That question was answered fairly quickly.
I had been sitting here watching the day progress with both dogs still inside. Molly had awakened me around six this morning so I had let her out and waited until she came running back into the warm from the cold morning air. That early wake up is the main reason I try to get them to stay outside as late as possible. Last night however Bella had managed somehow to escape the yard and I had yet to go out and find out how and where. While I sat here waiting on inspiration to strike and produce wondrous words of inspiration and encouragement, I watched the morning progress outside my windows. The sky was slightly overcast and grey in appearance. The sunlight struggling to push through as the cool winter winds caused some of the remaining leaves to break free their hold and succumb to gravity. Twirling and dancing on the winds they joined the thousands of other leaves covering the ground around my house. The cats were on the steps waiting on their meal and watching the leaves fall. At one point they were attempting to catch the leaves falling near where they sat.
After my mother had called and we had our morning chat, I got up to pour a cup of coffee but first went outside to feed the hungry gathering of what my son calls my fan club. I’m only giving them one can of food and extra dry as lately they have taken a preference to the dry food. After a bit of head scratches and petting I came back inside. I barely got sat down when I noticed quite a few large birds circling over the tops of the trees. Fearing for the cats I headed out back but the birds were gone and so were the cats. Feral cats never lose that instinct. My older dog Bella, the one who escaped the yard last night, let me know that she needed to go outside. At this point I still had not gone outside to see how she had gotten out but I let both dogs outside. They took care of their needs and then seemingly innocently, aimlessly wandered about the front yard. Before I realized what was happening, both dogs were gone. It was incredibly easy to find their escape route. An entire section of the fence had came loose from the post. My question of how she got out, answered. After a brief not real chase but close enough, both dogs were back inside the fence and in the house. My son repaired the fence and reinforced it in the hopes of it not coming apart again. As soon as we let the dogs back outside they both went to check the fence as if ready for another run. Sorry girls, not this time.
This room that I spend most of my time was originally a sort of breezeway room between the kitchen and carport. When my step-daughter moved in with us, my husband sealed off the door to the carport but left the door to the front yard. There is a wooden door and an outside storm door. Last year my son somehow managed to break the top glass. This door has been on the house for many, many years. I went to replace the door only to have the person who came out tell me that he couldn’t do it because of the way the vinyl siding was put on. I then simply improvised. I bought a roll of screen wire and covered the opening, fastening it in place with the amazing duct tape. This was fine during the summer but we are now in the colder weather and I needed something to cover the door. I purchased a small packet of plastic drop cloth but it wasn’t clear and I really want to be able to see through the door. That slight case of claustrophobia and need for sunlight thing. That is when my son half seriously said we could use plastic wrap. I had an unopened box of clear plastic wrap that had been under the cabinet for ages. I got the box and handed it to him wondering how far he would carry his half joke. In the end, together we cling wrapped the entire door. Around and around, over lapping enough to hopefully cover any gaps. I do need to find the missing duct tape that I put away for safe keeping even from me. As it is, the plastic wrap is working. It has stopped most of the cool air and more importantly, I can see through it..and I’m Glad.
I needed some firewood in the house and I had used all that I had brought over from the stack last night. While I was outside I grabbed the old yard cart and pulled it over to the wood pile. Wood so graciously given to me by a friend and fellow church family member. Loading up what I knew the cart would haul without dragging the tires I pulled it back to the front yard and carried part of the wood inside.
That’s all well and good you think but what has this to do with thankfulness? Being we are still in the month of gratitude.
Hours ago, when I began writing this, I am sure I had a very profound thought to offer. As the hours have passed and interruption after interruption has taken place I am wondering what that profound thought may have been. Maybe, it wasn’t a singular thought but several wrapped up in the events of the day.
I wonder at times how we process life. How we see the things around us and comprehend how what we see and live, affects us. How do we utilize the moments and opportunities?
This morning while watching the cats out back watching the falling leaves, no longer afraid of them, rather now attempting to catch them as they fall, I felt contentment. To be able to sit and watch something so innocent playing out before me is comforting. To not have to focus and contemplate intense thoughts and worry but merely enjoy the interlude was a heart moment.
Twice though, the cats had less calm moments. The moment when the large, bird of prey looking shapes began circling above and when the dogs came barreling around the house hot for the chase. I know that all of the cats are safe as we’ve seen them since. Their survival instinct is very strong and well honed. I wonder, how we are as humans. How well is our instinct for survival? Would we know what to do, to save ourselves or others? Have we as a so called civilized society, become complacent and lost that self preservation in whole or part? If we found ourselves in a situation where we find ourselves threatened, would we know how to react? We do all have that fight or flight response https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-happens-to-your-body-during-the-fight-or-flight-response/ . It may simply be a matter of knowing which is appropriate.
My two dogs found (created?) a weakness in the fence and when the fence gave way, took advantage of the opening created. How often have we done that? How often have we pushed the boundaries before us until they gave way and we made our way through the opening created? For my dogs and the cats, this was not a good thing. For people though, depending on the reason for the barrier, it could be either good or bad. Bad if the boundaries were there for protective measures. Good if they were barriers preventing one from reaching a dream or goal. If one is told they are too young, too lacking in knowledge, too anything that is meant to be a stopping of dreams. To push against those with a strong will and determination and making strides or even accomplishing that dream, is a good thing.
Not too long back people used and reused things. Aluminum foil was washed and used again. Bacon grease was saved and used in cooking. If something broke or broke down, it was repaired if possible. Items were purchased for longevity. Sadly, we seem to have become a throwaway society. Buy cheap and buy often. I did move to replace the door due to the broken glass and now thanks to Bella’s fear during a fireworks night the screen is destroyed, but the cost was prohibitive. I found ways to make do. That plastic wrap may not be as warm or secure as a new door would have been, but it will work. Once I get the edges taped into place it should be fine since it has so many layers.
It does make me very glad that God is not a throw away God. He sees us in our good times and in our broken. He loves us all the same. There was a time when I was acting way outside my faith. I was doing things that if I had remained on the right path I would have never done. I had to hit bottom though, I had to get to the point where I knew I could go no further on my own. It was then that I was saved from that situation and brought home to heal, brought home with an understanding of domestic abuse and the affects of alcohol. Brought home with the ability to look back and see how a bad situation could have been much worse and how I was protected often.
I understand that everything I have gone through and dealt with, has been a test and a lesson. It has been up to me to learn and grow from those lessons. With a greater understanding, I can be here for others. I can be the one who listens and knows where the one in need is and where their pain is coming from.
For all of this and more, I am thankful.