WHETHER TO WEATHER THE WEATHER......OR NOT

Some peeks at our time here in America's heartland

Sunset right out the front window on the front porch looking West
Sunset right out the front window on the front porch looking West
My birthday party at Uncle Jacks
My birthday party at Uncle Jacks
Patsy's birthday party at my house
Patsy's birthday party at my house
Friends
Friends
Party
Party
Lightning
Lightning
Al with gun...just to scare off coyote...we never shoot them.
Al with gun...just to scare off coyote...we never shoot them.
Approaching storm
Approaching storm
Amazing lightning
Amazing lightning
Halloween costume 2009
Halloween costume 2009
working on doors
working on doors
Sandy Cat
Sandy Cat
Goldie and Happy Cat  mother and daughter both rescued.
Goldie and Happy Cat mother and daughter both rescued.
Pretty Boy..our first Kansas save
Pretty Boy..our first Kansas save
Halloween Party 2010
Halloween Party 2010


WHETHER TO WEATHER THE WEATHER

 I am in the throes of preparing for my first trip back to California in 8 months; one which is the beginning of an end….the end of this stage; this step in this sequence called life.

It has been a whirlwind of change; adjustment and acceptance. A complete 180 from the life and environment of my former home; the one to which I am returning. So many things have come into play during my 4 ½ years here. My experiences while living here; all the unexpected, delightful, and challenging as well as heartbreaking and disappointing events have united to make this seem like I’ve lived a lifetime in SE Kansas.

There are the pluses! Beautiful unencumbered acres, even miles, of pristine field and stream. Freedom like no other I have known. Movement as free as a leaping leopard.

In the past I felt as I believe a caged animal must feel. So little room to move without resistance. Structures blocking out the view of the landscape. Objects, large and cumbersome, blocking the path of life. Harried and frenzied rushing to and fro, so little open space and stop and go traffic. As our forward motion was spent in jump starts and pedal crunching stops. I’d look over at Al, while we were (attempting to) drive and say,

“This is not natural! We are animals trapped in a maze! We’re not supposed to stop and go , stop and go like this. Our progress is constantly being stifled!” ” He’d nod his head as we slowly crawled the 4 miles from town to home. Those 4 miles felt like 24!

THAT WAS THEN…THIS IS NOW

Well, as is often said, “the grass is always greener…” After spending a half decade here, I'm looking over the fence at my neighbor's 'grass.' We’re on our way back to the nerve racking, reflex challenging congestion of my much missed and very yearned for, N. California, San Francisco Bay Area.

YES!

And, I’m excited! Exhilarated! Impatient! Can’t wait to go home! As I pack, assemble and arrange, my thoughts give in to the difficult days I’ve had along with the more pleasurable and positive aspects of this land I’m about to leave.

It’s almost mid June now, and the weather in Independence, Kansas is killer hot! I mean, 100 degree HOT! And humid! This part, I don’t like…I’m a ‘put your sweater on’ in the evening woman. Give me a reason to cuddle up with my cats; a good book, a dear companion…I’ll take it! Here, “no, thanks!” It’s too damn hot! I wake in the middle of the night and it’s 85 degrees outside and the same inside unless, of course, I give in to the AC, close up all the windows and doors and turn my home into an ice castle. And a prison!

But, if possible…

I throw all the windows and screened doors open any time the weather allows. I love it! The wind is one of my favorite elements; its unbridled, uncontrollable strength. Wind whistles through the open windows, clatters and chatters through the Cottonwood trees just outside the upstairs bedroom window. Soft breezes rustle up the stairway and into the landing, finding a way through open bedroom doors as it dances over bed covers and out available passageways. The sound, the movement, the way it feels on my face and body; as it caresses me to sleep. Like a lover with a soft touch ; at other times, strong and firm.

I’ll miss this part of prairie life.

Lightning storms! “Come watch the wall cloud approach!” my friend urges.

We stand in the front yard with a complete 360 view. From the southwest a storm approaches . The severe weather radio is blaring an alert of ‘severe weather warning‘…coupled with ‘tornado watch!’ We know, if the radio alarm sounds again, the ‘watch’ will have turned into a ‘warning.’

EXCITING!!!

I love danger! I love being on the edge of potential harm. This sounds crazy! But, true.

(In deference to Joplin, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas..so much loss; the floods, tornados which have ravaged lives and ruined entire communities…no, I am not talking about this type of danger….and I pray for those who have and are going through such tragic times. Please understand this.)

