1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Are We in the Pink Yet?

Peanut, also known as OPP, the One-Pink-Paw cat, joins me on the sofa sometimes while I watch the early morning news. I just love the cutesy terms media people come up with to dispel fear and anxiety. They do such a good job of fomenting crises, I suppose an equal measure of ratcheting those crises down has to be considered from time to time. People with short fuses seem to be going off with great regularity these days. I've been hearing a lot lately about "The New Normal." According to the wise folks at ABC News, we as good citizens should be investigating what implications that term might have for us personally. What will we do when the recession is over and things return to new-normal? I guess some of us will not have to sell our homes and belongings for pennies on the dollar or send our pets packing. We might even be able to retire with some dignity and see some of the world before we die. I hope so. Some nice travel agents from India have been commenting here lately, and I, for one, would like to help them increase their business. Of course, beautiful places exist right here in these United States, in Florida even, and I never get tired of revisiting them. Sights like Mimosa trees in bloom along the Blackwater Heritage State Trail evoke a simpler time brought to life by Mark Twain's rosy descriptions of small-town life in his novel Pudd'nhead Wilson. Things are not quite what they seem, though, in his idyllic setting, and it pays to remember that Twain paints a pretty-in-pink picture of tranquil living just so he can tease out the tangled mess he finds in human nature. If you look closely enough, it's easy to detect how gullible we humans are when the social structure du jour has its way with us. I really like his style.

"In 1830 it was a snug little collection of modest one- and two-storey frame dwellings whose white-washed exteriors were almost concealed from sight by climbing tangles of rose-vines, honeysuckles, and morning-glories. Each of these pretty homes had a garden in front, fenced with white palings and opulently stocked with hollyhocks, marigolds, touch-me-nots, prince's-feathers, and other old-fashioned flowers; while on the window-sills of the houses stood wooden boxes containing moss-rose plants and terra-cotta pots in which grew a breed of geranium whose spread of intensely red blossoms accented the prevailing pink tint of the rose-clad house-front like an explosion of flame. When there was room on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat was there--in sunny weather--stretched at full length, asleep and blissful, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. Then that house was complete, and its contentment and peace were made manifest to the world by this symbol, whose testimony is infallible. A home without a cat--and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat--may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?" (from Chapter 1 of Pudd'nhead Wilson)


  1. I was just thinking of you today. Glad you posted. Your kitty looks most pretty in pink and could care less about the trials of the world. Mr. Fix-it and I are well versed on them as we cannot sell our house. We've decided to rent it and hope that works out well. We shall see. Wish us luck! Bad market for everything right now, hopefully it will right itself soon enough. I enjoyed your post very much.

  2. I not only had never heard of Pudd'nhead Wilson, let alone read it! I must now do this! I will order it from the library right away...NOW!!!

    Love your pink pawed kitty!!!

    Here's looking to a NEW- and most wonderful future!!!

    xoxo- Julie

  3. I absolutely love your quote and I agree with Mark Twain 100%. What an idyllic picture he paints. I almost feel I'm standing before that house just ready to go up and pet that sleepy cat;)

    I'm very afraid the new normal for most of us will not be as good as the old normal.

  4. I always liked the mess Twains Conneticut Yankee found. The pretentiousness of those high and mightly folks...

  5. Great pictures and quote is fantastic !! This is great..Unseen Rajasthan

  6. Hi Tina. Yeah, wouldn't it be nice to live as carefree as a cat? I hope you and Mr. Fix-It get good renters for your house. I'm guessing you're talking about the one in Indiana. Things will straighten themselves out; they always do. We're just in an unusually slow downturn of the cycle right now, I guess. I need to do some catching up on reading blogs. Just realized I totally missed Skeeter's and some of my other favorite weekend posts.

    Julie, I think you'll enjoy the read if you like Twain's sense of humor. The link I put in for the book allows you to download it, or you can read it online. I usually like holding the book in my hand, though, too. It gives you a feeling of connection to the story. Thanks for raising a toast to the future. Clink!

    Thanks, Marnie. Ol' Twain was fairly adept at depicting the scene, wasn't he? You know, I've always had the feeling that the old normal wasn't so good. There was something rotten at the center of it that needed to come to the surface and be sloughed off. Kinda the same thing happening in Twain's story.

    Troutbirder, I'm re-reading that story. It's been a long time since the first reading, and it's overdue for another look. It's a shame that most of the books published these days probably won't inspire another look down the road. They just don't seem to matter much.

    Thank you, UR. I hope your business grows by leaps and bounds. Your blog is a great resource for teaching us about your country and its people and culture. It's stirring up some latent longing in me--to travel.

  7. It's nice to rediscover old favorite authors. I didn't know Twain appreciated cats, but that just gives me one more reason to dig out Huck Finn.
    As for the new normal, the Home Depot in our neighborhood seems empty and quiet, as do restaurants and shopping malls. Maybe it's a good thing that I've cut back on buying crap I don't really need. It's past time we eliminate shopping as a form of entertainment.

  8. Our home must be perfect and full of contentment, because we do have cats sunning on our porches all the time:)
    I hadn't heard of the term "the New Normal" before this, but I've given up watching much of the news lately--too depressing. Leave it to the media or the government to come up with new euphemisms to try to make us all feel better. George Carlin would have had a field day with this term:)

  9. And now back to the news in the new-normal times...

    This just in...cats take over garden patio in Pincrest, FL - Onlookers watched in amazement as three unidentified felines, one with an oddly colored pink paw, wrestled a spatula from a Pinecrest homeowner and tossed grilled hamburgers to a pack of wild dogs that had been chasing them. "I had no time to react!" said the astounded griller. The cats were believed to be escapees from a local cathouse and police warned area residents to be on the lookout for the cantankerous kitties. Full report at 11:00.

  10. WS, I wonder if Twain really appreciated cats or the opportunity to point a paw. There was much public and private debate in his day about the "danger" to society because of miscegenation. Outspoken, white-washed purists had conveniently forgotten the fact that many of their forebears (FFVs) regularly engaged in and relished the practice themselves. Twain was just helping them remember.

    Rose, we do need more Carlins in this world or maybe TCs to lighten things up and tickle the funnybone. We are down to one cat now. Miss Kitty (pictured in the post I did last year) died a little over a month ago. She was 17 years old. So Peanut can finally join me on the sofa without fear of incurring Kitty's wrath.

    TC, you're the new Carlin or you should be (getting all that fame and fortune). So that's what happens to pets that get sent packing--they turn to a life of crime, swiping burgers and wreaking havoc all over town. This news report will send shockwaves reverberating all the way to Washington. Something needs to be done, or another crisis looms just ahead! There will be cathouses springing up everywhere if the crises aren't averted.

  11. That sounds a lot like the "new black." Isn't skinny the "new fat," ... and warm the "new cold." I can never keep track of what the new trends are. I'm either way ahead ... or more probably, very very very "far behind" (that's the new "way ahead" by the way).

  12. Mr. S., I must have learned my fashion sense from my dad. He kept the same clothes for so long that they eventually came back into fashion. I just wish clothes these days were made to last that long! Wouldn't it be nice, though, if everyone really was in the black instead of in the red?

  13. Just got my copy of Pudd'nhead Wilson from the library...can't wait to read it! Thanks for telling about it!

  14. Ah yea..the new normal..Love the PR people and their spins. It's a very difficult time for so many.I think back on my childhood of the 50's and 60's and think that they must have been the 'Good Old Days'..I too need to read..Pudd'nhead Wilson.