We have another little member of our cat family to introduce to the world. Meet Saber. He looks harmless and innocent, but he is not. This is another one of Kashka’s kittens, from her summer litter. She had four beautiful children, and three of them were adopted away. But not Saber. Which is a good thing. Because as irritating and obnoxious as Saber is, we had all fallen in love with him. He has a motorboat purr, dreamy amber eyes, and a cuddlebug personality. He loves affection. Until today, which was his first solo day outside, we would have to shut him up in the office when we were away from home or at night, since he has a proclivity towards destruction. If any cat was capable of arson, Saber would be. He let us all know that he hated being by himself by howling and yowling as I’ve never heard a cat howl or yowl. And not just any howl or yowl. “Yow-OW-OW-owwwwww!” Seriously. And, unfortunately, because he is so much fun to torment, we occasionally shut him up just to listen to him yowl. And then we let him out again and cuddle him to death. He climbs the beams in our cabin, terrorizes his half-siblings, terrorizes us, then comes and begs for loving, bumping his pink little nose against our faces with his motorboat purr reverberating peacefully.
Cats are such paradoxical creatures. Loving and sweet and terrifying all at once. One moment, the most destructive, active creatures. The next moment, the quietest pictures of peace and tranquility.
November in the Black Hills begins what becomes my favorite season: winter. We still have a month to go until the calendar says it is winter, but we’ve already had mornings where the thermometer reads 10 chilly degrees Fahrenheit, we’ve had snow, frosted sunrises, and cold-chapped hands. We’ve had a couple of “cold spells” and some persistent snow cover. The last few days of fall will run their course in winter-like chill and spring-like warmth. I love this time of year.
I can’t juggle. I tried to learn once-upon-a-time and failed miserably. Hand-eye coordination is not my strong suit, unless it is the hand-eye coordination required for seeing a picture and pressing a shutter button. But the last two (or three) weeks have been one endless juggle. And it has been fun (I can’t believe I’m even saying that, but it’s true). In the past, busyness hasn’t necessarily been something I enjoyed. Too much on the schedule has translated into exhaustion and overwhelm and my family not wanting to be around me. But this time the busyness has been with activities I enjoy, and which are visible indicators of entrepreneurial progress. That’s exciting.
The goal always seems to be to find some sort of a balance, where everything that needs to be accomplished can be accomplished, without having to fish it back out from where it fell between the cracks. I’m not there yet. The last few weeks have been full of family portrait sessions and lots of piano students, so it is exciting to see progress in that regard, and a weekend trip to Boulder for a portrait workshop further added to the chaos. Hopefully, and hopefully soon, the chaos will resolve itself as things settle into routine, and I do look forward to that. But for the time being, it is a good kind of chaos. Not sustainable, but worth it.
I remember the chaos and the juggling when Dad first started our family business back in Illinois. It is a truth learned very quickly in starting a business. Entrepreneurial endeavors always are accompanied by a certain level of sacrifice, and right now I just might be sacrificing my sanity. But so far, no one is complaining. So I will continue juggling.