This week brought two—TWO!!—warm, sunny days!! It’s supposed to rain the rest of the week, but like I told my friend Chrissy on a bizarrely beautiful day in early March, “Acknowledging that it will be cold/rainy/crappy again helps me enjoy today’s weather without interpreting it as a promise for continued nice weather. Then instead of worrying about whether it will stay nice, I can just enjoy it, even if it’s only one day/hour.” On the first gorgeous day, Mary and Annika stopped by on their way home for an impromptu riverside tea party of iced 2010 tea and Kyoto cookies from one of my students, who explained to me what they were by gesturing with her right hand (cookies), then left hand (crackers) and motioning frantically in the middle while pointing to the Kyoto cookies. “Somewhere between!” she laughed sweetly. Arigato gozaimasu! Then today Heather, Jill, Lilia, Kristin and Madelyn came over for some sunshine and late cherry blossom viewing. The last refuse from the regular cherry blossoms rained down continually—stems, spent buds, a few remaining petals. A delightful mess. This has nothing to do with anything but I figured I’d stick it in here. Ta-da! Passport Diaries is three years old. Yay! Today is also Aggie Muster. In just the past few days the riverbanks have really greened out. Chris got home late Monday night so Tuesday morning we went for a jog. It was cloudy and starting to drizzle, but that doesn’t even count as bad weather now that 1. Chris is home 🙂 and 2. everything’s green! The clouds seem to close in around the leafy tunnel encircling the path so the whole world becomes a shade of green. And the kitties! They LOVE the warmer weather. I felt so bad keeping them cooped up inside, plus they’ve escaped enough times to show me they always come home. So we’ve started going outside on nice mornings. At first I planted basil and watered the rosemary bushes and mint while they circled the house meowing and rubbing my ankles. Then the next time, Pounce disappeared. That sent Mouse meowing up a storm until Pounce returned. Today—the warmest day yet—both of them scampered outside and vanished as soon as I opened the living room screen door. Mouse came back in when he’d had enough. His charcoal fur was hot to the touch. I called Pounce a few times but got no response. No mew, no loud meow, no whiny Pounce sounds. Every other time I’d called he’d come scampering along the stepping stones, eyes wide and alert. Where was he? I walked all the way around the block looking for him, afraid that at any moment one of my neighbors would run outside shrieking and holding Pounce by the scruff, or worse, that one of the two cars that ever drive by would have hit him. Neither came to pass. I found a damp Pounce looking lost on our next door neighbor’s wall. He mewed when he saw me. Silly cat. I deposited him inside and he went straight to the entryway and lay down on the cool floor there for an hour. Baby steps, kitties. Baby steps.