“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

The heavy rain started last night. I heard it on the roof. The dogs backed away from the door hoping the rain would stop. Later, they had no choice but to go out. The rain stopped overnight but will continue today. I did get my pansies planted yesterday but didn’t clear the Nala trash. That’s for another day.

Today is a day with no lists, no need to leave the house, a full larder and plenty of books and movies. It is a cozy day.

When I was a kid, I wondered what the nuns looked like under their habits. Once in a while I could see a sort of hairline under their wimples. One nun had black hair and the other white. I never really thought of nuns as people. They had their own race apart from the rest of us. I never saw nuns eat except for Sister Hildegarde who hid candy in her desk and ate it during the day. Nuns used to keep their handkerchiefs under the cuffs of their sleeves. When I was young, they scared me. When I was older, they amused me.

When I lived in Ghana, my days were mostly the same, but I was never bored. I was amazed. I was actually living in Africa.

Ghana was filled with color. The women wore dresses made with traditional cloths of many colors and patterns. By the middle of my first year, all my dresses had been made by the seamstress who lived next door, the wife of a tutor. I had bought the cloth in the market. My favorite dress was blue tie-dye. Men wore fugus, smocks, made on looms, woven in different patterns of cotton in strips then sewn together. Smocks were traditional clothing for men in the north and in the Upper Region where I lived. When I went back to Ghana, I was surprised to see smocks were now wore even in Accra, the capital. I have fugus I brought home. They are in different styles and colors. I also have some fugu cloth, white with black and red stripes.

My house is warm and quiet. Nala is napping beside me on the couch. Henry is napping upstairs on my bed. My ultimate cozies are the dress code for the day. I’m ready for my second cup of coffee and an onion bagel with cream cheese. I’m thinking life doesn’t get much better.

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2 Comments on ““Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today was just fabulous weather wise. Not a cloud in the sky and a high of 84° with very low humidity.

    I always wondered what nuns wore under their habits. I assumed they wore underwear like everyone else. When I was a little kid in Brooklyn, my grandmother lived on the same block as a Catholic school. Both the Nuns and the brothers would walk down the street in groups. In those days the Nuns were completely covered and the brothers wore trousers but were covered in some kind of black robe tied at the waist by what looked like a rope. They wore black shirts with high white collars.

    When I got older I imagined that the nuns and the priests might be having hanky-panky going on in the rectory. But, if they did it was only their own business. Later on we discovered that the real hanky-panky was mostly between priests and alter boys. I think the entire celibacy thing is stupid. The Eastern Orthodox Church allows their priests to marry.

    I can’t even imagine living in Ghana and how it might affect me. You had a once in a lifetime experience.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      The rain stopped or a small time, but it came back with a vengeance. Nala was soaked when she came back inside. Henry didn’t go out; the rain was too heavy or him.

      I had an aunt who was a nun, but I never asked her about her habit. She wasn’t the friendliest person.

      Later, the nuns all wore regular clothes. My aunt did as well, but she had horrible taste probably from wearing a habit so long.

      I haven’t ever heard of priests and nuns having hanky panky. I suppose it wouldn’t matter given both of them would be adults. They would, however, be breaking their vows.

      You saw monks, probably Franciscans. The nuns come from different religious orders. I had Sisters of Providence in grammar school and Sisters of St. Joseph in high school. My aunt was a sister of Notre Dame.

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