Monday, January 23, 2023

WHATEVER ~ For lack of a better title.

My life is mostly memories now, and whether they are as the caressing warmth of a late summer day, or as the jarring chill of an early winter morning, they are the sum of my existence.

Well…  maybe.

It’s a good feeling to think I really mattered in life, but the truth of it all is that I will never know if I ever mattered at all. 

Our neighbor next door on the corner of our block, came into a windfall of money just as the wife was becoming really depressed with all the operations she had yet to endure after a scooter accident a year ago.  After selling their home to a corporation that fixes up homes to sell again, they disappeared out of our existence in less than a weeks’ time.

A group of workers came in and literally wiped our neighbors’ existence off the face of our block, by ripping out their entire garden and disposing of it at the landfill.  It was quite jolting to see nothing left but a row of tiny new shrubs along the front of the house.  A solemn reminder that we don’t always escape the whiteout of our existence when we no longer exist in that time. 

I suppose it may be different for families whose generations pass on their legacy, but my legacy will be only what remains in the minds of those who knew me and cared about me.  When they pass on or forget, it will be as if I, my pets, and my gardens never existed.  It is a sobering thought that doesn’t amuse.

Basically, my legacy is only what exists in present tense.  The sum of me is me today, at this moment in time… nothing more, and nothing less. 

I’m beginning to feel the shortness of  life, like I'm a nanosecond in the sea of time.

Keeper of the Ash Tree Seeds

Little Tyke

Winter Savory
Still evergreen in all this freezing weather.

Hiding in the Leaf Litter

Mockingbird in Flight

Seersucker Sedge, I think.
I moved it to a better location when it sprouted on its own last year.
It's happy here.

When one has cats, one must always check all nooks and crannies before closing any closet door.  Well… not following my advice, I was woken up at 2:00 am by a talking closet door that when swung open coughed up a perturbed cat disappearing in a flash down the hall and out of sight.  She was trapped three hours, as my medicine acts much as a sleeping pill, sending me to the depths of sleep.

She seemed fine and the day after she was surprised with a veterinary visit which almost didn’t happen.  It was a bit of a struggle to secure her in the carrier, and her visit was just a short in and out to get a urine sample.  I guess that added trauma was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

She closed down and during the next seven days she only ate one half of a three ounce can of food, refusing steak, chicken, baby food, and nine different flavors and textures of cat food, despite having an appetite stimulant applied to the inside of her ear each day.

She remained in my writing room, with the gate put back up and the cat pan reinstated in the corner.

She had another veterinary visit in the mix, but he found nothing medically wrong with her, although she had already lost a pound.  This is when one has to really start thinking outside of the box.

I overnighted an order of a Feliway Optimum pheromone plug in, played very soft music for her to listen to, and spent practically every moment of my time in my writing room with her, gently stroking and talking to her.

It was the eve of the seventh day as I laid in bed, that I heard her meowing for me.  Optimistically, I opened a can of her regular food and she ate half of it before calling it quits.  I was relieved. 

The next morning, she appeared anxiously at the gate, and ate three fourths of a can of her food.  There was no stopping her after that. 

Deciding to feed her smaller portions more times of the day to put her weight back on, she is doing just fine now.  In all of this mix, I had realized that I had been ignoring her way too often, and am currently working on strengthening the lovely bond between us. 

Only a person with a cat knows what I am talking about.  When a cat totally trusts one, it gives one that feeling we often attribute to loving us.  Whatever it is, it’s one of the best feelings in the world to me.

Lyre-leaf Sage sheltered admist the moss on the lee side of an old log.

Freeze damage to tips of Narcissus.  

Base of old gnarled Blackhaw Virburnum.
Planted when I started the garden.

Sheltered in the driftwood.

Tough daffodil with buds ready to open.
Mind you, this is still January.

Seed pods of Appalachian Mock Orange

The weather fluctuates between freezing then warm, then not so warm, then repeat, much like it always does this time of year in the middle of winter.  Rain is always plentiful, and I bite my lip to not utters these words “not again”; as rain once again caresses the ground in gentle drops, while a thunderstorm could be coming in just over the far horizon.

Without this weather, our spring would be a failure.  This abundance of water brings on the lushness that overruns our gardens in springtime when the moans of the weed picking blues might be heard over the buzz of plants new to the block greedily staking out their territory.

We have an appointment for a week of rain near this month’s end.

Not again.


Soaking up the sun on a chilly day.

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  1. What beautiful photos.
    Remembering your neighbors is in your heart, but it's not nice that they have cleared the garden so rigorously.
    With cats you definitely have to be careful that they don't sit somewhere you don't want them to.
    The dog is a cutty.
    Greetings Irma

    1. Thank you and I wish you a beauttiful week. Reminds us all how fleeting our existence can appear.

  2. Hello Yvonne,
    It is sad to see your neighbors moving away. I hope your kitty is ok, sweet photos of Dustin. I will be a while before we see the daffodils. Take care, have a wonderful day and week ahead!

