Laziness

I started to read a small book that has been sitting on a shelf for an inordinate amount of time. Transported here from Germany some years ago, it is the top book of a diminutive stack of books and thus the main candidate for collecting dust, much to its annoyance I’m sure. Even more inexcusable than not reading it, is the fact that there are only a few books around the apartment (most of my books are in boxes in storage) and the television has no reception here — probably a good thing. Thus — dust brushed off — the initiative to finally read it is taken.

The book states that it is a collection of light humor by a broad variety of authors. I started reading, but found the dust jacket statement to be an exaggeration and I almost put the book away, only to find a gem of a story just before doing so: an amusing anecdote about laziness. Not exactly a virtue by any means, but the author has taken great care to expand on the subject, of course at a very leisurely pace.

Having enjoyed the short story immensely, (sitting in a lawn chair outside while reading it — appropriate to the subject matter) I walked back upstairs to the apartment and what did I see? My lazy cat, who had managed to get his lazy cat butt off the kitchen chair where he had been sleeping when I went downstairs, only to move the short distance to my office in my absence to sleep under the table, exactly to where the last ray of sunshine was falling, caressing his tummy — his eyes closed in great pleasure. Words failed me at the sight, but a chuckle did escape me.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you this week and give you rest, and perhaps a ray of sunshine on your tummy.

Perspective

Vantage PointI love to photograph fields: be they the first green of spring, the wheat, barley, and rye fields of summer, the stubble of fall fields, or the barren frozen ground of winter, before the earth thaws again.

One of the things I learned a long time ago in one of my photography classes, is that from a camera perspective, a “bugs eye view” can sometimes be very interesting. Alternately, squatting down and taking a child’s point of view is fun too. We tend to forget what is at that eye level — it can open up new fields of vision.

As you may notice, the bug pictured here above, apparently wasn’t content with his “bugs eye view” perspective. On the contrary, he may have been inspired that day to take our point of view. Quite adept at climbing too, if I may impart my opinion on his feat.

May your perspective be heavenly this week.

Farben

Gelbe Punkte auf finsterem Samt: der Sternenhimmel. Dann leuchtet Indigo am Horizont: ein erster Bote des Lichtes. Es folgt Türkis, ein fahles, nach unten orange auslaufendes Türkis, manchmal sogar mit einem geheimnisvollen grünen Leuchten. Die Sterne verblassen, nur der Morgenstern vermag noch zu funkeln. Ein rosa Streifen legt sich darunter. Das Rosa wird karminrot, gelb-oranges Funkeln in seiner Mitte. Der Horizont beginnt zu brennen. Und dann erscheint ein leuchtender Bogen, der zur Halbscheibe wird, bis schließlich das ganze tiefrot-orange Rund zu sehen ist und man den Blick abwenden muss: Die Sonne ist aufgegangen. Der Beginn eines neuen Tages. Gott sei Dank!

Aus dem Neukirchener Kalender

Rent-A-Cat

Back to reality. It’s time to pack the big green bag for California. It looks like half a grocery shelf that I’m bringing back for family and friends. My cat Calvin, a Rent-A-Cat for the time being, is most likely wondering where his human is. Solitary confinement in a house from his perspective, with squirrels mocking at the windows. But perhaps preferable to the feline brutes of the current neighborhood. I’m sure my old neighbor Bill has spoiled him rotten while I have been gone.

Should I confess to cavorting with dogs? Perhaps a bit later, after my absence has been forgiven. There is a pouch of rabbit in gravy sauce (a German cat food specialty), among the contents of the green bag, which may help to facilitate the matter…

No EU Repercussions

Moana (my brother Holger’s dog) loves to come along on trips in the car. When she hears the word Ausflug (excursion), her ears perk up, and she is ready for the car door to be opened. Little does she know, that today’s drive to pick up a few groceries, includes getting some sausage ends. This store — and I will protect their identity, so there will be no EU repercussions (you may remembers this subject from my prior writings) occasionally has such leftovers, and gives them to deserving dogs — at no charge. If word got around among the canines, there most certainly be a queue in front of the store I would imagine. Off we go, the back rear window dutifully rolled down, so she can hold her head out the window. I bet this dog would love pickup trucks in America.

We arrive at the store and she lies down in the back seat as I go shopping. It’s a short list today, some bread and some Schinken (cured ham), or in other words — a few of the missing ingredients for Strammer Max (an open faced sandwich made with egg, ham, tomatoes, and cornichons — feel free to have a look in Wikipedia). And yes indeed: they have leftover sausage ends today. Success for both man and dog. Some milk for the cats, and then the necessary transaction with the cashier.

There is some sniffing on Moana’s part as I re-enter the car — dinner has been detected. Driving out of the village, and then on the main road, I pull over and park to go for a walk through the fields. There is a very quick exit out the car on Moana’s part as I open the back door. All I can see now is a tail waving in the air as she goes full speed up the tractor path between the fields. I have trained her a bit since I have been here, and she returns most of the time when I call her. I do hope there are no rabbits though, because then all is lost, as the hare amuses him or herself with a contemplated exercise routine. OK girl, time to go back, the groceries are getting warm and the cats want their milk.

Have a blessed week

Kitten

The World Cup progresses. I was invited to watch a Germany game at one of my brother’s friends’ house in a small village nearby last week. When I arrived with Moana, I met him at the BBQ, where he was grilling sausages (what else?) with his youngest son. In the spirit of the soccer game he had painted a small red, yellow, and black stripe in the color of the national flag across his head to support Germany (in this case a bald head can be quite practical) much to the amusement of the kids. My middle brother had done this once with his dog too — for a prior World Cup. A patriotic canine, and in this case also less work, as the dog’s fur is black.

A projection screen was set up in the barn, the pre-game chatter was on, and Armin’s kids as well as about half a dozen neighbor kids were playing soccer in the courtyard between the barns and the house. A girl — about nine or ten years old, was in the wooden goal where she bravely fought off kicked soccer balls from the overenthusiastic boy ruffians. It reminded me of when I picked up my snow leopard from a summer camp in Yosemite one year, where she had to put up with a lot from her riff-raff compatriots. Easy there with the soccer ball boys — not so hard, she’s a girl. Moana (tied to a post on her leash) was of course constantly barking at the ball, but since there was so much yelling going on, it hardly mattered. That dog considers every soccer ball in sight her exclusive personal property. Not only that, but she is also a retriever that retrieves — and then keeps.

One of the older girls took me inside one of the barns and showed me a kitten and a mom cat, both of whom I got to pet. There is nothing softer in the world than a kitten I believe, and it’s that time of year again, when kittens abound in the rural areas. I found it very hard to leave the barn.

Have a blessed week