Posted tagged ‘accomplishments’

“Air, I should explain, becomes wind when it is agitated.”

November 15, 2016

Today I am accomplished. The first load of laundry is in the washer. I finally got tired of walking around the overflowing laundry bags in the hall.

The wind is blowing. When I look out the windows, I see brown leaves falling almost as frequently as snow falls. The weather feels chilly because it is damp. Rain is predicted for today, and the cloudy sky makes it probable. It is getting darker.

Maddie howled again last night. It is from loneliness. When Gracie and I slept downstairs, she slept the whole night. I feel so bad for her and wish she would join Gracie and me upstairs. She knows Gracie won’t chase her as she stands on the couch beside the sleeping dog when she wants to be patted. Gracie doesn’t even notice.

When I was a kid, I never got all that excited about Thanksgiving. There was no countdown like for Christmas. It sort of it just arrived. In school, we colored turkeys and wrote down why were thankful. I always said my mother and father. I was probably thankful for them, but I was even more thankful for knowing what to write down. The short school week was also a blessing but not one I mentioned.

Even though every week was the same when I was a kid, except for holidays, of course,  I never really tired of the day to day. I ate the same breakfast every morning unless it was so cold my mother felt the need to make oatmeal to insulate us for the walk to school. We walked the same route to school every day. It didn’t take us long, maybe 20 minutes or so. On cold days we walked a whole lot faster both to keep warm and to get to school sooner.

I remember walking backward against the wind on days like today. My clothes would sometimes billow, especially my skirt. Every now and then I did need peeks to make sure I was walking straight on the sidewalk and to know to face the front when I reached the curb to cross.

I need the lamp lit to keep the darkness away. It was the same when I was a kid. I was never afraid of the dark, but it wasn’t good for reading, my favorite pastime when I couldn’t go out to play after school. I remember lying in bed, comfy and cozy, with the lamp lit behind and above me and an open book in my hands. It felt perfect, almost like paradise.

“Autumn’s the mellow time.”

September 19, 2014

Where are the cheers, the accolades, the parades? This has been my most productive week in a long time. I went off cape one night and was busy every day doing errands and chores. I even paid the dreaded bills. I feel so accomplished.

Fall is so much quieter than summer. Kids are in school so I don’t hear them playing outside any more. The lawns don’t get mowed as much. Nobody is out on their decks at nights. Windows are closed as the nights get downright cold. I always think of this time of year as a dress rehearsal for winter.

Today is dump day, and I need to go to the grocery store for just a few things.

The town where I grew up had a dump, but I never went there. The trash was picked up off the sidewalk by men in big trucks so there wasn’t any need for a dump run. My friend’s house was right near the dump, but it wasn’t what you’d expect living close to the dump because you couldn’t smell it. The dump wasn’t for household trash but for things like fridges and old furniture. The cape has no trash services, no trucks, no men hauling barrels. We all go to the dump or pay for private trash companies. The old dump had giant hills of trash. From the highway you could see the trash hills and the seagulls circling them hoping to find food. From way off you could smell the dump and you could hear the caws of the seagulls, noisy birds. You found a spot and you threw your trash bags. That was my father’s dump. He wouldn’t enjoy going to the dump much now. There are bins for trash and no trash can be loose. There is a huge line of recycle bins. There aren’t any seagulls.

“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?”

January 30, 2014

If someone was giving out gold stars, I’d get a few. I feel so accomplished. This morning I had blood drawn, went to the bank, the dump, the pharmacy and Dunkin’ Donuts, all by 9:30. Yesterday the @#$%$$#dump was closed because of the snow on Tuesday night. My trunk had been filled with potentially smelly trash so I was not happy. Luckily it stayed cold. Now I am done with errands and intend to stay inside cozy and warm. I have earned it. A sloth I will be.

Both my papers had stories about Atlanta. One headline was “City Brought to Standstill by 3 Inches of Snow.” It gave me the chuckle I suspect was meant. We got between 4 and 5 inches overnight on Tuesday which is not even considered a snow storm, a dusting maybe. The schools were even open. I swept the walk all the way to the car which plowed easily through the snow in front of it to the road without needing any shoveling or sweeping. By late morning the sun was shining, and the road was down to pavement. Today the sun is shining again with that shimmering light that only comes with winter and the sky is stark blue, both helping the day take on the illusion of warmth. It was 20˚ went I went to the dump.

The threshold between childhood and adulthood is hazy and comes in steps. Thinking of snow as a bother is one of those steps. When I was a kid and it had snowed, I was just so excited. I’d grab my sled and we all, the whole neighborhood, sledded, and flew down the hill whizzing by those trudging up the hill, those who had already flown. We’d build snow forts and use water to ice and reinforce the walls. They’d last for weeks. We had snowball fights. The world was a giant play-land. Some time or other all that stopped and snow on the ground meant shoveling and not much more. That’s still my current stand about snow. Once you cross the line, it’s usually forever.

The sledding and the snow forts may go, but a few pieces of that childhood and snow never disappear. I think snow is lovely when it falls, when the world is hushed. When I was young, I’d watch the flakes fall in the shine of the street light by my house. Now I turn on the outside lights and stand at the door to watch the flakes falling and sometimes I put out my hand to catch a few.

After the storm, I used to pile on the winter clothes, put on a hat and mittens, shovel the walk and then free my car. Sometimes it took hours depending upon the amount of snow, and I’d come close to freezing. The snow had stopped being pretty and had become a nuisance. Now I stay and wait for Skip, my plowman. The snow is pretty again.

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