Karen flew to LA Friday night, to spend 5 days with her mother and family down there. Sylvia is pushing 98 and, although she is still scheduled to come to Portland in early August, Karen wanted to check things out to make sure all is well.
So what do I do on my big Day Off? Yard work for hours, with the help of our regular weekend laborer, Rolando. The biggest impact I had was on one of the more-abandoned corners of the yard, that was quite overgrown with blackberries, weeds, tall grasses, and ivy. I cleared it all out, dug blackberries, hacked at ivy, dug suckers, etc. It was dirty, tiring work, and generated a whole new brush pile.
Also in that corner is our pet cemetery, now marking two cats and two guinea pigs. I gently cleared away the brush that was covering the markers, and spoke to the spirits of the animals there, thanking them for the companionship. Zacky was nearby, and, since he is to be the next resident there, I spent a long time holding him on my lap and stroking him, while he kvelled (a Yiddish word with inadequate translations) with a big smile.
To have that memory of him with me there, at that spot, being so happy and showing it, is a memory I will carry with me, long after the day I need to dig a hole and place his soon-to-be-worn-out body in it.
On that note, I need to leave now. I'm playing piano for a Jewish awards ceremony, starting in a half-hour. It's a paying gig, and I get breakfast, too. See y'all later.