Monthly Archives: December 2011


Today was strangely mild and the wind smelled like something from my childhood; a wind that had not blown for fifteen years, at least.

And today I said goodbye to my cat of nearly eighteen years. Tabasco, true to her name from beginning to end, came to me orphaned and only a few days old. I raised her and loved her more than I have ever loved an animal. I will probably miss her for the rest of my life.

I want to share some images and thoughts to express the joy I feel for having known her.

Tabasco, you were fierce and affectionate, neurotic and regal. Your hunting skills never failed to impress and dismay. You were born to catch your meat, with your camouflage-coat and razor-feet. When Sunshine died you had a fresh chipmunk to offer so that we could send her on with cat-treasure to the afterlife. You put Bastet to shame with the exotic shape of your ears and erect, queenly way of sitting.  To the end, your eyes were as clear as topazes and your nature independent. And yet you purred at the sight of me. It was a privilege to be your human and I will miss your weight on my shoulder. I hope that you found Gizmo and curled up against the old dog’s belly as you used to when she lived. Give her my love, as I miss her too. We send you off, our house now queenless. Happy Hunting.



My mother bought me crocus bulbs for Christmas.

Actually, she bought them for me before Christmas, as I needed to get them into the ground before a hard freeze. She has trouble with the squirrels eating hers, crafty tuft-tailed devils.

She told me how deep to plant them, and an hour or so later, grubby and cold, I had them in the ground. Now if only it were late February or early March, when these tenacious, tough, delicate, brilliant eggs explode from the ground in their rush to be the first spring flowers! The snowdrops will laugh, for they are first, but the crocus know how to make an entrance!

These are pictures I took of my mother’s crocus, several springs ago. She has given me all these varieties save the dark purple. The gold remains my favorite, but its beauty is more compelling in person than film can convey.  Its stripes, near the base of the petals, are purple, but I have yet to coax my camera into noticing.

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