Posted tagged ‘sunny day’

“Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.”

January 8, 2017

It hasn’t been the best of mornings though it is a pretty day with the sun glinting off the snow. When I let the dog out, I could see how much snow had fallen as it was piled high on the back deck. I had a bit of trouble opening the storm door and had to push the snow away. Gracie waited then slid out the door and stood at the top of the stairs wondering, I guessed, if she really needed to go that badly. She did. I worried, but she made it without falling. I opened the front door next and could see my papers lying on the top of the pile left by the plow. From the house to the papers seemed miles away. There had to be at least 10 or 12 inches of snow. It was if I was being taunted by the papers. How much did I want them? I put on socks and shoes and plodded my way to the papers then stepped in my footprints back to the house. My shoes and my pants to the knees were covered in snow, but I had my Sunday papers. I filled my cup with coffee then sat down to read the Globe. I reached for the coffee and missed. I overturned the cup and coffee spilled all over the table, the floor and parts of the paper. I cursed. That was my morning.

It is only 18˚ but I have a high of 25˚ to look forward to this afternoon. The low will be 10˚. I am not going anywhere even after Skip comes to free my car and shovel the walk. The pretty day doesn’t entice me at all to leave the warmth of the house.

Winter waited in the wings a long time, but it has arrived with great fanfare. All last year we didn’t have a winter storm which dropped as much snow as this one. We got walloped, but the snow is light and fluffy which is a good thing. The tree branches have almost no snow left on them. The wind took care of that.

I’m sitting here comfy in my sweatshirt, flannel pants and warm slippers. I just poured a cup of coffee destined, I hope, to stay in the cup. It is hot and delicious. The animals are asleep. Music is playing. Alexa has chosen well. All is now well with my world.

You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night.

May 29, 2016

I woke up early for me, tried to go back to sleep, couldn’t so I gave up and headed downstairs. I started the coffee then went outside for a bit. The day is much cooler than yesterday but no less lovely. The sun is summer bright, a squint your eyes to the light bright. The birds are in and out of the feeder. While I was there, I decided to water the plants on the deck. I noticed the nozzle was leaking and tried to fix it. I never checked in which direction the nozzle was facing so I was taken aback when the water hit me full force on the legs. My pants were soaked, and I felt silly.

My phone and my wifi wouldn’t work this morning. The TV did which seemed strange as I thought all three were connected, but then I remembered the TV has its own box. I noticed my modem, which is the phone and computer connector, didn’t have enough lit buttons so I tried to reset it. I couldn’t find anything thin enough for the hole. Finally I used a twisted paperclip. It didn’t work. I tried it again, and it actually worked the second time.

If things come in threes, I’m in trouble.

Nothing is on my dance card for today; in fact, I have only a doctor’s appointment later in the week. I don’t mind unscheduled days. I figure I can find something to keep me busy, and the day is open should an invitation come my way.

My car has disappeared; instead, a pile of pollen is parked in front of my house. It has the shape of a car but no distinct features. The horrible part of all of that is the pollen has just started. I think I need to wear one of those white face masks.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

March 22, 2016

A lovely day with lots of sun, a deep blue sky and a little breeze greeted me this morning. Most of the snow has disappeared. The only bits left are in shaded areas. I’m being hopeful and putting my primroses on the front step. They’ve been in the house keeping warm since I bought them, but I think it is warm enough to introduce them to the world.

Today I have lists, but I’m quite behind my time because I spoke to both of my sisters this morning. One sister is sick so it was a short conversation, but my other sister, in Colorado, and I spoke close to an hour. Yes, we did find plenty to talk about for all that time. Lulls are generally not part of our conversations.

I still keep in touch with a few of my childhood friends. We talk every couple of months and get together about twice a year. My college friends and I lost track of each other while I was in Ghana. We wrote for a while but the time between letters got longer and longer and then the letters stopped. We were living far different lives a long way from each other. I still have Peace Corps friends that I met in 1969, and I feel as close to them now as I did when we worked and lived together. We shared an experience few are fortunate to have and built a bond which has stayed strong. We have stories which make us laugh every time we tell them. I think it is the same with just about every volunteer no matter the country of service. We all have a bathroom story, but I use bathroom loosely here. Outhouse, hole in the ground or a quick run into the bushes would be better choices. I know I’ve tried them all. We have great stories about medical problems and try to top each other in the telling. The conversations usually include worms, boils, tropical skin diseases, infections, cracked lips and feet and diarrhea, the bane of most volunteers. We graphically describe the symptoms and are never offended or grossed out by what we hear. Sometimes we even applaud the story, the grosser the story the longer the applause.

