Posted tagged ‘Mother Nature’

“Sunday, the day for the language of leisure.”

June 11, 2017

The heat is here. It is already 80˚ and it isn’t even noon. Just last week we were complaining about the cold, and now we’ve in the middle of our comeuppance, compliments of Mother Nature. The next two days will also be hot until Wednesday when the 60’s return so we can complain about the cold all over again.

The first thing I heard this morning when I was taking Gracie out was the sound of a bouncing ball. One of the kids down the street was shooting hoops. He was all by himself.

Every Sunday my neighbor barbecues. The meat is either chicken wings or kielbasa, which he buys at the Brazilian butcher. The kielbasa is delicious and quite different from the kielbasa the grocery store sells. My neighbor usually yells hello from his deck and invites me over. I always say no as Sunday is game night. I figure my next trip to Hyannis will include a stop at the Brazilian butcher.

Flowers are postponed until tomorrow. I’m going to stay home with Gracie. She ate yesterday and held it down but isn’t hungry today except for treats. I’m thinking she’s maybe taking me for a ride.

My grandnephew turned five yesterday. When he was asked what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said pan for gold. His mother, my niece, had no idea where that came from, maybe TV was her guess, but they did find a place, it is Colorado after all, which included a tour of the gold mine, panning in the river and then pizza at the restaurant. My sister, the grandmother, said it was the best time, and the pizza was to die for. Nobody found any gold.

I bought a variety pack of cereals the other day. I remembered them from when I was a kid. The boxes opened along the perforations on the top and then the box became a bowl.  I always thought it was kind of neat.

I’ve dubbed today a lazy day. I’ll take my shower but that is the extent of my exertions. I’m thinking a nap. Sunday seems to lend itself to napping.

“It is not the cook’s fault when the cassava turns out to be hard and tasteless.”

March 7, 2017

Mother Nature has it out for me. This morning as Gracie and I were going to the far side of the deck it started to rain. I walked Gracie down the stairs and went back inside the house. My sweatshirt had gotten wet. I then went to get the papers and yesterday’s mail. My sweatshirt got wetter, and I was cold. The rain stopped not long after I got into the house.

Today is much warmer at 40˚. It may even get as high as 45˚. A bit of sunshine would be welcomed, but I’m stuck with clouds and a rainy day. I suppose I’ll survive.

The other night I had a fluffernutter for dinner. I was in the mood for peanut butter and Fluff was the perfect partner. The only thing missing was Wonder Bread.

I love cheese of all sorts except blue cheese and any of its relatives. When I was a kid, we ate yellow cheese and only yellow cheese. It came in a block. It didn’t have much flavor but made for a wonderfully gooey grilled cheese sandwich. I don’t remember when I found real cheese. The first was probably cheddar.

In the beginning of Peace Corps training, eating Ghanaian food was cause for bathroom runs (think dual definition for this word). One night I fell asleep upright my back to the wall on one of the steps leading to the school bathrooms. I didn’t trust the distance between my room and the bathroom. It seemed to take forever, but by the end of training, my stomach had accepted its lot. Most of the time I was just fine though there were still moments. Ghanaian food can do that to you. Every time I visit Ghana I eat and drink what I want. Living here removed any fears or even thoughts of germs or diseases. It is what it is. I also make bathroom runs. They’re like the price of admission.

“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”

January 26, 2017

“Rain, rain go away come again another day.” When I was young, I thought this nursery rhyme had a bit of magic about it. If I sang it enough times, the sun would reappear, and I could go out to play. I’m singing it now with the same hope. It has been raining since Monday. The sky alternates between angry clouds and greyish white clouds. The rain is sometimes heavy and other times just a fine mist, spitting rain my mother use to call it. I saw the sun for an hour or so the other day. It gave me a bit of hope.

I do a couple of house chores every day. Yesterday I watered plants, changed my bed and paid my bills. I haven’t gone anywhere, haven’t wanted or needed to. Tomorrow, though, I have a list of errands so Gracie and I will hit the road. Maybe if I cross my fingers and wish for sun, it might work.

