Posted tagged ‘40˚’

“An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger. ”

January 29, 2017

Snow flurries just passing through are predicted then a rise in temperature to 44˚. That’s a wild weather day. Is it winter? Not this month it hasn’t been, but chills are on the way. Daytime will be in the 30’s starting tomorrow and nights will be even colder.

My first watch had Cinderella on its face. I was seven years old, and it was a First Communion present from my aunt who had taught me to tell time. When I turned 50, my mother gave me a beautiful watch with silver decorations around its face. That watch I still have.

I grew up in the days of analog, not digital time. Back then learning to tell time meant understanding things like quarter past the hour, half past and quarter to. Now it is simply 8:15, 8:30 or 8:45.

We had rabbit ears. I remember it was brown and had a dial with two choices on the front. That rabbit earred antenna sat on the wide top of our wooden TV console. Sometimes my dad wrapped aluminum foil around the ears to get us a better picture. Mostly he was trying to get rid of snow. He’d move one ear then the other then the whole antenna. He was never patient.

When we moved to the cape, we had to have an antenna on the roof or you could only get one channel, Channel 6. I remember coming home from school, turning on the TV and watching The Lloyd Thaxton Show on that channel. It was a sort of Bandstand show only it was more. There wasn’t just dancing or rating records or singers lip-syncing to their hit records. Sometimes they’d be skits and a bit of comedy. I remember Lloyd. He always wore a suit, the wardrobe of the day for men. His ties were skinny ties.

When I was a kid, TV was still wondrous. I watched it every afternoon and loved Saturday mornings with the cartoons and kid shows like Andy’s Gang, Kit Carson and Kukla, Fran and Ollie. I was a Hopalong fan, and I loved The Cisco Kid. “Cisco, wait for me,” was his sidekick Pancho’s line in the opening. For some reason that has always stuck with me. It is one of those close my eyes and see it all sort of things.

Gracie and I didn’t have a great night. She didn’t feel good, and I slept intermittently because I was worried. I kept checking to hear if was breathing. I fed her some spider plant fronds, and she felt better for it. Now she is just fine and sleeping on the couch; however, I am exhausted. I see a nap coming.

“Whoever snatched my formerly reliable, sharp short-term memory: I’d like it back now, please.”

January 24, 2017

Last night it poured. I fell asleep to the pounding on my roof and to the tremendous wind. It truly howled. This morning I woke to another dark, rainy day. It will be warm. Right now it is 49˚. The low will be 40˚. Winter has gone on hiatus for a few days.

When I was a kid, I did my homework at the kitchen table every day. I remember memorizing the times tables, spelling words and the Baltimore Catechism. “Who made you?” “God made me.” Questions and their answers from that catechism are still lingering, unused and unneeded, in my memory drawers, but the times tables and spelling words are part of my every day. Sometimes I had to do written homework, often worksheets. Mostly they were arithmetic lessons. The one I remember the most was a sheet to practice using coins. I had to add or subtract nickles, dimes or quarters.

I was never good at numbers. I used to hide my fingers under my desk so I could count. The nuns kept sharp eyes for finger counters so I had to be sly. The spelling words were easy. Every week I had to learn 20 new words for a test on Friday. I think I always got a 100, not a boast but evidence of a good memory. If I spelled the words out loud a few times, I learned them. My memory always saved me. That’s not so true anymore. As I get older, pulling answers from memory drawers gets more and more difficult because I can’t find them, but I have learned to compensate. I use my mother’s technique of going through the alphabet a letter at a time hoping one will jog my memory. I also use mnemonics. The funny thing is that often out of nowhere the answer jumps unexpectedly into my head long after I had searched for it. I hate not finding it, but I get comfort knowing the answers are still there.

“If you can’t find an answer at the mall or the library, what does that say about the world?”

November 20, 2016

Yesterday I was the victim of a big cheat. The day stayed ugly and rainy. Not once was I tempted to go outside. I called my sister a couple of times, but she wasn’t home. She called me later and said since it was such a lovely day she had gone to church fairs. I thought she was being sarcastic. Nope! Her weather was sunny and 60˚ all day. What’s with that?

