Posted tagged ‘blue sky’

“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.

“Don’t Trust Blindly If in shark infested waters, don’t assume the fin coming toward you is a dolphin.”

July 30, 2016

I apologize for the lateness of the hour, but my computer is acting up, and it wouldn’t load. I am using my iPad in the interim.

The day is a pretty one with sunshine, blue skies and only a little humidity. My windows are open. It is getting hotter so I’m thinking the air will be back on shortly. Gracie is panting, a sure sign of heat.

I actually have an entry in my date book. Tonight I’m going to my friends’ house for burgers. I figure it will also be a game night.

I’m back on my computer. It finally loaded.

It has been a while since I’ve been to the movies. I watch TV or Netflix or Infinity, but the new Star Trek movie is tempting me to the theater. I’ll have to pick a beach day so there will be very few people willing to give up the sun for a dark theater and expensive popcorn.  I sneak in my own candy. I’m a Thin Mints fan and sometimes Good and Plenty. The last time I went to the theater I also sneaked in cheddar popcorn. I did buy a drink.

I’ve been watching the shark movies on Syfy. I’ve also kept track of the sightings of the Great Whites off Chatham. The pictures of the real sharks from aerial cameras are the scariest of all. The sharks look huge. If they were the stars of a science fiction movie, they’d have leapt up and eaten the plane. Today I got to watch The Three Headed Shark. It needed a huge suspension of disbelief.

Staying inside in the air conditioning leaves me with no adventures to enthrall my readers. Will I or will I not take a nap is the big dilemma. I’m leaning toward taking one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.”

June 17, 2016

Today is beautiful. The breeze is keeping the air cool. The sun is bright and shines with the deep blue sky as its backdrop. When I went for the papers this morning, I checked my front garden. Every day something new is in bloom. Today it was a tall purple flower. I don’t know its name. I never know the names of my flowers. I buy them for color. The purple flower was a wonderful choice.

Today is dump day. I haven’t yet told Gracie. She tends to get a bit excited at the thought of the car ride and the dump. It will be a surprise.

My neighborhood is quiet today. The kids are still in school. Only the songs of birds break the silence.

I have a list for today, but none of the items make for too much effort. I bought a new flag which needs to be put on the flag pole in the front yard, my new hose will be connected to the outside faucet, plants in and out need watering and I have to connect the umbrella to the adaptor. They are all silly tasks but they still need doing.

We have a place to stay in Accra. It is where I stayed in 2011 for a week. The people are wonderful, the rooms big and clean, and they’ll pick us up at the airport. There is even a Lebanese restaurant right down the street. Ghana is where I first tasted Lebanese food. We used to go to a place called Talal’s. It was close to the PC office. I had hummus for the first time there. They served it in a flat dish with hot pepper around the top of the hummus and sesame oil in a well in the middle. I also had falafel, kibbeh and tabbouleh for the first time. I came to love Lebanese food. I had it often. The fact it was a cheap was also a good draw. I still love hot pepper sprinkled on my hummus and sesame oil in the middle. What I miss here is the fresh pita they always served.

One of the best parts of my Peace Corps experience was all the different foods I ate. Chinese food was considered a bit exotic when I was a kid, and I brought that with me to Ghana. The first day there I was served what looked like leaves from the tree and a soup of unknown origins. I didn’t eat it. I ate only breakfast as I recognized eggs and bread. Eventually, though, I started trying the Ghanaian food. Some I came to love, but I never did like kontomire, that soup from the first day. It is made with cocoyam leaves. That I know that makes me chuckle a bit. I went from Chinese food to cocoyam-a huge leap.

“She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.”

May 10, 2016

Today is a gift. I’m thinking Mother Nature has decided to stop teasing us with winter and has embraced spring. Not a branch moves in the stillness of the morning. The sun is bright and is framed by a blue sky. The birds are singing, and I hear several different songs. My feeders are getting a lot of traffic. It is in the mid 50’s but will get warmer as the day grows older. Tonight will be in the mid 40’s. It is a Cape Cod spring day.

This is the time of year when I’d ride my bike to school. I remember speeding down the hills and feeling chilly from the wind. My jacket would fill with air. The ride was short, probably about ten minutes, all downhill going and uphill returning. It should have been the opposite.

The bike rack was old and wooden. It was under branches from the tree in a yard next to the school fence. It was painted a dark green and had layers of paint. You could see them all when the paint chipped. I never had a lock for my bike. I don’t think anyone did. The bikes weren’t fancy. They had the back pedal brakes. Most had wire baskets. The best part of riding my bike was getting home fast and having more time to play in the afternoon.

The streets all had sand from winter when the sand trucks would come by and spew their sand on the snow to give cars better traction, but this time of year it was the street cleaning trucks which would come by. They had brushes low to the ground and would sweep the sand to the  curbside. A couple of times I skidded in the sand. Sometimes we did what came to be called wheelies. Our bikes would leave circular skid marks. Braking at the right time and place was the key.

The day hasn’t started well. I had an early morning meeting and nearly fell out of bed when the alarm went off. On the way to the bathroom I stepped in cat throw up. I have to go out but not for anything fun. I have to some x-rays done of my back. I’ve decided I deserve a good lunch, my favorite sandwich and a whoopie pie for dessert. I definitely earned it this morning.