Posted tagged ‘still’

“Sometimes broken shoes and tattered clothes can tell us beautiful stories!”

February 16, 2018

Last night it rained. I was still watching television so it was early. The rain was intermittent. It was the last thing I heard before I fell asleep.

I have had a few false starts this morning. First I wrote about obituaries. The one of the woman described as loving to shop had caught my eye. I wondered if she’d approve of that legacy. I wrote about the man who bowled, his favorite pastime, and wondered about my own obituary, but then I got stuck so I stopped, thought a bit then went on to another subject. Yearbooks were next. I always felt bad for the kids with nothing under their pictures. They spent four years of high school being phantoms. From there I jumped to still waters run deep, the classic description of the shy kid no one knew well. At that point I stopped and deleted what I’d written. I began again.

Today is still. Not a branch is moving. Even the dead leaves on the oak trees are still. The sky is white cloudy. The bare pine branches stand stark against the light sky and look almost like fingers grasping for something. It will be a warm day, the last warm day before the cold comes back tomorrow. Snow is possible at the beginning of the new week.

My broken bone has been the perfect excuse to do nothing. I still can’t lift anything if it has any weight. The downside, though, is trying to read a hardcover book in bed. I rest it on the bed and hold it with my left hand but then I have trouble turning the pages. I gave up after a short while.

I thought I was at the stage of my life where I didn’t really need anything new. Old clothes are comfortable and old shoes fit my feet best of all. I wear a sweatshirt during the day to stay cozy and most of them are so old they’ve lost their shape. I do save a few good ones to wear in the world at large mostly because I don’t want to be the eccentric old lady wearing tattered, misshapen clothes who mumbles to herself in the grocery store. Now I can add a new shirt to my ensemble. I bought two flannel shirts on sale. Both have  patterns in muted colors. They are warm enough for days like today, in the 40’s; however, they don’t help with the mumbling.

“Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”

January 21, 2018

This is not one of my better mornings. My grumpiness is wasted as I’m here by myself. I’m also tired as I was restless all night and didn’t sleep well. I’m coughing though I don’t think I have a cold, but just in case I’ve decided to stay home to watch the Pats instead of watching with friends. No Typhoid Mary here.

Today is relatively warm. The sun is shining but from behind clouds. Nothing is stirring. It’s a quiet day.

The laundry is upstairs and put away, but I have two more bags of laundry waiting to be washed. They’ll wait a while. I have plenty of underwear.

Getting older sometimes means getting a bit jaded. I think that would be the worst, to see the world as only dulled or tired. I look for the adventure in each day, for something new or something changed. When I get the mail, I stop at my car, rest my back and watch the world for a few minutes. I see the beauty. I realize how lucky I am.

When I was little, I made memories. The school corridor, wider than a river, went on for miles. Nuns were all six foot and muscular, even the old ones. The Five and Ten was magical. Everything you wanted or needed was on one of its shelves. The railroad tracks just kept going and going as far as any of us could imagine, even to China. The woods were filled with adventures. Blueberries grew everywhere. The turkey needed two people to lift it out of the oven. The Christmas tree touched the ceiling and filled the living room.

Life is gigantic when you’re little. It’s a surprise wrapped in paper and lots of ribbon. The sun is brighter, the snow deeper and the rain heavier. New still happens. Believing is easy. Santa is real and so are the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny. I know the memories I share with you every day may have been tempered by time, but I swear most of them are true, except maybe the one about the nuns. A couple of them might have been five ten.

“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.”

November 12, 2017

The sky is cloudy again, and it’s chilly, low 40’s chilly. My heat is on almost constantly. Nothing is moving. I can see the backyard through my den window and not a branch, even the smallest, is moving. I’m glad for the stillness. It helps to keep the cold at bay. There is a chance of rain later.

Gracie and I have to go to Agway. I am out of canned dog food, and that’s a calamity. I also need to buy biscuits, dog and cat treats, cat food and bird seed. Shopping at Agway is, for me, never an inexpensive stop. My animals expect and do get the best. Gracie is pickier than the cat and drives me crazy when she turns her face away from the treat I’m offering and holds out for something better which she usually gets. It is too late now to alter the behavior I have fostered in Gracie, the spoiled dog.

