Posted tagged ‘16˚’

“Music replays the past memories, awaken our forgotten worlds and make our minds travel.”

December 30, 2017

The deep freeze continues. It is 16˚ and snowy weather is predicted. The sky is grayish white, and the air is still. I have to go out later for the one thing I didn’t know I needed the other day when I shopped, toilet paper, an item as essential as food and water.

My car needed only the oil change. Everything else checked out just fine though I was told to keep an eye on my tires.

In Ghana this time of year I loved the weather. Today in Bolgatanga it was 88˚ but tonight it will be only 68˚, and that’s the way it will continue for the rest of the week, even getting as low as 63˚ at night. That’s one thing I didn’t expect in Ghana, cold weather. I had no clothes to keep me warm. My students every morning were dressed in sweaters on sweaters and layers after layers. I had bare arms and sock-less feet, but I had steaming coffee in a huge mug to get me started, and the mornings warmed quickly.

I watched a movie today which partly took place in Jordan. One scene was of the city of Amman in the early morning light of dawn, and the only sound is the call to prayer. I stayed right near a mosque during my Peace Corps live-in, a three week stay with a family. I was in a town called Bawku which is heavily Moslem. A small mosque was on the street below my room. The pre-dawn call to prayer was live, not recorded. I heard it every morning and still remember so well the beauty of that song. The single voice was clear and powerful. It became familiar. I’d lie there listening then at the end of the song I’d fall back to sleep.

In Marrakesh I also heard the songs to prayers every day coming from a mosque not that far from my riad and also from the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest one in the city which towers over everything. Its minaret is sort of a landmark for the city. I was usually out walking around when I’d hear the afternoon calls. The voice was recorded, but it sounded over everything else and was rhythmic and lovely.

I know smells become familiar and trigger memories. The aroma of burning wood   always brings me back to Ghana, especially the mornings, when breakfast was being cooked over the fire. When I was in Morocco and heard the songs to prayer, I was reminded of Ghana, and that small mosque and the beauty of the single voice singing. It seems sounds too carry memories.

“No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.”

January 9, 2017

Today we have fake weather, similar to fake news. I looked out the window and saw a blue sky and a sunlit day. No wind was blowing. I was thinking warm and pleasant. I was thinking the deck and sun on my face, but I was wrong, lulled into believing the view outside my window. I can’t even get to the deck. It is covered in snow, in deep snow. Outside is freezing, only 16˚. The high will be 24˚.

I haven’t gone stir crazy, but I’m still watching the worst movie I think I’ve ever seen, one called Land of Doom. There isn’t a single actor in the cast. I’m figuring the leads, both female and male, have mundane jobs and took time off to make this movie hoping for the best. I have no idea of the actual plot. Marauders on motorcycles destroy villages, kill the men and rape the women. Our leads get caught, kick their way out of the capture and move on only to be caught again. The cast seems huge, but most of the time their faces are hidden so the same people can be used time and time again in different roles. The society is primitive, but there are plenty of motorcycles with full tanks of gas. There are also flies. They walk on the food and on the faces of the cast. I’d be swatting, but the cast doesn’t seem to care. Unless this is the only movie left on Earth, don’t watch it.

The living room is clean. I swept and vacuumed yesterday. I put the furniture back. I just haven’t cleared the couch. That will be first. It is up and down the cellar stairs for me today.

Gracie slid on the driveway last night. The stairs were clear of snow, and I had put de-icer on them so each step was down to the wood and safe for walking. Gracie made it to the tar then slid, her back legs splayed. She looked like Bambi on the ice. I kept watching and she walked just fine through the snow to the backyard. I then threw de-icer on the driveway, and it was clear of ice this morning. I also threw de-icer on the front step. I don’t want to tempt the fates.

“Hobbies take place in the cellar and smell of airplane glue.”

February 13, 2016

The sun was shining and the sky was blue but I blinked. When I looked again, the sky had turned grey, a white ominous grey, and the sun had escaped to warmer climes. I hyperventilated when I read today’s weather report. The high will be 24˚ and the low tonight will be 1˚. No, I didn’t forget a number. 1˚ is the prediction. Snow squalls are also predicted. The walkway and the car were covered in about an inch of snow when I went to get the paper. Tonight we’ll have flurries and another inch of snow. Tomorrow will be basking weather. It will be 16˚ during the day and 10˚ at night with more flurries to add to the excitement. The ocean is the warmest place around here at 40˚.

I don’t remember if my mother made us stay inside on really cold days. I know we usually walked uptown to the movie theater on Saturdays, but maybe, with single digit temperatures, my dad offered to drive us. He was going up town anyway. He had Saturday rituals. I know we always walked to and from school no matter the temperature. We could have adopted the unofficial postal creed minus the gloom of night part.

When I couldn’t go out, I’d play in the cellar. It was a big cellar divided by the stairs with a landing at the bottom. I remember being a cowgirl. The newel post was my horse. The bannister held the reins. I’d saddle my horse by putting old blankets on the newel post top and then I’d chase the bad guys. They were always caught. Bad guys had no chance with me riding Old Blue.

The sun shined through the small cellar windows high up on the concrete of the wall. I remember the rays sparkled. I’d learn later it was really just dust in the air highlighted by the light from those small windows. Sometimes the cellar was the only peaceful part of the house.

“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”

February 24, 2015

Already the day has been a long one for me. First I had blood drawn for which I had to fast. Having no morning coffee meant I was caught in Dante’s circles of hell. I’m think it was the fifth. Next stop was the library and returning books, but that was pleasant and I got four more books. After that was an hour of PT, and I’m tired. My knee hurts which is weird as I go to PT for my back. My last stop was to prove I am alive. I had to have a form notarized to send to the retirement board. That was my favorite stop. It was my bank where I got the form notarized, and I had a cup of coffee and a donut before I left. My mood changed after the coffee and I am almost pleasant.

The sun is shining. The sky has patches of blue. It feels warm even though it is just 16˚. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s heat wave. It should reach 31˚. I’m thinking my Hawaiian shirt and my clam diggers, which to Mary Tyler Moore were Capri pants, but that sounds far too fancy for my wardrobe. Too bad the deck is still filled with snow. I could lounge.

This winter has given me several days of indolence. I don’t really need an excuse to be lazy, but I’ve use this winter anyway. Most people nod their heads in agreement when I say things like I’m stuck inside as the roads aren’t plowed or there’s no reason to get dressed as I can’t go anywhere anyway. Last week I think I drove 28 miles. A tank of gas lasts seemingly forever.

My animals are older now. The cats are 16 and the dog turned 9 last November which is older than any of my other boxers were. Gracie’s muzzle and the fur around her eyes are totally grey as is some of the fur on her back. She is, however, really active and still feisty and loves to play fetch. The cats nap their lives away, but that’s what cats do. Every now and then they show a spark of kitten and attack string or ribbon. There hasn’t been a dead mouse in a while, but I’m hoping it is because there are no mice except in the cellar where there are always mice but the cats don’t go there.

I had a busy morning. I’m thinking it is almost nap time. You know how it is in winter!