I am an introvert. Mary is an introvert. We understand each other.
Since my brain injury, I am home a LOT. I get lonely, but as a natural homebody and someone who enjoys my own company, it has worked out okay. For Mary, my fellow introvert, however, it has been frustrating and untenable.
Mary rarely gets an hour at home, alone. Not me upstairs, or me in the garage, but completely, totally, alone. Even the most social butterfly needs a minute to breathe, a moment of personal space (I assume??). When Mary is home – in the evenings 7-10pm, in the mornings 8-10 am – I am in the house. Almost always. Things have improved since I can drive at night again and have energy for extra trips out. But since my brain injury, I am no longer that morning person who wakes at 0530 and is out the door by 0700.
So this morning I am in exile – asked to leave the house until noon, or later, if possible. Or, to reframe – out and about, adventuring. Really, I would prefer to stay home and sleep. Yet, I respect my fellow introvert and understand completely the difference between being home with someone in the other room and being home alone.
I jet out of the house at a respectable 0830 and drive to Milton. I take a quick right on a chance remembering and stop at Ace Hardware to turn in old mercury thermostats that have been in my car for ?? 2 years??. I have another mental alert and buy a few strings of lights for our housewarming party Sunday. A third notion sends me to the bakery next door for two pastries for my Lady. These little mental reminders are like old friends returning – so helpful, yet unexpectedly missing from my life for almost a year.
On to Milton Library, which provides warmth, wifi, and comfy chairs.
A quick trip back to the car for a conversation with a friend, then back inside to warm up. Off to Moonlight Gifts to pursue a winter solstice gift, then a quick lunch.
The main attraction of the day – Franklin Humane Society – follows. They are overfull of cats right now and I could use a little bit of extra kitty love. They have redesigned since I was there 7 years ago, and now the 20 or so cats roam freely between entryway, offices, and a cat room. Such a preferable arrangement to each cat separated into a cage. I spend some time saying hello, petting the cats who want the attention (purr purr purr) and getting the lay of the land.
All the kitties are casual until I pick up a toy. I start tempting one with a feather on a stick, and suddenly there are three who want to play, then five, then I have the attention of a dozen cats as I “fly” the feathered toy high through the air before swooping it down into the grasp of reaching paws. The fella who jumps high to knock the “bird” out of the air is endlessly entertaining. His whole heart is in the effort, and he overcommits time and time again, landing on his back or side as often as his feet. Another tiger-striped buddy patiently waits her turn but goes into a frenzy batting with both paws as the toy dances in front of her. The kittens are not quite sure what to do with the toy, although they follow it closely with their eyes. Some slow prompting yields me gentle swipes at the toy and then faster swipes and increased excitement as they come to understand the game.
So many different cats with such a mix of personality, color, age. So fun to be immersed in their cat colony. And, heck, I have five weeks of sabbatical left after xmas… so I apply to foster a pregnant cat or kittens. I have never had a kitten, and I have never seen a cat give birth – so either is a new opportunity. Kitten season is over, but perhaps a late bloomer will arrive that needs my love and attention. I can only hope.
An hour of playing and petting finally wears me out, and I head home around 2 pm. I yawn all the way home, so I know I did too much. I am at the front door by 2:40 pm – an exodus of over five hours. Not bad for a concussed rollergirl. Stepping through the door, all I want to do is sleep… and I do.
Later, I have a fabulous talk with Mary, and she give me my winter solstice gift early – a thoughtful necklace balancing beauty and masculinity.
And to give us a reason to dress up, a trip to Blue Paddle for an excellent dinner.
Another fulfilling day. Yup, I live a blessed life.