Posted tagged ‘dump run’

“Where would we be without salt?”

October 20, 2016

Today I feel lazy. I woke up early but have done nothing of any substance unless you count reading 2 papers and drinking 3 cups of coffee. I’m counting them.

Yesterday I was busy. First was helping at the high school from 8-11. It was a practical exercise for the seniors to give them an idea of an adult’s budget, what salary each might make and what had to be deducted from that salary. I actually had to set my alarm to get up in time. In the early afternoon, I spent an hour and half with my neighbor. We are working to improve her English. After that was a quick trip to the lab then we went to the dump. I didn’t settle in at home until close to 4. I figure a busy day earns me a lazy day.

For the most part, I watched the debate last night. I chuckled a few times and groaned every time Donald sniffed. Had I been in college the sniffing would have prompted a great drinking game. Some of his comments were frightening.

Sometimes I have a craving for salt. That always reminds me of the Star Trek episode where Kirk, Bones and a doomed crew member beam down to a planet so Bones can give his former girl friend, Nancy, and her husband physicals. Nancy is really a shift-shaping monster who sucks salt from peoples’ bodies. Sometimes I totally understand that need, but most times Lay’s potato chips work for me. Today is a beautiful day. It is cooler than it has been, but that’s okay as it’s been far too hot for this time of year. My house is chilly. I had windows open all night. I’m wearing a sweatshirt and my feet are cold. I do hate cold feet.

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“Nothing irritates me more than chronic laziness in others. Mind you, it’s only mental sloth I object to. Physical sloth can be heavenly.”

August 12, 2016

I didn’t leave the house yesterday except to water the plants on the deck. That has become a daily chore. The plants dry and wilt from the sun and the heat so I feel guilty unless I water them. I do have to go out today, but I figure the traffic will be light. Tourists will be wherever they can feel cool, and I doubt in cars and on the road won’t be their choices. The weather report has the possibility of rain here today and tomorrow. I don’t believe it.

Before I had AC in the house, I used to go to a matinee and sit in the air conditioning to watch a movie. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

In the paper today was an article about Massachusetts investigating the possibility of changing time zones from Eastern Standard Time to Atlantic Standard Time. People are dreading winter when the sun sets at 4 o’clock, and it sometimes starts to get dark at 3. We already fall back and spring ahead so changing wouldn’t be all that unfamiliar. The only drawback was being on a different time than New York and Washington. Someone suggested Massachusetts Savings Time but that seems a bit ego-centric.

 

I’m not doing much in the heat, but there isn’t really a whole lot to do. I have a couple of cabinets needing to be organized, but cabinet organization is really far too deep on my list to consider. It seems more like a winter chore.

When I worked, my life was far more departmentalized. My daily stuff mostly revolved around work. I got up at 5 or 5:15, watched the early news as my papers weren’t delivered yet and had two cups of coffee. I left for work around 6:20, arrived by 6:30 and then  organized my day. I got home around 4. I read the papers and my mail, made dinner, showered and went to bed no later than 10. Monday to Friday never really varied.

The weekends were for cleaning the house, doing the laundry and going to the dump. Friday and Saturday nights were empty dance cards waiting to be filled.

Now, despite having all the time in the world, I run out of time. My lists seldom get finished so I move the undone items to the next day. I do the same thing every day so I always have a never ending list, but I have learned not to care. It took some time but I’m now quite comfortable with lazy days, with being a sloth and with unfinished lists.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

May 16, 2016

Home! Gracie and I got home late yesterday afternoon. It had been a wonderful visit for both of us. Gracie had Bill who walked her every day and Peg who fed her goodies. Peg and I went to the glass blowing shop where I bought some Christmas presents and to a wonderful craft fair where I bought more presents and some stocking stuffers. I also bought myself a few things, that seemed only right. All the area around Mont Vernon where Bill and Peg live is lovely. There are dairy farms, lots of wooded areas and old houses, big old houses. A few miles from their house is a wonderful view from the top of a hill. Stretched out before me were hills, small hills, tall hills and some hills tall enough to be called small mountains. The hills were different color greens and looked like a landscape painted on canvas. The sky was blue and the clouds had the most wonderful shapes. I stopped for a few minutes at the top of the hill to take in that wonderful view.

We laughed a lot, Bill, Peg and I. We share so many memories and have made a few more. Bill said he always wondered how they knew I was coming to visit them in Tafo, in Ghana. I always wondered the same thing. We figured it must have by mail, and in Ghana it was truly snail mail. I used to visit them on my way home from somewhere, usually Togo. I always took the train. They moved to my school for our second year. That’s when we had so many adventures.

The trees near Boston and on the South Shore are filled with leaves. I could see them rippling and turning when the wind blew, but as I continued toward the cape, the trees got barer. By the time I crossed the bridge, I was seeing trees with buds and tiny new leaves. Spring is slow to come to Cape Cod.

A dump run is coming up, and I have a wash to do. Everything is as it was.

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

April 29, 2016

This week has been boring. I figure it’s my fault for doing nothing except some house chores and a dump run. I was going to take a ride yesterday, but I got stopped at an accident where three police cruisers were blocking cars from going any further so I turned around and went home. I brought my laundry down stairs this morning and it is sitting in front of the cellar door until I can’t stand looking at it anymore. It is just one of those weeks.

