Posted tagged ‘lovely day’

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

November 10, 2014

Today is a lovely fall day with a slight breeze, mottled light shining through the backyard branches and birds at all the feeders. It is a quiet day. I don’t even hear cars. I do hear the snoring, especially Gracie’s. She seems herself. The next test for her is Saturday.

I have to buy cat food and litter today so Gracie and I will be out and about later. I also need some cold cuts so I can keep hiding the horse-sized pill she takes each morning.

I have started my Christmas shopping. Everything I’ve bought is on one of the guest room beds so I have to start checking what’s there and making a list of what I need. My sister in Colorado never helps. I ask and she says she’ll have to think about it. That drives me crazy. My other sister usually has one big item in mind and always asks if it is too expensive. It never is. The best part of Christmas presents is getting something you really want. I may drive my sister crazy this year as I have nothing in mind. I’ll just let her surprise me.

The three boys are getting Hess trucks for one of their gifts. They get one every year. The baby will only be 5 months by Christmas, but I figured I’d start his collection. Both babies got hand-knit stockings already, and I have ordered each of them a wooden box containing three handmade ornaments including Baby’s First Christmas. Kids are easy. Adults seldom are. To some I give magazine subscriptions including Afar, Smithsonian, Bon Appetit and Yankee. They are always a big hit as gifts. I’ll also do some hunting in local stores as I love to find different and off-beat gifts, and there are a few stores I can always count on for something special.

Well, my back is horrific today. I did too much yesterday. That’s always the way with me. It happens all the time. I am a slow learner.

“I couldn’t help thinkin’ if she was as far out o’ town as she was out o’ tune, she wouldn’t get back in a day.”

September 7, 2014

The rain arrived sometime after 1:30. At 5 I woke up and could hear drops hitting the window. I don’t know how long it rained, but it rinsed away all the humidity and heat. This morning is a delight. The deck is dappled with sunlight. The air is dry and cool. All the windows and doors are open letting in the feel and smell of fresh air. Gracie is sleeping on the rug by the front door. She knows a good thing.

I sing but am always off tune. I wish I weren’t. Mostly I sing at home or in the car. I never sing in front of people. In the third grade I was told to mouth the words during the May procession. I was eight. Luckily that never dampened my love for music. I still remember that nun, Sister Eileen Marie, who was one of my favorites until that fateful practice. She was the only nun who let my dog stay in the classroom when he followed me to school. With other nuns, I had to leave school to take him home which was actually sort of fun. It was permission to take a field trip of my own, just the dog and me. My mother was always surprised.

Duke slept on a rug on the floor under the clock. Our classroom was in the cellar of the rectory as the school had run out of rooms and no one knew except us that Duke was allowed to stay. I thought that pretty neat, like we had a mascot. We had tables instead of desks, and the windows were high up and small like cellar windows are. We entered through a door beside the garage as the cellar was mostly above ground. We were the only class not in the school, and I loved having a private room. I loved the tables and folding chairs instead of desks. We piled our books and supplies in front of us down the middle of the tables. We had our own bathrooms: one for girls and one for boys and it was one at a time like a real bathroom. There were no bells. In the old building a student would stand on the top floor and ring a hand bell to tell us to change subjects, eat lunch or go home. In the cellar we kept an eye on the clock especially as we got closer to the end of the school day. We didn’t want to stay an extra minute.

The next year we were back in the old building on the top floor. We were one among many. It just wasn’t as fun.

“Then Sister Aquinata abandoned the nonviolent methods and produced a rolling pin from somewhere.”

August 23, 2014

The house is so cold I was surprised when I went to get the papers at how warm it is outside. This is so not the usual August. I should be complaining about the heat and saying to strangers as we stand in lines together, “I can’t take this humidity.”

I do the Globe crossword puzzle every day. Often there is a clue asking Bert’s twin. I know the answer is Nan because I used to read The Bobbsey Twins. I figure others know the answer because of context or familiarity with the clue. What I wonder is why The Bobbsey Twins. It isn’t as if they’re widely read. I took one off my shelf not long ago and read a few chapters. It was a book I had received as a birthday gift when I was nine. There is an inscription from my Grandmother. The book was so dated it was funny but not in a kind way. I really enjoyed that series.

My mother always told me I was the smartest little kid. She might have told my siblings the same thing, but I’m going with she didn’t for ego’s sake. She told me I used to sit on her lap while she read to me usually from a Golden Book. When I was two, I could name every animal on the back in Spanish. Okay, not in Spanish. I just threw that in to shock you, but I did know the names of all the animals in English. My mother thought that was quite an achievement for a two-year old. It even made my baby book of milestones.

