Duluth, Minnesota: Cargo Shipping Season

I am excited to learn that the shipping season is underway in Duluth Minnesota on Lake Superior. Duluth is about 150 miles north of St. Paul, MN and a lovely city to visit. The news that ships from Antwerp will pass through is especially exciting! ย ย Here is the article as seen on Minnesota Public Radio News:

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/03/19/duluth-shipping-season-set-to-begin

The company out of Antwerp is Spliethoff and has a Great Lakes Department. Here is a photo of one of their ships, the Fortunagracht. For more information about the company, the website is https://www.spliethoff.com/ .

We await news of shipping dates so we can plan a trip north to hike, sightseeโ€” and watch these great ships pass through the channel in Canal Park.

Before Wordle

I was looking for a hammer and nails to hang some pictures when I noticed this on the workbench.

Spill and Spell originated in 1957. The set in our basement has an imprint that it was made in Newton, Massachusetts.

The directions are certainly out of the 1950’s: ๐Ÿ˜

I dusted it off and decided to have a go ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Wednesday with a Few Words: Working Through Grief

I visited Feline Rescue today to explore volunteer options and met a few new friends.

I also received my 65th birthday gift to myself ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽต

Grief

The depth of grief cannot be predicted. Since the death of our cat Bagheera on February 19th, I have been consumed by it; not 24/7, but in shocking great batches of sobbing and snot. This is a very solitary experience for me. Several people that read my previous post reached out; one of whom is a great friend and has offered additional thoughts by email.

My partner does not share the extent of this grief. I guess I was the “cat Mom” and it was my love and efforts that primarily supported our cats in their day to day lives. And so, I am pretty much grieving alone (yes, self pity is an issue…). I am trying to make sense of this; a world in which people do not understand the nature of this kind of grief. A companion animal is an unconditionally loving creature who relies upon us for everything. We tend to give them everything of ourselves. And the grief is real and feels quite unique.

So, this begs the question: what would Bagheera expect of me now?

I’m just home from a two mile walk. It is snowing here in St. Paul, MN. I am pleased to report that I only slipped once on a patch of ice. I talked to Bagheera while I walked. He doesn’t want me to be so sad and prefers that I recall all the amazing things we shared for almost 15 years. Here is his preliminary advice, in a nutshell:

Keep moving every day.

Greet all the animals I meet with joy.

Find ways to give animals, cats in particular, care as they wait for their forever homes. Volunteer time and love.

Remember him in my prayers and give thanks for the people in my life who love and care about cats.

Bye for now,

Christine

Bagheera: Beloved

Bagheera (AKA Bug) our sweet mini-panther- passed away on February 19th. We said goodbye to him after sharing our home with him for almost 15 years. In November he developed some issues with gait and was ultimately diagnosed with a cancer. He was a love bug right to the end and is now reunited with his shelter brother, Dylan. I imagine the two of them, curled up together once again in a sunny spot atop a celestial cat tree. We love them both so very much.

The grief has been astonishing. I take comfort in the kindness of friends and family and from some unexpected sources. We received a bouquet of pink tulips from the pet supply company Chewy , upon learning of Bug’s death.

We are also very grateful for the gentle, compassionate end of life care Bagheera received at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center in St. Paul, MN. The AERC also offered grief support via a Facebook group and in person meetings and counseling. I purchased the book, The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping with the Grieving Process by Wallace Sife, Ph.D.; an immensely helpful resource. Grief is a complex experience and seems to pick up all the threads of previous loss when one is struck by it again.

I am not sure what the future holds for us after Bagheera. I have had some communication with the Feline Rescue organization in St. Paul. There are many opportunities to support their efforts for shelter cats as they await adoption. At some point, I hope to volunteer. Until then, and forever, Bagheera will be missed so very much and is forever in our hearts.

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