When I was young, I had snow boots but not rain boots. Nobody I knew had them either. I also didn’t have a raincoat or an umbrella. I always got wet. It was the usual thing.

During the rainy season in Ghana, I got wet. Sometimes I had to run from my house to the classroom block when the rain was heavy, but I didn’t mind. The rain was always welcome. I’d even shop in the market while it was raining, but if the rain got really heavy, I’d stand in the doorway of a building or inside a small kiosk until it lightened or stopped. The rain was a gift to make crops grow.

I love the sound of rain. Even when I was kid, I loved the rain beating on my bedroom window. In Ghana the rain on the tin roof of my classroom was sometimes so loud that I couldn’t teach, but I could fall asleep listening to the rain. Its steady beat was comforting in a way, amost like music, maybe even a lullaby.

“The brain may die, but my compulsion for useless trivia lives on.”

September 17, 2016

3 days and counting!

The perfect weather continues. It is as if Mother Nature is apologizing for all that heat in August. The days are warm and the nights cool, even cold. If I were given the power to control the weather, I would first make it rain then I would create days just like today.

All over my table are sticky notes. Some are related to my trip like a list of passwords and a  list of things to pack I might not remember like the travel toilet paper, an essential in Ghana, another is new TV programs I want to DVR while I’m gone. The list of stuff I need at Stop and Shop keeps getting bigger. Today I added a small notepad and AA batteries.

Yesterday I set a new record at Agway. I bought everything the cats and Gracie need while I’m gone. I spent $223.00. A brass band accompanied me to the car. The band major twirled his baton as I filled the trunk. Most of the stuff is still there. Leandro, one-half of my cleaning couple, is coming today with his mother Lu, my pet and house sitter. Lee is always quite happy to bring the heavy stuff into the house. I, however, had to drag the heavy dry dog food, a can of dog food, three cans of cat food and a bag of treats into the house this morning. My back is moaning quite loudly.

The street is quiet this morning for a Saturday. I wonder where all the kids are.

Learning new things is fun for me. I have this weird memory which holds on to facts and information seldom needed. That makes me good at trivia. Once I was quite able to remember Ernie the Keebler Elf and Thimble Theater, where  Popeye first appeared. My team accepted Ernie but not Popeye. I forget which character they chose, but they were wrong. Coming up with Popeye is what I mean by a weird memory.

My sister is getting tired of me talking about Ghana. She doesn’t get it, how important the country is to me. I have all these memories rushing to the front from the back drawers of my memory cabinet. I’m almost gushing.

Well, according to my list, I have much to do. I need to be off and loping, not running-I am passed that.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

June 20, 2016

Today is the longest day of the year. The summer solstice, the first day of summer, starts at 6:34 tonight. Mother Nature, usually quite fickle, did her part and came through with a glorious day. The sun is squint your eyes bright, the sky a deep blue, the breeze cool and strong and the temperature is in the 70’s. I can hear my chimes from the backyard.Their sound is lovely. I think today is glorious.

I have always been a fan of fantasy and science fiction, and I mean always. Even as a young kid I read all of the books on the science fiction shelf in the children’s section in my town’s library. There weren’t many. I wouldn’t discover Bradbury, Asimov or Heinlein until I was a bit older. The Lord of the Rings was in my book locker from Peace Corps. It was quite a gift. I think I read them twice. It wasn’t until later I found out about The Hobbit. I read the whole George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice twenty years ago. I waited a long while for books four and five, and I’m still waiting for book six. I have watched HBO’s Game of Thrones from the start. It has been excellent. My sister is the only other person I know who watches. I called her this morning as I really needed to discuss last night. It was the battle for House Stark to reclaim its home, Winterfell. I have never seen a battle such as that with mounds of the dead. Even the wildling giant did not survive, but before he died, he did get the gates of Winterfell open. Ramsey, the heinous enemy, was beaten to a pulp by Jon Snow, the hero. Ramsey wasn’t killed. He was tied up and put in prison where Sansa Stark, who had been abused by him, visited, “Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear,” was what she told him just before freeing his hounds who hadn’t been fed for days expecting they’d dine on Jon Snow. Ramsey screamed and Sansa smiled as she walked away.

