Posted tagged ‘school’

“The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature.”

December 8, 2016

I think the sun went on vacation. Yesterday it rained in the morning and stayed cloudy the whole day though it was warmer than I expected. Today is also drab and gray. I am so glad that I was out for quite a while on Tuesday, the first sunny day in a while. I took the highway down cape but came back Route 28. It was a beautiful ride. I passed the ocean a few times. It was low tide and the water was still. It had a grayish tone. I saw a wild turkey fly. I hadn’t ever seen one fly before. It took a lumbering leap into the air and over a fence. I wasn’t sure the turkey had the height but it did. When I was passing the cove, the only boats moored, other than a single sailboat, were fishing boats. Most needed paint and had nets and lobster traps on deck. They all looked weathered and old. In Chatham, the store where I wanted to shop was gone. It didn’t matter. I really enjoyed the ride.

Last night my house was aglow. The front fence has strands of colored lights. The gate has a huge white star on top with trails of white lights coming from it. The top of the fence to and from the star is also white. Beside the driveway, bare branches on a bush are covered in huge Christmas ornaments. A floodlight shines on them. My deck rail has strands of colored lights atop it. I added bows to the three wreaths, put balls of colored ornaments in the basket on the steps and put my old sled with my ice skates beside the step. When it got dark last night, I went outside and stood on the street to check out my house. It is beautiful.

I did what I thought was quite a bit of wrapping yesterday. Come to find out I have so much more. All of the gifts are now downstairs filling the den and the hall. Maddie, though, is complicating the process by lying on the paper. She looks so comfy I don’t want to disturb her. I’ll probably just use different paper.

Tomorrow I’ll get the tree, the highlight of my Christmas. I love to sit in the living room just to look at it. Its aroma fills the house. I have a couple of new ornaments from Ghana. They aren’t really ornaments, but they’re big, round and colorful. They’ll do just fine.

“Air, I should explain, becomes wind when it is agitated.”

November 15, 2016

Today I am accomplished. The first load of laundry is in the washer. I finally got tired of walking around the overflowing laundry bags in the hall.

The wind is blowing. When I look out the windows, I see brown leaves falling almost as frequently as snow falls. The weather feels chilly because it is damp. Rain is predicted for today, and the cloudy sky makes it probable. It is getting darker.

Maddie howled again last night. It is from loneliness. When Gracie and I slept downstairs, she slept the whole night. I feel so bad for her and wish she would join Gracie and me upstairs. She knows Gracie won’t chase her as she stands on the couch beside the sleeping dog when she wants to be patted. Gracie doesn’t even notice.

When I was a kid, I never got all that excited about Thanksgiving. There was no countdown like for Christmas. It sort of it just arrived. In school, we colored turkeys and wrote down why were thankful. I always said my mother and father. I was probably thankful for them, but I was even more thankful for knowing what to write down. The short school week was also a blessing but not one I mentioned.

Even though every week was the same when I was a kid, except for holidays, of course,  I never really tired of the day to day. I ate the same breakfast every morning unless it was so cold my mother felt the need to make oatmeal to insulate us for the walk to school. We walked the same route to school every day. It didn’t take us long, maybe 20 minutes or so. On cold days we walked a whole lot faster both to keep warm and to get to school sooner.

I remember walking backward against the wind on days like today. My clothes would sometimes billow, especially my skirt. Every now and then I did need peeks to make sure I was walking straight on the sidewalk and to know to face the front when I reached the curb to cross.

I need the lamp lit to keep the darkness away. It was the same when I was a kid. I was never afraid of the dark, but it wasn’t good for reading, my favorite pastime when I couldn’t go out to play after school. I remember lying in bed, comfy and cozy, with the lamp lit behind and above me and an open book in my hands. It felt perfect, almost like paradise.

“The brain may die, but my compulsion for useless trivia lives on.”

September 17, 2016

3 days and counting!

The perfect weather continues. It is as if Mother Nature is apologizing for all that heat in August. The days are warm and the nights cool, even cold. If I were given the power to control the weather, I would first make it rain then I would create days just like today.

