Noah and the Floods

Thomas Friedman has written a timely op-ed in the New York Times, but the headline is even more pertinent to south Louisiana: “We Are All Noah Now.” Pet owners, be sure you have enough carriers for your animals, because you may need to evacuate with them.


A younger Thunder.

Last month my house almost flooded. I say “almost” because water rose fourteen inches up to the sill; another half-inch and it would have been inside. But the yard was underwater, the carport submerged, and the bird feeder soaked. Not having faced this particular emergency before, my panic was rising almost as quickly as the water at 11 am that Saturday morning. I grabbed my standby bag and put Bianca in a carrier. When I looked around for Thunder, he had vanished. Forty minutes of manic-depressive searching later, he still hadn’t appeared. I put a big plate of dry food on the kitchen counter, set a small dish of canned food on the floor, and prayed that the water would go down soon.

And it did, probably within four hours of my departure. My parents welcomed me, but I went back to check on Thunder the next day when the water had receded and the roads were open.


Flood water.

Well, you may be thinking, that’s nothing compared to the people who couldn’t get out in time (like my brother and two nephews, who were rescued by a state police boat) or to those whose houses were totally ruined and who may still be living in shelters. And you would be right.  Eleven years ago the experience of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was more traumatic, when evacuees were forcibly separated from their pets and sometimes from other family members. And the people who worked tirelessly to help, from the National Guard to neighbors who had a boat or sheet-rock skills or extra supplies to donate.

Friedman’s well-supported essay argues that humans must take more care of the earth and all its residents, or we will lose it soon. I add that each of us must be prepared with an ark for the next disaster. Meanwhile, read Friedman, support Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Federation and your favorite save-the-earth organization, and get some more pet carriers.


Save the Rembrandt, save the cat, save the fire

I spent the merrie merrie months of May and June writing (but not in this blog), revising, and reading. What bliss. The garden misses me, though.

The literary frenzy over My Struggle is not what I would normally be interested in, but since I first came across the name of Karl Ove Knausgaard in the article below, I’ve read reviews and excerpts and and am part-way through his novel A Time for Everything. 

“In a Paris Review interview, [Norwegian author Karl Ove] Knausgaard says the question of whether a writer ought to use his family as material is akin to asking the question: Would you save the cat or the Rembrandt from the burning house? He says we must save the cat, choose life over art — a somewhat surprising answer from a writer who portrays his own family in such intimate detail.

“Asked a similar question about a hypothetical house on fire, Jean Cocteau said that he would save the fire.”*

There is a poem in those lines, even though NaPoWriMo is over.

What bliss?
Save the Rembrandt, for art gives meaning
Save the cat, for life is all
Save the fire, for who would rather rust than burn
What, bliss?


*Francine Prose and Leslie Jamison, “Is It O.K. to Mine Real Relationships for Literary Material?”  New York Times Sunday Book Review April 22, 2014.

NaPoWriMo April 12

October 25, 2013


Daily I sit in front of computers, hearing the doorbell of e-mail–

“Read me now. Don’t wait! You might miss something.”

My hand wants to be holding a pencil

feeling the graphite scratch across the fresh paper.


Sip the coffee.

Listen to the perk.

Let the cat crawl over the desk.

Watch the candle flame.

Feel the cool hint of early fall.

Friday Gets Better

Well, the day has gotten better–a planning meeting turned into a lunchtime conversation at a Mexican restaurant. I met a new colleague, I continue to love my job, and Bianca’s bloodwork came back pure. Perhaps she just had an upset stomach.

Best wishes for the weekend.

TImage Bianca is peeking through the front window blinds. The picture is upside down–her stomach isn’t the only thing upset. (I rotated it in MS Paint before saving, but here it’s still upside down; sorry.)

Food Tales for a Friday

It is mornings like these which give Mondays a bad name–except that today is Friday

My lovely, mischievous, energetic tuxedo cat Bianca has been unable to keep her food down, so early this morning I dropped her off on the way to work to be examined by the vet. Since that errand took the time I normally use for eating cereal and brewing coffee at home, I drove through McDonalds for breakfast on the way to work.

At least there’s good coffee to be had at the golden arches. I was nearly salivating for Cinnamon Melts–a rare treat for an early morning. I reached into the takeout bag and felt, not the corners of a cinna-melt box, but something soft, like a tortilla. Had I been given–horrors– someone else’s order?  I had paid for mine and received the correct receipt. Rats!  Even the coffee was only a medium size, not the large I was planning to indulge in.  So for this morning at least, “I’m lovin’ it”–breakfast sausage and McMuffins are how much of small-town and working America eats.  

Does the rest of the world seem to be coming apart as well, or is that perception just a result of fast-food sausage and cheese? The lead editorial in this morning’s NYTimes online news digest blames Republicans again, this time for using an unfortunate news week to vilify and threaten the Obama administration. Louisiana’s governor is non-campaigning in New Hampshire, although the legislature is working on a budget to salvage what it can of the public-service wreckage resulting from his ideological privatization and consequent reduction of public education, health, and other services. Against all this, what is a aging librarian with a sick cat and the wrong breakfast to do?