Posted tagged ‘blue sky’

“Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time!”

March 11, 2017

The snow is deeper on the lawns and gardens. The streets and walkways got wet before they got snowy. I took Gracie out front this morning because the back steps were covered above my shoes. My feet got wet anyway.

It is the brightest of days. The sun shines off the snow. The air is so clear even the smallest pine branch is having its day, its place in the sun with a blue backdrop, deep and cloudless. If it weren’t so cold, this would be the perfect day. It is currently 19˚with an occasional wind strong enough to sway the top branches. I have to go out later, but I’ll bundle up and I’ll put Gracie in her coat.

I figure kids are sledding at the golf course. It is one of the few places around with a good hill that’s safe from cars. I’ve stopped to watch a couple of times. The kids were using all sorts of sleds. I saw the traditional wooden ones like I used to have, but the plastic sleds far outnumbered the wooded. The circle sleds, the ones we called saucers, are still circles but are now plastic. Plastic sleds resembling toboggans had multi-riders, mostly smaller kids. Inflated inner tubes give a great ride but a wild ride with little control.

I loved sledding especially on the hill my house faced. Every kid in the neighborhood would be out either sledding or walking back up that hill. I always think sledding is as close as we can get to flying while staying on the ground.

The clock goes one hour forward tonight. I never understood daylight savings time when I was a kid, and I’m still a bit confused. Everything I’ve read says the energy savings are only negligible, and some have even found that costs are higher, since people in hot climates are more apt to use air conditioners in the daytime. The original reason was WWI and conserving electricity for the war effort. Daylight savings was repealed after the war but reinstated during WWII. After that war, it was never repealed. Some states honored the hour; other states didn’t so in 1966 Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized daylight saving across the country except in Arizona and Hawaii which didn’t choose to honor it. After all the reading I did, I’m still confused as to why. Tradition? Habit? Laziness to change the status quo? Nobody cares?

“And never resist a perfect moment.”

March 6, 2017

Today is bright with sunshine. The sky is mostly blue. The breeze is slight, so slight only the brown leaves are ruffling. It’s a pretty day, but it’s a cold day, wintry cold. It is around 34˚.  I have nowhere I have to go today. I haven’t even gotten dressed and probably won’t. I got Gracie down the steps to the yard earlier. She does well with me beside her. She is actually going by herself. I’m just a safety net.

Yesterday we went to the dump. I had two weeks worth of recyclables and trash. It was so cold at the dump it took my breath away. An Arctic wind was blowing across the whole dump. Every stop meant freezing wind. I was quick to finish, to go back into the warm car.

In my life, I have had some perfect days and nights. I can’t tell you why as the days were all different. The feelings, though, were the same. I felt joyful in a way, happy to be alive. I was aware of everything around me. I could have been Maria twirling on the mountain.

The night in Ireland, in Youghal, is one perfect night. We ate in a small room with a peat fire burning. The aroma was wonderful. We walked upstairs and each step sloped to the middle. My room had a bed with layers of quilts and blankets. The bathroom had saloon doors which left the toilet exposed to the world. The tub was claw-footed. I took a hot bath then ran to get dressed and under the covers as there was no heat. It was early spring cold. I nestled and began to read my Peter Whimsy mystery and eat some of my fruit and nut Cadbury chocolate bar. I realized in that very moment I didn’t need anything else. What I had exactly then was perfect.

“If anyone does not have three minutes in his life to make an omelette, then life is not worth living.”

February 26, 2017

Today is a bit cooler than yesterday, but it is sunny and bright with only a few clouds moving across the blue sky. It is a pretty day.

It was a leisurely morning. I had an extra cup of coffee and read most of the Globe. I’ll get to the Cape Times later.

I really love breakfast, especially eggs and bacon. When I go out, I get my eggs over easy and my bacon crisp. Nothing is worse than undercooked bacon. I also order rye or wheat toast, a necessity for sopping up the yoke spread on the plate. When I have nothing defrosted or planned for dinner, I always have eggs. Sometimes I make omelets with cheese and jalapeño and maybe a bit of ham if I have any. Most times, though, I cook my eggs over easy. I usually break a yolk.

When my parents and I traveled together, my father hated breakfast in most countries, England and Ireland being the exceptions. He said he didn’t want lunch for breakfast, didn’t want the cold cuts and cheeses my mother and I loved. In the Netherlands, at one hotel, they served an egg in an egg cup. My father was gleeful. He took his knife to lop off the top of the egg but the egg shell stayed intact. He tried again which was when he noticed the shell was broken. It was a hard-boiled egg. My mother and I felt bad for him. The poor man had such a look of disappointment.

