Happy Mother’s Day Mom!


This one is for you, my Mother Dearest,

A mother of three, whom we all both love and fearest!

Today’s a day of thanks for my lovely Mom,

Like every mother, she’s def da bomb!

She cooks, she cleans, she sweeps, she sews,

And whenever I am bad, she somehow always knows!

She’s a band director, the finest teacher of music,

Somehow listening to 5th grade clarinets doesn’t make her lose it!

She teaches kids who aren’t her own

How to play the tuba, flute, or saxophone.


Bravely leading her students around the subway system of New York City, and somehow ending up in Brooklyn.

I don’t know how she does it, her patience is legendary

Except for when it comes to bad tuning, then she gets scary.

She marches, she copies, she fixes, she files,

And she does it all with (mostly) real smiles.

I’ve always admired your passion and drive,

To be like you is for what I strive.

You’re the bestest Mom I’ve ever had,

Without you my life would sure be sad.


You meeting Dad sure was fateful,

You gave me life, for which I’m grateful.

I love you mom, I hope you know that,

I may journey far, but home is where the heart’s at.

I love you deep, I’ll love you long,

I love you sure, I love you strong.

So Happy Mother’s Day Mommy Dearest,

To my heart you will always be nearest.

With lots of love from your most favorite eldest daughter, who didn’t know that there was a MCB Clarinet website, and that both our pictures are on it. Interesting things can be found when one searches for your name on Google. 

And Happy Mother’s Day also to my mother’s mother, my grandma Elvera, whom I love dearly and who prints out all my blog posts and puts them in a three-ring binder. Everything I write, I write for you.  


Love you much!

Happy Birthday Dad!

For my Dad, one of the many Mike Smiths that exist in the world, but definitely the most important (at least in my life). You’ve taught me just about everything important in life, like how to eat pizza, play euchre and softball, how to stack firewood and how to go on long walks in the woods. You’ve taught me how to “walk it off,” to be a team player, how to be committed and a hard worker, how to laugh at corny jokes. You taught me to take advantage of opportunities, and how to be a good person. You taught me to appreciate the “classical” music of Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and the rest. 

Four years ago I graduated college on your birthday, something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top as a birthday present. You paid for four years of education at a private, liberal-arts college, and I wrote you this poem. I don’t know if I’ll ever really be able to tell you how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and how much I love you. 

Thanks Dad, for everything. 

getting ready for outside work_1

And thanks for letting me wear your woolen winter hat all the time. Glad that phase didn’t last too long.

In honor of your birthday Dad I wrote for you this po-em

For though I may be far away, today I wish I was ho-me.

learning to drive_1

Learning from the best.

The world is great, but can’t compare

To you, my Father Extraordinaire.

You taught me how to drive a car,

Which let me leave and go quite far.

That same skill though is what brings me back

‘Cause throughout the world, my family is what I lack.

Awkward Family Photos

This is how the Smith family celebrates Easter.

It’s from you I think that I’m low key,

One of the things I like the most ’bout me.

From you I got my temperament,

Way of looking at the world unbent.


Watching TV with Dad

Like father, like daughter.

Because of you Dad, for my best I strive,

And without you Dad, I’d not be alive.

ive got your feet_1

Dads make the best jungle gyms.

You’re my mountain, my sturdy base,

As necessary as the nose upon my face.

Your beard might now be a little more gray,

But to me you’re always going to be more than just okay!


Lauren and Dad at Andy's wedding

If you can’t tell Dad, I think you’re the best

A man above all others, better than the rest!


Yellowstone National Par

Good to see that our family portraits have gotten substantially less awkward.

I love you Dad!

Happy Birthday!

Actually Dad, it does.

Arkive American Beaver

This one was sent to me by my sister Megan. Apparently my brother was watching The Blue Collar Comedy Tour Movie in which one of the comedians tells a story about a man and a beaver. 

Eric: “How do you get your nipple bitten off by a beaver?”

Dad: “It happens all the time.”

And then, the next day, I came across this news blurb on Outside:

Read it here: Beaver Kills Belarus Man With Deadly Bite

So see Dad– it really does happen all the time.

If you’re interested, Whitney and I saw a beaver while working at the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina last year! Read about it here: Animals on the Refuge.

