Posted tagged ‘reading’

“No rain but thunder, and the sound of giants.”

August 19, 2017

Last night we had the best rainstorm complete with thunder right over my house and lightning bolts striking in the sky above my backyard. One clap of thunder made Gracie and me jump as it was both unexpected and close. The rain pelted the roof and windows. It was so loud I had to turn up the sound on the TV. At one point, around 10:30, the rain stopped so I raced to take Gracie outside. The rain started again only minutes after we had gotten back inside. The drops were so heavy and loud they were the only sounds I could hear. I figured it was serendipity the rain stopped for just that small while. Gracie lasted the rest of the night and into the morning.

I’ve nothing on my to-do list for today. The roads will be filled as Saturday is turn-over day at cottages, and tourists will be looking for something to keep kids busy on a dark day, on a no beach day. Board games can only work for so long.

The remnants of the storm are a gray sky and high humidity, the sort of humidity my father used to say you can cut with a knife. The small breeze does nothing to change the close, damp air. We won’t see the sun until tomorrow.

I remember when I was a kid and the thunder and lightning kept me inside. I’d take a book and find a quiet place to read. Sometimes it was in my room because everyone else was downstairs watching TV. It was dark enough I needed a light to read by, the light on the headboard behind me. It seemed to shine only on me and the pages of my book. I felt safe and cozy.

Thunder never scared me even when I was a kid. I remember being told thunder was angels bowling in heaven. I also remember reading Rip Van Winkle’s thunder was the men in the mountains, Henry Hudson’s crew, playing nine-pins. Either way, it was just bowling.

I love lightning, jagged and bright in the sky. One lightning bolt hit the ground right in front of my house in Ghana. It was magnificent. I’ve never seen the like.

“Mosquitoes, how wonderful! No one puts them in cages or makes pets out of them.”

July 1, 2017

I am late again. This time I can’t blame my computer. It is my fault. It was close to 10:30 when I woke up then I had two papers to read and a couple of cups of coffee to drink before I could face the day. Last night I was restless and woke up several times. Gracie was the sleep disruptor twice, the first at 3:30. When we went outside, it was so dark I had to feel with my foot to figure out where we were: the grass or the driveway. Once back inside, I had to read a while before I could get back to sleep, back to my restless sleep. It’s no wonder I’m tired.

Today’s weather is like yesterday’s but with a breeze instead of a wind. The leaves at the end of the branches are waving but only slightly. I don’t hear my chimes.

Summer has officially started. The house next door has its first renters of the season. I heard them this morning. They weren’t loud but the open window a bit above the couch where I sleep faces their small deck and slider. I haven’t figured out how many are there yet, but I think there is only a single car.

My house is dark though the clouds are light-colored, not like storm clouds. I can feel the humidity. I’ve nothing planned for today but I might switch out the spawn eaten lights for the new ones I have. The spawns prefer red for chewing.

We didn’t have many organized summer activities when I was a kid. The playground under the trees on the field at the end of my street was about the only close place to spend a summer day. The pool was another spot, but it was about as far away from my house as you could get and still be in my town. Sometimes we’d bike ride to a pond in the next town and go fishing. The library was another place to spend some time before leaving with an armful of books. Other times we didn’t do anything but stay around the house.

My mother kept the living room dark. All the shades were down. She believed this was the best way to keep the house cool. We didn’t have AC back then, and we didn’t have any fans. Upstairs was a hot box. It took a while to fall asleep.

My father had an obsession about mosquitos. He always yelled for us to close the outside doors quickly; somehow, though, that didn’t work. My father hunted down mosquitos.  They were his prey. He had a rolled-up newspaper as his weapon of choice. He’d jump on beds to whack the mosquitos on the ceilings. He woke us up a lot when the beds rocked as he walked across the mattress swatting bugs. All the ceilings had smashed bug marks and a few splotches of blood. My father announced each kill, each triumph. He was a mighty hunter.

“To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat.”

