Posted tagged ‘rain’

“A rainy day is like a lovely gift — you can sleep late and not feel guilty.”

October 14, 2017

It was a late night so it is a late morning, actually an early afternoon. I was still awake at four when Gracie finally settled, Maddie got comfortable on my sweatshirt, and I was snuggled under the afghan to stave off the chill.

This morning when I took Gracie out I was surprised to see everything was wet, and the air was a bit chilly from the dampness. I came back inside and put on my sweatshirt which Maddie had been kind enough to leave for me. It’s raining again. I opened the window behind me to hear the drops on the leaves in the side yard. It started as a gentle rain but is now heavier, a steady storm.

I have no lists today. I could do a couple of errands but I’ll wait until tomorrow. Today I have designated a do nothing day.

My friend Bill keeps track of the weather in Bolga where we lived. I checked today, and it is currently 94˚, a cool day. Tomorrow will be 99˚ and every day for the rest of the week will be over 100˚ but will drop to the low 70’s at night. I used a woven wool blanket this time of year as the 30˚ drop was chilling. It was an unexpected but wonderful feeling being cold. I still have that wool blanket.

My house is dark except for a lit nightlight and a small driftwood tree lit with white lights in the bathroom and a strand of scallop shells and a cluster of red peppers lit in the kitchen. They give the house a cozy feel.

I’m watching a really bad movie called Deep Space. You’re probably thinking of course you are. The creature sort of looks like giant bug with lots of legs and sharp teeth. I had to laugh when it traveled on a sidewalk as it looked like a wind-up. None of its legs moved. It attacks by jumping at the necks of its victims. A few babies just as lethal as their mama have been born. The death count of their victims is rising.

It feels strange to have a Saturday with no baseball.

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“Nothing in life… Even a few broken bones, is without its reward”

October 9, 2017

The rain started last and has continued intermittently all morning; of course, it started raining when I brought Gracie outside. Isn’t that always the way? The drops were big, and they made a thud sound when they fell on leaves. We both got a little wet.

Last night the arms of Morpheus eluded me. I was awake until almost four. I alternated between reading my new book and watching Netflix where I binged on a documentary about emergency rooms. Each episode highlighted three or four patients. The one that grossed me out was about the guy whose foot had gangrene. It had to be amputated. I watched every episode.

Watching emergency had me thinking about my own medical history. When I was four, I broke my wrist. I was so proud of my cast I showed it off for the camera in a couple of pictures. I have also broken my cheekbone and my shoulder, and I chipped and broke teeth and lost a bit of my lip on one memorable fall down the stairs, which I don’t even remember. My ankle was severely sprained when I fell off the front step after I stepped on an out of place welcome mat, one of the great ironies. That is the entire litany of my injuries which really isn’t too long a list considering how many times I have fallen. I guess I’ve become an expert at mitigating the damage. I’m so proud!

Today I have a list of stuff to do before my guests come tomorrow, but I have to work around the Sox game which may be at one if it isn’t raining in Boston at game time. I figure between innings I can get hurry and some stuff done.

I love rainy days. The darkness in the house is warming in a strange way. I leave candle lights on in the windows and a night light in the bathroom. In this room, the computer is the only light. Gracie is sleeping beside me. She’s snoring. It sounds loud in the quiet house. Yesterday the doors and a couple of windows were open, but today the house is tightly shut to keep the moisture and the cool air at bay. I have to go out later to get a few groceries, and I think it might just be sweatshirt weather.

“Each day has a color, a smell.”

October 8, 2017

The day is cloudy dark. Rain is predicted. It is also windy which makes it feel colder than it is. I had to shut the back door. Last night was Gracie busy. She had me up every couple of hours, and we went out at 3:30. I went back to sleep but woke up when I heard her moving around at 8:00, but she readily jumped on the couch with me, and we both slept until 10.

I did all my errands yesterday. I had a route in mind, but the cars in long lines at the lights had me reconsider how to get there from here. I should have realized they’d be lines as this is, after all, a three day weekend, sort of summer’s last hurrah. Today is a stay off the roads day as the weekenders will be driving around looking for something to do.

I can smell wood burning again. The smell has again triggered memories. I remember overnights at Camp Aleska, the Girl Scout camp in the town where I grew up. The camp was up a dirt road across from the zoo and was surrounded by tall pine trees. Paths were behind the camp and led all through the woods. There was one big room in the camp with a huge fireplace. My favorite part of the overnight was falling asleep as the fire waned and the embers glowed in the dark. I have mentioned mornings in Ghana several times. The air smelled of wood fires as breakfast was cooked over wood charcoal. In the market, huge bags of charcoal were for sale. In some villages tree trunks were slowly burned into charcoal and bags of it were for sale on the sides of the road. Even the irons were filled with wood charcoal.

At night, aunties, older women, sitting along the sides of the main road in Bolga cooked food over wood charcoal and sold it.  I remember the smell in the air was a combination of the wood charcoal burning and food cooking at my nighttime snack stops. That was the first time I ever tasted grilled corn and deep fried plantain and yam chips. Guinea fowl was rare, but I always bought it if I found it. I remember the spots of light from the lit lanterns up and down the street and the blazing embers under metal bowls filled with groundnut oil where the food cooked.

I am ever so thankful for having served in Ghana and for the memories still strong and vibrant.

“I told myself that I was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday.”

September 30, 2017

During the night, I grabbed the afghan as my house had gotten so cold. This morning it was 66˚. I admit I turned on the heat for a while until the house was warmer. Putting on a sweatshirt also helped. The sun was out when Gracie and I got the papers. Now the sky is cloudy, and rain is predicted for this afternoon and evening. I have nowhere I have to be today, and I’m glad.

Saturday has always been my favorite day. When I was a kid, I had the whole day to do what I wanted. Breakfast and favorite programs were first then I was out the door. Mostly I rode my bike so I could explore more. No part of town was out of riding reach. The best end of town was the zoo. It didn’t cost anything in those days. Sometimes we’d ride to the next town over and bike around Lake Quannapowitt. Other times we had no destination. We just rode around town and checked out our favorite places like the house of the newspaper and rag man which had a huge porch and an out-building, both filled with papers. We’d check out the town barn and the horses. On warm days, the firemen sat outside the station in front of the engine bays, and we’d stop to talk with them. They’d let us go check out the fire engines. We’d ride down the hilly driveway to the schoolyard then skid in the sand along the sides of the yard just for the fun of it. I don’t remember ever being bored, even in winter we found stuff to do.

When I was in Ghana, I’d go into town on a Saturday and roam the market hoping to find something unexpected. When I’d finished, I’d sit and have a cold Coke at the one place which had a fridge. It was the last store in a line of stores on the main street. It had a few tables and chairs outside. It was there an American guy stopped to talk to me. He wanted to know where the bare-breasted women were. I was angry and horrified. I told him so. He quickly left. I never ran into him again.

When I was working, I wanted one free day to do whatever I wanted. Saturday was the perfect choice, the historical choice. Once in a while I’d grocery shop on Saturday and once a month I’d dust and vacuum, but mostly Saturday was for fun.

Now I always say every day is Saturday.

 

“There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational- or in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t.”

September 28, 2017

Sometime during the night it rained. I slept through it. The street and the yard were still damp when I woke up late, close to ten. The air is wet, humid. The sky is gray. There is a breeze but it does little to clear the air. Today is the last day of the heat, according to the weatherman. Tonight the temperature will go down to the low 50’s.

I filled all the bird feeders this morning. The bottoms of a couple of them had mold and the seeds were in a clump. I cleaned every one. Last I checked, the bird weren’t back yet.

Huzzah! Huzzah! The first load of laundry is in the washer. A second load sits on the floor waiting its turn. I can’t remember the last time I had so much laundry. These two full loads are testaments to my sloth.

In Ghana, I had my laundry done when I lived there and when I visited. During training we found women in the nearest village to do the laundry. Everything was washed by hand in buckets. The irons were heated with charcoal. It was the same forty years later.   On my last trip, shirts were 2 cedis, about fifty cents. Pants were four, a whole dollar. I came home with clean clothes.

I do everything I can to do nothing. My house gets cleaned and my yard is kept neat, except for the back which no one sees, and my groceries get delivered right to the kitchen. If I could afford more, I’d have my laundry done while I sat and ate bonbons.

I need bread, and I could go to the dump though I’m thinking tomorrow is the better day Just because I don’t want to go today.

I don’t mind clowns or bugs. I have a black cat. Heights don’t make me dizzy, but rides which go around and around make me throw up. Stopping at the top of a Ferris wheel isn’t a problem for me. I like the view. I don’t get the fear of spiders, but scorpions are a different story. Once I had a scorpion roaming on my living room floor, and my student killed it with my sandal. She asked permission first. I said yes because scorpions bite. Sometimes I hear noises I can’t explain. They give me pause. I lower the TV and listen. Usually I don’t hear it again. If I did, I’d pass it off as an animal or a bird. That’s the easiest answer and the one which doesn’t make me afraid.

