Posted tagged ‘windy’

“Each day has a color, a smell.”

October 8, 2017

The day is cloudy dark. Rain is predicted. It is also windy which makes it feel colder than it is. I had to shut the back door. Last night was Gracie busy. She had me up every couple of hours, and we went out at 3:30. I went back to sleep but woke up when I heard her moving around at 8:00, but she readily jumped on the couch with me, and we both slept until 10.

I did all my errands yesterday. I had a route in mind, but the cars in long lines at the lights had me reconsider how to get there from here. I should have realized they’d be lines as this is, after all, a three day weekend, sort of summer’s last hurrah. Today is a stay off the roads day as the weekenders will be driving around looking for something to do.

I can smell wood burning again. The smell has again triggered memories. I remember overnights at Camp Aleska, the Girl Scout camp in the town where I grew up. The camp was up a dirt road across from the zoo and was surrounded by tall pine trees. Paths were behind the camp and led all through the woods. There was one big room in the camp with a huge fireplace. My favorite part of the overnight was falling asleep as the fire waned and the embers glowed in the dark. I have mentioned mornings in Ghana several times. The air smelled of wood fires as breakfast was cooked over wood charcoal. In the market, huge bags of charcoal were for sale. In some villages tree trunks were slowly burned into charcoal and bags of it were for sale on the sides of the road. Even the irons were filled with wood charcoal.

At night, aunties, older women, sitting along the sides of the main road in Bolga cooked food over wood charcoal and sold it.  I remember the smell in the air was a combination of the wood charcoal burning and food cooking at my nighttime snack stops. That was the first time I ever tasted grilled corn and deep fried plantain and yam chips. Guinea fowl was rare, but I always bought it if I found it. I remember the spots of light from the lit lanterns up and down the street and the blazing embers under metal bowls filled with groundnut oil where the food cooked.

I am ever so thankful for having served in Ghana and for the memories still strong and vibrant.

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“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

June 30, 2017

I love this morning. It isn’t sunny but it is windy and cool. I can hear the leaves rustling and the tinkling of the chimes from my backyard. Out my window I can see the branches being tossed by the wind. They look like dancers swaying and bending in the same direction. The weather report said sun, but I don’t miss it. A cloudy day has its own beauty.

The kids from down the street woke me again this morning. It was around 8:30. They were playing in front of one of their houses. I heard a couple of them singing, but I have no idea of the song. I also heard a couple of them yelling and a couple of them screaming. They’re gone now except for one, the oldest. He is shooting baskets. I can hear the ball when it hits the road and when he dribbles. I have no idea what happened to the rest of them.

Our girl scout camp, Camp Aleeska, was in the woods at the end of a sandy road across the street from the zoo entrance. The camp was in a pine forest and had been built by the fathers of scouts. Inside was one huge room with a tall fireplace and storage benches lining two walls. The kitchen and bathroom were off the big room as was a small room where the adults slept. Cots, the old canvas type with the wooden bars at each end, were stored in the benches. A couple of times, my troop went on overnights at the camp. After we had brought in the food, we set up our cots with a lot of laughter as sometimes they collapsed. We went on hikes and followed trails in the pine woods. Other times we did stuff to earn another badge for our sashes. We all had jobs like cooking, cleaning, doing dishes or sweeping. I remember the stew we usually had for dinner, poor man’s stew. It was hamburger, a can of soup, potatoes, carrots and sometimes canned corn. The stew cooked a long time on the stove. It was always delicious. I remember cooking breakfast with eggs and bacon and toast. We each had a single task at every meal. I always hated it when I had to wash dishes.

I loved the inside of that camp. It had the aroma of a wood fire. It was always quiet as there was nothing near us. We made the only noise.

The camp is gone now as are the trees that kept it hidden. It is the site of construction equipment and piles of sand. I don’t know when the camp was demolished. I’m sorry for its loss as no one else will make memories there.

“Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.”

