It’s raining, raining, raining. It’s two days before Thanksgiving, 2011. I have more important things on my mind than getting my cat to the vet – though she is requiring all my focus this particular November morning here in Portland, OR. “Kitty, get in your box!” I shove kitty into box. Cat in box. Cat in car. Purse on top of car. Garage door open. Drive away into raining, raining, raining, toward meeting at my photography studio with my web master. It’s busy season in my family photography studio. Dry season is dead of winter February/March and heat of summer August/September. One must take advantage of timing in this business and mine is now. Never mind the life happenings. You can wait. Now is the time to work. I can work. So kitty is in her box as I head out toward the studio in the wet, wet, wet with cat yowling at the top of its lungs. “Nice kitty,” I croon. “It’s okay, Lucy,” I whisper. “Shut the fuck up, kitty!” I yell. No difference. Kitty yowls. In the meantime, I venture down my street, I’m bombarded with a downpour from my leaking moon roof. “Shit!” the cat exclaims. Why didn’t I fix that during the glory days of summer? I dodge the downpour and slide to the right. Almost to the studio, but still late for the web master meeting. I reach for the cell phone to call but realize, “Oh no! Not there! In purse…. which I put on top of car in garage right before loaded the damn cat!” U turn, worth at least two driving violations. Looking, looking, looking for camel skin expensive purse along the fall leaf-strewn rain-filled roadways as I retrace the road to my home. Nothing. Nothing inside the house or along the box-filled sidelines of my one-car garage. “Shit!” the cat yells! Must get back in the car and go meet the web master at 10AM regardless. 10AM being the only reasonable hour in my morning even during busy season. I am most creative between midnight and 3AM, but no one understands or respects that, least of all the cat. Wakey, wakey, the cat says to me each morning at 8. My clients like what I create for them during that time, even if they are not aware of it. I’m not a huge fan of my cat right now, and I’m starting to worry about the $600 replacement cost of the lost iPhone, not to mention said web master’s annoyance at being left outside in the pouring, pouring, pouring. I know about iPhone replacement costs, as I once flushed mine down the toilet. This is another story. One which my ex-husband was not amused by, although I found it hilarious. Clearly, there are some areas upon which one should not compromise. Agreement upon what is or is not funny is one of them. This, too, could apply to a cat, I think. I drive back toward the studio. Cat can take no more and expresses her dissatisfaction with the entire situation in the form of an off-load. “Goddamn, Cat!” I yell in my best East Indian accent with a slight head waggle. My little sister would appreciate this as we often tell jokes with this accent – mostly after red wine. I roll the windows down to subdue my gag reflex and it is now raining, raining, raining into my car in yet another way. I double park in front my studio building and leave the cat. Up the stairs in a single bound to the wet raincoat hung in front of my door. My pleasant and ever-patient web master, Ron, greets me with, “I was worried about you.” I love him. We unlock the studio door to the 800 sq foot hardwood calming space and I being to tell him my tale. “First the cat and then the purse and now… “ When all of a sudden we hear a splash. Then a very big splash. I’m on the 3rd floor of a 5-story loft building and there is water gushing through the ceiling onto my external hard drives. “Shit!” the cat yells from the car outside. I throw a plastic shower curtain backdrop over the computer equipment and run downstairs to the management. “Water, computers… you help….” Then run back upstairs to where Ron is managing the deluge. I continue on about the raining, raining, (he’s soaked from standing outside the front door and gets it) and the 10 minutes of missing purse and can I borrow his phone to call anyone…. And you can only imagine the week I’ve had with the call in Seattle and my step-father…. And maybe someone… and, “Oh my God, there’s a voicemail from a kid!” Said kid, “Ryan Rice from Newberg,” and his friends who were just driving down the raining, raining street when and they happened to run across (literally over) my purse (with their car) and thought it might be cardboard but it didn’t feel like it so they stopped and got out (in the raining, raining?!) and tried to take it to the police department (conveniently right across the street), but it’s all locked up so then they found this number on what looks like to be the phone number from my photography company as he’s now calling it realizes he’s calling my iPhone (that’s sitting my purse so it’s not going to do me any good) so what they’re going to do try to find my place (four blocks away) and drive the purse to the street address (that’s on my driver’s license) and then ring the bell and if I’m not there he’s going to call me back to tell me where they hid my purse. Okay? I call him back and say, “Thank you, Kid From Heaven! Please take all the cash in my purse (over $100) and you will have good Karma forever. Thank you, you good Samaritan!” I needed you today. I continue my meeting with web master then head home to collect the purse and soggy iPhone before the vet visit. Poor kitty still in car. “Shit!” is all it says to me. The wet leather purse, iPhone, $100 and my eye glasses are all perfectly fine. There is a smashed to smithereens 25cent pen there as well. Proof that they really did run over my purse. How did I get so lucky today? I think about this Ryan Rice all day. The vet hears his story. My friends hear the story. The cat agrees, Ryan Rice is a good young man. We are grateful for him today, my friends, family and I.
The end of the day comes and the news we’ve been waiting on for the past 24 hours…. My step-father, Ross, has lung cancer. Stage four. Inoperable. We breathe deep – my birth mother, sister, brother in Afghanistan and I. We look around at both the raining, raining, raining and little blessings and are grateful for what we have right now – and tomorrow as well, if we are lucky. Our time together, however long that is. That’s all any of us can say, really. Today, I am thankful for one kid named Ryan Rice from Newberg. Thank you for letting me spend the extra few hours with my family instead of canceling credit cards and buying new phones. Your gift was more than you can imagine. The cat thanks you, too.
Here’s a taste of the Italy Gallery Show at the KIMBERLI RANSOM PHOTOGRAPHY studio on Nov. 12, 2011. We had a great turn out (1,500 people!), not only for our studio, but for the 25 other wonderful studios in the Towne Storage Building. The Italy exhibition was a hit, along with the family and commercial photography we had on display. We had two slideshows plus 20×30 framed prints, these posts hanging from the 15′ ceiling, as well as lots of wine and cheese. Thanks again for all of your support! You can read the posts about each of these images in the archives of this blog. Let us know if you can think of other locations to show this exhibit! (posted by nathan the intern)