That's how the last couple of months have been. Minor annoyances and stresses build up, especially in the winter, for those of us who are sun worshipers at heart. When you know a warm day and some time outside doing nothing all that important but still productive and enjoyable will melt the tension from your shoulders, watching that thermometer stay stubbornly below t-shirt temps makes things drag.
Then I lost Ziffer Cat. She was old and cranky for years, but she still picked on the dogs and begged for pets. Then she stopped eating. I got her to the vet as soon as I could after that, to say a final farewell. She was fifteen years old, which is very old for a kitten with as rough a start as she'd had. And, one of the responsibilities you take on as an owner of any animal is the one to ensure that their end is as easy as you can make it. No matter how much it hurts you, you have to make it better for them. It's not easy, but it is necessary.
Then I lost a dear friend, one of the first in my life to teach me that age old lesson that friends are the family you choose. He was one of my first "adopted" uncles, a big-bellied bearded overall wearing teddy bear. He'd survived Vietnam, Agent Orange, railroad work, motorcycle riding, diabetes, and recently a very scary bout with congestive heart failure and kidney failure... in fact he was in a rehab center getting into shape to come home after a couple of months on his back, with many close calls. And then he just... woke up dead. The doctors say his organs were trashed, and a quick look after he died showed it to be consistent with damage from the Agent Orange and the stresses of the last two months. His insides just... gave up.
It's one of those losses that sets everything in the world just a *little* off. I confess, even though I knew I'd outlive him, I never really thought of a world without him. I couldn't picture it. Even lying in an ICU bed wincing when he laughed, I couldn't imagine him dying, even while I threatened to pee on his grave if he up and died on us.
So everything is just that little bit off. But the weather is warming and the sun is being kind, and life does go on for those of us still living. I bought mom a big portable greenhouse for her plant starts, and me a small one for my tree cuttings. Dad and I went sage-hunting in the pasture, and dug up some sage plants to try and pot, on a mad scheme to sell "Old Growth, ethically collected, all organic, cruelty free, locally sourced" sage bonsai. It made me smile, and an afternoon out wandering pastures did me good.
The crows rebuilt the nest on the top of the windmill tower, but we've got the solar pump there now so they can stay. I climbed up to see if they were laying yet, and found a single egg, so spring is here.
My wonderful co-worker, the mistress of the schedule, took advantage of a scheduling rodeo to swing me a four day weekend, which has helped.
Little brother is coming over this evening so that I can finish paying him for the motorcycle, and we can go through a catalogue and get parts that are needed, and discuss parts that aren't needed but are really nifty.
Maybe I'll have the bike up and running in time for the memorial. It isn't a Harley, like he rode, but he knew about it before he died and he approved of my choice. I'll have to go buy some bib overalls, too. It wouldn't be right to show up at his service in anything else.