(Because I’m traveling this week, I”m featuring one of my favorite previous posts – updated just a bit.)
I love Fall. Cooler weather, colorful leaves, and the first fire in the fireplace all make me happy. One of my favorite Fall rituals: local harvest festivals. I’m a sucker for bales of hay, tractor rides, and apple cider. Perhaps this is my preferred time of year because I grew up in Florida, where there are only two seasons: tourist and hurricane.
At a local fall festival last weekend I was searching through the pumpkin patch, looking for the ugliest pumpkin I could find. My gal pal Kathi laughed at this – “Why the ugliest?” she asked.
“Because no one else is going to take it home; I always look for the pumpkin that no one else will want.”
My brief pumpkin patch discussion with Kathi got me to thinking: is this a life theme for me? Should I be offering homage to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes? Survey says hmmm….
Based upon a little introspection, I do seem to have a tendency to cheer for the under-dog. Well, unless it’s a Florida State sporting event – I ALWAYS root for the Noles; even this gal has her limits.
Here’s a little sampling from my somewhat surprising epiphany:
My dog. We adopted Taz from the animal shelter back in 2001. I learned some wonderful lessons from this remarkable mutt. He was with us for over thirteen years and I seem to especially miss him this time of year. Love how he stuck his tongue out at me for this photo…
Two years ago we also rescued a cat – Bonz – found on a winter’s night hiding under the car. This rescue gets credited to the Hubs because up until October 2013 I was NOT a cat person. Now I’m writing this post with Bonz sitting on my lap…
My college days. While attending FSU I chose to be a little sister at the smallest fraternity on campus with the most dilapidated house but the best parties and the greatest guys – I even married one – a whole other story…
My career. As a criminal and juvenile justice public policy consultant I’ve been working to fight the good fight for over twenty-five years. There are so many aspects of criminal justice reform that I love: helping victims, funding delinquency prevention programs, and improving our educational and substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation programs.
My hobbies. I’m a bit of an estate sale junkie. I love to find something that is old, discarded, or forgotten and make it pretty again. Maybe I’m just thrifty; or frugal; or, OK, cheap. But how can you resist this chair that I dug out of a basement and gave a second chance?
Am I this way because I’m a Virgo? Do I possess some sort of subconscious need to fix everything? Geez, I hope not!
I’ve never thought of myself as a rescuer, but maybe I do like to take on a challenge – the thrill of victory against all odds. Now this I can certainly blame on my stubborn Irish ancestry, don’t you think?
What about you; do you always root for the under-dog? Are you a rescuer, a fixer, or a chaser of lost causes?
Lois Alter Mark saysOctober 23, 2015 at 8:29 pm
Okay, you are awesome. I love that you rescue strays and ugly pumpkins. That picture of Taz is adorable.
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 27, 2015 at 8:16 pm
Aw, thx Lois. I miss him lots.
Ellen Dolgen saysOctober 23, 2015 at 10:52 am
Hmmmmm that is a great question, fellow Virgo! I definitely root for the underdog. My whole mission is to help women become their own “best” health advocate – put themselves on their own TO DO LIST. In that sense, I would say that I am a good cheerleader not really a rescuer.
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 27, 2015 at 8:16 pm
Virgo sista! Love that you’re a cheerleader – perfect descrip for you!
Karen Austin saysOctober 23, 2015 at 10:36 am
I love that pimply pumpkin! I also find it quite interesting that you work as a criminal and juvenile justice public policy consultant. You have so many layers. Super cool! And I love the rescue theme. I shop at thrift stores, so that’s where I am a rescuer of sorts.
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 27, 2015 at 8:18 pm
Aren’t thrift stores awesome? My nana got me hooked as kid and now I’ve passed along the thrift-store-gene to my son Jimmy. Would love to know what your best find has been. I’m quite fond of a pyrex bowl I found for the bargain basement price of $2!
Carol Cassara saysOctober 23, 2015 at 10:24 am
I do root for the underdog (hey, I went to FSU, too!) and have rescued so many animals it isn’t funny. But I’m not exactly a fixer. I love this post and the self awareness that went with it!
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 27, 2015 at 8:19 pm
Hey Carol – GO NOLES! This past weekend was tough with a capital T. We’ll do better this week.
Molly Stevens saysOctober 20, 2015 at 6:11 am
I’m an Irish virgo who had a rescue dog that could be a twin to Taz. Our dog Dionne was a year old and had been in three homes when we adopted him. He was 17 when we put him down, and I still miss him. Our second rescue dog Zoe keeps us company now that he is gone. I can relate!
Kimba saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:07 am
Molly, we’ve been thinking about getting another rescue. It’s taken us a while to get over losing Taz two years ago.
Suzie Cheel saysOctober 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Oh yes, not so much now but in the past I was and my mother was such a rescuer, maybe I inherited some of that gene 🙂
Kimba saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:08 am
IT’s funny because I’ve never thought of myself as a rescuer – but I sure do like lost causes!
Willena Flewelling saysOctober 16, 2015 at 6:35 pm
Hi Kimba… There is no animal shelter within an hour’s drive of us. But 4 of our 6 pets are rescue animals because of someone else’s neglect. My husband says I have “cat magnet” written on my forehead, because they always seem to find their way to me. And he claims he isn’t a dog person, but guess who our blue heeler loves best? 😉
Kimba saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:09 am
Ha! What I’ve learned about cats is that you don’t pick them, they pick you.
Marquita Herald saysOctober 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm
I can relate to your story in SO many ways Kimba! Looking back over my career there is one example after another of how I opted to jump in to rescue operations. I’ve never taken the time to closely examine the “why” behind that motivation, probably because I can’t say it’s been a bad run. In fact there’s something to be said for being the one who turns things around. Yikes, now THAT was clearly my ego talking!!! Hope your book tour goes well – safe travels!
Kimba saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:11 am
Hi Marty. Book tour going great – thx for asking chica. Big party here in VA on Nov 1st, can’t you come in from Hawaii? I’ll send my personal jet for you… and I do believe you could turn anything around my friend.
Julie Gorges saysOctober 16, 2015 at 2:13 pm
Yea for underdogs! I’m a sucker for animals too – most of our pets have become ours after they were abandoned. I remember when I was a teen, my friend picked out the ugliest plant – because she knew no one else would want it. That stuck with me, I think it’s such a great attribute. So don’t change a thing about yourself!
Kimba saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:13 am
Aw, thanks Julie. I must say that I strayed from the formula a bit with the Hubs – just this past weekend a girlfriend from college leaned in and commented “damn grrll, you got yourself a hunk!”
Linda Ursin saysOctober 16, 2015 at 12:20 pm
I would say I do, although maybe not in every single case. I have helped underdogs of many kinds, including adopting animals, If my husband could have cats, we’d have some of those too, from the local shelter.
Kimba saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:14 am
Thx for being a kind soul Linda. Seeking out and helping the underdog almost always helps us as much as them, don’t you think?
Linda Ursin saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:30 am
Yes, it does 🙂
Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest) saysOctober 16, 2015 at 10:59 am
Well, yes, and no. I wasn’t a baseball fan, I was a Yankees fan. And when they weren’t winning, I was not a fan at all. Sad but true.
And yet I love those “root for the underdog” movies.
And repurposing and reusing and restoring what others call junk? That’s me all over!
My work — my passion — is all about encouraging, eliciting, and cheering on that audacious spark in my clients.
You’re helping me see just how complex and inconsistent I am. Which I embrace.
Kimba saysOctober 21, 2015 at 10:43 am
Sue, I love, love, love to give discarded furniture new life. Last year the Hubs and I pulled a entire wrought iron patio set out of the trash!