Posted tagged ‘sun’

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”

February 18, 2017

My neighbors didn’t try to break-in with their mirrors to test my breathing. I don’t know why they didn’t check or at least call as my newspaper was sitting in the driveway until noon. Maybe there needs to be a stack of papers before the neighbors notice.

I slept so late to make up for the interrupted sleep on Thursday when Gracie was shaking enough to wake me up three or so times. I took her out each time then gave up the bed to sleep downstairs on the couch.

I think I’ve figured out the shaking. It has nothing to do with going out. When I turned the bedroom light on to get ready to go downstairs to take her out, Gracie was always by the edge of the bed looking nervously at the floor. I’m now thinking she might have fallen off the bed, but I can’t imagine when. She is always with me upstairs so maybe it was when I was gone; anyway, last night I decided to switch sides of the bed. It was easy, and it worked. Gracie and I both slept the whole night and the whole morning. We didn’t wake up until noon. She didn’t shake once all night. Solution found though the question still lingers.

Today is a beautiful, warm sunny day. There is a breeze and sometimes even a wind which makes the pine trees sway. The oaks still have brown leaves at the ends of branches. I know spring is coming, it always does, but I get impatient around this time of year. I figure winter has held sway for far too long. The snow last week was the final straw.

My front garden has green shoots. I think they’re daffodils. I also think they’re brave and I do hope they survive. February isn’t finished yet, and March can be snowy.

Baseball spring training is in full swing.

“Shut the door not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the coziness.”

February 16, 2017

Last night we had a sprinkling of snow, less than an inch. The sun was out when I woke up but has since given way to clouds. The melting has stopped. Cold is creeping in, and it is down to 32˚. We’ll have flurries today.

Yesterday it poured most of the day. Gracie and I went to the dump, and, of course, it started to rain just then. I got wet.

I’m ignoring my lists. The last few days I have been lazy and have crossed off nothing, except the trash and the dump from Saturday’s list.

Winter is a time for hibernation, and I think I’m hibernating in my own way. My days are routine. I mostly stay inside. I find ways to keep myself occupied. I watch TV. I read, and every now and then I randomly clean. I live in my comfy clothes. Afternoon naps are common. The phone rings and strange phone numbers from all over the country appear in the corner of my TV. I don’t ever answer, and they don’t ever leave a message. They interrupt my naps.

Spring training has started. The Globe is filled with baseball stories. I read them all. Thoughts of baseball conjure green grass, warm days and steamed hot dogs.

I hate commercials, but I don’t hate them all equally. Some I hate more than others. The Dole fruit cup commercial where the haughty woman says to her husband, “Oh, they are drainers,” is the worst. She looks at the other couple as if they are plague carriers instead of drinkers of sweetened fruit juice. I change the station.

The catalogs stopped for a while, after the Christmas sales were over, but now they’re back. Some I toss right away into the recycle bag. Others I thumb through hoping to find a treasure.

It’s time for lunch: chicken noodle soup from one of my favorite places, Spinners. The soup is perfect for a cold winter’s day. It warms the innards.

“I couldn’t shed the cold; it clung to every bit of me.”

January 31, 2017

I walked out of the house to get the papers and was totally taken aback at how cold it was. It was sunny then but the sun was just a backdrop providing some light but no heat. Since then the sun has been replaced by whitish clouds. Snow will be coming later but only an inch or two. I’m staying home today where I’ll be warm and comfortable.

When I was a kid, winter usually meant staying inside after school. I’d do my homework and then watch TV. The only exercise I had was walking to and from school. We, the four of us, must have driven my mother crazy. My brother and I would tease our younger sisters. He and I would sit on the couch on each side of one sister and point at her. That drove her crazy and she’d yell to my mother about us. We’d yell back and say we weren’t even touching her, but my mother knew. She’d tell us to stop.

