My blogging pace has certainly slowed down. That is mostly because my tongue-in-cheek blogging attitude doesn't mesh well with the things that have been happening around me this fall--mainly, other people's stories that aren't really mine to tell.
Happily, one of the things I've been working on is now public: Claymakers is becoming a nonprofit. If you value chickarinas and twinkly votive holders, if you value Klein Bottles and spheres within spheres and anything else wheel-thrown and altered, if you value stories about wood firings and gas firings and oxidation firings, then you should also value Claymakers, as I wouldn't have been able to do or blog about any of those things without the fantastic community and creative incubator that Claymakers is. Consider making a donation today (and hey, check out this spiffy gift card!).
Positive change at Claymakers aside, this fall has been pretty tough, largely due to other people's stories. E's story has included hours of physical and occupational therapy, the legacy of his doubly-broken elbow. My dad's story has included a hospitalization and increasing discomfort; I wish him glorious weather and no ice or snow for his walks.
Then there are the extra-familial stories. As a professional church musician, I play for a modest number of funerals every year, and usually the deceased are acquaintances more than friends. But this fall we lost two former choir members within a few weeks of one another. One lived far away and had an unexpected death following a long and rich life; the other was close to home, a long expected death following too short a life. The latter friend was part of the inspiration for chickens for the cure. Consider making a donation today (designation "breast cancer").
In the midst of people deaths, there have been kitty deaths. Sweet Miss Maggie B developed idiopathic chylothorax and began wasting away until we made the difficult decision to euthanize her, yet she remained purrful, affectionate, and loyal to the very end. Shortly before Maggie's death, a friend's beloved cat was mauled by her neighbor's dogs. Both Maggie and Ralphie were a credit to their species and are greatly missed.
I was briefly tempted during all of this to blog about my persistent allergies and consequent lingering cough, and how a Hall's cough drop wrapper that advised "Be resilient!" made me want to throttle the wrapper designers for trying to thrust their oblivious chipperness into situations about which they know nothing, but I went to bed instead. However, the gods of suckiness never sleep.
This past Friday, the dogs came back for my friend's pet chickens. If I believed in Hell, I'd believe a special place is reserved for dog owners who think leash laws only apply to other people's dogs. Five chickens, mauled; only four survivors found, all seriously injured. My friend cleaned and dressed their awful gaping wounds and kept watch to see whether the chickens would survive past the weekend.
Or maybe the gods of suckiness do sleep. So far, the chickens are holding their own, and today, in the midst of all of this fall's illness and death, a miracle occurred--the great Week-Before-Solstice Miracle: the missing fifth chicken suddenly reappeared in the coop, mauled but not infected. Naturally, my friend is rededicating the coop this week; I quite expect that any food or straw that's down to a one-day supply will, incredibly, last the eight days between tonight and Solstice. May this season of distress end on the 21st with the return of the Sun's light.