In the Frankensteinian "Fire Bad!" category, Number One Follower had an unfortunate incident in his home shop a while back. To add insult to misfortune, it was were the bulk of his firearms and associated accessories were stored. Neither NOF nor his wife were home at the time. Fortunately, a neighbor called NOF and the fire department before things got too out of control. That also triggered calls from NOF to the FD that there was ammunition and such in the shop. I also got a call to come assist with removing items as necessary. The fire department investigator said the fire was accidental. Based on the area of origin, the most likely culprit is faulty/damaged wiring. The good news is that NOF has pretty good insurance and should come out of the deal in pretty good shape overall.
|Formerly a plastic shelving unit full of ammunition.|
|Ruger Precision Rifle with heat damaged barrel|
I asked what the function was, and The Queen informed me that she saw a cat in the center median of the highway. Said highway being 1-35 in Kyle, TX just south of Austin which is six lanes of NAFTA's main thoroughfare in the US. So, I told The Queen to flip a U-turn at the next exit and go back in search of the feline. The Queen was conflicted for a moment between her concern for the cat and her desire not to ruin our trip. I reminded her that, if we did not make efforts to resolve the mystery of said feline's fate, The Queen would spend the rest of the trip worrying about it.
Then, I began the process of trying to convince Kitty McDeathwish that I was a really nice guy who was not with the government but "here to help.(TM)" After a couple of tentative crouching duck walks and sidling shuffles, I was able to get within sniffing distance of the cat. He/she/it? (we were never on first gender basis with each other) gave me a cursory sniff before allowing me to touch its head briefly before retreating back out of arms length. After several more tense moments of getting back into arm's length and watching traffic (you'd be surprised at how many people can't stay between the lines [I'm looking at you white Ford SUV...you're lucky I didn't slash your tires]), I spotted a window in the traffic that offered a reasonable chance of success, grabbed a double handful of fur, and commenced to hoofing it back across the highway. The cat was
|Your Truly, trying to garner the trust of a feral cat and questioning my life choices.|
|No good deed goes unpunished.|
M&M continues to grow like a weed. She just finished the second grade, she got a gold medal at her piano theory test, auditioned for the national piano guild and is generally continuing to be her amazing self.
|Tinkle and Taco keeping a watchful eye on the pups.|
|Dawww...the cute version of spooning|
|The funny version of spooning|
Lastly, we were sad to learn this past week of the passing of a long term church acquaintance of ours. I have known/been acquainted with this family for over 20 years now, and my wife has known them even longer. The family is no one special in terms of wealth or fame. They are just good people. When The Queen was going through her mystery illness and I was stuck commuting between Dallas and Houston because of work, I would call the husband semi-regularly just to have someone to talk to on the long drive. They had six kids who are all grown now. We found out a while back that the wife had been diagnosed with cancer; and, more recently, we found out that she was bedridden and on hospice care. We took a "day off" from work to drive out to their place to visit (they live a couple hours east of us), catch up and generally give encouragement in whatever way we could.
During our visit, the wife said something that really struck me as profound. She was talking about how her bedridden state has left her totally at the mercy of others for her care most of which falls to her husband. The thing that struck me was when she said this was not what she had in mind when they said their marriage vows. She said this was not what she wanted for her husband to have to care for her and clean her and watch her in that state.
That got me to thinking. Most people say their marriage vows without ever really thinking about what they are promising or giving even a moment's thought about what the future may hold. I know I didn't really comprehend it at the time either. Everyone focuses on the "to have and to hold" and forgets about the "in sickness and in health" or "for richer or for poorer" parts of the vows. She told us that she had to learn the hard way what those vows really meant. The Queen and I understood what she meant.
She passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. I know her husband would trade anything to have her back with him and healthy, but they fulfilled their marriage vows in every sense of the word. That's increasingly rare these days. I count myself blessed to have my Queen by my side as we continue fulfilling our vows.