Posted tagged ‘Alive’

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

March 5, 2018

I am reminded of the scene in War Games when it appeared as if ballistic missiles had destroyed bases in the US. Using the radio, the general asked the radio operator at one base if anyone was there: if anyone was left alive. There was silence then a voice, “We’re still here. We’re still here.” Well, I’m still here too. I have no idea if the powers that be have commuted my death sentence. I think so, but I could be off by a day or two.

My morning was a busy one. I was out early to finish two errands. I was thinking about  rewarding my efforts with coffee and a donut, a Boston cream donut, from Dunkin’, but I decided to go home, put the coffee on and get comfortable.

The weather is still ugly. The day is chilly and raw. We have clouds and wind gusts. Some people are still without electricity. Another nor’easter is coming this week but will be far less destructive as the moon is no longer full. We could get rain or even snow.

I used to love to play jacks. Every Christmas in my stocking and most Easters in my basket I’d get a new set of jacks. I’d sit on the floor and toss the ball then hurry to pick up the jacks, starting with onesies. For some reason all the numbers were like that. After onesies came twosies then threesies then on and on. The throw was always the key. Another small favorite toy was the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached by an elastic. At first I’d be totally frustrated. I’d hit the ball, and it would fly back and hit me in the face or some other part of my body. Sometimes I’d get so frustrated I’d even throw the paddle but then I’d always pick it up and try again and eventually I’d coordinate my eye and hand. My mother sent me one of those when I was in the Peace Corps. My friends and I would stand in the back of one of our houses and have contests. We got really good and paddled into the hundred’s. It was, until the elastic broke, one of our favorite diversions. We didn’t need much to keep us occupied.

In Ghana, the day started early and ended early. It was in the evening that my friends and I would get together. We always ate supper together. The table and chairs were brought outside during the dry season. When it got dark, we’d go inside. We played word games and listened to music. Once in a while they’d be a movie in town at the Hotel d’Bull. It was usually really old or Indian, but we didn’t care. It was a grand night on the town.

I never got bored in Ghana. What I didn’t have didn’t matter. Living there was more than enough.

“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”

May 3, 2013

It was 10 o’clock when I finally woke up this morning. My room was cold because the window was open so Gracie was curled up right beside me on the left and Fern was curled up on the right. They were pretty cozy. I wasn’t.

The day is dreary with a cloudy sky and a feeling of dampness in the air. The breeze is strong enough to blow even the thick branches. As my coffee was brewing, I checked the feeders through the window and saw two new visitors: wrens. I also saw a woodpecker, the goldfinches eating thistle and a robin eating suet.

Today we have a couple of errands, Gracie and I. It’s time for a new dump sticker then a visit to the dump and finally the pharmacy. It is getting closer to the time when Gracie will come with me to do errands only when I can leave the air conditioner on for her. Luckily, the dump is one of those places.

Days like today were among my favorite days when I was a kid. It was too ugly to play outside so when I’d get home from school I’d put on my coziest clothes, hop into bed, turn on the light and read. I’d lose myself in the pages all afternoon. When I got older, I always carried a pocketbook book with me in case of a spare minute or two. I’d read on the bus or even standing waiting for the bus. I disguised my book and read it in church. Last summer in Ghana for three weeks, I read 12 or 13 books. I had no radio, no TV and no computer, but I had books, and they were more than enough entertainment.

When I became a volunteer, we were given settling in money to buy whatever we needed for our houses. I bought a few dishes, a giant coffee cup, some pots and pans and I bought books, lots of books at the university book store. They were as essential as that coffee cup.

Every Christmas from the time I was really young, first Santa then my mother would give me new books. When I was older, my mother would ask which books I wanted as she was afraid she’d buy ones I’d already read. One year I got Alive, The Story of the Andes Survivors. I started reading it right away and read it all of Christmas Day. My mother told me I was reading it too fast and should save it by reading only a little at a time. That made no sense at all to me. I am a firm believer that you can’t put a good book down, that you are drawn to its pages over everything else. I can remember reading The Stand straight through for days. Sometimes I was far too engrossed to realize I had read the night away then I’d hear the birds greeting the morning and look up and see the first light in the window. I still do that every now and then. I love a book which makes me forget everything but the page I’m on.