This morning I enjoyed biscotti with my coffee. It was, of course, chocolate biscotti. My  mother wasn’t a coffee drinker except with biscotti which she loved. When she came to visit, I’d give her a half cup of coffee purely for dunking purposes. One Christmas she even made her own biscotti, and it was delicious. She kept a few but sent most of it home with me as the rest of the family didn’t eat biscotti. What fools they were!!

The cloudy days make me feel languid. I need a bit of sunlight, a natural pick-me-up. It is so easy to love a sunny day and feel like conquering the world; instead, I just sit here hoping for a sudden jolt of energy.

Having lived here for so long, I am familiar with all the quirks of my house. I can identify the sounds. That’s the ice maker adding water or dropping cubes in the tray.  I can hear the clicks of the furnace before the heat blasts. The thump is Maddie jumping off the couch or from one step to another. I used to hear the scurry off the mice in the eaves, but the exterminator took care of that. Just a few minutes ago, I heard an unfamiliar sound. I stopped typing to listen. The sound had a rhythm, a rat-tat. I knew it had to be a woodpecker. I banged the wall, but the sound stopped for only a minute. I had to go out to the deck to scare the bird away. The sound has stopped.

Tonight is game night and football night as the Pats are playing the Broncos. We’ll all be watching. My sister in Colorado is working on her football game menu. The Pats never do well in Denver, but this year Denver is not doing well. They are last in their conference with a 3 and 5 record. The Pats are first in theirs with a 6 and 2 record. The Pats are favored. I hope that comes to fruition.

My dance card is not empty for a change thanks to game night.

“I love being home, reading the paper in the morning and having a cup of coffee, doing laundry, going grocery shopping and running daily errands. For me, it’s important to have that balance in my life.”

November 9, 2017

Last night was cold, not quite wintry cold but close enough. Saturday night will be in the 30’s. That’s winter to me. The sun is resting elsewhere so the sky is all over cloudy, not a single break of blue. It is a still day.

I was out yesterday and am going out again today. I can’t remember the last time I was out two days in a row. Maddie and Gracie are my incentives today. They both need canned food, and Gracie is almost out of treats. I also need sunflower seeds. That’s the first stop, Agway. As for me, I’m out of bread and butter. It is a two stop day.

When I was a kid, my parents always went grocery shopping on Friday nights. My father had to take my mother as she didn’t have a driver’s license and wouldn’t have one until after we had moved to the cape. Saturday was my father’s day for errands and chores. When I go by the Chinese laundry still in my home town, I think of my dad. He’d go to the “Chinaman” every Saturday with his long sleeve white shirts. He wore one every day to work and liked them starched. He wouldn’t start wearing colors until much later. I gave him a button down collar yellow shirt for Christmas one year, and that was the start of colors and buttoned down collars. My father surprised me when he abandoned white.

My father seldom deviated from his usual anything. He didn’t easily try new foods and wouldn’t eat familiar foods if they were changed even in the smallest way. The key to my dad was to work around him. When he was here visiting, he ate a pork roast to which I had added garlic in slits around the meat. My dad loved the meal. When my mother was making the same dish, he caught her adding the garlic. He told my mother no way would he eat it. Only shrimp scampi had garlic. He wouldn’t eat hummus because he said it looked like wallpaper paste. Chinese food was exotic to him, a man who loved Spam, sardines and instant coffee.

“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.”

August 12, 2017

It is quite late for my posting. I first woke up at 7:30, and when Gracie heard me, she left her crate and came to me in the den, her usual morning routine. We went to the door, and as soon as I opened it, she backed away. It was raining quite heavily. I went back to bed and Gracie joined me on the couch. We both slept away the morning.

The day is very dark and very still. All my windows are closed. The rain has stopped, and I miss the beating of rain on the roof. It has always been on the list of my favorite sounds. If I were to build a tiny house in my yard, it would have a metal roof. I would go there every time it rained.

One Easter, I wanted a suit and a new blouse instead of froufrou. I had outgrown froufrou. The blouse was white with a bit of frill on the collar, and the suit was blue, a darker blue. We were at my grandmother and grandfather’s house on Easter Sunday where the whole family converged on some weekends and on every holiday. I overheard my aunt ask my mother why I was wearing a suit and not a new dress. My mother said that’s what she wanted.

Gracie and I have a couple of errands today. She needs refills on pills, and I need a few things for movie night which has been postponed until tomorrow because of inclement weather. I always wanted to use inclement weather. I didn’t have much of an opportunity.