June 1, 2017

The rain yesterday was torrential at times. We even had thunder and lightning. Not once did the sun make an appearance. It was too busy shining in Boston. Gracie and I left for the dump when the rain was misty, but by the time we got there, it was pouring. I figured I was there anyway and might as well get rid of the trash. My sweatshirt got soaked. I decided right then and there I deserved one more stop, the chocolate store, the best decision of the day.

My eye is clear, but I still have to take eye drops four times a day. My other eye will be done June 6th.

The early morning was lovely. The air had a crispness almost more fall than summer, and it had the best after the rain smell, both fresh and clean and smelling of flowers and mulch. I stood on the deck watching Gracie and taking in the morning. Finally, we both went inside: me to coffee and the papers and Gracie to her morning snack. It will be warm today, a welcome change in the weather. I’ve already opened a window.

I’ve got to empty the water in the outdoor furniture covers so they can dry and then be put away. My deck still looks like it’s winter. A lot needs to be done. Plant shelves need to be sanded then repainted. The clay pots need cleaning before they can be filled with flowers, the same with the deck boxes. Placing the candle hooks in the pine trees will take a bit of ingenuity as some of the branches were lopped off during the fall clean-up. Lights on a few backyard trees have to be replaced. They died over the winter. I’m hoping for lots of warmth today, enough to dry everything so I can be outside on the deck reading and enjoying the air. I’ve had enough of the house.

“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”

January 20, 2017

The clock just struck one. I’m not even tired. I went up and down the TV dial and checked out Netflix, but I didn’t find anything I wanted to watch. I tried to read, but I just couldn’t settle down and pay attention. Gracie and Maddie had slept most of the night away, but Gracie just woke up, had a snack and a drink of water then climbed back on the couch to go back to sleep. In about two minutes she was snoring. I envy her.

The weather stayed lovely all day. It hit 43˚. Gracie and I did our errands. We went to the dump, and she got her nails cut at the vets then we took a ride. Gracie liked the window down.

When we got home, the alien took over my body again. The kitchen is gleaming. This sudden spurt of housecleaning has to end.

When I was a kid, I read all of the time. I visited the library just about every week in the summer and every couple of weeks in the winter. I can close my eyes and still picture the children’s side of the library. The librarian sat behind a round counter made of wood set in the middle of the room across from the door. The shelves filled with mysteries were against the wall behind her. The tables and chairs were all wooden. The chairs were spindlebacks though I didn’t know back then that’s what the style was called. Some of the chairs had arms. The tables were different lengths. I’d sit for a bit and look through books to decide which ones I wanted to read. When I was ready, I’d bring the books to the librarian who would stamp the lined sheet in the back with the due date.

I loved mysteries. My favorite detectives were Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. The library didn’t have those books, but I’d use my fifty cent allowance to buy the Trixie Belden books and just about every birthday and Christmas I’d be given new Nancy Drews. I loved that they were girls solving mysteries. Nancy drove a roadster. I had to look up what kind of a car a roadster was. Trixie was much younger, closer to my age. I always envied their sleuthing. I would have loved stumbling on a mystery.

Well, I finally settled on a Netflix film about conspiracies. Hitler and Eva were replaced by doubles who were shot. The two of them were then spirited out of the country. Now I’m going to find out what really happened to Nazi gold.  This program was a great choice. I’m getting sleepy from watching it.

“fuzzy black lines hiccuped across the screen.”

January 2, 2017

All the hoopla is over. It is time to put Christmas away, my project for the week. I also need to grocery shop. Alexa is keeping my list. I added coffee filters and trash bags this morning.

Tomorrow Gracie and I are going to the dump. It’s back to the mundane. All the anticipation is gone. January is a boring month.

Being stuck in the house was always a winter woe when I was little. It was either too cold or too wet or too snowy to go out. We’d play games until we got bored then we’d watch TV for a while. We’d play in the cellar. The bottom of the banister was a horse to me. I’d use old blankets to make a saddle to put over the wood. I’d concoct a story of me as the sheriff or the marshall, and I’d ride that horse until I’d captured the bad guy. I was every character, and I’d use different voices. My lowest voice was the bad guy’s. He always got caught.

My favorite way to spend time was lying in bed reading my new Christmas book. I was cozy under the blankets. The headboard lamp was warm. It lit the pages perfectly. I was by myself. I heard nothing. I had been captured by my book.

