Update: Kitteh has braved the slats and explored the tabletop and windowsill alongside it. He’s currently sitting beside my Chromebook as I type this post.

I also added the kitchen floor to my list of accomplishments (though I think tomorrow it’ll warrant another clean, since Wolly will be making messes by the litter box, no doubt), and I took a bunch of piled-up recycling downstairs to the bins. If I’m smart, I’ll take the rest tomorrow morning when I leave for work and have that much less to do when I get home. Fortunately, the living room doesn’t really amount to much more than throwing away junk mail and putting away books at this point, so my primary task tomorrow is just to wash the half-dozen dishes in the kitchen and give the stovetop a scrub so that it doesn’t look like I set fire to it. The liquid Barkeeper’s Friend I got has been marvelous for getting off the old stuff that I cooked onto the stove in the worst depths of my depression, so while tomorrow night won’t be the most fun, it’ll be rather productive, and that should help my depression.

Opposite the seat I am sitting in (the preferred seat, when the radiator isn’t running) I hung up a picture of a horse that I inherited from my mom. Her aunt, my grandpa’s sister Debbie, who died of breast cancer either before I was born or when I was a baby, had painted it for her when my mom, who adored horses, was only 6. It’s not the greatest painting in the world, but it means quite a lot to me to have it. In a perfect world I’d have hung the marble etching my uncle had made of my mom when she passed away, but it weighs over 10lbs, and I don’t have a drill to be able to anchor it.

On the wall above the radiator, opposite my great-aunt Debbie’s painting, I intend to (after I get paid) order a print of the colorized version of Eric Enstrom’s photograph “Grace,” which I have seen in my grandparents’ dining room in each house they’ve lived in since I was a baby (theirs may be a print of a painting modeled after the photograph, but that’s no big deal to me). Since my grandparents were never religious in front of me, I wondered, when I began to fall away from religion, the origin of the picture – I still don’t know how they came to have it or why – but after my last visit to my grandmother, I was seized by a desire to have a copy of the picture myself. I can’t explain it, because I don’t understand it, but I felt… compelled, maybe? I don’t know. At any rate, I miss my mom, my grandpa, and seeing my grandma regularly, and a print would be a way of having them close by in spite of everything that separates us. A few months ago, I finally googled “old man praying,” because I’d no idea what the picture was or whether it was even something I could get a print of, and marvelously “Grace” was the first thing that popped up.

Quite a popular print, apparently.

It being a picture with its origin in Minnesota, where my family often summered, and having been published far and wide by the Lutheran Church (whatever Lutheran Church it was back in the ’60s – I know there have been mergers since then), which is the largest denomination of Christianity in North Dakota, whence cometh my mom’s family, it makes sense that my mom’s parents would have a copy, even though my grandfather was Methodist and my grandmother is Presbyterian. As I said, they weren’t overtly religious in front of me until well into my adulthood – I must have been into my mid-twenties when they started attending church regularly, which my grandmother still does (the church at which we held my mother’s memorial service following her cremation) – but that picture has lingered with me since my earliest memories.

And I think I’m finally ready to buy it and hang it on my wall – even if I don’t know why.

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