Tonight there will be a blue moon. The last time a blue moon appeared coast to coast on Halloween was 1944. Just in case you didn’t know, a Blue Moon is the second full moon to appear in the same month. It rarely happens, which is why we say that a rare event only occurs once in a Blue Moon. And it’s why Frank Sinatra celebrates the sudden appearance of a true love in this song.
At least for the time being.
I began writing Hints and Echoes on April 29, 2012. For almost eight years, I’ve held forth here on whatever happened to attract my attention and interest: automatic cars, cursive handwriting, robots, you name it.
Now, however, what is attracting my attention and interest— and time—are subjects that require more intensive study and research than is involved in writing a 500-700 word post.
Chief among these subjects is a book I am collaborating on. Herb is the author, but some of my journal entries figure prominently in it and so I need to be seriously involved in the process of editing. It is a memoir, tentatively titled Mary, Me, and History, which traces the progress of our own long lives as they are interwoven with the history of the nation.
And that’s not all—
Also as many of you know, for 20 years I devoted many volunteer hours to a historic house museum in New York City, where I eventually became the Museum historian and wrote a book about what domestic life was like for the occupants of that Museum during the middle years of the 19th century.
There were six daughters in the family. Four of them never married and continued to live in the house until the last one died almost 100 years after she had been born in the upstairs bedroom. For years I walked among their ghosts and wondered what life was really like for them.
My interest in the Victorian woman in general has continued since those days and I have become convinced that there is more to the story about the Victorian woman in general than we are accustomed to hearing.
Maybe, God willing, I will write something profound about that subject.
But in the meantime, since there are only 24 hours in the day and we must eat and sleep, although I think it would be great if we didn’t need to do either, I find that something must give.
I may check in from time to time to write about our progress on Herb’s book and what I’m thinking about the Victorian woman.
It says here 137 people follow hintsandechoes and get the posts in their email. I want to thank all of you for your interest and for listening!
I can always be reached through the website of our publishing company http://girandolebooks.com
I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I have never been able to warm to the species. Not that I’m completely close-minded on the subject. Recently Herb and I even cat-sat brothers Ed and Nono for a week. First off, possibly resentful that he had been left with two complete strangers , Nono peed on my bed. That was not good.
If my friends and family are any indication, I’d say there may be more cat people than there are dog people.
It does seem there is something mysteriously attractive about cats. Every culture, every age honors them, not only as beloved pets.
There was even a time when they were considered gods.
Painters have found them and their relations to humans inspiring (see above.)
The poet, TS.Eliot, wrote a whole book of poetry about them.
“The Ad-dressing of Cats” From Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
You’ve read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse—
But all may be described in verse.
You’ve seen them both in work and games,
And learnt about their proper names.
Their habits and their habitat:
How would you ad-dress a Cat?
So first your memory I’ll jog
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.
Now dogs pretend they like to fight;
They often bark, more seldom bite;
But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
What you would call a simple soul.
Of course I’m not including Pekes,
And such fantastic canine freaks.
The usual Dog about the Town
Is much inclined to play the clown,
And far from showing too much pride
Is frequently undignified.
He’s very easily taken in—
Just chuck him underneath the chin
Or slap his back or shake his paw,
And he will gambol and guffaw.
He’s such an easy-going lout,
He’ll answer any hail or shout.
Again I must remind you that
A Dog’s a Dog—A CAT’S A CAT
With Cats, some say, one rule is true:
Don’t speak till you are spoken to
Myself, I do not hold with that—
I say you should ad-dress a Cat.
But always keep in mind that he
I bow, and taking off my hat,
Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!
But if he is the Cat next door,
Whom I have often met before
(He comes to see me in my flat)
I greet him with an OOPSA CAT!
I think I’ve heard them call him James—
But we’ve not got so far as names.
Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is neeeded, like a dish of cream:
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie.
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste—
He’s sure to have hisi personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
O eating nothing else but rabbit.
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim
And finally call him by his NAME
So this is this, and that is that:
And there’s how you AD-DRESS A CAT.
Eliot’s cat book was the inspiration for Cats, the Musical, which ran on Broadway for 18 years and 7,845 performances. A movie version is coming. No doubt about it; people are crazy about cats! But you cat lovers have to admit; they are very sneaky. You never know where they are.
Call me crazy, but I find it disturbing to encounter a grey fuzzy cat critter lying in my bathtub or perched on top of the refrigerator.
SO? YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THIS?
Somehow the digits discovered that I am an interloper from another age, trespassing on their territory where I have absolutely no business being.
This morning they took away my wi-fi network. What do you mean “You’re not connected to the internet”? Why not! And my in box! What happened to my in box?? How can I check my email without my in box? Maybe the exercise guy has a special offer on How to Strengthen My Core. What if Dr whatshisname is trying to alert me to the vegetable I must never eat!
With no internet and no in box, what’s a girl to do for distraction? Well, here’s what you do if you’re me. You CALL STEVEN!!
Some women think they are lucky because their daughter married a doctor, or an attorney. There’s probably some fortunate soul somewhere who has a geriatrician for a son-in-law. Well eat your heart out, ladies. My daughter had the intelligence to marry a friend of the digits! They’re very close.
Steven Alper is a fixer, so of course he fixed it. And here I am back, serving as your favorite distractor.
I have no doubt, however, that the digits will be back, exercising their intolerant authority over their domain. You know they have their sneaky ways of learning what you’re up to—algorithims and all that.
A middle-aged man strolling by, fringe surrounding his bald head and a little pot belly—shorts, flowered sports shirt—led by one of those darling fluffy lap dogs. Coming from the opposite direction another man exactly like the first: fringe surrounding his bald head, a little pot belly—shorts, flowered sports shirt—led by the same breed of little dog.
The men wave; they stop on my corner to chat, and the dogs go wild! They climb all over each other, exchange licks, run around in circles tangling the leashes. After a few minutes the men untangle the leashes with difficulty and move on. What’s the explanation? Twin men with dogs from the same litter? Very strange.