We run out to the south lawn to watch the impending storm approach. Lightning is flashing, the wind is increasing in velocity, thunder claps are growing louder and louder and rain is beginning to stream at us from a sideways approach. Almost immediately, the front is upon us, swirling around, lifting small branches, leaves and our clothing. Everything is in an uproar! I see an instant of bright light above and nearby and begin to count, ’one hippopotamus, two hippopotamus, three hippopotamus..” and “WHAM!” the thunder resounds! I start my count again…one hippo…“whack” several lightning bolts hit so close you can hear the ‘snap’ before the ‘KABOOM’ of thunder. Astounding! Now, the rain is driving harder and the wind is screaming all around us as the sky is filled with flashing, pulsing light!

“Run! Run to the porch!” “We’re getting soaked!” But, it’s a warm, inviting rain. Sometimes, I stand there, anyway, allowing the tepid, pounding drops to cleanse my heart and soul!

I recall, prior to having lived here, while viewing movie scenes which included the drama of severe weather, thinking, “it isn’t like that!. Thunder and lightning don’t role and flash unendingly!”

Well…how wrong was I? those set designers and special effects people know their profession and they’re doing a fantastic job of replicating actual lightning/severe weather events. Perfectly!

Coming from sunny, mostly calm and predictable California…where severe weather rarely strikes, I had no idea how often such weather occurs elsewhere. Traveling, visiting and passing through many areas; driving through inclement weather and the occasional thunderstorm had not prepared me for heartland extremes.

But, I love it! And, I’ll miss it.

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND MEMORIES

There are those whom I will never see again. It’s true. And, it’s sad. Friends I’ve made who, I am certain, will not venture my way to the West Coast. Wonderful individuals I’ve been fortunate to work with, whom I wouldn’t call close friends but, just knowing that they are around had meant the world to me. Good hearted souls who care passionately and are selfless in their day to day lives. We’ve passed one another in this event called life; we’ve touched one another in ways which might seem insignificant but are, actually truly meaningful. Simple, every day folks; kind, truthful and loyal. Some met by mere happenstance, others through common interests. The population of heartland America differs in so many ways from the denizens of other towns, cities and states I’ve called home. Because there is not much to distract here, the locals have learned to ‘make due.’ A microcosm of larger areas with a dash of humility, a sprinkling of downright honesty and a hearty serving of pride. Small things are big here. Concerted effort is made to create lively recreation where, most people might think, nothing of real interest exists. Not true.

Within the year in this small town, there are three major celebrations primarily comprised of volunteers. Annual events which draw record breaking crowds. Neewollah (please read my Hub, Neewollah is Halloween spelled backwards), the Inge Festival and LHOP…Little House on the Prairie. That’s right…this is where it all began. The Verdigris river runs through here and the original site of the series was located a mere 10 miles from my downtown home. There are other, smaller events which enjoy a large audience, too. This little town, U.S.A. is thriving in “how to” exuberance.

I remember the first kitty we saved here. A small kitten, really. A baby alone in our huge pole barn in the country. “Pretty Boy” first showed up with two other kitties. Over time and with much coaxing, he grew comfortable with us. His two companions came and went, exploring and hunting the area but Pretty Boy was far to small; a mere kitten. It took months but, finally we were successful in carefully capturing him. Pretty Boy will, eventually, come to California. We’ll be moving the brood in separate groups. BTW, his companions, Little Girl and Yellow Guy were eventually captured, too. Sadly, both tested positive for Feline Leukemia which cut their sweet lives short but. they had love and comfort and wonderful lives before passing. They, along with many others, are buried in our little sanctuary plot for all animals, large and small.

Our “Party Pals.” Over the years, we’ve met some wild and crazy people dubbed, appropriately enough, “The Wild Kids.” We’ve enjoyed many a wonderful evening out with this crew! Lots of parties at one another’s homes; lots of gatherings, many birthday celebrations and Friday night dinners. In my entire life, I’ve never been so social. Here, it became second nature for a very long time. I shall notice the absence of these friends.

Well, I must get back to packing, choosing, discarding and letting go. This has been an exercise in just a few passing thoughts. I made a comment to friends that I must ’get over’ my writers’ block. Then another comment caused me to consider the weather. It hasn’t actually worked out as I initially imagined but. What the heck! Here it is..just random thoughts to share with you.

 

 

 

 

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Comments 28 comments

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Lucky Cats,

I wish for you a beautiful return to San Fran..my husband is from there and my inlaws live there still. I love going there being that I am a more country gal of sorts..It is an amazing city but I know you will miss all your precious memories of Kansas too. God BLess you in your move and I will be thinking about you. This was a beautiful hub that I enjoyed os much.

