Here Kitty Kitty. Was it the sound of my fuzzy slippers scuff, scuff, scuffing across the concrete driveway that startled him as I retrieved the Sunday morning paper from the gutter? Or did he begin watching me the instant the garage door rumbled open?
After picking up the paper, I stretched as tall as my five-foot-four frame would allow, surveying the morning sky bathed in shades of gray and blood-orange red after a fierce rain and thunder storm the night before. Glancing down the street, I noticed what I thought was a neighborhood cat about mid-way down the block. What idiot would allow their pet cat to run free in this ‘hood? It was then I realized what appeared to be a large tabby was actually a young bobcat. After a long hard stare at the human who dared to interrupt his quiet morning search for breakfast, he trotted down the road.
I wondered if this was the same youngster that had sauntered through my back yard twice in the last sixty days. He is quite the gentleman, always entering or leaving through the gate — not that he opens the gate, mind you. He nonchalantly walks past all the wrought-iron bar openings until he arrives at the gate, then slips through the bars just wide enough for his slender body. The first time he showed up, he walked from the front yard and along the side of the house in order to get to the back yard. I was glad the girls weren’t hanging out in the courtyard. Though he couldn’t see them, I suppose he could have smelled them. He paused in the back yard long enough for me to make a mad dash for my camera. Once through the gate he scanned the golf course to be sure it was safe to cross. I snapped a photo before he headed off. The second time, he came up from the golf course, slipped through the gate, wound his way through the cactus, and then leaped over the fence to drink from my neighbor’s pond.
Bobcats aren’t uncommon here. Last February a neighbor awoke to discover one sleeping on her cushy outdoor chair, as you can see by the attached photo. “Bobby” didn’t stop long for a photo op, but you can still see him behind the goofy-looking donkey garden art. Perhaps be was the one that camped under the tarp that covered the patio furniture during the winter. I discovered medium-sized cat droppings once I removed the cover. I’m sure it made a cozy winter den.
Beer Pancakes. One of the joys of having Mom live with me is that we’ve laughed and cried recalling some of the adventures we’d shared over the years, most of which are no longer possible. Mom isn’t up for horseback riding any longer as she doesn’t feel strong enough. We can’t go clamming at Dillon’s Beach, or any beach, because there isn’t an ocean close by. Nor can we go camping, because, quite frankly, at this age, my kind of camping is at the Marriott.
When I was a kid, camping was just about all we did during the summer. My folks kept a trailer at a beachside campsite at Ruth Lake in Southern Trinity County. This was in “the good ole’ days” when one could leave a trailer or camper all week long and return on the weekend to find everything just as you left it. No one bothered anything or stole your stuff.
At Ruth Lake we could swim all day long, fish for our supper, catch turtles to play with, roast marshmallows and hot dogs over an open fire, go to the bar at night to play pool, and rent horses at a nearby ranch. Jacques, Mom’s black poodle, loved to float on an inner tube in the lake.
We were fortunate to have a ski boat. Mom and I loved to slalom ski together. Dad would drive the boat while my brother Randy would act as tender, letting Dad know if we fell, which we rarely did once we got the hang of it. Mom and I would both “dry start.” That is to be about knee deep in the water with one foot in the full boot holding the ski just above the water. Then, as the boat picked up speed, the tow rope would begin to lift out of the water. Just as the rope tightened, we would jump a bit, slip our other foot into the half boot in the back of the ski, and we were off. Once we were on the water, we would jump the wake to cross under each other’s rope, before crossing back over again. It was quite a sport and we enjoyed it tremendously.
Beginning the day by skiing around the lake, we worked up quite an appetite. Our favorite breakfast was beer pancakes, fried eggs and crisp bacon, all cooked outside on a camp stove. And what are beer pancakes? Well, they’re made with beer, silly. One whips them up with the usual ingredients, except when it comes to adding the liquid the cook adds beer instead of milk. In those days, Mom used whatever beer the adults were drinking, which was usually Buckhorn because it was cheap. Randy and I could eat the pancakes because the alcohol evaporated.
Over the years, many family friends joined us on our camping adventures. In those days the beer flowed freely, our bodies got sunburned, and beer pancakes were always a hit.
Somewhere along the line, Mom discovered that Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor beer made the best beer-batter pancakes. It has to do with the malt liquor. Not only does it enhance the flavor, it also makes them light and fluffy. While Mom and I no longer go camping, we can, and do, enjoy a breakfast of Mickey’s beer-batter pancakes!
And so … life goes on. Tuesday I leave with BFF Pauli on a ten-day cruise to the Sea of Cortez, where we will linger in the ports of Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz and Loreto. Though I love it here in Arizona, I’m beginning to miss the smell of the ocean and the boating lifestyle so this will give me my “fix.” I have people lined up to take Mom clothes shopping, grocery shopping, out to lunch, and anywhere else she wants to go. The pet sitter will be here twice a day to take care of the cats and check on Mom. I pray all goes well.
Angel on My Doorstep is making its way into the book market, with excellent reviews posted on Amazon.com. I have a book release party here in SaddleBrooke on March 30th. At the end of April, Charles Peden, the medium referenced in my book, will be joining me at Spirit’s Child Metaphysical Gift Shop and Book Store in downtown Tucson for three events we’ve titled “Meet the author. Meet the medium.” I’ve had a radio interview that went very well. I’ve given Angel to the universe to take on the life it chooses, hopefully with a little help from Cort since he is the one who told me I should write a book.
Until next time,