That’s my cat Fiona, and an annoyed-looking robin. Here in New England we have had an unusually cold, snowy winter that started earlier than usual in December. A recent forecast predicts a colder than usual March, too. If it weren’t for my animals and books, getting through a Maine winter would be much harder. It’s hard to believe we’ll ever see signs of life and greenery in the dead, frozen world.
Speaking of mortality, my mother and I are in the habit of sending each other unusual or bizarre obituaries from the Savannah and Portland papers. My parents at 90 read obituaries from a different perspective, but I’ve always done so, too. I find these summings-up of a life fascinating. Here is a poem by E.B. White, published in The New Yorker in 1948, with an ironic view of obituaries:
A Forward Glance O’er the Obituary Page
How many times I’ve said to my wife
As I scanned the morning paper,
“I see that So-and-do is dead.”
My wife looks up and nods her head.
How oft I’ve thought of him who’ll say
As he scans the morning paper,
“I see that E.B. White is dead.”
His wife looks up and nods her head–
Such queer, insensible people!
Ah, lucky, loathsome people!