Posted tagged ‘summer day’

“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”

October 12, 2017

My friends have left, and my house is ever so quiet. As always we had the best time together. On Tuesday we had a ride along the ocean, and I took them to my favorite spots. The sun was glinting off the water. It was so warm people sat on beach chairs in the sand sunning themselves. It was a summer day in fall.

We ate appetizers on the deck. The birds had found the filled feeders, and they flew back and forth from feeders to branches. Most of them were chickadees.

Peg had brought dinner, shrimp pesto. She had also brought vegetables, a cheese log dip, crackers, some fruit and dessert. The brownies had chocolate chips, and there was a thick fudge sauce to put on them adding to the chocolate overload though I would contend there is really no such thing as a chocolate overload. I am just using the term to give a vivid picture of how wonderful dessert was. Gracie was restless that night. At 1:30 she wanted food so I fed her and I had a brownie. Afterwards, we were both quite content.

Bill is a talented furniture maker and handyman. He did some repairs in the house, a few of which have been driving me crazy. Some of the fixes include the toilet upstairs which now flushes, the toilet holder downstairs again secure on the wall, my old curio cabinet repaired and my front storm shutting automatically.

Bill and Peg brought gifts. One was a wooden Red Sox peg board. Another was a framed silhouette of a boxer. There was homemade grape jelly and African coffee. The dip was in a pottery bowl and the bowl was also a gift. I can’t think there are better guests than Bill and Peg.

Last night we had dinner at Karoo’s, a South African restaurant. It is one of my favorite places. Bill and Peg had been there before and requested it for this trip. I had monkey ribs and beef samosas for appetizers. The drink I ordered, the speciality of the night, was amazingly refreshing with vodka, grapefruit juice and a simple syrup. My dinner was bobotie beef, a curried meatloaf served with turmeric rice and chutney. Bill and Peg both had West African peanut soup with pumpkin added though in Ghana it would have been groundnut soup. Peg had a falafel sandwich. All of us had come to love Lebanese food in Ghana, and we ate many felafel sandwiches, all wrapped in foil.

This morning was leisurely. Sadly, at close to eleven, Peg and Bill started loading up to go home. Gracie and I went outside to say goodbye. My house feels empty without them.

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“I saw goats. A party can’t be all bad when you have goats,” Lucy said.”

September 25, 2017

Today is amazing. When I went to get the papers, I was surprised how hot it is. The sun is bright. There isn’t even the slightest breeze. It is a summer day in late June.

Okay, I admit I am more aware of English grammar than the average person. I was, after all, an English teacher so I cringe when I hear bad grammar. I liken it to a musician playing a wrong note or a singer singing out of tune. I am more tolerant of conversation sprinkled with bad grammar. I don’t acknowledge it. Television, however, is a different story. Writers are eliminating the objective case, especially after a preposition. It is between you and me, never between you and I. Today it has been three times so far that good grammar has been tossed on TV. Detective, military and police procedure shows use experts in each field to check the plot details. Maybe it is time to hire an English teacher to check scripts for bad grammar.

My laundry is now downstairs leaning against the cellar door, and I am actually going to wash it today, a monumental task. I am also going to do a couple of errands. I think the sun has energized me.

Last night was so very foggy, a halloween sort of night. I expected something dressed in black to jump from behind the bushes to scare me. Actually, I was a little disappointed when nothing happened.

I once milked a goat. At first nothing happened. My technique was bad so I kept trying. My fingers were about to give out when the first squirt of milk hit the bucket. I felt so accomplished.

A herd of goats were responsible for my only motorcycle injury. It was in Ghana. I saw the herd start to cross the road so I stopped and waited. It changed direction and ran right into me. The bike started to fall so I grabbed it, and in the process got a burn on my leg, a round burn which took a long time to heal. The burn and the boils were my only Peace Corps medical issues.

“Morning is the dream renewed, the heart refreshed, earth’s forgiveness painted in the colors of the dawn.”

August 28, 2017

I love these cool and sunny mornings. When I take Gracie out, I sit on the shaded back steps for a while until I get cold or until I can smell the coffee.

There is something wonderful about mornings. The whole day is in front of me. I can do what I please and seldom have expectations as to what the day might bring. I take everything as it comes. Sometimes I have lists, but they are more like guidelines. If I don’t want to do anything, I don’t. There’s always tomorrow.

