Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 01 November 2011 15:37
It’s time for me to let go of a chapter in my life, and even as minuscule time as it was, I enjoyed the three-month adventure getting to know some cute little critters this summer.
For those who may have missed my column in September, my family agreed to take in a momma cat and her newborn kittens—all seven of them.
It’s the first time I was able to see the miracle of life unfold. My husband, Randy, who grew up on a farm, acted nonchalant about the whole thing, but even he would go upstairs from time to time to see them.
For the next eight weeks, I couldn’t wait to get home from work and play with those furry little guys, knowing the day would come that I had to say, “goodbye.”
Maybe I have always been this sentimental about animals, but for some reason, as I have grown older, life takes on new meaning.
When I was a lot younger, it seemed like time stood still and anyone 58, which is my age today, was something that wouldn’t happen to me. Not sure what world I was living in during my teenage years to think that, but I did.
Years ago, when I was about 24, I broke my leg in 10 places skiing. I remember the doctor telling me the break would heal, but when I was older I would start noticing aches and pains in that spot.
That was decades away and I didn’t give it another thought. Funny thing is, I think about that doctor now because whenever it rains or the seasons change, that area around the break aches.
I know a lot of people are older than I am and hopefully they can relate to some of the things I’ve mentioned.
Life has its ups and downs and I believe it’s important to slow down sometimes and be aware of the surroundings.
Maybe I am feeling sad because the kittens all have new homes, or maybe it was talking to some travelers who stopped in Marion Friday.
Those men are on a journey to New Mexico by mule team and wagon, but they also said they may change their plans and head to Arizona.
“We don’t know,” one of them said, “we are in no hurry and have no set plans.”
One of the messages they hope to convey to people along the way is to take pleasure in what they have and relax and take things in stride.
Not sure if I could pack up my stuff in a wagon and head west, but I admired their courage of conviction.
They called themselves “poor (senior) snow birds.”
Regarding their mode of transportation, I couldn’t help but ask them if they have encountered any problems with cars or trucks getting too close or being rude to them.
One of the men told me everyone they have met on the road has been courteous.
They also smiled about how many cell phones were propped up on steering wheels as cars passed them.
I think the look on my face told them I wasn’t quite sure what they meant until one of them said the motorists were taking photos of them.
Of course, when I thought about it, it isn’t every day someone sees a modern-day wagon being pulled by two mules named Jack and Jim.
Trying to put myself in their place, I sure would miss the occasional television show or the comfort and warmth of my home.
It would also require some patience to travel days and weeks with a friend and not get tired of each other, but they said they manage.
Traveling about 25 miles a day, they both seem to be having a good time and that’s the important thing.
Two very dear friends of mine once told me two different things that both relate.
My friend, Doris, told me we have only four basic emotions—mad, sad, glad and scared —and if we aren’t feeling all of them at different times in our lives, then something is wrong. I think she meant that we cannot void any of the feelings, or think we can.
The other person, Jim, said life is like a whitewater rafting trip. Some of us can go down the river screaming, crying and covering our eyes while others will yell “Yippee!” and get ready for the next adventure.
Sometimes I think I am a little of both.
As for the kittens I had the pleasure of getting to know, I think of a few words from the hymn, “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” which are:
“All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.”
To all of us, a long and happy life.