hissing.

I continued my walk as far as I could go on that side of the Lake before entering a residential area or a thicket of shrubs and vines.  On my way home, I took time to sit on a park bench.  I closed my eyes and thought of nothing but the sensation of the cool, cool air blowing over me.  It felt like the refreshing refrigerator air when I open the door to my office in Thomasville.

I prayed for family and friends by name, and I “let go” of concerns as the gentle breeze kept moving over me.  I confessed that I was not God, could not redeem, and would not try.  I thanked Him for being God, for redemption, for grace and mercy and peace.

As I opened my eyes, I was looking directly into the rising sun.

“Morning has broken, like the first morning.”  I sang in my spirit.

And then I headed back home for the rest of my worship on my deck.

There on my deck, I looked toward the Lake’s edge.  My view of the Lake is now obscured by shrubs and trees that I’ve planted on my property.  I question in Dr. Phil style, “What were you thinking?”  And I think that I need to severely prune some of the Weigelia and Honeysuckles and Rose of Sharon.

It’s time now for my Morning Devotions.  I have all morning.  I need not rush.  And I realize I’ve already had an hour of morning devotions by the Lake.  But this is a Sunday morning, and I’m playing hooky from church.  And I’m very aware of my hunger and thirst for worship.

I pick up Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and start to read the entry for June 7th.

“I am all around you . . . .  Many things can block this awareness. . . . Who is in charge of your life?  If it is you, then you have good reason to worry.  But if it is me, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive. When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to me.  Back off a bit . . . .”

I say “Amen and amen and amen.”

I shift my focus from my reading to my surroundings.

I hear a crow cawing in the distance.  I notice my “boy cats” sparring to my left.  I hear a blue jay scolding.  “Cats on deck.  Cats on deck.”

I hear a bird in the soprano section tuning up.  ‘Here.  Here.”  It’s a high C.

Danny Boy discovers a humming bird hovering by the feeder.  Bird and cat take off, each disappointed in not getting what they had hoped for—nectar and bird respectively.

I smell something chocolate being baked in a neighbor’s kitchen.

The world is awake.  People are talking in a distant yard.  A dog barks in the distance.

 

(To be continued)

 


A Day in the Life

Kathleen Thach -- June 2015

 

Out of bed. (Check.)  Exercise clothes on.  (Check.) 

 Feed cats canned food.  (Check.) 

Wallet and keys in hand.  (Check.)  Out the door.  (Check.)  Whoops.  Wrong keys.  Back up.  Right set of keys and wallet in hand.  (Check.)  Garage door open.  (Check).  Back out carefully.  (Check.)  On way to Planet Fitness.  (Check.)  Whoops.  Went past Planet Fitness entrance.  Turn around. (Check.) 

Planet Fitness.  I’ve arrived.  Get help with check in.  (Check.)  THAT’s where you scan the thingy.   Get in those ear plugs.  (Check.)    I should have gotten the smaller ones.   Set the TV channel.  (Check.)  Cardio setting.  (Check.)  Walking on the treadmill.  (Check.)  Finished 20 minutes.  (Check.) 

Free coffee and an expensive soufflé at Panera.  (Check.) 

Home.  (Check.)  Fill cat’s water dishes.  (Check.)  Shower and dress.  (Check.)  Eat and drink coffee.  (Check.)  Let in Elvis and Danny Boy who slipped out when I came home.  (Check.)  Ahh.  So cute.  Danny Boy waited for Elvis, and they entered side by side.  Give all four cats their DRY cat food.  (Check.)

Return to table for more coffee sipping.  (Check.)  Oh, my word!  There’s a black and white cat paw clinging to the door window, and there’s a black cat face looking in the window!!!  Oh, no!!! Mario, the neighbor cat, has learned from my cats!!  NO!!! I will not give in.  Somebody tell me it’s NOT okay to let another cat in this house!!!!

I didn’t give in.  Didn’t let him in.  Just opened the door for a little cat talk.

Oh, dear!  I need to get ready for WORK!

Oh, dear!  I was going to take some time for morning devotions.

Oh, dear!  Maybe I should re-read Slow Me Down, Lord!

Deep breaths.  (Check.)