Endless winter

Garden playhouse

It’s sleeting and 12° here in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on March 1. March came in like a lion. There is 6-8 inches of snow on the ground, down from ten inches or so from earlier in the week. I look out at my cold lonely garden playhouse and can’t wait for the Spring day when I can throw open the door and take back my cute little shed space from the lucky field mice that live there in the winter.

Spring will come even though right now I think we’re stuck in endless winter. I lay awake at night planning the vegetable rotation in the raised beds, the cleanup and pruning I’ll do out front as soon as I can, and the compost bins I hope I can convince my husband to build.

I think besides the seasonal affective disorder one hears about…one might even have, winter fatigue, especially this winter, has touched everyone. It’s been so bone chilling cold and windy, especially windy. I do not like wind. I very do not. I think The Farmer’s Almanac correctly predicted this winter for this area of the country and I hope they are correct about Spring coming. Right about now, I think it really won’t. I really hope I’m wrong.

Time changes next weekend and there’s really no point. What farmer can get outside and needs extended daylight? How about you? Is Spring going to even arrive? Will March go out like a lamb?

 

 

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Boomer doesn’t live here anymore

Boomer2014

Boomer picked us back in about 2002 or 2003. He arrived in the neighborhood back home in Texas not quite a stray, but a fixed boy cat on the lookout for a new home with new people. He started hanging out when I gardened or when Bob worked in the shop and it was pretty clear he picked us to be his next people. Our own elderly cats were indoors only and they would meet up with Boomer on the windowsills. Boomer came inside to visit now and then and our old kitties seemed to approve.

We could only guess how old Boomer was and the vets we took him too didn’t guess much better. Boomer was pretty healthy and only had a serious issue a couple of Christmas’s ago. We nearly lost him from a stomach infection. We dosed him on a couple different kinds of antibiotics but turned down the idea of surgery which was suggested. We decided it wasn’t the humane thing to do, to put him through such a painful and scary situation that had no other reason than to “explore.” He got better and I personally spent the last couple of years being grateful for his furry presence.

Boomer was a good hug, especially in the  morning. He’d come sit on my lap as a sat in my rocker with my morning coffee. He’d purr and let me kiss the top of his head and lay for a while until he was done. Then, he’d leave me for the wider space of the chair across the room. Mornings were for oozing in, no sudden moves, no loud clumping about.

If I was lucky enough to work at home he’d be my able assistant and was fond of sitting with me at the computer.

boomerDESK

Boomer got mail from my Dad, including pictures of birds.

BoomerWdovepic

Boomer in  my rocker

Boomer was Bob’s buddy. They spent time together not just in the workshop, but watching TV, and reading, and sometimes doing homework.

bobBOOMERread

Bob and Boomer work

This picture below is one of the last ones I took…

Boomer Sept 2014

In late September this year, Boomer was having trouble walking. It got progressively worse and the vet said it was a disc issue that some cats develop as they age. On the first visit, Boomer seemed to rally and got better and we were hopeful. But in just a few days it got very much worse. Scary worse. He had no control of his hindquarters and could not walk at all.

Bob took Boomer to the vet the last time on September 25th and made the very hard decision not to put him through anything more. No more tests. No more drugs that may or may not work. No more jarring rides in the car. It seemed to be time for him to go with dignity.

I said my goodbye earlier in the day but it was a very empty house and hearts we came home to. I still see him out of the corner of my eye, or feel him lean in against me in the night. I especially miss our morning hugs and sit together.

We’re ending 2014 with new kitties in the house. We adopted two shelter cats, both about the age of two. They are transitioning to our house pretty well. It will take time to build that same level of familiarity and trust but we love each other already I think.

Here’s Wilson, a gray tabby with strong black and gray marled marks on his back. He had to leave his family and his other animal buddies because of allergies in the home. He’s had a harder transition and has worried about them.

Wilson1

And this is Hazel, a sprite of a tabby girl, full of zip. She has been happy to be here.

Hazel

Recently there was a news story about the Pope and his views on pets in heaven. I have always known this to be so, and even though the story was later retracted as being a misunderstanding, I’m fairly certain our pets are in heaven. Any animal that loves us so unconditionally, deserves to be in heaven.

Boomer the former spare cat is now at home in heaven. And, Hazel and Wilson are now making our home and us, their’s. Though they never met, in the first week Hazel and Wilson found their way to the guest room bed, a place usually off-limits to kitties. And there they lay on either side of the yellow print pillow with the dent in the top…made by Boomer the last time he sneaked in there for a look around and a nap. I haven’t had the heart to fix it and I probably won’t, at least for a while longer.

Hazel Wilson with Boomer's pillow

 

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