I didn’t my bike out much in the winter. Mostly I walked everywhere. Some Saturdays I’d ride with my father when he did his errands. My favorite stop was at the Chinaman’s as everyone in town called it. The shop was where my dad left his white shirts each week to be cleaned. Behind the counter on shelves were bundles of cleaned shirts wrapped in brown paper tied with string. The laundry was always steamy from the big ironing machine by the window. I used to watch the Chinaman iron.

On Sunday, if I was up and dressed early enough I could ride with my father to church. He was an usher at the eight o’clock mass. He’d give me a dime to put in the basket. I always sat in a pew where he collected the money. The ushers never sat. They just stood in the back entryway and talked in whispers until it was time for the money offerings.

One of the best parts of being retired is staying home on the coldest of days, a day like to day.

“I believe in dressing for the occasion. There’s a time for sweater, sneakers and Levis and a time for the full-dress jazz.”

January 27, 2017

When I woke up and looked out the window, I saw a sunny day and a blue sky. The thought I might be dreaming crossed my mind, but I wasn’t. It is a lovely day, a bit chillier than it has been but still quite lovely.

Gracie and I are going out to do errands. My imagination has both of us shielding our eyes from the sun as if we’ve been living in a cave.

I have a list of places to go and things to buy. Gracie, as always, will be my co-pilot. Her favorite place is Agway. They give out free biscuits.

My return to Star Trek Voyager is almost over. I am watching the final season. Science fiction right now is far more hospitable than the real world.

When I lived in Ghana, it was during the birth of the Second Republic. The army had overthrown Kwame Nkrumah in 1966. They called it Operation Cold Chop. I love that. Chop is food in Ghana and roadside chop bars were the places to eat. We used to get food just about every Sunday from a chop bar in the lorry park. Anyway, the CIA backed coup   was for a multitude of reasons, one of which was Nkrumah’s close ties to Russia.

I used to love to watch the lobsters swimming in their tank in the front window of the fish market. I remember the guys behind the counter wore white aprons with bibs. They sold fish fillets from a display case. I didn’t care about the fish. Back then, the only fish I ate was tuna from a can.

I used to wear dungarees lined with flannel when I was a kid. Girls’ dungarees had a zipper in a front pocket. I wore blouses. If I got cold, I’d put on a sweater, a cardigan. Mostly I wore white sneakers. My clothes weren’t very colorful. They were heavy on the blue. I think every girl my age wore the exact same outfit.

My brother wore dungarees and striped jerseys. He even wore dungarees all summer. He wore white, high top sneakers, Converse sneakers. Mine too were Converse. Every boy his age wore exactly the same outfit, including Beaver Cleaver.

Last night I had a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich for supper. I would have used Marshmallow Fluff instead if I had any. My supper choices are quite limited. It’s time to shop. I’m keeping a list in Alexa. I just added Fluff.

“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”

December 20, 2016

The sun decided to make an appearance today. I guess it is a bit of a reward for surviving the cold of last night. Today is about 40˚,  warm for the depths of winter.

My mother never disappointed us at Christmas. When I was really young, Santa always brought me something from my list. Under the tree, they’d be my big gift, a new game, books, and even clothes. I loved the clothes as they were what everyone was wearing. I remember some of my favorites over the years like the white fluffy sweater, the gold necklace, the ski pants with the loops, the over the head parka with a zippered pocket across the chest, and a wool skirt. The books were classics or mysteries. The games were ones the whole family could play. Santa didn’t take the time to wrap our gifts. They were arranged under the tree. I remember looking over the banister as I walked down the stairs and being thrilled and excited. I might have even squealed with joy.

We had Christmas stockings when we were young, but when we were adults, my mother used all sorts of pseudo stockings like a basket, a really neat shopping bag or something old she’d found like a coal hod. She wrapped every stocking stuffer which heightened the excitement so I always wrapped every stocking stuffer for her and later for my sisters. Now I do the same for my friends. I am a wrapping phenomenon at Christmas.

My dad was never all that excited about Christmas. He would reluctantly open his presents long after the rest of us had finished. When he was a kid, Christmas was not a big deal. It was socks and underwear. My mother, though, loved Christmas and my dad just went with it. He always told my mother not to mention what she’d spent. He had a favorite part of Christmas, the food. He loved all the goodies and would make himself a plate and pour a glass of milk to take into the living room so he could nosh and watch.

