Posted tagged ‘lovely day’

“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.

“I was going to change my clothes, but I changed my mind instead.”

August 23, 2013

Today is simply beautiful, sunny and cool with a strong breeze. The nights will be delightful for sleeping: cool, even cold. Tomorrow night could be down in the 50’s. Gracie has been out all morning, and I will join her as soon as I can!

When I was a kid, I didn’t mind being dirty and sweaty. Both of those were from having a great time. My socks often slipped down in my sneaker, and I didn’t even care when I walked on the lump of a sock. I’d eventually pull up that sock, but in a short time, it would slip again. That was the way it was. I took a bath once a week, that Saturday ritual we all had. For dinner, our vegetables, except for potatoes and carrots, came from cans. I don’t remember fresh vegetables, maybe because my mother knew we would probably not eat them. She had enough trouble getting us to like carrots without pushing even more. In the summer, we’d play all day then go to bed exhausted. A bath wasn’t ever part of the nightly ritual, even in summer. I guess jumping into the sprinkler or going to the pool kept us clean enough.

We girls wore blouses, never t-shirts. Some of my blouses were sleeveless, and they were the coolest for summer, coolest in the sense of the word, the opposite of hot. We wore shorts and sometimes clam-diggers. I know why the pants were called clam-diggers, but I had never dug a clam in my life so in a way it was an odd name. We also wore dungarees, but girls’ and boys’ dungarees were different. Ours had zippers, usually in the side pocket. When I was really young, mine had elastic at the waist. Girls could wear sandals. Boys never did, too risky and too open to name-calling. My sisters wore white sandals with buckles. When I got a little older, I stopped wearing sandals and wore white sneakers instead. The sneakers usually had pointed toes, and when I was in high school, I used to polish them to keep them white. Dresses and skirts were still necessary wardrobe components.

The last time I wore a dress was Easter. My friends and I go out to a fancy restaurant every year so we get dressed up. Tony wears a suit and tie and Clare and I wear dresses. Many of the people at the restaurant are also clad in Easter finery. The few who aren’t stand out a bit. I always feel a bit outlandishly proper when I’m in a dress. It happens so seldom.

My uniform of the day almost always includes a t-shirt. At night, for a play, I do wear a regular shirt and nice pants, but not dressy pants. I don’t even own a blouse anymore. I do happen to have a pair of clam-diggers, but they are meant to be worn around the house or to the dump which doesn’t have a dress code.

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”

August 10, 2013

Yesterday’s rain had a tropical feel about it. It was preceded by the wind, came down in torrents then disappeared. Later, in the evening, the rain came again but only intermittent wiper rain. Today has no humidity. The breeze even feels cool. Gracie isn’t panting.

I never buy lottery tickets, but I always plan what I’d do with the money. My family, my sisters and my niece and nephews, would each be given a good chunk, in the 6 figure range. I’d travel, but that’s an easy one. I’d plan an amazing trip to exotic places and invite people to come along for the journey. I wouldn’t be offended if they refused, given the off-beat places I want to go, places like Bora Bora, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Botswana for a safari and a trip along the Okavango, Madagascar and a few more of the Pacific Islands. I’d go to Ghana, but no one seems interested in going with me except my sister Moe. The trip wouldn’t have to be all at once. We could do it in geographic chunks with stops at home to catch up with ourselves. I know this all dreaming, but I love to dream.

I saw a coyote in my car lights last night as it was walking on my street. It was a small one, maybe young. He crossed another street and went into a backyard. I lost track then.

Bare feet give me a different perspective on the world. I walk across the grass to get the papers and my feet get wet from the morning watering. On the deck, I sometimes step on those small acorns, and my foot jumps into the air hurting just a little. During the afternoon, the deck wood is hot from the sun, and I hurry to get under the shade of the umbrella. In the backyard, I walk on dirt and sand. They each feel different to my feet. In the house, the floors are cool in the morning but never feel warm in the afternoon. At night, my feet sometimes get cold even though it’s summer. When I put on my sandals, Gracie knows I’m going somewhere. When I was a kid and my mother put on lipstick, I knew she was going somewhere. It’s the unusual, shoes for me and lipstick for my mother, both dead giveaways.


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