My closest friends live down the street. We are an odd family of three. We celebrate major and rare holidays together, rare holidays like Cowboy Day. We decorate and wear special clothes to help celebrate. I still have my cowboy hat and my sombrero from Cinco de Mayo. We greeted the sunrise together at the beach on the first day of spring. I’m working on their Easter baskets. They are fun friends. My life is enriched by knowing them.

I have no idea how I got where I did. I guess mentioning childhood friends set me on my way. I’ll just end here with how lucky I am with my friends.

“Live as many lives as you can.”

March 12, 2016

Today is lovely with a bright sun though I wish it were warmer than the 50’s. I noticed my hyacinth is so tall I can almost see the bumps of the whole flower. The daffodils have buds not yet ready to open but getting closer. The croci are blooming in the different flower beds. They grab your attention with their color as everything around them is still brown or grey.

Yesterday I needed only two things: toilet paper and orange juice. At first I figured to stay home and finish my book, but I knew I had no choice but to go out. Gracie and I left around 3:15. I decided I might as well go to the dump too. It was crowded. At one store, I checked to see if they had their spinach and puff pastry lattice topped hand pie. They didn’t but the cook said he’d make me some. It would take 15 minutes. I should have said no. I decided to walk around to waste time until the pies were done. I filled my cart. I bought yogurt, shrimp, a piece of pizza, a cinnamon coffee roll for this morning, some gourmet dog biscuits, honey and oranges. I did remember the toilet paper. Sometimes I go and forget what I need. I got my pies hot from the oven. I was praising them so much three other people bought some, and the pies were gone.

I don’t remember at what age I started to notice things like the spring flowers popping out of the earth or buds appearing on the branches. The changing leaves were easy to notice as we shuffled through piles of them on our way to school. Spring meant bike riding and light jackets, not flowers, to us. It meant Saturdays riding all over town. A chill was still in the morning air, but it wasn’t cold any more.

In retirement I have noticed the world I often overlooked when I worked. I have the time to look and see things like my bulbs growing taller and the appearance of the first small shoots of flowers in the front garden. I watch the birds. I stand outside in the early morning listening to their songs. My life has a far different pattern than it used to have. It is now filled with bright color and wavy lines which change from day to day. Life continues to be good to me.

“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

February 26, 2016

Gracie snores, and last night she snored so loudly she kept waking me up. My bedtime was late enough without being disturbed by her multiple snores and an occasional snort. I’m tired and it is only 11 o’clock. Gracie, of course, is having a morning nap. The poor baby must be tired.

Cold day today, it is in the high 30’s, but the sun is shining so I’m not going to complain. When I went to get the papers, I heard birds singing to greet the morning. It sounded like spring to me.

I have random memories which loop through my mind. Some I see only once while others recur. Some of my memories of growing up are faded and worn while others are so bright they could have happened yesterday. My grey jacket reappears out of one my memory drawer every spring. It was my favorite jacket because I started wearing it only when the weather got warmer. It had no lining. It did have pockets on each side, and it had a zipper. My brightest memory is wearing that jacket and skipping on the sidewalk on my way to school.

I still remember biology and dissecting a frog. My memory drawer has a picture of the frog lying on its back on a silver lab tray. It looks washed out, too long preserved. My lab partner wanted nothing to do with that frog and the scalpel. It was left to me. She took all the notes. That was our deal. Making the first cut took me a while. I had to forego the urge to gag. Dead frogs didn’t bother me, but their insides were better left inside.

My first Ghana memory is of the morning after our arrival. My room was on the second floor of a school dorm. I remember walking outside, standing at the rail and looking at what was spread out below me. I saw greenery everywhere. I could see rusty tins roofs. I remember the awe. I was in Africa.

My memory drawers overflow. Some I can’t even open; others I can’t shut. The sad memories have their own places. Sometimes they come unbidden. They are not always welcome.

