Appreciating the freedom of a July morning

It’s July!!!

And the seventh already at that, as far as today’s date of publication.

Great Earth!

I swear I blinked a time or two in between periods of rain and more rain and cool temperatures and then steamy ones and boom, June was history.

Didn’t I just hang up my patriotic flag buntings because Memorial Day was approaching?

Are those school supplies I’m seeing already in stores?

Stop. Slow down.

It’s actually 7:35 a.m. as I write this on Independence Day 2019. I am sitting on my back porch, a cup of coffee at my side, my laptop on my lap, which “Herald the Cat” (so named because she’s black and white like a newspaper) isn’t very happy about. Normally she would be on my lap appreciating my attention and enjoying the view with me.

That view includes the presence of another little cat, a stray one that drops by from time to time for food and drink and a thank-you rub against my ankles afterward.

I call her Butterscotch because she’s golden, but she has these funny black-streak marks here and there that at first glance made me think she’d crossed paths with tar or grease or something, but that’s just her coloring.

Cats don’t offer many details, I’ve noticed. Neither do horses, although Thunder and Tucker are nearby, their heads over the fence, looking at me, and I can praetty much read their minds in the midst of a nicker here and there.

“When’s breakfast?”

You’ve got to love cats and horses. They get the same food all the time and never once complain “didn’t we just have this yesterday?” People could learn a lot from animals about food appreciation.

I can also tell you that horses are not big fans of fireworks. Neither are dogs in my experience, having had one who sought safety behind the toilet, the other in the tub.

I can at least appreciate how pretty nighttime fireworks make a colorful display in the sky, but daytime, boom-boom ones, I don’t get it.

The flower beds this morning — and every morning I have the chance to be out here — bring me great joy, the lemon lilies and cones and petunias and marigolds and such. The hanging baskets, too, including the New Guinea impatiens. In one, a bird has built a nest which I keep forgetting about until I water this plant and out flies a feathered friend, the beneficiary of an unsolicited bath.

Nearby is a big planter I brought home from the office Wednesday. It’s a palm plant that’s had periods of thriving and resistance to it under my watch.

I inherited it from a former co-worker, and it’s been on a vacant desk not responding all that well to the newsroom environment.

A co-worker suggested to me recently that I should let it go and arrange calling hours on its behalf.

Nothing doing. I hauled her home to see how she’d do here. And I have high hopes.

This morning I am enjoying the freedom to do as I please — write, enjoy the view, read my devotional books and Bible verses, commune with nature and appreciate that cousin Joyce up the street is hosting a July 4 picnic.

Happy July.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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