Jasper Kitty

Jasper the cat


My Jasper kitty died on Easter. My dad called me two days later to tell me. I was in a coffee shop, working. I could tell as soon as I picked up that something was wrong, so I went outside. I thought maybe it was one of my grandparents, but it was my kitty. My Jasper kitty, who got hit by a car sometime on Sunday. They found him after they came home from my grandparent’s house for Easter dinner.

The grief was immediate, and I had to focus hard to keep from curling in a ball on the sidewalk and bursting into tears. I succeed, and we discuss other things, distractions, my job this summer, tax rebates. I’m good at keeping things sealed away, keeping my emotions hidden deep inside, pretending I’m not breaking, that my heart isn’t sobbing. There’s nowhere to go to let it safely out, nowhere to be alone to comfort myself. I need to run away, but I can’t. I wait until I’m in the shower that night, so no one else can hear me.

I hate these phone calls. You know they’ll come, eventually, but you like to pretend that they won’t. I’ve had two others, both about kitties. My mom called me about Furball during my internship in North Carolina, while I was grocery shopping. I didn’t get phone service up in the mountains where the bunkhouse was, and she wouldn’t tell me over the phone, just that something bad had happened and she wrote me an email (by the way Mom, not a fan of this method). So I had to finish my shopping, then drive the half-hour up the mountain to the bunkhouse, desperately trying not to worry but concocting all sorts of scenarios. I forced myself to put everything away before I checked, because I knew I wouldn’t want to after.



Furball was my first kitty, the one from the litter I had named (I was maybe 4 or 5, and Furball was the best I could do at the time). He was a sleek black panther of a kitty, with a semi-regal air. He liked to lick your hand while you petted him, and had a great purr. He was 19 years old, an old man, and I distinctly remember that just a few days earlier I was thinking about how much I was looking forward to curling up with him on the couch in front of the wood stove when I got home next month. The neighbors across the street found him in their backyard, and the conclusion was that something had gotten him and dragged him over there.

I grabbed my coat and ran out the door as far as I could get away from the bunkhouse, which wasn’t all that far but just far enough, and sat on the ground in the woods, in the dark, and cried. I remember looking up at the stars, which were brilliant up there in the mountains, so far from the lights of town. It took awhile, but eventually it was okay.

I remember when I got the phone call about Tiger, Furball’s mom, who had adopted us when she was pregnant. I was a sophomore in college, standing in front of my desk, in the middle of working on a lab report (not sure why I was standing, I didn’t normally work standing up, but I remember I was standing and gripping the back of my desk chair). She was old and tired and sweet, and went gently in her sleep. It didn’t hurt as much, knowing this. But still, it was hard to focus that day.

Molly, the yellow lab we had while I was growing up, died when I was in middle school (this was back in the day before we had cell phones, and before I left home). We grew up together, she and I, and I spent a great deal of my childhood running around in the woods with her. She had cancer, a large tumor in her stomach. It was awful, but I remember very clearly thinking that if Molly wasn’t in Heaven, I didn’t want to go either. If we don’t see the ones we love, all the ones we love, then why go? I like to think she’s up there running around and playing with my cousin, but she wasn’t especially affectionate in this life so I’m not sure why she would be in the next. She’s probably pigging out to her heart’s content on steaks and chocolate cake and hickory nuts (she never got sick, which was fairly impressive for someone who would eats napkins, cupcake wrappers, or anything that smelled vaguely like food. She also would stand in the yard and crack hickory nuts with her teeth and eat them, shell and all).

Jasper and Bogie on dog bed

Jasper and Bogie sharing the dog bed

It’s all the little things that bring it back, like knowing that Jasper’s hairs are probably still all over the comforter on my bed at home, and that once they’re gone there won’t be anymore to replace them. I haven’t been home in two months, and now I desperately miss having his blond hair all over my clothes.

He won’t wake me up early in the morning with his meowing outside my second-story bedroom window to be let inside, which means I have to take out the screen so he can come in. He won’t be there to sleep on my feet, or cuddle on my stomach as I fall asleep, won’t be there to snuggle in my twin-sized bed with our yellow lab Bogie, the two of them curled up back-to-back, or side-by-side, Jasper with one paw reaching out and touching Bogie’s back. He won’t be there to look up at me with that slightly annoyed look when I squeeze myself in at bedtime, nudging him out of the way so I can stretch out my legs.

