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Preparation day again. The days, the week, the seasons and the years flit by me in disconcerting rapidity. Time has become a blur as I race toward Lethe’s waters to drink to oblivion, and await my Masters voice in Eternity.
I live in a very secure place, though the world is becoming a hostile place for me. I guard my steps. I guard my tongue. I guard my heart. I draw water from my own well that I hand dug during the dry places in life, and sip the droughts in secret spaces.
The day will soon enough come when I am totally abandoned even though surrounded by friends and family, and I will show Charon an oblose, but not pay him until he gets me to the other side.
‘Tis a strange gray morning in this land where bright sunshine pours in the window. The coffee cup is empty. The studio an olio of sounds from Kippur and air filters. Time to replenish the cup.
Today I got an update on a Bull Terrier puppy I transported some weeks ago. It was a short run that I combined with a longer run with a coon hound on its way to a sanctuary near San Antonio. Roy, if I remember the name the hound was given.
Home to Round Rock was a quick jaunt that morning, then back to Temple to pick up the hound, and off to a Wal-Mart parking lot just south of Austin, with a short stop in Round Rock where the receiver works to drop off the puppy.
Today the receiver sent me a picture of the puppy, now five weeks older and fourteen pounds heavier. ‘Jimmy’ is his new name, and his dad is an Englishman who has a business in the US. Jimmy apparently goes everywhere with him. The first pic is where I handed him off in Round Rock, the second was just sent to me by the same handler.
We don’t often advertise where dogs go and were we hand them off for legal and safety reasons. Sometimes it isn’t the best of situations. Still, the real heroes are the ‘pullers’ who tirelessly visit the kill shelters and adoption centers, and call for transports.
Today wasn’t a good day for me … I had to turn down two transports. One because I didn’t have sufficient notice, and one because the transport legs couldn’t be filled. If you have a decent auto and some time on your hands, you may consider this as a very rewarding hobby, and an opportunity to visit nearby towns and cities you may have cruised by, but never really seen. And you will meet some very fine people who put their hands to where their heart is.
My second rescue attempt went well today. A mama cat found in Houston with her tiny kittens was spotted in a parking lot, and they needed to get her to a rescue organization just over the river from my house. It is always good to find neighbors ready and willing to step up to the plate. This isn’t a cheap way to spend your time. Trips are often over two hundred miles, they need to be checked over by a veterinarian, and they need to be fostered by people who will take the time to get them to adoption centers. This couple is doing yeoman duty, but they prefer to keep their profile low.
I didn’t think I would make the trip yesterday because the young lady who first spotted the mama cat had to go find someone to accept her. When she went back, mama cat had moved the kittens. So I was so surprised when I saw a facebook message that the cats were crated and would be on the way.
I am a drudge in the mornings, sitting in my studio in my underwear while I sip my coffee and go through the day’s emails, postings and news feeds. But I fired off a reply, telling them that I would need a bit of time to prepare, and that I was shocked to find the kittens were found after a lot of searching. Not much impresses me these days, but that sure did.
Normally I would have gassed up the car before, disinfected and cleaned the cages, put everything on a handy clipboard, and been ready when it was time to go. But this time, I rushed around getting dressed, discovered that the batteries in my hearing aids were dead. My hearing aids connect to my cellphone and I can hardly understand people without that lash-up working.
But after making the poor lady repeat herself frequently, we managed to locate a WalMart store in College Station, Texas that is about mid-way between my home and Houston. Just as I was about to leave, ‘becca da beagle decides to go for a morning stroll, sans leash. She is a very stubborn dog, and once her nose gets onto something, it disengages her hearing. So Snookums chased her down as I vacuumed the shipping crates and disinfected them, plugged the directions into the GPS, and went sailing off only to notice that the gas gage was about ¼ tank. So a few minutes lost there while I gassed up and took on another ½ gallon of drinking water.
Then I was off in earnest. The miles went by quickly, but the nag in the GPS kept telling me I was 28 minutes behind. I just could not make up any time running along at 75 mph. The cops here don’t give any grace with the higher limits, and 75 is just about the top of my reaction speed anyway. Growing old sucks that way.
Shortly after lunch I pulled in alongside my transport partner, mama cat and babies were put into my small travel cage, and away we went back home. They had a lot of construction around that WalMart and I couldn’t get on my road via that route. So I toured quite a bit of South College Station before finally getting back on the freeway. But we did it.
The trip back was pretty much the same as the trip there with a few delays for slow trucks and one for a tractor. I know farmers. They hate wearing out their breaks so when I espied him heading toward the road, I knew he would come right out. And he did, but I had already slowed.
