Thursday, May 24, 2007

Memorial Day

When I was a kid, my Gramma used to make me go with her to the cemetary on Memorial Day. We'd visit my dad's grave, her dad's grave, and later, her mom's grave, and those of other relatives. I used to hate it, but was taught to respect my elders, so I always went, and helped her where I could. Pulling weeds, placing those plastic wreaths on the graves, taking off the ones we left last year. You know the drill.
The first few Memorial Days that rolled around after Gramma died, I still went, more out of family obligation than any sense of responsibility.
Fast-forward to 9/11 - Everyone kinda went crazy with flag t-shirts and flags and what I call "on the sleeve" patriotism. For me, wearing a t-shirt with the flag on it, or even waving a flag in the 4th of July parade is not patriotic. That's something different. For me, patriotism is something much deeper. A patriotic person obeys all laws (including those about speed and stopping at stop signs and red lights). They support (at least publicly) those in power, and if there's disagreement, then the patriotic person works from the inside to make changes.
I've had the pleasure over the years of making the acquaintance of many who have fought for this country. Some in Korea, a very few in WWII, and quite a lot who fought in Viet Nam. I was working for the Army National Guard when Desert Storm started, and I lost a few people it was my sincere pleasure to have met at the Pentagon on 9/11.
I've been thinking recently about what it takes to decide to go to war for your country. I know it's not a decision most make lightly. It's a service that most of us wouldn't do, and for that, we should be deeply, humbly grateful for those who will.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Meet our newest

Last week, as I was leaving the house, I heard this "meow" - now there are lots of cats in the neighborhood, and most speak when they see me, but this one sounded like Peanut, and NONE of my cats are allowed outside. So, I'm standing on the porch, looking around, and I called "kitty, kitty", and this cat came out from under the neighbor's truck, meowing and looking for a way through the fence. She was cute, but I needed to get to work, so I went to the car (outsided the fence), unlocked the door, and got it. She jumped up into my lap! In the car! I petted her, short-haired, kind of dirty, and a little skinny. Then I put her down, closed the door and started the car. She sat there. Staring. Not in the least afraid of the car. I honked the horn. Still she sat. I called the kidlet to come outside and get her, because I can't pull out of the driveway with an unpredictable cat sitting there. So, kidlet came and got cat, we talked a little, and I went to work. The kidlet called me, and said "No, mom, we can't keep her, she's covered in ticks." I said, fine, can't have that in the house. And she went to school. We both spent the day thinking, though, that it would be kinda cool if she was still there. When the kidlet got home from school, no cat. We were both kinda sad, but it was for the best. About an hour later, there was crying at the door, and GUESS who was there??
After I got home, we discussed it, and decided that we didn't need another cat. Feeding is no problem, but fixing, healing, all the other stuff we just can't do. So, back outside she went. Then, it started raining. And snowing. And getting really cold. The kidlet opened the door, and the kitty was sitting there, huddled against the cold and rain. We brought her back in, and checked more closely. Found out the "ticks" were more battle scars - little (healing) scabs. So, the kidlet decided to give her a bath, which she accepted with amazing calmness.
Long story longer, it's been a week, and Karma has adopted our family. She was incredibly skinny, had sores on all her feet, and her belly had been shaved, like for 'fixing'. We can't get her to lay still long enough to find a scar, but I can't think of any other reason that a cat's belly would be shaved. Even if it was for something else, the vet would have done the fixing while there, right?
Anyway, here's Karma, the newest memeber of our menagerie:

Karma is a white calico, meaning she's mostly white, with calico spots. Short hair, and we found the name by looking on the internet. And we think it's very appropriate, since we didn't really want her, and all the reasons we stated for not keeping her kept being brushed aside. Besides, do you have any idea how much fun yelling "Bad Karma!!" is? The down side is that "Karma Chameleon" is permanently stuck in my brain.

Knitting content. I'm almost back to where I was when I frogged Milicent. I've knitted too much, and the carpal tunnel, and arthritis have both flared (DUH!), so knitting is going slowly. What? You thought I'd stop? Who are we kidding? I knit till the fingers go numb, then I rest for a bit, then start again. It's really slow, but it's not stopping.
OK, going now - real knitting pics next time.