Saturday, April 26, 2008

Feeling a Little...Woeful, Weary, Worried, and Winsome.

It's prom weekend here, and I am a little blue. Miss Daughter decided she did not wish to attend hers. Her reasoning is sound, she knew she and Boyfriend would not enjoy themselves. But, I am a bit woebegone about it. I really looked forward to seeing her in her finery, Boyfriend too. They make a very nice looking couple, they are well-matched in coloring, looks, and height. Even knowing, I didn't really enjoy my own prom, and knowing she is right in that they would find the atmosphere boring, I still wanted them to go, they both love to dance, and ~whine~ I so wanted to see them all dressed up. There is just a certain feeling in the air when a beautiful young woman dons formal dress to go dancing in. Sigh.

* * * * * * *

Mary, over at Idle Wonderings blog, posted some photos of her menagerie à trois, (sorry couldn't resist ~grin~), anyway, as I was admiring her lovely animals, I had a memory flicker regarding my household after I moved here, and how eerily quiet it seemed at times.

In our old home, it was never quiet, as we had our own menagerie, most often at least two dogs, a house cat, a burbling bubbling aquarium full of fish, an 8 year old red painted turtle in another aquarium, and a 13 year old leopard gecko, not to mention the unknown number of outside cats mrowing at odd times throughout the night, and there was usually a guinea pig or a pair of pet rats burrowing away in a cage.

When I moved here, we had Kiko, my son's dog, and Harold, the goldfish. Why I brought Harold with me, I am not entirely sure. He once lived in my garden pond, which I loved, maybe it was my promise to myself to have another garden pond. Harold is the silent sort though, one wouldn't know he was around at all, if his bowl wasn't in such a prominent position on the kitchen counter. I remember sitting in the living room here some evenings, and thinking how very very silent the house seemed.

We went 8 months with no new members added to the family. Then of course in January we had the 8 puppies, no more silence then! But 7 of them soon found new homes. Until recently, we had only Moose, Kiko, and Harold. Last Saturday, as I was feeding Harold, I noticed he wasn't alone in his bowl. There was a tiny little goldfish swimming with him. It would be an understatement to say I was surprised. Shocked would be a better word. My jumbled thought process went something like..."Where could this fish have come from? Miss Daughter is not in the habit of bringing home strange fish...strange teen-agers yes...but fish no. Harold certainly has no way of cloning himself, or herself..." I soon found out where the little fish came from. One of Miss Daughters friends, had purchased it at the pet store, and had forgotten the bag was in the back seat of his car, until another friend sat on the bag, and complained of a wet behind. The friend freaked when he remembered the fish, Miss Daughter rescued little fish...thus we now have Maude.

On Monday we brought home Bear, a 5 month old kitten that a co-worker was unable to find an adoptive home yeah, I had to adopt Bear, I had mice, and needed a cat...I really didn't miss having a cat...nope, not at all. (It is really weird that I did, as some of our house cats and I did not really get along, well, it wasn't really the cats, it was the fact that I was the only one who cleaned up after them). By the way, the silica litter is AMAZING! No odor, so easy to clean, thus, it lasts a lot longer, plus there is NO ODOR!

In a few weeks, it seems we will be adding a couple of lab rats to the mix. Miss Daughter is in a Psychology class, and they are experimenting with young rats. Her group plans on teaching them to become runway models, she wanted to teach them to play the guitar and drums, but was outvoted by her two lab partners. Anyway, when school is out, the rats will come home with her. I don't know why other parents won't allow it...I was the only parent that was willing to adopt the rats from her fifth grade experiment too.

I think, after the rats are assimilated into our family, I should add a bird, maybe a parrot. I have always been intrigued by Alex the African Grey Parrot. After that who knows? Maybe, I can import a common house gecko or two from the Florida Keys. Adult geckos eat spiders, so I could definitely use a pair.

Miss daughter thinks that when she gets her own apartment she will be taking Moose and the rats with her. Why do I doubt this?

* * * * * * *

For several days this week I experienced something that was rather frightening in that I felt I somewhat knew how it felt to be in the "shoes of another", for the same reason it was also enlightening. I have many clients with medical diagnoses of Emphysema, Congestive Heart Failure, and C.O.P.D. The most debilitating symptoms being chronic shortness of breath, and a generalized weakness. I have a cold, one that has settled in the bronchial tubes, for several days it felt as if I couldn't breathe deep enough, or fully enough, my lungs would fill with air, but seemed unable to distribute the oxygen. I experienced a small taste of how my clients live, I'm lucky though, my symptoms will go away.

A spring cold that came on innocuously enough, a tickle in the throat, sneezing...of course they had to be in sets of three. Eventually these were accompanied by a scratchy throat, itchy inner ears, sinus headaches, and achy muscles. Silly me, I still thought I was escaping the worst of it. No such luck. By Wednesday, my head was stuffed with cotton, my nose swollen and clogged, lungs felt as if they were working at one-third capacity, muscles were tight and achey, I was hot, then chilled, then hot again, if I laughed, called the dogs, or even tilted my head skyward, off I would go into such a coughing fit! Even my reaction times were slowed, thoughts would dim and brighten like a florescent light with a bad starter.

