Posted tagged ‘sunny’

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”. . . “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine . . .”

April 8, 2017

Today is another beautiful spring day with lots of sunshine. It is cooler than yesterday but not by much. I was out with Gracie for a while. She had a tough morning. The inside stairs were too slippery so I grabbed and held on until she got her footing on a mat I had moved from one step to another. That worked so I’m hoping the other mats arrive so she can feel safe going down all the steps.

My street is quiet. Earlier I could hear machine noises. When I went to get the papers, I noticed the trucks. My neighbors are having their yards cleared. That screams spring to me.

When I was a kid, I loved the woods and the field below my house. The field was a square surrounded by woods on three sides. One wooded side led to the swamp. We’d follow a path which started where the field ended, and the swamp was just a short way. Another path led to the right and the water tower. The third side was just woods. In winter the field was brown. No grasshoppers jumped when we walked through the dead grass. That was summer. In winter the field was just a route to the swamp.

That field, those woods and the swamp are gone. Brick buildings with apartments for the elderly have taken their place. My grandmother lived in one building where the woods with no path once stood. We buried our turtle in those woods, under two trees we knew we’d remember. We never thought all of it would be gone. I used to think about that turtle when I’d go with my father to visit my grandmother. The entrance to my grandmother’s street was about where I’d buried my turtle expecting it would rest under those two trees for eternity. Even the trees are gone.

“Birds are the eyes of heaven, and flies are the spies of hell.”

March 26, 2017

Okay, I am confessing that I watched shark movies yesterday. The worst, by far, was Avalanche Sharks. Supernatural sharks materialized in the snow after an avalanche. Their fins skimmed the snow as if they were in water. The victims knew what was coming. The sharks were drawn, I suppose, to the Bikini Snow Day contest. Even sharks couldn’t resist those bikini-clad coeds. The sharks, from under the snow, fed on the skiers. Many shots were of skiers screaming as the shark munched on the lower parts of their bodies. I was rooting for the sharks.  One line was so horrific I wrote it down. The speaker was describing the death of his former girlfriend, “There wasn’t enough of her to make a sloppy Joe.”

The morning was sunny and warmish at 44˚, but since then clouds have covered the sky. Rain is predicted for tomorrow; of course, it is. Tomorrow looks to be the warmest day in a while.

I’m so eager for baseball to start, I’ve been watching Red Sox spring training games. Yesterday I was thrilled to hear Jerry Remy back in the booth. He and Don Orsillo, the former play by play announcer, were amazing together. They called a great game though they did tend to go off topic if the Sox were winning in a rout or losing by the same. The pizza slice video was my favorite. I don’t remember why the two men in the stands started at each other, but it culminated in a pizza slice being thrown. Don and Jerry were laughing so hard they could barely talk. They showed that video several times. They always laughed. Don left the Red Sox as his contract wasn’t renewed. He went to San Diego. I still miss him.

Tonight is game night. We always have something easy to hold for dinner as we play through. This week I am the dessert bringer or rather the dessert buyer.

The first fly of the season is in the house. It is probably enjoying the heat. I usually chase flies with a rolled-up magazine, hoping to swat them to oblivion. This fly looks little, a small target. I’ll have to hope my skills didn’t rust over the winter. That fly is mine!!

“Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown…”

March 25, 2017

It rained last night leaving today cloudy and dark. It’s warmer than it has been. All my chores and errands got finished, scratched out. Today is a stay at home day. Right now Boris Karloff as The Mummy is on TV. I have seen this movie several times, but that doesn’t ever matter. A propeller plane circles the world, the eerie music starts, and we see Egypt and the desert. We’re at a dig: it’s 1931, and the mummified remains of Imhotep, who had been buried alive, have just been found. A warning on the top of the chest buried with the mummy warns that whoever opens the chest will die. Despite the warning the chest is opened, the sacred words are said and the mummy comes back to life. There’s more but not here.

In winter, cloudy days sometimes make me feel subdued, and, after several in a row, even melancholic while other cloudy days, like today, make me feel cozy in my warm house. Life doesn’t get much better than being in my comfy clothes and watching one of my favorites, a black and white science fiction movie from the 30’s. I’m even having Chinese for lunch. It’s one of those perfect days.

