Posted tagged ‘sunny’

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

January 8, 2018

The day was sunny when I first woke up. It’s cloudy now, but it’s warm so I’m fine with the clouds. The temperature is above freezing. I can hear the drips of the melting snow from the roof. They sound like rain.

This is the week of the January thaw, earlier than usual. Each new day will get progressively warmer and by Friday it will be 50˚. My mind can’t fathom 50˚ after this last week which forever changed my definition of cold. I got to the point where 8˚ felt warm.

Today is tackle the tree day. It is still lit and decorated and is the last remnant of Christmas. The living room is drab and dark without it. Winter, with its early nights and late dawnings, is back, but there is some consolation. The cold air gives the night clarity. The light of the moon shines on the snow, and stars blanket the sky. Everything is perfectly still. Lights from windows arc across the snow. Smoke curls from chimneys, and sometimes I can smell wood burning. I stand outside and brave the cold just to take in the night.

My street has no streetlights. Sometimes it can be so dark the house across the street disappears. I keep lit candles in my front windows all the time. They are but a small break in the darkness.

When I was a kid, I always greeted the first star, “Star light, star bright, The first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight.” Even now that wish just jumps into my head. I’d hate to outgrow believing in things I can’t see.

I haven’t been out in a while to go anywhere. The cold has kept me inside the house. I’ve read, watched TV, napped and saved recipes I’ll never make from magazines.

After days when we were stuck inside because of the weather, my mother would demand we go out and get fresh air. I never thought to question the importance of getting fresh air. I just bundled up and went out. I was much older before I realized my mother’s fresh air fetish was really a bid by her to stay sane. She had four kids who whined constantly about being bored after only two days stuck inside the house. She needed relief and it came under the guise of fresh air. I can still hear her. It was never go out and get some air. It was always go out and get fresh air. I don’t know why, but I love this memory.

 

Advertisements

“From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.“

December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

I slept in this morning until ten. When I took Gracie out, the first order of the every day, it was cold but sunny with a few peeks at a blue sky. There was also a snow shower, tiny little flakes which looked like ash blowing in the wind, and what a wind. The police sent out an emergency call last night about the storm. First would come rain then a wind up to 60 MPH. It would last until noon. I got the rain last night when I took Gracie out, and this morning I got the tail end of the storm, the windy part. The electricity went out for about five minutes, long enough for me to panic about dinner. I had visions of being bundled against the predicted Arctic cold and cooking at the barbecue. Luckily the outage was short-lived.

I’ve had my coffee and newspaper. Once I finish here I’ll prep dinner. The egg nog is already made and only needs the whipped cream. I’ll sit here at the table in the den, peel potatoes and watch TV. I’m actually watching the science fiction channel. Yeti is attacking.

Last night was wonderful. My friends and I made our gingerbread houses. The concentration was palpable, and while we did speak, it was mostly asking for a decoration. Every now and then we’d hear tap, tap, tap as a hard candy, a decoration for the houses, hit the wood floor and bounced. I think I was the worst at holding on to the the small decorations with frosting crusted fingers. Our houses were beautiful. We seem to get better every year. This year I added windows with candles, actually it was a square outline of frosting with a cut piece of a yellow gumdrop. I love this Christmas Eve tradition of ours.

After I left my friends, I went next door to my neighbors’ house. I brought champagne for mimosas. First we sang happy birthday to their oldest son, now twenty-one. Singing the Portuguese happy birthday was first. I clapped then we all sang it in English. Their custom is a huge dinner then they all open their presents at midnight. They wanted me to stay for dinner, and I hated giving up eating all those Brazilian dishes, but I was exhausted.

I went to bed early for me, by 11. Gracie woke me up once, at 5:00, so she could go out. I had no trouble getting back to sleep.

I have presents to open and food to prepare. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Mine has started already.

Merry Christmas to all my Coffee family!!

Fathers represent another way of looking at life — the possibility of an alternative dialogue.

December 1, 2017

Today has already been a long day, and it is only halfway finished. Gracie woke me up at 6:30 so we went out. It was raining, a light rain, but Gracie doesn’t care for rain so we went back inside quickly where both of us got cozy and easily returned to the arms of Morpheus. I woke up at 10:20. It was then I learned a new verse to Dem Bones: the back bone is connected to the head bone. I could barely walk and I had a headache, but Gracie and Maddie were waiting, Maddie less patiently than Gracie. She meowed. I took Gracie out, got my newspapers and yesterday’s mail. I stopped twice to rest my back. Gracie waited. Once inside, I grabbed Maddie’s dishes and filled both of them, put the coffee on then fed Gracie. She wolfed down her breakfast as if she hadn’t eaten in days. I got my coffee and started reading the papers. I turned on MSNBC just to check recent news and got throughly caught up in the Flynn testimony. By then it was time for more coffee and an English muffin which Gracie and I shared. I finished the papers but kept an ear to the TV. That’s where we are right now.