Today is dump day. I went the other day but didn’t have a new sticker so I couldn’t leave my trash. It waits in the trunk.

Our trip to Ghana is rolling along. We have our tickets and reservations for a hotel in Accra. We are now working on reservations at Zaina Lodge in Mole Game Park. It is a luxury experience for $350.00 dollars a night which includes all food and beverages, the room and two safaris. They will pick us up at the airport for an added fee. At the end of our stay, we can hire a car from there to take us to Bolga.

Grace, my former student, says she is counting the days. I am too!

“Anyone who’s just driven 90 yards against huge men trying to kill them has earned the right to do Jazz hands. ”

October 13, 2015

My mornings rarely start early, but today the alarm jarred me awake at the God awful hour of 7:30. I had a library board meeting at nine and I wanted time for coffee and some of the paper. After the meeting I did my three errands. This has been a most industrious morning for me.

It started raining last night and was still raining when I woke up. Mother Nature must have looked kindly on me because the rain stopped for the few minutes it took me to get the papers then it started pouring when I got inside. The sun came out around 10 for a while then the clouds came back, but it must be a peek-a-boo day as the sun is back.

The day is warm. The morning was filled with the sounds of birds, and the rain brought a sweetness to the air. It is supposed to get really cold by the end of the week so I will savor today.

My father was a football and hockey fan. He thought baseball was boring and just didn’t enjoy basketball. We were poles apart. Basketball and baseball were always my favorites, and I never did like hockey. I abided football but didn’t understand much of it. Baseball has always been my top favorite sport. The cellar dwellers, the Sox, were a cheap Saturday afternoon in the bleachers when I was a kid. Now they are still cellar dwellers but even the bleachers are expensive. I usually try to go once each year but mostly I watch them on TV. I haven’t been to a Celtics’ game in a long while because I seemed to have lost interest. Filling the gap has been football. My dad would have loved to have someone watch with him, and he’d be thrilled at the success of the Pats. He watched them in their early days, their struggling years. He yelled a lot at the TV. I watch every Pats game, and I now understand the general rules of the game, most infractions and even some strategy. I’m hazy about some positions and their responsibilities, but that doesn’t deter me from enjoying the game. I yell at the TV. My dad would be proud!

“Sounds are three-dimensional, just like images. They come at you from every direction.”

June 23, 2015

Mother Nature is being deceptive. The morning is lovely with sun glinting through the leafy boughs of the trees I can see right outside my window. Patches of blue sky spread across the sky. The breeze is just right. Mother Nature, though, is toying with us. This afternoon and evening we’ll have thunder storms. The night will be chilly and damp.

Even as a kid I was never afraid of thunder or lightning. The louder and more dramatic the storm, the more I liked it. I remember how the house shook when thunder boomed right overhead. The jagged bolts of lightning brightened the sky. I remember clapping for the best in show.

My childhood was filled with sounds, and I have a few favorites. Roller-skates created wonderfully different sounds depending on the surfaces where I roller skated. In the street my wheels rolling on the sand made a grating sound, a harsh sound, and small pebbles were cause for a less than smooth ride. Tar was the best surface on which to skate. The sound was gentle, almost a humming, and the ride was smooth. The sidewalk had small inclines leading to the gutter and the street. We used to roll down those inclines which gave us the momentum to keep going without any effort, but it was tar to street which took a bit of skill. The peepers at the swamp at night made the best sounds. I used to imagine aliens were landing because that was what the song of the peepers sounded like to me. It was a strange whistling, like the sound a ship might make moving swiftly through the air. Grasshoppers sang in the field below my house, and when we walked through the field, the sound got louder almost as if in alarm. The grasshoppers would jump in front of us sometimes three or four at a time. Theirs was a pretty song.

I remember the sounds of kids playing in the backyards all over the neighborhood. I remember the sound of my mother’s voice when she yelled out the back door. Sometimes it was a warning to stay away from the lines of drying laundry while other times it was an invitation to come inside for dinner. In my neighborhood fathers never yelled out the back door. That was always the job for mothers.