Sunnie


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Oh Sunnie....you are a bright light! Thank you for this wonderful comment. Well, when I'm back and settled..and you find yourself venturing to the W. Coast and SF..we must find time to visit...love you!


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

I promise I will..I think we will go back hopefully next year..I would love to meet you too. I love the weather there and right now in this heat in Texas I so envy you...Love you too..

Sunnie


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

It's terribly hot here, too..hitting the 100's for 4 or 5 days now and lows in the 80's....hard to take!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Sometimes writers block only happens so the mind can accumulate great things. This happened here for sure. A beautiful and touching write Lucky and the pictures are a treasure. Ms. Halloween Cat looks like she just came from a play called "Cats." This has been most enjoyable; even when leaving for a new adventure we always keep in our hearts the friends and memories of the places we leave. Their never really gone. Godspeed & happiness to you, Al and all your precious bundles; and Kathy, don't keep your hub friends hanging breathless for too long.:)))))


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Oh, Lucky! I cannot imagine your friends won't wander west to visit you and all of yours! Alastar: love your comment about writer's block may "...only happen so the mind can accumulate great things." !! You're right, she did it! Ms.LuckyCats, methinks you and I have a bunch of stuff in common; I wander that way now and then, and I'd love to meet you! Matter of fact, aren't you and Sunnie and Hyphenbird or somebody and I supposed to find a spot to share some wine someday?! Hope we don't miss you too long. HP needs you writing when you can, soon as you can! Tell us how it goes--gotta be good! Photos AWESOME! Love em all.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

This is beautiful as you...!! Halloween is one of my favorite times of year and I love your pictures, especially those... you will be special whereever you land and we will love being in touch when you do!

Have a fantastic day! Love, Maria


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Alastar and Teylina and marcoujor...such sweet and kind and very much appreciated comments on this, my derailed train of thought. Just like talking to you all...I feel friendship and comradship and support here on HP's and I love it!

Alastar...have you seen CATS? I truly enjoy this production and see it whenever I can. Many times in San Francisco and, most recently, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma which was, to my delighted surprise, an excellent performance! My favorite song of all times....Memory.

Teylina...I have a home in Napa where my friends are welcome to hang out and visit! When I'm settled and all my ducks are in order...I would love it if you and Sunnie and my HP's buddies were to come and stay a while. Napa is such a neat little city...so much to do and so many cool places to go and see.

Marie..you are the best! BEST!!! What a totally wonderful person you are!!! Im going to write and visit until the bitter end...which is in about 24 hours...packed and ready to roll! Yikes!

Out of here Fri. evening....LOve love love to all!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Hi Kath! Oh how I too hate the hot hot weather! Especially with all the work you have to do preparing and moving with your enormous family! But it sounds like it is something you are looking forward to - once you get settled anyway. Wish I could lend a hand kitty sitting LOL- ^,^

I have had a bit of writer's block myself, rather distracted with a few new tiny tabby kittens. Mama keeps moving them so I have to constantly watch her, I want kittens to be used to people so they are adoptable! I will have pictures soon (hopefully). Yours are absolutely priceless-I love Goldie and Happy Cat posing-so cute!

You have made such a huge hub impression Lucky Cats, you are the best! Kind, passionate and caring - I am so glad we met! I selfishly look forward to your return to the Bay Area so I can come visit you guys-I have always loved the North Bay & you are not that far...

Thanks for sharing your experiences and impressions, then and now, it is a never ending journey!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Kath....YeS!! You must come and visit and stay as long as you like..that would be so GREAT!!! And the weather....oh God...can't wait for cool evenings again. We're actually leaving tomorrow Fri. night and driving as far as possible...hoping to arrive Monday sometime. Unpack, do some work..Al's coming back that Wed. I'm staying another week and then flying back. Then, it's getting ready to do it again. Once I'm totally settled, we'll start moving the kitties, groups at a time. We've got Rabies vacs. up to date but we need to do this w/in a years time or....more $!!

I hope you can keep an eye on those babies...I know you will be successful because of who you are. And that is why I cherish this friendship so much.. We will definitely stay in touch..I won't be online much while away 'cause I'm not online in Napa & won't be until I'm actually there permanently but, I will be able to use friends' computers from time to time.

Just love all you guys here! My virtual friends and family!!! More real than many!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Hello Kathy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. There is no place like home. I'm happy for you. I enjoy everything you write, also the pictures were great. Take care my friend.

