The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Monday, May 23, 2011

Prioritizing Emergencies

         "Peter!  Come quick!  This emergency trumps the kitchen sink!"

         That's what I yelled, in the hopes that my sister's beau would respond. Fast.

         I spent the night at her house, and we were heading off to lunch and then a bike ride. 

(Abigail's in Rocheport---delicious, unusual combinations and quite reasonably priced.  It's a family-run restaurant--Abigail is their teen-aged daughter--and is very small. If you want a spot on Sunday afternoon, get there right at 11 when they open. I hear getting dinner there means you made reservations a week or two in advance.  They always get fresh stuff from the farmers' market, so the menu varies from day to day. Yesterday I had a brie, apple and pecan quesadilla--delicious!)

        Chomp. Chomp. Swallow.  Sorry...back to the story.

        Peter was attempting to fix a clogged-up drain. My sister Nancy had been dealing with it on Saturday afternoon. Chemical gunk that was guaranteed to work failed. Peter was called into action, and he brought with him a snake.

        As he was working with the snake, pleading with it to slither down the length of the pipe, I stayed out of the way. No one who is elbow deep in grease and acid is eager for an audience. 

        As I was lurking in the spare bedroom, I heard a bird. Clearly. Loudly. And clearly, this bird was not outside.

            I ran into the hall and there was Lilly (Nancy's cat) and a bird. Proud (Lilly) and in shock (the unnamed bird).

photo by bluemoonart

        I picked up Lilly and Peter grabbed the bird. After spending a few minutes in the bird bath, it got its bearings and flew off. Lilly's ending was not as happy. I picked up and discarded the few tiny downy feathers that were still in the hall (I did not want the cat to have those as a memento; it might have reinforced her thrill with the near-kill) and had to wipe a couple off of her chin.

      I am sure she was upset.  'Hey, I did something exciting, and you  blew it for me! What the heck?' She had been so close to something so desirable and then it was inexplicably yanked away from her.  And after all, she was doing what she was born to do...

     But later on that afternoon, when we returned from our bike ride, there was Lilly, hiding under a newly-planted spruce tree. She was scanning the yard for her next prey.

     As writers (here it is, Hope) we might think we are so close to snaring something fantastic. A magazine's acceptance.  An anthology saying "yes." A publisher sending a contract to sign. 

     But if they are wrenched out of our grasp, we can't give up. We can only keep alive the glint in our eyes, and keep stalking...Stalking with our submissions in hand... 




  1. My first dog, Sundance, once caught a hare--a big one!--and proudly brought it to me. I, of course, was horrified, much to his confused consternation. Poor Sunny. Mama didn't understand. Wails of "poor bunny!" weren't what he was expecting.

    As for me, I refuse to submit. ;-)

  2. PS--I love that's very cute!

  3. Nice analogy, and so true! Never, ever, ever give up!! (Also...if you want me to do something, just tell me I can't!)

    My cat brought in a chipmunk once. I screamed and startled the cat, the cat let go, the chipmunk took off. My dad and hubby (then hubby-to-be) cornered the poor little fella in the bathroom, trapped him in my dad's shoe-shine kit and let him go outdoors. The next day, the cat came in with a bird. . .*sigh*. . .my cats now are indoor cats.


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