Posted tagged ‘24˚’

“While the rest of the world has been improving technology, Ghana has been improving the quality of man’s humanity to man.”

January 22, 2019

This morning is polar opposite yesterday’s. I forgot to leave the storm door open a bit so the button was stuck again. I whacked it a few times, and it gave. As I opened the door, I could hear drips. By normal winter weather standards today is cold at 24˚, but the front of the house faces east so the sun shines directly on the bushes. It was the ice dripping. My computer worked this morning. Life is good.

We got a bit of snow last night but so little that Henry’s paw prints go through the snow to the deck. I wore my slippers to get the papers, and they only had snow on the soles. I cleared my windshield and side windows using my protected newspapers, but there was still a thin layer of snow on them. The windows are now totally clear.

I have to go out today, and I don’t even mind. I suppose I could wait until tomorrow as it will be in the 40’s, but I have been house bound far too long. Henry needs a visit to the vets for nail cutting and his distemper shot so I’ll take him. I also need a few groceries. As for inside, it is time to vacuum. Henry’s fur is again in clumps on the floor. I wish he wasn’t afraid of being brushed.

My austere life begins. My hope is to get back to Ghana in 2021, fifty years after my Peace Corps service ended. I have to start saving money. This month I managed my first deposit to my empty savings account which used to be full and healthy but is now is a mere shadow of itself drained by so many expenses. My friends Bill and Peg and I will travel together. We had the most amazing time when we were there in 2016. I am already excited by the thought of going back to Ghana.

I watched a video of women from Northern Ghana singing I Can’t Keep Quiet in English and Dagbani. I’ve posted it here for you. I didn’t know a single woman in the video, but I know them all. They are my students. They are my Ghanaian family. They are the market sellers always willing to dash a bit. They are the aunties along the sides of the roads selling fruit or plantain chips and Guinea fowl. They are the village women carrying huge bundles on their heads. They are the mothers toting children on their backs. They are one of the reasons I love Ghana and hold it close.

“As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”

December 17, 2017

It was freezing cold last night, down to 19˚, and it is freezing cold right now. Today’s high will be 24˚ though I think calling it high is a misnomer. I’m glad for the de-icer on the front steps as the two steps are dry and safe for both paws and feet. The day is pretty with a blue sky and sun but both are best seen through the window. I am staying warm and cozy right here.

I don’t have a list for today. My laundry got done yesterday, a miracle for me as it usually sits a while, the house is decorated, presents wrapped and the cards written. Maybe I’ll decide what to make for Christmas or maybe I’ll just sit in the living room with the tree lit and read a bit.

When I was a kid, each day closer to Christmas made me even more excited. I remember watching Santa Claus on TV every afternoon, and he’d do a countdown to Christmas Eve, his busiest day of the year. He’d read letters from kids, tell stories and show off new toys. I don’t even remember if I thought he was the real deal or not. I was never skeptical about Christmas. I believed everything.

I do love Christmas. My house is awash with decorations. The living room tree is as tall as it can be and still accommodate the star at the very top. Other trees, mostly wooden, are strewn around the house. The scrub pine in the dining room is lit every evening. The small wooden tree on the side table has white lights wrapped around it as does the driftwood tree in the bathroom. They all look so very lovely when lit. They make my house feel warm even on the coldest nights.

I seem to have run out of films of A Christmas Carol to watch. My number sits at six. Today I’ll watch another favorite of mine, The Bishop’s Wife. I know I’ve seen all these movies many times, but I still look forward to seeing them again. The Christmas season does that to me: it keeps the wonder alive.

“Colder by the hour, more dead with every breath.”

January 15, 2017

This morning I just didn’t want to get out of bed. It was 9:15 when I first woke up. Considering how late I went to bed, I figured it was too early to get up so I snuggled under the covers and went back to sleep. I slept until 10. Maddie started howling. Gracie was snoring. I decided the bed was too warm and I was too comfy so I went back to sleep. It was easy. I slept another hour so it was close to 11 when I dragged myself out of bed. I have no guilt at sleeping the morning away. I have no obligations, no errands and no chores though I could do a laundry, but I won’t.

Last night I want the Patriots beat the Texans. It wasn’t the Pats best game as Brady was intercepted and sacked, but my Pats prevailed. The game started late, 8:15, and ended late so my friends and I decided to make it an evening. First, we ate Chinese and played Phase 10, our favorite game. I happened to win. Clare and I alternate winning. Tony hasn’t won since last March. We’re planning a gala for his anniversary of one year without a win. He isn’t looking forward to the festivities.

It was cold last night, 24˚, so today at 34˚ feels warmer. The low this evening will be 19˚. When I lived in Ghana, it was hot and dry in January. It was harmattan. Dust blew over everything. The sun was obscured. Rain was months away. My candle melted without being lit. The water was often turned off. I took bucket baths, and I had to take a few before I got the knack. I got good at it.