I was a bit surprised when I woke up to see the rain had given way to a sunny day with warmish temperatures, especially for December. My nose should be cold, and I should be bundling to stay warm; instead, a sweatshirt is more than enough. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I’m just surprised, happily surprised.

My father would have been 91 today. I think of him often especially when I fall or hit my finger with a hammer, a couple of dad things I inherited. I miss his sense of humor and our seemingly endless games of cards. I remember once when we were playing High Low Jack, and he did something to his back and fell off the bench to the floor. He didn’t complain about the pain. All he kept saying is, “I’m trumping. I’m trumping.” We roared laughing while he was still on the floor. He and I played endless games of cribbage. My wins were luck; his were expertise. That drove me crazy, and he knew it so he always said it after one of his wins. I wish I could play one more game of cribbage with him. I’d even be glad if he won because I’d get to see him smile and gloat one more time. I’m thinking about you, Dad!

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

November 23, 2017

Today is a beautiful day, just chilly enough. The sun is bright and sharp. The leaves flutter a bit then the limbs swing back and forth when the breeze becomes a wind. I’m watching the parade.

My sister and I spoke this morning, and we remembered our mother waking up early to get the turkey in the oven. Why it was so early neither one of us remember. While my mother was in the kitchen, we were all sitting in front of the TV watching the parade. The snacks every year were the same: M&M’s, tangerines and mixed nuts. We used a silver set to crack then pick out the nuts. Years ago I bought a set exactly the same. I fill it with nuts and put the bowl, the crackers and the picks on my dining room table. Tangerines were the best as they were so easy to peel. Only seeds marred their perfection. The M&M’s were first to go. My father always went with my grandfather to the football game. It was Stoneham versus Reading. My father had no connection to the high school. He never went there and neither did any of us. It was football which drew him.

When the parade was finished, my dad took over the TV. He watched football until my mother called him to the table. We stayed in the kitchen until we set the table. We had turkey, gravy, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and another vegetable or two. The cranberry sauce was always the one from the can. The sauce had can ridges which gave it a bit of a decoration. I always wondered why it was called a sauce when the cranberry was jellied. My father ate quickly, all the better to get back to his games. We lingered far more, just sitting and talking. Clean-up didn’t take long. After that were the pies: apple, my dad’s favorite always eaten with a chunk of cheese, blueberry and lemon meringue. By then it was late afternoon. Supper, if we had any room for more food, was leftovers, usually a hot turkey sandwich, the meat bathed in gravy. That meal was the official end of Thanksgiving.

I have so many things to be thankful for a whole day is not enough. I am thankful for family, for the connections between my sisters and me. I have been blessed with the best of friends, my other family, and I am thankful for them. I am also thankful for my Coffee friends. When I started this, I never thought people I hadn’t ever met would become such close friends. Most of all, I am thankful for the joy and wonder of each new day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

 

“Let it all go and enjoy the profound gifts found in your quiet places.”

November 17, 2017

The sun has decided to reappear and the blue sky frames it perfectly. The wind is strong enough to make the day seem colder than it is. I was out early this morning, at 7:50, when the wind was so strong it made me run to the comfort of the car to get away from the cold.

Gracie had her first acupuncture appointment at 8:10. She did quite well. The vet had some tasty, or so I assumed, dog food frozen in a small jar. Gracie kept lapping and was totally unconcerned about the vet and the needles. Gracie stood there until the very end when she decided it was time to sit down. The vet has the gentlest manner and she spoke softly and soothingly. Gracie gave tail wags. We go back in two weeks for another session.

When we got home, I went back to sleep as did Gracie, and the two of us just woke up. 6:45 is far too early to get up unless it’s Christmas or I have a flight to catch though getting up that early gave me time for one paper and a cup of coffee. I’m about ready for another cup. It is sort of my second morning.

I need to go through a few catalogues I’ve saved because I dog-eared some of their pages for second looks at possible presents. Making a list of what and for whom I’ve already bought gifts still hasn’t been done so it is the only item on my to do list. I’m figuring this weekend.

I watched the Celtics last night. I used to watch them all the time, but my interest had fallen back in the lean years. When I was a kid, I used to go to games at the garden. It was a quick bus ride to Sullivan Square then the subway to North Station and the old Boston Garden, the one which once fogged up during the playoffs. The last time I saw them live was about three or four years ago. Last night they won their 14th straight. It was against the Warriors, the world champion Golden State Warriors, and the game was jaw dropping. It was a test of sorts for the Celts to show how good they really are. They came back at one point from a 17 point deficit to win with a score of 92-88. Charles Barkley, never a favorite of mine, now an analyst for TNT, was all over the Celts before the game and at half time. I just hope when he ate his words they soured his mouth.