No more Jasper on the couch in the evening, watching television, or curled up on the window seat, napping. No more Jasper trying to get up on the counter, even though he knows better. No more Jasper going on walks in the woods, going off to investigate something and then bounding along the path to catch up, not wanting to be left behind, but then loping just past, pretending that he was running to smell that tree, not to be with you.

kitty on the couch

Jasper sleeping on the couch

I want to always remember the way he smelled, like no other cat I’ve ever had rub their butt in my face. Like a combination of loam and cat, if I’m remembering the smell of loam correctly. He smelled like nature, like the joy of being outside, a slightly unusual smell, but one that always made me happy.

Jasper kitty, I love you, and while we didn’t have nearly enough time together I’m so so glad you came into our lives and we into yours. Thank you.

Cat sleeping in a ball

A typical Jasper napping position

Winter Nap

Because we just had more than a foot of snow dump on us here in Boulder (and I think there’s more coming), I thought I’d share this piece. It was written more than a few years ago while I was in college, while sitting in a coffee shop at a Kroger grocery store, watching the snow fall outside and my friend take a nap. 


snow on a bird bath


The snow falls outside. A sleeping face. Gentle twitching in the grey light. Ruffled red feathers on the branch. The feeder sees good business on these days. Chickadees move from branch to branch to feeder. Still only long enough to select the perfect seed. Everything is covered in a white powder, white, lightly frozen air. White cold. White nothing.

The face turns. Eyes flicker, remain closed. Warm socks, hot tea. All still, save the feathers, the snow. Heat inside, cold out. Soothing breath, calm, peaceful. Dark lashes, like feathers, on a lighter face. Deep footprints, shallower, filling imperceptibly. Cold magic. Large hands folded, resting. The snow piles higher. Red, blue, brown jostle for space. Chickadees are polite, waiting their turn. Cardinals come and go as they please, leaving the others to their mess. The snow falls sideways. It sticks to the side of buildings.

black-capped chickadee at feeder

Brown eyes open to the grey, the white, the cold. They close, a more comfortable position. The foot moves, subdued by eventual rest. Footprints are gone, colors are gone, only grey, only white. On the lee side of the feeder, feathers huddle, warm air trapped tight to bodies. Steady warm breath thaws the heart, the soul. The snow falls. Birds feed. Sleeping gently as the snow whispers its way down.

Waiting for pines

Written while waiting for a friend at Ohio Wesleyan University, Spring 2009. 

Ohio Wesleyan University

There are two pine trees, stuck between two buildings, two cement squares of sidewalk. The pines are thin, an arm-span around, or so it seems. No one has hugged them to find out. They are tall, straighter than the warped, old buildings, rising up to bring nature to this between-land, reminders that there is more to the world than brick and stone. At the top, they lean towards each other, branches intertangled in the light.

A girl sits below with a notebook, waiting. Her bench is black, shiny, dark against the pale stone building. She writes, but looks up when a crow rattles in one of the trees. She hears the sound but sees not its maker, the bird sooty with an iridescent powder that makes its feathers gleam in the light. Black is not one color but all colors mixed together, a blended rainbow sitting in the tree, hiding among the green needles.

The girl smiles. She looks up, looking for the crow she knows is there, but sees nothing, just the wind and the sun on the branches and stonework of the buildings. She smiles at the confused look of a passerby, startled by the odd sound.

The girl and the crow, both alone, both waiting, for what? What is there to wait for in this life? Another crow, a partner in sound? A moment? The fleeting pleasure of laughter, the rattle of a crow in the tree tops?

She sits and waits and writes and stares at nothing, at everything, waiting.


OWU University Hall



Written for my MatadorU course a few weeks ago. The assignment was to write a piece that included dialogue. There were a few other requirements as well, but I don’t remember what they were (other than the 500 word limit) and may have disregarded some of them anyway, so there’s no point in trying to figure out what they were. 

Yellowstone National Park

“Next please!”

I lead the way to the cashier.

“Ok Eric, you go first. Get your wallet out.” It’s already in his hand from the pouch of his hooded sweatshirt. Brown leather, embossed Ohio State logo on the front, bulging with old receipts. He’s the only male I’ve ever met who keeps coins in his billfold.

The cashier rings up his book: Jasotron: 2012. This is how he refers to it, for it’s important to recite the whole title each time the book is mentioned, which will happen hundreds of times in the next few days.

“That’s $17.49.” She is a young college student, in black-rimmed glasses and a cardigan, watching us quietly.

He looks at me over his glasses, one of his usual intense looks, staring into my eyes, waiting for me to re-direct.

