When Every Day Is A Holiday…


When you are no longer required by civility to answer the phone or the door,

When you are no longer required to go out into the world of work,

When you can sit and contemplate absolutely nothing,

Life is a holiday.

A holiday often filled with surprises.

A white blur appears in the pergola.

A Mother’s Day orchid has blossomed in the early morning light.

I race for the camera chuckling to myself that I had forgotten her.

I am excited to tell Kelli.

I am happy to uncover the cages and greet all of my beloved creatures!

Cheeky, who insists on hanging onto me somewhere for as long as he can every day.

He especially likes sitting with me on the porch.

He plays and sits against my head under my ear to listen to me talk to him.

And sits on my knee to preen.

He is a happy boy who chirps quietly in long, sweet monologues.

And makes me laugh.

Miss Rita plays on her Java Tree and sometimes waddles over to climb on my chair if I leave.

When I find her there, I pick her up and we sit together.

She always listens intently as I tell her what I plan for the day.

Then, there is the fun of baths on the tree.  She is so very funny with her “shower conversation”.

And her antics.  She loves her showers.

She has been my constant companion for thirteen years, at least.

Through thick and thin.

I love her.

Sweet Little Lucy loves hanging out with me.

She likes my voice and always wants to touch my skin.

My human body temperature makes for the perfect lounging place.

Rowdy Big Lucy doesn’t like being held, but he likes to watch me and listen to me.

I reach into his tank to pat him often.

He is Little Lucy’s not-so-secret admirer.

Watching him prance and dance for Little Lucy makes me laugh.

Of course, she totally ignores him!

Always, there is dear old Anabelle.  She follows me from her bed at my desk

to the porch chair beside me or to her mat on the floor.

She is Mistress of the House and Chief of Security.

She appears to be sleeping, but don’t be fooled.

She is awake and sounding the alarm if anything moves.

Since I don’t hear well, I am totally dependent on her.

And my shadow, Maxwell.  What a sweetheart he is.

He spends the day with me and goes home at night.

One of the highlights of my day comes at the end.

Che’s condo stands in the hallway from where he can see the entire house.

He snoozes during the day, but he wakes up if I speak to him.

He is the last creature to be fed and scratched and cared for at night.

I love my time with Che.  He is nocturnal so he is ready to play late at night.

When I open the full-length doors and lean into his house,

he tugs on my hair or my arms and hands and scampers about ready for his treat.

When he sees the bag, he sits on his wooden ledge at the door and holds out his hands

frantic for me to let him hold onto the bag and get his treat!

 When Che is fed and petted and happy, I turn off the last light and head for bed.

Anabelle is waiting.  I lift her up and settle her in the pillows on her side of the bed.

Another good day is done.

Tomorrow, I may finish reading that novel or writing that post.

Or I might not.

The familiar sound of Che running on his wheel sends me off to sleep.

Linear time is an abstraction that no longer concerns me.

Every day is a sweet holiday.


37 Comments on “When Every Day Is A Holiday…

  1. A lovely post, George – and one that has extra meaning for me. For I’m (a little bit!) younger than you and I’m retired too, and what you say about this time in our lives is so, so meaningful. Those first five lines of your’s are absolutely right – especially sitting and contemplating absolutely nothing – being in the NOW, I think its called. How did John Lennon put it? – “watching the shadows on the wall”??? And “Linear time is an abstraction that no longer concerns me.” >>> wow, how right you are, how well you have put that! We think along the same lines, you and I, we are travelling on the same road. Take very good care of yourself, my dear. Adrian


  2. A wonderful post George and a great reminder for us all to be present and enjoy “this” moment, then the next, then the next one… I also always continue to be amazed by your incredible family and all these great family photos you share. And, I have to say, I LOVE those colorful slippers of yours!!!! ~ Rick


  3. Sounds relaxing and nice; however I’m sure that all of these animals create a lot of work and responsibility. What does Che do after you go to bed? Do you let him run around, or does he have to go back inside?


    • Hi, Dink! I’ve missed you. I have to find out if you’re posting again. No, Che won’t come out of his condo now. I can leave the doors open and walk away, and he stays inside. I don’t really know how that came to be. He has three levels to run and jump and exercise and he has a big running wheel and toys and chew wood so I guess he just likes it in there! I never heard of a chinchilla who stayed in his house. Of course, he can see the entire area from where he is. And, he sees the dogs and other critters. He doesn’t appear to be afraid of the dogs who sometimes sit and “talk” to him. So, I have no idea why he decided to be a hermit like me! If I take him out, he leans toward his house and wants back in! Again, like moi! Chuckle… Thanks for stopping by!


      • BTW, I would never recommend a chinchilla for a pet for children. They are fragile creatures with specialized dietary, room temperature, exercise and handling requirements. They are shy and often do not like to be held. They have a fear of hands. Paul Draper who builds custom cages in NY state built the cage specifically to meet Che’s requirements. He researched chinchilla habits, etc., and designed it for him. I recommend Paul for any housing that you might need for an animal. http://www.palacecages.com/ He also built Rita’s first cage. 🙂


        • I see, George. Sound advice, as always. My wife and i will be in San Antonio this spring. Perhaps we could get a chance to meet up for lunch? It’s likely that I’ll not have a definitive date and time until right in the moment.


