Posted tagged ‘warm’

“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.

 

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“Christmas cookies can’t help but be retro – they are memory first, sugar-flour-egg-redhot-gumdrop-sparkle reality second.”

December 23, 2017

Late again! I slept in this morning. Gracie had a restless night, and I sleep lightly now so I would hear her, wake up and check to make sure she was okay. She was fine. This week’s acupuncture really helped. She’s moving around better than she has been. I hope it lasts longer each time.

Christmas Eve Eve made waiting for the big day even harder. We’d beg my mother to let us open one of the presents under the tree, but she’d never give in. She’d even get a bit annoyed at our relentless begging. My sister Moe never asked. She already knew what a few of the presents were but so did we without looking. Every year it was the same. We’d each have new pajamas and new slippers, the socks kind which I still like.

Cookies are on the to-do list. I made snickerdoodles yesterday. It was the first time I’d even made them, and my nephew, who had dropped by, said they were delicious. I’ll accept that as a valid review.

Today is dark and rainy. It is in the high 40’s now and will get to the mid 50’s, but by dark it will be much colder, down to the 30’s. I always think rain at Christmas is just wrong.  Not a single Christmas song is about the joys of rain. Everything is snow. I figure the only kids happy with rain on Christmas morning are the ones with new bikes.

What I always really hated was leaving all my new stuff on Christmas Day to go to my grandparent’s house. All my aunts and uncles and cousins were also there. The place was chaos with kids running up and down stairs chasing each other. I have a lot of cousins.

No Christmas movie today. I watched Bright on Netflix. Will Smith is a police officer with an Orc as an partner. There are also fairies and elves. I think I saw a centaur manning or half-manning the entrance into the main police station. A magic wand that can destroy the world is the focus of the plot. I enjoyed it. This movie was a huge leap from all those  Hallmark moments.

It’s time to work on my Christmas cookies. The orange cookies are next.

“Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas.”

December 12, 2017

Today will be rainy and warm with a temperature in the 50’s, but tonight will be  different. Old Man Winter, who’s tired of waiting in the wings, is coming back to lay claim to December. It will be in the 30’s all week during the day and even colder at night. One night is predicted to be in the teens. On that night, I’ll be cozy and warm in the house with all the Christmas lights glowing and spreading their warmth. I’m thinking I’ll have egg nog in hand, in keeping with the season of course.

It has been really difficult of late to maintain a bit of optimism. I hold on to mine with every muscle in my body especially now, at Christmas time, when all of my memories  surface and help me believe in goodness, generosity and faith. Even though we live distances apart, my sisters and I celebrate together when we honor family traditions. We keep our mother and father close. How could I be anything but an optimist at this time of year?

My first Christmas in Ghana was my first Christmas away from my family, but my mother made sure I had a bit of home. She sent ornaments from our family tree. She also sent a small plastic tree to hang them on. I used the brick-like paper from the box to make a fireplace on the wall. From it I hung the small stocking she had sent. A few Christmas cookie cutters were also in that wonderful box. Though I had never made sugar cookies, I did that Christmas. They were delicious and shaped like a star, a tree and Santa. I found out much later that my mother and my aunt Mary had split the huge cost of sending that box airmail so I’d have it in time for Christmas.

I have many memories of that first Christmas in Ghana, but I think my favorite happened while I lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. It was cold, and I was bundled in a wool blanket I had bought and even still have. At that time of the year the harmattan is in full force. The days are hot, usually over 100˚ hot, but the nights and really early mornings are delights when the temperature drops sometimes even 30˚. On that night, I heard a boy’s voice singing. I think it came from a family compound just outside the school walls. The boy sang all the verses of We Three Kings in a sweet, clear voice. It was the only sound in the cold night air. It brought delight and joy to me, and I knew I’d be fine that first Christmas away. I always think of that boy as my Christmas miracle.

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!

“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.”

November 19, 2017

The rain started last night. That just added to the misery. Gracie wanted out every couple of hours. The second time we went out, around three, it was barely raining, but once we were outside, the clouds opened and the rain was heavy. Gracie and I got wet. She didn’t mind as much as I did. When I heard Gracie panting around five, I braced myself but was surprised to find the rain light. It was also quite warm. From then on, we all, Gracie, Maddie and I, slept until 10:30. Gracie was wedged between me and the back of the couch. One of my legs was hanging off the couch. It was then I got up and my morning began.

Sunday is game night, but the game is different tonight because the Patriots play at 4:30 so we’ll watch and cheer on Tom and the boys. My high school team, from the school where I graduated a long time ago and where I worked for 33 years, won big time on Friday. They are 11-0 for the year and have one game left: the state championship, the high school super bowl.