December 30, 2016

Today is sometimes sunny and sometimes windy. The big storm yesterday was a disappointment. Not that I wanted snow, but I was hoping for a nor’easter and the loud  drumming of rain against the windows. I wanted to see branches fiercely blowing left to right and almost reaching the ground; instead, it just rained.

Today is quiet. Even the dog is bored looking out the front door. She kept hoping for foot traffic where there was none. She is now napping on the couch.

I went to bed earlier and woke up earlier. I’m working on getting up before nine, okay, maybe by nine thirty.

When I was a little kid, I always wanted to stay up to greet the new year. I seldom did. I’d fall asleep before the ball dropped or Auld Lang Syne played. When I got a bit older, I managed to stay awake but found out it was no big deal. Blow a horn and yell Happy New Year was the sum total of my celebration. Come to find out, all the celebrations are almost the same. Add a kiss and a drink then yell Happy New Year.

Nothing much is going on around here. I scoured the paper looking for diversions. All the local New Year’s Eve festivities were listed. There is an indoor farmer’s market tomorrow and an antique fair on Sunday. None of these tempt me to brave the cold.

In the Globe today was a picture with the header, “Seniors ring in New Year with a bit of rock and roll.” At the party yesterday they counted down to noon. They ate mashed potatoes and chicken. They twisted and shimmied and danced away the afternoon.  That, I guess, is full circle.

“Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement.”

November 22, 2016

Last night was winter. It was cold and windy. My sweatshirt wasn’t quite enough. North of us got a little snow. Thankfully, we were spared. It’s bad enough the temperature is below freezing without adding snow. Today too is really cold. My heat is blasting.

For some reason, the first few days of Ghana popped into my head from my memory drawers. We were all staying at a school in Winneba. The only view of the town was from the second floor balcony of the dorm. I could see rusted metal roofs and palm trees. That was it. It could have been many places, but on the way to my first language class, I saw geckos scurrying away from me. They were green and the first ones I’d ever seen. I remember looking at them and realizing I really am in Africa. It is one of my most vivid memories. I can still picture where I was standing. I remember the whitewashed cement wall about waist high, its flat top and the greenery close to the building and the steps. The wonder of that moment is something I haven’t ever forgotten and is still a delight. Just imagine being in Africa.

I have a few things to do today so I have to brave the cold. This is Gracie’s favorite time of the year because she can ride with me. It’s cold enough that she can wait in the car.

I got a notice for jury service yesterday. I’ve gotten them before and was dismissed three or four times and excused once. For one dismissal they kept us until after lunch when we were told the defendant had taken a plea bargain and we were not needed. That was like a Law and Order moment. Only once did I get so far as to be questioned about my suitability for the jury. I was excused. Come to find out I was excused because I was a school administrator, and the trial centered on some sort of discrimination surrounding the non-rehiring of a female administrator. I guess the prosecutor figured I’d be sympathetic. He was right.

“All tradition is merely the past.”

November 18, 2016

Today is cloudy and damp. The wind is blowing more leaves off the trees. The backyard has a layer of crusty brown leaves. Gracie makes noise when she walks around. The deck is covered again. Dismal is the best description of the weather.

I have a few errands today. Gracie is out of canned food, and I need bread. I’m also thinking I need a whoopie pie to chase away the clouds. Chocolate makes every day sunny.

My table is filled with catalogues with dog-eared pages. I am on the hunt for the last of my Christmas gifts. Now I am into the traditional. I need more ornaments as I give everyone a new ornament each year. That started when my nephews and niece were born. When they got married, they collected all their ornaments from my sister for their very first trees. Now I also buy ornaments for their kids and their husband and wives. Everyone also gets a bar of soap, not just any soap but soap with a bit of whimsy. I have bought lobsters, crabs, starfish, nutcrackers and, for the guys, soap on a rope. The kids get new books. I also hunt for fun gifts. My brother-in-law, the fisherman, is getting an antique drop line. I love to find stuff like that. It does take a bit of hunting, but the fun is in the hunt. Besides, I sometimes find a bauble for myself. Last night I tried to order gingerbread house kits. I started sending houses to be constructed when my oldest nephew was three.

