ThorntonWeddingI am celebrating Pride this year by caring for my husband as he recovers from neck surgery and I am extremely grateful for what the LGBTQ+ Pride movement has achieved.  When Joe and I met it was still illegal for us to marry.  If he had needed surgery or ended up in the hospital when only family was allowed to visit, I would have been denied entry.  I would have had to hope some caring soul would break the rules for me – risking their job – to let me see, comfort, and care for the man I love.

Blessedly, the rules have changed.  We can marry.  We are legally a family.  Change and progress keeps happening; just this month the Supreme Court ruled that employees cannot be fired for their sexual orientation.  We are still fighting for equality, but it keeps getting better.

It was December 21st, the winter solstice.  It was a bit chilly, but bright and sunny when I took my morning constitutional in the early afternoon.

LeiaLeia FinnFinn  PoePoe 

Puppy NoseI decided to take a slightly different street than normal and just a few blocks away from home I saw a brown and white puppy sitting on the double yellow lines in the middle of the street.  He was barely a handful and looked up at me with blue eyes.  I picked him up and looked around, hoping to see where he was from and saw two more laying in a spot of sunlight on the grass by the street.  A few minutes latter a car pulled in a few houses away and I asked the man if he knew whose puppies they were.

SleepingPuppiesI was told the mom didn’t want them anymore, Leia in particular was so thin you could see her ribs. Apparently the man who owned her was older and couldn’t, or didn't want to, take care of puppies.  The neighbors were trying to get the pound to come and pick them up, but it was close to Christmas and no one had come to get them yet.  He said he had taken one in already, but it we wanted a puppy we should take it, cuz nobody wanted them.

I sat on the grass with three puppies for a few minutes and then sent Joe my location and the text, “I need you too get your shoes and coat on and come to me.”

Soon he came walking up the street and said, “So we have puppies?”

We have three bright and adorable little puppies, two boys and a girl, about three months old and growing fast.  Their names are Leia, Finn and Poe.

They are absolutely perfect.

We are moving.

Red HensAs we slowly leave this place I feel the energies and protections of this place starting to crumble and fall away.  For years, Joe has told me that when I am gone for more that two days the energy starts to shift and he feels spirits start to mess with him – playing with the temp in the shower and looking at him from shadows.  I know those spirits, we have an Agreement, but as we spend less and less time here the Agreement starts to falter.

White HenIn the last few weeks it has become clear that the new house has no place for our chickens.  We talked about who could take them and we have a few friends with chickens. I wasn’t worried, but as we started hearing back from people that they didn’t have the extra room I found myself saying, “we need to get rid of these chickens!  I have to clean out the garage before we can put the house on the market, time is passing and we have to get rid of the chickens!”  Something heard and for the first time in seven years something got into the garage and killed our chickens, three of four have been killed in the last two days. I’ve tried to close the gaps and places anything could get in – I have failed.

I sit here, writing and feeling like a coward.  Last night there was one chicken left, a rescue found in a suburban yard. I’m not quite ready to go see if she is ok.Blue Eggs

Ok, I’m ready.

I just buried the remains of our last chicken.  She was a gentle red hen, often picked on by the bigger, feistier girls.

To our chickens, our girls:  Thank you.  Thank you for your eggs that nourished us.  Thank you for your poop that nourished the garden.  Thank you for the funny chicken stories I got to tell.  Thank you for making this lovely place feel more like the “urban micro-farm” I’ve called it half in jest.  Thank you.

4 HensTo the creature that killed and ate our chickens, our girls:  I can’t be mad.  I hope you were quick and efficient and I hope you gained needed sustenance from the odd, charming, loud and messy tiny dinosaurs who lived in our garage coop for the last few years.  Maybe I should thank you for doing what I would not have done and solving a small problem in my life and in my move… I’m not quite that evolved, but I will work on it.

I will also be more careful of what I ask for as the Agreement at this place passes from me to the next steward of this land.

We are moving.

Maya1We finally brought the cats to the new house.  Maya, our fifteen year old, skinny, black kitty, the one we were most worried about, took the move easiest.  She wandered around a bit, found a soft spot to lay and relaxed.  Stanley, who is brave, brash and only four years old, is a mess. She yowled like it was the end of the world and found a tiny corner where she could hide.Stanley1

It’s been a few days now and they are slowly acclimating, but super affectionate.  We have set up our living room in the furnished basement of the new house and are keeping the cats downstairs while we continue to settle in, move and unpack. At first, they were both perfectly happy to just stay in their space and try to figure out this new home, but Stanley now has other plans. She has started sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for the door to open.  She hasn’t tried to escape into the rest of the house, but she knows there is more to this new home… and she hates closed doors.

Maya on the other paw, has found a chair to make her own and she is hard to pry out of it once she is settled.  It’s already acquiring a smattering of black fur.

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”

― Jean Cocteau