Posted tagged ‘Wind’

“Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.

March 19, 2017

When I woke up around nine, the snow was just starting. Because of the wind, the fluffies were coming from different directions, from the north and south. Then the snow suddenly disappeared, but it’s back now, small flakes tossed by the wind. I doubt it will last long enough to accumulate.

I didn’t go out yesterday. I had no motivation. Today, though, I have a list of weird items. I need a bulb for my bathroom nightlight, an extension cord, and a plastic container for my snowmen. I’m putting them away for the season. I think they jinxed me.

I remember my first pair of nylon stockings. In those days I had to wear a garter belt. The back snaps were always the hardest to attach. I remember sometimes one would swing back and whack my leg. Pantyhose is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.

I never get gussied up anymore. I don’t go anywhere demanding gussy. The closest I get to dress up is coordinating the color of my pants with a clean shirt. That works no matter the season: long sleeves in winter, short sleeves in summer; corduroy in winter, cotton in summer; shoes and socks in winter, sandals in summer. I don’t even own a pair of panty hose. I do have three dresses: two flowered dresses for summer, one green dress for winter.

I don’t wear my winter jacket much. My sweatshirts are usually enough, but I do have the warmest sweater, blue with snowflakes, the sort which used to be called après skiing, for single digit temperatures. I have several pairs of mittens, but I don’t remember the last time I wore them. I have earmuffs and knit caps. My mother would be pleased.

I love Mad Magazine. I used to buy it every month. I remember the Alfred E. Newman for president drive. Mad taught me about satire and parodies and thinking for myself. I didn’t understand it all because I was young, but as I got older, I learned what it all meant. Spy versus Spy was a favorite of mine. Sometimes the white spy won and other times the black spy won. I believe that Mad Magazine helped form my politics and those of my generation. “What, me worry?”

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

March 14, 2017

 

Today is miserable. The snow started early. When I first woke up at 9, I checked out the window and saw snow blowing north to south. I went back to sleep. When I woke up at 10, it had just started raining. I went out to get the papers and yesterday’s mail. Gracie was with me on her leash. She hated it and looked beaten walking close to the ground with her ears down. The street was pure slush, snow topped by rain. I left footprints right down to the street. Gracie finally peed then ran to the door. She should have stayed out as I know she still has more to do, but I wanted in as well. I was soaked. Later she wanted out again but didn’t take the plunge. The wind was ferocious so Gracie just backed into the house. We did that twice, both to no avail. She is sleeping now. I hope she enjoys her nap. My hair is still wet.

The first load of laundry is in the dryer. I threw the bags down the cellar stairs last night so I wouldn’t have to look at them anymore. This morning I decided to bite the bullet and do the laundry. I found a missing gray sock on the floor in front of the dryer so I reunited the pair. Two other socks wait for partners. I first thought them a pair but realized in the light one is black and the other dark blue. There must be another exact pair in today’s laundry.

On the Peace Corps Ghana Facebook page are pictures of current trainees doing their laundry. They are all sitting on the porch edge with buckets of clothes in front of them. Clean laundry hangs on lines behind them. I got a chuckle out of that bucket brigade. All through training, my group found Ghanaian women to pay to do our laundry. During the first two weeks of training, the women were from Winneba where we were staying. You gave laundry to them one day, and it came back the next, ironed and folded. The only exception was undergarments. Those we had to wash ourselves. I hated bucket laundry. In retrospect, I figure maybe a smidgeon of that feeling is responsible for two bags of laundry sitting in the hall for nearly a week. Maybe, though, it is just laziness, but I suspect running out of clean undergarments forced my hand and prompted my memories.

“The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.”

February 13, 2017

Last night was warm and clear. I took Gracie out front before bed, and she was far more interested in the night so we came back inside. That was our regimen. She’d wake me up and she’d be panting and shaking. We’d go back down the stairs and back outside. That happened three more times. Finally, I decided to sleep on the couch and so did Gracie. We slept the rest of the night. Wouldn’t you know it?

We got a couple of inches of snow during the early morning, and it is still snowing. The wind is blowing the flakes sideways, and the pine trees are swaying back and forth. My car and walkway are covered again. Gracie had been going down the back steps again, but I won’t have her go down when the stairs are slippery.

The classroom I remember the best was my very first school room. It had a cloakroom right outside accessible by two different doors in the front of the room. We were on the first floor. Our side windows looked out over a driveway, a border fence and some houses. The back windows looked over the school yard, which became the parking lot on Sundays. We were all subdued on days like today. We’d keep looking out the windows at the falling snow. It was mesmerizing. It still is.

No cars are on the road. It is not a day to be out and about so I’m staying home today. I’ll take the dog out when necessary, but I won’t like it. It’s an ugly day with little to commend it. I’m glad I have heat and electricity, a fairly full larder and Netflix. I’m thinking popcorn and a good movie are perfect to while away a snowy day.

“Genius is an African who dreams up snow.”

February 10, 2017

It is 1:30. The wind is still raging, but the snow has stopped. Most of the snow was wet and heavy, and in the late afternoon a downed wire cut off my electricity. I sat for a while reading, but because the house was getting a bit cooler, Gracie and I headed upstairs to take a nap. I was thinking warm down comforter. I don’t know what Gracie was thinking. I could hear the branches brushing against the house, against the wall in my bedroom. Then I heard a crash. I ran downstairs, opened the front door and saw nothing but branches. They extended from a giant branch, half of a pine tree, now lying across my front yard. It was torn off the tree by the wind. Its branches are near the front door and have cut me off from the outside world. Poor Gracie had to go out among the branches. It took three times before she decided it was branches or nothing.

