Monday, March 18, 2013

A Word on Faith

"Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

Great concept, very ethereal, but hard to explain in practical terms. Despite being able to intellectualize a lot of things, I have a hard time really grasping something until I have had an experience with it in some way. House building has taught me and continues to teach me many things, and one of these lessons is about faith.

I think I would be well justified if over a year ago when my brother Lee said, "Why don't you build your own house?", I just said right back in return, "No way man! Are you crazy?!" Instead I thought, well, if he thinks we can do it, we must be able to do it.

Despite the logistical shortcomings of two people, one being a smallish-framed female with zero construction experience, building an entire house by themselves, I doggedly plow forward in this venture because I believe we can do it. And I believe we can do it because Lee, a person well versed in the construction world, says we can do it.

On a couple of occasions, when he is suffering from a myriad of aches and pains, Lee has asked, "Do you think this is more than just the two of us can handle?" And I will tell you, in those moments, my faith completely waivers. No longer am I happily plowing forward through a daunting task, trusting the leadership of my brother. Instead I start thinking about the many tasks before us, all of which I know nothing about, (plus lifting more heavy stuff!) and I feel despair. But then I shake it off and declare, "No! I don't think it is more than just the two of us can handle! Because you said we could do it!" And we both shake it off and carry on. Now that's faith.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Cat Wrangler

It can be challenging being a humanitarian, or catitarian as it were this time. Especially when the feline in question feels it is doing just fine living the feral life, thank you very much.

Walking a route I had not walked for awhile this past weekend, I noted a couple of cats in a notoriously cat-heavy section of town. Upon seeing me with Lewis, one of the cats skimmed away, but the other stood still, staring vaguely our direction and swaying on unsteady feet.

Upon closer inspection, the cat's eyes were glued shut with eye gunk, it's matted hair stood up every which way, and it breathed heavily with some kind of respiratory infection. With no way to take it home with me, I left it to fend for itself. The next day I checked with a gal who runs a local rescue, and she said if I could catch the cat, to take it to the vet and she would take care of it from there.

A few days later, I drove to the cat area where the previous siting took place. There was the cat, under a tree, peering at me through its eye gunk. Not wanting any of its diseases on me or in the car, I brought a tupperware along that I could seal the cat in for the trip to the vet (gotta keep those cat diseases fresh!)

I spoke soothingly to my feline friend right before tossing a blanket over her. She started to run to no avail. I scooped her up and attempted to deftly slip her into the tupperware. She popped her head and front legs out of the blanket and dug her claws into the edge of the tupperware. Not wanting to touch her with my hands, I wrestled her with the blanket. Suddenly she let out an ear-piercing yowl. Figuring the neighbors were going to look out and see me stuffing their unsuspecting cat into a tupperware, I quickly threw a corner of the blanket over her head and managed to get her in the tupperware and the lid on.

I got her to the vet unscathed if not a bit miffed about the tupperware wrestling incident. I have yet to hear of her outcome, but with some medical care, at least she has a chance. Perhaps I have opened a new door of opportunity for myself. . . small town cat wrangler.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Horse, a Fog Bank, and a Bellowing: Tale of a Fog Monster

The density of the fog intensified as Copper took somewhat hesitant steps away from his herd mates into the white mist. Merely a few minutes earlier, when we started out, the fog wasn't too bad. I could see a good hundred feet ahead of us. The sagebrush began to take on progressively eerier shapes, however, as the moist particles seeped in, combining to form a solid shroud. What seems like suddenly, a hundred feet deteriorated to only a couple. The whinnies from Copper's herd mates diminished in the damp air behind us.

Suddenly, Copper stopped short. Off in the distance, to our left and no telling how close or far away, we had heard a bellowing. Knowing there was a dairy in that general direction, I told myself it was only a cow and urged Copper forward. We had only walked a few more steps when the bellowing came again. This time Copper turned quickly and started to head back to the safety of his herd.

I pulled him around and squinted into the fog (for whatever reason, it seems that squinting is a logical exercise that will make seeing beyond dense fog easier). With significantly less gusto, I urged Copper on, slightly less convinced that that noise came from a cow.

By the third bellowing I decided that now was not the time to throw caution to the wind. The horse wants to go back, let the horse go back. Clearly he's thinking a noise like that can't come from a harmless cow, so best to hightail it out of there before things get bad.

After a safe return, I recounted the bellowing story to my friends. Instead of sympathy for my plight and support that I did the right thing, my uneasiness was met with guffaws. "You let yourself get scared by a cow?! Bahahahaha!"

"It wasn't a cow! It was a bellowing!" (snicker snicker).

I sighed and gave up, knowing only Copper and I would know what we really heard. That night as I drifted off to sleep, the door cracked open to the outside for a breeze, I heard the sound of cows from the dairy . . . mooing.