Sunday, July 08, 2012


There is a cat wandering around my property that looks very similar to Whiskers. For those of you who don't recall, Whiskers was a cat I had adopted from neighbors (who no longer live here) due to neglect. Whiskers had to be put down in January, as she was in obvious pain all the time, couldn't eat, and could hardly move.

I watch the cat out the window, as it saunters down towards the cemetery, near where Whiskers' original owners had lived. The cat sits looking through the locked gates of the cemetery, and rests a paw on one of the bars. Then, swishing its tail, it gets up and heads into the thicket on the opposite side of the street.

This morning, the cat is wandering through my neighbor Linda's yard. The sight of the cat does give me a bit of a shiver, not because I think it is some ghostly revenant or reincarnation of my previous cat. Whiskers' death was at a time when I made all kinds of vows and decisions. The death of Whiskers was the death of many things, or at least a walking away from things I thought were finished. Now, seeing a cat much like Whiskers in life reminds me that many of those things I walked away from are still here, and by no means finished.

I am hoping for a less oppressive week.Yesterday's heat index was about 110ยบ, and I did nothing but sleep, exercise, and read. Severe storms came through in the evening, and as usual, they passed to the south of us--no rain. So, at sunset, I went out to water the gardens. There was more rain this morning, but again, it passed to our south. I'm not going to complain as of yet. It is true that the grass is turning brown, and that some regular rain would be helpful, but I find myself thinking of last August and September, when we had two thunderstorms dropping 4-9 inches of rain, followed by a hurricane and a tropical storm. I think we had 26 inches of rain total. I hope to be digging trenches and putting in drains this year to avert a basement flooding disaster, but there are no guarantees that will work. And right now, with my new furnace, still not hooked up, sitting naked as a jaybird in the middle of my floor, I don't need any wet floors downstairs.

It's all about finishing. Yesterday at breakfast time, I cooked eggs, roasted potatoes in the oven, and popped an English muffin in the toaster oven. I realize that it was a terrible day to turn on the oven, but I was finishing---finishing off the potatoes and the eggs before they are no longer fresh. I have started several books, including one audiobook, that I must finish. I have a furnace install that must be finished. And I have a mortgage refi that must be finished.

In the midst of all this, I keep trying to start new things. I have contemplated going to Paris this Fall, as there is a ridiculously good deal on flight and hotel via Virgin. I could probably make it work. But I remind myself that I need to get rid of old debt--a substantial portion of it--before I start spending money on European vacations. I'm not even going to see John Foxx in London in September (mainly due to outrageous airfare costs to the UK). Hopefully by next Spring with tax return money I will be in a position to go. I am anxious to finish old business. But much of it cannot be finished right away, however badly I may want that to happen.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited a couple of very good friends, Dan and Jeanette. (Dan had written the Mirage Divine blog that I recommended a few years back, though I think he's on hiatus from doing that right now.) Dan shares my interest in astrology, and was showing me how to do "progressions". This is an alteration of the natal chart that shows you what will happen in the future, or to see what influences are affecting you right now. He looked at my natal chart, and pointed out the position of Saturn in the 12th house. "This," he said, "will tend to make you feel you are always running out of time." And this is true. Whatever face I may present to the world, I can tell you that underneath, patience is not a virtue of mine. My Impatience is only stayed by its dubious neighbor, Distraction. And even that has difficulty containing it.

I note that Dan says it makes me "feel" I am running out of time, but this is an illusion. There's no need for me to irritably run here and there, to cram as much in to a single day as I seem to feel I must.

So, I go through day-to-day, trying to pretend that there aren't major changes that I have to participate in, and spend my time reading books I've always wanted to read, getting a refresher in the French language, and continually look for extra sources of income and other things that might move me ahead in reaching my goals. Internally I am all set to go, externally, I am stuck on the runway due to inclement weather conditions. If I was literally stuck on a runway with nowhere to go, I'd likely be reading a book. So, the metaphorical meets the literal.

Even worse than waiting is having everything dropped on you at the last minute. Nothing irritates me more than planning for something--making phone calls, finding out exactly what I need--only to be made to wait, and at the last minute, being told that I don't have everything I need and am suddenly under the gun to do a whole lot of work in a very short space of time. A classic example of this in my life was when I obtained my first mortgage. My loan officer literally did not call for weeks. I called him every week for a status update, and he actually seemed annoyed with me. "I'll call YOU if I need something," I was told. Of course, my closing was getting closer and closer, and I still had no idea what was going on. Suddenly--one fine July day when I planned a relaxing day at my apartment--I got a frantic call from someone in the mortgage division, screaming at me because a whole lot of paperwork was needed RIGHT NOW and he didn't have it. You can bet I screamed back at him for a full 10 minutes. And, because I wouldn't make my closing if I didn't scramble to get that paperwork, I now had to abandon my plans and run around trying to get everything they needed. I have no patience for this kind of thing, and I think it's what I'm seeking to avoid most of the time. (To be honest, between the mortgage debacle and an incompetent attorney, I'm amazed that I live here at all right now.)

Of course, they say much of it is about attitude, and perhaps the lesson here is that in spite of the chaos, everything turns out all right in the end. That, and never use Weichert's mortgage services.


Birdsong said...

Sorry to hear about your mortgage rambling. It's the same here...

They work for you, but you always have to jump through the hoops. Why IS it like that?

Brigid N. Burke said...

Hi, Martin--some things are constant, aren't they? I have vowed never to use an attorney again for anything, unless I'm convicted of a crime. I pay a lot of money, only to have them drop the ball and screw things up. And the mortgage officer conveniently went on vacation when I turned up at the office in a fit of venom and flames. :) I'm starting to think it's a kind of initiation--you know, like African tribes gave to their youth upon adulthood, only we end up with fewer scars. Of course, money IS the religion of the modern world, so maybe that's not so farfetched...