” It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”

After the heat and humidity of yesterday in particular, today feels a might chilly. The sun is shining but there is a breeze, and the temperature is only 64°.

I love weekday mornings as they are always so quiet. The only sounds are the birds and an occasional car driving by. My get ready for summer activities are almost complete. All the deck window boxes are filled with herbs and the clay pots have flowers. The vegetable garden is full; a few squashes took the empty spaces. The deck has been swept for about the fourth time, and the only cleaning left is the table and a few spots on the chairs. I need to get tubing for my fountain then I can start it running. Once that is done the pageantry can begin. The final pieces will be taken to the deck to assume their rightful spots. First will come the plastic flamingo dressed for summer in its hula skirt and lei. Then the very last piece will be brought from his winter quarters. With flags and triumphant music accompanying this move, out will come the gnome, the Travelocity gnome, who will sit prominently on the deck by the fountain looking like a complete Ozymandias without the sneer. Then and only then can the deck season begin!

Tomorrow my friends Michelle and John will arrive. They live in Ohio and are driving here touring as they come. Michelle and I were in the Peace Corps together. I sometimes stayed with her in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, on my way north. I always felt like Country Mouse visiting City Mouse. I remember taking a shower in her apartment and finding two faucets: one was for hot water. I was amazed. She had hot water all the time with the turn of a faucet. My hot shower lasted until the flow of water in the pipes warmed by the sun was gone. I always tried to wash my hair under the warmed water as the first blast of cold water on my head was always a shock even though I knew what to expect. Michelle came to Bolga once, and her memory is of being wet from her shower and lying on the bed under the ceiling fan hoping to feel even the tiniest bit of a cool breeze. I always took my shower just before bed, never toweled off and went to bed still soaked from the shower. It was easier that way to fall asleep in the heat.

When I went back to Ghana last summer, I understood Michelle and the heat, but air conditioning had come to Bolga; however, I still didn’t have hot water. That came in a bucket.

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12 Comments on “” It takes a long time to grow an old friend.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    And so the Diamond Jubilee Weekend is upon us.

    Tomorrow the Queen travels to Epsom for the 233rd running of The Derby. Although I lived close to the course, I only went to one Derby, in 1964, when Scobie Breasley won it for the first time at the age of 50, on Santa Claus. There was a strong comparison to Sir Gordon Richards who had his only Derby victory in 1953 at the age of 51, and was promptly knighted

    At the end of the finishing straight is a pub called The Rubbing House. A favorite of my Grandparents but I dont think that HRH will be dropping by for a pint after tomorrows race.

    I hope that your friends travel well and you can at least see the big Flotilla on Sunday. There are cool videos online of the rehearsals today in London which were as dawn arrived at 4.00 am.

    Its going to be fun – and then on to the Euros and then the Olympics !

    • Bob Says:

      During an economic recession and a period of high unemployment, why is the UK government spending money on glorifying a useless figurehead. A waste of money, time and effort.
      Royal questions:
      1. Why didn’t the queen abdicate in favor of her son Prince Charles? Other than his bad taste in woman
      2. What does the queen do all day? Other than wave or carry a big purse
      3. Why does anyone outside of the UK care about her and her crazy family?
      4. Why do expat Brits have to pine for their homeland? There are much better places to live than the UK.

      • Kat Says:

        Bob,
        I, for one, love the pageantry of the monarchy. I remember being in Denmark by the castle wishing I could see the queen. If you had seen 20/20 you would have seen the support the Queen is getting. She is at the height of popularity.

        She is still alert and capable which is why, I suspect, she continues as Queen. I do agree with you about Charles. Who the heck wants Camilla?

        I think anyone who lives anywhere as an expatriot pines for the homeland.

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I could never go-I don’t look good in hats, but I do love those with the very broad rims.

      The pub names are so wonderful-even though Martha Grimes is an American, you’d swear she was British with her titles all great pub names.

      I will look for the practice videos. I have spread the word to those of my friends who will enjoy watching.

      Such a summer ahead of you!

  2. olof1 Says:

    We didn’t even reach 48 today 🙂 It has rained most of the time as well but for once I don’t mind, It will slowly turn towards warmer weather again, very slowly 🙂

    I used to live in a cottage without hot water, In winter I stood in a big bucket pouring hot water from the stove over me but in summer I usually stood outside and the hot water I had them was the water in the hose that I had placed in the sunlight 🙂

    It’s just awful the first times the cold water comes after that I learned when it was time to jump away from the cold stream from the hose 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      We stayed in the low 60’s all day. It is supposed to rain all weekend, hard at times as well.

      I took a cold shower because I had no choice, but I hated it. It is quite a shock when you get drence by the cold!

      Enjoy the evening!

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I remember Rebecca’s vacation to Vic Falls and had a room with hot and cold water, first time in Zimbabwe. She said she had showers that lasted 30 mins or more, knowing that in one week it was back to the school with no electricity, no running water. The teen she sponsored brought water from the water hole daily and at least she could wash her face and brush her teeth.

    • Kat Says:

      Z&Me,
      I had both though in the dry season the water was often turned off for three days or so. I took bucket baths then as I used to keep them filled in my shower room. I was lucky in where I lived.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    So far my plants are surviving. It was touch and go for the little poppy but it put forth blossom. It may still go down as it was not in the best of shape when I bought it but I live in hope.
    Ghana sounds too hot for me. I didn’t get AC until fairly recently so I remember trying to sleep in the heat only too well.
    It got very cool and cloudy up here all of a sudden. I had appointments this morning and have spent the rest of the day wrestling with Excel. Numbers, actually, as I run a Mac but they’re kind of the same. I have forgotten all I even knew but eventually the tiny god in the machine did what I wanted it to do and that’s all that counts. 🙂
    Hope your friends have a safe and fun trip.
    Enjoy the evening.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It sounds as if your poppy is on the mend. A bit of sun, a bit of water and a little love ought to do it!

      Ghana is really hot, especially northern Ghana where I lived. There was no AC. I didn’t even have a fan. I was young back then and far more tolerant. Now I expect everything!

      I was on the phone for hours with difgerent techs from Carbonite which I started using to backup my files. I got a message that it was not connected to the server, got on-line help but got disconnected. Today I was determined to get it up and running again. Tech level 1 worked with me for an hour and had to bump me up to tech tier 2 as he could not solve the problem. Tech 2 did. It seems my server is down so she is going to notify tier 3 to fix it. I spent, all together, around 3 hours on this today.

      It is going to rain all weekend-wouldn’t you just know that would happen!

      Have a great evening yourself!

  5. Bob Says:

    We actually got rain yesterday and last night. It’s now just hot and humid. We can use a lot more rain to make it through July and August.

    You are very lucky to have a friendship that lasts that long. Even with the internet I can’t locate any of my friends from high school or college except one. He and I sat together at our high school graduation and attended the same college our freshman year. I think all the others fell off the face of the earth.

    One of my college friend’s dad used to say that they can take any of his modern conveniences other than his indoor plumbing. I don’t want to trade any of mine period. I don’t camp, I don’t hike, nor tailgate and I consider roughing it as staying in Motel 6.

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      I really hope you get the rain you need-you deserve it after the horrors of last summer!

      I do feel lucky. I even still connect with friends from grammar school, but I have lost touch with high school friends. My Cape friends have been around nearly 40 years as well.

      I wouldn’t want to give mine up either, especially with our winters. The last thing I’d need is a run to the yard! I camped when I was younger but haven’t in a long time-don’t want to either. I like creature comforts!


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