Tag Archives: cats

Our Pets Can Teach Us

Jack is a day late and a dollar short with his guest post this week – – –

In contemplating how everyday life has changed for us and most other folks, I’ve been observing how it goes on pretty much normally for our pets.

Bruce2

Our rescue dog Bruce has always been happy to get his exercise running around our big backyard and spend the rest of his time sleeping in his favorite bed. Every now and again he gets walked up and down the alley beside our house where he can enjoy different smells and that continues normally too.

Our cats are used to going in and out at will and know to stick to the yard or close by. So no real change for them either. It’s true that our most recent cat recruit, Buddy, has some health issues and that has meant a couple of vet visits. The arrangements for attending the clinic are a bit different, but I don’t suppose Buddy notices!

Our neighborhood dogs are all being walked as usual, although their humans are observing social distancing rules, but again I don’t suppose the pets notice much difference.

Our previous canine and feline friends probably knew the contrast between work days and weekends when we had the bookstore in Big Stone Gap, but when we moved here to Wytheville our routines changed. I finally really retired and Wendy worked much more from home. So our new ‘brood’ only recognized this new regime for us which likely won’t seem to change much from day to day for them.

Oh that it was as simple for us –

We are usually pretty social and sociable types, but now there are no weekends away, no shared meals with friends, no unannounced droppings in. Days tend to be much the same regardless whether it’s a weekday or a weekend. We do pay more attention to our neighbors than before but always while observing social distancing and our careful quarantine rules. I suspect that our pets see little difference for now, while we are beginning to get a bit ‘stir crazy’. It’s beginning to dawn on me that we won’t be going back to ‘normal’ for a long time, if ever.

Perhaps we can learn something from our animal friends?

1 Comment

Filed under animal rescue, between books, Big Stone Gap, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

Home is where the Heartspace is – –

Jack gets a guest post on a Saturday – what next?

Wendy and I have ended up in lots of great places so she could get some peace for writing. We thought Fayetteville in West Virginia was the best, when she was offered three months as Writer-in-Residence at Lafayette Flats. That was a lovely time, but the best was yet to come!

blue house

When we moved to Wytheville from Big Stone Gap, we couldn’t have imagined that among our first new friends would be Randy and Lisa who own Oracle Books down on Main Street. During our first year here we’ve helped them run events at the store and they’ve introduced us to many new friends, as well as supplying us with wonderful eggs from the farm where they live. Lisa raises goats for their fleece and I do believe the ladies have done some trades the hubbies are not privy to, as well.

But here’s the rub – Wendy found herself suddenly hit with two book deadlines. Her contracted book is due to McFarland Press in mid-February. Wendy’s been working almost non-stop at editing this volume, tentatively titled High Hopes: Appalachian prescribers and therapists take on the substance abuse crisis. It has some fifteen or so contributors, and all I know is my darling comes around the corner in our house from time to time, tears streaming down her face, or laughing, and says, “Listen to this.”

The second deadline is not specific, but Wendy feels driven. For years she wanted to publish a book about our cat rescue work, but her agent (a wonderful woman we both respect) didn’t feel it would work. Out of the blue, the editor Wendy works with at McFarland messaged to ask, hadn’t Wendy been working on a cat book at some point? Could she see that when Wendy had a chance?

It can be hard to concentrate at home sometimes—chores, cats and (dare I say) the husband can call my wife’s focus away. Randy’s sister Linda came to the rescue with the offer of her gorgeous 1900 house tucked off the beaten track. It doesn’t have cell-phone coverage but does have internet – perfect. So a bookstore is helping an author to get a couple of books published.

My job is to keep the wood stove going (oh bliss), walk Bruce our dog, and run out for provisions when necessary. In other words it is to guard Wendy’s head space so she can do what she does best – write. That’s what I guess all marriages are about, in a larger sense: guarding each other’s heads, if not hearts as well. You support each other. It’s always a negotiation as she supports my musical stuff and I do my best to support her writing. On the other hand, she’s also musical, becoming among other things a very good harp player, and I am writing a blog post at this moment. So perhaps as much as guarding each other’s space, it is making space for each other in our own?

 

9 Comments

Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, publishing, small town USA, Uncategorized, writing