“Ok, how are you going to pay?” I ask. “With your debit card or cash?”

“I think I have enough cash.” He thumbs through the bills; ones, a few fives, and two twenties.

“Then get out the right amount,” I say.

He pulls out a $20 bill, stares at it a beat longer than seems necessary, and hands it to the cashier. He won’t, or can’t, look at her. She efficiently completes the transaction.

“Here’s you change.”

He holds out a large hand, chapped and red because he won’t wear gloves or use lotion, and she carefully places the bills and coins into his palm. She puts the receipt between the pages of his book and slides it to him.

“Have a good evening,” she says. He won’t look up or acknowledge her, too busy putting bills and coins in their proper place, tucking his wallet safely away. He stands close behind me while I pay for my book, his nose buried in his purchase.

“Have a good evening,” she says again.

“Thanks, you too,” I reply.

He’s in the autism spectrum, I want to explain. He has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. He’s 21 and he’s only once gone into a store alone and bought something by himself. He can’t make eye contact with strangers, and only with intense nudging will he speak to them. It used to be worse; now he’ll order for himself in restaurants.

He’s my little brother, and I can’t imagine life without him. He’s frustrating at times, but my life is infinitely richer because of him. He’s funny, he tells jokes. He’s genuine; he never tries to be something or someone he isn’t. He doesn’t know how to be malicious. He can do so much, if only you know how to prompt him along. Just because he appears to be unresponsive doesn’t mean he’s stupid. He can’t communicate. But we’re working on it.

Thanks, I want to say again. Thank you for treating him as you would any other customer. Thanks for trying to look him in the eye and understand.

I want to say this, but I don’t, and we walk out to the car.

A Walk Through the Backyard

On the deck, just outside the sliding-glass door, there are red specks in the snow, either cayenne pepper flakes or blood my younger brother Eric says. Mom puts pepper in the bird seed to keep away the squirrels, and it works. Our cat Jasper caught a dark-eyed junco from the feeders yesterday, played with it on the deck just outside the door. I wish I was strong enough to have gone out and ended its misery. But I’m not.

Northern Cardinals, Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches

Northern Cardinals, Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches

In my ski jacket, knit hat, scarf, mittens, wool socks and boots, I’m sufficiently bundled to take this walk. It’s 26°F outside. Cold, with a subtly biting breeze.   I wish it was snowing. The sky is a bright muted gray, a shade brighter than depressing. I’ve left the dog, an elderly yellow Labrador retriever named Bogie, sleeping on my bed upstairs. I head out alone.

When I first step out of the garage, I hear birds. Close by, I hear the chirrup cheeping of house finches in the brambles, the tapping of a downy woodpecker on a hickory tree, a white-breasted nuthatch deeper in the woods, calling. In the distance there is a crow, brittle cawing muffled by the snowy trees. I hear black-capped chickadees, a cheery dee-dee-dee-dee in the higher branches, maybe 12 feet off the ground. A tufted titmouse flies from the birdfeeder on the deck to a nearby tree, watching me. I see three blue jays, higher up than the chickadees, in the bare branches of an oak. There are woodpeckers, I don’t know what species but probably downys, tapping on trees in three different directions around me. My legs are getting cold, so I keep walking. Haven’t made it past the driveway yet. The snow makes a crisp muffled sound underfoot. I walk towards our barn, which is just in front of the woods behind the house.

In the big pine tree just in front of the barn, maybe 200 feet from the house, I find a family of black-capped chickadees, four birds hopping from branch to branch, just off the ground and then up, higher, midway up the tree, 20 feet up, and then back down, down to where I could reach, five feet off the ground. I walk in the tracks Mom, Eric, and I made with our cross-country skis three days ago. The track edges are soft from the most recent snowfall, just yesterday.

As I walk pass the barn, I look through the tree line to the Medzuich’s yard. They have a horse now, wearing a blanket coat, grazing in a small paddock in their front yard, which is in line with our backyard. Between their yard and the road is a stand of tall pines, easily 70 feet tall. Barred owls regularly show up in these pines, sometimes waking us in the night asking ‘whoo-cooks-for-you, whoo-cooks-for-you-all?’ In high school, I was late for my evening dance class more than once because I was mesmerized by a staring barred owl, sitting midway up a pine on the edge of the stand. I remember when their property was a field, where corn and wheat grew. I remember before there was a horse, a house, a driveway.  Eight years ago? Nine? It doesn’t matter.