    • Hi, Linda! Thank you so much for stopping by to visit us! I am desperately trying to post as much as I can before my tremor becomes prohibitive. Then, I will visit and read when I can’t write anymore! Yes, I do enjoy my little critter family! 🙂


  4. Dear George, I love this post too! You have a delightful menagerie of companions. My Congo African Grey keeps me company in the craft area every day – the TV/Craft room. The cats, Silly Sally, Mavis and My sweet boy Lolla are regular visitors, sometimes claiming my lap, or insisting on lying on the keyboard or in front of the sewing machine, as if to say “MY TIME”. The dogs are outside, playing, sleeping, guarding, and love it when I come to say hello – crying out and yelping in delight. Ah I know how you feel. It’s a delight! x


    • Ah, you have an African Grey! They are marvelous parrots. I bought one at the same time that I bought Rita. He was gentle and timid and beautiful. I gave him to some friends who still have him and adore him. Greys are generally too shy for me. I love Rita because she is so independent and strong-willed. Wonder why I’d like that? Chuckle… Sometimes we just connect with certain creatures, I think. Thank you, Charlene! 🙂


  5. This is one of your best posts, George! You have brought your life together for us for this moment in time. Your life is good and all we have is right now. Cheers!


    • Thank you so much, Jo Nell! I wanted to collect the critters for Charlie, so he would remember when they were all here in the “Zoo”! Chuckle… I meant to tell you how much I like the new Gravatar photo. It’s gorgeous! 🙂


  6. Hey there George. I’ve never met Che or the dogs … perhaps I haven’t been paying attention. I truly believe that you and Joanna are kindred spirits. She must pat every last cat, each and every time she crosses paths with one. She must talk to them. She must ask how they are. She must ask what they have been doing. She scolds them when they do not get along. She must observe every bird in the trees which surround our home. She talks to the dear and lectures them about staying away from hunters. She is totally absorbed by her layer hens which dance and gossip about the yard – she speaks to them too. She talks to the trees, every last one of whom she considers dear friends – she worries about them, especially when the wind blows. She finds comfort in her associations with all of these creatures. Somehow, she and I find it easier to commune with nonhuman members of our natural world than with humans themselves. What does that say about us? By the way … you had asked that I communicate via the email address you had passed along … and I did so … did you receive that message or did it perhaps get sucked into your SPAM box? D


    • Joanne sounds like me! Yes, I find it much easier to live with the natural world. Chuckle… No, I didn’t see the message and can’t find it. I love the visual of Joanna moving through her world. She is “at home” there. I totally understand it. There is just something good about living with animals that I have never found anywhere else. I guess it’s “home” to us. Thank you for the picture of Joanna. I knew it already, but I enjoyed hearing it. Thanks, Dave. Listening to you from the farm, I can still smell it. Ah, heaven must be a farm! 🙂


    • Thanks, Rebecca. I always sort of understood the thing about “time” when I worked with elderly people for whom time meant little. It seems an artificial construct for getting us to the dentist when we are expected to show up! That, too, doesn’t concern me, apparently, since my dentist’s office called just the other day at eleven in the morning to ask if I were coming for my eleven o’clock appointment. Obviously, I couldn’t simultaneously be in bed and in the dentist’s chair. At least, it was obvious to me… Chuckle… Thank you for stopping by, Waters!


  7. Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the holiday. Your pictures and words are in fine harmony, and one senses your holiday spirit.


    • Hello, Shimon. Every day around here is a holiday now. The life of a hermit suits me well. Truly, I am enjoying this time in my life. I hope you are well and content these days. Life in Jerusalem has been unsettling, I know. I think of you often and send you my very best thoughts. Thanks for stopping in to visit. I always love seeing the old Hebrew scholar’s image here. 🙂


  8. Nice to see all your pals in one place! I like Mike’s comment above. I’m confident that when rough waters come you will navigate your ark successfully – after all, you have a few decades worth of experience, no?


    • Hi, Lynn! Well, if age has anything to do with experience, yes. Chuckle… I think I’m twenty, but I am reminded that it ain’t so when I climb up on the ladder to change the battery in the alarm! My sense of balance shifted slightly. I will never forget how I laughed at Deano when he came back from walking the railway at the back of the plant property and told me how shocked he was that he could no longer walk along one rail the way he did as a child. We just keep rowing, don’t we? What has to be done has to be done, I reckon. Thanks for always visiting me, Lynn! 🙂


  9. This brings tears to my eyes. You have such a way with words and with animals!!!! I’m so lucky to have you as my sister!!!! I love you!


  10. Wonderful post George. A great group of loving friends who are very lucky to be loved by you. You are the captain of your ship, and it sounds like it is on autopilot. Good for you.


    • Thanks, Mike. I’d like to help roll that boulder up the hill, but I’m just too busy… Chuckle… I’m living in the most wonderful space of time. And, I do so enjoy all of the animals, yes. They keep me jumping whether I like it or not! Life is good, Mike! 🙂

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