I always had two eggs and two pieces of toast for breakfast in Ghana. The eggs were fried in peanut oil, groundnut oil to the Ghanaians. It added a wonderful taste to the eggs. When I came home, it took me a while to get used to the bland fried eggs.

I love deviled eggs. My mother made them for almost every barbecue. My friend Clare often makes them. I never make them myself, and I haven’t any idea why.

It is almost Cadbury egg day. The fried egg chocolate was the one I used to eat until the caramel and the chocolate eggs appeared. They are my favorites. In my Easter basket one year, my mother tucked in a small Matchbook size of the Cadbury creme egg car. It sits on the shelf in here next to the Spam car.

Okay, all this talk of eggs has made me hungry.

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

February 19, 2017

Today is a bit of a gift from Mother Nature, and considering how many times I cursed her this winter, I am surprised by her generosity. It is sunny and warm, even springlike. A few puffy clouds add texture to the blue sky. A breeze ruffles the brown leaves. It is a day to be outside. I’m working on getting there.

My neighbor put my newspaper on the front steps for me this morning. I saw it and one other paper when I opened the door. The other paper is the Cape Times from February 13th. I have no idea where he found it. I didn’t  miss a paper. I figure it must be my neighbor’s, and it got tossed here with the snow when her driveway was shoveled.

Small mounds of snow are still visible but only on the corners of the streets. Between the rain and the above freezing temperatures, the snow had no chance. I’m glad it’s mostly gone.

My front lawn, mostly on one side, is a total mess. It is covered with branches and needles from the tree sized branch which fell. There are long gashes on the grass. I’m thinking that whole side of the lawn may need a reboot.

This is school vacation week. I used to like traveling to one place for the whole week. My mother and I spent this week in Rome on our last vacation together. We saw it all. One of my favorites was the catacombs, a couple of bus rides and a long walk away.

Each night we’d have a drink in the bar before going to our room. My mother had cognac. That was a shock. My mother was a whiskey and coke drinker. When I mentioned my shock, my mother said it was vacation mode when anything goes. I loved that.

My week will be quiet. Actually, the rest of February will be quiet. I have an empty dance card until March.

Gracie needs to be fed, and I need to get dressed in my outside the house clothes. We are going out to enjoy the day.

“I believe in dressing for the occasion. There’s a time for sweater, sneakers and Levis and a time for the full-dress jazz.”

January 27, 2017

When I woke up and looked out the window, I saw a sunny day and a blue sky. The thought I might be dreaming crossed my mind, but I wasn’t. It is a lovely day, a bit chillier than it has been but still quite lovely.

Gracie and I are going out to do errands. My imagination has both of us shielding our eyes from the sun as if we’ve been living in a cave.

I have a list of places to go and things to buy. Gracie, as always, will be my co-pilot. Her favorite place is Agway. They give out free biscuits.

My return to Star Trek Voyager is almost over. I am watching the final season. Science fiction right now is far more hospitable than the real world.

When I lived in Ghana, it was during the birth of the Second Republic. The army had overthrown Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. They called it Operation Cold Chop. I love that. Chop is food in Ghana and roadside chop bars were the places to eat. We used to get food just about every Sunday from a chop bar in the lorry park. Anyway, the CIA backed coup   was for a multitude of reasons, one of which was Nkrumah’s close ties to Russia.

I used to love to watch the lobsters swimming in their tank in the front window of the fish market. I remember the guys behind the counter wore white aprons with bibs. They sold fish fillets from a display case. I didn’t care about the fish. Back then, the only fish I ate was tuna from a can.

I used to wear dungarees lined with flannel when I was a kid. Girls’ dungarees had a zipper in a front pocket. I wore blouses. If I got cold, I’d put on a sweater, a cardigan. Mostly I wore white sneakers. My clothes weren’t very colorful. They were heavy on the blue. I think every girl my age wore the exact same outfit.

My brother wore dungarees and striped jerseys. He even wore dungarees all summer. He wore white, high top sneakers, Converse sneakers. Mine too were Converse. Every boy his age wore exactly the same outfit, including Beaver Cleaver.

Last night I had a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich for supper. I would have used Marshmallow Fluff instead if I had any. My supper choices are quite limited. It’s time to shop. I’m keeping a list in Alexa. I just added Fluff.

