Update and Pine Cone Killer

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I ran 3 miles today in the subfreezing temps. Yes, we have had at least 2 mornings where the weather was below 32 degrees, very cold for October. The stars sparkled up above me. Decked out in fleece, Wonder Woman socks (don’t judge) and as much speed as possible, I shaved 2 minutes off the time. And, drumroll, please, that makes 10 miles total run for the week. It has taken a long time to get back to running consistently. I sort of hate that it’s happening now, when the weather will be turning to straight rain pretty much next week. But it happened! I am grateful.

I am onto the next quarter for school. This time, I have 2 project management electives, one for basic project management overview and the other for project execution. Taking anything having to do with project management, my emphasis, feels like a foretaste of glory divine. The overview class has a good mix of men and women; the second is almost all women, which surprised me. In fact, both PM 5331 and PM 5332 are taught by the same woman. Even better, her requirements for posts and papers are less stringent than past courses. No word limit, no page limit, no 6-8 references required. Wow. It’s like…we need to think for ourselves and converse intelligently with others. I might have a wee bit of excitement about this quarter, complete with girlie squeals. But don’t tell anyone.

In other news, Rex, our 20-lb. American Bombay cat, has been busy. The photo above shows his latest accumulation of kills. Before dinner last night, he jumped into the red porch swing, making it sway back and forth with gusto. As the sun set, I carefully stacked the accumulated pine cones from the past several twilights. His yellow eyes watched me play with his catch. I watched the mountain turn from white to pink to lavender to purple, then disappeared. A full moon rose over the mountain. Rex slept.

Rex is a hunter. Despite our encouragement to concentrate on killing furry things – rats, squirrels, mice, rats, voles – pine cones remain his newest prey of choice. He likes to sneak up on the unsuspecting pine cones. I can only imagine the violent struggle that ensues, the pine cone filled with sudden rage and fear. Then, once subdued, they sit securely in his maw. He meows. “M-WAO! M-WAO!” You can hear it all over the house. The pine cone sitting apart in the photo died last night, probably a stray. The weak ones get picked off first, I reckon.

I don’t see the appeal, frankly. They don’t run away, as they lack legs. Pine cones are inedible. I think. I haven’t seen Rex chowing down on any, despite their crunchy consistency. So why the cones? The only theory I can come up with is they’re easy. Rex expends little effort in capturing a pine cone. They lie on the ground and only move if pushed or blown by the wind. Rex gets the glory of a kill without even getting dirty.

Aren’t we the same? We want things to be easy. We like commutes to run smoothly. We try to avoid wardrobe malfunctions. We plan ahead as much as we can in order to reduce road blocks or friction in our lives. But life doesn’t always oblige. Car tires go flat. Hair, though dead, refuses to cooperate. Our closet, somehow, is filled with unflattering clothes. What then? We make do. We change the tire and get to work a little late. We wear a hat or come up with a unique hairstyle. We cobble together an outfit that makes us look semi-respectable, or at least like we made an effort. And that’s okay. We are more than all these things, as is Rex. My affection for Rex is not diminished at all by his lazy hunting skills. In fact, it makes me laugh. Because we didn’t pick Rex to keep us vermin-free; we picked him to love. God made us to love and to love Him as well, even with wacky hair, strange clothes and car trouble. Performing is not necessary.

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. – I John 4:16