Posted tagged ‘41˚’

“Memory is the space in which a thing happens for a second time.”

February 9, 2018

The sky is cloudy but bright. It is only 31˚, but the next three days will be warm. The prediction is for 48˚ each day. That’s almost tanning weather, no sunscreen necessary. Maybe a road trip is in order to take advantage of the warmth. I’ll open my car window and take in the sweet smell of the clean air.

Since the winter solstice, we have gained an hour of sunlight. It makes me hopeful that winter’s end is not so far away. February, though, is sometimes the snowiest month. I’ll just keep my knit hat and mittens handy.

In summer, the trees surrounding my deck are lit with candles hanging off the branches. In the backyard, solar lights shaped like flowers glow and a few strands of white lights are twisted around tree trunks. I always think my yard a fairyland, especially in July when the fireflies return and twinkle among the trees. Now, in the bleak winter, the one strand of lights around the deck fence has stopped shining. I need to replace it. I always love looking out the back window and seeing those lights.

I always think it is the darkness of winter which palls the spirit so I do my best to compensate. I keep white candles lit in the front windows, and their light shines across the dark lawn. This year I left my Christmas lights lit in the front. One is a giant star with a trail of lights. The others are multicolored. My neighbor across the street has called to thank me for leaving the lights shining. She said she loves looking out the window at my house.

Winter is my time of memories, of introspection. I don’t add much to my story, but I recall to mind the best parts. I smile a lot at the images in my mind’s eye. My journeys, my explorations, are the brightest memories.

During my travels, I learned a few things. I hate washing clothes by hand. I decided that for any trip of great length I’d pack ragtag underwear which I can just throw away. It isn’t a big deal for me to find any. I can just check my bureau drawer. The rest of my clothes can get so grungy they can walk away by themselves. I won’t care. I’m not washing them. I learned never to ask what I’m eating.  Many of the traditional foods are pets here, like the guinea pig in Ecuador. I think I can eat just about anything as long as I don’t know what it is and it isn’t slimy. Bras are a great place for hiding money. I had my pocket picked when I was at a train station in Ghana. I’d like that thief to try it now. Toilet paper, always carry toilet paper. Sometimes you get stuck and have to rush, and those hole in the ground toilets don’t have toilet paper. Just imagine. The middle of the bus and a seat near the window are usually the best. The aisle fills with standing people who hold on for dear life as the bus goes around corners but sometimes they fall, into the aisle seats. The front and the back of the bus are where people sit with their chickens or goats. Eat where there is a line, especially street food. Don’t shy away. It’s sometimes the best and is usually the cheapest. If everything pales compared to home, just stay home.

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.”

January 9, 2018

That sun is back in favor with me. It is here again, and it brought along the blue sky. Outside is warm at 41˚. Very little snow is left, only piles along the sides of the road from the plowing. Those piles are ugly, pockmarked and dirty. Snow has a short shelf life once the sun appears.

When I began to think of snow as a nuisance, I was caught in a dichotomy. I still loved to watch the flakes fall and would turn on the outside lights so I could see the snow, but I didn’t want the flakes to touch the ground; I didn’t like shoveling, and I didn’t like cleaning off the car. There I was caught in the middle where I still stay sit.

I watch TV, not as much as Chance the Gardener, but I watch. I also bitch and moan. Even with a zillion stations, I sometimes find nothing to watch. HGTV is one of my stations of last resort. I’ve watched so much I can now throw around phrases like curb appeal, focal point and window treatment. I know to look for hardwood floors, a master suite, a farmer’s sink, stainless steel, tile and granite or its ilk. Mirrors will make the room look bigger. Neutral colors are best.

I am getting forgetful; it’s a matter of aging. My word retrieval skills are blunted. I get distracted and forget what I wanted in the first place. Mnemonics have become my best friends, and I use my mother’s trick of going through the alphabet. Most times that works. My spelling skills often take a vacation. I wonder about the spelling of a word, and the longer I look, the stranger the word looks. I could use spell check but that only makes it worse. I figure given the way I’m going my lists will soon be scrolls furled because of their lengths.

It always amazes me that I am the age I am. I don’t feel old. I don’t think old. At least as far as I can remember.

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”

March 3, 2015

Yesterday was day three of me getting out of the house. Gracie had her annual physical and all is well. Her heart sounded good and she has maintained her weight. Her nails were trimmed but she didn’t get nail polish. Just joking of course as boxers are not the nail polish type. Today and tomorrow I’ll be out yet again. This has become a trend. I think the sunshine of yesterday and today have helped invigorate me a bit.

Snow and sleet are coming tonight, only an inch or two, but 41˚is coming tomorrow for just one day. I can’t imagine 41˚. I have come to think of 37˚ as balmy. Last night was so cold everything froze again. It was a tentative walk this morning to get the papers and yesterday’s mail as my street is covered with a block of ice. Above freezing weather doesn’t help much because of the thickness of the ice. Only the surface melts leaving another layer to freeze at night. I have thrown de-icer on my brick walk and that has given me a safe route to the car.

This morning Fern was lying on the couch in the sunshine coming in from the front door. It wasn’t much, but Fern took full advantage. My cats crave the warmth of the sun, and I totally understand.

Flower catalogues are coming every day. I look through them just to marvel at the colors. I do have room in my front garden for more flowers as two bushes were moved last fall. I am excited about shopping for new plants. That feels like spring to me.

It was two nights ago I was cursing the falling snow, the long winter and the cold, the endless cold. I had reached the end of my endurance. Today the sun is bright and I am energized.