Last Saturday night in Wallingford

It is late afternoon on a Saturday in late September, early fall, and it all could be normal again if it weren’t for the masks and jugs of sanitizer in the entryway of the cat cafe here in Wallingford. The cat cafe, a place offering the comfort and calm of being with 20 homeless cats for an hour just to pet or play with them, and a nice spot for a gang of 14-year-olds to celebrate Charlotte’s birthday. And it all could be normal again driving down the main drag of Wallingford headed home, this neighborhood in north Seattle, the temporary wooden structures with bistro lights where diners eat al fresco, the views of the Space Needle I point out to the kids in the back seat who look up from their phones, the sound of the tunnel off the freeway with the sun roof open, the fact Charlotte has just turned 14 and can sit around the dining room table with her friends laughing, eating pizza on paper plates. And Dawn and I can hold hands while they watch a movie in the garage and sip our non-alcoholic beers and share the load in the kitchen cleaning up. And wake to a cool cloudy walk to the lake, the stillness of no one around, a touch of pink on the morning sky and the same from these roses outside my window, unfazed by anything that could stop their bloom.

Categories: prose, writing

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19 replies

  1. ‘and it all could be normal again’. It could! In fact in various places in Warwickshire there were large lacunae of normality, which made it all the more weird when confronting yet more sanitizer. (I’m thinking we need to wrest back our normal from those who would abnormalize everything). Anyway, Bill, you have captured the dichotomy well. But goodness. How can Charlotte be 14 already.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well said, and nice job tying our little scene with yours in the English countryside Tish! Yeah, the years fly by (as I sit here waxing on my rocking chair). Ta ta for now, until next time…!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Cat cafe goes on my list for someday vist to NW again! Great post re parenting, Bill.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Cat Cafe? Reminds me of my favorite record store when I lived in Astoria, OR back in the 1980s: Back n’ Rock. Both a music shop and cat shelter, my sanctuary as well as for the cats.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice! Cool & cloudy outside, warm/comforting/calming inside. Flowers & daughters blooming.
    I’ve heard of cat cafes but haven’t ever been in one, I mostly love cats but am somewhat allergic, I’d need a hazmat suit to go in a place with 20 of ’em, but I bet the 14-yr-olds loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When cats and teens celebrate a birthday and parents hold hands later during a movie at home, the world is surely a happier place.

    For Charlie’s 8th birthday, he led his friends along a river track to a Boatshed where they climbed a high fence to scramble through remnant bush to open parkland for picnic and baseball. The world was better on that day too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As shucks, can picture that scene there with Charlie, David — thanks for sharing. Odd times these, but the kids especially show a kind of resilience that inspires me. Be well! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A bunch of teens and a bunch of homeless cats and you make it sound dreamy. Now that’s fine writing, Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 14, eh? May the years ahead have just the right amount of drama for all involved.

    Liked by 1 person

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