Posted tagged ‘rainy day’

“Use your imagination, and you’ll see that even the most narrow, humdrum lives are infinite in scope if you examine them with enough care.”

May 3, 2016

Yesterday was a day of accomplishment. I didn’t really do much, but I did everything on my list. Today is a stay around the house day. It is still raining so I’ll do dreaded household chores. I’ll change my bed and wash another load of laundry then I’ll reward myself by lying on the couch and reading. I hope I don’t exhaust myself by turning pages.

I was going to skip writing today as I have absolutely nothing to write about. I have exhausted my childhood, spoken about Ghana so often I figure you all probably feel as if you’ve lived there and have given you details of my day to day life in all its glory. Just look at today. You all know I’m changing my bed.

I have been writing just about every day for at least eleven years and probably closer to twelve as I started just after my retirement, twelve years ago this summer.

In this house we’re all getting old. Gracie will be twelve and the two cats 17. Gracie doesn’t realize how old she is as she is still filled with energy and she is still obnoxious. When Gracie doesn’t get her way, she looks at me and starts talking. When I continue to ignore her, she growls a little, always a friendly growl but still an escalation. Finally she barks at me. Depending on my mood, I either shut her up by giving in or I chase her out of the room. She’s one smart dog as she stands in the doorway, technically out of the room, and barks. I finally give in. She knows I always will.

I have never been fussy about what I wear. I do own three dresses, two of them are short sleeved and flowered for summer wear while the other has long sleeves for winter. I always wear a dress on Easter, the only for certain day. Just in case, I pack one when I go to Ghana, and I did wear it for the swearing-in ceremony in 2011.

I think I wear casual clothes in reaction to having been forced to wear uniforms most of my school days. Even in college, during the first year and a half, I had to wear a dress or skirt. It was a rule. Luckily the winter was so cold that year they changed the rule and once the cat was out of the bag we never had to wear skirts or dresses again. In Ghana I had to wear dresses, but I was glad of it because of the heat. Besides, I had most of them made in Ghana with African cloth. They were beautiful.

Right now I am wearing a sweatshirt with frayed cuffs and a few gnawed holes from the year of the mouse. I’m wearing around the house pants from Old Navy, new ones this year as the old ones wore out, and a tee shirt under the sweatshirt. I’m also wearing slippers. This is my around the house ensemble just about every day. I always hope I don’t get company!

“Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.”

December 18, 2015

We have rain again. The house is dark because only the windows lights are lit. I like it that way.

I’m in list mode. I have a few going so the sticky notes are starting to cover my table. One note is a list of what I need to do today. Another is the numbers for tracking the only package which hasn’t been delivered to Colorado. A packing list is for the dog and the kennel and there’s one for me and my carry-on. Another list is for the cats and their sitter. I’m thinking I need a list of the lists.

When I was a kid, there was always a church fair held in the town hall. We  got a half day of school so we could go to the fair. The nuns brought us in rows of twos in long lines. My mother used to give us money for a hot dog and a drink. That was a big deal. We also had our Christmas money in case we found just the right gifts. A kids’ table was filled with possible presents for my whole family which cost a quarter for the big gifts and a dime for the small ones. I remember my mother sitting behind a table where she was working one Christmas.

I have never lost my love for church fairs. Now I head first to the table where the knit goods are sold. That is always the first table to sell out. I buy mittens and hats from the ladies, usually old ladies, who sit behind the table and make change slowly counting each coin and each bill as they put them in my hand. Sometimes I buy centerpieces and homemade ornaments. I love the white elephant tables where I sometimes find the best stuff. I go from fair to fair on one December Saturday. I usually treat myself to lunch.

The lists are sitting in front of reminding me to hurry. I have much to do.

 

“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.”

November 20, 2015

The rain started last night and is just now stopping. It has left behind yet another dreary day. It is 56˚ and as warm as it will be for the whole coming week when we’ll drop to the 40’s every day. I’m inclined to stay close to hearth and home.

Watching the Macy’s parade dates back to when I was five or six. I remember sitting on the floor in front of the TV eating snacks. My mother always put out mixed nuts for us to crack and eat, tangerines and M&M’s. We had those silver crackers and matching forks to pull out the nuts. Brazil nuts were my favorites. I liked tangerines because they were so easy to peel. I just didn’t like that they had nuts. Those I’d spit into my hand then put on my plate. I never missed color. Black and white was all we knew, but the parade still had magic from the floats, the sounds of the bands and Santa arriving at the end.

When my mother baked, the windows in the kitchen fogged. At night the window water would freeze in a thin layer like on our car windshields except it was inside the house. Sometimes the window ice looked like mountains ridges, some higher than the others. The ridges, though, never went beyond the middle of the window. I used to like to scratch pictures or messages on the ice with my fingernail, but once the heat kicked in, it didn’t take long for the ice to melt.

Our first frost came the other day. When I went to get the papers, I noticed my car windshield was wet, and the part of my neighbor’s front yard filled with mulch still had its layer of frost. When I went out about an hour later, the frost was gone.

I always hated scraping my car windows. It was early in the morning, around 6:15, still very dark and cold. Now, I seldom go out all that early so the frost has usually melted. When people ask me about the best parts of being retired, I’ll have to remember to tell them about never having to scrape a window.

“This morning’s scene is good and fine, Long rain has not harmed the land.”

October 2, 2015

I never did get around to changing my bed, a nap got in the way. I guess I’ll have to do it today to complete my list. The only problem is I haven’t the energy and I certainly don’t have the enthusiasm. Bed changing doesn’t engender any.

The rain stopped for a bit yesterday afternoon so Gracie and I left for the dump. When we were about half-way there, the rain started again just as I suspected it would. That always happens. It rained all the rest of the day and all night. It is still raining, and there is a wind strong enough to sway the tops of all the trees. The weather forecast in the paper this morning said rain for the next three or four days.