I went to bed around 2:30. Gracie woke me up around 4. She was shaking. She was also panting: signs that Gracie needed to go outside. She wouldn’t get off the bed so I had to help her. We got down the stairs to the door and she went outside and did her business just this side of the branches.

I’m hoping my landscape guy comes today to free me. I know Skip will be here to plow and shovel as soon as he can. Right now the day is beautiful to look at, all sunny and bright, but that’s deceiving. It is only 20˚. I guess I’m okay for now with being stuck in the house, the warm house.

This was a terrific snow storm. It even had thunder. We probably got near a foot of snow. It covers everything. I couldn’t see out the back windows until a little while ago, but the sun is still the sun so the windows are clear again.

Looks like we have to postpone dump day.

“The very fact of snow is such an amazement.”

February 9, 2017

The Cape is under a blizzard watch. The winds could get as high as 55-65 MPH. The snow in Boston is already accumulating, but it hasn’t started here yet. It is still a bit warm, a holdover from yesterday’s 50+ degrees. The amount of snow we are now expecting is down a few inches from the earlier prediction, down to 8-12 inches.

They announced today’s school closings last night. My sister and I remembered waiting to hear the fire horn and jumping up and down when it sounded. I don’t remember my mother’s reaction, but I suspect she silently groaned.

The wind is picking up here. The tops of my trees, especially the pine trees, are being blown and are tipping almost sideways. I imagine the ocean is furious with white capped waves hitting the shore. The sea walls won’t keep the water back.

I almost got dressed to go outside this morning. I wanted Oreo cookies, double-stuffed, but I didn’t go, and now I’m regretting it.

The house is dark. The sky is dark clouds, snow clouds. Outside looks different when it’s going to snow. The air looks hazy. It lacks the sharpness of the winter’s sun.

Gracie has gone down the back stairs to the yard but only with me facing her and touching her as she goes down a step at a time. Her back legs slide. She is still afraid, but she trusts me to help her and keep her safe.

I’m thinking this is a day for hot cocoa with marshmallows melting and spreading over the top. I wonder if I have the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies.

The weather has gotten fiercer. The wind is stronger. It has started to snow, with big wet flakes. The day has little to commend it. I’m happy to be home even without the Oreos.

“Whoever snatched my formerly reliable, sharp short-term memory: I’d like it back now, please.”

January 24, 2017

Last night it poured. I fell asleep to the pounding on my roof and to the tremendous wind. It truly howled. This morning I woke to another dark, rainy day. It will be warm. Right now it is 49˚. The low will be 40˚. Winter has gone on hiatus for a few days.

When I was a kid, I did my homework at the kitchen table every day. I remember memorizing the times tables, spelling words and the Baltimore Catechism. “Who made you?” “God made me.” Questions and their answers from that catechism are still lingering, unused and unneeded, in my memory drawers, but the times tables and spelling words are part of my every day. Sometimes I had to do written homework, often worksheets. Mostly they were arithmetic lessons. The one I remember the most was a sheet to practice using coins. I had to add or subtract nickles, dimes or quarters.

I was never good at numbers. I used to hide my fingers under my desk so I could count. The nuns kept sharp eyes for finger counters so I had to be sly. The spelling words were easy. Every week I had to learn 20 new words for a test on Friday. I think I always got a 100, not a boast but evidence of a good memory. If I spelled the words out loud a few times, I learned them. My memory always saved me. That’s not so true anymore. As I get older, pulling answers from memory drawers gets more and more difficult because I can’t find them, but I have learned to compensate. I use my mother’s technique of going through the alphabet a letter at a time hoping one will jog my memory. I also use mnemonics. The funny thing is that often out of nowhere the answer jumps unexpectedly into my head long after I had searched for it. I hate not finding it, but I get comfort knowing the answers are still there.

“Winter bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”

January 3, 2017

We have rain and 44˚. The low for the day will be 43˚. This is not winter in New England, but winter is impatiently waiting in the wings. Daytime tomorrow will be 50˚ but tomorrow night will be in the 20’s. The rest of the week will be 30’s during the day and 20’s at night. That’s a warm winter in New England!

The winter weather never mattered when I was a kid. I still had to walk to and from school every day. It wasn’t miles or feet of snow, but it was cold, freezing cold. The blasts of wind from across the field at the foot of my street whipped through my jacket. I remember using my mittened hands to protect my ears, red and numb from the cold. The hat my mother insisted I wear never kept my ears warm, just the top of my head. I’d hurry to get to the street below the field, the one with houses on both sides, buffers from the wind. It was a straightaway from there to school.

The middle of my classroom was always warm. Near the windows was chilly so most of us wore sweaters over our uniforms. The girls wore blue skirts and white blouses. The boys wore white shirts and blue pants. We could wear any shoes and socks. I don’t remember what shoes I wore, but I remember knee socks and pink long underwear which warmed my legs almost to the hem of my skirt.

In winter the classroom was never quiet. Even if we were silently reading, we could hear the hissing and wheezing of steam escaping from the radiators. I think that’s the sound I most miss from long ago winters.

My house has forced hot air from my gas furnace. I keep the daytime temperature at 68˚. That used to be warm enough. It isn’t anymore so I wear a sweatshirt around the house. The air blows and the house gets warm. I know this system is far more efficient than the radiators were, but the radiators did far more than spew heat. Coming in from the freezing cold, I could sit with my back to the pipes and quickly get warm. My mittens on the top of the radiator sizzled as they dried. My shoes with their curled toes looked like something Aladdin would wear after they’d dried under the radiator. When I was falling asleep, the radiators would hiss, crackle and even groan when they were warming the house. It was a comforting sound. I knew heat was coming.