Posted tagged ‘fall’

“Laziness is the first step towards efficiency.”

November 29, 2016

or mThere isn’t any sun again. I’ve lost track of how many days. I get up and see clouds out the window; I go to get the papers and feel the cold and damp. The wind is slight so that’s a good thing. Only the edges of the brown leaves flutter and none fall to the ground.

Gracie has a vet appointment at 12:00, an old dog appointment which just means a second physical to make sure all is well. She also needs one shot and to have her nails clipped. It will be expensive. It always is.

Maddie howled me awake this morning. It was late so she probably had lost her patience and wanted her treats and some loving, in that order. Now she is standing beside me getting her neck scratched, and she is purring. If I dare stop, she nudges me with her head.

The laundry is back downstairs in front of the cellar door. Last time it sat here nearly a week. I finally got sick of seeing it. I could have thrown it downstairs, but that would have been far too lazy even for me.

I went through all the catalogues I had yesterday only to get more in the mail. They are never ending.

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was how to fix the dog door. The plastic fell again. I’m thinking a plastic strip over the holes would keep the screws attached. The big holes would disappear. I think I have just what I need in the cellar. That is now today’s other chore. Changing the bed is tops on the list.

Winter makes me lazy. The summer invites me outside and the spring demands attention. Fall catches my eyes with all its color, and I don’t want to miss it. Those colors never last long enough. In winter I’d much rather stay home. Being outside has little appeal. I don’t have to get dressed but can stay in my laze around the house clothes. Any chores can keep. I figure if I dust, I’ll only have to dust again so why bother. The house is neat, and that’s enough.

“I write to express and I shop to destress”

November 26, 2016

Okay, last night started off great. I watched, binge watched, all four episodes of Gilmore Girls. I had wanted to savor them, but I couldn’t wait. Each one got better than the one before so the last one, fall, was wonderful. It was like Gilmore Girls of old. I hated finishing. That happened about 1:30. I then went up to bed followed closely by my faithful hound Gracie; however, Miss Gracie didn’t settle down on the bed. She sat up, started gulping then panting. She moved around trying to get comfortable but couldn’t, and she was shaking. I turned on the light and tried to comfort her. That didn’t work. We went downstairs, and I let her out. By this time it was after 2. She came in, jumped on the couch and laid down. So did I. That lasted only minutes before she was up and panting again. We did the spider plant routine. I cut and held and she ate. Now we were closing on 3:30. I went upstairs, got my pillow and blanket. I took all the cushions off the couch and made myself as comfortable as possible. Gracie jumped on and was okay for about 15 minutes. I went back to the dining room followed by Gracie. I snipped more spider plant fronds which she scarfed down. After that, Gracie seemed okay so we went back to the couch. That didn’t last either as she wanted out again. It was close to 4:30. When Gracie came back inside, she jumped on the couch, got comfy and fell asleep. I couldn’t get comfortable. My last time check was 5:00. I woke up at 11.

Last night had a silver lining. Maddie didn’t howl. I think she was entertained by the antics of Gracie and me; also, she had company.

It is a good thing I live alone as I am a bit grumpy. I woke up with a headache and a back ache. Both are almost gone due to the miracle of modern over the counter medicines, but grumpy still remains. I have hopes of getting out today despite the rain. Perhaps a bit of shopping and a stop for lunch will make me fit for human company again.

“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.

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.”

October 22, 2016

The clouds and the on again off again rain have put a damper on my day, literally and figuratively. I just can’t seem to scare up enough energy to do anything but sit and watch television; however, I’m watching Syfy, not MSNBC.

It is warm right now, but that will change. By the late afternoon, we’ll be down into the 40’s, sweatshirt weather. It will be autumnal (I love this word).

When I went to get the papers, I was struck by how quiet the morning was. There was no breeze to rustle the leaves, no one was outside and no cars traveled down the street. I stood outside for a bit.

This is my favorite season. I used to think the Cape didn’t have much color until my first autumn back from Africa when I found the color so beautiful, so bright with reds and yellows. I saw cranberry bogs filled with deep red, ripe berries and watched when they were harvested. Pumpkins and sheafs of wheat decorated front steps. Mums in autumn colors came alive in the gardens. I fell in love with fall.

I have a couple of errands to do today. Gracie will come along to keep me company. She loves rides. She stands on the console between the front seats and looks out the windshield. When we stop at lights, she sticks her head out the back window. I swear she smiles.

I am losing my mind. I bought a bag of anise bears. The other night I ate so many I decided to put the bag away to eliminate temptation. Last night, I went to get the bag. I couldn’t find it. I looked in all my usual hiding places and in some odd places like the fridge just in case. It seems I did a remarkable job at keeping temptation away. I never did find those anise bears.

“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.”

September 2, 2016

Yesterday was muggy and the afternoon was rainy, but I was glad for the rain since the cape has joined most of the rest of the state in an official drought. It rained enough all day to water my deck plants and for Gracie to get wet every time she went outside and for her to leave muddy paw prints every time she came inside.