All the cooking shows are giving their slants on Thanksgiving. I save many of the recipes, but when I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, my menu changed little from all the other Thanksgivings we had when I was growing up. To me, Thanksgiving dinner is filled with family traditions. There’s my grandmother’s date nut bread, my Aunt Bunny’s squash dish, my Dad’s favorite creamed onions, my mother’s sage dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy. My mother also cooked another couple of vegetable dishes; sometimes it was green bean casserole and one of my favorites, turnips. There were always apple and lemon meringue pies. I was talking to my sister the other night, and she’s making a lemon meringue pie.

When I was driving home the other day, all of a sudden, the image of my Dad at Thanksgiving jumped into my head. My mother’s table was round but somehow where my Dad sat seemed the head of the table. His back was to the kitchen. In from of him on the table was a dish of asparagus just for him, canned asparagus. I remember the spears were like wilted flowers, their tops hung over. He’d fill his plate with mashed potatoes dripping with gravy, creamed onions and a turkey leg. I still can picture him munching on that leg.  It is one of my favorite memories of Thanksgiving.

“He yawned like a black bear coming out of hibernation.”

November 18, 2017

The sun has disappeared. Nothing is moving. The day is warm and quiet. Gracie and I went out first thing. She went into the backyard and I got the papers in the front. When we came back inside, Maddie gave me her demanding meow, loud and annoying, so I fed her first. Gracie was next, and I, as usual, was last. It’s two cups of coffee and two pieces of toast later, one with grape jelly my friend made.

I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the return of the gray day, but I have very little energy today. I even sat a while between cups of coffee, most unusual for me. Luckily, I have no plans for the day, no errands and no chores. I do have book two in the series by Elly Griffiths so perhaps the couch will be my spot for the day and turning pages my only activity.

I send cards for every holiday. That started when I was in college. My grandparents were around then, and one of my grandmothers was thrilled to get them. She was the one who wanted to be teacher so she loved that I was. I enjoy choosing the cards and lament my Hallmark store having closed. The closest one is in Orleans which always feels far but is only 12 or so miles away. When I was in Ghana, I made cards for every holiday except Christmas as I could find those. I used to go through magazines and cut out words and letters to make my cards, They looked more like ransom demands than cards. The Christmas cards I sent were wonderful. Some were hand-painted but even the ones commercially made were different. They had African nativity scenes, drummers, palm trees and even a camel or two. Each time I went back to Ghana, I was excited to find cards for Christmas. They went to family and special friends. I always send Edward Gorey cards to every one else for Christmas. I love his whimsey. The Edward Gorey house is in Yarmouth, and I go there to buy my cards. I remember last year I was afraid I had already sent all the available scenes but was glad to find one more. I’m hoping for the same this year.

I’ve started yawning which gives you a sense of today and the weather and today and me.

“How did it get so late so soon?”

November 6, 2017

By now you’re probably wondering what happened to me. Well, it is nothing catastrophic. First, I made up for my lack of sleep the other night by sleeping this morning until 11:30. I decided to stick to my usual routine and read the papers. After I’d read one, my irrigation guy came and wanted to shut down the system as well as my outside shower. I turned on lights and opened doors then got back to my second paper and another cup of coffee. It was nearing two when I finished. I turned my computer on, checked my mail then tried to open WordPress. It wouldn’t open. I shut down Safari but that did nothing. I opened Chrome but still couldn’t get WordPress to load. I tried sneaking into WordPress when viewing another blog, but I couldn’t get any blogs to load. My cheeks hurt from grinding my teeth so I turned off my computer and turned on the television. TCM is having a festival of Falcon movies. I am happy.

When I went to get the papers, I was surprised by how warm the day is. It’s in the mid-60’s, more like late September than November. It was sunny then but now it’s getting dark and cloudy. Rain is forecast for later this afternoon.

When I was watching The Falcon and The Coeds, I recognized a scene from The Lone Ranger. Tom Conway, the Falcon, was riding a horse in the hills trying to catch whoever shot at him. He rode up hill between rock formations. Right away I recognized it as a scene from the Lone Ranger where Silver rears, and we hear the narrator say High Ho Silver Away. I always thought the opening of The Lone Ranger was one of the best. There he is riding Silver at top speed and shooting as he rides all to the March of the Swiss Soldiers, the finale of Gioachino Rossini’s Willian Tell’s Overture which I always thought was just The Lone Ranger’s introduction.

This is going to be a slow week. The only entry on my dance card is dinner with friends on Wednesday. I haven’t any errands though I expect we’ll do a dump run toward the end of the week. My social life seems to be winterizing early.