On rainy days my first grade cloakroom was always dark. The walls were made of wood, and there wasn’t any light. When I’d walk into my classroom, all the lights seemed as bright as the sun. The only noise in the classroom was the rain beating against the windows. We spoke only in whispers. I can’t explain why, but it was as if the rain had muted our voices. I was always drawn to the rain on the windows. I’d follow a drop all the way down until it got smaller and smaller and finally disappeared. The nun and my classmates were background murmurings to the rain. That was the year I watched the rain.

My fourth grade classroom was on the second floor. The long windows looked out only to the sky. I was in the last seat in the first row. I had a panoramic view of the whole room but couldn’t see the windows behind me. That was the year I heard the rain.

In the eight grade, my classroom was on the second floor of the new school. My seat was right beside the windows. I could see the whole school yard and the road beside it. I could hear even the smallest drops of rain hit the windows. I could look out and see the rain falling sideways in sheets blown by the wind. Other times the rain fell straight down in a thunderous deluge. The misty rain fell gently, quietly. That was the year I could see and hear the rain.

“To lovers of adventure and novelty, Africa displays a most ample field.”

March 14, 2015

The day is bleak and rainy. The house was cold when I woke up so I turned on the heat and then finished the rest of my morning rituals. I made the coffee, got the papers, filled the dog’s dry food bowl, changed the water in the dog dish and then sat down to read the papers. The animals got their morning greetings then they went back to sleep. They are, of course, in their usual spots. Mornings never change around here.

Last night my palm tree was lit for the first time since the big snowstorm. It was unexpected. The tree had stopped lighting in February, and I hadn’t been able to check the connections as they were under feet of snow. All the melting this week uncovered the cord, and I saw the plug had disconnected from the timer. Reconnecting it didn’t work. The plug looked as if it had taken too much of a beating under all that snow. I put it back into the timer as best I could. Whatever I did to the plug seemed to work. When I was checking for the dog last night, I was happily surprised to see the lit palm tree. It is a tradition. Even the neighbors made comments when it wasn’t lit. They’ll be happy to see it again.

The first palm trees I ever saw were in Ghana. My geography book had come to life. I was thrilled. We were headed to Winneba and the road to that first training site was along the ocean. It was lined with palm trees. I could see coconuts hanging from below the fronds. Some trees looked bent in odd ways. I was finally somewhere exotic and not a scrub pine was in view. Little did I know what else awaited me.

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”

January 18, 2015

I am not crazy. I swear I saw a bit of sun this morning, but it is gone, replaced by clouds and rain. Then again, maybe the sun was an illusion, like an oasis sometimes is, but the weatherman did predict rain, heavy at times, for the Patriot’s game this afternoon so I shouldn’t have been surprised by yet another grey, damp day.

My house is always quiet this time of day. It is when the three animals have their naps. Fern is in Gracie’s spot so Gracie is sleeping on the afghan on the floor. Maddie is on her chair. Fern is curled in a ball with her face hidden. I woke up at nine and so did they. I can’t think of what could be so exhausting in three hours that a nap is necessary. When I was growing up, Duke, our Boxer, wasn’t allowed on furniture, but he managed to sleep on the couch at night when we were all upstairs. We never did catch him as he’d jump off when someone was coming down the stairs. My father mellowed over time, and my dogs always slept on the couch when I’d visit. Shauna loved my dad and always slept right beside him with her head in his lap while he watched TV. My dad always said he’d like to come back as one of our animals because life would be so good.

Yesterday I fell down but only the last couple of steps. I was bringing down two very heavy bins by sliding them down the stairs, but they got away and knocked me down and into a table. I’m not really hurt, but I do have a bump the size of an infant’s head. It looks gross and is getting blacker and bluer by the minute. I’ll have to change the sign, the one which says No Accidents for however number of days. The count starts all over again. At least this time I was almost at the bottom of the stairs. After a bit, I took the bins down the cellar and managed to make it without falling. I think I’m getting inured to pain.

The first time I remember falling down the stairs I was ten so this is not a new thing for me. Falling is habitual. That first time I needed stitches, another time I broke a bone in my shoulder, once I broke teeth and fractured a bone in my face, but those are the only major injuries. Bumps and bruises don’t count.

In my next life, I’ll live in a ranch house.

“Clouds are high flying Fog”

January 12, 2015

Cloudy day today, a storm cloudy day, a rainy day. When I saw the clouds, I knew. I didn’t need to look at the weather prediction. Snow clouds are different. They have an eerie light, almost a warning system. Fair day clouds are puffy and very white. Storm clouds cover the sky and darken the day. The pine tree branches look stark, even bold. A winter rain is bone chilling. I will not be going anywhere today. I am into comfort and warmth.

I started reading a Ghanaian mystery by Kwei Quartey. It is the fourth book of his I’ve read. His plots are simple: murder, investigation and arrest. But I am not drawn to his novels by the plots. It is Ghana. I love reading of places where I’ve been and of things Ghanaian. I know what dinner looks like when it is fufu and stew. The main character was riding through Adabraka, a section of Accra. I knew it well. The hostel was there as was Talal’s, a spot for lunch, for Peace Corps pizza as Talal used to call it: pita bread with tomatoes and melted cheese. A movie theater was within walking distance of the hostel as was a pretty good restaurant. Back then, if you were young and white and asked to go to Adabraka, the taxi driver would take you right to the hostel for twenty pesewas from anywhere in the city. I looked for that hostel as did my friends Bill and Peg. We didn’t find it. So far in the novel, Death at the Voyager Hotel, we haven’t a murder, a death yes but only one person believes it a murder.

A dismal day demands little, and that’s what it will get.