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there’s no wrong place to look for love

February 17, 2012

You no doubt heard that Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  It was on all the major

news sources.  As accelerated decrepitude continues to mellow me out, I’m

past the point of thinking of V Day as merely an uptick in sugar consumption

and exchange of fluids.  Cynicism has a downside.


It certainly helps to be married to the right person.  Jude knows me well enough  

to not expect too much of a bump in romantic behaviour.  So she had the fore-

sight to secure two choice pieces of cheesecake to mark the occasion.   


But before we consumed them with a topping meal, we had promises to keep.

We went to Chris and Nina’s to pick up the glasses and wallet of Sue, the widow

of Al the Mayor, whose death I reported in my last post.  Sue, who is still in

hospital with serious health problems, asked Jude to pick up those items and

her Bible from their home.  








I’m stalling as I struggle with how to tell you about Al and Sue’s house.  If I’m              

too vague, their story can’t be accurately told.  If I’m too specific, you’ll lose

your most recent meal or snack.  It’s quite the writer’s challenge.


Let’s try this: Sue and Al loved animals, from the wolves Al befriended to Sue’s

pet goats to the hundreds of cats mentioned in the last post.  At some point

the goats and cats moved in.  The wolves declined.  Dander and feces piled up 

unattended, and the house became unlivable.


But they continued to live there.  Al’s respiratory problems grew worse.  He 

eventually needed oxygen tanks and a nebulizer to breathe properly.  One of

Al’s brothers put an RV next to the house, and they ceded the house to the pets.

Al’s respiration immediately improved. 


The Bible stayed in the house, though.  Jude and I went there from Chris and 

Nina’s.  Jude, braver than me, went into the house and I searched the RV, just

in case and to ease my guilt.  I told her that this was the most sensible course of

action because her nurse’s nose could handle the smell, hastening to add that I

would be useless in there doubled up and puking.   


In the RV, I gingerly opened drawers and cupboards but found nothing.  For                   

reasons I search desperately to fathom, I opened the refrigerator.  The RV has        

a generator, but I didn’t know when it had been run last.  I’m guessing it was       

the Pliocene Epoch.  There was probably a cure for something or a biological

weapon of national importance in there, but I had to close it before I doubled

up and became useless.


I went back to our truck after shooing the goats out of the RV.  They were try-

ing to eat Al’s meds.  I scratched their heads as I waited for Jude.  She came out

about 15 minutes later.  She couldn’t find the Bible.  We drove home and she

went straight to the laundry room, shedding her clothes into the washer.


You could argue that this was not the ideal Valentine’s Day date, but I’d counter

that Jude showed supreme agapic love by risking her health to look for Sue’s

Bible.  As for romantic love, hmmm.




Okay, this is a stretch, but all this transpired on an exotic island.  Not a balmy

exotic island that might have a Sandals resort, but we’re getting there.  With

global warming, it’s just a matter of time before we’re the new Caribbean.


Oh, and, as we drove there and home, we were listening to a CD of crooners

like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole and Tony Bennett.  Plus, we

ate our cheesecake BEFORE our main course.


Don’t look at me like that.  At least we got out of the house.          

  1. Gordon permalink
    February 17, 2012 2:44 pm

    Your description of your Valentine exploits drove me to Wikipedia from whence I figured it all out. Actually Valentine’s day didn’t begin to have romantic connotations until the time (and writing) of Chaucer. There may have been as many as three — but certainly two — St. Valentines, all dating to the second and third centuries — and all meeting with untimely martyrdom at the hands of various Roman public officials. Seems to me, you and Jude, showing real agape love while yet meeting with the untimely opening of a certain refridgerator door, became minor martyrs in your own right — and at the hands of a public official, albeit a deceased one. A true St. V-allen-tine kind of observance! (Reportedly, however, the other two or three St. Valentines did not get cheesecake after their festivities.)

    • February 18, 2012 2:00 pm

      Do you think President Santorum will ban Valentine’s Day because it often involves … you know … human-to-human contact?

      • Gordon permalink
        February 27, 2012 7:58 am

        Not to worry! President Santorum’s new health care reform program will have only one provision…free aspirin for all. Regarding
        Valentine’s Day, as long as the aspirin
        is placed where kneeded, human contact will be allowed.