All over my table are sticky notes. Some are related to my trip like a list of passwords and a  list of things to pack I might not remember like the travel toilet paper, an essential in Ghana, another is new TV programs I want to DVR while I’m gone. The list of stuff I need at Stop and Shop keeps getting bigger. Today I added a small notepad and AA batteries.

Yesterday I set a new record at Agway. I bought everything the cats and Gracie need while I’m gone. I spent $223.00. A brass band accompanied me to the car. The band major twirled his baton as I filled the trunk. Most of the stuff is still there. Leandro, one-half of my cleaning couple, is coming today with his mother Lu, my pet and house sitter. Lee is always quite happy to bring the heavy stuff into the house. I, however, had to drag the heavy dry dog food, a can of dog food, three cans of cat food and a bag of treats into the house this morning. My back is moaning quite loudly.

The street is quiet this morning for a Saturday. I wonder where all the kids are.

Learning new things is fun for me. I have this weird memory which holds on to facts and information seldom needed. That makes me good at trivia. Once I was quite able to remember Ernie the Keebler Elf and Thimble Theater, where  Popeye first appeared. My team accepted Ernie but not Popeye. I forget which character they chose, but they were wrong. Coming up with Popeye is what I mean by a weird memory.

My sister is getting tired of me talking about Ghana. She doesn’t get it, how important the country is to me. I have all these memories rushing to the front from the back drawers of my memory cabinet. I’m almost gushing.

Well, according to my list, I have much to do. I need to be off and loping, not running-I am passed that.

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.”

April 16, 2016

I guess it is too early in the spring for the sun to sustain itself more than a day or two. It is gray and windy, big time windy. I can hear the sweet sound of the chimes hanging in the backyard.

The cats hate me. Fern has medicine once a day and the medicine ear rub is also once a day. Maddie has a daily ear rub in each ear. This morning Fern has had her medicine and Maddie her first rub. Both have disappeared. Gracie the snoring dog is the only pet still here with me.

Saturday has always been the best day of the week ever since I was really young. Weekdays meant school. I liked school, but I didn’t like being stuck there all day long. One recess a day just wasn’t enough. Sunday had church, a perfect reason not to like the day. In winter there was always the Saturday matinee or a day to do anything we wanted. On TV was the Creature Double Feature. I saw giant spiders, a colossal man, a 50 foot woman, Mole people, giants ants, a teenage werewolf and Godzilla. Both the Colossal Man and the 50 Foot Woman were quite ill-tempered, and she was even vengeful in going after her philandering husband who was carousing at a bar while she grew taller. I didn’t blame her. The giant creatures like the ants in Them were the results of the atomic bomb. I never minded staying home on a rainy Saturday. Watching TV was like being in B-movie heaven. Every now and then I find a favorite B&W science fiction movie on TCM. It’s like finding a treasure, a gem.

Most of this week was a bust. I’m hoping for better starting tomorrow. I’m not as obnoxious as Pollyanna and her glad game, but I’d like a few days with warm sun, a neat ride or two and maybe my first fish and chips of the season now that my favorite summer restaurants are open. I really don’t think I’m asking for a whole lot. I’ll even take just one. I pick the warm sun.

“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.”

May 21, 2015

Earlier, when I let Gracie out, I followed her to the deck. The air smelled sweet the way it does on a chilly spring morning. The sun was shining but soon went behind a cloud. The weatherman said maybe rain on Cape Cod today.

When I looked out the upstairs bathroom window, I noticed something red high up on a pine tree. I went outside to investigate. It appears to be a plastic bag, part of the nest of what I think is a grey squirrel. The greys don’t bother me so I don’t mind identifying them. The nest had leaves on the outside, and I could see branches sticking up. Last summer Gracie caught a baby grey which I saved, and the summer before that I watched a mother grey lie down on branches to keep her baby from feeding. I figured it was time to leave the nest day. I’m thinking that same grey might just be back for another round of motherhood.

I woke up early, early for me that is, at 7:30. I had coffee, read the papers, made my bed, got dressed and then did an errand. That’s it for me for the day. I’m thinking I’ve accomplished a lot.

