Posted tagged ‘Bolgatanga Ghana’

“Autumn bowed to place a beautiful crown on the Queen of Morning, and her velvet robes sway merrily in the chilly breeze.”

November 4, 2017

The morning was chilly. I took Gracie out into the backyard and sat and waited for her. I smelled a wood fire and all of a sudden my memory jumped back to Ghana and mornings during the harmattan. Those mornings were cold, as cold as I ever felt in Bolga where daytime temperatures often reached over 100˚. The morning air was filled with the aroma of wood fires burning in the compounds behind my house. I could hear muted voices and the sound of water from the tap filling my students’ buckets for their morning baths. