Posted tagged ‘chilly’

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

April 13, 2017

You’re probably wondering where I am this late in the day. I spent the morning following Gracie as she had balance problems. That happens most mornings, but then she figures it out and adjusts her gait, but she didn’t today.  I walked her down to the yard a couple of times and sat waiting outside for her. I was glad she was quick as that famous Cape breeze is making it chilly despite the sun.

Captain Frosty’s opened today, and we made our annual pilgrimage. I had the shrimp plate with a couple of clam cakes and onion rings instead of fries. The plate was so filled it should have had an annex just for the onion rings. Captain Frosty’s is always the first of our haunts to open for the summer. The ice cream shop is usually next. I’m always excited as shops open for the season. Each opening brings us closer to summer.

Yesterday I was able to cross off all but the one errand which has graced every list I’ve made since the first of the year: getting my hair cut. It is now on the top of tomorrow’s list. Every day I am bound and determined to get it cut but I don’t and have no reasons why not.

Gracie is standing beside me on the couch. Her muzzle is about 6 inches from my face, and she is staring at me. I know all the signals. She wants out. That means slowly walking her down the stairs, staying out with her then calling her up the back stairs, an easier climb for her. The whole stair thing is strange. She won’t go down the easy stairs. No, I have to take her down one step at a time on the scary stairs, the ones she is afraid of as she slides, but Gracie, being a rather intelligent dog, figured out on her own that the other stairs are easy to climb. I’m glad as she doesn’t need my help.

I’m going to take Miss Gracie out now. She has barked once right at me in impatience. That drives me crazy, and she knows it. Smart dog!

“Air, I should explain, becomes wind when it is agitated.”

November 15, 2016

Today I am accomplished. The first load of laundry is in the washer. I finally got tired of walking around the overflowing laundry bags in the hall.

The wind is blowing. When I look out the windows, I see brown leaves falling almost as frequently as snow falls. The weather feels chilly because it is damp. Rain is predicted for today, and the cloudy sky makes it probable. It is getting darker.

Maddie howled again last night. It is from loneliness. When Gracie and I slept downstairs, she slept the whole night. I feel so bad for her and wish she would join Gracie and me upstairs. She knows Gracie won’t chase her as she stands on the couch beside the sleeping dog when she wants to be patted. Gracie doesn’t even notice.

When I was a kid, I never got all that excited about Thanksgiving. There was no countdown like for Christmas. It sort of it just arrived. In school, we colored turkeys and wrote down why were thankful. I always said my mother and father. I was probably thankful for them, but I was even more thankful for knowing what to write down. The short school week was also a blessing but not one I mentioned.

Even though every week was the same when I was a kid, except for holidays, of course,  I never really tired of the day to day. I ate the same breakfast every morning unless it was so cold my mother felt the need to make oatmeal to insulate us for the walk to school. We walked the same route to school every day. It didn’t take us long, maybe 20 minutes or so. On cold days we walked a whole lot faster both to keep warm and to get to school sooner.

I remember walking backward against the wind on days like today. My clothes would sometimes billow, especially my skirt. Every now and then I did need peeks to make sure I was walking straight on the sidewalk and to know to face the front when I reached the curb to cross.

I need the lamp lit to keep the darkness away. It was the same when I was a kid. I was never afraid of the dark, but it wasn’t good for reading, my favorite pastime when I couldn’t go out to play after school. I remember lying in bed, comfy and cozy, with the lamp lit behind and above me and an open book in my hands. It felt perfect, almost like paradise.

“He who puts stew with jollof rice has trust issues.”

October 14, 2016

Getting up before the sun appears is getting annoying. Getting up before my papers arrive is also annoying. The only thing saving the morning is my first cup of coffee.

Yesterday was warm. Today it will be much cooler, in the high 50’s. Right now it is windy and damp and quite chilly. I’m glad I put the storm pane on the back door.

Today I am having breakfast out, and I have a dentist appointment, my six-month cleaning. Gracie and I will do the dump later in the afternoon. I’m also thinking Chinese food for dinner. I have a hankering.

