Posted tagged ‘Mother Nature’

“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.

“…that lightning bolt was mine”

August 8, 2014

My sanity is still in question. I think I look like Barbara Bush with my eyes bulging out of my head. Yesterday a trip which takes at most an hour and a half took three and a half hours. On a normal ride home, I would have zipped through Boston on down to the bridge, but yesterday it took me over and hour and a half just to get out of Boston and not even far out of the city at that. I had to stop for gas and a bathroom break, an unplanned stop as I had expected to be home well before I needed either of those. My friend Tony came to the house twice to let Miss Gracie out and on the second trip he fed her dinner. I, in the meanwhile, was a crazy woman sitting in the car going nowhere.

As I was sitting in traffic I could see lightning bolts coming from dark clouds ahead. They looked like the sort I used to draw with black crayons when I was a kid. They had edges and angles. I liked watching the lightning especially because it was ahead of me. Come to find out, weather was ahead of me the whole time so I missed it all. The cape had torrential downpours and hail. When I got home, my lawn still had snow, and it was cold out, in the high 50’s. Luckily Tony had closed my windows so I avoided a flood. The road wasn’t as lucky. One spot had water covering the road and up and over the sidewalks. I saw the lake ahead of time and slowed down, but a car coming the other way didn’t, and I was blinded for a bit by the water spray from the car as it sped through. I checked my rear view and the car was dead on the side of the road, probably from a soaked engine. I left him behind, turned the corner and another corner and I, both grumpy and exhausted, was finally home.

Today is lovely with no humidity, lots of sun and a temperature in the low 70’s. I figure Mother Nature is trying to make up for yesterday. I’ll take her apology.