“Souvenirs are perishable; fortunately, memories are not”

The house was really chilly this morning. I was nestled under the covers, and Fern and Gracie were right beside me sharing their warmth. When I came downstairs, I decided to turn on the heat for just a while to warm up the house. The heat didn’t go on. I cursed. Nothing riles me more than stuff not working, stuff I have to call an expert to come and fix. I wish my family was more diverse. I think every family should have an electrician, a plumber and a generalist who can fix most anything else. It should be a rule. I know this will cost me big just for the guy to walk through the front door. I suppose finding out before it got really cold was a lucky break, but then people break arms and legs so that word has its downside.

Summer is making a return engagement this weekend. Each day will be in the 70’s. I’m thinking it’s  a farewell present.

My house is filled with stuff which has meaning only for me. The living room is mostly Ghana. A green basket I brought back home with me forty years ago sits under a table. Gold weights are on another table. Next to them is the top of a linguist staff and an old oware board leans against the same table. Finger bells are on the hearth. You put a round piece on each thumb and a bell on one finger of each hand to play it. I bought it in the market. I have paintings from Ghana. A couple were done by the art teacher at my school, Yao Blisah (though I don’t guarantee the spelling of his name).

In here are bags made from Bolga leather, a distinctive red and black leather still used. You can see boys working with the leather in some of my recent pictures. On the wall I have an old Bolga hat made of straw with a tie of that red and black leather. It’s a funky looking hat with straw straight up all over the woven part. I have an adrinka cloth my school gave me when I left. It is my prize Ghanaian possession.

Lately I’ve been thinking about putting together an album of pictures of all of these mementos. I’ll write stories about why each piece of Ghana is dear to me. I figure maybe they’ll become dear to someone else too.

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16 Comments on ““Souvenirs are perishable; fortunately, memories are not””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Heavý rain falls and strong winds here today, it’s a bit chilly as well so I have a fire burning in the stove. Thanks to my stove I really don’t need radiators but it would still make me a biy´t grumpy in they didn’t work.

    I don’t have a lot of things as memories in my cottage really and I don’t know why. But I have a wooden ship my step som made me when he was around 13-14. It is placed on my linnen cupboard and no one can miss it 🙂 That’s the most valuble thing I have 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      We are expecting weather in the 70’s come the weekend. I can hardly wait and may just have to use those wooden chairs which didn’t get covered.

      Your cottage is smaller than my house so you probably don’t save as much. My momentos of trips are among my favorite things. The best are the old photos of my family.

  2. Bill S. Says:

    I have a hat similar to the one you have, where the straw sticks up. I have another bolga hat which I sometimes wear in the pool; it holds up well even when wet. My sister and family are visiting from Florida this week, and her son is learning chess. We dragged out our African leather chessboard with brass figures, still in excellent condition. We have a goatskin rug which we used in our Tafo house. It consists of diamond-shaped goatskins of various colors, sewn together to make a 6’x6′ rug. Kevin liked that rug, but when he crawled off it and was on the red floor, the water-soluble red paint would get on his cloth diaper (no rubber pants) if it was wet. The rug has seen better days, and the fur is falling out, so it may have to go. Also have some paintings by Yao Blisah; he was a friend of Mr. Venyo, music teacher at WTC, who moved into your house in 1971.

    Speaking of Kevin, his wedding is Sunday, Oct. 9th, and we expect 80 degree weather.

    • katry Says:

      I too have my skin board and brass chess set, also in wonderful condition. I displayed it for a long while and only recently out it away.

      I mentioned Yao Blisah in the body of my posting today as I also have a couple of his sketches. I remember him well.

      Give my best to Kevin. He surely lucked out on the weather. I too have a wedding to attend on Sunday. I am thrilled the weather is going to be so great. If I had known, I wouldn’t have bought a fall dress and, instead, used my summer one. My dressy wardrobe is lean.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I usually replace costly items if they go out ten years. That’s just before the life of an AC unit will last here in Florida. We rarely use heat because we are below the frost line. Last year though, it was cold, snowed in Tallahasse. I was shocked. I like the description of all the toys you have from Ghana over the years. The Peace Corps teaching assignment was and still is a big part of your life.

    • katry Says:

      I replace a lot of my cooking and baking machinery. I just got a new Kitchen Aid because I wanted a change in color.

      One of my PC friends said there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t think about Ghana. I figure it takes hold and you hold right back.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My heat hasn’t come on yet. The thermostat is set at 60 but it hasn’t gotten cold enough in that part of the house to kick it on. It has been a bit chilly in the morning so I might weaken and turn it on myself. I always have a bit of trepidation the first time I turn the thing on for the season. Will it start? Will it continue to go? You are right. Stuff should just work.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I am an idiot! The other day I had my hall painted and my painter must have turned the emergency switch off. Duh!! I won’t even mention what it costs for stupidity. At least while he was here I had him change the disgusting furnace filter.


  5. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Our weather is rainy then sunny then back to rain. The stuff rainbows are made of, but I haven’t seen any. It could be that I’m in the house. One would think a rainbow would have the compassion to give me a buzz and let me know to walk outside. I have many items I got while on trips, and others that were given to me by friends who are dear and departed.. Plus, my own art, pictures, letters, and oh what shall I do? It’s too crowded. I guess that’s what happens when you get “older” and live in a small place. I like the title as memories are always with one, unless you get that illness where you can’t remember anything.. then an object might help. Why is the song, “Oh dear, what can the matter be” playing in my head. I hope this isn’t complete nonsense..

    • katry Says:

      It’s cold right now but it won’t last. Rainbows are like that sometimes! Momentos come in all different forms and memories help keep them alive. I love kitsch like salt and pepper shakers. I have a few of those from way back!

  6. Hedley Says:

    Not too big a night….our Tigers are in the Bronx to finish the job…GO GET THEM TIGERS

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I held my breath when the evil empire had the bases loaded with only 1 out. Sabathia is now in.

      Go Tigers!

      • Hedley Says:

        Job done ! And on to Texas
        And Spike Lee is an idiot in a stupid hat

        “we’re all behind our baseball team..GO GET UM TIGERS
        World series bound and picking up steam …GO GET UM TIGERS”

  7. katry Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    I saw the whole game and cheered loudly for the TIGERS! Go rustle up a ranger!

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