I’ll begin with good-bye to our Frankie.  It’s been over 19 years since I sat watching my son, Aaron during baseball practice at the West Seminole Baseball field. There was a storm, and luckily I had a towel with me,  I sat and dried off while peels of thunder could be heard even as the rain subsided. But in between the noisy thunder was the sound of a kitten meowing.
One of the younger  children came up to his Mom showing her a tiny, wet gray kitten a few days old, eyes shut, but meowing loudly.  The Mom told him to put it back or the mother cat would abandon it. He walked back and then returned with the soaked kitten again saying it was all alone and there was no mother. The mom and I both looked all around the perimeter fence, but saw nothing and of course being the sucker and the only one with a towel, and seeing no one else wanted an abandoned kitten, I took her home. It was like having a newborn to bottle feed every few hours and make it go to the bathroom by stimulation with q-tips and cotton balls, but we got along fine and named it “Ball Park Frank”, Frankie for short. Her expressive eyes of gold finally opened to a new world and family that adores it’s animals. Frankie was so soft, Andrea always called her the Velveteen Rabbit. Frankie was not one to be held for too long, but she was always right with us and we all loved her with her big lion mane, she was a large cat, possibly some Maine Coon in her.  She thought she was a male cat and would not hesitate to fight, was a bit of a scrapper if her territory needed protection. She had four siblings over the years at her new home, Miss Sealy who passed last month and Church who has been gone for several years. Frankie recently resided with Ringo and Sasha. This year Frankie  had health issues, tumor on tail, bad arthritis, health failing. This morning it was time. I took her to Dr. Alex Freyman in Sanford. He first gave Frankie a strong sedative, I held her little head between my hands and stroked and stroked her head as she grew tired and fell asleep in about ten minutes. The Dr. than administered the medicine to euthanize, and I watched as the heart beat diminished and finally stopped. Dr. Freyman listened to her heart several times before saying she was gone. Frankie had almost two decades of a lavish life. Thank you Dr. Freyman for your compassion, it means a lot at such a trying time. I came home and buried her, took time to say my goodbyes and tell her how much she added to our lives. It’s difficult to part with these little pieces of our lives that break off, but the love that an animal freely gives of itself could not be a more pure form of love. Sweet Dreams Frankie – I love you.  

And then Wednesday the article with my interview came out in the Sanford Herald, FRONT PAGE!    A friend advised me on FB that she had a copy – it was out on the local stands!  I tried to see it online, but the Herald has not updated their online version since June 29th.   This afternoon I went to buy a few copies so when I am senile, (which I am already crazy now, so senile is not that far away,) maybe someone can show me who I was and what I did, not that I’ll believe them!
I bought 4 copies and stopped and talked with Ronda at Art Affair Gallery. We both glanced at the front page then became occupied by topics about the Gallery. She is busy thinking of many things to do at night with her bar and cafe, ‘The Palette’.  I suggested a poetry night possibly She said they might also do a photography class, and they already do art classes. She kept rattling off ideas and wore me out with all her energy so I stopped to see Rae Marie at her Framing 508 Gallery. When I walked in she had seen a copy,  but had not read it yet. We chatted about an Art Festival next April and how her partner, Alfredo was working on some textured pieces, great flow to them.
Next I stopped at  Kim Houses’ at Riverhouse Pottery and took a pic of her sweet dog. Then on to final stop at Divine Mother Earth & The Gypsy Lair Cafe to speak to Radha. We had a good time talking about how great this new business craze is. In fact, in the paper on the front page even though I am technically  “below the fold”,  the headline above me states that new businesses  are cropping up in our little downtown. We didn’t read the article fully, but turned the pages to find it showed a photo of Radha’s cafe done in plain old black and white. It really needed to be a photo with the strength of the deep color applied to her walls to pull in the atmosphere that  appeals to the psyche so people  get excited to go inside and explore her shop. German  Lemus the artist who exhibits there was the one who brought Radha’s vision to fruition, he channeled all her ideas and energy and applied them! (The lion paintings are his.)  He’s such a talent! I know you will enjoy this new shop and organic cafe. Finally I thought I had better get home as it had been raining off and on so I had waited until it was dry again so my ink didn’t smear. It’s been cloudy for 2 days with no rain and oh, that high humidity was killer. I finally drove home, but was hungry so I grabbed Adam to go get a cheap dinner at Steak and Shake. We  even saw a beautiful rainbow later as we drove home and I had no camera with me!
Finally I got home and read the article, funny thing about it was it how it stops and runs out of my words on Page 1, the last few words are, “then all of a sudden you…” leaving the reader hanging and saying  to turn to page 3 for continuing the article under the title “Wildlife”, unfortunately there was a page 3,  but no  “Wildlife”,  so half the article was missing! Peter told me he submitted it as a complete article, the paper must have grown bored of me after page 1  I suppose?  The Herald  filled page 3 with a couple photos of a bellydancing troupe that was coming to Wayne Densch Theatre , two women dressed in their beautiful, exotic  dancing gear minus the color. I suppose sexy clothing is much more appealing to the eye than my simple words. Oh well, what can I say, I have been ‘censored’.     

   Here’s a few pics of downtown, it was too hot to go to the marina under the exposed sun, at least the majority of the downtown buildings have very long awnings and over hangs.   The old US Post Office is the building with the steps. It  houses the Historic Sanford Welcome Center. It used to house a police station too.  The clouds above were framing all the buildings.

Kim’s sweet dog. Reminds me of my old dog Sadie, made me miss her. 
as you can see, I can stand in the main street and not be afraid of traffic today.

The Sanford Herald is in the building by the left red light, you can see it’s door under the corner window.

The Clock in Magnolia Square and a restaurant worker wipes his weary brow in high 90+ degrees and thick humidity.  There I am in the window of Wells Fargo. The building is actually several stories and I’ve wondered about the rooms up there as none seen to ever be rented.
So that’s Thursday,  The high of my day, the cover story which maybe becomes a cliffhanger. And the sad part, having two cats and Sasha is looking so very sad because even though Frankie did not associate with her, Sasha liked sleeping near another cat and Ringo is mostly outside or away from little Sasha. I assume we will be adding a young cat to our home soon. Somehow I can’t get any less than 3 cats, this is the first time in 60+ years that I have not been in the presence of 3 cats! Sasha needs someone to run with, a sister, no males with Ringo around. Oh my sweet Frankie, we all miss you – thanks for the 19 + years you rewarded us with! XXXOOO –

Sasha and I walking around the yard.
Ringo pays no attention to Sasha whatsoever which is actually good since he outweighs her by about 15 pounds!
Frankie in color. 

   “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – Mark Twain

The quote by T. S. Eliott is true, we called Frankie, Ball Park Frank, Franks, & Frankie Butter beside Frankie.   “The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn’t just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I’m mad as a hatter. When I tell you a cat must have three different names…” – T.S. Eliot

“You can’t own a cat. The best you can do is be partners” . – Sir Harry Swanson

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” – Albert Schweitzer

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?” – Charles Dickens