      • February 27, 2012 10:37 am

        I think that Santorum might be running on empty. His campaign is so lacking of ideas that he’s now calling Obama a snob for wanting people to go to college.

  2. Karie Jackson permalink
    February 17, 2012 3:58 pm

    My Fiance is Al’s biological child adopted by his father many years ago. Reading about how his birth father lived and died has been both intriguing and disturbing. I hope the man is at more peace wherever he is now than he was on this earth. Rest In Peace Mr. Luoma

    • February 18, 2012 1:58 pm

      I think we all hope that, Karie. Well said.

  3. beth reed permalink
    February 18, 2012 8:00 pm

    In Vegas there lived a ma down the street that had his yard and house over run with rabbits. His grass was almost waist high on a 6 ft person. Vegas is really big nature perserve and that is what he did right in the city limits. He had it fenced off and everything for the abbit sanctory.
    another man behind my house somewhere had roster. He lasted 2 or 3 months and he had to go because of the noise pollution law. It is funny tha living in a city you can get used to traffic horns blowing car alarms police sirens and no one says a wordbut believe me when a rooster starts crowing at the break of dawn people get pissed lol.
    It is sad that your friends allowed their passion for animals take control but you know it is one of those live and let live situations. I doubt that I could have gone in that house so Jude gets lots of credit for that and you get credit for the rv fridge….. yuk lol .

  4. beth reed permalink
    February 18, 2012 8:13 pm

    And as always forgive my errors. I think I have totally worn out the keys on my phone.
    A new phone is in the works but I am saving my money for a car right now so the phone is next in line.

    • February 19, 2012 9:18 am

      Live and let live, but know that your life affects others. It’s been fascinating to be even on the periphery of the tying up of loose ends for Al and Sue. So, Beth, a new car, then a new phone, then some rabbits and roosters?

  5. kris (lower case) permalink
    February 18, 2012 8:24 pm

    so is anyone taking care of the cats and goats?

    • February 19, 2012 9:21 am

      A friend of Sue’s is willing to take her goats temporarily or permanently. Next week SPCA is coming for the cats. In the meantime, Al and Sue’s friend Patrick, who lives on their property, is feeding them. That was nice of you to ask, kris.

  6. kris (lower case) permalink
    February 19, 2012 7:59 pm

    i know it is mean but i always think that adults can take care of themselves and it is they that make the bad decisions that affect children and animals.. and it is the children and animals that suffer thru what the adult has done or decided.. i always feel worse for them.. being an animal hoarder is not a good thing for anyone.. ultimately it is the animal that pays the price thru no fault of their own..

    • February 20, 2012 8:19 am

      I agree. The worst part of our recent visits to Al and Sue’s house is seeing all the cats and realizing that many of them will likely have to be put down.

  7. beth reed permalink
    February 19, 2012 9:32 pm

    I am so glad to hear the animals are going to be alright. I have two dogs and they require a lot more care than I would have believed. So will Sue be getting out of the hospital any time soon? If so who will take care of her. My heart goes out to the elderly, disabled, children and animals.
    Oh yes I do plan on getting some chickens but a rooster…. No way lol.

    • February 20, 2012 8:29 am

      The goats are going to a good home, but I don’t think all the cats will. Some of them look really weak. Sue will most likely recuperate with her daughters and then decide if she’ll return to our neighbourhood. I’ll keep you posted. Before she leaves the hospital, I want to ask her for permission to publish excerpts from Al’s book on the blog.

  8. beth reed permalink
    February 19, 2012 9:40 pm

    Oh yeah I forgot to tell you that I dont have to get rabbits. I have them running wild here in all sizes and colors. We have a lot of snakesand was told Guinnes are great to keep snakes and rodents away. The drawback of course is losing all of mmy garden snakes that hang around but i would rather be snake free than bitten.

    • February 20, 2012 8:35 am

      You have rattlers, water moccasins and copperheads in your area, don’t you? I know that snakes like chicken eggs. That’s not a problem here, because all we have on the island are garter snakes.

  9. beth reed permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:59 am

    Yep those are the ones we have. They were every where during and after the flood. Before I had to be evacuated I could look out my back door and count 20 to 30 at a time swimming in my back yard.
    The night that I was called to help my neighbors evacuate a friend killed a water moccassin about 2 feet from where i was standing. I saw him and stopped in my tracks and said snake and My friend sterling killed it. I am always on the look out for them.

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