“Autumn is the time of picturesque tranquility.”

September 22, 2017

Last night the wind sounded like a freight train. I know it’s a cliche, but it perfectly describes what I was hearing. The wind blew in gales. In between the gales it was quiet if only by comparison. I think it was the wildest wind since the start of the storm. This is day four of the remnants of Jose. Earlier this morning it was raining loudly enough to hear. At other times the rain has been misty, quiet. The wind is still raging.

My deck and yard are filled with fallen leaves and smaller branches. Every time I go out, a few leaves are blown inside the house. All of them are shriveled and dead.

The birds are at the feeders in such numbers the sunflower and thistle feeders need to be refilled. I’ll just have to brave the rain. I don’t want to disappoint all those birds.

I did finish my errands yesterday. At the doctor’s they had snacks to thank us for getting our flu shots. I had a chocolate chip cookie and a mini-cupcake. Last night the spot where I got the shot itched a bit, and the spot hurts a little today. I’ll just have to be brave.

Last night I was cold so I grabbed a light blanket and snuggled a bit under it. This morning when I woke up the house was at 67˚. Since then, the temperature has risen a couple of degrees but not enough as I’m still a bit chilly, but I refuse to turn on the heat this early in the season. I’m still taken aback by having to use the AC the last couple of days because of the humidity. It is late for the AC and too early for the heat. Weather has gone amok.

Today is the autumn equinox, a beginning and an end: the end of summer and the beginning of fall, autumn. The nights will now be longer than the days.

When I was a kid, I loved when the leaves were falling. On our way to school, we would walk in the gutters kicking leaves and watching them fly. I remember yellow the most.

The only things on my to do list are to order groceries and finally get the laundry finished, or rather get it started. It is still upstairs. I have no ambition whatsoever, but I guess I could scare up enough energy to order groceries on line.

Rain is predicted for tomorrow as are wind gusts up to 45 MPH. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be sunny and in the low 70’s. I’ll believe it when I see it. All this rain has made me gloomy and skeptical.

“Ever director has at least 10 bad films in them.”

September 21, 2017

Jose has found a home. It is sitting right over Cape Cod and bringing rain and intermittent winds. This is day three of the rain. It is also day three of gusts up to 65 MPH. Out my window, I can see my backyard trees bending and swaying and the top branches of the oak trees are whipping back and forth. Jose, now a tropical storm, will hang around for a few days more.

The winds don’t bother the birds. Five gold finches were sharing a thistle feeder and a chickadee was waiting in the wings. I had filled all the feeders a couple of days ago so I’m hoping they’ll last just a bit longer, until the rain stops.

Yesterday was thick with humidity. I turned on the AC for a while just to clear the house. This morning, even with the windows and doors closed, the house is a bit chilly. It is 64˚ out but with the rain and the dampness, it feels colder.

I have to go out later to pick up two refills of Gracie’s medications, and I’m going to get my flu shot. These are the least thrilling errands ever.

The only problem with subtitled movies is I have to pay attention. When I watch TV, I like to be doing something else as well. Right now The Brainiac is on, a 1962 old B&W movie about Baron Vitelius. The movie is from Mexico and is in Spanish with subtitles so I can’t write Coffee and watch at the same time. Vitelius is burned at the stake by the Mexican Inquisition. Before he dies, he vows to return with the next passage of the comet seen as he is burning and slay the descendants of his accusers. Vitelius returns and takes advantage of his abilities as a sorcerer to carry out his threat: he is able to change at will into the hairy monster of the title in order to suck out the brains of his victims with a long forked tongue. He is also able to render his enemies motionless or force them to act against their wills. The special effects are awful at best. The comet is a blurry picture as are the rest of the backgrounds. The telescope looks like a skinny old muffler. The comet lands with a thud and then turns into the creature, Brainiac. The monster’s clothes have burn marks. It did after all arrive in a meteor. I keep getting drawn to this awful movie.

When Gracie was young, she was a runner. She’d take every opportunity to get loose, and when she did, I could never catch her. She played keep away. She’d stop and wait, and when I got close, she’d run. My neighbors, friends and even complete strangers easily caught her. She went right to them, even to climbing into my friend’s car. Now that Gracie is so much older and has unsteady back legs, she doesn’t even need a leash. She walks ahead of me into the backyard and right to the stairs when she’s done. This morning I took Gracie in and out by the driveway as I was afraid the back steps would be slippery. She walked ahead of me and waited by the door for me to catch up. She and I are both too old to run.