Posted tagged ‘rainy’

“The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.”

March 2, 2017

The last few days Mother Nature has played with our heads. It has been spring warm. Even with yesterday’s rain, it was warm. Today is another warmish day with bright sun and a daytime temperature in the mid-50’s, but I’m not deceived. Mother Nature is still playing us and our weariness with winter. Tonight she’s dropping winter right back at us. It will be in the mid-20’s.

Yesterday I went to Hyannis for a doctor’s appointment. Ordinarily I would shop after my appointment but I decided, instead, to meander home on Route 28, the garish road filled on both sides by motels, restaurants, miniature golf courses and souvenir shops. Most of them are seasonal so they’re closed. Traffic was light. In the summer, that road is sometimes bumper to bumper as cars go slowly so people can gawk. The only places open yesterday were regular businesses and some of the restaurants. I saw some construction and was able to remember what used to be. One old house is gone, replaced by a park. My friend’s grandmother’s cottages are long gone, replaced by a hotel. They were the old time cottages, individual with a small porch and one outside metal chair. I helped paint them a couple of times. Each one had a view of the ocean. A couple of restaurants used to be hangouts when I was in high school. Jerry’s was prime. It is still there and still serves fried seafood, hot dogs, and hamburgers. The parking lot was always filled. Further up was the A&W with car service. I still miss that one. The building is there but it is a roast beef sandwich spot. The biggest loss was the drive-in. It was sold because it was prime land right next to the water. I don’t know who bought it but nothing has ever been done with that land. They could have left the drive-in.

I know things change. I expect it. It is nostalgic as I grow older. What used to be is important to remember. It is part of my story.

“Winter bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”

January 3, 2017

We have rain and 44˚. The low for the day will be 43˚. This is not winter in New England, but winter is impatiently waiting in the wings. Daytime tomorrow will be 50˚ but tomorrow night will be in the 20’s. The rest of the week will be 30’s during the day and 20’s at night. That’s a warm winter in New England!

The winter weather never mattered when I was a kid. I still had to walk to and from school every day. It wasn’t miles or feet of snow, but it was cold, freezing cold. The blasts of wind from across the field at the foot of my street whipped through my jacket. I remember using my mittened hands to protect my ears, red and numb from the cold. The hat my mother insisted I wear never kept my ears warm, just the top of my head. I’d hurry to get to the street below the field, the one with houses on both sides, buffers from the wind. It was a straightaway from there to school.

The middle of my classroom was always warm. Near the windows was chilly so most of us wore sweaters over our uniforms. The girls wore blue skirts and white blouses. The boys wore white shirts and blue pants. We could wear any shoes and socks. I don’t remember what shoes I wore, but I remember knee socks and pink long underwear which warmed my legs almost to the hem of my skirt.

In winter the classroom was never quiet. Even if we were silently reading, we could hear the hissing and wheezing of steam escaping from the radiators. I think that’s the sound I most miss from long ago winters.

My house has forced hot air from my gas furnace. I keep the daytime temperature at 68˚. That used to be warm enough. It isn’t anymore so I wear a sweatshirt around the house. The air blows and the house gets warm. I know this system is far more efficient than the radiators were, but the radiators did far more than spew heat. Coming in from the freezing cold, I could sit with my back to the pipes and quickly get warm. My mittens on the top of the radiator sizzled as they dried. My shoes with their curled toes looked like something Aladdin would wear after they’d dried under the radiator. When I was falling asleep, the radiators would hiss, crackle and even groan when they were warming the house. It was a comforting sound. I knew heat was coming.

“Here’s what we know about Santa. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. I think he’s with the NSA.”

December 22, 2016

I woke up to another dreary day and a very dark sky screaming rain. The weatherman agrees. Snow is predicted in some parts of the state, but we will be too warm, in the 40’s. Yesterday was the Solstice, the longest night of the year. By next week, we will be gaining a minute and a half of light a day then two minutes in February. That sounds so hopeful.

Christmas vacation begins today around here. I remember this last day and how excited the kids were, high school kids wearing Santa hats and sucking on candy canes. They used to sing Christmas carols at lunch, spontaneous outbursts from one table then another then on and on. The halls between classes were filled with cheer, with kids wishing each other a Merry Christmas. At the end of the day, the school emptied quickly. The festivities had begun!

I have errands today then cookie baking. I was out a long time yesterday, but I couldn’t finish my list. One store was closed so I have to go back today. I also have to go to the candy store and the grocery store. I’ll get everything I need so I won’t have to go out again between now and Christmas. (I’m laughing here. That will never happen. I’ll find out I need something else. I always do.)

The excitement started to get palpable around this time when I was a kid. The countdown was at two until Christmas Eve and three until that glorious morning, Christmas day. Every afternoon we watched Santa Claus at his workshop. I remember the channel was WMUR from New Hampshire. Santa talked to us as if he were in the room. He discussed all of the work being done by the elves to get ready to fill the sleigh. I don’t remember what he looked like, whether he had great whiskers or paltry whiskers, or if his voice was jolly. I just remember sitting on the rug and watching Santa.

We didn’t have a fireplace, but I was never in doubt that Santa would find his way to the living room and the tree. He was magical so nothing could stand in his way. I figured he just used the door, probably the front door. That the dog didn’t bark was just more of the magic. I figured Duke wagged his stubby Boxer tail and gave Santa lots of kisses.

It is when the questions appear that believing in Santa gets shaky. The how does he do it in one night is a biggy. It shows a bit of skepticism. I am five and seven years older than my sisters. I told them nothing after I found out and I even became part of the Santa conspiracy and teased them about the good or the naughty list. It was wistful for me.

“If you can’t find an answer at the mall or the library, what does that say about the world?”

November 20, 2016

Yesterday I was the victim of a big cheat. The day stayed ugly and rainy. Not once was I tempted to go outside. I called my sister a couple of times, but she wasn’t home. She called me later and said since it was such a lovely day she had gone to church fairs. I thought she was being sarcastic. Nope! Her weather was sunny and 60˚ all day. What’s with that?

Last night was murder night. I watched Forensic Files, and when I tired of that, I watched murderous women and 48 Hours. I guess I was shaking away all that Hallmark sugar from the Christmas movies. Nothing like a bit of true crime to while away the evening.

I do have to go out today, but there is a bit of sun working its way through the clouds so I don’t mind. It will be cold this week, the 40’s during the day, and even down to the 30’s at night so any sun is welcomed.

The animals did it again. Maddie howled several times and woke me up. I called to her, but it didn’t matter. She kept howling with only small breaks in between. Gracie got off the bed and went downstairs, never a good thing. I followed her and opened the door. She went to the yard and grazed. I watched her then went back to bed. She came in the dog door, joined me upstairs and went to sleep. I did too, but the interrupted sleep just wasn’t enough. Maddie is sleeping now. She is comforted that I am down here with her.

Boxes arrive every day. My Christmas bins are overflowing. My list has mostly X’s across names as I finish buying for them. I am down to needing a couple of kids’ Christmas books, a few ornaments and some soap. I also need wrapping paper. I figure to shop on small business Saturday. My route will be down 6A. Visiting favorite stores will be fun. I’ll even treat myself to lunch.

“Tradition is a fine thing. Nothing comes out of the blue, except perhaps thunderbolts and they are not really very useful things.”

November 6, 2016

Today is dark and rainy. The street is now covered with wet leaves and pine needles. They’ll dry then be blown away. My lawn too is covered in brown pine needles and has mostly disappeared. Every small breeze drops yellow oak leaves to the deck. I can watch them fall from the window. My den light is lit giving the room a cozy feel. Gracie and Maddie are asleep. I love mornings like this.

This week I have a meeting on Tuesday, and that is the only entry on my dance card. The rest of the week is wide open. I have some stuff I could do like go through the Christmas presents piled on a guest room bed and catalogue them by person so I can know what I still need to buy. I love to find just the right gifts for people, and it takes a bit of shopping to do that, and Christmas isn’t really all that far away. I did some Christmas shopping in Ghana, and I’m glad for that as the gifts will be unique. I bought yards and yards of traditional Ghanaian GTP cloth to be used to make presents. Now I wish I’d even bought more.

