Posted tagged ‘warm day’

“Someone once called Lincoln two-faced. “If I am two-faced, would I wear the face that I have now?” Lincoln asked.”

February 20, 2017

The gray sky has returned. After the beautiful day yesterday, I was hoping for more, but I guess one sunny, warm day will have to do for the meanwhile.

When I was a  kid, we didn’t have President’s Day. We celebrated Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays. Well, we actually didn’t do any celebrating. It was always the first day of February vacation which was a celebration in itself.

My first president was Truman, but I was too young to notice. President Eisenhower, however, I knew because he got a toast from me every day. I watched Big Brother Bob Emery on TV, and we all lifted our glasses of milk and toasted President Eisenhower while Hail to the Chief played. I have to think I was a bit fuzzy as to the connection between President Eisenhower and me.

The politics or the political parties of these presidents didn’t matter to me as I didn’t even know what a political party was. I just knew some neat stories about the presidents. George Washington cut down the cherry tree and told the truth when confronted. I always pictured him as a little kid wearing his general’s uniform and tri-corner hat and standing by a cut-down tree with an ax in his hand. To me, Lincoln always wore his top hat making him even taller than his contemporaries. I always liked Teddy Roosevelt. I saw him with sword in front as he and his horse charged up San Juan Hill.

When I first got to Ghana, the country was in the middle of a campaign to replace the military government, formed after a coup, with a civilian government to be called the Second Republic. It was exciting. Women wore dresses made from cloth covered in party symbols. I saw Busia, one of the candidates, speak at a rally in Bawku. He spoke English which was translated to Hausa. The crowd went wild listening to the Hausa. In my town, there were impromptu rallies with singing and drumming. On election day, the lines were long. You couldn’t see the end of the line from the beginning. People voted the symbols of each party, not the names, so literacy wasn’t a prerequisite for voter registration. Busia was elected. Later, he would be deposed in a peaceful coup.

If given a choice, I’d pick drums and dancing. I’ve had enough rhetoric.

“Truth is as straight as an arrow, while a lie swivels like a snake.”

January 22, 2017

Today turned out to be a pretty day. It was sunny and warm, too warm for this time of year,  but I’m complaining. I love sweatshirt weather in January.

When I was a kid, my mother had a great way to find out the truth. If something was found broken and no one admitted to it, my mother asked the four of us who did it. We all said we didn’t know. She didn’t believe us. She knew one of us was guilty. She told us when we lie our tongues turned black then she’d ask us to show her our tongues. The guilty party always gave himself away by refusing to show his tongue. Running to the mirror to check didn’t help. She told us only mothers could see the black tongue. We believed her. We were young.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. I didn’t know if that was true or not. It sort of sounded silly to me, but I didn’t want to take chances. I jumped over every crack. When I walked the railroad tracks, I jumped over every wooden tie with double zeros in the middle for the same reason. I did not want to be responsible for my mother’s broken back.

When I was in grammar school, if some other kid called me a name, I’d give the standard comeback: I know you are but what am I. There was really nowhere to go from there so it ended the name calling. Another, a more sophisticated comeback, was I’m rubber; you’re glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you. It didn’t have a comeback either.

The women’s marches were extraordinary. I watched them on MSNBC for a good part of the day. I also saw Trump’s speech at C.I.A. headquarters and Sean Spicer’s denunciation of the press in the filled press room at the White House. Words fail me. I’m angry and I’m sad.

“The brain may die, but my compulsion for useless trivia lives on.”

September 17, 2016

3 days and counting!

The perfect weather continues. It is as if Mother Nature is apologizing for all that heat in August. The days are warm and the nights cool, even cold. If I were given the power to control the weather, I would first make it rain then I would create days just like today.

All over my table are sticky notes. Some are related to my trip like a list of passwords and a  list of things to pack I might not remember like the travel toilet paper, an essential in Ghana, another is new TV programs I want to DVR while I’m gone. The list of stuff I need at Stop and Shop keeps getting bigger. Today I added a small notepad and AA batteries.