During Peace Corps staging, a time when we all came together for nearly a week before leaving for Ghana, I was asked if I minded going to the north. My response was to ask why the question. What was it about the north? The psychologist asking the question didn’t know the answer. I told him I didn’t care where in Ghana I was to be posted. That settled it. I went to the far north, the Upper Region. I even knew before I left staging I was going to be in Bolgatanga. The remote posting areas were filled first. That was Bolga. That was the place with a long dry season when days reached 100˚ or more. I think of that this time of year, the coldest time of year here in New England, but if I were given a choice between the two, the hot, hot dry days or the freezing days and nights, I’d chose the cold. I couldn’t escape the heat, but I can always bundle up to escape the cold.

“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.”

December 10, 2016

The day is mostly cloudy with only a bit of blue. It is really cold. Last night was in the teens. Right now it’s 24˚. The weather will stay cold until Wednesday when we’ll be back to the 40’s.  I’m going off Cape today to see the play Mame. My sister and I do a play then dinner every Christmas season. My mother started the tradition. One of the plays she took us to was Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy. It was superb but was the fodder for jokes about Christmas cheer and the season to be jolly. I love this tradition.

I wanted a band to greet me when I got home yesterday from my errands. The Christmas boxes are wending their way to Colorado, the trash is dumped, and the last present bought. I even stopped and picked up clam chowder for dinner. It was delicious.

Last night I made the fudge for my sister. It didn’t look right, but I put it in the fridge expecting it to harden. When I checked it later, it was soft. Around 1, before I went to bed, I checked it and it was still soft. I knew I did something wrong, a first for me with this fudge. I figured I’d make it this morning but then realized I wouldn’t have time. I made it last night. While stirring to the soft ball stage, I realized I had read the thermometer wrong on the first batch. A silly mistake! By the time I was finished making the fudge and cleaning the kitchen, it was close to 2, but I am glad I am not disappointing my sister. This batch hardened.My mother often forgot one of our presents hidden in the house. When we’d open the gifts on Christmas morning, she’d remember because it was missing. Sometime during the day, a brand new present would appear under the tree. I remember one year she forgot the ice skates she had bought me, not the white ones I already had but an antique pair with straps you attached right to your shoes and a single blade with a curl at the ends. She had tucked them behind my other presents as if I had overlooked them. I didn’t care. I liked the surprised of this really neat gift.

The sun is now out but the day isn’t any warmer. I’ll bundle up.

“In my opinion, too much attention to weather makes for instability of character.”

February 27, 2015

Today is balmy at 24˚. When I woke up, the sun was bright and framed by a deep blue sky, but the perpetual grayness of this winter has reappeared. There are now only patches of blue, and the sun has become a hazy light from behind a cloud. Tonight will be in the teens but with no wind. Next week one day will be in the 40’s if the forecast holds true. I’m expecting a parade and fireworks and picnics on the town green.

Lethargic pretty much describes me. I read a whole book from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday night and then started on another. I did change my bed and the cat litter yesterday and went to the store as I had no bread. That’s it. That’s all I did, and I exhausted myself. Winter’s cold saps my energy.

I don’t know how old we are when weather becomes an issue, a topic of conversation. When I was a kid, the weather just happened. I got wet when it rained and cold when it snowed, but neither bothered me. It was hot in the summer, but that’s what summer is. Sitting under a tree for a while and running through the sprinklers were cure-alls for a hot day. The hot nights never stopped us from falling asleep. We were exhausted from playing all day. In my early 20’s I was in Ghana where 100+ degrees was the every day temperature this time of year. I didn’t complain about that either. I went to bed soaking wet after my shower and easily fell asleep as I air-dried.

Growing older and complaining about the weather are connected. I need the house warmer than I used to both during the day and at night. 68˚ is my usual daytime high though I’ll turn it higher if I’m cold. 64˚ is nighttime. I used to keep my house at 66˚ during the day and 58˚ at night. The two cats I had both slept under the covers. They were Siamese and liked warmth. Now, I can’t even imagine the house that cold.

Yesterday was snowing when I went out. A lady walked by me and said, “Oh my God more snow,” then kept walking. Weather does bring people together giving even strangers something to talk about.

“It’s true, I’ve become one of those grumpy older women.”

February 17, 2015

Enough, enough I screamed when I woke up. I could see the snow falling. I am at the I can’t take it anymore stage. The weather man said 1-3 inches then he added not a big deal. Sadly he’s right. This is a mere dusting compared to the feet of snow we have on the ground. At 24˚ the day feels warm, not shorts and flip flops warm, but far warmer than it has been. I have to go out today. I’ll bring my trusty broom and sweep my way clear to the car.

My spirit is joyless today. Resigned and jaded describe me best right now. Yesterday there was sun and blue sky. That sun was exactly what I needed. I had to shade my eyes. How wonderful that was. The bright spot this morning is I did get my papers. She threw them right by my car where it was plowed. The front page, as expected, was filled with snow horror stories. The T will take a month to get back to full service. A number of roofs have fallen in under the weight of the snow. The piles on the sides of the roads are over 6 feet, some even as tall as 7. More snow is coming Saturday. I suppose I should be thrilled with the reprieve of a few snowless days until then, but I just can’t conjure good feelings when it’s still snowing.

My sister in Colorado has stopped sunning herself. The 70˚ weather has been replaced by 10 inches of snow. She won’t get any sympathy from me.

Grumpy is about the best I can do today.