Posted tagged ‘Beach’

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

March 20, 2017

Happy Spring!

Good reasons are responsible for the lateness of my musings today. First off is Miss Gracie. I grabbed her as she started to fall going up the stairs. I was filling Maddie’s dish on the stairs so Gracie tried to go by me but lost her footing. We went up the stairs, got to my room, and she was hesitant to jump to the bed. I helped. She tried to settle down but just couldn’t. Finally, I grabbed my pillow and a blanket, took Gracie downstairs, and we both slept on the couch. She snored so I knew she felt better. On the first day of spring every year, my friends and I go the beach to welcome the sun. We sing Here Comes the Sun and Rockin’ Robin. We recite a poem by Frost, Two Tramps in Mudtime.

The sunrise was at 6:28. It was a cold, windy early morning. We sat in the car facing the east and waited. When we realized clouds were hiding the sun, we stayed in the car to sing our welcome. We watched seagull after seagull carrying breakfast then dropping it on the parking lot. We figured they were opening small crabs. We saw geese along the shoreline and ducks in the marshes. It was an amazingly high tide. The water in the marsh was all the way to the edge of the road. We didn’t get the sun, but the clouds were jaw-droppingly colorful. Red and orange spread across the sky in all directions strikingly set against the white of the puffy clouds. My friend Clare braved the wind and cold to get our shells, a first day of spring tradition. We stayed a while then went to breakfast, another tradition.

When I got home, I took Gracie out then settled on the couch and slept over two hours. When I woke up, I put on MSNBC to watch the hearing questioning James Comey and Admiral Mike Rogers. That is still holding my attention., makes me hopeful

Today will have a high of 44˚. I’m thinking that’s hardly spring, but I am hopeful. Spring does that to me. It makes me hopeful.

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”

September 5, 2016

When I woke up this morning, I was disappointed. Where was the rain? Where was the wind? All the forecasts last night had the storm starting Sunday night or early Monday morning. I was eager for rain, and who doesn’t like a mighty wind?

The weather changed in the last couple of hours. All we are missing is snow. It rained twice for a total of about five minutes, and in between the sun came out. The wind is getting stronger. The oak leaves are blowing and the tree branches are bending back and forth. The trunks of the pine trees are swaying. People are always drawn to the beaches during weather like this. The waves are as high as 6 feet. The energy from the wind and waves is palpable.

It took me only about ten minutes yesterday to ready the deck for the wind. I took the clay pots off the deck rail, took down the bird feeders hanging from hooks on branches and also took down candles hanging on hooks. I closed and fastened the umbrella. I’m hoping everything is safe from the wind.

Right now it is getting quite dark. I hope it means a rainstorm.

Today is a lazy day. My only chore is to bring the laundry from the cellar downstairs to my bedroom upstairs. The dump is closed today so trash will have to wait until tomorrow. I choose not to make my bed as I envision a nap in my future. Right now I’m watching TCM. The theme of the day is movies with devil or angel in the title. The Devil Makes Three just started. It is not a movie I have ever heard of before now. It stars Gene Kelly as an American serviceman in post-war Germany, specifically Munich. The description says he discovers a plot to revive the Nazi Party. I think it sounds like a perfect movie for a stay at home day.

“cozy+smell of pancakes-alarm clock=weekend”

August 29, 2016

This morning I was forced to go to Dunkin’ Donuts. I had no coffee and no cream so Gracie and I jumped into the car and drove off for my morning elixir. When we got there, the outside line was long, but I had no choice. I hadn’t bothered to get dressed or even brush my teeth. Gracie didn’t mind the wait. She just poked her head out the window and took in the neighborhood and its smells. I listened to the radio. The line went faster than I thought it would. I was happy.

Today is already hot and humid so I am back in my fortress having shut the windows and doors and turned on the air conditioning. There are clouds but they do nothing except to obscure the sun. Rain is not in the forecast for the next couple of days. The weekend, though, will be lovely with daytime temperatures in the low 70’s and nights in the mid 60’s.  It is the Labor Day weekend, the traditional last hurrah of the summer.

My sister started work today. She is a pre-school teacher in Colorado. When I spoke to her last night, she was going to take a shower so she could get to bed early. I remember my mother sending us to bed early and reminding us we had school the next day. I also remember moaning and groaning and dragging my feet upstairs.

When I was a kid, I never kept track of the weekdays. I only knew when it was Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday my father was home. He did errands uptown and mowed the lawn. On Saturday nights he often barbecued. Sometimes we went to the beach all day Saturday or the drive-in on Saturday nights. Sunday had the only consistently distinguishing event, going to mass which also meant a change in wardrobe from shorts and a sleeveless shirt to a dress or a skirt and a blouse. After mass, the day was back to casual. We didn’t have Sunday dinners during the summer. It was more of a catch as catch can. Mostly it was sandwiches.

