It’s all mine!

We have been busy with chores around the house lately, leaving me little time to post…but I had to stop in to share yesterday’s wonderful surprise!

When I went through the mail, I saw a letter from the company that holds the lien on my car. When I opened the letter, I found that it was a check returned to me due to overpayment. Several years ago, I scheduled my bank to send payment every four weeks when my company auto-deposits my paycheck. Since the money is removed from my account the same day that money is added, I don’t really give the exchange much thought.

Since I was pretty sure that I had a few months of payments left, I called the lien to verify the legitimacy of the check. Since I pay every four weeks instead of every month, I paid off the loan months ahead of schedule. I was expecting the loan to be satisfied in the near future, but I wasn’t expecting this feeling of lightness!

I feels like it was only yesterday that I went to the Mazda dealership to buy my first ever brand new car. That was a pretty big deal to me, particularly for where I was at that stage in my life. You know what? This feels pretty big too.

Now, let’s hope that Sally has a few healthy years left in her (she still runs as smoothly as the day I drove her off the lot) so I can enjoy not having car payments for a little while!

The Birthday Girl

Yesterday was Mom’s birthday, and August 14th used to be one of my designated annual sad days. Every year after 2005, I went to the cemetery and sat on the lawn next to her stone…and completely lost it.

I hate visiting her there. The place smothers me emptiness and loss, and I shake with the effort to contain the sudden, desperate sadness…digging my nails into my palms to stop myself from wailing, “Why?” No answer would be good enough anyway—the question itself is destructive. The setting seems to summon my worst feelings. My mind becomes a skipping record hung up on the last few days of her life.

Yet, I put myself through it a few times every year: I don’t know why exactly. I suppose I feel that it is the respectful thing to do, visiting a grave…conventional. I was driving along the road that led to the cemetery yesterday afternoon, feeling the tears clog my throat as I approached.

Then a goofy memory of her plopped itself in my lap, and my entire body relaxed. I felt lighter. Instead of stopping, I drove on with a smile tickling my lips. Finally the voice in my head started talking some sense: Enough…this needs to stop. I want to remember what the world gave me instead of what it took away.

I do not have the words to articulate how much I loved her…how much I love her still for the ways she shaped my life. Go on. These are two of the simpler words in our language but so difficult to put into practice. It has taken almost seven years for me to be able to remember her without an undertone of sadness. She lived a life worth remembering in smiles rather than tears.

Mom - July 2005

Sophie Sunday

Okay, so this picture is a few months old, but it’s a pose I’ve been seeing a lot during the last week:

Stressful Life

The temperatures, which have been abnormally (awesomely, wondrously…) high this year, took a turn in the other direction this week. For one of the first times all season, we’ve been able to turn off the air conditioning and open the windows. Since we’ve been controlling the environment manually, we haven’t felt the need to keep up Sophie’s summer doo. She has been comfortable and hates the groomer anyway, so…Sophie’s lion cut grew out by the end of June and she’s been fluffy ever since.

Well, she’s been a little drama queen the last several days. The auto program for the air conditioning keeps the indoor temperature in the upper 70s. With the open windows, the gauge has been reading in the low 80s. She’s been flopping over in all her “IT’S SO HOT, I THINK I MAY PERISH!” melodrama.

Really, Soph? It’s 5° warmer in here at the most. Let’s get this straight, missy: I am the princess here, and I will not share the throne.

She all but glared yesterday as I stepped over her—she makes sure to to splay herself in main walking paths when she goes into full-on “woe is me” mode. Her eyes said, “I thought you fixed this already, you screw-up! Fix it again!” Except, she doesn’t realize that “fixing it” means the grooming that she loathes with every fiber of her being…too much logic to process for a poor little cat brain.

(Okay, so maybe she is the princess, but please leave me to my delusions.)