Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Skittles Anniversary

It's been two years since Skittles joined my household and in that time she has managed to squirm her skittish way into my heart.  She's probably the smallest cat I've ever owned, as she is still able, at three years of age, to scoot beneath my bed with its mere three and a half inch gap between it and the floor. This is her safe spot, the place she will retreat to when feeling threatened.  When visitors are in the house, when I have unexpectedly managed to scoop her up and pet her into purring submission then finally released her from the hellish bliss of my affection, this is where she will retreat to.

In the beginning, she would retreat to this space and would not emerge until the visitors had been gone for hours or until I had left the house after subjecting her to the trauma of being loved.  Over the past year, the time she would spend beneath the bed has shortened, until lately, her retreats coincide with the hours a visitor is in my house.  Within moments of that visitor leaving, she will emerge, happy to be part of the household once more.  

Lately, she has not even retreated to her safe spot after being held.  Instead she has simply shaken off the manhandling and watched me warily from across the room, uncertain whether I will attempt to ruffle her dignity again.

I wonder where another year will take us.  This process has been so slow, earning her trust.  When I sometimes get impatient, I remind myself that one year ago, her claws would come out every time I touched her and two years ago, she hid from me pretty much 24/7.  I have this fantasy where one day, out of nowhere, Skittles will just jump up onto my lap and nudge my hand, ready for some attention.  It could happen.  So long as she's with me, I'll hold out hope, and even if it takes another ten years, that's all right because in the end, my sweet, skittish, little Skittles is definitely worth it.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Road Trip Travels

Happy belated father's day to all those dads out there.  I spent this year's Father's Day on the road with my awesome dad, road trippin' to Tennessee to visit my aunt and uncle there.  As usual, we listened to Janet Evanovich on CD and laughed a bunch along the way.

As promised to some friends, I took some road hat selfies along the way (these are not your normal road hats, by the way). They come from the vast collection of hats that I often forget to wear. Looking for any opportunity (read: excuse) to wear them, I packed a bunch into the car and had some fun along the way.

Here are just a couple from the journey (my dad gets into the fun a little later on - go, dad!)

Traveled with my Aunt Judy and Uncle Marvin across Tennessee to Gatlinburg, we had an awesome time. Perhaps the best moment was during the pre-show Lumberjack Feud, when on the board my dad was suddenly featured as the "Star of Duck Dynasty". For those who know my dad, this was an awesome moment in his life and mine. I nearly fell over laughing.

After our adventures in Gatlinburg, we returned to Murfreesboro, where I left the family to travel to Ohio to meet up with a friend, then on to Pennsylvania for our writers' residency at Seton Hill University.  As usual, fun times were had by all. I returned home inspired and ready to leap back into the writing.

The road trip home from Tennessee was fun as well.  My dad and I took an unexpected detour to the Round Table at Hopkinsville Community College.  It's funny because I'd just heard about this place from my friend Carrie and literally a week later, I'm driving home with my dad and see a sign for it.  Of course, I had to stop.  Who knew this kind of fun could be had in Kentucky?

It was great visiting here with my dad and I'm looking forward to the fall when a group of writing friends and I are planning a trip here for a Writers of the Round Table mini writing retreat.  In the meantime, my friend Kathleen doctored a photo in anticipation of the grand event: