Posted tagged ‘movie night’

“Coffee first. Save the world later.”

August 20, 2017

The morning is just so beautiful with a bright, bright sun, the bluest of skies and a slight breeze, deck weather for sure. It is already getting hot, an August heat, but the deck has branches hanging over it and an umbrella to keep the sun at bay. Tonight is movie night.

My next door neighbors barbecue every Sunday. He cooks, and it is always chicken wings, just plain chicken wings, no sauce, no sides. I can usually smell the wings cooking so I go outside to yell hello from my deck to theirs. They always invite me over.

As soon as I wake up, I look forward to my first sip of coffee. I can hear it dripping into the carafe, and the house fills with the aroma of that coffee brewing. My sense of smell works overtime. I impatiently wait and sometimes even stand in the kitchen to watch. I could take it mid-brew, but I choose to wait, to heighten the expectation.

Recently I’ve been drinking African blend which is a bit funny as I never had real coffee in Ghana, only instant. I got used to it but was never a fan. On my last trip, my friends brought coffee bags, and they tasted far better than the instant, but we had had real coffee at Zania Lodge which spoiled me a bit; however, I adjusted to the instant though my taste buds were severely disappointed.

My house is a full cape which means it has two front windows on each side of the door. In the back, there is a dormer which gives my house three floors in the back but only one floor in the front. My deck is off the second floor in the back. I like being suspended above the ground.

I have to go out to get the fixings for tonight’s movie food. We’re having a jalapeño dip with blue corn chips and maybe a Stromboli. I have the ingredients for that on my shopping list, but oftentimes my trip to the store means seeing something already made which looks delicious so I change the menu right then and there. I’m nothing if not flexible.

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.”

August 6, 2017

Today is an absolute delight. The humidity is gone, the sun is squint your eyes bright and there is a cool breeze. I even had to shut the window behind me as I found the breeze cold on my back. I opened the other window in here and both doors to let all that wonderful fresh air into the house. It is a deck day, a wonderful deck day.

Tonight is movie night. I think I’ll have a sweatshirt at the ready as it will be in the low 60’s. Even though it is early August, the weather hints at fall.

My neighbor barbecues chicken wings every Sunday. He doesn’t use any sauce. He never has any sides. His wife sits on the deck and keeps him company. If he sees me, he shouts for me to join him and his wife. I did one Sunday, the Sunday he barbecued Brazilian kielbasa especially for me. His wife made caipirinhas, a Brazilian drink I love. They call me Miss Kath.

I was taught Hausa during my Peace Corps training. It is a language indigenous to Niger but is also a Sub-Saharan trade language. There are even Hausa traders. I used to shop at their stalls on High Street. When I used Hausa, I got better deals. The man who oversaw the Peace Corps hostel spoke Hausa. He loved that I spoke his language. On the first floor of the hostel there were two sleeping rooms for women: one had a bathroom while the other was much smaller and didn’t. I was there once when very few volunteers were. He gave me a key to the big room and put everyone else in the small room. He hated what he called Yama Yama women who left powder all over the bathroom floor. Yama Yama women are street walkers so that was quite an insult. The other day Grace Awae, the former student I have spent so much time with, send hello from Facebook. I wrote back in Hausa: Ina kwana? Yaya kake? Good morning and how are you. She wrote Ina lafiya, I am fine.

I have a few deck clean-ups before tonight, mostly bird poop. I also have to clean the table. I’m making muhammara, a dish I learned to make in Marrakech. The original dish I had planned, shredded chicken phyllo rolls, has to be postponed as I don’t have the right ingredients. I thought I did. I have cheese and crackers and meatballs from last week which are now defrosting. We’ll have plenty.

If I were ten again, I’d be at the beach with my family. I’d be eating grainy sandwiches, probably bologna, and eating watermelon and some Oreos. I’d walk the beach to find shells and I’d swim in the warm tidal pools. I loved the summer Sundays of my childhood.

“You’re traveling all over the world but to be home is something special.”

August 5, 2017

The air is damp yet again and makes me feel closed in, hemmed in by the humidity. Rain is predicted for late this afternoon but the gray sky doesn’t look like a rain sky. It looks as it has in days, just gray.

Our Saturday movie night is going to be Sunday movie night because of the weather, the possibility of rain tonight. I have three new movies from which to choose: a new, unbroken Four Feathers, To Kill a Mockingbird and An American Werewolf in London. I’m leaning toward the last one. It has humor and a werewolf, an unbeatable combination.

I had to go around the parking lot three times yesterday before I found a space. It was almost right in front of the store. I gave thanks to the God of parking. I was in and out quickly, but now I find I need to go back. I didn’t read all of the recipe. I missed the sauce and its two ingredients. I figure to wait for the afternoon or for the rain.

I have a project. On the bottom shelf of my large metal table are three baskets. I keep putting stuff in them but take nothing out. They are mini closets, catch-alls for stuff I don’t know where else to put. My mother always had a junk drawer in the kitchen. My baskets are my junk drawers. I’m going to use a large trash bag for debris when I go through each basket. I’m hoping to find some surprises.

When I got home from Ghana and was hoping to find a teaching job, it never occurred to me to find a job which required international travel. I don’t know why unless it was just needing to get used to home again as I wasn’t happy here for a long time. I missed Ghana, the friendliness of the Ghanaians, the fun of market day, fresh fruit at lunch, the spectacular night sky, the wonderful smell of wood burning and so much more. It took me a while to notice the best parts of home.

Newspapers are making a comeback. The Washington Post and The New York Times, among others, are booming. Last November The Times signed up 130,000 new subscribers. I remember when I was a kid there were morning and evening papers, even special editions when something happened. I also remember getting ink all over my fingertips when I read the paper. I was mostly interested in the comics. My dad read the whole paper while he was having coffee. He got the Globe when he was a democrat and switched to the Herald when he became a republican. I get the Globe and the Cape Times. As did my father, I read the whole paper, each paper except I skip the international news in the Times having already read it in the Globe. I have a cup of coffee with each paper. I am my father’s daughter.

“Hope is a waking dream.”

July 31, 2017

Movie night was a success despite a couple of things. First, as I was taking the DVD of The Four Feathers out of its case, I broke it in half. Luckily I had a back-up, Robin Hood, with Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone. The crowd applauded at the end. It was a hit. The second issue was the cold. By the end of the movie it was 57˚. We had sweatshirts at the ready, but really, 57˚ and cold noses are late September, not mid-summer.

As I was getting the deck set for movie night, I was pelted with acorns. I knew it was a spawn of Satan hiding somewhere on a branch above me. I kept checking from the direction of the falling acorns, but I couldn’t see it. I saw a branch moving, but the spawn was well hidden, a sniper of sorts.

Today is warm and promises to be hot by early afternoon. I’m thinking some deck time under the umbrella with a cold drink and a good book will be a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

My laundry is in limbo. I washed it but left it in the washer so I’ll wash it again today then put it in the dryer. I haven’t anything else needing to be done. Yesterday was busy getting ready so today will be a vacation of sorts. I have leftovers so I don’t need to cook. There is still room in the trash so no dump. The den is back to being the den for the daytime as I folded and put away the sheet and pillow until tonight.

Turning 70 is a huge milestone. I’m thinking I need to do something amazing to celebrate the occasion. I have no idea what that is. When I was a little kid, I dreamed about the future, what I’d do and what I’d become. Though my life has been even larger than those dreams, I still have dreams. I’d like to sky dive and learn to dive in the ocean. I want to travel across America by train. I’d like one more visit to Ghana, in 2021, fifty years since I left the first time. Seeing Asia is also on my to go list. The only obstacle to both trips is, as always, saving enough money, but if I want to go badly enough, I’ll just have to do that. Dreams are hopes. We always need hopes.

“The sky has a huge heart open for all clouds even on the gloomiest of days.”

July 29, 2017

The air is so thick with moisture everything is still, nothing can move. Rain is expected. I’m thinking about changing movie night to tomorrow because, even if it doesn’t rain, the dampness will make the night chilly. Gracie and I have already been out twice. As I sat on the steps waiting for her, I watched the birds fly in and out of the feeders. When Gracie was done, we sat outside for a bit.

The sky is gray, different degrees of gray. I have a light on but only in this room. I’m keeping the darkness at bay.

We are a house of old creatures. Maddie, the cat, will be 17 and Gracie 12. I will be 70. I accommodate all their needs and give them the best food and tons of love hoping to keep them happy and healthy. Gracie actually eats more vegetables than I do. Her can this morning had green beans and corn. Both of them are nap takers, several naps a day, yet they still sleep all night. Life is good for all of us.

I have a list of chores to do around the house today. The laundry is first on that list. It still sits by the cellar door and is growing day by day. The rest of the chores are far less daunting.

The movie night is officially switched to tomorrow night because of the weather, and all my guests can be there. The menu is set. We’re having meatball, sausage or bratwurst sub sandwiches in marinara sauce. I’m also making a salad with all sort of goodies like dried cranberries, candied walnuts and cherry tomatoes. The sub rolls are from the pasta shop, the sausage from the butcher’s. I bought shrimp and cocktail sauce from the seafood store for one of our appetizers. I was all over the place shopping.

I’m surprised at how quiet it is today. Where are the mowers? Where are the kids? Why aren’t the dogs barking? Where is anybody?

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

July 27, 2017

My quiet mornings ended this morning. I heard a dog barking, a little girl yelling from down the street, two mowers from different directions and voices from the next door deck. Gracie even barked out the front door. I didn’t bother to get up to see why. I was hoping to fall back to sleep, but then it got quiet and the silence was as loud as the noise.

Today I have people. Skip, my factotum, is completing the deck decorating. He has connected the umbrella light, gotten the fountain working and put down the deck rug. The barbecue has been cleaned, and the squirrel nest on the tray underneath the burners has been cleared. My shower has a new board replacing the mushy one. New lights are on the rails just waiting for the spawns to eat. Lee and Rosanna, my cleaning couple, are due here in the afternoon. Peapod is coming Saturday morning with all my groceries. My job is to write checks, worthwhile checks, as a recent study has shown that if you hire people to do household jobs you are far happier. That would be me sitting here with a grin on my face.

It was sunny when I woke up, but clouds have taken over the sky, and the breeze makes the air feel a bit chilly. Last night I woke up cold and added a light blanket. How silly this weather is for late July.

My menu is set, my movie chosen and the deck is ready for movie night. The only issue is the weather. It may rain on Saturday night at the movies so we’ll have Sunday night at the movies.

I’m getting the urge to cook again. I used to love making new recipes and inviting people to dinner. I’ve been mulling an international dinner with dishes from a variety of countries, each identified by a tiny flag. It would be fun.

When I worked, I had a schedule for weekdays and another for weekends. I got everything done: the cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry and garden and lawn work. Now I have people. The only thing left for me is the laundry, and I admit I procrastinate. The laundry bag sits in front of the cellar door for a few days and sometimes even a week. I don’t even care. If I could hire a laundress I would. I have no pride!

“Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.”

July 17, 2017

I turned off the air conditioner just to refresh the house, but that’s not going to happen. The air is thick with humidity, and there is no breeze to stir it. There are clouds where there is supposed to be sun. It will be 77˚ at the highest and in the mid-60’s tonight.

Movie night was fun, and the appetizers were delicious. We noshed on a feta dip with pita chips, cold cuts in baguettes, delicious cheeses and honeyed figs. Gunga Din was as wonderful an old movie as I remembered. It was one of those movies with a cast of thousands. The night was humid and hot but cooled down as we watched. I have neighbors on one side and renters on the other. I always wonder if they’re a bit jealous of us watching movies outside in the summer, such a wonderful way to spend a warm evening.

Summer had its own set of rules when I was a kid. The street lights no longer controlled our play time. We stayed out after dark. Bedtime was when we went to bed. Meals were usually catch as catch can except for supper which my mother cooked for all of us.  Mostly it was cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. We’d make our own. Bologna with hot peppers was my favorite sandwich. The peppers were round so I had to cut them, but they were still thick. The bologna came in a roll so I had to cut slices which were never even; they were thin on one side and thick on the other. My sandwiches were messy. White bread was just too soft and easily prone to holes. For dessert we’d grab Oreos, but they quick to disappear. The week days were ours to do as we wanted. My mother would ask where we were going, but most times we didn’t know. Riding our bikes or going to the playground were our usual answers. At least one weekend day was family day when we were stuck together in the hot car going to the beach on Sunday or to a drive-in movie theater Saturday night.

As we got older, we spent less and less time with the family and more time with our friends. I had drill two nights a week and competitions on the weekends. I slept late every day. My bicycle stayed in the cellar. My friends picked me up with their cars. Sometimes we did nothing but ride around. Other times we hung at one house or another just talking and laughing. That was pretty much the end of family time, but it reappeared when I was older, living away and teaching. I’d spend a weekend at my parents’ house. I even remember the three of us going to a drive-in together. The movie was A New Leaf with Walter Matthau and Elaine May. We laughed a lot. I had a wonderful evening with my parents.