One happy cat

My days have been far from still lately, yet I took a few moments to create a still life this morning after putting the kettle on the stove.

My inspiration?

The cat on my lap and the mug on the table.

The happy cat mug arrived in the mail yesterday.

My purring sweet cat, several years before.

The mug was carefully carried back from Japan by my dear friend Deb, and was mailed along with coconut mango tea and a warm note congratulating me on my new house. It was signed by others, just as kind, at a recent open house I was unable to attend.

I belong to a special group of creative souls assembled by writer Jon Katz of Bedlam Farm fame several years ago.

Each group member freely shares his gifts of writing, art, and music with each other, and the world beyond. They’re all fully supportive of their co-members’ creativity and over time have become supportive of the transitions different members have traveled.

Me, included.

Though I haven’t met all of the members in person, as we live in different states and countries, I feel I know many of them well through the sharing of our work.

As I look at each of the well wishers’ names, I wonder how many of them I’d recognize anyway from their unique and creative styles of handwriting, poetic words written, and loving hearts drawn.

So many of them have shared blessings with me in the card and I see one member, Donna, added, “I wish you all the happiness your heart can hold”.

Well, Donna, I believe it’s already overflowing with the loving card, comments, and my happy cat mug.

I get up to tend to my whistling tea kettle.

And I smile, knowing I’m whistling as well.

Mom was always right

So here’s the deal.

Mom used to tell me when I was a teenager that every year of life goes faster than the one before it.

“Go for the gusto,” she recommended. “And always give thanks for those around you”.

At the time my pimply, adolescent self mumbled the 70’s version of “whatever”.

But I now know Mom was right.

Pretty much like always.

Last week my sister mailed me at least a 40 year old photo of Mom and her three smiling best friends enjoying each other and the beach with their kids.

But two of the women recently passed on, and so now has Mom.

Then yesterday I had a November birthday brunch with two of my own long time buddies.

One of them kindly penned an appreciate note in my birthday card referencing our own “40 years of friendship”.

“Wow! How the heck did that happen?” I mumbled.

The thought of 40 years of friendship hit me harder than the impressively large milestone birthday number I’m about to get slapped with.

I’m sure we were just children ourselves four years ago, not forty.

But trudging slowly back to my car I shouted, “How cool is that?”

What an incredible gift to have life long friendships.

And what a blessing to be able to tell those in your life how special they are while they’re still here.

Like Mom’s remaining best friend I’ll be calling shortly.

That will be right after I add two more suggestions from my friends for next year’s ‘go for the gusto’ bucket list.

I know Mom would definitely approve.