Because I was the oldest, my life was chronicled. My biographers will have a field day with such information as my first word, mama, my success at potty training and my speaking in sentences before I was even two. I walked at nine months. My mother was quite faithful in filling in my baby book. My siblings weren’t so lucky. My brother had several entries, being child number two, but by child number four there was only an envelope with a few jottings on it. Her first word is forever lost.

I was trying to remember my first day of school but I don’t. I do remember going to the nursery school across the street from where we lived in South Boston. I remember because of the trauma. I cried the whole time and had to be dragged across the street the second day. My mother then wisely decided I didn’t need to go to nursery school so the planets realigned and life returned to normal.

I think I must have been fine for elementary school, and I figure my mother walked me to school that first day. It was an easy walk in almost a straight line so even without her I never feared getting lost. I did fear the nuns. They were different and in those habits they seemed barely human because all we saw on each of them was a face and hands. That was creepy. They did make noises when they walked because the giant rosary beads around their waists clicked against each other. It was like an early warning system.

The older I got the less I feared nuns. I don’t know exactly when, maybe by third grade, but I know at one point I recognized they were mostly humans in strange garb.

“Long live your laundry!”

June 2, 2014

Wonder of wonders: my first laundry load is in the dryer and the second is in the washing machine. No longer does the bag of laundry lying there by the cellar door haunt me. My victory lap was well-earned. Tomorrow, though, I change my bed and the laundry bag gets filled anew. It is an endless cycle. Blame Adam and Eve who in being thrown out of the garden had to drop the leaves and don clothing.

It’s a sprawl in the sun on the rug by the door morning for the cats, proof that spring is finally entrenched. Last night stayed in the 50’s. Today is lovely, a word not often heard anymore, but it fits perfectly.

It is is plant and flower buying day, one of favorite days of the year. I’ll shop for herbs and veggies for the two small gardens and for flowers to fill the deck window boxes and clay pots, some of which need replacing. All this shopping frenzy is in preparation for tomorrow, opening day. My factotum, Skip, is coming to clean the deck and decorate it and the yard for summer, weed the two gardens then plant the herbs and veggies, fill all the window boxes and pots which sit on the deck rail with new soil and both flowers and herbs then finally de-spider and clean the outside shower. The deck is covered in pine pollen so it will not only need sweeping but also washing. The fence around the veggie garden needs some work as a few of the fence boards broke over the winter and Gracie has dug a few holes in the garden. She is a champion hole-digger.

My dryer has just announced the first load is dry and ready for folding and the second load is set to take its place. I do feel accomplished.

“Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.”

October 24, 2013

When someone is given the choice between good news or bad news first, it always boggles my mine they choose the good news first. I wonder why they want to be left with the bad news circling in their heads. As for me, give me the bad news first. Here we go: Grace got turned down yet again. The reason given was she didn’t qualify whatever the heck that means. She has money, land, letters of recommendation and family. I just don’t get it. Grace didn’t ask why so I told her she needed to find out from the embassy so we can correct the problem for the next time. Grace is at the, “It was God’s will,” stage, always a bad sign. She has decided to spend the winter making more money then try again next summer. She hopes I will save enough money to return to Ghana one more time and accompany her to the embassy. I will be a bit more forceful.

The good news is plentiful. The Sox won the first game of the series last night. The Cardinals made some errors which led to the Sox scoring runs. Two things about the game stand out in my memory. The first is a call made by the second base umpire which was overturned. I don’t remember that happening before. The replay showed the ump had blown the call, and overturning it was the right thing to do. Pedroia, the player involved, scored a run a bit later. The second stand-out play was an infield fly ball. It appeared as if the pitcher had called for it so the catcher just stood there. The ball fell between them for a base hit. Even the pitcher had to smile at that one. The second game is tonight. I still have my fingers crossed.

Yesterday I was on the road doing errand after errand. No longer am I a housebound sloth. I got to cross five errands off my list. I was jubilant at my industry. Each week I keep track of my mileage, not for any reason like how many miles to the gallon but rather from curiosity. When I got into the car yesterday I checked mileage and since Sunday I had gone .1 miles.

Yesterday it rained most of the afternoon. Last night was cold, not a frost but still cold. Today is a lovely day. The sun is shining. The morning air has that fall crispness and smells sweet. I have to fill the feeders as all of them are empty. Luckily one of my stops yesterday was to buy suet, sunflower and thistle seeds.