My friends and I ate jollof rice just about every evening in Ghana. Think jambalaya. I even got to have it on the plane ride home. It was served with chicken curry. The hotel restaurant served the biggest mound of jollof, and we seldom left any on our plates. We never tired of eating it. I’m thinking I might just have to learn to make it. I do have several recipes. I just ordered my Halloween candy.

I just ordered my Halloween candy, what we used to call nickel bars. I remember how excited we were to get a bar instead of loose candy. Usually it was a Hershey’s. Last year one kid yelled to his father standing by my gate, “It’s a whole big bar!” He’ll be able to yell the same thing this year.

Gracie just scared me. She fell into the table from the couch. I grabbed her and held on for all I am worth. My first thought was she had collapsed. I was set to take her to the 24-hour vet, but she left my arms and got off the couch. She seemed to walk fine. The final test was a treat. She wouldn’t eat the first three choices but took the fourth and then went back for the other three. I figure out she had been too close to the edge of the couch and lost her footing. I have begun to breath.

I haven’t decorated my house yet for Halloween, but I did finish unpacking and putting everything away. I only have one wash left to do. The cloth I bought is in this room in a tall pile. The colors are vivid. My favorite is the black and red tie and dye. It will make a great shirt. The 12 yard bolt is for tablecloths, Christmas presents. I also have a 6 yard bolt of a beautiful blue and black pattern. It too will be used for presents. I brought back a tablecloth for myself. Peg found the material and had it cut in half and hemmed so it wouldn’t fray. Now I just need to have some dinner guests so they can ooh and ah.

“First a voice; then an echo. Then nothing.”

July 10, 2016

Today is yesterday continued. It is cloudy, damp and still a bit chilly. The one difference is the sky looks a tad lighter so maybe there is hope for a better afternoon. Today I will finally pot those plants. I drag the soil bag from my car to the front walk then I nursed my back all last night. Such effort must not go to waste.

This morning my breakfast hardened back to my childhood. I had a bowl of Rice Krispies to which I added a cut banana. That cereal still snaps, crackles and pops. I remember putting my ear close to the bowl so I could hear the sound.

When I was a kid, there were so many different sounds I don’t hear much anymore. The pop of the toaster is one I remember well. Our toaster was noisy. It was also usually covered with crumbs. Two slots meant only two pieces of toast at a time. There were four of us so two of us had to practice patience. We didn’t do well with that.

The slamming of screen doors all summer long drove my mother crazy. She’d yell at us not to slam the door. We always did anyway. It was the quickest way to get out of the house. Screen doors now shut on their own.

My neighborhood was filled with kids. We all lived in a sea of duplexes. The ones at the top of the hill had their back doors facing our back doors at the bottom of the hill. Mothers always yelled out the back doors at lunch time and at dinner time. They always yelled names so the kids playing in the yards would know who had to go inside. By supper time the yards were empty, the kids all gone inside. My neighborhood here has a lot of kids: nine of them. They stay close to home so no yelling is necessary. I never hear a screen door slamming or a mother yelling.

Roller skates on sidewalks made a distinctive sound, a clacking sound. Those were the four wheel skates that fit over my shoes. They had a leather strap across the top of my foot and a front grip I tightened to my shoes using a key. Many times the skate fell off but only the  front part. Losing the key was the worst of all. There wasn’t any way to tighten the skates. I just had to hope someone else’s key worked.

So many other sounds are gone mostly without us noticing. Our world is quieter now. The phone makes little noise, no more dialing. The fridge hums. No snow appears on the TV. I can’t remember the last time I heard baseball cards attached to the spokes of bicycle wheels. How about olly olly oxen free? Where did that go?

“The sixties were when hallucinogenic drugs were really, really big. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we had the type of shows we had then, like The Flying Nun.”

January 11, 2016

This morning I was at my neighbor’s at ten then came home and went back to bed; hence, the late hour. I am just tired though I haven’t really a good reason to be.

It finally stopped raining last night, but the warmish air has deserted us. It is seasonably in the 30’s today. I guess I ought not to be complaining but I figure that’s what the weather is for. It is a common topic of conversation and great for the line at the supermarket.