When I was kid, my mother woke us for breakfast then afterwards hustled us to get dressed for school. I think school started around 8. We always left in plenty of time. There were no busses in those days so everybody walked no matter how far away they lived. Our walk wasn’t too long. It took maybe 15 or 20 minutes. One of my friends walked from the other side of town. It was probably a mile or even two. Few cars delivered kids. It was the 50’s and most were one-car families, cars which our dads drove to work. I never thought about the walk even on rainy or freezing cold days. I didn’t ever complained. That was just the way it was.

I did love the springtime when my mother would let me ride my bike to school. I’d park it in the wooden bike rack, and even though my bike wasn’t locked, it was always there at the end of the day. The bikes back then weren’t fancy. They had big tires and back pedal breaks. Mine had a basket off and a silver bell on the handlebars. It had been a Christmas present when I was around nine or ten. It was the best present I ever got.

“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!'”

October 31, 2014

I never understood how there could be school on Halloween. Did the powers that be actually think we could concentrate on arithmetic or geography? Our minds were filled with thoughts of trick or treating not multiplication or the exports of Chile. Time seemed to stretch forever that day. I’d look at the clock and when next I’d look only a few minutes would have passed since the last time. I gave thought to a trick of the clock, even a haunting, but it was just me clock watching and agonizing over the slowness of the hands moving from one number to another. Recess was all about Halloween. We’d be standing in groups talking about the night to come and the costumes we’d wear. The bell would summon us back, and somehow we’d survive the last part of the day without standing on our desks and screaming out of impatience and frustration. We always ran home.

The afternoon seemed the longest part of the day because we were so close. I’d put on and take off my costume like sort of a dress rehearsal. My mother made us eat dinner. We’d beg to go out trick or treating, but my mother said it was too early, not even dark yet. We’d stare out the picture window begging for darkness or hoping to see the first trick or treater so we could be next. Finally my mother gave in and off we went.

We’d do the neighborhood first, up the hill and around the cul-de-sac. That took the most time. Neighbors were chatty. Finally we’d break free and head down the big hill out of the neighborhood. We didn’t follow the same route every year, but we hit some of the same houses, the nickel bar houses and the houses which gave us pennies. We’d avoid the apple houses.

I remember walking on the sidewalks filled with the shadows of trees from the street lights. I remember leaves covering everything and a few falling as we walked. Houses had their outside lights on as a welcome to trick or treaters. We’d walk all over town filling our pillowcases. When the lights started to go out, we headed for home munching as we walked. The walk home was always quiet.

At home, my mother would give each of us a bowl for our candy. I remember the bowls were white and had tulips on them. We’d empty out our candy then we’d trade. We’d eat as much as we could get away with. I remember every Halloween as being glorious.

“Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.”

September 1, 2014

Last night around midnight I was in bed watching a movie on my iPad when all of a sudden the room lit up. That was the beginning of the thunder and lightning and the torrential rain. The thunder was loud and long-lasting. The rain was so heavy I could hear the drops plunking my air conditioner in a constant rat-a-tat. I got out of bed to look out the window at the storm. I watched for a long while. The wind was whipping the oak branches back and forth and the backlash from the rain hitting the overhang came in the window. I didn’t mind. The storm was exhilarating.

Today is humid and ugly. It is an August day, the sort we usually suffer through each summer but not this year when August days, weather defined, have been noticeably missing. The sun managed to break through for a short time earlier but disappeared and left behind a cloudy, darkish day. It is very still and quiet.

Labor Day was always the last day of summer vacation when I was a kid. It meant a week day bath, setting out my new clothes and arranging the supplies in my school bag. The arranging took the most time as I would put the supplies in then take them out to look at them then put them back in a different arrangement. My mother would put our new lunch boxes on the counter and have them open and ready for packing in the morning. She made us go to bed earlier than we had all summer, but we didn’t fall asleep any earlier. I remember lying in bed thinking about the next day. I was excited about school starting.

My mother woke us up, and we were grumpy because of the early hour. She made us eat breakfast first then we got dressed, grabbed our book bags and lunch boxes and left for school. My friend Michelle and I always walked together. We were a little anxious getting to school on that first morning, but the nervousness wore off quickly because every day after that was always the same. The only thing that changed was my sandwich and the dessert.