I was clearing out an old corner of the basement tonight and came across one of my old sketch pads. I am so glad I opened it up to take a peek, though I must say it was rather jarring. Inside this modest 5x8 sketch pad was a glimpse into my life in the year I first met my husband. The sketch pad is full of--(get ready for it)--sketches!
You may wonder why that sounds weird, but let me tell you that eleven years later, sitting here typing at 9 pm with a 6-year old still chattering to himself in his room when he's supposed to be asleep, the idea of having a sketch pad and the kind of time to not only DO a ton of fun stuff but then DRAW it all as it happened.....it strikes me as breathtaking. Nowadays, I can't even sit and read for five minutes without some interruption or some duty, beckoning. But I digress. Let me share with you one of the things I wrote in the sketch pad. It's a favorite of mine.
When You Walk, You See the Cats - 4/24/98
"I have lived in this neighborhood a week or two already, and every day I've looked at it through the window of my car. I zoom to and from work or errands, only fleetingly aware that this section of town exudes history and elegance. Old colonial houses, set amid giant trees at least the same age, speak of a time gone by, and I am usually too harried to listen. Today I decided to do what always must be done--set out on foot.
"When you walk, you see it all up close. Slowed down, you can hear it all--every kind of bird, every child's voice, every strain of music drifting through an open window. You can smell the food being cooked, the barbecues, spring's new flowers and the fallen buds that cover the ground fresh from last night's rain. And walking is when you see the cats. In windows, on steps, curled on porch chairs and baking in the sun on the driveway.
"A cat lover, I enjoy knowing where the neighborhood cats live. I don't know what good it really does me to know such a thing, but it makes me smile to pass them by, to see their tranquil, smile-like gazes. Outside, a cat is king or queen of the kingdom. You can see it in their body language. And they are so beautiful against whatever backdrop, especially this one. Quiet, fragrant, alive with spring getting under way. Beneath this blue evening sky, these grand old houses, these are my new neighbors. I am glad I walked tonight."