Posted tagged ‘Saturday’

“After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,…”

January 14, 2017

The cold is back. Alexa just told me it is 28˚. The high will be 36˚. In whose world is 36˚ a high? I know it is winter. I’m not deluded, but I am hopeful. Come on 50˚. Come back January thaw!!

When I was a kid, Saturday was the best day of the week. I didn’t have to go to school. I could go anywhere I wanted or I could stay home glued to the TV watching Creature Double Feature. Nothing was better than two B-science fiction movies in black and white one after the other. I got to watch spiders, giant ants, grasshoppers and even monoliths destroy cities and kill people. I sat as close to the TV as my mother allowed.

If my mother didn’t want us hanging around the house all day, she’d send us to the Saturday matinee. My brother and I would walk uptown to the movie theater. We usually arrived early so we waited in line none too patiently with every other kid who arrived early. We’d buy a ticket, choose a candy bar then find a seat. I never liked being too close to the screen. My mother would have been pleased. The theater was never quiet. We’d clap and yell for our heroes and boo the bad guys. It was easy to tell them apart. In westerns, the good guys wore white hats which never fell off their heads, even in fights with the black-hatted bad guys. We’d watch a serial, two movies and a cartoon, not bad for a quarter, up from the dime of my younger days.

I can’t remember the last time I ate a Sugar Daddy, but I loved them at the movies. They lasted longer than any other candy. My favorite part was chewing the caramel from the top and pulling with my teeth until threads appeared. They were always hard to bite. Once in a while I’d buy Sugar Babies. They were the same taste as Sugar Daddies but were soft to chew. Sugar Mamas joined the family. They were my favorites as they were a Sugar Daddy covered in chocolate.

When I go to the movies now, I buy popcorn and a drink. Sometimes I sneak in candy. I prefer Nonpareils. They aren’t as much fun as Sugar Daddies but are far less dangerous for my fillings.

“cozy+smell of pancakes-alarm clock=weekend”

August 29, 2016

This morning I was forced to go to Dunkin’ Donuts. I had no coffee and no cream so Gracie and I jumped into the car and drove off for my morning elixir. When we got there, the outside line was long, but I had no choice. I hadn’t bothered to get dressed or even brush my teeth. Gracie didn’t mind the wait. She just poked her head out the window and took in the neighborhood and its smells. I listened to the radio. The line went faster than I thought it would. I was happy.

Today is already hot and humid so I am back in my fortress having shut the windows and doors and turned on the air conditioning. There are clouds but they do nothing except to obscure the sun. Rain is not in the forecast for the next couple of days. The weekend, though, will be lovely with daytime temperatures in the low 70’s and nights in the mid 60’s.  It is the Labor Day weekend, the traditional last hurrah of the summer.

My sister started work today. She is a pre-school teacher in Colorado. When I spoke to her last night, she was going to take a shower so she could get to bed early. I remember my mother sending us to bed early and reminding us we had school the next day. I also remember moaning and groaning and dragging my feet upstairs.

When I was a kid, I never kept track of the weekdays. I only knew when it was Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday my father was home. He did errands uptown and mowed the lawn. On Saturday nights he often barbecued. Sometimes we went to the beach all day Saturday or the drive-in on Saturday nights. Sunday had the only consistently distinguishing event, going to mass which also meant a change in wardrobe from shorts and a sleeveless shirt to a dress or a skirt and a blouse. After mass, the day was back to casual. We didn’t have Sunday dinners during the summer. It was more of a catch as catch can. Mostly it was sandwiches.

I think my favorite weekends were in Ghana, especially the Sundays. There was a service in the dining hall where the furniture had been reconfigured to look more like the inside of a church. The students wore their Sunday clothes. Each of the four classes had a different fabric for their traditional three piece dresses, their Sunday best. They wore a top, a skirt to their ankles and a cloth wrapped around at the waist. After the service, the older students could go to town. Visitors were allowed. A photographer wandered around taking pictures, always in black and white. I have a few of the pictures given to me as gifts. When I went to town, I could see the students walking in groups and stopping at kiosks to buy personal items like powder. Others went to the market to load up on snacks to keep in their school trunks, especially gari, made from cassava and easily stored.

Being retired, my days tend to run together. I sometimes have to check the paper to see what day of the week it is. My chores and errands aren’t confined to a single day. I don’t ever have to go to bed early.

“There was nothing like a Saturday – unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.”

