I’m watching the neighbor’s two dogs run loose in the neighborhood. The tall golden one with tail lifted like a flag trots ahead, footloose and fancy-free, while the short-legged corgi-type scampers along like a caboose. They seem to be enjoying this lovely summer morning while we neighbors fret about them. One neighbor has corralled them once already and returned them to their back yard. She and my husband confer when the dogs free themselves again: What to do? No one is home at the dogs’ house and obviously the back yard cannot contain them.
People here care about their neighbors. My observant, friendly husband walks our dogs every morning and garners news or dispenses advice. I wonder if anyone has noticed we have a new housemate. Our 18-year-old granddaughter has moved into my daughter’s old bedroom to work and attend the local community college.
This has wrought a monumental change in our methodology. That bedroom was the bedroom of our two foundling kitties for the past two years. It was where we sequestered them to keep them safe from the dangerous outdoors when the doggie door was open for the beagles. I wanted indoor kitties when we adopted them because we once lost a cat to a predator, we think, and we once had a cat mauled. By this time, the young cats know their room, and they gallop into it with tails high at night, or whenever enticed by shaking a tin filled with cat food.
Since the advent of Lalas, as we call our granddaughter, the cats’ material goods have been moved into our room, and the cats are confused. They dash to the closed door of what used to be their habitat, and stare at it. At night, they wander our bedroom, wreaking havoc, opening cupboard doors, climbing the blinds, terrorizing the beagles, generally creating mayhem that keeps us awake and grouchy.
Twice last night in the dark I tripped over a frightened beagle who didn’t know which way to run: away from the cats, or away from the human feet. So she froze and was tripped over with great cusswords. By midnight, I was considering divorce. I’m a catastrophic thinker.
Thank God the weekend brought an AA convention to our area. At least for pockets of time I was not crazy. The Friday night speaker, Cliff R. from Southern California, gave me food for thought. He quoted Mother Teresa, and I wrote part of the quote on the back of my name tag:
“The fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.” (Mother Teresa)
I suspended my plans for divorce this morning and made a date with a newcomer to meet her at an AA meeting today. I want some peace in my life, and the only peace I’ve ever found from my catastrophic thinking is in the oddly wrapped gift that is Alcoholics Anonymous.
I'm a poet, gardener, and freelance writer who lives in California by the coast, in a small town surrounded by pastures, woods, and vineyards. Other things I am: recovering LA magazine editor and recovering alcoholic, wife of a tolerant man, mom to two beautiful daughters, mistress of beagles and cats, lover of mysteries and photography, a survivor of suicide, depression, addiction, and sundry minor ailments. I write for a living and write poetry for life.
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“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” (Art Linkletter)
We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. (John W. Gardner)
Survival Tip #19
My strength lies solely in my tenacity. (Louis Pasteur)
I'm a recovering Lutheran
"This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road." (Martin Luther)
A Philosophy of Life
“It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.” Samuel Johnson
Visitors are beautiful people.
My AA Recovery Story
I got sober in 1990 after a life of drug and alcohol addiction, and I had 15 wonderful years. Then I moved and left my homegroup behind. I didn't replace my sponsor, who had died. I didn't work with newcomers, and I went to only one meeting a week. Ultimately, I didn't stay sober. I experienced that strange mental twist, and I picked up. But I jumped back into the program, and my life has continually gotten better. I'm married to a man with 23 years of sobriety, and we work our program at home. AA is the hub the wheel of my life revolves around. I've been able to explore a creative side of my personality that once lived only under the influence of drugs. I have perfect moments during each of my precious days. We are none of us invulnerable to that strange mental twist that precedes the first drink, and all that stands between us and the drink is our constant thought of others. My prayer these days is: God, do your will in and through me today. If I can be an inspiration to others, then my life is rich. God bless you all.
Rosebud on Ice
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. (Anne Bradstreet)