Dead men do not have birthdays, and because of this, I have remained reluctant to acknowledge November 17th as anything other than a silent day of reminiscing. That is also a big, fat lie because when Gatita the cat was still alive, I would serve her tuna, saying, “Celebrate in his place!” Because of the … Continue reading Ashes to Ashes
Part of it feels like Hallelujah, and you’ll think that’s a bad thing but it is not. Hallelujah … Halle-lujah … And wouldn’t he laugh to think that a holy song would be sung in his honor. Except, he was not disrespectful, not in that way. Irreverent, yes, but not without manners, not intentionally, never … Continue reading No Victory March
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 2015. (Photography by Patty VanLandeghem) For the last 16 years, this had been my signature hello after entering whatever abode we inhabited. I would call out to her as she meowed back, scolding me for leaving for any length of time. I once used this soothing comfort to entice my walking … Continue reading Como estas, chica Gatita, qué paso?
We were at a colleague's Texas wedding, in the backyard of Hill's Cafe on South Congress in Austin. This was our first night out since his return from seven weeks in the jungles of Trinidad, his annual summer research trek. Before he left, I believed that I would welcome the break from the exhaustive work … Continue reading A Memory from the Summer of 2008
Egyptian mythology says that if we follow the direction of the sun, we will heal our hearts. I first learned this in Michigan, the halfway point of the driving-around-the-United States road trip. I knew heading east before heading west was the right choice, but I didn’t know why until then. I do not have to … Continue reading Votary in Miramar
People say that having a child changes your life. I say that traveling with a cat alters your destiny or at least your destination. I used to be a spontaneous traveler, a fluid nomad of sub-cultures, a born again gypsy; now I'm a 50-something, widowed too early, with a hairball who holds court appreciating no one and … Continue reading Numeral V of The Gatita Chronicles
Before this current sabbatical, I would have said that I was torn between my love of the ocean and that of the mountains. After spending a month and a half in South Dakota then three weeks in Montana, my desire to see and hear big bodies of water overshadowed the rugged beauty of both of … Continue reading The Complexity of Simplicity