Seventeen

It has been nearly a generation. Of remembrances. Of recollections. Of reflections. A somber mood embraces the day.

September 11th Memorial Garden (Main Gate, Fort Carson, CO)

Perspectives have varied through the years. Those who lost a loved one, the hurt and the memory of the moment remains fresh like yesterday. The shock, the grief, the pain have largely slipped away for the many. They would prefer if this page could be turned considering the passage of time. Or, the calendar somehow turned back to September 10, 2001.

What makes September 11th different? Perhaps its scale, the senselessness, the summoning of fear. It was a declaration there would be no safety anywhere. The greatest power, too, would experience a measure of fear and uncertainty. Moreover, “the civilized world”, riven with division, would be willing to abandon their principles in the resulting turmoil.

Instead, we witnessed the greatness of America rising from the ashes of tragedy. From the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, to the quiet of a Pennsylvania field. We saw people, of every persuasion, step forward, asking what they could do. They did not wait for a glib slogan, or an opportunist’s call to action. It was America at her absolute best.

In remembering, remember the tragedy, but also remember the best of America revealed.

 

*** Remembering September 11th, a pair of documentaries:

9/11: The Day That Changed the World
George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview

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Tuxie: Two Years, Still Too Soon

It is two years. We didn’t have a chance to exchange our momentary goodbyes. Our Tuxie boy left much too soon, much too young.

His quiet, laid-back personality is missed tremendously. Tuxie enjoyed his window watching. From the early morning to the late evening. From birds and squirrels to the occasional skunk or raccoon. And, of course, he watched his persons whenever they were outside and in window view.

on watch from the master bedroom bookcase (July 2012)

produce inspecting with Miss Pinky from the 2012 peach harvest (Aug 2012)

Maxie and Midnight adjusted much better than anticipated after Tuxie’s loss. The Musketeer bond between the three littermates, very strong. They always watched for one another in true Musketeer fashion.

In many ways, Tuxie’s presence and essence continues to live on through Maxie and Midnight. There are moments when you see some of Tuxie’s personality and behavior in the two.

window watching with a smile (May 2014)

We love and miss you much.

xoxo

Happy Birthday Meezers!

Birthday week continues.

Though they’ve been gone to the Rainbow Bridge for awhile, we still mark the occasion of celebrating their special day, Dino and Pebbles. Littermates, they came to live with us two weeks apart. First was Dino – a very happy, very friendly Siamese-mix boy. Then came Pebbles – a more cautious seal-point Siamese girl. Both had white mittens.

In play, they were inseparable.

Dino and Pebbles: checking what’s under the carpet runner

They were kitty blurs in motion.

the Dino blur

the Pebbles blur

After playing or doing other cat stuff, they often would relax and nap together.

sweet innocents: the towel covers the hole they made in the arm of the couch

In kitten life, they perfected the ability of taking nearly the entire bed for themselves during the overnight. Dino and Pebbles also pioneered “the early breakfast” concept – that’s the breakfast served at 1:30 am. “No!” was not an acceptable option in this regard. Regular breakfast came between 7:00 and 7:30 am, with a bacon snack at 10:30 am.

They made our home complete. Perfect companions, perfect love.

Happy Birthday Dino & Pebbles!

xoxo
mom, dad, & girls

Photos: From the Two Cats Two archive. They were taken using a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR with Kodak Gold film (ASA 200).

Eighty-Eight

Birthdays are the most special of days within our family. They tie the days of good cheer and good memories together, from one year to another. Today, my dad celebrates his 88th.

Tonight, Laurie, Andrea and I will celebrate with him. It’ll be a cookout featuring ribeye steaks, and a chocolate cake for dessert. And, may be an adult beverage or two.

frosted and finished: another Laurie chocolate dessert creation after a long day of doctoring (Aug 20 2018)

Laurie made a batch of chocolate cupcakes on Sunday for the girls. They too will be celebrating from their condo. The girls, moreover, will be impressed their dad strung 300 white mini-lights on the grandpa’s cottage porch for the occasion.

My dad is doing well. He’s in good health and good spirits. Those are the things that matter the most.

 

Happy Birthday Musketeers!

They came from very humble beginnings.

A tightly knitted trio of littermates. Their mom cat, Miss Grey, a Russian Blue Mix, teaching them how to live in the outdoors. Miss Grey taught them where safe harbor could be found.

Today, the Musketeers – Maxie, Midnight and Tuxie – are 13 years of age.

Maxie the brave

Midnight, the little sister

Tuxie, true blue loyal and forever loved

The sudden loss of Tuxie, two years ago, was a test of the Musketeer ethos of “one for all”. Maxie and Midnight met and passed the test.

the Musketeer baby kittens (Nov 2005)

Happy Birthday Musketeers!

xoxo
mom and dad

Dino: Rainbow Bridge Day

At times, the ten years seem like yesterday. Other days, it seems so long ago.

From his kitten days to his very last, Dino was the best of cats. He always understood. That made him special. Dino was a friendly and happy boy. Most of all, he was loyal – not only to his one but also to his littermate, Pebbles.

greenhouse scents: the container pot

outdoor scents: peach harvest

Dino loved his fresh scents, from fresh cut flowers to Kona coffee to babies. When the gardenias began to bloom, he was right there to inhale all of its scent. Similarly with babies. Dino loved sitting and sleeping with Deborah, Elizabeth and Kyle, taking in their baby freshness.

We were fortunate to have Dino for nearly 19 years, and to be blessed by his undying love and devotion. We love and miss you.

mom and dad

xoxo

Independence Day

“Freedom and liberty extracts a high price from their sons and daughters.”

John Adams said it is the time to celebrate who we are, joined together with our differences into a nation. Nowhere else had anyone imagined, or dared, to form a nation with a diverse people.

The founding fathers understood the risks they were taking asserting America’s independence from Great Britain. They also understood many more risks would ensue once independence was gained. It would fall to the following generations to become the guarantors of freedom.

In a letter to an acquaintance in 1797, Jefferson wrote the “tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” In closing the same letter, he also wrote America was the world’s “last, best hope.” To have freedom and liberty, Jefferson believed we must have the willingness to defend both, and to give our lives if need be. And, many have.

While we have been less than perfect as a nation, we continue to strive to become a more perfect Union by keeping fidelity to our core values – the rule of law, honesty and decency. Anything less would be a betrayal to those who have given their last full measure.

To our friends across America, and those defending her in far away lands, celebrate well.