Yesterday I set a new record at Agway. I bought everything the cats and Gracie need while I’m gone. I spent $223.00. A brass band accompanied me to the car. The band major twirled his baton as I filled the trunk. Most of the stuff is still there. Leandro, one-half of my cleaning couple, is coming today with his mother Lu, my pet and house sitter. Lee is always quite happy to bring the heavy stuff into the house. I, however, had to drag the heavy dry dog food, a can of dog food, three cans of cat food and a bag of treats into the house this morning. My back is moaning quite loudly.

The street is quiet this morning for a Saturday. I wonder where all the kids are.

Learning new things is fun for me. I have this weird memory which holds on to facts and information seldom needed. That makes me good at trivia. Once I was quite able to remember Ernie the Keebler Elf and Thimble Theater, where  Popeye first appeared. My team accepted Ernie but not Popeye. I forget which character they chose, but they were wrong. Coming up with Popeye is what I mean by a weird memory.

My sister is getting tired of me talking about Ghana. She doesn’t get it, how important the country is to me. I have all these memories rushing to the front from the back drawers of my memory cabinet. I’m almost gushing.

Well, according to my list, I have much to do. I need to be off and loping, not running-I am passed that.

“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.”

May 9, 2016

Run for your lives! Find a place to hide! Shield your eyes or you’ll go blind. Okay, I admit to a bit of exaggeration here, especially the going blind part, but I was raised on B science fiction movies and the warnings just came naturally because we have sun today for the first time in months, okay another exaggeration, but it has been a week or more since it was last here, and every day in that week it rained. This is my Noah I think I see a bird moment. I can see blue sky and the sun though it does pop in and out of the clouds, but I’ll take it anyway it comes. Today is warm. All the chilly dampness is gone. I am so stoked about going outside and not getting wet. The bird feeders are empty and need my attention. Any water in pots and on furniture covers has to be dumped so the deck can dry. I know I have sunglasses somewhere.

I have seen cartoons of me, not really me, but a perfect representation of me. I don’t have a pill box. I have a pill suitcase. With the number of containers you’d think I was a pharmaceutical rep, but no, they’re all mine. Most are preventative, but it doesn’t matter. The containers number in the teens. Now I need a cane or a walker to complete the picture. I can see myself wearing a chenille robe while bending over to use a walker to move a few inches at a time. That sound is my slippers making a scuffing noise as I walk.

I am in a whimsical mood brought about, I believe, by the return visit of the sun. I feel light and airy, a bit like Scrooge on Christmas morning when he found out the spirits had done it all in one night. I had become glum from all that rain, but the darkness has disappeared. I’m going into the light!

“The sky, a perfect empty canvas, offers clouds nonetheless. They shift and drift and beg interpretation… such is the nature of art.”

April 22, 2016

Warm today, it is actually long sleeve shirt weather, the first of the season. I can’t wait to get out. I have two errands then I get to enjoy the rest of the day. Notice I didn’t mention making my bed or doing anything domestic. They’re not on the list!

On the cat and medicine battle, Fern is letting me dose her twice a day, one rub and one liquid. Maddie is still running. She senses I am up to no good. I called the vet, and we’re going to try liquid with Maddie. I suspect she’ll still take off on me. She’s a feisty cat that one.

The ten year old me had dreams and hopes. They mostly centered around seeing the world. I wanted to hurry and get old enough to bag my bags, pick a spot, jump on a plane and go. I’d stand on the roof lookout at Logan airport, the old airport, and watch the planes leaving and I’d be wishing I was on one. The logistics of travel never occurred to me. I didn’t give money a thought. I was dreaming and my dreams were never sensible or logical. I saw myself traipsing through the world having adventures. When you’re ten, anything is possible.

