OCTOBER’S PARTY by George Cooper
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came –
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.”
The above verse of this poem was drummed into my head in third grade, or maybe fourth, by my teacher, and, for some reason, it has always stayed in my head.
There are many changes that occur in this time of year. Zush is no longer with me, my friend Kathy’s Mom has passed away, school has started up again and it’s the last semester for my nephew Gregory. Kasia is now almost 9 years old.
My father would always tell me how much he hated autumn. I always thought this was strange coming from a man whose birthday was smack dab in the middle of October. As 58 comes heading my way, I get it, Dad.There are no guarantees that the same trees will have leaves next year, or the same people will still be in our lives.It was Dad’s own bittersweet way of letting me know that nothing is forever, and the concept of death made him rather mellow. I am sure he is happy now with my Mom in heaven.
In the meanwhile, Kasia and I will help Jim rake our leaves down here.
It was a hard day today.
The fifth will be three months that my Zusher left me. Today at our Church , they blessed the animals in honor of St.Francis of Assisi. It was the first time Zush wouldn’t be there, and I couldn’t have that. I brought her ashes with me and the priest was quite sympathetic.
In my mind, and in my heart, my Zusher had her final blessing. Kasia, along with around thirty Other got their annual blessing.
We decided to make it a family day and keep on by going for a walk down by the lighthouse. It was nice with minimal tourists and tons of Monarch butterflies.
It was a good way to start a new month. We ALL were together.
For those of you who read my posts and have worked with me, you could attest to the amount of things that were on my desk. Things were necessary for work, but of course I had my plants, a seven inch cut out of Queen Elizabeth II, a coffee maker , pictures of my Zush and Kasia hung up on file cabinet amidst office memos and so on..
Fast forward two and one-half years into semi-retirement. My desk is an empty sewing cabinet. My MacBook Pro holds a place of honor, as does a Penn State Christmas ball from one of my besties,Kathy. Then, after Zush left me, it became a partial shrine to her.Her paw print I made last year, the paw print the pet crematory gave me when she passed away, in addition to a ton of her pictures.
Being not truly retired, but occasionally working, there are papers and mail that come in and usually sit atop my desk until I get to the point where I just can’t take it anymore. I’ll be curious to see how long this will hold out.
I had physical therapy this morning and, as usual I came home beat!
Rather than resting when I got home, I took Kasia for a walk down to the bay. Maybe it’s the current state of distress in Florida that drew me down, but whatever it was, off we went.
It was a very pretty day. I was pleasantly surprised by the cool air. As Kasia was on limited walks when she sprained her back paw, I decided it was time to stretch out legs. It was of no surprise that it was a long walk for us both. It is funny, because with Zush, walking was always at the drop of a hat. I guess Kasia has become too comfortable in the house, and we both need to get and keep moving. The pictures in this post are a few of the sights we passed today. Have a good weekend and send prayers and good thoughts to those in harm’s way due to Mother Nature this weekend.
It was a little hard, and the color came out a little faded, but above is my favorite of our wedding portraits, for obvious reasons. It was taken 15 years ago tomorrow, the 31st of August.
What I would give to have those 15 years back.
We have had our ups and our downs ,good days and bad days, and our heartache. Somehow, Jim and I are still here, getting up every day, putting one foot in front of the other. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows of which I speak.
In the quiet moments though, we miss our Zosia. How aching is it to look at this picture and know she’s gone. She was the best therapist we both had; listening and loving unconditionally. Yes, I know: she’ll always “be” with us, but it’s just not the same.
Well, our Kasia is still with us. Unlike Zusher, she listens and barks, er, talks back. We go forward tomorrow hand in hand, and with four paws next to us.
The Philadelphia Phillies are playing tonight. I haven’t been their big fan for a while. Now, with the arrival of Rhys Hoskins on the team, well, I am sitting here watching the game .
It’s a little bittersweet for me. I had noticed that it is “Bark in the Park.” A lot of minor league teams would have fundraisers for Pup Agencies like SPCA or Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. When I was in the city, I always wanted to take Zush. Now that I am almost 100 miles away, the Phillies finally had one.
Maybe next year, Kasia!
Jim’s Mom is coming to spend some time with us.
My Mother-in-law is 98 years old and we really don’t get to see enough of her, because we are out of the city. She loves Kasia, especially since we asked her blessing to name her that. Her name is Catherine, which in Polish translates to Kasia. She was flattered that we’d have our pretty girl sharing her name, although she goes by the English version, Catherine. The two of them had gotten closer, and I know she enjoys seeing her.
She hasn’t been here since Zush left us: the two of them used to be good buddies. T’ll be interesting to see her reaction to us being without our Zush girl.
Jim leaves Friday morning to pick up his Mom. We are hoping she enjoys her stay with us.