Today has no lists. I’m going to hang around the house, maybe do laundry, but the laundry bag is still upstairs. It needs to sit in front of the cellar door for a couple of days before I get to it or I need to run out of underwear, whichever comes first.

“Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow.”

December 16, 2016

Outside looks lovely from the window. I see sun, a blue sky, and only a slight breeze, but all of those are deceiving. Cold, freezing cold, is today’s weather. Wear layers is what we’re being told. I’m thinking 6 or 7 layers may not be enough. It is 14˚, and today’s high will be 19˚. Tomorrow and Sunday will be warm but rainy. It could reach 60˚ on Sunday. Mother Nature is indecisive.

My house is mostly decorated. The tree could use a few more ornaments so I’ll add that to my to-do list. My fake scrub pine has a dead set of lights so I’ll have to replace it. Friends are coming to dinner. The menu is set but I need to get dessert and some cheese. I have sort of a casual flow chart on cooking the meal. We’re having pork tenderloin, honeyed carrots and baby potatoes with romano cheese.

My family calls it the Christmas bug. It all started with my grandmother, the one who had eight kids. My mother, my Aunt Bunny and my Uncle Jack were bitten. Their houses were filled with Christmas. They baked and they kept baking. They loved to shop for presents. They always chose the best gifts. Many of my cousins were also bitten, as was I and my two sisters. We love all the hoopla of Christmas and traditions teem. The gingerbread house construction started 33 years ago and has now passed to a second generation. Pinatas, too, are on a second generation. I used to fill them for my niece and two nephews, and now,  their kids can’t wait for Christmas Eve and pinata whacking. Five pinatas hang from the high railing on the second floor.

When I was a kid, my mother’s kitchen always had steamed windows when she was cooking. It was a small kitchen, almost a galley kitchen. The table was by the window. It had four chairs, just enough for my parents and my brother and me. My sister was a baby in a highchair. I can still recall images of that house, one side of a duplex. The stairs had a landing where I used to sit and color or read. Upstairs was the bathroom and two bedrooms. This house had gotten too small with the birth of my sister, and we would be moving soon but only down the street. I don’t even remember moving.

“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter.”

October 21, 2016

This morning I slept late. It was cozy under the warm comforter. The dog sensing I was awake stood up. I just stayed in bed. Fern joined us. I finally decided to get up. It was almost nine. I got downstairs, let Gracie outside, made coffee and then fetched my newspapers. The street was wet on the sides so it must have rained last night. I missed it.

The forecast is for rain today, and I thought it was going to rain earlier when the sun disappeared and dark clouds took over the sky. Since then the sun has reappeared, but it doesn’t look all that comfortable surrounded as it is by clouds. It may yet rain.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I have become an MSNBC junkie. When I was in Ghana, I saw the first debate. I read all the comments, all the fallout, and had a few laughs. I also got irritated, majorly irritated. My friend Bill advised me not to read anymore, but I couldn’t stop. I was in the grip of this horrific campaign. Now it is worse. I watched the last two debates and the Al Smith dinner last night. I watched the fact checker after the last debate and saw how many Pinocchios Mr. Trump received. Even now, I have MSNBC in the background. I’m beginning to  feel like a gawker.

I have always voted. I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen who is of age. My first election was 1968. I had to wait back then until I was twenty-one. My candidate did not win. When I was in Ghana, I got an absentee ballot, but it arrived too late. The election was already over. I sent it in anyway, by air mail.

My town still uses paper and pen ballots. For the first time, I will be able to vote early, starting next week. I check in by my address at a table where two women sit. Every election it is the same two women. We always say hi. I go behind the curtain and vote then  put my ballot in the box. I usually know the police officer standing beside the box. I then go to a different table to check out by street address. Two women sit at that table as well. We usually have a bit if a chit chat then I’m done. I proudly put my I voted sticker on my shirt.