My aunt was a nun. We always called her my aunt the nun and seldom used her name. When I was little, we’d put on our church clothes and ride to Connecticut to see her. We used to stop close to her convent, go to the bathroom and be tidied by my mother so we’d pass a visual inspection. This aunt was not real to me in the same way my other aunts were real. She wore a habit and didn’t have a whole lot to say to us. It was always questions about school. We answered in short, quick sentences hoping she’d move on to my parents. Meanwhile another nun would show up with a tray. It had cookies, milk, coffee and a few soft drinks. The nun would put it on the table and then leave without saying a word, but she did make a swishing sound the way all nuns did. After our snack, we’d go on a tour of my aunt’s school. I never thought it was interesting but it did eat up some time for which I was grateful. We’d head back to the convent and start our good-byes until the next year.

In time nuns were freed from their habits, were allowed to use their own names and could travel anywhere they chose, but my aunt the nun was still my aunt the nun to us. She started to wear skirts and blouses and jackets and always a big cross she used to wear on her habit. All those years of not having to choose her outfits left her with a really bad taste in clothes. My mother and I used to give her clothes for Christmas, clothes with a bit of style. She began to spend every Christmas at my parents’ house. My mother was a trooper about it, but she drove my father crazy by calling him brother instead of his name.

I was always polite when my aunt the nun stayed at my parents, but she never seemed to like me all that much. It was no big bother to me. I could live with that!

“I want to caution you against the idea that balance has to be a routine that looks the same week in and week out.”

January 2, 2016

Today is windy and chilly. It is winter cold. Gracie and I will be making a dump run later. The dump is all open land with no trees or buildings so when the wind blows like today, it is so cold I always think of the Russian steppes. I can never empty my trunk fast enough.

I don’t remember it being all that cold when I was a kid, but I do remember the wind. It blew across the field at the foot of my street and the strongest wind would sometimes almost blow us away. We’d laugh and even raise our arms like sails so the wind could catch us. Some days we’d walk backwards as protection from the wind. Our collars would be up. Our hats were pulled down to cover our ears and to save them from flying off, from being borne by the wind. We’d hold the bottom of our jacket sleeves to keep the wind from sneaking up inside. I’d arrive home almost breathless and with cheeks reddened by the wind.

I never counted days until vacations. I counted days until Christmas but that had to do with Santa and new toys. Going back to school in January was no big deal when I was young. That was my lot in life so I just took it all in stride. Later, when I was older, I was far less pleased at the end of vacation because it meant back to my routine, to long hours which left little time for fun, for enjoying even the smallest piece of the day.

I figure retirement is a gift, a recompense for all those days. I have a routine of sorts which involves coffee and the papers and KTCC but then that’s it for the rest of the day. I fill the hours handily and usually happily.

“From the cradle to the coffin underwear comes first.”

November 1, 2015

This morning it sprinkled a bit, and though it has stopped, the clouds remain. Today is chilly and dreary. When I look out my windows, I see more and more dead leaves hanging from the oak trees. A small tree with some red leaves is all I have left of the colors of fall. Hunker down time is nearer and nearer.

Night has begun encroaching. With the change in time, with the end of daylight saving, it will come earlier. When I was a kid, I didn’t understand the whole idea, but I didn’t like it. My afternoon play time was less because the street lights came on earlier. I thought that was a cheat somehow, a parental ploy to get us to bed earlier.

We always had November 1st off from school because it was a holy day of obligation. That was one of the perks of attending a Catholic school. We had to go to mass then the whole day was ours. Today is the holy day and a Sunday. You get to knock off two obligations at the same time.

Clean underwear was always a big thing with mothers. I never understood why because even without the possibility of an accident and eternal embarrassment to my mother I always wore clean underwear. I mean really who’d want to wear dirty underwear? My mother would have been better served warning me to wear underwear without holes. I had a theory that socks with holes and underwear with holes were fine because nobody saw them excluding any accidents of course. I still adhere to that theory but mostly with wearing socks with holes. I turn over the top of the socks so my toes won’t poke through. A few times I tried to darn the socks but instead I got these huge lumps which hurt with shoes on. I went back to folding. When I went to Ghana, I bought enough new underwear for every day so I wouldn’t have to wash any. I have so much now I throw away the ones with holes or loose elastics. My mother would be so proud.