June 11, 2016

Saturday for my whole life has been the best day. When I was a kid, Saturday was our day to roam the town or to see a movie or to sit and watch Creature Double Feature on TV. Those were the days of black and white movies from the 50’s with cheesy special effects. We didn’t care. We loved those old B movies, and even now, I’ll watch them. I’m never critical. They are fun to watch. Some Saturdays we were out all day rambling. We’d pack a sandwich and some cookies in a brown paper bag knowing we’d be gone most of the day. We followed the railroad tracks, walked to the zoo or watched the dairy cows. We looked in the windows uptown and into the fire station as we walked by it. On warm days the firemen sat on wooden chairs right outside the bays where the fire engines were. We’d walk through the school yard empty of kids. We’d get home in the late afternoon. The winter meant the matinee. I don’t remember ever caring what the movie was. I remember standing in front of the glass display case trying to decide how to spend my nickel. The candy had to be tasty but more importantly, it had to be long lasting. I think my brother chose candy by its projectile possibilities.

When I was a teenager, Saturdays meant sleeping in. During the day I’d hang around or meet up with friends. I remember roaming around Harvard Square, going to the museum and checking out stores. Back then Harvard Square was unique and the stores were not chain stores. I remember we ate at the Wursthouse a few times. I haven’t been to Harvard Square in years except to drive though to somewhere else. It has lost its identity. It is the same as anywhere. On Saturday nights we’d sometimes go bowling. I was never a good bowler, but it was fun.

Saturday nights in college were party nights. Some of my memories are still hazy. We’d find a spot, park the car and party. Those were the days of cheap wine.

In Ghana, Saturday usually meant going to town to shop in the market or at the small kiosks which sold margarine and instant coffee in tins. I’d carry my woven bag and fill it with onions, tomatoes and eggs. Once I found a small watermelon my tomato lady had saved for me to buy. I never saw another one.

When I was back home, Saturday still meant sleeping-in and food shopping, but at a supermarket with too many choices. I’ve always hated food shopping and shlepping in the bags.

Today I woke up at 8. I had two cups of coffee and two pieces of Scali bread toast. I have no plans at all for the day. I’m thinking it is finalize the deck day. I’ll put down the rug, clean the chairs, water the plants, start the fountain and then ceremoniously bring the Travelocity Gnome and the plastic flamingo to their summer homes. They inaugurate deck season every year.

“There is no season such delight can bring, As summer, autumn, winter, and the spring.”

January 30, 2016

 

A day in winter with bright sun, no wind and temperatures hovering around 40˚is a beautiful day. Miss Gracie is further proof. She is my barometer: the longer she stays out, the nicer the day. She hasn’t barked or checked in with me for a long time so I’ll take a peek just to make sure everything is okay. It is.

Saturday was the busiest day of the week when I was a kid. My father always went uptown to leave and pick up his white shirts at the Chinaman’s and get a trim at the barber’s. I never thought about the word Chinaman back then. It was just a place to me, a dry cleaner’s, owned and run by a man from China, a Chinaman. I think everyone in town called it the Chinaman’s and nobody meant anything by it. It was purely a description.

Al the Saturday activities were seasonal. In winter I went to the matinee or ice skated at the town rink, a fenced in area built at the start of every winter and taken down when the warmth of spring got too much for the ice. It was the only season my father and all the other fathers in the neighborhood were not outside working in the yards, but come spring  there they were. Saturday was yard day.

My father was never really exact at some things. When he fertilized his lawn, he threw out the fertilizer by hand instead of evenly distributing it with a spreader. When the grass grew, I could always see the pattern of my father’s tosses by the condition of the grass. As soon as the lawn got taller, the whole neighborhood was filled with clipping sound of hand mowers. Every spring my father planted his flowers in the front garden though calling it a garden elevates it as the space was a small one between bushes across the front of the house.

In summer, my father continued to mow the grass every week. He also watered the grass from a sprinkler connected to the hose. My sisters used to love to run through the sprinkler, but my father was never a fan. He said it ruined his grass. He did have nice grass.

Fall was time to rake the leaves, a communal activity in my neighborhood every Saturday. After being gathered, the newly raked leaves were piled by the curb on the side of the street. Tradition dictated that the piles be burned. I watched as closely as my father would let me. I can still picture the flame coming from the middle of the pile and the smoke rising above it. I remember the smell of those burning leaves, one of my favorite smells.

Last year I burned a few leaves just for the memories. The smell, the aroma, was so familiar I could have been ten again and standing with my father.

 

“I’m not making any plans. I’m just going to let the universe surprise me.”

April 18, 2015

Today smells like fresh earth. It smells like grass. The air is warm. The sun is bright. I keep going outside to the deck drawn by the warmth. Gracie has been out all morning mostly lying in the sun. Off in the distance is the sound of a leaf blower cleaning winter away. I think today is glorious.

