I feel like you need a cast of characters in order to understand the working parts, or at least the people, of my life. This can be considered a cheat sheet of the main people that may appear as I ramble about things that happen.
The Handsome Hermit (HH) — my fiancée that would rather stay at home on his two acre “compound” (my nickname for the homestead) than do just about anything else. He loves vintage Mopars, being busy and making mental lists of things to do. He lives for sunshine, is therefore grumpy all winter long, and manages to make me laugh every day. Sometimes even on purpose. He is the only person with which I do not share DNA that understands my sense of humor and can follow my train of thought a majority of the time. We do this thing where one of us will say something completely ridiculous, expecting the other to follow suit, back and forth until one of us cracks. On our first date it somehow came up that he knew the difference between libel and slander…and I knew I had found my soul mate.
Baby Jesus — my brother that lives in Florida and is lucky enough to legally carry a gun to work. He is clearly and admittedly our father’s favorite child and I have been trying to wedge myself between them my entire life. It’s never going to happen, but I’m stubborn when it comes to impossible things. He and I share a childhood, a sense of humor and an allergy to any conversation that includes feelings of any kind. We don’t understand emotion and tend to look at people like weird, living science experiments that force us to interact with them.
The Grumpy Irishman — that would be my father. The worshipper of Baby Jesus. He is a retired truck driver that is making up for 35 years on the road by sitting in his recliner and thoroughly enjoying being at home. In sweat pants. Because he was away for work so much during my childhood, we didn’t really form a real relationship until I was an adult, but it totally works for us. I inherited his red hair, his gift of sarcasm, his ability to hold an indefinite grudge, his love of baked goods and his total lack of motivation for household chores.
The Stepmother — obvious, right? But she is the farthest thing from a fairy tale evil stepmother that has ever existed. She is wonderful, loving and kind. Everything that my real mother was not. I didn’t get her as a parental figure until I was around 30, and sometimes I am sad that I missed out.
Mother — again, obvious. Not a lot to say about this one, except that she is not involved in my life by her own choice, but she features in most of my stories from my younger days. Stay tuned.
Lucie Lou, Semi-Retired Princess of the Labs — this is my 13-year-old dog that has gotten me through a lot of rough spots in life and been with me through the good times, too. She allows me to serve to her, although she gives me constant looks that telegraph her disdain for my drivel. I believe she will suddenly start talking one day, and that she will have a snotty British accent.
Louis J. McGuffey, Attorney at Law — our black and white cat that has become the Handsome Hermit’s soul mate. Those two are thick as thieves. He is very full of himself, as all cats are, but is absolutely terrible at being an actual cat. He acts more like a dog, honestly, and as a life-long dog lover that works for me. He wakes HH at least 3 times a night just to get treats and have the back door opened, so he can decide if he wants to go outside. This would not fly with me, but since we still maintain separate houses, HH has created his own monster and he can deal with it.
Fluffer Nutter, Stealer of Souls — another cat that showed up a few years ago. She has long hair that is the color of burnt hot fudge and she drools out of one side of her mouth. It’s not an excessive amount of spit, but just enough to discolor half of her chin fur. I had her spayed about two years ago and this maniac still goes into heat. She goes to the basement to sing us the song of her people (where it echoes), then insists on going outside to try to lure in suitors. Her poor neutered brother follows her around, tries to get in on the action and winds up looking around as though asking for pointers.
Doppelganger — our half cat. He has the same colorings as Louis, thus the name, but he doesn’t actually live with us. I have a feeling he has at least one other family (he often smells like basement…you know the smell), but he shows up, meows loudly to request food, then hangs out until he gets bored. He isn’t very good at playing, but he loves a good cuddle. Oh, and he likes when Fluffer is feeling amorous. Who can blame him?
Those are the highlights. I also have two stepsisters, friends and co-workers that will crop up. I hope you enjoy the peek into my world.