Posted tagged ‘mornings’

“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!

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“Morning is the dream renewed, the heart refreshed, earth’s forgiveness painted in the colors of the dawn.”

August 28, 2017

I love these cool and sunny mornings. When I take Gracie out, I sit on the shaded back steps for a while until I get cold or until I can smell the coffee.

There is something wonderful about mornings. The whole day is in front of me. I can do what I please and seldom have expectations as to what the day might bring. I take everything as it comes. Sometimes I have lists, but they are more like guidelines. If I don’t want to do anything, I don’t. There’s always tomorrow.

My morning rituals take about 5 minutes to complete before I can sit and drink my coffee, also a ritual I suppose. They are the only parts of the day which never change. I take Gracie out and then feed her and Maddie breakfast. The two patiently wait knowing what’s coming. After breakfast each gets a treat. Maddie’s patience is usually gone by then, and she meows at me while Gracie just sits waiting. Satisfied, the two then take their first naps of the day.

When I was a kid, I was seldom home on a summer day. I’d go to the playground or  roam around on my bike. My mother never really knew where I was at any given time,  but she didn’t worry. No mothers worried back then. Our world was small, confined mostly to the neighborhood, the school and church and to the main square of our town where the library, the movie theater and the stores were. Nothing bad ever happened when I was a kid.

My mother taught us not to talk to strangers. I figure she was just hedging her bets. My town didn’t have strangers. I think my father knew everybody. He and my mother had lived there since before high school, before they’d met each other. I was simply George’s oldest, and people would stop me and say hello and tell me to say hello to my mother or father or both.

I hitchhiked when I was a senior in high school and when I was in college. I also hitched when I was in Ghana which was a quicker way to get home than to wait for the lorry to fill. Never did I think of my mother and her admonition about strangers. I just wanted to get from one place to another. Nothing ever happened. I never even felt threatened. That’s the way it was back then.

“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”

August 30, 2016

Most mornings are starting the same way. I turn off the air conditioner because the air is cool. The sun bobs in and out of the clouds. It gets dark for a while then lightens. The animals nap. Maddie prefers the chair, Fern the couch and Gracie her crate. I have a couple of cups of coffee, one with each newspaper. It is quiet both inside and outside.

Yesterday I did laundry. Today we’re going to the dump. Peapod came last night so now my larder is full. Mostly I order the same things, but this time I added a few new items. I bought popsicles. They didn’t have root beer so I went with the combo of cherry, orange and grape. I’m not a big grape fan, but I do love cherry. I also bought bagels, onion bagels. I like them toasted crispy and slathered with cream cheese. I also went wild and ordered crunchy peanut butter.

I had a hankering for Chinese food yesterday so I ordered take out for dinner. It was delicious: jumbo shrimp, spare ribs and house special fried rice. I added the hot mustard to the sweet sauce for dipping. My eyes watered from the heat of the combination. It reminded me of my father who used the mustard straight. He had to blow his nose a lot. It was a good thing he carried handkerchiefs.

Usually I fall asleep almost as soon as I go to bed. Last night was an exception. I didn’t even go upstairs until after one and then tossed and turned for an hour. I gave up the idea of sleeping and watched Netflix on my iPad. It was The Fifth Wave, not a great movie but good enough for two in the morning. It wasn’t enough. I was still wide awake. I watched a few episodes of The Last Ship. By then it was after four. Finally, I fell asleep. I’m tired.

“After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,…”

August 20, 2016

The mornings are fresh and cool. It is in the afternoons when the days become uncomfortable, hot and  humid. I turn on the air conditioning and shut out the world. I prefer comfort.

Another birthday celebration was last night. We had appetizers on the deck, played a game which I lost then dined inside. We had ribs, one of my favorites. I opened my present which was a hoodie with a boxer outlined on the front in a facsimile of the flag in muted colors. It is perfect. We watched the Red Sox win handily. I drank cosmos. It was a wonderful finale for my birthday.

On TCM today is Humphrey Bogart day. This morning I watched Across the Pacific, a movie filmed in 1942 reuniting Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet and Humprey Bogart. In a secondary role is Victor Sen Yung, famous for being Charlie Chan’s number 2 son Jimmy and Hop Sing, the cook for the Cartwrights. Humphrey stars as Rick, a familiar name for Bogart from my favorite movie, Casablanca, also released in 1942, which will be on later. In Across the Pacific, Bogart is a passenger on a Japanese ship and working undercover: pretending to be a disgraced US military officer who is willing to trade information for money. One of the minor characters was described as having dipsomania, much more polite than calling him a drunk. Aside from the pidgin English of the Japanese, I liked the movie.

Saturday used to be my chore day. I’d clean the house, grocery shop and do an assortment of errands. Today I have only one errand: Agway for animal food. The house doesn’t need any cleaning, but I just might change my bed.

I have been retired for twelve years. Even I can’t believe how long it has been. Leisurely days have been an easy fit for me. I found out that most things, other than appointments, can be delayed. I used to feel guilty if I didn’t get everything done. Now I don’t care.

“At the base level, a burger is a piece of meat and a bun with something on it. It’s simple but it seems to make a lot of people happy.”

June 27, 2016

I love my den in the mornings. The cool night air lingers, and I can see the beauty of the day through my window. I hear birds singing and my chimes sweetly ringing. The three pets take their morning naps on their usual spots: Maddie on the chair and Fern and Gracie each sleeping on a couch pillow.

