Musings, reflections, wisecracks from a somewhat creative mind

Archive for December, 2011

(Nearly) Middle-aged Homecoming

October 14, 2011. Picture it. Dusk. 7:15 p.m. A suburban high school football field, 70ish degrees with a clear sky, the players running onto the field, the crowd rowdy, M-80’s going off, teenagers running every which way. I’m (close to) middle-aged and out of my element, in my convertible, top down (the car), and I’m early. I wasn’t supposed to get there until half-time. I open my cell phone.

“Carla! I’m here! Where are YOU?”

“Uh … you’re EARLY.”

Me, “OK. What do you want me to do?”

Pause.

Carla, “I’ll be right there. Don’t MOVE.”

Who am I?

Back story: A coworker and friend, Carla, asked if she could borrow my convertible and, well, ME, to chauffer one of her daughters with her daughter’s boyfriend around the football field at half time as part of the homecoming celebration. Naturally I said yes.

I’m so glad I did. And I’m glad there was a communications gaff that placed me there early because I got to witness a high school football game once again.

Well that’s not entirely true. The game was a “fond-memory-type” backdrop to the HOOPLA going on in the stands. Holy Toledo!

The Drum Major! The band! The Pep Squad (peppy indeed)! The cheerleaders! The cacophony and the sheer mass of high school students relentlessly moving and shouting and squealing, having decorated themselves with glitter and paint and bright yellow spandex. Did I ever have that much energy? Had I ever entertained the notion of a painted glittering handprint on my thigh … in maroon?

At one point, I turned to Carla and said “If you notice me quivering, it’s only because I’m way over-stimulated.” (shiver)

Those young adults were so alive and glowing and, whatever their inner travails might have been, they were happy that evening. And it was joy to witness.

None too soon the time came to descend from the stands and start the car. It was ready to go: The top was down and Carla and I placed beach towels over the seating area and the back seat. The Deputies lined us up with the other convertibles and we waited for the end of the first half.

As an aside, I’ve NEVER seen a football game so one-sided. The opponent (and guest!) was being slaughtered! Poor things! The score was 49 – ZIP at the end of the half.

So the homecoming candidates were assembled. I won’t pretend to know what all was going on. Someone else was in charge. Yippee. I chatted up the other convertible drivers. One had a schweet, cherry 442. Purrrr.

Next, the kids were going through the pomp and circumstance at the 50 yard line, being presented to the crowd. Meanwhile the cars moved around the field at a moderate pace to get in position. We slowly cruised around to the stands. Carla was in the passenger seat. (As IF I would do this without her.)

Worthy of note, Carla had by this time, taken approximately 547 pictures of her daughter and the boyfriend. And they looked lovely, beautiful and happy.

So the field ceremony comes to a close and the homecoming kids (runners up, too) climbed into the 5 or 6 waiting convertibles and endured the paparazzi and screams of delight.

First up, the yearbook staff snapped numerous photos. Now … remember Carla and I are in the car, too. So … uh … we might be in the YEARBOOK!!!  Ha ha ha! BWA ha ha ha!

And heeeerrrre's US!

 

 

Then I am signaled to move forward, following the vehicles in front of us. What a hoot! I grinned the whole time. The high schoolers lined the fence around the track/field and shouted “We LOVE you!” over and over. The two kids in my car kept saying “I feel like a movie star!” And, indeed! Why not? Who could blame them. They were!

*sigh*

Twice around the track then back to the stable for me.

I came away from the event feeling connected and so glad I could help some fine young people have such a great evening. The feeling of community and family was heady for me.

I thank Carla and her family for including me. And I want that yearbook photo!!

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Growing Grace

Four months old and Gracie’s coat is coming in. She’s beginning to shed and she’s begun the feline bathing routine. Lick lick lick.

Here is Grace at about 10 weeks and at then at 16 weeks. Growing fast!

Gracie, October 5, 2011

Gracie, 11-30-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rubber is meeting the road for me. I’m going to learn if I’ll be spending the next 15-20 years sneezing and sniffling.

Background

Years ago, I endured allergy tests at the insistence of my then-husband. There was just too much sneezing and mucous for him. I don’t blame him: I thank him. My allergies were certainly bad enough to warrant a visit to the allergist.

CATS. TREES. MOLD. DUST! – pronounced the allergist.

(Finger-wagging) “You have to get rid of your cat”. Period. No question.

NOOOOOO! (Tears.) Sammy-cat is a member of my family! This was answered with a head-shaking, stony silence.

I kept the cat. I endured the weekly shots. (Guess I showed them.)

After Sammy-cat died I “kept” another cat. (Whoops!) Once again I wanted a furry friend to be my buddy, part of my home, part of my heart. So I went to the shelter and he chose me. He touched me on the shoulder and he looked at me with those bright, sunny eyes. Done.

My allergy held steady.

Murphy (a most intelligent, gregarious cat) was with me until 2004 when he left. I don’t know what happened to him. He was a wanderer and a fighter (even though neutered). I’d brought those (absurd to him) dogs into the home and he didn’t like it. He put up with them for 3 years.

Murphy may have chosen a new home. There were plenty for the asking. I’d received calls from lady admirers with homes he regularly visited. He charmed them. Maybe one of them took him in. I just don’t know. I searched and never found him. I hope his fate was a gentle one.

Meanwhile

There have been no cats since Murphy. It’s been all dogs. I’m assuming I’m still allergic to cats. Not “asthma attack allergic”: more “perennial rhinitis allergic” and “sinus headache allergic”.

Fast forward: It’s 2011

I had an assignment to write a story about the numerous kittens fostered by the wonderful (government) employees at our local “pound”. My heart was deeply touched. I fostered a litter of four four-week-old kittens. Lo and behold: I adopted one. Shocking! I’m a foster failure. (Hey, at least I didn’t keep all of them!)

Now that I am owned by a cat, I’m hoping the years of self-restraint have reduced my allergy. I’m optimistic … or deluded. I have committed to this little wonder. I will endure her purring and playfulness and litter box odors and scratching. I will go for allergy shots if I have to. I will invest in Kleenex stock if I have the spare income. I will vacuum often. Um. Well. We’ll see on that one.

One thing is for sure — my feline will teach me to accept my irrelevance. (We are only good for opening cans.)

(Achoo! God bless you.)