Today is a delight. The humidity is gone, and there is a cool breeze strong enough to wave the branches. It is so pleasant to have windows open.

The cape will be inundated with tourists this weekend. It is the last big weekend of the summer and the weather will be lovely: in the mid-70’s during the days and the mid-60’s at night. Rain is forecast for Monday which seems like a metaphor for summer’s end. Cars will be bumper to bumper on the highway, all of them trying to get over the bridge and off the cape. In some years the wait was so long people played frisbee on the wide, grassy median.

When I was a kid, Labor Day really meant the end of summer traffic. Motels and restaurants closed. One-way roads went back to two-way. Main streets were no longer filled with cars. Parking lots were empty. Downtown Hyannis was like a ghost town, but things have changed. The secret is out: fall on the cape is the most wonderful time of year.  The tourist season now extends to Columbus Day weekend. Buses have joined the cars on main roads like Route 28. They rumble from site to site. They stop at the outlets and at the Christmas Tree Shop. A bus in any parking lot is a tell-tale sign to keep going. It is like a giant neon light which screams Tourists! Beware!

Fern seems a bit better, but I don’t think she is eating anything but treats. I keep offering different foods hoping she’ll be enticed. Maybe I’ll have to buy a can of human tuna. She does like the juice.

I’m thinking a deck day today. There might not be all that many left.

 

“Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless.”

November 12, 2015

Cloudy still, but finally the rain has stopped. Even the wind of last night has calmed and everything is quiet. Some leaves still hang from oak branches despite all that weather. Pine needles are everywhere covering lawns, driveways and my deck. If I had awakened from a coma and looked out the window, I’d know it was fall.

Each season has its own identity, but the identities sometimes blur when moving from one season to another. A few weeks ago was late summer and shirt-sleeve weather. My friends and I ate on the deck. Winter then sneaked in for a bit and we had temperatures in the high 30’s. Now, though, summer has finally gone and fall is here. The days are in the 50’s but the nights are colder, into the high 40’s. It isn’t yet jacket weather. A sweatshirt will suffice.

I saw where many places got snow: my sister got 3 or 4 inches in Colorado, but the mountains got far more. She said it was cold, down to the teens at night. It was sort of a run of the mill storm for her because her first snow is usually in late October or early November. She says 3 or 4 inches is nothing. I agree. I think of a snowstorm with so little snow as a sweeper, a broom instead of a shovel.

When I was a kid, any amount of snow was worthwhile. A huge storm was always the best as that would mean no school and a day spent outside building forts, throwing snowballs or sledding down the hill. A storm of tree or four inches meant fun after school, but it also brought the horrors of snow boots and ski pants. I could never get my shoes out of my boots without taking the boots off and pulling the shoes out. The ski pants went under my uniform skirt. I hated the look of the skirt over the pants, but my mother insisted as my legs would be so red from the snow and the cold when I’d get home if I didn’t wear them.

I can remember sitting at my desk looking out the window and seeing branches bent lower from the snow, the outside windows sills holding snow piles and snow falling from an occasional squall. I think all of us, my classmates and I, spent the day sighing.

“Shedding late-summer tears for the end of cherry season. Patiently and hopefully waiting for pumpkin pie season.”

August 25, 2015

The weather has broken. We have sun and a breeze. It is still hot, but the breeze makes the deck the best place to be. I’ll sit under the umbrella, read and watch the birds. The feeders need attention so I’ll fill them again today. The red spawn was on the deck rail, but it jumped onto branches then scooted away when it heard me. I guess all the hosing worked.

The summer is nearly over. There are fewer cars on the road this week. Some schools have opened and others open next week. Labor Day is in two weeks. That used to be the official end of the tourist season here when most motels and restaurants closed, but not anymore. The season now extends into October and the Columbus Day weekend.

The fall, the nicest time of year here, is probably called the shoulder season, but I always think of it as bus season. Tour buses, filled with older people, retirees, take over where the cars used to be. You can usually see the guide standing in the front of the bus chatting with microphone in hand.

The mums are here, one of the first signs of the changing seasons. They are on display at every garden center, and the ones I’ve planted the last few seasons have buds and flowers. I never noticed flower garden when I was a kid. I don’t even remember mums or a local garden center. I do remember farm stands selling pumpkins and corn stalks. We used to pass them on our Sunday drives to my grandparents. In those days much of the ride was on side roads until we connected with Route 1, but even then we drove through a few neighborhoods before we’d hit the oil tanks where the ships were moored. I remember the farm stand in Revere right near the church. The stand was set at an angle and pumpkins in piles filled both sides of the front. Inside the stand we could see those oblong fruit baskets filled with apples and vegetables. We never stopped there. We never even asked. We just knew my father would say no. He hated stopping. He was a straight here to there sort of guy.