“Never complete. Never whole. White skin and an African soul.”

November 4, 2016

If I pulled out that dusty old dictionary of mine and looked up autumn, I’d find it is a noun defined as,”the third season of the year, when crops and fruits are gathered and leaves fall, in the northern hemisphere from September to November and in the southern hemisphere from March to May.” The words in the definition just aren’t enough. What about autumn’s almost indefinable beauty? What about autumn’s colors, its cool, sometimes cold nights, and its warmer mornings? What about a perfect autumn day? Well, I’ve got that one covered: today is the perfect autumn day. The sun is bright. The sky is deep blue but has a few wispy clouds for contrast. The air is warm, long sleeve shirt warm. A slight breeze is enough to drop the brown leaves off the boughs of the oak trees. They slowly flutter to the ground as if they know their time is done. Today is a day to be out and about.

I met two former students the other day. We did the pleasantries and caught up with one another. I met one’s baby and another’s nine year old. They asked what I was doing to stay busy. I described my life as a sloth and I mentioned traveling. They wanted to know where. “Africa,” I told them. “Wow,” was the response from each of them and both mentioned how exciting Africa must have been. I told them about the elephants. Seeing those elephants was nothing short of amazing for me, and they thought seeing elephants had to be the coolest thing.

Those conversations got me thinking. Elephants and game parks aside, going back to Ghana is almost commonplace for me. Were I to go to Mali or Botswana, I would think of each as an unbelievable trip to Africa. Ghana is going home. It is familiar again. I get to see my former students, and we are at ease with each other, the sort of ease which comes from years of friendship. I am not surprised by what I see. The rooster wakes me up, but I can always go back to sleep. I enjoy goat and Guinea fowl as much as beef or chicken. I know Ghanaian food is spicy hot and best eaten with my hand. I am adept at noticing and walking over deposits left by goats and sheep on the streets, the walkways and in the market. All the smells are Ghana to me. Ghanaians smile at me, and I smile back. I even greet them in Hausa and a bit of FraFra.

Though Bolgatanga is bigger and far busier, I just think of it as home. It being in Africa is merely serendipitous.

“Hip is the sophistication of the wise primitive in a giant jungle.”

September 4, 2016

The first thing I did this morning was turn on the TV for the latest weather. It seems the winds are much greater than they expected yesterday. Instead of 25mph, they could be as high as 4o with gusts even higher. The expected rain total is still far too little, but the weather report has added the possibility of rain on Tuesday so that should help. The storm could affect the cape for much of the week. The only preparation I have made so far is to lower and secure my umbrella, but after I finish here, I’ll go out to the deck and secure what’s left.

The weather now is so lovely it is difficult to believe what is wending its way up the coast. The air is pleasant at 73˚. The sky is a lovely blue and the only clouds are small and wispy. The breeze is from the north and is still slight enough to be harmless.

Last night we didn’t have a movie on the deck. My friend thought it would be damp and too chilly so we changed plans. We had game night, ate Chinese appetizers and then watched the Deadly Mantis on TV. It was a fun movie with all the cliches we expect from a fifties black and white science fiction movie. We had our handsome hero, an air force officer, who falls in love with the female star, an editor of a museum magazine. This film had amazing scenes as many of the film clips were real especially the ones of jet planes, radar rooms and air force bases. Another wonderful clip was of an Eskimo village, their dogs and the men heading out to sea in their umiaks. At the end, the giant mantis was difficult to destroy but our hero was up to the task.

Some of the scientists on an advisory committee in the movie were sitting around the table. They  were holding slide rules. I remembered using one in math class way, way back, and at one time students in my school had to use them. Teachers carted boxes filled with them from room to room. Now, most students would be dumbfounded if asked to identify a slide rule.

I used typewriters and slide rules. To change the channel I had to get up and walk to the TV to turn the dial. My first transistor radio was square, covered in leather and big. A later radio was plastic. It only got AM. There wasn’t any FM. We had a party line for our telephone. It was cheaper. Dial phones made great sounds. I use to keep dimes in the slots of my loafers in case I needed to use a pay phone. Sputnik scared us. The TV only had black and white programs. My bike had no gears, and the brakes were the backward parts of the pedals. It was, by today’s standards, a primitive time. I figure every new generation thinks the previous generation is antique, backward. My two-year-old grand niece, affectionately called G or Georgie, can use the phone to facetime my sister, her grandmother. That was science fiction when I was a kid.