Posted tagged ‘60’s’

“Suddenly, the wind got hold of the hammock. Leaves murmured. It was cold and the sun had gone down.”

September 1, 2017

September has arrived far too quickly. The summer sped so fast I swear my body, especially my face, was contorted by the G-force acceleration. Today is even autumnal weather with temperatures in the high 60’s. Tonight will be even colder, the high 40’s, sweatshirt by day and warm blanket weather by night. The day is really pretty with a clear blue sky and lots of sun. The breeze is brisk so the trees and leaves are swaying. I filled the bird feeders yesterday, but I noticed they are only half full already. I have more seed in the trunk so I’ll fill the feeders again later.

My mother had a small flower garden on the side of her house beneath some kitchen windows. She had bird feeders among the flowers including a statue of St. Francis with his arm extended and his palm up so it could seed. She put a wire fence across the entrance of that garden to keep my dog Maggie away, but it seldom worked. She always found a way inside. I swear Maggie did it just to drive my mother crazy. I used to have to retrieve her and reset the fence. A while later, though, Maggie was back in the garden, and I was retrieving her again. It was a game she always played but only when the flowers were in bloom.

I always call this coming season fall rather than autumn. If I lived on a farm, I guess I’d call it the harvest season. When I was a kid, I figured it was called fall because of all the leaves falling off the trees. The sidewalks and the gutters were always covered or filled with leaves. I’d walk in the gutters on my way to school and kick the leaves all over. They’d mostly land in the street strewn about like a trail you could follow all the way from my house to school.

Fall eases us into winter. It’s a shoulder season. We have warm days then cold days hinting of winter. I open my windows during the day and close then at night. The house holds the night cold in the mornings now. The backyard is shadowed so it is chilly when I first take Gracie out. I beg her to hurry so we both can go back inside, me for coffee and warmth and her for breakfast. Today she didn’t linger.

“You are a child of humanity and every day is your precious birthday.”

April 11, 2017

This early in spring is the only time I regret living near the ocean. The cold water keeps spring at bay. Look at today: Boston will be in the high 70’s and may even reach 80˚ to break the record temperature for the day. We are in the 60’s with a chilling breeze. All records are safe.

I’m sitting on the couch with an afghan wrapped around me just because it feels good. I had a 9 o’clock meeting this morning, and I wasn’t happy when Alexa woke me up. I’m thinking a nap later.

I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with a bit of history for today, a story of growing up or of growing older. I have tons of stories. I remember my 16th birthday. We were in Maine, in Ogunquit. My aunt and uncle were there as well. My birthday was their anniversary. They got married and I got born. I was a bit put out by their being in Maine with us. I wouldn’t have minded sharing any other birthday, but I minded sharing my 16th. I didn’t show up for the joint cake. I think it was one of those cut off your nose to spite your face sort of decisions.

My 21st birthday was memorable. I got to drink legally for the first time. One of my friends sent me a magnum of champagne. Other friends took me out to dinner. It was a fun meal until the bill. I expected my dinner to be paid for. It wasn’t. My friends had split the bill among the four of us, but they forgot the tip. I paid that. My friends found out when trying to reimburse one another for my dinner and drinks. They were horrified, and a bit embarrassed.

I feel as if I am emerging from hibernation. The sun and the warm temperatures are drawing me outside. It is too soon for an open window, but I can hardly wait for the closed air of winter to disappear and be replaced by the clean fresh air.

The other morning, for the first time, I heard the birds greet the new day. That smacks of spring.

“When you are measuring life, you are not living it.”

August 22, 2016

Today is perfect in every way. It is sunny, breezy and dry. To top it off, it rained last night. I heard it against the window, a heavy rain. I don’t know how long the storm lasted but the deck was still a bit damp this morning. The weatherman says today and tomorrow will be beautiful with cool nights, even down to the low 60’s.

When summer starts to wind down, it seems to die quickly. The darkness sneaks in a few minutes at a time until we realize how early we need lights. We don’t think about the cool nights as we’re glad for a reprieve from the hot days, but then the days get cooler. Labor Day arrives, schools open and summer is unofficially over.

I wish summer were longer. When I was a kid, I wanted it to last forever. My days were filled with bike riding, berry picking and sleeping in the backyard. We had picnics in the woods. Bedtime was late. Dinner was casual. The clock had stopped controlling our lives.

I don’t wear a watch. The last time I remember wearing one was in Ghana, probably the one place where you didn’t need a watch. When I taught, tbells started and ended classes and every room had a giant clock so a watch was superfluous. I’m retired. I don’t clock watch unless I have an appointment. I have no bedtime. I go when I’m tired. No alarm jars me awake. I open my eyes, stretch, say good morning to Fern and Gracie at the foot of my bed, figure out what day of the week it is and if I have anything on my dance card then I get up, and it’s time for coffee and the newspapers.

“We are always the same age inside.”

January 29, 2013

Today I face the world or both Gracie and I go hungry. A sunny day would have been a nice welcome, but we still have all those clouds and a dampness left over from the little snow we had last night before it started to rain. Slush covers the side roads, and you can see all the tire marks. A mouse woke me up. It wasn’t happy with its accommodation in the have-a-heart trap and was banging and whacking the metal. I fell back to sleep a couple of times, but finally I couldn’t take it any longer. We went for a ride around 7:30: Gracie, the mouse and I. Despite all its complaining, the mouse didn’t want out. It kept moving from side to side in the trap before I finally shook it loose. I wished it well in its new home then I went and got coffee and a bagel. That seemed a perfect reward for an early morning mouse run.

My voice is raspy, and I still sniff and cough, but I feel better. That’s a good thing.

This morning I noticed the obituary of one of my high school classmates, a good guy, a funny guy. I don’t know what happened, but his dying gave me pause. My mind doesn’t ever think of me as old. I am perpetually young. Going up and downstairs is usually a reminder that my parts have aged, but the reminder doesn’t stick. I look in the mirror and see grey hairs, but they don’t mean anything to me. My friends are all around my age, but they still seem young to me. I can’t fathom they are in the their mid to late 60’s. What in the heck does that really mean? I thought my parents were old when they were in their 60’s. My dad passed away in his 60’s. I bet, though, they thought themselves still young just as I do now.

I finally understand that age is relative. I used to think that was what old people said to make themselves feel better, but it’s not. Age isn’t measured in years. It’s measured in the way you live your life. I have a long way to go until I’m old.