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{October 26, 2013}   I Love My Landlady

Peter Pan and WendyHer name is Wendy. Not Wendy, as in caretaker of the Lost Boys, but Wendy as in caretaker of the Lonely Middle-Aged Cat Ladies.

She is a widow, a 5-ft tall dynamo who does the hands-on maintenance for her three Victorian apartment buildings. She implements a lot of rules, so she’s certainly not for those with a problem with authority or those who like to “buck the system.” But underneath her Type A exterior, she’s a compassionate nurturer. She’s like that teacher you had in school who was so tough on you…you grumbled about her at the time, but you knew she cared about you and wanted you to succeed.¬†Although she was annoyed at having to totally rehab the apartment upstairs when the woman moved out, she spoke with compassion and understanding about the depression and hoarding issues that dumped that problem in her lap. And she helped the overwhelmed woman with her titanic task by taking some of her discards to a local donation center.

Knowing that I have very little money to live on right now, she has given me clothes (we are close to the same size) and she has left vegetables at my door (grown in the backyard by her and one of the other renters).

I have met two of the other renters in my building, both middle-aged ladies with two cats. (For those who don’t know, it is difficult to find a decent apartment that allows pets, let alone one that doesn’t charge you a fortune to have them.) For Wendy, who has done her share of cat-rescuing, her decision to rent to us is doubly satisfying…she is rescuing cats AND their owners. (I’ll grant you that quiet, middle-aged women probably cause her less trouble than other types of renters, but I really don’t think that is uppermost in her mind.)

This weekend, the aforementioned two ladies are having a yard sale, and they have invited me to contribute and hangout with them. I will likely do that. I have had conversations with both of these caring ladies and we have some similar life-experiences. If nothing else, we can talk about our cats!

But more than likely we will talk about what it is like to have lost your parents or to not have siblings or grown children to depend on; what it is like to be middle-aged women trying to make our way alone and invisible in a difficult world. But thanks to Wendy, we now have each other.

It’s never too late for a new family.



et cetera
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