Posted tagged ‘cold’

“I told myself that I was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday.”

September 30, 2017

During the night, I grabbed the afghan as my house had gotten so cold. This morning it was 66˚. I admit I turned on the heat for a while until the house was warmer. Putting on a sweatshirt also helped. The sun was out when Gracie and I got the papers. Now the sky is cloudy, and rain is predicted for this afternoon and evening. I have nowhere I have to be today, and I’m glad.

Saturday has always been my favorite day. When I was a kid, I had the whole day to do what I wanted. Breakfast and favorite programs were first then I was out the door. Mostly I rode my bike so I could explore more. No part of town was out of riding reach. The best end of town was the zoo. It didn’t cost anything in those days. Sometimes we’d ride to the next town over and bike around Lake Quannapowitt. Other times we had no destination. We just rode around town and checked out our favorite places like the house of the newspaper and rag man which had a huge porch and an out-building, both filled with papers. We’d check out the town barn and the horses. On warm days, the firemen sat outside the station in front of the engine bays, and we’d stop to talk with them. They’d let us go check out the fire engines. We’d ride down the hilly driveway to the schoolyard then skid in the sand along the sides of the yard just for the fun of it. I don’t remember ever being bored, even in winter we found stuff to do.

When I was in Ghana, I’d go into town on a Saturday and roam the market hoping to find something unexpected. When I’d finished, I’d sit and have a cold Coke at the one place which had a fridge. It was the last store in a line of stores on the main street. It had a few tables and chairs outside. It was there an American guy stopped to talk to me. He wanted to know where the bare-breasted women were. I was angry and horrified. I told him so. He quickly left. I never ran into him again.

When I was working, I wanted one free day to do whatever I wanted. Saturday was the perfect choice, the historical choice. Once in a while I’d grocery shop on Saturday and once a month I’d dust and vacuum, but mostly Saturday was for fun.

Now I always say every day is Saturday.

 

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“After enlightenment, the laundry.”

September 29, 2017

Today is a lovely fall day. The air is clear. The sun is sharp and bright. It is in the low 60’s and will stay that way until tonight when it will drop into the 50’s. Last night was downright cold. I took Gracie out around eleven and wished I had worn a sweatshirt. I kept urging her to hurry. She didn’t. She sniffed all over until she found her right spot.

I love my mornings. Lately I have been waking up late, but I still take the time to enjoy the start of my day. The pattern never changes. Gracie and I go out to get the papers then I take her to the backyard. She is quick to finish so we go inside. I put the coffee on then tend to Gracie and Maddie. The cat is loud and demanding. I fill her dry food dish then give her a can of cat food, always meat, never fish. Gracie is next. I fill her dry food, ready her medications then give her a can of dog food with the meds hidden beneath. It is then I can grab a cup of coffee and start reading the papers. I never hurry despite Maddie’s exhortations.

I wish I were handy, but I have inherited my father’s ineptitude when it comes to working with my hands. He was the man who sawed himself out of a tree. My mother and I watched from the window. We could have warned him but he wasn’t all that far off the ground. He so destroyed the toilet when he was fixing it, though fixing is loosely used here, that the plumber was amazed and wanted to know who did the destruction. He cut all of his fingers when fixing a fan. My father never gave up trying to be a Mr. Fixit. My mother kept a list of repairmen and their numbers. She knew she’d need it.

My laundry is done. It was quite the task. The first load didn’t spin. I had to wring out the wettest clothes, but the dryer did its job. I put in the second load anyway. I wanted no dirty laundry left. When I went to move the second load to the dryer, I was surprised to find them spun. I figured the first load had to have been uneven, and I didn’t hear the warning. I was thrilled.

I think it is a sad commentary that I can find laundry thrilling. Ho Hum!

“Suddenly, the wind got hold of the hammock. Leaves murmured. It was cold and the sun had gone down.”

September 1, 2017

September has arrived far too quickly. The summer sped so fast I swear my body, especially my face, was contorted by the G-force acceleration. Today is even autumnal weather with temperatures in the high 60’s. Tonight will be even colder, the high 40’s, sweatshirt by day and warm blanket weather by night. The day is really pretty with a clear blue sky and lots of sun. The breeze is brisk so the trees and leaves are swaying. I filled the bird feeders yesterday, but I noticed they are only half full already. I have more seed in the trunk so I’ll fill the feeders again later.