I think my favorite weekends were in Ghana, especially the Sundays. There was a service in the dining hall where the furniture had been reconfigured to look more like the inside of a church. The students wore their Sunday clothes. Each of the four classes had a different fabric for their traditional three piece dresses, their Sunday best. They wore a top, a skirt to their ankles and a cloth wrapped around at the waist. After the service, the older students could go to town. Visitors were allowed. A photographer wandered around taking pictures, always in black and white. I have a few of the pictures given to me as gifts. When I went to town, I could see the students walking in groups and stopping at kiosks to buy personal items like powder. Others went to the market to load up on snacks to keep in their school trunks, especially gari, made from cassava and easily stored.

Being retired, my days tend to run together. I sometimes have to check the paper to see what day of the week it is. My chores and errands aren’t confined to a single day. I don’t ever have to go to bed early.

“In the hands of an able cook, fish can become an inexhaustible source of perpetual delight.”

April 21, 2016

Lately Mother Nature has seen fit to give us sunny, beautiful days. The problem, though, is they are still on the cold side, mostly in the low 50’s and down to the 40’s at night. Today, hooray, will be in the high 50’s and may even reach 60˚.

My back surgeon told me never to lift anything heavier than a phone book. I got to wondering how much longer he can use phone book as a measurement. Actual weight wouldn’t help as most people, including me, have no idea what something weighs. Don’t lift anything bigger than a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas roast?

The two families down the street, each with 4 kids, are away for the vacation. One family went to Disneyland while the other flew to either South or North Carolina. It got me to thinking about our family vacations. Most times we stayed home. Once we went to Niagara Falls. I have no idea how my parents could have afforded that with staying in motels, feeding 4 kids and paying for attractions. I remember every bit of that vacation, including eating lots of McDonald’s for lunch. The hamburgers were 25 cents by then. The walk around the falls wearing those yellow slickers was the highlight of the trip for me. The roaring sound of the rushing water all around me was so loud and so thrilling I could feel the sound in every part of my body. It was like I was part of the falls, part of the cascading  water. It is something I haven’t ever forgotten.

I don’t remember caring that we stayed home. Most of my friends did too. We’d do day trips and go to the beach or to a lake that had a slide into the water. We went to the drive-in. I still have a fondness for drive-ins even though I haven’t been to one in years. The Cape has one but I haven’t be able to interest anyone in going with me. I even volunteered the food but still no takers.

When I was a kid, we couldn’t eat meat on Fridays so my mother served all sorts of stuff like fried dough, English muffin pizzas and fish sticks. That was the only way we were ever served fish. I liked fish sticks but I was young, what did I know? Tonight my friends and I going to Captain Frosty’s for dinner. It is another tradition my friends and I have: we go together the first time for the season. It is mostly a seafood restaurant though they do have hamburgers and hot dogs. I’m thinking maybe scallops or clams. Here the clams have bellies the way they should. The fries are crisp. Each plate gets a small clam ball, a lagniappe. I’m already hungry just thinking about dinner.

I need to fill the feeders today and maybe sit on the deck in the sun to finish my book. I doubt there are many better ways to spend a day.

“Life’s a beach. Just roll with it.”

May 17, 2015

Today is a glorious day. The sun is bright, the sky so blue it looks painted and the air warm and smelling of the ocean. It is a day to be outside to feel the sun on my face, to get drowsy in the warmth and maybe fall asleep.

The Sundays of my childhood were quiet days. First we had to go to church. Sometimes we’d go with my dad while other times we’d walk, my brother and I. In the summer the early masses were crowded so people could have the whole day. Those were my favorite masses. Often there were no open seats in the pews so we had to stand in the back and even outside on the steps where I was so far away from the altar at the front of the church I never heard any part of the mass. I’d get tired and sit on the steps. The adults standing in the back used to crane their necks to see what was going inside. I was never that curious.

Most Sundays were family days. In the summer that often meant the beach for the whole day. We never tired of the beach and the ocean no matter how often we went. My favorite ocean time was low tide when there would be pools of warm water. We’d check out the starfish and toss empty crab shells at each other. We’d try to catch the small darting fish we called minnows even though they weren’t. We’d take our pails and walk along the water’s edge looking for shells, but not just random shells, we were picky. We’d pass by the clam shells and look for spirals with different colors inside and out. It was rare to find a complete spiral. Often one side was missing or chipped. We’d nearly fill our pails, wash out the sand in the water then put the pail near the blanket so we could bring home all our treasures. Mine usually went on my bureau for a while.

Eating at the beach was mostly when we were hungry. We had our choice of sandwiches, usually cold cuts but  sometimes egg salad. There were always chips to go with the sandwiches and my mother always packed a bag of Oreos, the easiest of all desserts.

My dad would make sure our feet were cleaned so we wouldn’t bring sand into his car. He’d open the car door, we’d sit and he’d dunk our feet into a pail of water then we’d scramble our way to our seats without touching the parking lot sand. I think it a bit ironic that we ended up living on the Cape where sand is almost part of the car floor.

I remember falling into an exhaustive sleep after a day in the sun and water. Sometimes, when my head was on the pillow, warm water would drain from my ears. It was a strange sensation.