I’ve chosen today to be a quiet day with some music and some more of the mystery I’m reading, The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths. Gracie will have to fight me for the couch.

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

October 31, 2017

The wind and the rain have given way to a sunny day. It is a bit colder than it has been, 57˚ now and low 40’s tonight for trick or treating. I’m all set for my trick or treaters with candy bars for the bigger kids and Halloween pencils for the smaller.

I remember the excitement of Halloween when I was a kid. School lasted two and a half days or at least it felt that way. The hands of the watched clock moved ever so slowly, and the afternoon dragged on and on until the final bell was rung. We raced home. I’d spend the afternoon putting the final touches on my costume.

It took forever to get dark enough. My mother made supper earlier than usual. It was something quick, no big meal. She knew we didn’t want to eat. We wanted out. I remember driving her crazy by asking over and over if it was time. When she said yes, we bolted out the door.

We had a route based on our hauls from previous years. There were no fun size bars of candy in my day for which I am somewhat thankful. I say somewhat as people did buy bags of things like candy corn or those hard little pumpkins, and they’d divide the candy into individual bags of treats, not my favorites. We’d also get popcorn balls in the little bags. We knew the best houses, the ones with the nickel bars. Even now, when I drive down streets in my home town, I still remember which were the best houses on Halloween.

My mother bought us new masks. They were hard plastic and had an elastic in the back with a little metal piece on both ends which connected to the mask through a hole on each side. The elastics broke easily and got shorter and shorter each time we knotted them. The front of the mask usually had only eye holes. Some kids bought costumes which were worn over clothes and tied in the back. We never did.

My brother and I would stay out until most of the houses had turned their outside lights off. We’d check out our bags and munch a bit as we walked home. Once there, my mother would give each of us a bowl, and we’d sit on the living room rug and sort out the candy. We had piles. Our favorites were in one pile, the candy we’d never eat was in another and in the third was the rest of the candy. The good stuff went in the bowl. My mother never stopped us from eating the candy. I remember keeping my bowl handy under my bed. The candy never lasted too long.

I loved Halloween but not just because of the candy. Deciding the costume was fun. It took a long while even with hints from my mother. I’d choose one then a different one then another and another before finally deciding. We decorated the windows with those cardboard skeletons and witches. We carved pumpkins. We whispered about ghosts and witches and black cats to scare ourselves.

Walking home on Halloween night is one of my favorites memories. The sidewalks were covered with yellow leaves. It was quiet enough to hear our footsteps. The houses’ outside lights had gone dark. Only the streetlights lit our way. We whispered our conversation. It seemed right.

“My doctor told me I had to stop throwing intimate dinners for four unless there are three other people.”

October 23, 2017

My back is a bit better. I can walk without holding on to anything. Yesterday was a sit on the couch day, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, the back aside. I have to go out today so I hope for the best.

I think I’ve used every adjective perfect to describe our weather of late. Think warm, sunny, deep blue sky and nearly breezeless. My house is again cooler than outside. In here it is sweatshirt weather. Outside is short sleeve weather.

My mother used to make fried dough for supper on Fridays, the no meat day. We’d all hang around the kitchen counter making sure we got our dough turn. My mother’s frying pan held three small or two big pieces of fried dough. She used to buy the dough at the supermarket. I remember it came in a blue and white box. We slathered butter and sprinkle salt on it. Fried dough was one of our favorite suppers.

We ate a lot of hamburger growing up, but my mother was a whiz at cooking hamburger so many different ways we never got tired of eating it. I still love meatloaf and American chop suey. She made spaghetti sauce with ground beef, another fake oriental dish of hamburger with water chestnuts and crispy chow mein on top,. The fall back was always  burgers. I love cheeseburgers.

My food in Ghana didn’t really vary a whole lot. We were lucky to live in the only area of the country which bred beef so we could always buy meat in the market. There was even a meat factory where we could buy some sort of tubular meat masquerading as a hot dog. The meat from the market was always tough. Only old cows were slaughtered. The meat was cooked in a broth like sauce with tomatoes and onions which tenderized the meat. I think we had that most nights though we also ate chicken, free range chickens because the chickens wandered all over the place all day but did came home to roost at night. We mostly ate mashed yams  but also had rice on occasion. Breaking teeth was a PC volunteer problem as the rice always had a few rocks. You needed to spend time cleaning it, but it was easier not to. When volunteers got together, food was always a topic of conversation.

Living alone means I don’t always make dinner. I improvise with whatever is in the fridge. I’m content with cheese and crackers or hummus and pita bread. I’m even happy with cereal. I do have meat in the freezer, heavy on the chicken, but I usually forget to take it out. Last night, though, I took out some Chinese sausage to defrost and I have some rice I can cook. That’s like a gourmet meal for me.