Posted tagged ‘bird songs’

“Do you see that out there? The strange, unfamiliar light? It’s called the sun. Let’s go get us a little.”

May 16, 2017

When I opened the front door this morning, the sunshine flooded my living room, and I could feel its warmth through the storm door. Gracie and I went outside to a wonderful morning, to bird songs, to a warmer day, and a temperature of 63˚. The sky is a vibrant, deep blue. The sun touched my mood, and I felt alive, energized. It’s a day to make me smile.

My papers were never delivered today. I feel adrift. I know I can read them on-line, but I don’t find doing that satisfying. I went to TV and MSNBC. I was horrified by the lead story of Trump giving classified information to the Russians because he can, “I have the absolute right.”

Gracie is being Gracie. She is a happy dog of late. The one problem was she peed in her sleep yesterday afternoon but has been dry for 4 nights. I feel like a proud mother who is potty training her toddler.

I remember a bit of South Boston where we lived until I was almost five. I remember the brick nursery school across the street from our apartment building. My mother brought me there a couple of times, and I walked out and went home both times. My mother was surprised to see me at the door. She then wisely decided not to bring me back. I remember my broken wrist from jumping off the fence backward and how proud I was of my cast. I remember the front steps and the hallway.

I remember the first place we lived in when we moved to Stoneham. The apartment was small and had only two bedrooms. My brother and I shared. My favorite spot was a small landing on the steps. I’d grab a pillow and my book and get comfy on the landing. It was my private place though it was also the way to the bathroom. I’d move my legs to give access to the stairs. I was never bothered by the interruption. I’d just keep reading.

We moved to a bigger apartment down the road in the same complex, one with three bedrooms. We lived there the longest of anywhere. Most of my growing up memories were made there. I went to first grade and stayed the whole day and then kept going from there. I learned to ride a bike. I wandered the fields and woods. I went from childhood to adolescence. All my dreams were mostly born there.

I hated the cape when we first moved here. I had no friends. Nothing was within walking distance. I’d get home from school and go to my bedroom and emerge only at dinner time. Weekends I’d take the bus to Boston and stay with my friends. Gradually, though, I got involved in school and made friends. The trips to Boston were far fewer and then stopped. My parents moved back to Stoneham when I was in Ghana. I never moved with them. The cape had become my home. My mother commented that when we first moved to the cape I went to Stoneham all the time, and now that they were in Stoneham, I chose to live on the cape.

My paper has arrived. It’s in the driveway. Now I can really start my morning.

“Venture out at dawn, when the world is bathed in golden-ruby light and is quiet and forgiving.”

May 12, 2017

Today is a damp, chilly day. It must have rained a bit overnight as the streets were wet. The Globe reported this morning that all parts of the state are no longer in drought -condition, not a surprise given the amount of rain we’ve had. A nor’easter is due on Sunday which will bring a deluge. The sun is only a periodic visitor.

In my memory drawers, May is always a warm month. I remember riding my bike to school. I remember wearing only a light jacket. I rode under trees filled with blossoms and on petals fallen to the sidewalk. My bike flew. Spring and a bike ride brought such joy.

I have been getting up far earlier than usual, earlier than my paper delivery. I bring Gracie to the backyard and wait for her on the deck. I take in the morning while I wait. The air smells fresh, sweet. The only sounds are birds’ songs. I am glad for my sweatshirt in the early morning chill.

Gracie gets a treat when we come inside. I get coffee. I watch the news and listen for the drop of the newspapers. First is the thud from my neighbor’s paper hitting the driveway and a few seconds later my papers are delivered. They never sit long outside. My morning always starts with the papers and coffee.

I toasted an English muffin this morning and shared it with Gracie. What she didn’t know was I had hidden two of her pills in the nooks and crannies of the muffin. She scarfed the pieces down in record time. Gracie loves anything with butter and so do I.

I saw a cardinal through my window. Its red feathers stood out against the bare branches of the oak tree right by the deck making him easy to see. I need to fill the feeders. I hate that the cardinal was disappointed.

I turned off my heat, but the house got so cold last night I turned the heat back on this morning. It is still cranking hot air. I’m comfortable and warm.

 

“Birds are the eyes of Heaven.”

June 4, 2016

We’re back! Comcast solved the problem though it was vexing for a bit. It seems during the night my modem short circuited. The light was on, but it couldn’t connect. I now have a new modem and a technician is coming today to install a new box to match the new modem.