Behind our barn, colored the classic red of all barns, there are stacks of logs covered in snow, waiting to be split into firewood for next year. The summer after my senior year of high school, when I couldn’t find a job, my dad paid me to paint the barn. It was miserably hot, and the paint would dry on the brush and in the tray before I could get it on the walls. Dad and Eric will use the home-made Frankenstein-looking log splitter, which they bought from the former neighbor across the street, Mr. Barth, to turn the huge log rounds into kindling and pieces suitable for the furnace and wood stove. There are holes in the siding of the barn, where a northern flicker tried to make a cavity or look for insects in the treated wood. Dad wasn’t happy about that. Below the holes, the siding on the back corner of the barn is cracked from where Eric ran into it with the tractor. Dad wasn’t happy about that, either.

I hear a noise and look up to see tundra swans, flying overhead in a check-shape formation; one leg of the V is longer than the other.  I count 28. Before this year, I’d never seen flyover tundra swans, not here in the backyard. They spend the summer in the Arctic, and these overhead are heading to the East Coast for the winter. The pond behind our house isn’t big enough to tempt them to land. I wonder if they can even see it, surrounded by the tall hickories, oaks, ash, tulip poplars, and maples that make up the woods.


I take a few more steps and leave the yard, striding onto the path that goes through the woods behind the barn to our small pond. There are sprays of dirt here and there, where squirrels have been digging for buried caches of hickory nuts. In the woods are shorter oaks with pale, shriveled leaves that shiver in the wind.

A dead squirrel is on the path. There are bits of fur in piles, scattered in a foot radius around the body. The tail has been ripped off and the body is twisted into a ball. At first inspection, I though the head was gone, but it’s just curled into the stomach, as if the dead squirrel was trying to sleep. The cold wind blows, making the oak leaves rustle. Crows, two or three, call from the direction of the pond, further off in the gray trees. There is urgent woodpecker tapping behind me, Morse code I don’t understand. The body is frozen hard; I nudged it with my boot. It is a large squirrel, with brown and gray fur, probably a fox squirrel. Any tracks around the body are hidden in the trampled snow of the path, so I have no idea what did this squirrel in. Hawk? Or mammal? And why was it left, not finished off? A squirrel tail can’t be filling. In the cold, you need all the food you can get. It can’t be easy to be a predator in the winter. I get cold again, and move on down the path, further in the woods towards the pond.

My footprints from yesterday contain fresh deer tracks. There are deer tracks everywhere, in paths leading off into the trees, straight lines winding on unknown business. Yesterday I saw two deer bounding away, deeper into the woods behind the pond. Eventually, if you keep going in that direction, you reach the highway. Miles away from our property, but not as endless as I once thought.

I stop and place my bare hand on an oak tree. The bark is soft and corky, and not as cold as I thought it would be. If I push hard enough, in just the right way, I feel I could press my hand inside. Is it warm in the center of a tree? A blue jay calls, once, twice, three, four times. Where are the others? If a tree had a mind, what would it think about?


Even though I am in the woods behind our house, yard, and barn, I can still hear cars as they pass on the road in front of the house, which is only about 3/4ths of a mile away. No matter how hard they try, the birds can’t drown out the sounds of the traffic. I keep walking along the snowy path in the woods, past a deer stand nailed up in a tree. It belongs to the Reininger’s, the neighbors that live behind us, back in the woods. There are inches of snow on top, and it hasn’t been used in years. The deer don’t even try to pretend to be frightened too much anymore.

I continue along, following the path through the trees. There are squirrel tracks in the snow, bounding from tree to tree. The snow is shallower in the woods than it was in the yard, here only a few inches deep, ankle deep. I stare out at the trees, and I hear birds calling. White-breasted nuthatches, crows, black-capped chickadees, dark-eyed juncos. Without meaning too, I note the species, direction, distance. My bones are getting cold. My mind is spread flat on the ground, surrounding the trees like snow cover. Each inhale makes the rims of my nostrils ache. My cheeks feel rosy, red, and raw.

I cross over a trickle of water, a streamlet draining from the lower ground behind the pond to the ravine deeper in the woods, and there are grains of hoarfrost in frozen footprints. The path takes a slight incline up to the pond from here, a mountain if you’re Eric on cross-country skis, five steps to the top. For anyone else, the elevation change of roughly three feet is barely noticeable. Looking up, a black-capped chickadee does aerobatics in the tiny thin bare branches of a nearby ash tree. Three of its friends and family are nearby, watching. I can hear the scrape of the snowplow on bare pavement as it drives by on the road.

