“Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living.”

Some time during the night the thunder woke me up. It was house shaking, but I didn’t care. I just rolled over and went back to sleep. When I woke up just before 9, it was to a dark, damp morning. It had rained, and I missed it. Outside looks a bit lighter than it had so maybe a bit of sun is on the way though the prediction is for showers.

The countdown to my trip has officially begun. I will be winging my way to Ghana one week from today. The pre-flight list has been activated. Today I will get to cross off two of the items. I know Zoey likes to follow my progress across the world so here are my flight numbers:

Boston to New York, August 25th: Delta Flight 1091 leaving at 5:55pm and arriving at Kennedy at 7:35. ย  New York to Accra: Delta Flight 26 leaving at 8:30 and arriving at Kotoka at 11:30 am on Sunday, August 26th. There is a four-hour difference between here and Ghana so the flight is close to 11 hours long. My return trip begins on September 17th: Delta 27 leaving Accra at 10:10pm and arriving at Kennedy at 5:05 am. A few cups of coffee and a newspaper later, Delta flight 867 leaves at 8:20am and will wing its way to Logan Airport where I’ll land at 9:44. I’ll grab my bags and then wait for the bus to take me to the Cape, arrival time unknown as I have yet to buy my bus ticket or check the schedule.

My birthday was a wonder. First, my friends and I waited for nearly an hour for the trip that wasn’t. The lobster cruise had been cancelled, and the call announcing that had been made after we’d left so we didn’t know. Neither did the other people waiting. My friend called and was told the news while someone else checked her home phone and found the call had been made at 3:10: boarding was at 3:30 so we all missed the call. We left the marina and tried to figure an alternative. On our summer to do list is the Lighthouse Inn for drinks so we headed to West Dennis. My friends had never been there, but right away they loved the outside tables right on the water. It was so breezy all of the table umbrellas were spinning, and the beach grass was swaying almost to the ground. We ordered drinks and appetizers and watched some people learn to drive their jet skis. Most got the hang of it but one woman was going in circles. The ocean was rough with small white caps, and they were moving her and she let them. She looked afraid to give the jet ski gas. She finally did and went forward a bit then must have panicked as she stopped and went in circles again. She amused us by doing that several times. Finally we lost interest and ordered another round then ordered dinner which was delicious. Our alternative to the boat had been wonderful, and we decided that the boat ride would have been quite choppy given the wind and the size of the waves so we were content on land watching the ocean, the gulls and the woman go in circles.

After dinner we left and went to my friends’ house. They brought out a cake and sang Happy Birthday. I blew out the candlesย and opened my gift, a calendar filled with pictures of our visit to Fenway Park. To end the evening weย played Phase 10, our favorite card game, and I lost. It was the only loss of the night!

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28 Comments on ““Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Last night we had a thunderstorm overhead that gave my yard a nice soaking along with lots of thunder, lightning and some small hail. More rain and cooler temperatures are forecasted for today and for tomorrow. Maybe the drought and heatwave are over for the summer. Today the high is forecasted for only 90 degrees. ๐Ÿ™‚ One can only wish but there are a couple of more weeks of August left to torture my lawn.

    I will follow your progress to Ghana and return on the website:

    http://flightaware.com/

    Sometimes the alternative plan works out better than the original version. Half the marriages in this country fail and are proof that originality is not what it’s all cracked up to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Are you taking your iPad along? If so will you be able to post the blog and upload photos from Ghana?

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I am so glad to hear you had more rain and a thunderstorm to boot. You got the rain and a little excitement at the same time. It is the middle of August so summer is waning. I do hope that September brings you cooler temps and some comfort!

      I am taking my iPad, but wi-fi is nonexistent in most of Ghana. I will go to the internet cafe to post when I am there, not every day but enough to keep you updated. I won’t be able to upload pictures, but I promise a full spread when I return.

      You’re right about the alternative-the evening was perfect, except for the card game!

      I’m glad I added all the information so you can plug it into Flightaware. I bookmarked that site in case I need it.