Mama mewed a couple of times. I think she was a bit dry, but she was just going to have to live with it for a bit longer. My GPS fibbed a little bit on the final address, but a quick phone call got me back on track and I delivered mama and babies, and met my neighbors.
I have never met as determined, cheerful, hardworking persistent people in my life. They are the hero’s in this tale, and I am super impressed with them all. And they do it for nothing. Just for a love of animals. They’ll put a dog out seconds before they are euthanized, find a foster, find a transporter, find a vet, and find a home. Then go home and take care of their families.
I am proud to associate with them.
My mutts felt that I slept in late enough this groggy morning. They have no sympathy for me. They get up several times a night and still manage to be up and at ‘before sunup. They are very intolerant of this low functioning dog as I fumble my way into the kitchen for my morning brew.
Snooks has been up for a while this morning, and was outside with the mutts while I slept. And a newly cleaned studio greets as I plop down in front of the Cyclops to chronicle my day. But a quick walk thru of my mind reveals much mush, and little substance. Shall I pass the morning memo today out of respect for my readers intelligence, or try to hammer something out in an effort to fool them once again with my sagacity?
OK. My respectful consideration of my readers loses. Onwards.
The world howls in outrage at the hostage … err … babies in the UNRWA school getting killed after a sniper fired a tank buster at a bunch of Israeli’s and missed. Lots of cryin’ for the babies, lots of outrage for Israel, not so much outrage at HAMAS who put them there.
Not a peep out of same said criers either for the three UNRWA schools that contained stored rockets for HAMAS. I am really sick of hearing all these ‘compassionate’ boo-hooers. It is war time. Ugly, ugly war time. Choose up sides and fight or remain safely behind the lines in a silent one-sided protest. You can cry later.
Lots of stuff about some jock who killed his girlfriend/exwife/wife … whatever. Pass by on this one. I really don’t want to hear more about badboy jocks.
Watched video of Israeli’s discovering a tunnel entrance in a mosque. Draw whatever conclusion you want. Also watched where tunnel stretching through built up area and on into Israel got blown up. Lots and lots of secondaries showing that heavy duty explosives were stored in the tunnels, and lots of houses and shops where the tunnel entrances were going up in bright funnels of flames.
I don’t hold the Gazan’s innocent. They voted for HAMAS because they promised to destroy Israel. Now that HAMAS is using them for shields and dead baby photo-ops does not move me. They picked a loser for a leader out of hatred for Jews, now they can live with it. They desired war, and they got it. In spades.
I am weary of hearing about the poor Gazans. You bleed for them. I shant.
I think now that the cleaning itch has run its course, it might be time to mow again. I don’t know why the place looks so good after a mowing, and looks like hell before it. One day, I set at my morning window, the grass is all at a nice even length for hundreds of feet in any direction, the next day it looks like an abandoned lot. Pah! Civilization!!
Took on some extra responsibility for the congregational website. Not a big one, since it only requires that I update it once a month. I have retired from my weekly cleaning of the building. I think I am going to miss that time most. It was a way to prepare myself spiritually. Now Snookums calls me to the Shabbat table sort of like she does for an ordinary meal. I’ll have to come up with something to remind me that it is a special day.*sip!*
Snooks just bid me bye as she is off for the annual put the boob in a vice observance. I am always a little apprehensive when that time rolls around. One time she went there for the exam, then got the dreaded callback from the doctors secretary to come in again. Yep. It was cancer. But blessings upon blessings, they felt that surgery would be sufficient. After many assurances that I didn’t marry her boobs, she had it one breast removed, and I got a few more years of use out of the gal.
Funny how things like that just come along. One day you are fine, the next day you are in a battle for your life. Man seems to be born for tsores (woes). Too much of an idyllic thing, and we need things roughed up a little.
Well, on to the day. Now that I have cheered you up, I hope your day goes well for you too!
A dewy Wednesday morning greets me at a comfortable 72°. Snookums had the coffee brewed, and my cup was prefilled. Talk about convenience! Down the hallway, thru Snooks sewing room, thru the connecting bathroom to my studio. See that Snook has already prepared Kippurs bath, which is good. The mist on the windows blocks her view outside.
I think that she is having an affair with a brown and white finch of some sort. The finch preens on the porch handrail outside while Kippur crawls around her cage bars closest to the window. A few time, the finch will land on the window, and they’ll raptly stare at each other for awhile. But I don’t promote juvenile romances, and Kippur remains chastely ensconced in her cage.