My Halloween treats have all been bought. For the younger kids, to whom I don’t give candy, I have wind-up mummies and bubbles. The tops of the bubble bottles are either a ghost, a witch, Frankenstein or the mummy. When I visited my sister last week, I went by what used to be the red house where two old ladies lived. The house is now a bland beige color and is a real estate office. That red house will forever live in my memory because the two old ladies always gave nickel bars of candy, usually Hershey bars, for Halloween. That memory inspired me, and this year I bought regular size Hershey Bars for the older kids. I haven’t done that in years. I usually give out what are called fun size bars, but they really aren’t all that much fun if you’re a kid. They’re just small candy bars, and no kid is ever taken in by the word fun.

This year my candy is a tribute to those two old ladies in the red house.

“That moment, when you first lay eyes on that field — The Monster, the triangle, the scoreboard, the light tower Big Mac bashed, the left-field grass where Ted (Williams) once roamed — it all defines to me why baseball is such a magical game”

October 20, 2013

We’re going to the World Series! We’re going to the World Series! Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 7th which put the Sox ahead 5-2, and that’s all they needed. Shane was amazing running the bases. He was like a little kid on Christmas morning who got the present he really wanted. My friends and I were in touch by phone, and Rod, my brother-in-law, and I were iPad buddies. Now we wait until Wednesday for the first of the Series.

I was awakened early this morning. Okay, at eight, which I know isn’t really all that early, but I went to bed late. The Sox game didn’t end until 11:30 or so, and I was too pumped for bed so I stayed up until close to 2:30. Well, anyway, what woke me up was Fern being sick. She started on the down comforter, which I didn’t hear, then she turned to the floor from the bed. That’s what I heard. The bed is high. She continued in the hall. I dragged myself out of bed and cleaned up the mess. That started laundry day. I folded the clothes which had been sitting in the dryer for a week then washed the down comforter. It’s now in the dryer with a few tennis balls to fluff the down. I can hear the banging noise up here. I had no excuse so I started the rest of the laundry. I already hate today.

There is, however, a redeeming factor about the day. Syfy is showing movies about creatures gone amok. Right now flesh-eating locusts are meeting their doom; however, they did manage to dine al-fresco at a carnival. It was a tough time to be on a ride. Next up is the movie Bats: Human Harvest. I doubt you need any clarification about the plot. Genetically enhanced wasps will be a bit later. That one makes me wonder. I can’t imagine the value of wasps being genetically enhanced.

The day is sunny and bright with a blue sky. It’s still pretty warm, but that will change by Wednesday when the temperatures will drop possibly as low as the 30’s. It will time to turn on the heat.

“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.”

August 24, 2013

The morning is delightfully chilly. The sun, though, is warm and has drawn Fern and the dog to the mat by the front door. The deck is in shadows so I stayed inside to read the papers. My lawn got cut this morning. The noise scares Fern so she sits on the floor between my feet until the lawn is done. The deck cleaning is after the lawn and that noise is right by the window in here so Fern runs for cover. Now that everything is quiet she’s asleep in the warmth of the morning sun.

My mother did her grocery shopping on Friday evenings. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her late 30’s so she had to be driven to the store by my dad. The weekend was always errand and chore time for my dad. Taking my mother was first on his list. We always liked   their going grocery shopping because cookies and treats were back in the house. Though they never lasted long, it was still nice having them for a while. Oreos were a staple, no fancy double stuffed or orange at Halloween, just your regular Oreos. My sisters were famous for eating just the middles and feeding the rest to Duke, our dog, a Boxer of course. He knew to stay close to my two sisters.

Saturdays my dad went uptown in the mornings to drop off his shirts at the Chinaman and to get a trim at the barber shop. It was a small shop with either two or three chairs. I can’t remember which. After an Italian deli opened up, my dad would stop there to buy cold cuts. The place was called Angelos.

I swear my dad knew at least half the town. He had lived there since high school, was an usher at church and was also a member of the Red Men; he was even Sachem once. It was an all male club which had meetings and did some charitable stuff but mostly I think it was a place for guys to get together and have a few drinks. The Red Men building was a nondescript gray square with only a door in the front. It was on a side street and had an unpaved parking lot beside it. You had to know what it was because the front gave no inkling. The downstairs was for drinking while the upstairs was for rent, and I remember going there many times. We even had my aunt the nun’s anniversary there. I think it was her 50th.

The Red Men building was razed as were several others including the Chinaman’s laundry when that part of uptown became the victim of beautification. The town built a park and a parking lot where those buildings used to stand. I was sorry to see them go. The ones on the Main Street were not the prettiest, and they needed some tender care, but they were old and had been a part of the town for decades. A bit of local color disappeared for the sake of beautification. I figure that’s the definition of irony.


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