I don’t know why I never noticed different flowers when I was young. I did notice dandelions and thought them flowers. Most of the front yards on my street had pansies and marigolds. I like pansies but marigolds not so much. Our neighbors all wanted the best lawns so flowers weren’t all that important. My dad planted pansies in the front garden, a very small garden because of the bushes. I used to look at the flowers and try to figure out who the faces of the pansies resembled. I think a lot of them were Winston Churchill.

I used to lie on the grass and watch the clouds. I remember the grass felt cool and soft. The clouds mostly looked like animals. The only exception was I often saw a witch. It was her hat that gave her away. I’d watch until the clouds moved and the animals disappeared into a single cloud, one with no shape or personality.

I always saw the man in the moon, and for me he was always smiling. Even now I check to make sure he’s still there. I’m never disappointed. He is always there and he always still smiles.

“That’s what we are now—just ants. Only——” “Yes,” I said. “We’re eatable ants.”

February 7, 2016

My tree is mostly off the deck. It is not yet totally upright, but it’s getting there. Clumps are still falling off the branches. The sun is bright in a cloudless sky. It will be in the 40’s all day then it will get colder, and the snow will make a return visit. 6-10 inches are supposed to fall before the morning. Every kid will be hoping for a snow day, the first of the winter.

Tonight we’re celebrating Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. In case you were wondering the lucky numbers are four and nine.

My parents told lies. I’m not talking tooth fairy, Santa or the Easter Bunny, but real untruths. I figured they were protecting us. The one I still remember is they told us Chinese food was just for adults. We begged to taste it but that didn’t happen. They said it wasn’t good for kids. I believed them for the longest time.

My father used to put so much hot mustard on his Chinese food that his nose ran from the heat. He’d pull out his white handkerchief, blow his nose and then go back to eating. I also use the hot mustard, and once in a while when I overdo, my nose runs, and I think of my father. It’s a bit weird I suppose that a Chinese food runny nose brings such a strong memory.

I’m watching the original 1953 War of the Worlds, and I want to slap the lead female. She’s a crier and a screamer. She covers her ears as if to blot out the sounds of the saucers and her eyes so as not to see them; however, she is not without some redeeming qualities much appreciated in the 50’s. She can make perfect fried eggs and toast.

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”

January 28, 2016

Today is sunny and warmer than it has been. The snow is almost gone. It lingers in piles on the corners of the streets and beside driveways. My deck and parking space are clear. The drama of the first snowstorm is over.

I woke up early, a relative term I realize, but decided I wasn’t ready yet to face the day. I slept another hour and a half. Gracie joined me. I took my time reading the papers. There just seemed to be lots of news. It was a three cups of coffee morning.

Today has an empty agenda. I’m not even sure I’ll get dressed. I’m not going anywhere. My car’s trunk is filled with trash but Leandro and Rosanna will be here in a bit to clean so tomorrow will be the big day, a banner day, a day to be out and about. Tomorrow is dump day, and the weatherman says it may rain. Of course it will. It is also get Gracie’s license day as the price goes up 100% after tomorrow which also happens to be the last day I can pay my real estate taxes on line. How will I pay you ask? Tomorrow is pay day.

My dad got paid every Friday when I was a kid. He’d hand his check over to my mother, the family accountant, who would cash it. It was her job to divvy the money into budget envelopes and to pay her Christmas club for the week. I remember those envelopes. On the front of each was the amount my mother put in every week. The envelopes over time became a deep tan color and were bound together inside a red cover with strings to close it.

When I bought my house, I started to use budget envelopes, but I wasn’t fancy. I just grabbed white envelopes, labeled them and put the amount on the front. I got paid every two weeks. The first couple of years I owned the house the mortgage was half my month’s salary. Those were the lean years. I didn’t travel anywhere for the first time since 1969 when I went into the Peace Corps. Restaurants, except once in a while, were not budget items. Grocery shopping was limited to needing only. I got sick of hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner.

The lean years lasted about four years. In the fifth year I went to Europe. My fiscal crisis was behind me: no more envelopes, no more scrimping and no more longing to be somewhere.