“I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.”

July 2, 2013

The day is thick with an intermittent breeze. Rain is again predicted, maybe even thunder showers. The sun won’t be making an appearance until tomorrow when the weather report predicts partly cloudy. I think they could have thrown us a bone and said partly sunny instead.

I used to like to miniature golf. I admit, though, that the windmill sometimes gave me trouble even with its three openings to the hole. My ball usually hit the wall between the openings and bounced right back at me. I’d keep count, one stroke, then try again, two strokes, and hope the ball would go through and maybe even into the hole. Nope, that never happened. It usually went through but to a corner, and I’d have to move the ball a club head length away from the side so I could putt. Par was like a magic number to me. The best thing about the miniature golf course in my town was it took just a minute or two to walk to the Chinese restaurant after a strenuous 18 holes.

We used to spend the whole day at the beach, usually Sunday because Saturday was my dad’s errand and chore day. We swam, walked the beach, collected shells, ate sandy food and were never bored, not the whole day. My mother wasn’t a swimmer. She had never learned how. She used to sit on the blanket and read and keep an eye on my two sisters who never strayed far. She wasn’t worried about my brother or me as we could swim, and she could see us walking along the shore or throwing rocks into the water. I remember she’d go crazy if we stepped on the blanket with sandy feet. That meant taking everything off and shaking out the blanket. The picnic basket was always on one side to anchor the blanket and keep it from blowing. We’d eat lunch and then periodically comb the basket for a snack as the day lengthened. Usually we’d find cookies or fruit. In the late afternoon, it was time to pack everything up and trudge to the car. My dad always put a towel on the seat to keep the seat dry and the sand out of his car. He’d then have us sit on the edge of the seat while he dunked our feet in a bucket of water to get the sand off and then we’d inside the car so the next sandy feet could be cleaned. The ride home was usually a blur as I slept most of the way.

I remember lying on my pillow as I was falling asleep and feeling warm water drip out of my ear. It was the weirdest sensation.

‘I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors,’ said George.”

May 14, 2013

Although it is only a bit after 10, I have already had a busy morning in contrast to yesterday’s day of sloth. I woke up at 6:30 to the sound of raindrops, came downstairs, went to get the papers then read both of them. When I was finished, I went upstairs and  changed my bed. As I unfurled the bottom sheet, a sock flew out of the corner, the missing sock to one of the few pairs I have without holes. I never throw socks away. I always figure the shoe hides the holes. I then finished the bed, got dressed and left for my 9 o’clock library board meeting. Our biggest agenda item was choosing between plastic or wood for planting tubs and between Alberta Spruce and some other bush with a Japanese sounding name. We went wooden and the bush with a Japanese sounding name. I tried to Google the name of the bush and put into Google Odd Bush with Japanese sounding name, but George W. kept appearing. That gave me a bit of a chuckle. My next stops were the post office and the pharmacy. My last stop was voting in the town election. The big race is for selectman, three running for two spots. There were also two requests for tax overrides and a non-binding question as to whether the nuclear plant in Plymouth should be closed. People are a bit edgy that the evacuation route means driving by the plant. While I was driving all over town doing errands, the sun came out and the sky turned a light blue. It is, however, still a bit cold, only in the low 50’s. My heat came on this morning.

When I was a kid, we never went on a picnic just for the sake of a picnic. We’d eat outside sitting on the back steps which is, I suppose, a cousin to the picnic; however, I do remember stopping at rest areas and eating at picnic benches but only on long rides, usually to somewhere for vacation. We ate at the beach, but it was the water and the sand which drew us, not a picnic. My mother had a picnic basket and a red Tartan jug. She made great sandwiches, and there were usually chips and Oreos.

When I was in Ghana, we went on picnics just for the fun of a picnic. We’d bring the small charcoal burner, some hot dogs from a can or from the meat factory that used to be in Bolga, bread, chopped tomatoes and onions and probably something for dessert though I don’t remember what. I’m leaning toward the sweet donuts or the toasted coconut balls. We’d load up then ride our motorcycles a bit into the bush. Once I remember being near Tonga and another time paying guys to haul our bikes across a small pond. We’d sit on a blanket, enjoy our lunch and watch Ghana. I loved those picnics.

Here on the cape we used to have picnics on a hill overlooking the Grist Mill. We’d climb and complain about it as we carried the basket of goodies and the drinks. I remember being so glad to reach the top and hurrying to spread out the blanket so I could collapse. We’d stay for hours.

We’d bring picnics to Sunday night band concerts every week. We all took turns bringing the appetizer, the dinner or the dessert and then we’d share. Another time we had a picnic before a town meeting. Lots of people did. We all sat about the baseball field or the bleachers enjoying dinner from a basket. The meeting was with both towns about the school budget and was on the high school football field. The chairs were under a tent and I thought it had a bit of the circus about it. A group of musicians played before the meeting and the snack bar was open. That was a long time ago.

I think it’s time to bring back picnics and Tartan jugs.