Today I finally feel as if I am on the path to healing. At least I don't feel as if I my bulbs are quite so dim. Which is a good thing...since I have two and a half days of paperwork to make up.

* * * * * * *

My son called Thursday night. He had reached Springer Mountain the Southern Terminus of the AT. He was tired, and pensive. When I asked why his thoughts were wistful, he hesitated for a moment, before saying, "I don't really remember why I wanted to do this. I really began to wonder why, when I was telling my story to an old man I shared camp with last night. I thought, I shouldn't be here, I should be in school, I should have signed up for the summer session." He said a better use of his summer would be attending classes at the local university. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, only time will tell.

As I listened, several thoughts came to mind, in regard to his current feelings.

Perhaps, he was in the midst of that let-down mode, we all go through it after we have been riding an adrenalin rush, not exactly depression, but a low-key mood tinged with melancholy.

Or, telling his story to the old man may have induced him to view himself through the eyes of a stranger, a more objective view than he is used to.

Or, he had just finished his first day of hiking, which is a fairly constant up and down, while increasing in elevation. Thus he was tired, bone tired, and the thought of more days like the one he just finished may have seemed quite daunting since he did not train physically for the hike.

I reminded him of... A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and the fact that he's read the book 4 or 5 times, I also reminded him of how strongly the Chris McCandless story affected him, he read Into the Wild by John Krakauer twice that I know of, and also watched the movie twice. I suggested to him there was something in them, that fascinated him, something that kept his dream alive.

I think/hope he will find why he is there, hope he will find what he went looking for, (even if it is back home), he will know when it is time to go on, or turn back. No one can else can tell him, he must find it out on his own. The only definitive statement I was willing to give him was, "I will support you, in any decision you make. Know that, and know I love you."

I haven't heard from him since, and doubt I will for several more days, if not weeks. He did not recharge his phone, so the battery was almost completely worn down.

My thoughts float over wide territory when I think of him, and what he may be doing at any given moment. I have no idea whether he will stick it out on the trail, head off in a completely new direction, or if I will find him standing on my doorstep one day soon. I have to admit, no matter how I try not to, I am worried about him.

* * * * * * *

I kind of like having Bear around, although I think he is misnamed, (we didn't name him), I think he should be named DiggerBob. Bob, for Bobcat...his coloring reminds me of one, and Digger is an apt description of when those sharp claws of his take away bits of my skin...

Gotta say though, I like it when he is curled up on my lap, drowsily purring away as I type. His contentment is contagious.


Sixdegrees said...

It is healthy and good to surround ourselves with living creatures. Love your menagerie.

Another worthwhile author to read is John McPhee - he wrote "In Suspect Terrain" about the Appalachian mountain range.

Your answers to your son were right on target, in my opinion. Your son is experiencing being alone, probably for the first time in his life. Encourage him to treasure the experience. Get him to talk about what he has seen and what he has done. Reminding him of books he read that piqued his interest in this adventure is a good approach. He has a lot of life ahead of him - he can always spend time in a classroom listening to someone else's experiences of life. He has a unique opportunity to experience life first hand. I'm jealous.

Mary said...

You know, as much as I complain about the animals in my home (it's crowded... and furry... and usually a little muddy) I really do enjoy having their company. Since I haven't been working recently, and the others who live here have, alot of times I really do appreciate having some other living being in the house. I'm actually starting to find sometimes that I prefer being here with the animals (but only when Boyfriend is in a bad mood).

And I remember (because it wasn't so very long ago) when I had feelings much like your son's. I spent a semester abroad in Wales. It had it's ups and downs and was thrilling and exciting as a prospect... but I got there and the little things that I had forgotten to worry about while I was being star-struck by the experience came back at me. There were transportation problems, money problems (LOTS of those. Britain is expensive) and I was trying so hard to remember why I wanted to do it to begin with. I'm glad I went but at the time (for alot of the time) the experience was too much for me. I reached too far a little too fast for myself personally. But in the benefits of that is the fact that now I have a bit better of an understanding what I'm capable of, and what is good for me. I couldn't've known it wasn't a good idea until I tried it out.

Anonymous said...

Rats, really, rats? Rats are illegal here. We're not allowed to own rats. Supposedly Alberta is rat free but I kinda doubt that. There are some politicians that have a rodent look to them:)

As for your son, I think a journey like he's making is something that stays with you for the rest of your life. I imagine he'll hit rock bottom and think he has nothing left and then find reserves he never knew he had. I also imagine he'll have days when he'll feel like a leaf on the wind, unstoppable. I envy him.

Sunny Delight said...

All of your comments regarding my son are enlightening and helpful, but once you read my latest entry you will find things have once again changed.

mary, I think it very brave what you did...yes I looked at some of your photos...I wish, oh how I wish I had done it when I was younger...I had my adventure planned, but I allowed "love" to change my plans.

I love my menagerie, when I think of moving or traveling it will be difficult...and I need to make more time for the dogs, but the house doesn't really feel like a home without animals.

They do add to the amount of dirt brought in, but hey we have modern vacuum cleaners. And it does feel different when I am here alone with the animals, as to when it was just me, Harold the watch-fish, and Kiko.

Pet rats are illegal?? Weird? What do people feed their pet boa constrictors?...our pet shops raise rats just for that purpose.

Anonymous said...