The pond is finally frozen solid, with an opaque under-layer to the ice, hoar-crystals on top, looking white and deceptively stable. Once, when we were little, at least a couple feet shorter than we are now, Eric and I fell through the ice by the dock. The ice was solid, but not strong enough to hold our combined weight when we stood next to each other. I pulled him out. I might have been in elementary school, and he’s four years younger. I remember it being cold. The water was dark, black, I couldn’t see my feet hit the bottom.

Leaving the pond behind, I take the path back through the woods, towards the barn, yard, and house, towards the warmth. I’ve never counted how many steps it takes, but I’ve been this way thousands of times. My body knows how long it feels to walk from the pond to the yard, to the house. I measure the distance in body-time, in heartbeats and breaths. Now there are blue jays in the big pine in front of the barn, which fly away once I see them. The feeders on the deck are empty but swaying, something scared the birds off. Me? They’ll return soon enough to eat their cayenne pepper-laced seed. In the garage, I stomp the snow from my boots and head inside.

Bogie looking out across his domain

Ohio Winter

One winter Saturday, one of those cold Ohio days in late December or early January, my dad reads an article in the Akron Beacon Journal about bald eagles in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We decide to find ourselves an eagle, an excuse to go outdoors. You need a purpose to go out in the winter in Ohio, there’s no going outside just for the sake of being outside. Without a reason, or once the reason is forgotten, the frigid bleakness soon saps your body heat and spirit, and ice starts to form in your veins.

We bundle up, Dad and my younger brother in their winter Carhartt jackets, dirty from splitting and stacking wood in the backyard. I wear my ski jacket, the one I got in high school when I learned to ski at Boston Mills. We grab our wool hats and binoculars, jump in the truck, and take the long way through the Valley to Ira Trailhead, one of our usual starting points along the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. There is one other car in the parking lot.

On the trail we head south and within five minutes we see our first bald eagle, perched on a bare branch over the Cuyahoga River. The water is brown and sluggish-looking, the white foam along the edges frozen. After a few minutes of passing the two pairs of binoculars between the three of us the eagle flies away, heading downstream. We decide to continue on, to give chase. Bald eagles aren’t uncommon here, but we don’t always see one when we come. We’ve never seen one, let alone two, in such a short amount of time. I follow in Dad’s tracks, stepping in each footprint like I did when I was little, only now I can match his stride and our feet are nearly the same size.

Another five minutes and we find another eagle, probably the same one. It’s found a companion, and the two sit in adjacent trees, silently staring out at the world. When they eventually decide to fly away they head away from the river and the Towpath. We retrace our steps back to the promised warmth of the truck, walking along someone’s cross-country ski tracks. The muted sun is on its way down. We can barely see our breath in the dusk.

At home, we eat pizza in the family room, watching television. There is a fire in the wood stove and the pets gravitate towards the warmth, lying on the hardwood floor almost touching the stove itself. We linger on the couch, no one wanting to leave for colder beds. The snow is falling softly outside, turning the track-filled yard to a clean slate, a sparkling white canvas where the deer and songbirds will write their stories.

Right now there is nothing to see through the dark windows; they’ve turned to mirrors, reflecting the firelight and TV light, reflecting us on the couch sitting together on a cold winter night in Ohio.

I prefer blonds in my bed

Most nights, I share my bed with two blond gentlemen named Jasper (after the national park in Canada, not Twilight) and Bogie (after Humphrey Bogart, not golf).

I’ve decided I like blonds because the hair doesn’t show as much on my light-colored counterpane.
Jasper (on the left) and Bogie, peacefully snoozing away.
After a brief discussion, they decided they too liked the word counterpane instead of bedspread, because it flows off the tongue nicely and sounds more romantic.
They, like many males, hog the space and the covers, snore, and thrash around in the middle of the night. They are primarily motivated by food and demand that I wake up early to feed them, because we need to eat RIGHT NOW.
Oh thank you, you’ve saved me a narrow sliver along the wall. How kind.
I admit, I’m weak, and I just can’t say no to faces like these. (And they’re both way more difficult to move than you’d think.)
They don’t seem to get that curling up at the end of the bed would be an excellent option for them, but not so much for me. Some of us have legs a few feet longer than others of us, and therefore appreciate a little more space…