I think television dialogue ought to set an example by using correct English. Perhaps hearing it often enough would permeate even the thickest of minds. The object of a preposition is in the objective case. Stop using I after a preposition. For example: after Don and I isn’t correct. It is after Don and me, with me being the objective case. I used to tell my students to take out the name and just use the pronoun. It would then become after I. Does that sound right? How about after me? That was lesson number 1.

“Clutter is my natural habitat.”

July 21, 2017

Today is hot. It is 83˚. I’m in the cool air of the house looking at the world through my den window. The most I can see is the blue sky and the still leaves of the oak tree. Later, in the cool of the afternoon, I have some deck stuff to finish: replace the burned out lights on the rail and get the fountain working. I also need to bring the flamingo and the gnome to the deck where they’ll reside all summer. A few of the flowers in the smallest pots have died so I’m hoping to get replacements at Agway today. I’ll be braving the heat.

When I was young, I knew what old was. No question it was those blue-haired ladies in their dresses and clunky heeled shoes with wrinkled faces and hands who dragged wire baskets on wheels behind them when they shopped at the grocery store. They never wore pants. Their shoes were sensible. Their dresses had flowers. I never stopped to  think how old they were. They just fit my vision of old so age didn’t seem to matter.

Despite my current wardrobe, if my young self knew I was soon to turn 70, I suspect I’d think myself old, but I’m not. The definition of old changes as we age. I’m now thinking 90+ might be old, but I’m not sure anymore. I admit, though, I’m thinking of buying one of those wire baskets so I can haul stuff from the car to the house.

I hate clutter yet my den is cluttered, but I’ve come to ignore it as the alternative is to go crazy. I had to move the dog’s dishes here as she slid on the kitchen floor. Her toys are in a wooden box and usually a couple are on the floor. Gracie tends to paw her toys to the floor until she finds just the right one. My cloth from Ghana is stored in a pile here but not out of sight. Most of my cookbooks are on shelves which cover one whole wall. My hat collection hangs from the shelves. My table is a huge metal one with three overflowing baskets underneath. I do have sorting through them on my whenever I get to them list of things to do. I sleep on the couch so my pillow and sheets are on the desk chair. This is the room where I spend the most time so everything is here except snacks and drinks. They’re down the hall, and the bathroom is between them. My inside world is small, but I’m content.

“Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.”

July 17, 2017

I turned off the air conditioner just to refresh the house, but that’s not going to happen. The air is thick with humidity, and there is no breeze to stir it. There are clouds where there is supposed to be sun. It will be 77˚ at the highest and in the mid-60’s tonight.

Movie night was fun, and the appetizers were delicious. We noshed on a feta dip with pita chips, cold cuts in baguettes, delicious cheeses and honeyed figs. Gunga Din was as wonderful an old movie as I remembered. It was one of those movies with a cast of thousands. The night was humid and hot but cooled down as we watched. I have neighbors on one side and renters on the other. I always wonder if they’re a bit jealous of us watching movies outside in the summer, such a wonderful way to spend a warm evening.

Summer had its own set of rules when I was a kid. The street lights no longer controlled our play time. We stayed out after dark. Bedtime was when we went to bed. Meals were usually catch as catch can except for supper which my mother cooked for all of us.  Mostly it was cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. We’d make our own. Bologna with hot peppers was my favorite sandwich. The peppers were round so I had to cut them, but they were still thick. The bologna came in a roll so I had to cut slices which were never even; they were thin on one side and thick on the other. My sandwiches were messy. White bread was just too soft and easily prone to holes. For dessert we’d grab Oreos, but they quick to disappear. The week days were ours to do as we wanted. My mother would ask where we were going, but most times we didn’t know. Riding our bikes or going to the playground were our usual answers. At least one weekend day was family day when we were stuck together in the hot car going to the beach on Sunday or to a drive-in movie theater Saturday night.

As we got older, we spent less and less time with the family and more time with our friends. I had drill two nights a week and competitions on the weekends. I slept late every day. My bicycle stayed in the cellar. My friends picked me up with their cars. Sometimes we did nothing but ride around. Other times we hung at one house or another just talking and laughing. That was pretty much the end of family time, but it reappeared when I was older, living away and teaching. I’d spend a weekend at my parents’ house. I even remember the three of us going to a drive-in together. The movie was A New Leaf with Walter Matthau and Elaine May. We laughed a lot. I had a wonderful evening with my parents.