“I’ve never been to a class reunion or anything because I’m always afraid of that one – there’s going to be some ‘Carrie’-like incident.”

October 9, 2015

The morning was cloudy and cold when I woke up around eight. I decided the day was uninviting so I stayed in bed another hour. Since then the sun has appeared and warmed the day. Gracie and I have a dump run later. I haven’t told her. It’s a surprise.

This weekend is my fiftieth high school reunion. Tonight is a cocktail party, tomorrow morning coffee and pastries then a tour of the school and finally dinner tomorrow night. I don’t know quite what to think. Fifty years since high school, a whole half-century ago, seems like such a long time if you think of it by itself, in years, but I never gave thought to the year by year passing of time. My life has been measured by events.

There was the fall when I started college. I remember wearing the ugly blue beanie and being asked questions by the upper classmen. That was a breakout year. I was on my own. I don’t remember much, but I do remember the first college dance and the first party, but that last one is a bit hazy. I remember the junior prom at Wentworth by the Sea. We all had imbibed as the class advisor told the management we were of age. The funniest incident was when my friend Andy, as in Andrea, who had imbibed a bit too much, missed the choosing of the prom queen. She was so mad she wanted it declared invalid as she believed she would have been chosen, and we had to restrain her for a bit. My senior year brought the most memories. We had student teaching, and that’s when I knew I was destined to teach high school. We had our Friday get-togethers at the bar every week, a prom at the Marblehead yacht club where I remember toasting, drinking then throwing my glass overboard and then there was graduation. I remember standing in line in the hall. I remember getting my diploma. That was four years gone.

I remember flying to Philadelphia for staging then flying to Ghana, training there and living in Bolga for two years. I can describe everything. My time there lives in vibrant colors in my memory banks. I remember leaving and silently crying the whole flight from Tamale to Accra.

I remember getting my teaching job and teaching English and loving it. I remember the interview for administrator, and I remember when they chose me. I remember the first kid I had to suspend. He had a cast on his arm, and I hated calling his mother. I remember realizing I could retire in three years when I turned 57. That was like a jolt to my psyche. All I’d done for what would be 35 years would end.

I have been retired for 11 years and have alternated between being busy and being totally idle, sloth-like. I have spent entire summers on my deck. I finally made it back to Ghana, not once but twice. I remember walking out of the plane and smiling. Ghana had changed but it still felt like home to me.

In four paragraphs I have just described the last fifty years. Tonight I’ll celebrate those years.

“Sunday is the core of our civilization, dedicated to thought and reverence.”

October 6, 2015

We have anomalies today, and I haven’t quite interpreted their meanings. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. What do these heavenly signs portend? Might they be heralding the end of time and the destruction of all we know and hold dear? Or might this be just a sunny day, and I’m over-reacting?

My neighbor brought me dinner last night. I dined on rice, chicken and an okra dish, the best okra I’ve ever had with not a bit of the slime I’d come to associate with okra. That was a vegetable I didn’t even know existed until Africa where I ate okra soup many times the slime notwithstanding. I’m now adding okra to my list of favorite vegetables.

My brother had the job of emptying the baskets into the barrels kept in the cellar until trash day. It was his only job. I didn’t have a job though sometimes I’d set or clear the table if asked. I think boys and trash were a natural pairing when I was a kid. Back then girls had a certain behavior protocol which didn’t include trash. Any kitchen work was appropriate. Girls also had a stricter dress code than boys. I had to wear a dress or a skirt going to church which also meant I had to wear nice shoes and socks and a hat. I always felt over-dressed, and I was never one for prissy. My brother wore a collared shirt and nice pants. That was it. I envied him the casualness of his Sunday clothing.

Now that I look back, I liked having a Sunday. Every other day of the week was filled with school, playtime, movies, bike riding, watching TV and the so many other fun things we did to pack our days. Sunday was truly a day of rest. We were expected to stay around the house. We had that great family Sunday dinner. It was always special, not the usual fare. The one constant was mashed potatoes.

Sunday has lost its identity. That’s too bad as we all need to stop to take a breath, look around and be amazed at all we can see. Sunday used to be that day. It was special. I even wore a dress.