  2. Zoey and Me Says:

    Happy Birthday Kat from Me and all the girls. Zoey does enjoy following flight schedules, thank you from her. Have a wonderful vacation!

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Z&Me!!

      I am getting excited for the journey! My student Grace whom I did not see last year is so excited that she has called me twice this week. Grace will be meeting me at the airport.

  3. Hedley Says:

    โ€Ž’In a football match, everything is complicated by the presence of the other team”

    And so the EPL starts a new season and at 12.30 EST Tottenham begin with a visit to Newcastle. I am ready to take up position behind the sofa.

    Maggie harassed me this morning until we went riding. Threw in a little work and home in time to watch Spurs. Friday evening starred Verlander, Calvin and Matthew.

    • Bob Says:

      Everything except scoring goals. No wonder the Telemundo spanish speaking announcer screams the word goal stretched out for several seconds because it doesn’t happen too often. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      That is a wonderful quote for which I can substitute any sport. Right now I’m thinking baseball.

      Difficult to believe the season is starting already. I wish your Tottenham a good season this year!

      It sounds like a weekend of sport for MDH!

  4. Rowen Says:

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like a good time.

  5. Bob Says:

    Can’t pass up an opportunity to poke fun at our friends from the old world. Especially the Brits because we are two peoples separated by a common, sort of, language. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. olof1 Says:

    We had a rainy start today but then it turned to just cloudy, very hot and damp. it felt like walking in a steam bath ๐Ÿ™‚ now it rains again and it’s a bit cooler.

    I’m glad You had a great birthday despite the cancelled cruise. It is fun to look at beginners what ever they try to do, I remember looking at people trying the art of golf ๐Ÿ™‚ It could be hilarious to see how they missed the ball or made it fly in to the wood or bunkers ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank for the flight numbers! I’ll check where You are during Your trip ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Today never got sunny-stayed rainy and damp. I watched the worst movie: The Trail of the Screaming Forehead. It is the same cast pretty much as The Skeleton of Cadavra and just as bad. I roared laughing. It is just your type of film too!

      Last night was wonderful!

      That poor woman kept going in circles!

  7. morpfy Says:

    another of my fav BBQ sauces of mine

    Black Cherry Barbecue Sauce

    Ingredients

    3/4 cup black cherry soda
    1 can Bing cherries (17 ounces), drained
    3 tablespoons cherry preserves
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon sugar, or more to taste
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup dry red wine
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

    Instructions
    Put the cherry soda,cherries,cherry preserves,lemon juice,butter,sugar,cinnamon,and 3 tablespoons of the wine in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
    Reduce the heat to medium and let the sauce simmer gently for 5 minutes.
    Put the remaining 1 tablespoon wine and the cornstarch in a small bowl and stir to form a slurry (thick paste).
    Whisk this paste into the cherry sauce.
    Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat to thicken,about 1 minute.
    Taste for seasoning,adding more sugar or lemon juice to adjust the sweetness and salt and pepper to taste; the sauce should be highly seasoned. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    The sauce can be refrigerated, covered,for up to 1 week.
    Let return to room temperatur or warm over medium heat before serving.

    Yield: about 2 cups

    • katry Says:

      morpfy,
      Do you use this with chicken or pork? It sounds perfect for either one.

      Thanks for this-it sounds different and delicious!

  8. Hedley Says:

    “Intellectual football lovers are a beleaguered crew, despised by intellectuals and football-lovers alike, who regard our addiction as affected, pseudo-proletarian, even faintly homosexual.”

    Guess the author

    Lost 2-1 to a late penalty.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear hedley,
      I am a fan even though I watch no matches!

      I do not know the source of this quote!

      • Hedley Says:

        It was Martin Amis who now lives in NYC andhe added

        The thing I miss most about England is football. Pathetic. I canโ€™t even switch on the television any more. The technology has moved so far beyond my competence. Iโ€™ve got English friends who say, youโ€™ve just got to get Fox and youโ€™ll have all the Premier games. I canโ€™t even switch the television on. Iโ€™ll occasionally see an odd goal on Facebook and read the reports. First thing every morning, football. I think I know what the appeal of football is. It’s the only sport which is usually decided by one goal, so the pressure on the moment is more intense in football than any other sport.’