Cheers (:D


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you Always .... so much appreciated and your friendship and comments always highly valued! I want to repeat what I said to you earlier; your comments in poetry back to Epigramman always astounded me with your ability to reflect back in such an amazing way. Love it!!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Yes Kathy, a couple of times. The first one by force. The second by choice. You and all be safe and California will be that much brighter when you are there.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you, my HP friend, Alastar.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Well, such a sad time to be moving, remembering people and events, places and sights you'll not soon forget. Must be difficult. However, a social butterfly like yourself will flutter and land where the wind will take you. This time home. Love the pictures and hub; thank you for sharing.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Thank you Kathy. I love to write my little ditties on Epi's page. I'm thrilled that you like them.

Cheers


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

No writer's block for you, Kathy, you are just preoccupied with the many tasks at hand. You will settle into life in Cali and be back at it. This is such a beautiful tribute to the midwest. It is unspeakably miserably hot and humid...the normal course of summer here, although it is unusally early for this degree of heat.

Although, I see photos of many beautiful kitties, not one can compare with you in your halloween costume!!! Adorable, you are, Lucky Cats! I envy those cool evenings you are anticipating. I once was lucky enough to stay on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, where I experienced the Cali climate. I got a sunburn and never broke a sweat! Unheard of here. Happy packing and happy trails, Kathy, or should I say, Happy tails!!!


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

Glad you're back where you want to be! Life is full of changes!


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Happy for you, Lucky! I agree with Amy--you are like a butterfly that flits around teasing cats and keeping them all on their toes--and all of us on HP in the process! Have fund and don't forget to write 'home' - HP will be waiting and so will Independence! Be safe! Happy move to you!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Dear Lucky,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your random thoughts and the wonderful comments too. It's Saturday now and you are no doubt in the midst of your move. I wish you the best always. All this talk about friends visiting you in CA reminds me of my vacation to San Francisco and then L.A. about 20 years ago. I loved it in SF. (L.A. was too hot). And the one thing I loved the most was the warm days and cool nights.

Wishing you and Al and your "kids" a smooth transition.

Big hugs,

Sharyn


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

What a great hub and I vote up and up.

Here's to many more to share.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Like all your other followers, I love this hub. You are so full of energy, life, love . . . Have safe trips and fill us in on all the details when you get settled! Blessings to you!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Augustine, Always (Ruth?), dear friend & sister, Amy, Catgypsy, Teylina, Sharyn, Eiddwen & TSally! Yeah! I'm always so happy to see your names here on my hubs....makes my day! Well, it's been a crazy, fast paced few weeks....packing and driving, unpacking and arranging...seeing old friends and neighbors...finally, really..FINALLY feeling relaxed again...in my home. I'm writing a hub about the experience thus far and will publish asap. This was STEP 1 in a series. Thank you all for visiting, commenting and just being you!!!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

l could hardly take my eyes off mother and daughter cat. They look closer and more loving than many humans.

Wonderful hub. l wish you only happiness.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 5 years ago

Oh, so glad you're back so soon! I haven't checked w/Sunnie or anybody else, but I'm not givin' up on our havin' a field day some day! Glad you're settled and all of you arrive safe and sound--hope Al (?- god, hope got name right!) was a help and not like my last husband. God rest his soul--how I loved that man--but when it came to moving (even a trip!) he was a mess! Can't wait to hear more!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Dim! Aren't those two beautiful felines wonderful? We saved mother first..little Happy Cat was more feral and it took several more days before we were able to nab her, too. they reunited immediately and have been close for the 3 years we've had them.

Teylina..We WILL work it out....Yes, you are correct...Al is my friend's name. And he is the #1 best van packer in the world...we crammed so much into that truck...everything came out perfectly and in perfect condition..no breaks, tears, rips, scuffs, mars...nothing! He fit at least twice the amt. in that space then the typical movers would do...and they'd charge much much more than the way we went which was to rent the truck/car trailer and do everything ourselves.

thank you both for commenting and visiting and being great HP's friends and supporters!! Kathy


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

I also love this hub. Your kitty photos are wonderful for me as I write childrens stories about cats,dogs and almost any other animal all talking.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Writer20! I'm so glad you enjoyed this 'chapter' in life...and, you know what...your profession is of absolute necessity...you are teaching children; our most impressionable kids...about life..this is a huge responsibility and I bet you're doing a great job! I must visit your site to get to know you, too. Thank you for commenting.

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