When I was young, I was a dreamer. My imagination was filled with adventures I knew I’d have. My friends too had dreams, but theirs were far different from mine. Some dreamed of getting married and having a family. One of my friends used to cut out pictures from bridal magazines and put them in an album. I guessed she wanted to be ready. Her dream did come true as she ended up being the first of us to be married and have children. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. One of my friends dreamed of starting his own company and making lots of money. The last time I saw him, decades ago, he was a salesman. He seemed happy. Many of my friends went right to work after high school, got married in a while and had kids. Now they’re grandparents. Some became social workers, nurses and teachers. They all seemed happy with their choices. One became a nun, but she left after a while. I don’t know what she does now.

When asked, I would usually answer teacher because it was an easy answer, but there was far than that to my dreams. I saw myself as an adventurer wearing a safari jungle hat and safari clothes while riding in a Land Rover which bumped up and down on roads not deserving of the name. I could see myself on a boat drifting down the Amazon or the Nile. I wasn’t picky. I was in the jungle and I was in the desert. A desert nomad and I shared bush tea in a tent near an oasis. I’d read adventure stories and put myself into the exploits. I would travel to so many places and see the world. I am a dreamer who grew up but has never stopped dreaming.

“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.

“I’ve never been to a class reunion or anything because I’m always afraid of that one – there’s going to be some ‘Carrie’-like incident.”

October 9, 2015

The morning was cloudy and cold when I woke up around eight. I decided the day was uninviting so I stayed in bed another hour. Since then the sun has appeared and warmed the day. Gracie and I have a dump run later. I haven’t told her. It’s a surprise.

This weekend is my fiftieth high school reunion. Tonight is a cocktail party, tomorrow morning coffee and pastries then a tour of the school and finally dinner tomorrow night. I don’t know quite what to think. Fifty years since high school, a whole half-century ago, seems like such a long time if you think of it by itself, in years, but I never gave thought to the year by year passing of time. My life has been measured by events.

There was the fall when I started college. I remember wearing the ugly blue beanie and being asked questions by the upper classmen. That was a breakout year. I was on my own. I don’t remember much, but I do remember the first college dance and the first party, but that last one is a bit hazy. I remember the junior prom at Wentworth by the Sea. We all had imbibed as the class advisor told the management we were of age. The funniest incident was when my friend Andy, as in Andrea, who had imbibed a bit too much, missed the choosing of the prom queen. She was so mad she wanted it declared invalid as she believed she would have been chosen, and we had to restrain her for a bit. My senior year brought the most memories. We had student teaching, and that’s when I knew I was destined to teach high school. We had our Friday get-togethers at the bar every week, a prom at the Marblehead yacht club where I remember toasting, drinking then throwing my glass overboard and then there was graduation. I remember standing in line in the hall. I remember getting my diploma. That was four years gone.

I remember flying to Philadelphia for staging then flying to Ghana, training there and living in Bolga for two years. I can describe everything. My time there lives in vibrant colors in my memory banks. I remember leaving and silently crying the whole flight from Tamale to Accra.

I remember getting my teaching job and teaching English and loving it. I remember the interview for administrator, and I remember when they chose me. I remember the first kid I had to suspend. He had a cast on his arm, and I hated calling his mother. I remember realizing I could retire in three years when I turned 57. That was like a jolt to my psyche. All I’d done for what would be 35 years would end.

I have been retired for 11 years and have alternated between being busy and being totally idle, sloth-like. I have spent entire summers on my deck. I finally made it back to Ghana, not once but twice. I remember walking out of the plane and smiling. Ghana had changed but it still felt like home to me.

In four paragraphs I have just described the last fifty years. Tonight I’ll celebrate those years.

“The cat wrinkled its nose and managed to look unimpressed. “Calling cats,” it confided, “tends to be a rather overrated activity. Might as well call a whirlwind.”

September 24, 2015

A gorgeous day today with temperatures in the mid 70’s, lots of sun and a northern breeze chilly on the back of my neck. Grace and I went to the dump this morning, and it was nearly deserted. I guess Thursday is not a popular dump day.

When the breeze blows, I can hear the rustling sounds of the leaves on the trees and of the few which have fallen on the grass, victims of the wind rather than the season. We are still far away from changing colors and the baring of the trees. Today is more of summer than fall.

My dance card is empty until Sunday. I guess I’m stuck doing the wash, a bit of ironing and changing my bed. The ironing is dinner napkins which tend to get really wrinkly even in the dryer. I have a small board I can fit on the table and iron while I watch TV. I save all the napkins until I get a large enough number to make ironing worth while. At last count I had ten.

Cats are tricky creatures. Yesterday morning Maddie never appeared for our morning greeting. I called her by name and made that lip sound cats seem to like but still no Maddie. I got worried so I checked all her favorite haunts on this floor then went upstairs and looked in the eaves, under beds and in closets in case I had locked her in. All the while I kept making that sound, still no Maddie. Fern, from her perch on the couch, stared at me as if I were crazy. Gracie followed me. I went upstairs again and pulled the guest beds out from the wall in case I had missed her way in the back where under the bed is the darkest. No Maddie. I came back downstairs worried about her and wondering where else I could look. I didn’t have to look anywhere. Maddie was standing on the table in the den. I patted her and scratched by her tail though I really wanted to wring her neck. I swear she was chuckling