My deck is all ready for summer. All it needs now is some sun and a warm day. Yesterday it rained all afternoon, a light rain which didn’t stop the decorating and the planting. I had just enough flowers for every pot. I also planted my basil and rosemary. The basil joined the tomatoes in my small vegetable garden. The rosemary is in deck boxes which have new coats of paint. My fountain was also repainted its bright red. The only thing I couldn’t find was the adapter for my umbrella lights. I looked in all my usual spots then remembered I had placed it in a canister of coins on the floor. I have no idea how I remembered and no idea why I would have chosen such an unlikely spot. Tucked into another canister was the adapter for the fountain. I didn’t even know it too was among the missing as I haven’t yet connected the fountain.

The best of all news is my house sitter will stay here when I go to Ghana. She loves the animals and is always around the house as she doesn’t work. Gracie followed her around after her greetings to me then I got home the last time. I figured Lu, my sitter, was good for treats and Gracie had taken advantage. The hunt for flights is on. We have a tentative time of mid-September for going and we’re working on returning 2 and 1/2 weeks later. My friends have decided to go first class as they expect this will probably be their last trip to Ghana. I had been willing to go premium economy to be with them but I do like first class. I think I like the attention and the pampering. I definitely like the seat becoming a bed. It took me a long while to save enough for this trip given the flight cost, the pay to my house sitter, food and lodging and fun money so I’m thinking that it may also be the last time for me. I do want to travel more but to new places, closer places. I’m thinking the DR or Jamaica or even Cuba.

For a Saturday it is a quiet day. I did hear one mower earlier but now I hear only the birds. Their sound is so lovely I keep stopping to listen. I don’t know which birds are singing, but I know there are two or three different ones. That birds greet every day by singing is one of nature’s great gifts to us and the birds. I can’t imagine how wonderful it must feel that every day deserves a song.

“You look like a protagonist.”

August 8, 2015

I don’t know what we’ve been doing right because we are blessed with another glorious day. It is cool, in the 70’s, bright with sun and breezy. The birds are singing, the chimes are tinkling and I can hear water flowing from the fountain.

While I was sitting outside and taking in the morning, I had some deep thoughts. I wondered which super power I’d want. Flying was my first thought. I could go anywhere I wanted whenever. I was thinking of lunch in Rome, dinner in Paris and a quick weekend in Accra. I wondered if I could fly and carry baggage at the same time. I did think I could wear layers so maybe I wouldn’t need much baggage after all. Night would be the best time to arrive so I wouldn’t spook anyone.

When I was a kid, I wanted all of Superman’s powers, and I wondered what superhero costume I’d wear. I liked his cape but not the rest. The cape was flamboyant, and I could envision it blowing behind me as I flew. The red is a good choice.

Sitting outside seemed to engender strange wonderings. I pondered which book I’d choose to enter as a character. Heidi came to mind because of the beauty of the Alps but then I thought of winter and decided against Heidi. Around the World in Eighty Days went on the list. It’s that travel bug thing I have. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy went on for the same reason. I’d stay away from Hemingway except maybe The Sun Also Rises. I like On the Road but of course I would. I’d reread Walker Percy as I think maybe his books might be good jumping into places. I’ve always like Dashiell Hammett, and I’d get to wear great clothes and all those hats. I’d leave off the fox stoles, the ones with heads.

I’m going back outside when I finish here. I’m sort of curious where my mind might wander next: a science fiction movie maybe but only in black and white.

“He would pore by the hour, o’er a weed or a flower, / Or the slugs that come crawling out after a shower.”

June 25, 2015

The sun had set but it was not dusk yet. It was that nether time between light and dark, day and night. I stood looking out the front door. Everything was still but not quiet. I could hear birds singing from all directions then from the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse though I wasn’t quite sure so I kept watching. Then it happened again and again, the blink of a firefly, on the lawn. Ever since I was a kid, I have always believed fireflies are magical, fairies like Tinker Bell waving their wands as they fly between trees, through flower beds and atop the blades of grass. The first firefly of the season made me clap and smile. The fairies are back.

Yesterday was a sweaty, grubby day for me. I repotted plants, painted a table and my old fountain red and the last part of the fence by the back door, the one keeping Gracie in the yard, green. I swept the outside shower clear of spiders and webs. I got my fountain together though it was a struggle because one piece was so heavy I could carry it up to the deck only a step at a time. It took three trips to get it altogether. The new pump fit the fountain perfectly, but there was a problem. The pump plug didn’t fit into the outlet. I was beyond frustrated. Today I will try to buy something to solve the problem.

Last night’s shower was glorious. I know the word glorious sounds strange when coupled with shower, but that’s the truth. I stood under the warm water and let all of the day’s labor, all of the sweat and all of the frustration wash away.

Today is another beautiful day, even better than yesterday as there is no humidity. It is an outside the house day with four errands on my list. The top errand is finding the plug for the outlet so the fountain plug will fit. That last sentence somehow reminds me of lines from Farmer in the Dell. The rat takes the cheese; the outlet takes the plug. Hi-Ho, the Derry-O the outlet takes the plug.

“Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise! “

March 8, 2015

When I went to get the papers, I could hear a bird singing. Its song was so beautiful I stood outside in the cold to listen. All of a sudden it was a spring morning when every bird greets the first light of day and the air is filled with music. This one bird is the beginning of that chorus. Though it was perched on a branch covered in snow, it still found reason to sing. The bird had found its own spring. Now I’m looking for mine.

Warmer weather is on the way. I used to think warmer was the 40’s this time of year. Now I’m happy with above freezing. Yesterday, a sunny day, I could hear the snow slide off the roof and fall to the deck. The thick icicle on my outside front lamp has melted and only a few icicles are left hanging off the edge of the house. Maybe, just maybe, we’re starting to turn the corner from one season to another.

Gracie and I are doing some errands today. She gets her dump run, her stop for dog food, and I get my stop for human food. Tonight is our Amazing Race night. We DVR it on Fridays and do our traditional Sundays starting with games and appetizers and ending with the Race and dessert. I’m the designated appetizer server. We’re having one with apples, walnuts, honey and cheese; another, a hot appetizer, with cherry tomatoes, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese and, if I have the time and energy, a third with feta, tomatoes and scallions. They all sound so delicious on paper I hope they translate well to real life.

This is a quiet week for me. Last week was totally busy with something every day except the storm day. This week I am booked for a couple of hours of PT and lunch with a friend. That’s it for the whole week so I am adding a bit of excitement by trying a new spot for lunch. I also need to buy a new toilet seat. My cup runneth over with delight.

“Someone once threw me a small, brown, hairy kiwi fruit, and I threw a wastebasket over it until it was dead.”

June 19, 2014

The day was just beginning when I woke up this morning. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t so I came downstairs. The papers weren’t even here yet so I checked the TV news then went on the deck. The sky is cloudy and the morning has a damp chill. People have yet to stir. Across the street my neighbors still have their shades drawn. I can hear four different bird songs. It has been a long time since I last woke so early.

My mother never bought peaches. I didn’t like them and I don’t think my sisters did either. I always thought peach skins looked hairy, and I could never get beyond that. When I was little, my mother used to peel my apples for me. She’d also cut the oranges into pieces, sometimes four, sometimes eight. I was on my own with bananas. My mother only bought tangerines at Thanksgiving. They were easy to peel and eat in segments. I just didn’t like the seeds. There were always so many. Pears were best when they were yellow. I learned that when I used to take green pears from the neighbor’s tree. They were hard to bite and tasteless. Another neighbor had grapes and never minded when we picked them. They were big and purple. Watermelon was summer and I remember juice rolling down my hand and on my cheeks. Cherries were best because you got to spit the seeds. We always had a contest. I didn’t usually win.

Exotic fruits were of the future. I could never imagine a kiwi, a pomegranate or a carambola. I ate my first mangos and paw paws, papayas, in Ghana. I thought the mango tasted like furniture polish, but I loved the paw paw and eventually even came to love the mango. Cut fresh pineapple and sweet green oranges sold by the aunties on the sides of the road were my favorites. For lunch every day I had a bowl of cut fruit.

I buy bananas, and I love strawberries. Only if I have a recipe in mind do I buy blueberries. They are not for eating out of hand unless you’re picking them. I love watermelon. Cold watermelon on a hot day is like manna from heaven. It still drips down my hand.

“It was Sunday morning, and old people passed me like sad grey waves on their way to church.”

March 16, 2014

This morning I filled the four sunflower feeders, and the spawn came back, the red one which jumps from the rail to the feeder over and over again. I chased it away, but it will be back. It always is. I thought about ways to encourage the spawn to pack its little bags and move elsewhere. I came up with a slingshot flinging paperclips, a pea shooter, a wire covering the food slots, electrifying the rail from where it jumps and a wee guillotine though I did reject that last one but only after giving it some consideration. I’m thinking the wire might be the best choice only because my aim with the slingshot and pea shooter mightn’t be up to the task.

The day is a pretty one. I found some more croci in the garden. Three of them are open and basking in the sun. I also saw a snowdrop, a lovely and delicate flower, by the stairs. The hyacinths are getting taller, and I can see their buds. It may only be 34˚ but it feels like spring to me. Flowers carry hope about them.

The mornings are noisier now. The birds have started greeting the day. Their songs are most welcome sounds.

