Sunday, August 5, 2007

An Assortment of Short Stories

- The last week in Virginia, the kids did afternoon Day Camp. It was a good time for Ian and I to get our consumables done at Trader Joe's, visit Target one last time, and other assorted errands. The kids had fun especially when they ran into Bridgette. Actually, Bridget recognized them first. Katherine was especially thrilled since Bridget is the big sister of Katherine's best friend from our time in Manila. Bridget is spending her summer as a camp counselor between her years at GMU.
- It's no secret about the passport backlog. State Department officers are being "volunteered" left and right out of training and from home leaves, given a week of intensive passport training and are immediately rerouted to Louisiana or New Hampshire to do a month or two drudge work with the backlog. Ian kept his head down when we were in Virginia in July, especially while walking the halls of FSI. We made it back on schedule but the passports have come to the Chennai Consulate anyway. Several folks have been putting in time on the problem. The ACS officer is one of them. On Ian's first day back he went to the office to watch some of the passport work and the very first case caught his attention. "I know that person," he said. In the hundreds, nay, thousands of backlogged passports, what were the odds that the first one he saw (or honestly, any one he saw) would be a familiar face, in fact someone he sang tenor with in my father's church choir in Annandale, Virginia?
- When we returned home, some new neighbors had moved in. The yard had been quiet for 3 weeks, no car driving in and out, the doors locked tight, apparently the gardener didn't do much either. So Feral Mama Cat brought her three little kittens to stay. FMC was quite the hissing machine, but over the past two weeks of regular feeds and a cat carrier home to curl up in with her brood, she chilled quite a bit. The three kittens scampered about with their tails held high and were quite fun to watch. Our plan was to get them used to the box, shut the carrier door on them when they were comfy, set them up on our screened in porch, have them fixed and adopt them out. Two days ago, the kittens were gone. FMC still came by to eat, but we don't see much of her either. We can't figure out where they've gone. But we have an idea.
- Today is church day. Ian drives us, no "staff" is around, it's a nice quiet day. Except when I approached the gate only to see a 5-6' snake leave the tree that's next to the car and slither it's way along the wall. The quiet was broken by screaming, yelling for the guard (who basically ran in and asked what we thought he was going to do about it) and running trying to follow it with continued yelling to get the kids inside the car. The car is parked next to the the kitchen door. The kitchen door area is where the FMC was staying with her kittens.
Three kittens missing and a quite large rat snake (everyone's best guess) is leaving the yard. I keep telling myself it was leaving, it might have just hid in a hole, or a bush or...
Well. You do the figuring. If the kittens don't reappear, that's my story.

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