When I was in Ghana, I lived alone for the first time. My house, one side of a duplex, was brand new and on school grounds right by the back gate, which I had to climb a few times as the watchman chose not to hear me yelling for the gate to be opened. (Sorry for the digression. Back to the story.) I was really lonely the first few months. I hated the quiet of my house. I played music especially at night to ward off the silence, but, by Christmas, I relished the night-time quiet because every day was busy and filled with sounds. In the morning it was the swishing of the hand- held brooms as the students cleaned the compound. After that, I could hear buckets being filled with water for bathing and the conversations of my students in a variety of languages. From that morning time on, the day was only quiet after the students had lights out.

It is always a marvel to me that life in Ghana took on a routine, became every day. Here I was living on a school compound in Bolgatanga. It was eggs and toast and coffee, horrible coffee, for breakfast, fruit for lunch and chicken or beef with a sauce and yams on the side, sometimes fried but mostly mashed, for dinner. I went to the market every third day and filled my basket with vegetables and fruit. The amazement of living in Africa was replaced by familiarity. It was home.

I think the memory of living in Ghana surfaces on days like today. I recognize the comfort in the quiet I felt then and I’m feeling now. It is contentment!

“…disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business….”

March 13, 2017

Today is bright and sunny and will even reach 34˚, but I’m not taken in, not beguiled by the brilliance of the sun. I’m on to Mother Nature and her tricks. I know all that sunlight is just a cover for what’s coming: more snow. This time, though, we’ll get less. The Boston area will get clobbered with up to 2 feet while down here we’ll only get 2-4 inches, a mixture of snow and rain. For some strange reason, though, I feel cheated. I’m thinking it should rain or snow. A combination is just a mess. Mother Nature should know better.

All my icicles are melting in the sun. I can hear the drops. The road is wet from melting snow. Along the sides of the road, small puddles have formed from the piles left by the plows. I just hope all that water doesn’t freeze.

I loud bang accompanied by the sound of a howling cat woke me up this morning. I figured the bang was a falling icicle. The cat howls every morning so nothing was wrong. I rolled over and slept another hour.

My dance card is totally empty for the week. The meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled. I have a to-do list which still includes my laundry which is still leaning against the cellar door. I guess I’ll work on finishing the list or at least get the laundry done. I admit I’m tired of looking at it.

I want some elves like the shoemaker had. I want to wake up to clean, folded laundry, the aromas of breakfast baking in the oven, and of coffee perking. When I get downstairs, I’ll find the table set with flowered dishes and a small clear vase with a couple of daffodils. The elves will have left, but I’ll see small footprints in the snow leading to and from the house then just disappearing.

Too bad wishing it away doesn’t get my laundry done.

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.”

March 5, 2017

Last week Boston set a new record warmth for the end of February. On Friday night the record for cold set in 1896 was broken. In the space of less than a week, we went from spring to deep winter. When I took Gracie out front to go to the bathroom on Friday night, I can’t remember ever feeling as cold, and Gracie was so cold she peed on the run to the front door. I took her out a couple of times more, but she wore her wool coat, and I was bundled against the cold. Gracie was quick each time. She deserved those treats when we got inside the house.

Today is sunny, a beautiful day if you’re sitting in the house looking out the window. It is 27˚, close to the predicted high of 29˚. The low will be 13˚. I have a couple of errands to do in a bit including the dump which I avoided the other day because of the weather.

When I was a kid, I remember watching Don Kent, the weatherman. Back then the days were fair, cold, snowy or rainy, the sort of description looking out the window might bring.  Nothing was all that specific. Some weather maps were on the wall while others were on large sheets of paper. They showed the whole country and gave current temperatures. Predictions were maybes.

Yesterday the Peace Corps volunteer living near Bolgatanga, where I had been, posted the current temperature and the high and low for the day. It was currently 99˚. The low was predicted to be 95˚ and the high 109˚.