Last night was murder night. I watched Forensic Files, and when I tired of that, I watched murderous women and 48 Hours. I guess I was shaking away all that Hallmark sugar from the Christmas movies. Nothing like a bit of true crime to while away the evening.

I do have to go out today, but there is a bit of sun working its way through the clouds so I don’t mind. It will be cold this week, the 40’s during the day, and even down to the 30’s at night so any sun is welcomed.

The animals did it again. Maddie howled several times and woke me up. I called to her, but it didn’t matter. She kept howling with only small breaks in between. Gracie got off the bed and went downstairs, never a good thing. I followed her and opened the door. She went to the yard and grazed. I watched her then went back to bed. She came in the dog door, joined me upstairs and went to sleep. I did too, but the interrupted sleep just wasn’t enough. Maddie is sleeping now. She is comforted that I am down here with her.

Boxes arrive every day. My Christmas bins are overflowing. My list has mostly X’s across names as I finish buying for them. I am down to needing a couple of kids’ Christmas books, a few ornaments and some soap. I also need wrapping paper. I figure to shop on small business Saturday. My route will be down 6A. Visiting favorite stores will be fun. I’ll even treat myself to lunch.

“Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness. “

January 15, 2016

It is warmer today than it has been. I didn’t gasp from the cold when I went to get the papers. It is around 40˚  and will even be a bit warmer tomorrow; however, the cold will be back with a vengeance on Tuesday so these warm days are a bit of a gift from fickle Mother Nature. Gracie and I have a few things to do today so I’m glad for the winter warmth.

My heat is forced hot air. I hear the blast when the furnace goes on. When I was growing up, we had forced hot water. I used to love the sound of the radiators. It was comforting in a way. A few years ago I lost electricity because of a winter storm. My house was 37˚ before the heat came back on. I don’t ever remember losing electricity in the winter when I was a kid. I remember we lost it during a hurricane when a tree fell on the wires, but that was in late summer. I never felt inconvenienced. I doubt kids do. Most things become an adventure of sorts. Having to use candles for light and the barbecue for cooking was a kind of camping, but at home with comfy beds and no mosquitos. I thought it was great fun.

I still love adventures. Around here I go for rides down roads I’ve never been on before. I take all lefts or all rights and am always surprised by what I see. I went to Morocco on my own, and that was an adventure. I did all right turns in the souk one day. I loved everything I saw and found. At one point I had no idea where I was, but I didn’t care. I knew I’d eventually find my way. I just had to choose a direction.

I love my life, but sometimes I wish I had more money to travel. I want adventures in places I’ve never been before. I want to get lost.

 

“They talked on into the early morning, the high, pale cast of light in the windows, and they did not think of leaving.”

March 15, 2015

Yesterday it rained all day and into the evening. Much of the snow is gone and whatever is left is sad-looking, beaten down and dirty. A whole section of my backyard has reappeared, and in the front I can even see sections of my lawn on both sides of the house. The first things I saw when I went to get the papers were the white buds of the snowdrops by the steps. That made me glad. I know now the green shoots survived winter’s onslaught. Now they can thrive with the coming of spring.

I would have said today is cold, but it is actually 40˚. The chill is from the dampness. Nothing seems to dry. The rain has left the streets still wet and the above freezing temperature is melting the snow. Water is everywhere. The giant mounds on the sides of my street are shrinking, and the water from the melting snow is rolling downhill. There are no sewers so the water rolls until the hill ends and then it puddles.

My house seems coziest in the daytime darkness. I am warm and comfortable. I have plugged in the different strands of lights so the house is gently lit. The kitchen has a red glow from pepper lights. The living room has lights on branches standing in tall stoneware bottles in the corners. Small wooden houses in the dining room are lit and the light shines from their windows. The bathroom has a nightlight, a snowflake, whose season has finally passed. This room, my den, where I spend the most time has a lit lamp on the table and no other lights. It shines on the pages of my book, and that’s all I need.

At night I still like looking at the colored lights left on the deck rail and on trees in the backyard. When Gracie goes outside in the dark, she triggers her yard sensor lights. The shadows of the trees are beautiful. They stretch the width of the yard. I like to see the lights so I stand on the deck and Gracie, when she’s finished, usually joins me. We stay until the light finally goes out then we go inside the house.