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June 26, 2007
Did you know there's a kitten out there? Q asked me about a week ago. A little guy.

Yeah, I thought I saw somebody,
I answered.

Of course, it might be a little gal kitten, not a little guy. I have thought for some time that another cat might change the ecology around here for the better. Sure enough: What's-Her-Name has exhibited a motherly care for the little visitor that is quite unlike her -- you don't have to spend much time at all with What's-Her-Name before you understand that she would sell her own mother in a heartbeat, if the price were right. But she has taken the tiny grey tiger under her wing, showing the kitten where to hide in the azalea bush, standing aside to let the kitten eat from her dish, watching from a distance as the kitten plays in the shadows of the leaves.

Well, look at that, Q said as we watched them share. It was downright eerie, What's-Her-Name being so nice and all. I think she's glad to have someone new in her world, someone smaller than she is, since she so thoroughly detests loud, enormous Ben. Here is someone she can form. Perhaps she hopes that the kitten will grow to be even bigger than Ben, and then he can beat him up.

In imagining a new cat among us, I had set my heart on a yellow one. Gypsy is a grey tiger already. We don't have a yellow cat. My friend Lisa just told me that she knew of a litter that contained at least one yellow, and I was excited, beginning to think of ways in which I might help Q reach the conclusion that we needed a yellow kitten, when this little grey appeared. It will be difficult to convince him of our need for two new little cats. Ah, well. One doesn't always get what one desires. Something else comes along, sometimes, and claims squatters rights first.

It's a mistake to think that life is an unhappy thing just because you didn't get what you wanted. Insisting on that viewpoint blinds a person to what is already in her life and precludes the enjoyment of it. Okay, so we already know what I don't have. But what do I have? I can't make anything out of things I don't have. I can't do a thing with what is not. All I have at my disposal is what is.


Dear friends, the Geranium Farm could use a little help! Donations to the Farm cover the cost of the website and -- full disclosure -- Barbara Crafton's pension payments, which are a bit overdue at present. If you have enjoyed the eMos over the years and can afford to do so, a modest donation would surely come in handy right now. Please be assured that this is not a marketing preamble that will end up with your having to pay for the eMos -- they are, and will always remain, gloriously free.

But it does cost us money to keep them coming. A few facts: the Geranium Farm is in 68 countries now, visited by thousands of people every day. The eMos themselves go to about 20,000 people. At any given time, 350-450 candles are lit in prayer in the Vigils section of the Farm. The Farm has a deacon, Joanna Depue, whose ministry has been approved by our bishop -- making her the first virtual deacon in the church. It has a parish kitchen, the HodgePodge, in which you can find out all sorts of interesting things. It furnishes audio versions of the eMos to the sight-impaired or just to people who really miss the South -- they are read by Buddy Stallings, a Missisippian. Carol Stone writes about economics from a Christian perspective in such a way that even I can understand it. There is a You-Tube presence through the ministry of Matthew Moretz, by far the coolest person on the Farm, whose popular "Fr. Matthew Presents" video explains it all to you, and Lane Denson's "Out of Nowhere" appears regularly on the Farm, along with the work of other writers. There is an archive of every eMo ever published. And there is more.

If you can help us keep it all afloat, please do. I will be most grateful. Visit

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