My mother had a small flower garden on the side of her house beneath some kitchen windows. She had bird feeders among the flowers including a statue of St. Francis with his arm extended and his palm up so it could seed. She put a wire fence across the entrance of that garden to keep my dog Maggie away, but it seldom worked. She always found a way inside. I swear Maggie did it just to drive my mother crazy. I used to have to retrieve her and reset the fence. A while later, though, Maggie was back in the garden, and I was retrieving her again. It was a game she always played but only when the flowers were in bloom.

I always call this coming season fall rather than autumn. If I lived on a farm, I guess I’d call it the harvest season. When I was a kid, I figured it was called fall because of all the leaves falling off the trees. The sidewalks and the gutters were always covered or filled with leaves. I’d walk in the gutters on my way to school and kick the leaves all over. They’d mostly land in the street strewn about like a trail you could follow all the way from my house to school.

Fall eases us into winter. It’s a shoulder season. We have warm days then cold days hinting of winter. I open my windows during the day and close then at night. The house holds the night cold in the mornings now. The backyard is shadowed so it is chilly when I first take Gracie out. I beg her to hurry so we both can go back inside, me for coffee and warmth and her for breakfast. Today she didn’t linger.

“The world is quiet here.”

July 24, 2017

Today is rainy and cold. It is sweatshirt weather, closer to early spring than late summer.  My papers were soaked from the middle to the bottom. I have a large front parking space, but the carrier managed to throw them in the only puddle. The plastic cover was useless. Like in the old days, my fingertips had printer’s ink on them.

Gracie had a tough morning. She woke me when she was throwing up. Her head tilt was extreme which caused her dizziness. I grabbed her as she was having trouble walking and put her on the couch. In a few minutes, she had her small tilt back so we went out in the rain while she did her morning business. I got cold waiting.

I find the whole idea daunting, but I have to go out today. From experience I know rainy day roads will be the stuff of nightmares. There will be lines of bumper to bumper cars filled with tourists looking for something to do. They’ll gawk, and their heads will swirl from one side of the road to the other, a mimic of the Regan head moves in The Exorcist. Today will be shop for souvenirs day, maybe a Cape Cod t-shirt or more appropriately for the weather, a sweatshirt. How about some salt water taffy? It is most decidedly not a day to go the movies. That’s for sunny days, for beach days.

I like the quiet of today. I like the dark house. It seems to surround me, to hold me close. I remember being on vacation in Maine one summer when I was young. I remember a rainy day. I wanted quiet from the noise in the house so I took my book and went to the car where I stretched out on my stomach on the back seat. I read all day. The rain on the roof and the windows was soothing. I fell asleep in the car on a rainy day in Maine.

“Always be smarter than the people who hire you.”

July 14, 2017

The windows and doors are all closed. The day is dark, damp and chilly. When I took Gracie out earlier and waited until she was done, I got cold. I was thinking sweatshirt weather. It may rain.

The first summer I ever worked was just after high school. With college in the fall, I had no choice but to get a job. I worked at Woolworth’s in Hyannis, a huge store on Main Street. I had no specific job title but moved from the cash register to counter after counter except for the lunch counter. I spent the most time in the corner where the small animals were housed. My job was to clean the hamster and mouse cages, feed the fish and refill the inventory. It sounds like a gross job, but I was by myself and seldom bothered by the manager which made it ideal. I learned to separate the mother and the babies from other hamsters because if the mother got nervous she’d eat her babies. They were ugly babies. Most of them lived but I never took credit for raising the inventory. Once I worked the souvenir counter which was filled with the tackiest souvenirs, most made in China. A guy once came and bought something then tried to scam me with dollar bills. He kept a running commentary of the amount of money between us hoping I’d get distracted or confused so he could trade a few dollars for a 20. It didn’t happen. He took off quickly when I called for the manager. My favorite part of that job was the lunch counter where I ate most days. The hot dogs in the grilled rolls were my favorites.

