End of Summer-time blues….

My husband and I have taken a sabbatical from working for the summer. This experience has reinstated some habits from our youth, chiefly summer vacation behavior! Our summer vacation has mimicked those school days summers when we stayed up late, slept in every morning and goofed off most of the time. It has been a wonderfully busy summer for us, with days filled with visits from house guests, out-of-town trips, sight-seeing excursions, staying up late, and recharging our batteries by waking up when we feel rested.

But fall-like weather has ushered in the reality that our summer vacation is rapidly drawing to a close, and our final weeks here contain a flurry of scheduled appointments like yearly physicals and eye exams, with most being scheduled early in the morning. Sadly, the majority of our mornings this week will come with a 6:30 am alarm clock, which means being responsible and actually turning off the TV before the late news and monologues air so we don’t have to resemble coffee-guzzling zombies in the morning. The adjustment is difficult, to say the least!

These cool, grey, rainy mornings make us want to pull the covers over our heads and snuggle in for a couple more hours of sleep. Why is it easier to stay up an extra hour or two at night instead of waking up an hour or two earlier? I suspect we are “night-owls” and not “larks.”

But, we are not alone. All across this country people with education jobs or school-aged children are joining the ranks of the bleary-eyed as we struggle to reset our sleep patterns to accommodate our changing schedules. Despite singing the end of summer-time blues, I am gearing up in anticipation for fall activities.

In the meantime, pass the COFFEE!!!

A slice of life and morning coffee….

Since beginning our snow birding adventure, I am often asked about how the cats are adjusting to life in the RV. They are indoor animals and now, instead of having a big house to roam and a screened in room for fresh air, they are as cramped as we are in these tiny quarters. Surprisingly, they have adapted very well, possibly easier than we humans. Here they are allowed on most of the furniture and have their people underfoot at all times, answering to their every need. It is hard to forget to feed the cats when they trip you and yowl when they are hungry! There is no escape! They are here, there, and everywhere!

We share our RV with two cats; Boots and Buster. Boots was my daughter’s pet in her childhood and is the sweetest, best natured animal I have ever met. Now at 18 years old, he sleeps most of the time and weighs only 6 pounds, a purring, grey tiger and white fur-covered skeleton. His favorite spot tends to be anywhere that I am sitting, quickly occupying the space as soon as I stand up. Consequently, I have learned to look before I sit down, to avoid landing on him!

Buster is a 17 pound, red Maine Coon. He is still a kitten by Maine Coon standards, and acts like one, despite his size. He is a bundle of energy; jumping, pouncing, climbing, and leaping. These are all highly entertaining activities unless your living space is roughly the size of a hallway in a standard suburban house. His favorite spot is perched on the dashboard, stalking the squirrels that torment him through the glass.

Because of their age differences, the cats do not play together. Boots tolerates the kitten, but remains the boss. Buster is not allowed to sit in his cat bed, nor usurp which ever spot he happens to be enjoying at the moment. Despite this, they get along with one another and never fight; sometimes it feels as if they even work together to accomplish Boots’ goals.

For example, this morning I poured a cup of coffee and sat down at my laptop to read my email, my daily Bible devotion, and check Face book. Our space is restricted so the dinette table is stacked with books and electronics, including my laptop, I pad, phone, camera, and headphones. Buster decided to join me for coffee this morning, wanting to perch on the top of the pile, like Snoopy pretending to be a vulture on the corner of the doghouse. I don’t like cats on the table or the counters so I tried verbally shooing him off, and was ignored. After telling him, “Down” several times I picked up a pill bottle and shook it, commanding him “DOWN!”

Buster startles easily and did not expect to hear the rattle. He EXPLODED in a scrambling flurry of orange fur; feet clawing the air in every direction as he frantically tried to regain his balance. Books flew off the table, knocking over my full cup of hot coffee, and soaking everything! My husband and I sprang into action, scooping up soggy electronics, mopping up coffee, and rescuing books, the dinette cushions, and carpet below.

Buster retreated to the safety of the dashboard and Boots immediately hopped into my now vacant seat and began to purr.  Mission accomplished.