    1. It should be a while before we see daffodils also, but the weather, I think, is confusing it. Hopefully if it opens, a freeze doesn't wither it. Wishing you also a wonderful week ahead.

  3. "Nanoseconds in the sea of time." You are absolutely right, and totally insignificant. And justifiably so. We are no more important than a blade of grass that withers and dies, to be replaced by another. Grasses, however, don't set about the eternal quest to destroy each other, as do humans, who will continue to kill and maim, and steal and exploit until we are no more.

    1. Okay... I've thought long and hard on how to reply to this comment. It sounds a bit directional, but I'm going to glaze it over in my head and believe I am a blade of grass that is content to died and compost instead of destroying mankind :) Love it when you leave me such engaging comments.

  4. Glad your cat is happy and eating again! And yes, we are all just beautiful snowflakes, sparkling for a moment before we melt and disappear forever.

  5. ...memories are an important part of moving forward.

  6. How lovely that you could bring your kitty out of that funk and eating again. It's sad when a garden disappears.


  7. I had a conversation like this with someone about this. We really don't know whose lives we have touched.
    I locked my cat out in the Muskoka room from 9:30 until after dinner. I'm glad your kitty is better.

  8. So glad your cute kitty is happy and eating again.
    Beautiful photos and words as always, Yvonne.

    Hugs and blessings!

  9. Lots of hugs to your kitty and doggie ~ wonderful post and great nature photos too ~ Xo

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  10. I'm glad your kitty is OK and is eating again. I know how worrisome that is. When we moved from NY to Colorado we made a few visits back to visit friends and I was sad to see that the new owners of our house in Brooklyn had ripped out a beautiful large hydrangea shrub that I had in my front garden, It always had a large amount of beautiful purple and blue flowers on it all summer. They replaced it with rocks. I felt sad, as if I had abandoned that shrub and I'm sure my old neighbors felt the same as they always admired those hydrangeas.

  11. I believe that we all matter and we all contribute, in ways that we see and in ways that we sometimes don't. Time slips away, people disappear, but there is always something worth celebrating, in every day. I firmly believe that. Wishing you only good things and happy thoughts.

  12. Memories are precious part of life but today is ever present and beckoning.

  13. First of all, I'm glad you cat has much improved and continues to do so. I get that, having a cat. They operate on their own terms and when they choose not to be ignored, it's best to pay attention! I worry when Lizzie goes on a hunger strike, though rarely so long as what you described. I think all we can do is do our best to be kind and help others when we can. We never know when even something so simple as a smile and a friendly word or a compliment can turn someone's day around. And those things matter. They may not change the world but they change someone's mood or perspective, even if a month later that moment is forgotten. The now matters. I've been writing our family history and it's interesting to note things they did that made a difference. They probably didn't even know in many cases. People may go by your garden and get a lift that day. You make a difference, too. I'm sorry about the neighbor's house. That's hard to see.

  14. What heavy thoughts today! But there really isn't much left, at least of all the bourgeois possessions. I'm experiencing it because I'm processing my husband's estate.
    What remains are our children and grandchildren.
    What will happen to my house & garden, my books, my art?
    Warm greetings!

  15. Lovely pics! I am so glad your kitty is back to being happy!

  16. Hello, Yvonne
    Your garden statues are cute critters. I hope your sweet kitty is improving, feeling better. Cute photos of your Dustin, he looks alert. I am looking forward to spring, warm weather and seeing the beautiful flowers. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.

  17. Nice to see the Daffodils. Signs that Spring is not too far away.

  18. I love seeing the sunshine and I hope your cat continues to do well. And I hope you feel more optimistic in the days to come. Our lives do change so much from time to time and it's hard to keep up with the feelings they bring. I had a hard December and now this month it has been especially good. Sending lots of hugs, Diane

  19. Hello Yvonne :=) It's good to know Charlotte is getting over being locked up inside a cupboard. I'm so glad she is eating again. Yvonne, we may think we will not be remembered after we pass away, but we never really know whose lives we have touched during our lifetime, You may not even be aware of how you have helped someone have a better day. This is what is important, the here and now. Sorry to learn about your neighbours moving away and what started you thinking about the nanoseconds in he sea of life.

    Lovely nature images and little statues in your garden and I love your wooden mouse. I also collect all kinds of miniature animals and other small animals.

