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East Coast USA, United States
Lowcountry porch sitter. Appalachian Mountain lover. Finger Lakes dreamer.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Random act of pet kindness

A true cat tale follows...While our home boasts about its dog life most days we also have a resident feline named Chickabee (BeBe for short). Said cat has decided that indoor life is just too boring a way to spend a day in the life of a feline. As such, she has been quite successful in escaping out the front door as the dogs enter and exit for daily walks. 
Recently, as I'm corralling my feline after yet again another escape [this tale picks up at the point when I was 30 minutes into cat prompts, cuss words and dropping treat trails] a generous young man walks over to me (holding a feather) and says he saw me walking around the neighborhood and asked if he could help me. I, in utter cat frustration, reply "Well, if you think you are a cat whisperer by all means jump in." Without flinching this young man responds "Mam' I AM a student at the Vet College." 
So somewhere over there at the Big Red they teach the first rule of thumb with a confident, sassy, utterly frustrated pet owner: shut them down by framing a reference around who you are. WORKS. I immediately recoiled at my reaction to his offer of assistance... here's this guy with a feather in his hand and I'm throwing out some ridiculously clouded emotional response (what a poor excuse for a human I was in this instance). I paused long enough to quit chiding myself for seeming so ungrateful and thanked him for being so kind and said, out loud, that I indeed needed his help. 
Now here's the back story. This guy had just pulled up into the parking lot so while he's helping me his very large dog named Drake is sitting patiently in his master's truck watching the two of us pull our stealthiest cat retrieval moves. For about 20 minutes the dog waited and watched and this Cornell Vet student managed a frantic human. It's safe to say, as for Chickabee, having two humans in the game of catch me if you can just made it more fun. And it ended quite undramatically when she decided it was time to go home and walked unsolicited right up to the front door to be let in. It would have made a perfect periscope moment for viral feed this cat parade.

I keep saying to myself and to anyone I tell this story to...if this is how this kind human starts his career in veterinary medicine he will go far. Moral of the story? There is indeed hope when things seem impossible and if there's a vet student at hand most assuredly makes that true.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Finding place in a shifting world

Seeking solitude or simply stepping back from the hectic pace of one's life isn't uncommon. In fact, I suspect quite common as the world shifts and our lives seek greater balance in what some interpret as turbulent times.

As some of you know from previous posts I spent the better part of a decade in the Ithaca, New York area before heading south. An era before recessional trends and gray hair. In this rally into my golden age I find I am a constant interloper of the Finger Lakes. I give myself permission constantly to hold this region tight while also keeping my feet firmly planted in the sands along the coast of South Carolina. As if placing myself in the lush natural surroundings means I'm cheating on the wide swing tides of the Lowcountry.

It's the places I find myself occupying during these retreats that make it sweet...

The City of Ithaca has successfully completed a reinterpretation (repair) of its Commons where a young mayor (Svante Myrick) brings his youthful enthusiasm to the concrete and civic endeavors found in his backyard. From Hip Hop concerts to public coffee talks with the local police chief to cutting the ribbon on another new entrepreneur's business. What one individual does makes others take notice. Check out the mayor's parking space at City Hall, here.

An uncommon space and constantly evolving is Mimi's Attic. One need not be in the market for their wares, simply checking out the staff's talent to recreate living spaces on the shop floor every day is entertainment enough on any given day. In my mind, no one in the interiors market has anything on the sharp marketing and design skills of this team.

Then there is the Meeting House at Boiceville Cottages, a common lodge where members of the community can gather either serendipitously or in planned celebration. I've met some remarkable people simply by spending a few hours a week in this community space. Some weeks it's a graduate student writing a dissertation, others a book club discussing their latest read, or a yoga class bringing everyone to center and sometimes it's simply young people parking their bicycles on the curb to grab a quick cartoon.

Spending time with James Rada in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in planning to bring students to South Carolina in the days leading up to the primary in February 2016 gives me the chance to engage in my home state even when away. James accompanied students to Washington DC in 2013 as they covered the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for NBC and PBS Newshour. In March 2015, he joined Ithaca College students as they travelled to Alabama to cover the 50th Anniversary of Selma for NBC News. They will come to South Carolina in 2016 to shed light on the new and old south during a key democratic process. I'm proud of my alma mater for interpreting the experiential nature of its curriculum as key to its students success and lucky enough to have the time to share in the journey.

Discovering my place in this world simply by being where I am.
Life Enrichment is like a travel and learn program...offering infusions that make every day life thereafter far more interesting! ~ Ann-Marie Adams, Reflections on a Meaningful Life