My morning rituals take about 5 minutes to complete before I can sit and drink my coffee, also a ritual I suppose. They are the only parts of the day which never change. I take Gracie out and then feed her and Maddie breakfast. The two patiently wait knowing what’s coming. After breakfast each gets a treat. Maddie’s patience is usually gone by then, and she meows at me while Gracie just sits waiting. Satisfied, the two then take their first naps of the day.

When I was a kid, I was seldom home on a summer day. I’d go to the playground or  roam around on my bike. My mother never really knew where I was at any given time,  but she didn’t worry. No mothers worried back then. Our world was small, confined mostly to the neighborhood, the school and church and to the main square of our town where the library, the movie theater and the stores were. Nothing bad ever happened when I was a kid.

My mother taught us not to talk to strangers. I figure she was just hedging her bets. My town didn’t have strangers. I think my father knew everybody. He and my mother had lived there since before high school, before they’d met each other. I was simply George’s oldest, and people would stop me and say hello and tell me to say hello to my mother or father or both.

I hitchhiked when I was a senior in high school and when I was in college. I also hitched when I was in Ghana which was a quicker way to get home than to wait for the lorry to fill. Never did I think of my mother and her admonition about strangers. I just wanted to get from one place to another. Nothing ever happened. I never even felt threatened. That’s the way it was back then.

“Whenever the sun is shining, I feel obligated to play outside!”

May 26, 2016

Yesterday summer dropped by for a visit and decided to stay a while. It was 70˚ here and in the high 80’s away from the coast. It will be the same today.

This morning the doorbell rang at the ungodly hour of eight. Gracie, in her watch dog mode, started barking, leapt off the bed and ran downstairs. Other than the barking, I did the same thing. It was Sebastian, my neighbor and landscaper, who handed me my morning papers from the driveway. He just laughed when I told him he had woken me up in what was literally a rude awakening. Sebastian said he had rung the bell to let me know he and his guys were working on the garden planting the new flowers and herbs and laying down mulch. I was actually glad he had rung the bell as I had other yard work needing a bit of attention. One guy cleaned out the winter headquarters of the spawn of Satan, my outside shower, which had a huge mound of pine cones and pieces of pine cones meant to feed families of spawns over the winter. They also filled Gracie’s chasms. One hole was so big it needed to be walked around instead of jumped across. I swear I could faintly hear Chinese. I think it was Mandarin. Finally they cleaned the debris from the deck and from the deck furniture. Sebastian said the guy would be here tomorrow to stain the deck. I asked him to swear the guy was coming. Sebastian declined.

The noisy morning has given way to a stillness occasionally punctuated by the sounds of birds singing and Gracie snoring. All three animals are here with me, and all of them are sleeping. Fern and Gracie are on the couch and Maddie is on her chair.

Days like today are meant to be enjoyed. The wash I was going to do can wait until tomorrow or even Saturday. There is no rush. I could do a dump run, but that too can be put off until tomorrow. Nothing is a must today except maybe some time on the deck with a cold drink and a book.

 

“A hamburger by any other name costs twice as much.”

September 30, 2010

Yesterday was summer, hot and humid summer. It was a back to the deck day which started with morning coffee and papers and ended with me sitting in the dark enjoying the night air and listening to all of its sounds. Today is a bit cooler and far breezier but still warm enough for lazing on the deck. The paper said cold Canadian air is on its way. The nights will drop to 40°, perfect sleeping weather.

I took a ride yesterday. First I went to the garden center and bought bulbs. I bought hyacinths, dafs, crocus, though I am tempted to call them croci, and a few tulips then I headed to the shore road. As I drove over the bridges, the air was clear on each side of me, but further out, fog sat over the water. It was beautiful.

Every day my mailbox is bulging with catalogs. Some of them go into the discard pile without a glance. Others get a look through, but if I find nothing interesting, they too are discarded. The ones I save have dog-eared pages where there is something I might just order. Yesterday, one item took me aback. It was a plastic form for making hot dog shaped hamburgers. It’s just wrong. Hamburgers are round.

I know ground beef can take many shapes. If it’s square, it’s meatloaf. If it’s squat and round and you add gravy, it’s Salisbury steak. If it’s in a small ball shape, you’ve got meatballs. If you dress it up a bit and add noodles, you’ve got ground beef Stroganoff.

Ground beef is versatile, but the one thing it can never be is a hot dog. We’re talking apples to oranges, (though Christer might say äpplen och päron). Some things are just sacrosanct and never to be messed with. Hamburgers are one of them.