Posted tagged ‘bleak’

“Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love.”

November 16, 2017

Last night was a long one. I wasn’t at all tired so I watched a movie, Sink the Bismarck. At around 2:00 I turned off the lights. At around 3, Gracie’s panting got my attention. I have learned to move fast and get her out the door when she pants. I didn’t even stop for my sweatshirt, and it was cold. Gracie decided to walk around the yard to find the perfect spot. Finally, she squatted and the two of us went back inside to bed or at least I thought that’s where we were headed, but Gracie stood right beside and stared. When I didn’t move, I got the paw. She wanted to eat so I fed her. Gracie has me totally trained. Well, we went back to bed, but at 8:00 the panting began so out we went. When we got inside, I went back to sleep and slept until after 11. Gracie did too. When we woke up, we finished the usual morning routine. Gracie and Maddie are back asleep. They live stressful lives.

I have hit the wall, not the famous yet to be built wall, but the news wall. When I turned on MSNBC, I swear it was a repeat. I heard about another Moore victim, Trump’s triumphant trip to the Far East, in Trump’s words, of course, the best trip ever by a US president and the tax bill. That was it. I would have screamed, but I didn’t want to wake Maddie and Gracie. I turned to YouTube and am now watching a Yeti like creature, the Snowbeast, mauling and killing skiers. I find it more optimist than the news. At least you know where you stand with a murderous beast, not so with the tax plan.

I stayed inside yesterday but have no choice today. I have to go out. I need a few groceries and I have to stop at the pharmacy.

Today is bleak and rainy. It was raining at 3AM so I knew what to expect. Luckily, it is warm, in the 50’s. We are in a weather pattern of cold nights, warm days and no sun. I just can’t conjure energy amid the clouds. I need to treat myself out of this weather induced funk, but I’m sure how yet. I just know it will include chocolate.

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

April 28, 2015

The day is uninviting. The flags in my front yard are flapping and whipping in the wind. In my back yard, the pine tree trunks sway and almost bend. We haven’t any sun. It rained last night and the clouds just stayed around. Bleak comes to mind except for one amazing spot in the front garden where my forsythia has bloomed in the brightest yellow. It is the most hopeful sign of the progression of the season, of the emergence of spring.

We had a very small kitchen when I was a kid. The table was sandwiched against the wall and at best five chairs could be set around it. There were six of us, but my mother never sat with us so five chairs were enough. My mother was an at the counter eater. Even much later in a kitchen with plenty of room, my mother liked the counter. I never thought it was strange.

My parents never mentioned their pets. I think maybe my mother had a dog, but that memory is fuzzy. I know my dad didn’t have any pets. His parents were not pet people. When I was five, we got our first dog, a Boxer need Duke. From then on our house always had pets, usually a dog and a cat or two at the same time. I can’t imagine a house without a pet.

I don’t know how my parents became pet people. I’m thinking it was just in their natures. They had no history of loving dogs or cats, but they surely loved theirs and mine. Every dog I had was spoiled when visiting my parents. My dad would get a bowl of ice cream for himself and one for the dog. I’d bring up treats and dog food, but each dog turned its nose up at its usual treats and would stand by the fridge patiently waiting for my mother to give it some cold cuts and cheese. She thought it was funny. For Christmas one year my mother gave my dog homemade biscuits. Maggie thought they were manna from heaven. My father never met Maggie and neither of my parents met Gracie. My dad would have been roaring laughing at Gracie and her sass. Maggie would have followed him around and sat with him in the yard. She loved her leisure. I’m sorry that Maggie and Gracie never got to be spoiled by my parents. I, however, fill the gap. In my mind, pets are meant to be spoiled as sort of a small thank you for what they give us, for the love which is immeasurable.

“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, May good luck pursue you each morning and night.”

March 17, 2015

We’re back to rainy and bleak. We’re also back to cold as it will get down to 18˚ tonight. This melt and freeze cycle is creating  potholes all over the roads. I’ve been lucky so far as I’ve seen the holes in time to avoid them. Some people weren’t so lucky as a few hub caps are lying near the biggest holes.

What’s left of the snow is ugly. More of it will disappear because of the rain. All the roads are finally clear of the icy ruts. I’m just hoping the combination of the clear roads, rain and 18˚ won’t cause black ice.

My mother, father, two aunts, my 80-year-old grandfather and I visited Ireland together. It was my second trip there. It was the first for everyone else. I loved traveling with my parents and my grandfather was a trooper. He kept right up with us. One aunt always went with the flow; however, the other aunt I would have sold to the Irish Travellers whose caravans we saw throughout Ireland. She had a couple of heavy suitcases filled with enough clothes for an around the world trip. Every night my dad had to haul them out of the van to her room and then back to the van in the morning. We generally stayed only one night in each spot, usually a B&B, so why she needed both suitcases I never understood. I did ask and she said she didn’t know we would be stopping night by night. She thought we’d stay in one place. That still didn’t explain the amount of clothes and why both suitcases every night. I suggested she bring in what she needed just for the night and the next day, and she got huffy. That aunt is only five months younger than I am; she is number 8, the baby of my mother’s family. That gave her a strange sense of entitlement. Huffy should have been her middle.

My father loved boiled dinners, corned beef and cabbage for those of you living outside of New England. My mother would make the dinner a couple of times a year and always on St. Patrick’s Day. My favorite memory is one dinner when the potatoes disappeared. My mother was filling my dad’s plate with the carrots, cabbage, onions and meat. She used her spoon to hunt for the potatoes. There were none. She saw a couple of lumps of what might have been potatoes floating but that was the only sighting. When she brought dinner to my dad, he wanted to know right away where the potatoes, his favorites, were. My mother admitted she thought they disintegrated. My dad rushed out and hunted through the pan. He didn’t find any either. It became a family legend: the year of no potatoes.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

“To lovers of adventure and novelty, Africa displays a most ample field.”

March 14, 2015

The day is bleak and rainy. The house was cold when I woke up so I turned on the heat and then finished the rest of my morning rituals. I made the coffee, got the papers, filled the dog’s dry food bowl, changed the water in the dog dish and then sat down to read the papers. The animals got their morning greetings then they went back to sleep. They are, of course, in their usual spots. Mornings never change around here.

Last night my palm tree was lit for the first time since the big snowstorm. It was unexpected. The tree had stopped lighting in February, and I hadn’t been able to check the connections as they were under feet of snow. All the melting this week uncovered the cord, and I saw the plug had disconnected from the timer. Reconnecting it didn’t work. The plug looked as if it had taken too much of a beating under all that snow. I put it back into the timer as best I could. Whatever I did to the plug seemed to work. When I was checking for the dog last night, I was happily surprised to see the lit palm tree. It is a tradition. Even the neighbors made comments when it wasn’t lit. They’ll be happy to see it again.

The first palm trees I ever saw were in Ghana. My geography book had come to life. I was thrilled. We were headed to Winneba and the road to that first training site was along the ocean. It was lined with palm trees. I could see coconuts hanging from below the fronds. Some trees looked bent in odd ways. I was finally somewhere exotic and not a scrub pine was in view. Little did I know what else awaited me.