    Justine looks so handsome in these captures, I wonder what he is thinking!
    My best wishes
    Enjoy your weekend. :=)

  20. Hello Yvonne! What a delight to see WHATEVER. 😊 The first thing I noticed today was your little image … My small group of supporters. I then looked down and saw that I was not following you. I had to wonder, how could that be? 😊 So, now, I’ve corrected that and I’m your newest follower. In today’s post I was struck by this: “I’m beginning to feel the shortness of life, like I'm a nanosecond in the sea of time.” I immediately thought, wow, we are so on the same page! If you will take a look at my January 13th post, and scroll to the end for my “Closing Thought …” I explained that we humans are like one rain drop making a ripple in the water of the ocean. There for a second or two and then gone. The thing is, in your nanosecond, you’re sharing a lot of joy that enlightens me when I visit Perfection, More or Less. I especially enjoy your photos. You have a special ability to focus on the beauty of nature. The base of the gnarled Blackhaw Virburnum shows a lot of life experience that many people would totally miss. And Dustin seems to be totally focused on the present moment. Admirable behavior! I have to close by mentioning … I love your reply to David Gascoigne. I hope my reflection on “nanoseconds” doesn’t sound too directional. 😊 Always great to hear from you. Best regards from Seattle! John

  21. Hello, Yvonne - I love your name. My name is not so popular these days :( First time to your sweet, heartfelt blog. I am so sad to hear that your neighbors have been erased and their garden thrown away. I think that is why memories are so important. They are a marker in time - an imprint that leaves a mark on those that have remembered. I think it is lovely that you took the time to nurture your traumatized little kitty. I enjoyed seeing all the signs of early spring there. Winter reveals so much when you have eyes to see. Your little dog is precious. I am a new follower. x K

  22. Spring is on its way with the promise of new life and new beginnings - so I hope it brings you hope and cheers your mind and soul and heart. All we all can do is live life the best we can one day at a time. Take care. Enjoy your week, and thankyou so much for visiting my blog last week. I am glad you enjoyed seeing the lighthouse.

  23. It is sad that your neighbour has moved away. Glad your cat is doing well now after receiving much time and care from you. You do matter to your cat and your love ones. Nice to see doggie enjoying the sun on a chilly day.

  24. Your dog looks so serene just soaking up the sun. Soon it will be our turn.

    I never think of rain the way you described it as a pool of new life for the months ahead. I will try to think of it that was instead of my own curses for yet another windy, rainy day.

  25. The dog knows where to relax and enjoy the warmth if the sun.

  26. I passed by here the other day, but I couldn't leave a sign - I didn't know what to write... Even now I don't really know.
    This time I looked at the photos differently - maybe because of the "disappearance" of your neighbors' garden...
    It's a rather sad thought... But, in a way that we don't know - and we have no way of finding out - we all left a mark. We will live - when we are no more - as you say, as long as the people we met still exist. Some continue to exist in people's consciousness through their art, for example... and some have... blogs. 😊

    I am very happy that Charlotte is well! ❤ Dustin is gorgeous! ❤
    I hug you dearly! ❤

  27. I love your story of your cat. I'm a cat person and always have been. I love dogs to death but really I'm a cat person.

    Loved your words about legacy. I see people's signs being erased all the time. I worked for 43 years since I retired a few years ago, people have changed, systems have changed, everything has changed. Yes it might be a little unsettling but it is no longer my business and the people in charge are taking the reins and running with it. Our legacy is truly the people who remember us.

  28. Dear Yvonne,
    as always, your blog articles are thought-provoking. Also, thank you very much for pointing out your Panama posts - I read them all today. What an adventurous, catastrophic and yet special time of your life. It changed you, "shaped" you (or at least helped shaping you), even if it was only for a few years. Maybe it's not an imprint you wanted, but who knows, maybe you "needed" it. To get stronger or to feel something you haven't felt before. E.g. simply what the difference is between safety and insecurity or how intense (comparatively) the security of a home can feel when it is in a comfortable world... (I don't know if it really was THAT, but people mostly learn something in difficult times that they didn't want but needed.)
    My point is that the time in Panama left an imprint on you, although it didn't last long compared to your entire lifetime. The people of this time and also the animals remained as a stamp on your soul. And so it is with every human, every living being. I have a lot of respect for David, but I' sure we're not just blades of grass. It may be that in later decades our importance is no longer perceived as "That was Yvonne, that was Traude, that was David...", but an echo remains - and depending on whether you lived your life one way or the other it is a constructive or destructive echo.
    Even if we don't have descendants, we have gone through life and influenced others. It always reminds me of the movie It's a Wonderful Life with James Steward. Of course everything is exaggerated in the movie, but that's exactly what it is: Often we don't know what traces we left behind, and yet we did it. And I'm sure your traces were and are valuable for many people (and of course animals). Your way of being and thinking is valuable, mindful, special. Valuable people always leave something positive behind in others, trust me!
    Best wishes and lots of hugs to you and your fur babies - have a happy weekend and a good February,

  29. You have been very philosophical in this post and i can understand your thoughts. Life is nothing but a series of memories...iam sure you have built a lot of them through your blog ...keep sharing Yvonne


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