Every Monday I spend an hour or more with my neighbor. I was helping her learn the booklet for her citizenship test, and she passed that and has been sworn in as an American citizen. Now we just chat as we are concentrating on her verbal English. We are working mostly on has or have. Sometimes I have no idea what she is trying to tell me so we go slowly word by word. I help her pronounce words. English isn’t easy is what she tells me all the time.

The Fern crisis has put me behind. I haven’t yet connected the adaptor to the umbrella nor have I started the fountain. The rail lights stopped working, and I haven’t replaced. This is my deck week. Today I need clay pots and flowers to replace the ones the spawn broke. I sometimes wish I were Granny Clampett happy to have a squirrel for stew. I’d be in the kitchen chopping vegetables right now.

In Iceland I had Icelandic game for dinner at a really lovely small restaurant. I always like to try food native to any country I’m visiting. The meat was wonderful, perfectly spiced and cooked. I remember puffin and goose, but there was one more meat I don’t remember. My neighbors are Brazilian. In the summer I can smell their dinner cooking. It is not an aroma I know. Come to find out it is a meat stew served with a side of rice and plantain. One night I was there for a barbecue. They served linguica which was a very different linguica than the sort I usually buy. This was Brazilian, not Portuguese. It looked like any sausage, not the reddish color I buy. You buy this by the pound and it’s one long strand of meat. It reminded me of what they use for intestines on The Walking Dead. That may sound gross, but it didn’t prevent me from digging right in. The meat was so delicious I decided right then and there I would make the trek to Hyannis and the Brazilian butcher.

The only food which made me think twice was grasscutter in Ghana. It was a giant rodent. I think if I had seen it before eating it I would have been hesitant, but I had been eating it for year or more so I just didn’t care. Bring on the rodent.

“Every morning a new sun greets us and our new life begins.”

August 13, 2015

Gracie and I are out on the deck. She is sleeping in the shade of the oak and pine trees. It isn’t quiet. Inside my house Roseanne and Lee are cleaning, and I can hear the vacuum and conversations in Portuguese. My next door neighbor is back from Brazil. I can hear her yelling at her kids, but she too speaks Portuguese so I have no idea what the kids are doing. The ever-present birds fly in and out. They eat at the feeders and wait in line to use the fountain as a bird bath. Gracie thinks it’s a water fountain. All of us appreciate it. The day is lovely, warm in the sun but cool with a nice breeze in the shade. I am in the perfect spot.

Yesterday morning I was up early. When I went to get the papers, I could feel, hear and smell the morning. That probably sounds strange, but I swear early mornings are different. It doesn’t matter where you are. Ground fog rises in the morning and lingers until the sun holds sway. Birds sing louder than during any other part of day. On city streets, outside the small cafes, sidewalks are swept and chairs and tables are arranged. Some places serve eggs and bacon but others serve cold cuts, rolls and cheese. The bread is always fresh, soft. In other places the smell of wood burning fills the air as breakfast is cooked over the flames. Smoke curls above the fires. There are fewer people out and about in the early mornings. They always look a bit sleepy to me as if they have yet to find the day.

I am also drawn to the night. I love staying up late and being the only one still awake. The houses around me are dark except for the one behind me. He leaves his back light on. I think of him as the unpleasant neighbor. If Gracie barks more than three times, he yells which makes her bark more. He plays his country music so loud on Saturdays I have to go inside the house for a bit of peace. I don’t yell, one in the neighborhood is enough.

Last night I went outside to try to see the meteors. I was barefoot and walked tentatively as I didn’t turn on the light. My feet got wet on the grass, but I avoided the pitfalls and made it to the road without incident. I stayed for about 40 minutes, saw only two, got discouraged and went inside.

“When I mentioned my early morning waking to the old witch down the street, she explained that this is the time the “ceiling is the thinnest,” the moment that the earth’s creatures have the greatest access to the heavens… It is a magical time, or so she said.”

April 21, 2015

Today is cloudy, but the day is so light the sun must be hidden behind the grey. Earlier, morning fog covered all the bushes and the lower branches of the trees. It’s warm, far warmer than I expected. Despite the clouds, I think it’s a nice day. The street cleaner rumbled by a couple of times sweeping the winter storm sand to the sides of the street. It is not a quiet truck.

My morning routine seldom differs. I wake up whenever, feed the cats, let the dog out, put the coffee on, go out and get the papers and yesterday’s mail, give Gracie her morning treats then grab a cup of coffee and settle in with the papers. I like my mornings.

No matter where I am, the mornings are different from the rest of the day. If I’m on a trip, I love to get up really early and wander the streets. I get to watch the day unfold. People sweep. Shopkeepers wear white aprons and have long-handled brooms. Africans wear colorful cloths and have hard grass brooms with no handles. They have to bend to use them. In cities, trucks stop in streets to unload goods for stores and restaurants. In one hotel my room’s window faced a side street where the trucks parked. They were my wake-up call every morning. In Santa Fe I sat on a bench and watched the Indians set up their wares while I munched on pastry and drank coffee. It was so early the square was empty of other people. At Gettysburg, I was awake before the park opened so I waited and was the first that morning to wander the battlefield. It was covered in ground fog. It was quiet as befitting a memorial.

Early mornings here on the Cape are quiet in the summer. The tourists are late risers. I sometimes go out to breakfast but most times I get coffee and take a ride. I watch quahoggers raking the river bottom while seagulls swoop and fly in circles over their heads hoping for a handout. Seagulls are always loud.

I know I’ve told you before, but I love African mornings most of all. They are filled with the smells of charcoal fires and the sounds of women pounding their mortar with pestles to make fufu. The sound is rhythmic. Everyone is up early in Ghana, even I was. I hated to miss any part of the morning.