When you are young — you are sure forty was so far over the hill that you would have died by natural causes before then. Somehow I made it to that decrepit old age and, astonishing surpassed it, if my 16 year old self could meet me today she would shriek and go play in traffic … but since she grew up in a rural area … she could nap in the road for half an hour and not have any problems. Today she might not be so lucky.
But that really doesn’t matter at this moment. I pick up my purse and scattered mail and shake the dirt off my knees — tripping over a tilted stone in the sidewalk is not a happy thing, but when you are thinking of other things it is what happens. I vow to take things more slowly. I mean, do I have to look at the mail the moment I open the mailbox? Will anything be so super grand that knowing it moments before entering the house will be a life changing occurrence? Life would be better if I entered the home and made a cup of tea and carefully opened the mail – separating the bills from the junk from the mail that I needed to keep. Wait … was there any that needed to be kept? Anything really worth looking at? No not really. Any personal mail was sent to me via text or email … because of this, mail is often left in a pile on the kitchen counter where it stays until I decide to either shred or recycle most of it depending on who the sender is. The problem of paying bills online is that most of the time the company still sends paper bills which aren’t needed.
One of the cats meets me at the door, attempting to cleverly hide affection with a true desire to trip me. I go into the kitchen and drop the mail onto the counter and start the electric kettle, since my plan is to stay in for the night, I decide to make a pot of tea and so pull out the pot and cozy. Letting the tap water get hot I fill the teapot that my grandmother gave me and let it sit as I go into the bathroom. The cat following me in and rubbing against my trousers as I sit on the toilet. I have to chuckle … cats don’t care what you are doing … they just want attention. Mom, they say, it has been HOURS since we have seen you. However, when I actually sit down and read and have my lap empty for an hour … where is the cat? Nowhere to be seen until I need to get up and relieve myself again, Cats have impeccable timing.
The electric kettle boils and turns off. I empty the teapot and find the herbal tea that I need at night to help me to calm down … I place the cozy on the teapot and turn to the fridge … I have a load of leftovers. I should heat up some of them. It would be fast and less wasteful than starting something new. Maybe if I were virtuous and ate leftovers for dinner, I could then be naughty and eat some dessert that I REALLY shouldn’t have. Ah the bargains we make when we are more experienced.
The kids are away for the day and so today has calmed down, sort of, but my big old farmhouse echoes with the memories of its near two hundred years of existence and the thundering steps of my cats. I know I do have hefty cats and the vet will tell me so every time they go in for a physical, but I swear they sound like elephants when they chase each other up the stairs. I have three of them: one sleeps with me, one sits on my lap when I read and the third will sit on the arm of my chair. They are each unique and so very special. Almost as unique as children … but possibly more so because as my parents often tell me “apples don’t fall far from the tree” — so kids, though often surprising, have traits similar to other family members, they might exhibit an unusual combination of traits … but they will reflect their DNA and upbringing, usually … often … sometimes … depends on the phase of the moon? But cats … they are gods and are not like anyone else. You can ask them … they will tell you so.
I find a mug … I know I should have a teacup and saucer, but I draw the line somewhere and a mug is easier for washing and holding. My big hands are more comfortable wrapped around a mug. I pour tea and sit down with my tea. I pick up my book and decide to read a short story before heating dinner. If all I am going to do is through leftovers in the microwave, I have time. The cat jumps up on the arm of the chair and his fur brushes my arm soothingly. I feel the blood pressure lessen and I sip my tea. I need more moments like these. Where have these quiet moments gone? I SO need them back…