  9. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    One week away already!?! Wasn’t I reading Coffee just the other day and it was three weeks away? Time does fly.

    It’s great that your alternative plan for lobster cruise turned out to be so good and your birthday was a winner all around. The poor woman in circles, though. I think that would probably be me. :/

    A friend and I decided to go to Washington DC for the National Book Fair in September. Just for fun we’re taking the train. I’m kind of excited about that.

    Yucky day up here, too. I saw some sun shining on the cloud tops but it wasn’t reaching down to the ground. It rained so much in the last couple of storms that the dirt in one of the planters is saturated and won’t drain anymore. There was about 2 inches of water sitting on top of the soil. So much for those tomatoes. ๐Ÿ™

    Enjoy the evening.

    The Trail of the Screaming Forehead? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Usually time flies slowly when you are waiting for something, but this is moving quickly!

      The woman was sadly funny. Her family had left her near the beach and was out in the ocean enjoying the jet ski. She didn’t seem to ming the circles!

      Yucky day here too. I went out to a birthday dinner and it rained while I was there. It is really humid now so I need to turn on the air in my bedroom.

      You would just not believe that movie. it was meant as a spoof and succeeded admirably.

  10. Bill S. Says:

    Kat:
    Missed your birthday! Now you are one of us (65+). We never celebrated your birthday in Bolga because you were never there in August.

    If Franciska doesn’t have the money to go, does that mean you won’t be staying at her house?

    • katry Says:

      Bill,
      Thanks! What a warm welcome!!

      I don’t know if we celebrated during training or not, but I figure my mother sent cards which were probably weeks late.

      Franciska is having me stay in her house. She had her housekeeper and watchman alerted. She is having her driver go to Accra, pick up the car, pick up Grace Awai and drive us both to Bolga. Franciska has even done an itinerary for me highlighting spots along the way up and down. It’s a bit heavy so I’ll have to cut it a bit. I am going to Ouga for a couple of days. The driver will take me and when I get there, Franciska is having two of her friends be my translators and tour guides.

      Grace Awai is so excited to see me she keeps calling. In her last call, Wednesday, she asked how you both were doing and told me to pass along her best wishes!

      • Bill S. Says:

        Do you have any recent or old photos of Grace to refresh our memories?

        Sounds like you will be getting the royal treatment this time. I hope the road to Ouaga is better than it was 40 years ago.

        During our reunion in Franconia recently, our hosts had a pile of Bolga baskets they had bought in Quebec City–I recognized them immediately. The prices on the tags were outrageous.

  11. katry Says:

    My Dear Hedley,
    I am not a football/soccer fan though I did watch the women in the Olympics and I did get excited by their winning especially in the single goal wins you mention. My whole sister’s family even got up early a few years back when the World Cup was on at crazy hours. My nephew started playing when he was 5 and ended up with a division 1 full scholarship to play at Oregon State. His 6 year old son now plays though Ryan, my nephew, hasn’t put him into the club program Ryan was in at 5.

    It may not be in my blood, but it is certainly in theirs!

  12. katry Says:

    Bill,
    I’m sending 3 pictures by e-mail of Grace back when.

    The road to Ouga is now totally paved. When we used to go, I always liked it when we arrived at the paved part as I knew we were close. During the rainy season, I remember getting out so the car could go through the muddy deep puddles on the dirt road.

    I brought back several baskets last summer as Christmas gifts. I paid around $5 or $6 for them depending on size. I also brought back one of those woven shepherd’s bags I always used as a purse (as if I ever carried a purse!). Rose Atiah was my bargainer. We went to a basket place which the head of her PTA ran. I had to buy a sports duffle in Accra to carry back all the baskets. This year I’m hoping for different shapes than I bought last year.

    We had passport cases made from leather in the market. Do you remember we had to teach the man to make folds? I still use it and have all of these years later. The leather is still lovely and is so very soft now.


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