Finding Home

The other day I was getting my hair cut, and I commented on the casual Friday attire of the stylists.

In the past, they always wore black, and the color was more important than style. There’s a new owner now, and she believes given the nature of the salon — creating an image — the individuals responsible for the changes for their clients should be able to express their own style.

I have to agree, and I liked the change.

The new owner is a long-time employee of the salon, who started out as a receptionist, and worked long, hard hours to get to where she is today. She can be abrupt, but you get used to that, because she cares about both her employees and her clients.

She’s been cutting my hair for the last seven years, and does a damn good job. She also colors it (too much grey for my comfort) and — lucky for me — charges me a small portion of the typical cost for color. That’s not something she does for too many people, and I’m not sure what motivated her to do it for me. I don’t question it.

The longer you live somewhere, the more roots you establish, the more small benefits accrue. You know the back routes to beat traffic, you’ve discovered the quiet groups of people who share your interests. You’re in on the local secrets.

I’ve lived in my current location for 14 years, which is nearly as long as I’ve lived anywhere in my life. Granted, I haven’t been in the same home the whole time, but most of it’s been spent in the same city.

I like it here.

I’ve lived in cities where, despite all my efforts, I never felt at home. I’ve lived in places I once loved, but now find to be uncomfortable. The pace here suits me.

There are things I don’t like. The job opportunities in my field are exceptionally limited. The political and justice systems are somewhat backwoods. Yet despite those issues, I’ve found a community of supportive people of like mind.

Including my stylist. Okay, her political views are diametrically opposed to mine, so we don’t discuss the current state of affairs in our government. But we share many of the same values.

When she leaned in and whispered how much it cost the parents of one 17-year-old to have extensions put in her hair, I was shocked. This girl had gone to a cut-rate salon that had fried her hair with bad color and an equally pathetic cut. Her long, beautiful blonde tresses had to be trimmed to a short bob. After one weekend, her parents gave in to her sobs, and shelled out the $4,000 it cost to have extensions.

You read that right. Four. Thousand. Dollars. That’s before the tip.

I told my stylist my parents would never have done that, even if they could have afforded it. Your hair will grow out, they would have said. She agreed, and she has four children, so she knows the pressures.

It takes awhile for even the most verbose of reputable stylists to tell that kind of story to a client. I like being one of the favored, someone whose responses she can predict, someone she can trust.

I like being a long-time client, long-time patient, long-time resident. I’m not moving any time soon.


 

Images © Graphic Stock

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Rainy Days and Kitties

What are the kitties thinking when they peer out at the rain?

I know my Mimi would love to be outdoors, but I won’t let her wander. It’s too dangerous outside the confines of my home, with a wooded ravine in the back and a very busy street directly in front.

Mimi looking out the windowI house-sat last year, and hauled the cats over to this pretty place on the lake, with woods and the brush all around. No way in heaven or earth I was going to let them run free. Not only would they likely get lost, whoever did find them (probably a coyote) would discover them covered in ticks and fleas and whatever other grunge lies out there.

I know, there’s medicine for that. They can also stay inside.

Inside is pretty appealing these days, with lots of places to climb and hide. My latest creation? It happened quite by accident when I decided to protect the desk chair at the aforementioned house.

The cats had turned my own desk chair into a fine scratching post, despite having two such already, and I didn’t want to have to spend everything I made housesitting replacing my friend’s desk chair. So I covered it with a sleeping bag. Turns out this makes a great tent for cats. They spent hours under there, huddled together in one furry mass.

At our own home, I cover my desk chair with a blanket when I’m not using it. I should make one thing clear. My laptop is at a different desk, with a different (rather uncomfortable yet decor-appropriate) “desk chair.”

When they’re giving the world that faraway stare, are they sometimes thinking, what’s wrong with our mama? She isn’t happy today. I wish I could make her feel better. You do, babies. When I’m feeling sad, you always seem to know it, and you comfort me.

walter kitty smDo they dream of the big hunt? Right now there’s the occasional bug to stalk, but I usually reach my limit watching that game after a time and kill the thing myself. They tend to let it go otherwise. Unless it’s a flying bug. Walter is adept at catching bugs in flight, and has no compunction eating his capture.

I want my kitties to be happy, so I worry sometimes at their pensive look. But then they’ll crawl into my lap and purr themselves to sleep while I sing their favorite songs. All is well.

We have each other.


Let It Snow!

I lived in Minnesota long enough to find snow annoying, dreary and burdensome. And I’ve lived in Arkansas long enough to appreciate the northern states’ prompt and thorough response to winter weather. To make my point clear, it’s a lot easier to get — and stay — snowed in when you’re living in southern states.

But I love winter weather. I’ve said it before, but on this day when my car doors were nearly frozen shut as I helped a neighbor get ready for Christmas, I am compelled to say it again. Some of you wondered back in November when I was griping about the endless warm weather if I’d truly be happy when the temperatures dropped. Tonight we’re hitting single digits.

I’m happy.

Wondering, as I am so emphatic, just what it is that makes this miserable weather so desireable.

I confess I’m halfway hoping I’m snowed or iced in tomorrow so I can justify staying home and knitting, reading and snuggling with the cats. I have plenty of cat food, Oreos and Diet Coke, as well as more nutritious food and a shelf full of books I’ve been dying to dig into, all while wrapped up in a cozy quilt.

This is a challenging time for me, and I’m a bit stressed about the next few weeks. For whatever reason, snow is a comfort to me today.

So let it snow.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Sweet Peas in a Pod

best-friends
At tbe end of the day, it’s good to have a best friend.

It took me a while to write this post. Sitting on the sofa, I was weighted down by my two furry friends, Walter and Mimi. Walter is the pretty boy on the bottom, Mimi the sweet little bean he’s resting his head on. Once they’re done sitting on my lap, they find each other.

I get lonely sometimes. When I look up and see their sweet faces, whether they are asleep, wide awake or peacefully purring with eyes half-open, I’m comforted. They find solace in my presence, too. As I head downstairs, they leap from their chairs and run down before me, putting themselves in position in the rooms below. They want my company, want to be near me. I have to twist and turn to accomodate them at night (Mimi in particular is a dead weight).

Forgive me the numerous posts about my cats lately. Rather, indulge me. It’s been a good month to ponder the uncomplicated, unconditional love of kitties.