In the church I attended in my hometown, there was a tiny pew in the back. It was the last one in the church and held only two people. I used to wonder why it was there and eventually decided they ran out of space but wanted balance at the end of the rows instead of a weird bare spot. I loved that pew and thought of it as the pew of the impious. I always sat, stood or knelt when everyone else did, but I never paid attention. Sometimes I sneaked in a book and read the latest adventures of Trixie Beldon. I tried to look saintly and reverent with my head bowed, and because all the people were in front of me and couldn’t see what I was reading, I think I pulled it off. When the ushers came by with their baskets, the book was hidden. I dropped my dime in the basket, waited for the usher to move along and then went back to my book. Mass went quickly when I was otherwise preoccupied so it was often a surprise when the priest said, “The Mass is ended go with God.” I took him at his word and scooted out the door and down the stairs. I was probably close to halfway home before the church had even emptied. I never minded going to mass when I had a good book to keep me company.

“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

September 29, 2013

Gracie has spent most of the morning in the yard. She nows the day is too lovely to waste inside the house. Every now and then she comes in to make sure I’m still here, gets petted, wags her tail and goes right back outside. I can hear her on the deck and know she’s sticking her between the railing pieces so she can see over the fence. The birds are both noisy and hungry this morning. They wait for their turns at the feeder. The thistle feeder twirls when a bird or two lands on it. It is the only one they don’t seem to mind sharing.

I didn’t go to bed until 2 this morning because I watched a movie called Gun Crazy made in 1950. It was so good I can’t understand why I haven’t heard of it before. It was based on a short story by McKinlay Kantor who with Millard Kaufman wrote the screenplay but not really. Millard Kaufman’s name was used to hide the actual screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted. I have never heard of either of the two stars: John Dall and Peggy Cummins. Both were good, but she was amazing. Her eyes were often filled with a fury and anger which the camera caught and highlighted. You never had to question her motives. The film was too good not to watch until the end so it was a really late night; consequently, it was one of those get the mirror to see if she’s breathing sort of sleep. I didn’t wake up until late this morning. My mother would have said I must have needed it. 

Today I get to watch the Sox play their last regular season game. The playoffs for them begin on Friday so no baseball until then though I’ll check in on the wild card games once the teams are finalized. I can’t believe that a season of 162 games will end today. I reconciled myself to the end of summer, but I can’t seem to grasp that baseball too will soon end.

The Amazing Race begins tonight as does our tradition. My friends and I get together early, eat appetizers and play a few games until the start of the race. Dessert comes during the race as do our discussions about the teams. Tradition also calls for each of us to pick a favorite team. Sometimes we even pick the right one.

Sort of an interesting day with the end of one thing and the start of another.

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…”

July 8, 2013

I have turned off the AC and opened the doors and windows. The morning is cooler than it has been for days, and there is a slight breeze. Gracie is in heaven. She gets to go out and come in as much as she wants as her dog door is accessible. The temperature is still in the 80’s, but I decided to brave the heat for some fresh air. The forecast is for thunder showers tonight which will be welcomed after all these steamy days with no rain. If the weekly forecast is correct, it will be in the high 70’s by Friday.

Yesterday afternoon the backup was 25 miles long to get off cape over the Sagamore bridge. I can’t imagine how long it took to go those 25 miles, and I can’t imagine sitting in a car going inches at a time. I’d have been crazed.

The open windows have brought the world back. I can hear the sounds of mowers and trimmers but even better I can hear the songs of birds. Yesterday I watered the plants on the deck and filled all the feeders. Even the two suet feeders were empty. Today I’ll sit on the deck for a bit and read. I haven’t had the inclination to read in a while. Usually I read a book or more a week, but since the surgery, for whatever reason, I haven’t be able to focus for too long. Maybe a new book will kick-start my reading.

In the mornings, Maddie is my only companion. She sits on the couch beside me. When I got Fern and Maddie from the shelter, they were both five and had grown up together. Fern right away took to the house and to Maggie, my dog. Maddie, on the other hand, spend at least three weeks under the bed. Part of it was the new house and part of it was Maggie who chased her, not with any malice or intention to do harm but for the fun of it. I used to lie on my stomach and give Maddie treats under the bed and talk to her. She came out but stayed in the guest room on one of the beds. I put a gate up so Maggie wouldn’t bother her and added a hole in the gate so Maddie could go to the food and litter. It took a while but she came downstairs and chose the dining room table as her safety spot. Gracie came only a few months after Maggie died, and she chased poor Maddie. It was puppy fun for Gracie. Poor Maddie ran for her life, but she didn’t hide. She stayed on that table. Now Maddie will even sit on the couch where Gracie is sleeping. She heads butts me for pats. During the day she sleeps on my bed and during the night she sleeps on the rug in my room. She won’t go so far as to join Fern, Gracie and me on the bed, but she stays close. Miss Maddie is a sweet, lovable cat. It’s nice to have her around. Now if she and Fern would stop hissing at one another, this would be a happy home.