It’s cold today. Just as it was yesterday. Before that I was wearing shorts and had the air conditioning on. How quickly weather changes.

With it has come the regular aches and pains of arthritis. I’m sure many of you are nodding your heads at that. It is the cost of getting older.

The Stiffness Of Aging:

Sitting here in my chair, I just took the ice pack off my back and switched to heat. It was a rough night last night. I couldn’t lie on my right side and I grew stiff being on my left.

It seemed every time I moved even slightly the pain shifted with my body. I hate nerve pain.

It is dark and overcast. Supposed to have a couple of days of rain, says the forecast. That probably will not help matters.

I’m sitting here with the fireplace on. I certainly enjoy seeing those golden flames while it puts out all that warmth. Even if they’re faux flames, it still feels like a luxury.

Ivy Watching The Birds Outside:

Ivy is staring out the French doors. She sees all the birds swooping down to the concrete patio and this really energizes her.

Now she’s come over and jumped onto the table next to my chair and is rubbing her head against my arm. That means: Pet me. And so I do.

If you pet her on the head or back she is happy. But if you dare to rub her tummy she will bite you. Gently.

A Sweet Scene:

The other day I saw the sweetest thing. Ivy climbed the doggy steps up to the couch where Charlie was sleeping there at the end.

She bent down to him, then nestled her head onto his head.

He did not snap at her, as I was expecting. He just laid there and they held their heads together for a time.

Tears came to my eyes watching them. It was just the most lovely scene. The two of them giving each other comfort and love.

Ivy is about two and a half years old, and Charlie is 14. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of age.

She seems to understand that he is old and cranky and has aches and pains and illnesses. And I guess in an effort to show empathy, she just wanted to let him know that she understood.

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14 Comments

  1. It seems to me pets act more with instinct than people. Humans don’t always pick up on the little signs that things are not as they usually are (sad or joy). For me, empathy is seeing myself in the place of another person, experiencing the same thing and trying to understand. I value empathy in others and I try to be empathetic myself. This has me thinking if empathy is a learned behavior or innate? Your fireplace is enchanting… it really looks good. We have a gas fireplace we’ve never used but I can see myself using one like yours every day. I’m really glad to have your blog to read every day… it is something I look forward to and brings me joy and an escape from the everyday world.

  2. Brenda, your description of Ivy and Charlie brought tears to my eyes, I can only imagine how sweet it looked. If only humans were as kind.

    I hope that you are feeling better.

  3. Hi Brenda, I’ve just discovered your blog. We seem to have similar interests, so I’ve started following. Love your ideas. Looking forward to reading more of your stories.

  4. What a beautiful scene you described, Brenda.
    *Does anyone have suggestions for my younger cat, that continues to invade my older cat’s space. Kitty means well, and they groom each other too, but she is nonstop.
    They have countless chairs, nooks and an enormous cat tree, but Kitty always wants to be next to Baby.

  5. Just like pets understand us humans and offer comfort when they sense that we’re not feeling well or are feeling low, they also understand and sense that in each other. They sense things that I think humans maybe once could sense in each other, but it seems that somehow some people lost that ability, or maybe they never had it. This morning when I stepped out to fill what has become the blue jay feeder with shelled almonds and peanuts in the shell, I heard what sounded like hundreds of robins all around me in the trees up and down the block, the arborvitaes in my yard and trees in neighbors’ yards. During the past few years I’ve been putting out raisins for the robins in the spring, through the summer and then, the robins seem to disappear at the end of August. Now they are back, on their way south (I presume) to winter over. The “veterans” are now sitting on the fence first thing in the morning (well before 7 a.m., which is when I got up this morning and opened the curtains), waiting patiently for me to open up the patio door and throw out hands-full of raisins for them. With hundreds of birds now around me as they fly over in massive flocks and stop around my yard and others that have bird baths out and wood or shrub cover for them to roost in overnight, along with dried berries and crabapples on trees or people like me who toss food out for them, most will move on in a few days. But some of those robins will winter over. I know they do even if I rarely (if ever) see them during the winter because I can hear them singing in the morning, or singing them near sunset, which is happening earlier by the day. Sigh. I don’t understand why some go and some stay, especially this coming winter, as it is predicted to be more awful than normal – colder, more snow, more blizzards. I’d better stock up on raisins. But even before I started feeding them, some would stay every year; for some reason, maybe a memory from very young childhood that I do not remember, I’ve been attuned to the robin’s song as far back as I can remember. Your fireplace/heater is cozy, comforting and inviting. Fireplaces have always signaled that to me – warmth, comfort, security maybe. Not that I ever had one in any house I grew up in as a child or teenager. But my paternal grandparents had one in their old home out in the country, where we visited regularly and when I got a little older, would stay for long stretches of time. I lived in a couple of apartments over the years with roommates that had (non-usable) fireplaces in them and just the ambiance of having that mantel and having logs piled in it, sometimes with a fancy brass screen in front, was enough to evoke that sense of coziness and warmth. When I built my first home, I had a gas fireplace installed in the large living room, and it got a lot of use during the cold weather! When I moved into this, my much smaller one story retirement home, I opted for a much less expensive gel fuel fireplace that doesn’t require outside venting but still gives me the warmth, flames and crackling sounds of real fire when the gel fuel cans are placed in openings behind the ceramic logs and lit. I buy a supply of canned gel fuel every autumn and it lasts me throughout the year. I’m not adverse to having a fire on a cool stormy evening during the summer. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve turned into more of a freezy cat, and having that fireplace is not longer such a luxury as it once seemed 🙂 Cheers for fireplaces of all sorts that make us feel “at home” in our homes!

  6. The scene of Charlie and Ivy together is unbelievably sweet. If only we could all have that empathy for each other the world would be a much kinder place. They shall be my example today.

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