The sun has made me energetic. I have completed and crossed off chores on the list for weeks. I am even getting closer to tackling the cabinet under the counter. I am curious as to what lies hidden there. I know there must be mice nests as I found some the last time I cleaned the cabinet, and I also found their cache of rice. I am on the hunt for a special baking pan long-lost in the Bermuda Triangle of my cabinet.

When I was young, I confronted noises. “Come out. Come out. I know you’re there,” I’d yell, but the last thing I wanted was for anyone or, even worse, for something to come out of the darkness. My bravery was bravado. I had this idea that by yelling I’d scare away whatever was making the noise. Nothing ever came after me. I figured I’d scared them or it. The older me knew better. Nothing was really there.

In the summer we could play outside even when it got dark. The street light rule was no longer in effect. We had to stay in the neighborhood, but our neighborhood was filled with wonderful places and so much to do. Hide and seek was even more fun in the dark. Sometimes we’d jump out at the seeker and scare him or her half to death. The more the seeker yelled in fright the more fun it was for us. Kids do have a bit of a sadistic streak.

Being a kid meant taking each day as it came. Saturday was the day filled with the most possibilities. We could go to the movies or ride our bikes or walk the tracks. We could catch grasshoppers in the field or watch the polliwogs in the swamp. We’d decide on Saturday morning. Planning is never a kid thing. Life is so much easier without a calendar waiting to be filled.

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

March 28, 2015

Saturday has always been the best day of the week for me. Torrents of rain falling, snow covering the ground (notice I said covering) or winds tossing tree branches back and forth have mattered little to me. They are merely dramatic backdrops. On Saturday’s I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t even have to get dressed. I love Saturday’s.

Today is rainy. Yesterday was rainy. It will rain all day into the night. The snow is just about gone. That makes me happy and even hopeful.

On Easter Sunday, my sisters loved their pouffy dresses, their white ankle socks with ruffles and their patent leather shoes. I wore dresses as well until one Easter when I wanted a more casual look. I ended up with a suit and a pink blouse with a Peter Pan collar. I don’t remember my shoes, but they weren’t patent leather. Maybe I was channeling my future self who thought she’d be a lawyer. Every Easter, in the afternoon, we’d go to my grandparent’s house in the city. Everyone was there: my aunts and uncles and too many cousins to count. I remember a conversation I overheard just before going into the kitchen. My name was mentioned so I stopped to eavesdrop. My aunt wanted to know why I wasn’t in a dress and why I was totally poufless. My suit didn’t pass muster. My mother simply said it was what she wanted.

My guest has left. She is on her way to Pittsburg. We had a wonderful visit. We toured the cape, stopped at a few shops and had a wonderful shrimp dinner last night. I had to chuckle as she always introduced herself as Francisca and then went on to say Miss Ryan was my Peace Corps teacher in Ghana 43 years ago. We laughed a lot. That’s what she thanked me of the most.

“Part of the urge to explore is a desire to become lost.”

June 14, 2014

The rain has stopped but the day is still damp and cloudy. There is such an after storm stillness that even the leaves aren’t moving. I was on the deck for a bit this morning and was surprised by how warm a morning it is. Today is a free day. I have no lists.

When I was a kid, we roamed a lot on Saturdays. On days like today my sneakers and the bottom part of my dungarees would get soaked. I never cared. The best part of being a kid was needing no sense of style or fashion. Dirt was acceptable. Fields and woods were for exploring, and rain was never a deterrent, at least not misty rain or, as my mother called it, spitting rain. The leaves always glistened when it rained, and I remember slurping rainwater from the leaves when I got thirsty. We wandered far afield usually staying in the woods or along the railroad tracks. Once we found a raft and used it to pole around a pond. The raft was made from an odd combination of wood pieces, and there were holes between the pieces so our feet were always in water. We poled a couple of times around the pond and then put the raft back where we had found it. At the swamp, we jumped across the little canals from one island to another and went as far back as we could until the underbrush was too thick and there were thorns. It was only in the winter that we could follow the swamp to where it ended.

My town had a box factory and two factories which made chemicals and all three of those factories were by the railroad tracks. We used to see the people from the box factory on their breaks. They’d be sitting outside on the steps talking together and smoking cigarettes. The factory was at the end of the tracks near what used to be the station. The windows were too high for us to see what was going on, but there were piles of unfolded boxes stacked on the loading dock. Two railroad cars were always on the tracks across from the factory. They never moved, and I don’t think they were ever used for anything. We couldn’t get into them but we did climb the steps and look wistfully inside.

We were gone all day, but my mother never worried even though she didn’t know where we were. When we were leaving, she’d ask where we were going. We never knew so our answer was always,”Around.”