Some gifts have become part of the Christmas tradition. I give everyone a bag filled with smaller gifts including a new ornament with some sort of a personal touch like a fish for my brother-in-law the fly fisherman. The kids also get Christmas books. I give all the women earrings or some sort of jewelry. This year the jewelry is from Ghana. I buy soap for every bag like lobsters or starfish. I also try to find fun gifts. I bought an old fishing drop line for my nephew, a gift of memory for him. There are bigger gifts for the kids. The younger boys get Hess trucks. They are on the way. My only grandniece is getting a doll and a dress from Ghana. My nieces and nephews get gift certificates stuffed into their gift bags, something I started doing when they got into their 20’s and finding just the right gift got too difficult. They love the small gifts and opening the bags is always done on Christmas Eve. It is the tradition, and my family is big on Christmas tradition.

“Vampires, werewolves, fallen angels and fairies lurk in the shadows, their intentions far from honorable.”

October 28, 2016

Fern was hiding this morning, but I managed to find her. She was under a guest room bed sitting on an afghan. She let me pat her, but she didn’t come out. I got her food and water and put it in front of her. She had some of each. I think that is hopeful, but I do wish she were feeling good enough to come downstairs. I’m going to go back up to her when I’m finished here hoping to entice her downstairs where it is far easier to watch her. Fern is almost 18.

The weather has been chilly and rainy. The sun appeared early this morning but is now hidden by clouds. It is really a gloomy day. My heat is on and the lamp in here is lit, but neither keeps that gloom away. My front yard is filled with small pine branches and needles. It will need raking again.

My dance card is empty. I have nowhere fun to go and no one to see. Watering the plants, taking the trash to the dump and doing a load of laundry is what will keep me busy. I also have a couple of new books, and there is always MSNBC.

TCM has made my evening. I can watch all the horror classics like Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man. When I was a kid, they were the scary movies. Even though you never saw Dracula take a nibble, you knew just what he was doing behind that cape. Imagination provided the fright. I always felt bad for The Wolf Man. Larry Talbot was just trying to save a woman when he was bitten by the werewolf attacking her. Throughout the movie, he hoped to find a cure but never did. Once that moon had risen, Larry was on the hunt. The worst thing was the ending when his own father killed him with the wolf cane he had used to kill the werewolf which had bitten him. The Mummy too was scary with his dragging bandages and his limp, but I was less afraid of him than the others. I didn’t figure a mummy would likely find me.

“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.”

September 2, 2016

Yesterday was muggy and the afternoon was rainy, but I was glad for the rain since the cape has joined most of the rest of the state in an official drought. It rained enough all day to water my deck plants and for Gracie to get wet every time she went outside and for her to leave muddy paw prints every time she came inside.

Today is a delight. The humidity is gone, and there is a cool breeze strong enough to wave the branches. It is so pleasant to have windows open.

The cape will be inundated with tourists this weekend. It is the last big weekend of the summer and the weather will be lovely: in the mid-70’s during the days and the mid-60’s at night. Rain is forecast for Monday which seems like a metaphor for summer’s end. Cars will be bumper to bumper on the highway, all of them trying to get over the bridge and off the cape. In some years the wait was so long people played frisbee on the wide, grassy median.

When I was a kid, Labor Day really meant the end of summer traffic. Motels and restaurants closed. One-way roads went back to two-way. Main streets were no longer filled with cars. Parking lots were empty. Downtown Hyannis was like a ghost town, but things have changed. The secret is out: fall on the cape is the most wonderful time of year.  The tourist season now extends to Columbus Day weekend. Buses have joined the cars on main roads like Route 28. They rumble from site to site. They stop at the outlets and at the Christmas Tree Shop. A bus in any parking lot is a tell-tale sign to keep going. It is like a giant neon light which screams Tourists! Beware!

Fern seems a bit better, but I don’t think she is eating anything but treats. I keep offering different foods hoping she’ll be enticed. Maybe I’ll have to buy a can of human tuna. She does like the juice.

I’m thinking a deck day today. There might not be all that many left.