Monday, June 19, 2006

Flowers, Cats, and Such

I spent most of this weekend surfing a wave of memories in my 2004 residence just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


It's been nearly 2 years since I last poked around this part of the state, and I must say that I've missed it quite a bit! The series of small towns that have sprouted along the side of the Susquehanna River hold some of the best nature snooping territories in Pennsylvania, and it's no wonder that it is the place that my artistic idol Ned Smith called home. Part of me wants to move back, in my own apartment, but I'm far from ready to embark on such a responsibility-packed journey.

In the beauty if this region, it was hardly a task to almost completely forgive and forget the hateful exchanges of communication that had eventually put a rift between my aunt and I when I called it home.

My cousin and I were running a bit late when we pulled into the Halifax Sheetz, which I once worked in. We were just 15 minutes from my aunts house, but decided to stop for a pee break and drink. An old supervisor of mine came from the back to make my ham, swiss, and salsa breakfast muffin. She looked less than amused when she made eye contact, but managed to mutter a soft, tired "hi".

She stood for a moment, pausing from putting her plastic gloves on, never taking her eyes off me. She was thinking.

Then, her eyes lit up.


She remembered! We chit chatted for awhile, and she told me how much she missed working with me, and how she was just talking about me to one of the other co-workers a couple days prior. The idea brought a smile to my face. They had remembered.

I really adored her when I worked with her. She was the cliche small-minded smalltown woman at first, but I like to think my existance as an employee in that store helped to open her mind up a bit about gays, and what it was like to have to deal with the stuff that we do.

Grabbing a fiji water and my breakfast sandwhich (this was 10:30 at night) my cousin and I sped off to get to my aunt's house.

Due to our late arrival, my cousin aunt and I sat on the porch until nearly the crack of dawn.

From the lit up church parking lot adjacent to the house, a Mockingbird began to sing.

I remember writing about (and perhaps some of you might) the birds singing at all hours of the night around that parking lot. They weren't extremely bright, but night in the country is extra dark, and their dim glow must have confused the serenading songbirds to the point of exhaustion! There was one mockingbird that kept me up at night sometimes, breaking into song in the pine tree just outside my window.

Around 4:30, I finally crawled into bed.

Saturday morning I awoke with a pounding headache, and after some breakfast and two advil, we returned to the sweltering porch which had already been made humid by the late morning sun. We sipped black coffee, and eventually decided to go to Harrisburg.

In the Harrisburg mall, I split off from them in order to find shoes while they snooped around bath and body works.

At some point in the mall, surrounded by people, my anxiety kicked in. I began sweating, and finding difficulty thinking clearly. My anxiety has worsened in the past couple of weeks for some reason. I tried to be a silent warrior though

I ended up buying a pair of new flipflops and a pair of etnies that are white with camo and army green shoestrings.

In dire need of a haircut, and feeling unhappy with myself physically, my condition remained on the ride home from Harrisburg. I sat in the back of the van silently, staring, hoping the anxiety attack, and minor depression I was experiencing that day would dissipate.

I began to evaluate where my depression had come from that day, and I blame my physical state. My clothes were old. My shoes had been ugly. My face was unshaven, my hair dishoveled. Meanwhile my aunt and cousin wore nice clothes, had nice new haircuts, and walked much more confidently.

That said, my cousin will be graduating beauty school, and has offered to give me a rather flashy hairstyle that I've been talking about on and off for the past year. I want something daring, something that makes me more mysterious. I need to rejuvenate my confidence.

The cut itself probably won't be a huge difference, but the color will be black, with a bleached blaze in the front, which will be temporarily dyed fuscia.

Hahaha! Go ahead and laugh. But hey, I'm daring to be different. What can I say?

Upon the return to my aunts house, it was already evening, and the shadows stretched across the lawn. To help eliminate the depression and anxiety I was facing that evening, I took the camera for a stroll around the house, both inside and out, photographing my aunts cute cats and lovely flowers:





Needless to say, my family are definitely what you would call "cat people". My aunt alone has nine indoor cats.


Haha...notice the milk twisty behind Frank. Frank was an abused cat my aunt took in. His tail had to be removed (it was broken). He loves playing with those darn milk twisties!

This is Madeline, the kitten we took from the Amish market two summers ago.


Fairy Rose

The above flower are my aunts beautiful 'fairy roses'. They're all around her front garden.

Fairy Rose


I'm not sure what that flower is if you find out, please let me know.


Ah, and here's my favorite kitty Randy:


Randy loves me, and is the kind of cat that loves you to rub his tummy and hold him. I wish I could take him home!!!

And then there's Pete:


Pete is all white. He's moody, kind of like my Eli. He only wants to be messed with when it's convenient for him. I'm not sure if you can tell though, but he's a huge cat! He's very muscular. My aunt took him in from a farm years ago.

Randy again:




Norah is fat. She has a heart murmer, and like her brother Randy, she LOVES being made over. Norah, Randy, and Madeline are all tabbies, kind of silver, and to the casual observer it may be difficult to tell them apart -- but not for us.

Norah, as you can see is VERY silver. Randy has a rusty tinge to his fur, and Madeline is the fattest, with bigger eyes, a white chin, white tail tip, and rusty patch on one of her paws. Madeline also has distinctive white rings around her eyes.


Here we see Pete and Randy in their favorite sunning spot.

The cats seem to take turns laying here, where the sun warms the blankets draped over the leather couch. All the pictures you see of sleeping cats were taken in that very spot!

Unfortunately a damaged floppy has rendered my photos of Sophie (a tortishell, small framed kitty), Sedgewick (my other favorite, all black with a white "bikini patch" on his lower belly), Tommy, and Abby. (Tommy and Abby are my recently passed Gabby's siblings. Tommy is emaciated, and on the verge of a similar fate as Gabby. Only heavy doses of medicine have kept him alive.)

Needless to say...we love cats. This trip has actually solidified the fact that I not only want, but NEED a couple more cats around this house.

Kitties just make the day so much brighter. I love their personalities, playfulness, and uniqueness.

So, with that said, I'm going to sign off.

I had a great time, and will be visiting again soon, hopefully with more (and better) pictures.

Life is getting good again.