Happy Visitors!

Well, a little happy cat came to visit me this morning!!

Loyal readers of this lofty blog perhaps recall that the first summer I spent here in my house, 2 years ago, a wonderful male ginger cat — that I named Henry — used to come visit early in the morning, when I was in the kitchen feeding my cats. He would get up onto the back of the porch chair, so that he could stand right in the kitchen window and watch us through the screen and meow and startle my many cats. I adored him. And I always put out some breakfast for him when he arrived. And he was tame — he let me pet him and pick him up, and he was just so sweet.

He passed away that winter.

But this morning, a young, tame female cat — sort of  a tabby/calico — did the exact same thing that Henry used to do!! Suddenly, she was right there in the kitchen window, watching us.

I was  so thrilled to see her! I took her out a small bowl of cat food and she, as Henry was, is totally tame. She clearly belongs to someone around here. But she let me cuddle with her and snuggle and I got to pet her. She was so sweet! Just like Henry. So now I’ve named her Henrietta. I hope she comes back. She hung out on the porch for quite a while.

Since my cats are all feral, they don’t let me hold them or pet them or cuddle with them. I have not had a wee bonny cat in my arms since Daddycakes died, over a year ago.  It felt so wonderful to hold a cat in my arms again.

I had another visitor, too!! Of the human variety!!

Late yesterday afternoon, when I was at my kitchen table, taking a break from editing, an old friend that I hadn’t seen since before the quarantine began on March 14th, was suddenly standing on my porch at my screen door!

An actual visitor!! A human male!! Someone who actually knows me pretty well. Someone who actually dated me for awhile. Someone who actually grew up — coincidentally — in Cleveland!

It was so nice to see him. We hung out at the kitchen table for a little bit and talked. He drank some beer, then we went out and sat on my kitchen porch so that he could smoke a cigarette.

It was just so nice to have someone to talk to. A real person. A beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking, profanity-using farmer who drives a pick-up truck, even though he did indeed grow up in Cleveland, not too far from where I grew up. And now lives in Muskingum County, not too far from me. There are no farmers whatsoever in Cleveland. It’s urban — a city.  And yet he wound up way out here — a farmer. And here I am — not a farmer, just a totally fucking weird woman who went from being a total city girl to living in a world surrounded by hills and foothills and farms:

Top-Rated Cleveland Hotel | Kimpton Schofield Hotel
Cleveland Ohio
Scenic Ohio Farmland - Photography by John Holliger
Muskingum County, Ohio

Very odd and coincidental, right? So he and I get along. Although he stopped dating me because I didn’t smoke or drink (my excessive use of the F-word just wasn’t enough). He thought I was too nice, actually.  The last time we “dated,” he came in from the porch one afternoon, went to the fridge to get himself a beer (I always kept beer on hand in the fridge for him) and he mumbled, God, your refrigerator’s clean… Then he looked around the kitchen and said, “Your house is always so fucking clean, Marilyn, that it makes me want to puke!”

(I sensed the end of the affair barrelling at me that afternoon.)

Then he went on a big expensive trip to “go fishing” with one of his friends. I actually found out later that he had gone with a female friend who smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish (although they did indeed go fishing, too). And rumor had it that they’d had a blast. A really great time. And he spent “a fortune” on her…And even though we weren’t dating anymore by the time I found out that he had lied, it still hurt so bad that he thought I was “too nice.” (Even though I didn’t mind at all that he liked to drink & smoke.)

Anyway. I got over it. He is still a great guy, we just don’t date. (And he doesn’t date that other woman anymore, either, because she “drinks too much”  and it cost him a fortune — no lie, gang! Honestly…. )

And another sort of “visitor” happened yesterday — my ex-husband in Seattle called me, early yesterday morning, to wish me a happy (upcoming) birthday. (My birthday is in 13 days.)

We chatted for quite awhile. And since I am going to be 60, and he is already 64, he told me to be sure to start moving slower now because I wouldn’t want to break a hip or anything.

He was serious.

Jesus! (My visitor yesterday afternoon is 67 and, in fact, had recently fractured his hip.) I’m, like — okay, this is not funny, people. I am not elderly. Just stop advising me to move slow.

In fact, my new treadmill arrives tomorrow. I have no intentions of moving slow…

Okay, more good news!!

I did indeed begin editing The Guitar Hero Goes Home yesterday, beginning yet again from page 1.

I only made a couple truly minor tweaks to what had already been edited about 6 times… and now I’m up to the middle of Chapter 7, where I had left off a few weeks back. And I absolutely love the book. I am finally feeling completely happy with the edits. It has taken quite a while.

I’m hoping that by the time I finish editing the whole manuscript, Valerie will feel up to working on book cover designs again and I can finally publish this novel.

Okay. Well, more scorching heat is on the way today! I’ve noticed that during the really hot days, I have yet another visitor!! The toad likes to sleep in the flower box on the front porch. He snuggles down in the soil and stays cool in the shade of the  petunias. And I try not to water him too much!! Now that I know he’s likely to be there on really hot days, I try to remember to look for him before I just start watering everything.

When I see the toad there, hiding from the heat,  it always reminds me of this really great song by the B52’s, “Dry County,” from their really, really GREAT album from 1989 — Cosmic Thing. If you do not know this album, you must listen to it!! It is so much fun. (I knew Fred Schneider only casually when I lived in NYC. But he was such a cool guy.)

Well, on that note, I’m going to get back to editing the novel, and I leave you with “Dry County.”  (If you don’t know what a “dry county” is, it means that the county is not allowed to sell alcohol of any kind. You find dry counties a lot in the South. So everyone goes over to the next county to get drunk.)

All righty!! Have a wonderful Thursday, wherever you are in the world, gang!! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

“Dry County”

It’s one of those lazy days
I’ve got nothing to do
Let the wind blow round my head
Let a cloud be my bed

When the blues whomp you up on the side of the head
Throw ’em to the floor and kick ’em out the door
When the blues kick you in the head
And you roll out of bed in the morning
Just sit on the porch and swing
Sit on the porch and swing

The heat of the day’s got me in a haze
The heat of the day’s got me in a haze
Those lazy days of summer are here

When the blues whomp you up on the side of the head
Throw ’em to the floor and kick ’em out the door
When the blues kick you in the head
And you roll out of bed in the morning
Just sit on the porch and swing
Sit on the porch and swing

Just let the breezes flow,
Through your mind,
I feel so fine

When the blues whomp you up on the side of the head
Throw ’em to the floor and kick ’em out the door
When the blues kick you in the head
And you roll out of bed in the morning
Just sit on the porch and swing
Sit on the porch and swing

(It’s so hot. It’s so hot. It’s so HOT)

Here come the girls
Here come the girls up the road
Here come the girls, here come the girls
Here come the girls!
What they want to do they can’t do
Cause it’s a… Dry County

Kicking stones and laughing low
Nowhere to go. It’s a dry, dry, such a dry, dry,
Dust devils blowing in your hair but what do you care
When there’s nowhere to go
It’s a dry, dry, county

© 1989 Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson, Kate Pierson

2 thoughts on “Happy Visitors!”

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