Every other summer I worked in the Hyannis post office. It was good money in those days. My job was to sort piles of mail into smaller piles of mail for specific destinations. I started working the primary board where all the mail started. I had a rubber thumb to help me sort the mail. The stool was angled toward the board. The slots in the board were open in the back but had some rope across so the mail wouldn’t fall on the floor. Sorters would come and take the mail back to their boards for further sorting. The mail for sorting came in two foot trays. The worst was a tray of postcards. I swear there were thousands of them on a single tray. I did have some fun as any postcard which had a message but wasn’t addressed I’d sent to a friend or a neighbor. Postcards with postage due also got sent. The worst thing about those post cards was when they were cancelled. Because they were so thin, a pile would go through the machine at the same time and only the first postcard would be cancelled. I was a quick sorter so the foreman would bring me the postcards. I told him they’d better be cancelled. Many weren’t so I just tossed them on the floor. They piled around my stool. The foreman would come, say nothing, pick up the postcards and put them through the cancelling machine again. The last summer I worked there, going into my senior year in college, I was offered a full time job. I didn’t take it.

I spent the next summer in Ghana.

“I love California; I practically grew up in Phoenix.”

May 23, 2017

The lateness of the hour is due to a visit to the vets for Miss Gracie. She is still having night problems, but the main reason was blood on the puppy pad. The good news was also the bad news. Gracie had blood tests and a urine test. The vet said she hadn’t ever seen an old boxer this healthy. There was no infection, no kidney issues, no diabetes and no to everything else. The vet said we might assume a urine infection because Gracie drinks so much water that finding an infection is difficult. Gracie now has more pills to take.

Last night it poured. I could hear the rain pounding the roof as I fell asleep. It had rained on and off all day, but it wasn’t such a heavy rain as I didn’t get all that wet walking Gracie to the backyard. Today the sun was out for about a half hour before the day got cloudy, damp and cold. The sun is supposed to return, but I am a doubter.

I’m thinking today is a nap day. I slept fitfully last night so I’m tired. Besides, the cold and damp make it an afghan day, a day to get cozy, warm and comfy. Gracie already is.

A grilled cheese sandwich is on tonight’s menu. If I had tomato soup, that would be too. I’m trying out a new kitchen helper, a sleeve of sorts which cooks grilled cheese in the toaster. I’m a bit skeptical.

I find myself addicted to MSNBC and Netflix. I just finished the documentary series of The Keepers and a remake of Anne of Green Gables called Anne with an E on Netflix. The Keepers was a one day binge. Yesterday on MSNBC, I was surprised to learn from Mr. Trump that Israel is not in the Middle East. All this time I was thinking it was. Mr. Trump also taught me to curtsy if given a large gold chain by Saudi royalty. Now it is on to Rome and my next lesson whatever it might be.

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

May 15, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up this morning. I had turned off the heat so it was only 63˚. Outside is damp and cold and filled with clouds. It will rain again. Right now it is 49˚. Such is spring near the ocean.

Mother’s Day was wonderful. My friend Tony feted his wife Clare and me. The table was lovely. Beside our place settings were cards and wrapped chocolates. My candy was wintergreen patties, one of my favorite. We started with shrimp cocktail and salad followed by dinner: chicken and mashed potatoes and hot rolls. I do love my mashed potatoes. Dessert was a light, creamy lime tart. Everything was perfect except I didn’t win our game of Phase 10. Clare exalted in her victory.

I have despaired of ever seeing the sun again. I have memories which are beginning to fade over time. Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few items on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

Gracie and I have to go out today. Three stops are on my list. She will like two of them: Agway and the dump. I’ll like the third: Ring Brothers. There I can get the few things on my shopping list and maybe lunch. I’m thinking a thin crust pizza or maybe the soup of the day.

 

 

I bought my house when I was 29. It came with nightmares. The mortgage was half my monthly salary. Out of the rest of my salary, I had to pay everything else including groceries. I was penurious. Buying the house meant no more traveling every summer, no more eating out and a moratorium on new clothes. It was make-do. I had little furniture. The phone guy came in and remarked I seemed to be living primitively. My desk was also my dining room table. My couch was my bed. All the furniture was in the downstairs bedroom renamed the den. Gradually I filled every room with furniture and doo-dads. My pay went up while my mortgage remained the same. It took five years, but I was finally able to travel again. I went to Europe. I was fulfilling my childhood dream to see the world, and, for the first time, I had a house and home waiting for me. I’m thinking life doesn’t get much better than that.