I can see the top of my computer desk peeking through some of the bare spots as I continue my cleaning of it. I am quiet messy. Snookums likens it more to a pigsty. I have things from two years back on it that need to be tossed, filed, sorted or acted upon. But you never know when you might need to lay your hands on a two year old clinic statement, an Amazon.com packing list, or a torpedo level.
For you non technical types, here is a torpedo level. It is useful for keeping pictures and pancake griddles level when you don’t want to bring out the 4′ framing level.
Anyway. Times awastin’. Tempus fugits. The coffee is ready for a refill, and my bladder is bladdering.
Monday begins with the soft heat of the summer morning. Birds put aside their natural wariness around other species of birds at the bird baths. Doves cannonball into the baths without any concern for the other birds, while more timid birds flit a few feet away from the rim, and return. Even the brassy mocking birds are too needful of a quick dip to run other birds off first.
Snookums is out mowing while Kipper and I watch the morning unfold. Ever so often Kippur will spot her as she roars by with the mower, and lets out a shriek. “I know her!!!”
A mildly busy week is ahead. Some more tree trimming, learning to update the congregational website, a thorough cleaning of the studio, sterilizing the car and pet carriers for another pet rescue, starting the old pickup before the battery goes flat, and taking a small drive in it to keep the seals and stuff pliable … pretty scary stuff. But we have a rule, here. Two cups of coffee first. THEN labor. So I stretch out the moment with smaller sips. With age comes perfection.
On the Israel side … a flood of commentaries, a drought on facts. Israel sets about its task with grim resolve. HAMAS blusters. Obama and Kerry sputter. The UN convenes. One of Iran’s leaders reveals his anti-Semitism as HAMAS gets the ugly end of Israel’s stick. But I was never fooled anyway. I always knew that Zionist was code for Jew hatred.
It is a nasty streak in me that rises when I hear some flannel mouth say it isn’t about Jews, but rather them “Zionist pigs”. I start persistently needling them to the point of anger, and they invariably end up cursing Jews. Once they are caught out, they can really let the venom fly, and I walk away whistling … It is a terrible witness to my faith, though. I wish I could just shrug it off as so many of my friends do.
I need to cut a couple more limbs away from the acacia tree and drag the trimmings to the burn pile today. And … mow. It is summer. I mow. That is the nature of things. But I wanted land when we retired down here. I didn’t want my neighbor’s bedroom window to overlook my porch. So, mowing goes with the territory.
But … I got a fresh cup. My second one of the morning. Snookums is doing a quick shower after mowing her part of the lawn and kennel/back yard. Soon breakfast …
Bleary eyed and full of bladder I stagger down to my studio to browse the news feed to discover what is happening to my friend, Israel. Nothing. My newsreader that collects almost every English speaking newsfeed in the Middle East was barren.
Odd, I think. Then I remember. It is late Shabbat afternoon there, and the observant news sources will not be posting for another four hours. I remember the passage that Israel recites when it goes to war. Oyeychah it is called, and it comes from the start of the passage “When you go out (to war)“. You probably hear it in its shortened form when Jewish women discuss their family trials and tribulations. “Oy!”
It is a curious passage that first excuses men who have just married from the warriors. Then it excuses men who are too terrified to fight. There are a few more excuses, but these are the main two. By the time all the excusing is made, the warriors are down to 1/3 strength.
Same with Israel. 40,000 regulars and 18,000 reservists, yet it is likely less that 10,000 are actually in Gaza right now. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more ready to take on HAMAS, and probably doesn’t include Navy and Air Force personnel who go in, then quickly leave. Still, urban warfare is a treacherous deal. The worst of Europe’s casualties in WWII was in urban fighting.
Israel is an expert in urban strategy, and advised the US when we went into Fallujah, Iraq. The enemy had kill lanes and other traps to degrade an attacking enemy, and so the coalition forces went in the hard way, through the buildings rather than the streets, and won over a shocked enemy.
Good thoughts for a peaceful Shabbat morning, eh?
The sun is out in bright yellows and vibrant greens after the welcome rains. The land responds guardedly after several years drought. In some ways the drought is good in that it forces the vegetation to go deeply into the soil. It wasn’t enough for some of my trees and shrubs, and my front walkway has been cleared of flowering plantings and such. I must adapt the realities of climate here. It has always been a land of fierce droughts followed by short periods of even fiercer flooding.
I have a half hour of coffee sipping left before showering and preparing to leave for services this morning. I am going to spend it watching a mocking bird try to confuse a cardinal.