Even now, so many years later, I find books the best way to while away time. I don’t read in bed much anymore as I tend to fall asleep; instead, I get cozy here in the den on the couch with an afghan keeping me warm and Gracie asleep by my feet. It is always time well spent.

Today I watched Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford who always wears a suit and his fedora. It is in black and white and dates from the mid-1950’s. In this episode, the Highway Patrol is hunting an escaped mental patient with homicidal tendencies and abnormally strong hands. He is a frustrated violin player whose hand jumps so he can no longer play. That is often what triggers his rage: any mention of his hand or music. He just killed a man who mentioned the shaking hand. 21-50 to headquarters. Body found! 10-4!

“Summer has set in with its usual severity.”

July 16, 2016

Yesterday I mentioned how living in an air conditioned house was like a voluntary solitary confinement. This morning, to add to the isolation, I was totally disconnected from the digital world. My phone, internet and cable weren’t working. I did have my two newspapers so I pored through each drinking coffee all the while. I decided to call Comcast. They attempted to reset my modem. The modem didn’t respond. I decided to stay on the line for what seemed forever. Finally, a real person answered who said the East Coast had lost its connection, but they were coming back a section at a time. He said mine should reconnect by 9:30. He was almost right. It was 9:50 when my internet came to life followed by the phone and about five minutes later the TV.

I thought it horrible to be so disconnected. It wasn’t as if I needed the connection, but I like the choice. I did have my book to read after I finished the papers so I was content. Now I’m watching The Great British Baking Show and have the urge to bake bread.

My broom is at the ready. I have to sweep away the last of the poop which is under the table. I have just unfurled my table umbrella. I next need to connect the umbrella adaptor to the lights and unfurl my second umbrella. Once all that is done, it will be deck time.

I love coconut. In Ghana, small girls used to sell balls of toasted coconut. The balls were in a square glass container with wooden corners which the girls carried on their heads. I always stopped to buy a few when I saw the small girls. Along the sides of the road, aunties, older women, sold coconuts. When you bought one, they’d use a nail and a mallet to make a hole so you could drink the coconut milk. I aways love buying food from the aunties on the sides of the road.

The caterpillars have left and the moths have taken over. If this were a science fiction movie, I’d go outside and the moths would cover my body. When they were sated and had flown away, only my bones would remain. Okay, maybe I have been alone too long!

“You’ll wake up on Easter morning, And you’ll know that he was there, When you find those chocolate bunnies, That he’s hiding ev’rywhere.”

March 21, 2016

First we had rain then we had snow last night but only a dusting to an inch. The weather today is in a weird cycle. The snow started to melt earlier so most of the branches are no longer covered. Right now, though, it is snowing again, big flakes falling straight down or from the north. The snow cover on the ground has slush underneath it. My shoes would leave only a hole, not a footprint if I walked in the yard. The day is dark and uninviting. It is a read a book day or a day to do that project I need finished by Easter. The problem, however, is I have little ambition, not even enough to turn pages. Cozy under the covers on a dark and snowy day seems just about right.

Easter never had the anticipation Christmas had. It didn’t have any rules about the necessity for good behavior but it didn’t have any wishes either. We knew pretty much what we’d find on Easter morning. The only surprises were the small toys and books my mother tucked into our baskets. A tall chocolate rabbit was always the eye-catcher. Around it were jelly beans, big round hard colored candies which were white in the middle, a few small pieces of chocolate and some yellow Peeps, wild out of the box. I remember if I ate a piece from something, like the ears from the big rabbit, and put the rest of the rabbit back into the basket, it would stick to the grass at the bottom. Later, before I could have another bite, I’d have to pull off the grass shoots.

We didn’t have a giant rabbit at the mall the way they do now. We just had Santa at Christmas. Seeing Santa made a lot of sense but seeing the rabbit doesn’t. What do you talk about? What do you ask him to bring? He doesn’t care if you were good or bad. You’ll get an Easter basket regardless. I suppose you can always fall back on the sort of stuffed animal you want, the one usually sitting beside the basket, but beyond that, I’m clueless.