Gracie just needed to go out so I went down the back deck steps holding on to her collar. I held on as she won’t go down the stairs alone; she is afraid of falling. With me, she goes down the stairs quickly and then runs into the yard. She doesn’t mind going up the stairs so I can leave her alone outside. Her back right leg slides. I’ll have the vet check what is going on when Gracie has her health visit. I do wish I had some sort of a dog bootie with treads.

I am spoiled. My house is cozy warm in winter and air conditioned in the summer. I’m living the good life.

“You spend the first part of your life collecting things … and the second half getting rid of them.

February 21, 2017

Today is lovely, sunny but cool at 42˚. The breeze is ever so slight. It’s morning nap time for the dog and cat. Maddie is 18 now. Gracie is 12. Lately, Gracie has had trouble maneuvering the stairs. Her back legs slide when she is coming downstairs so I am always in front of her just in case. When she was young, Gracie jumped the six-foot fence in the backyard, but now she and I share the infirmities of growing old and the dangerousness of steps.

I could never play a dead body. Yesterday I watched a few CSI New York episodes. In just about every one of those, one scene is in the morgue. The actor is lying on the slab while trace evidence is removed or explained. I’d be giggling.

I’m a slug. I have laundry to do, but the bag sits by the door. I have no ambition. When I was working, I was always busy on the weekends. I actually got more done in two days than I now finish in a week. Time is the reason. I always figure I have lots of time to do stuff so I procrastinate and stuff doesn’t get done. I used to feel guilty about that. I am now guilt free. The nuns would be horrified.

I collect cookbooks with literature inspired recipes. One whole shelf in my kitchen bookcase is filled with them. My first was a Shakespearean cookbook. When I did a medieval meal a long way back, I used many of the recipes from that book. Little House on the Prairie, Hemingway, Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, The Boxcar Children, Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott are just a few of my cookbooks. I love sitting and reading the recipes and planning a menu in my head. I think about colors and melding herbs. I mix and match vegetables. Mostly I have one grand meat dish but sometimes I need two. The table decorations are part of the planning. One meal, inspired by Dickens, had laminated pages of old books for place mats. In the middle of the table were different piles of books. They held the hot dishes. For music, I played an album of authors singing. It was just horrible. I don’t even remember how I found it, I don’t remember its name and I have no idea what happened to it. Maybe it was burned at the stake by my guests.

When I was a kid, I collected stamps and belonged to a stamp club. We met after school and some Saturdays at John Hickey’s house. I filled an album then lost interest in stamps. Besides, it was actually John Hickey more than stamps which held my interest. Strangely enough, my aunt and uncle now live in what was John Hickey’s house. I have no idea where he is. We went to different high schools.

I haven’t collected anything in a while. I’d hard pressed to find room, but if something strikes my fancy, a new collection might just be born.

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

February 19, 2017

Today is a bit of a gift from Mother Nature, and considering how many times I cursed her this winter, I am surprised by her generosity. It is sunny and warm, even springlike. A few puffy clouds add texture to the blue sky. A breeze ruffles the brown leaves. It is a day to be outside. I’m working on getting there.

My neighbor put my newspaper on the front steps for me this morning. I saw it and one other paper when I opened the door. The other paper is the Cape Times from February 13th. I have no idea where he found it. I didn’t  miss a paper. I figure it must be my neighbor’s, and it got tossed here with the snow when her driveway was shoveled.

Small mounds of snow are still visible but only on the corners of the streets. Between the rain and the above freezing temperatures, the snow had no chance. I’m glad it’s mostly gone.

My front lawn, mostly on one side, is a total mess. It is covered with branches and needles from the tree sized branch which fell. There are long gashes on the grass. I’m thinking that whole side of the lawn may need a reboot.

This is school vacation week. I used to like traveling to one place for the whole week. My mother and I spent this week in Rome on our last vacation together. We saw it all. One of my favorites was the catacombs, a couple of bus rides and a long walk away.

Each night we’d have a drink in the bar before going to our room. My mother had cognac. That was a shock. My mother was a whiskey and coke drinker. When I mentioned my shock, my mother said it was vacation mode when anything goes. I loved that.

My week will be quiet. Actually, the rest of February will be quiet. I have an empty dance card until March.

Gracie needs to be fed, and I need to get dressed in my outside the house clothes. We are going out to enjoy the day.