Last night I tried to order gingerbread house kits, also traditional. I started sending houses to be constructed when my oldest nephew was three. I sent them every year after that. Now I send one to my nephew’s two children and my niece’s two. My two friends and I construct small ones on Christmas Eve, a newer tradition. I had trouble with the website so I called them last night. The owner happened to be there though the place was closed. He promised to call me back, and he did. This morning he found out the website stopped on the ordering page so he took my order over the phone. He was glad I had called him as they didn’t know about the problem.

I do have a great story about the finished house. One year my sister’s kids built theirs, and she warned them to keep their hands off it. Later she caught one of her kids licking the candy on the roof. His defense was he didn’t use his hands. He was right!

“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter.”

November 7, 2016

Last night wasn’t restful for me or for Maddie and Gracie. Miss Maddie howled several times or many only a few. I lost track. I called her and make the lip sound cats seem to like so she’d stop for a while before the next howl. Gracie rolled out of bed to the floor, and I have an old, high bed. I heard her fall so I jumped off the bed toward her. She was scrambling and couldn’t seem to stand on her back legs. I thought she had injured them or her spine. I tried to lift her onto the bed but she was too heavy. I then put her front legs on the bed and lifted her back legs onto the bed. She looked dazed. I was already wondering how I’d get her to the car to go the vet’s when she turned in a circle and laid down. This morning she was fine. I figure she was slipping on the floor as she tried to get up and was a bit panicked by the fall. This morning all is well except they are sleeping, and I’m tired.

Yesterday afternoon there was a strong wind and last night it rained. More and more branches are empty. Wet leaves cover the ground, the deck and the lawn. Today is cold. The high will be 50˚. It is mostly cloudy with a bit of blue here and there. The sun comes and goes, but even when it is shining, it does little. The wind is strong. Today is the backside of fall.

With the election tomorrow, I am back to watching MSNBC and every now and then CNN. I am curious about the projections in the swing states. Trump has laid claim to the Hispanic vote in Florida. He has also criticized the language Beyoncé and Jay-Z used at a Clinton rally. He said maybe they were singing or maybe they were just talking. He didn’t know.

Trump is choosing his cabinet. I like oak or pine.

What to do today? I could buy some dog food at Agway, but that just isn’t enough to get me up and out. Maybe it is a good day to sort Christmas presents or maybe not. I have a couple of new books, but if I start one, that’s it for the day. They’d be nothing else. Nothing trumps the joy of a good book.

Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

August 23, 2016

This morning I starred as Sleeping Beauty, but no prince woke me up. I just did. It was 10:15. My mother would have said you probably need the sleep.

Last night we had movie night on the deck. We watched Dick. I had seen it before, but my friends hadn’t. I was glad they enjoyed it. We sat and ate appetizers while we played Phase 10. I lost. It was then movie time. We ate dinner while we watched. It was hot dogs and salad, a perfect summer meal. The night quickly got windy and chilly. I actually had to wear a sweatshirt. The screen fell down blown by the wind. It was undamaged.

Last night’s weather morphed into a beautiful day. It is in the 70’s and dry. I’m thinking deck time.

I totally lack ambition. I’m guessing I used all of my weekly allotment yesterday and last night. Being the consummate hostess takes energy and a lot of lists.

I’m not a fan of commercials, but I figure they are the price to pay for watching network television. One commercial, however, drives me crazy. It is for Dole fruit bowls. Two couples are at a picnic table after playing tennis. One couple stabs the tops of their fruit bowls then drains the liquid. The woman from the other couple looks at them with pure disdain and says, “Oh, they’re drainers.” She explains why she and her husband don’t drain. “We drink it,” she says with a haughty, superior look. That’s when I’d have thrown my drained sugary fruit cup in her face.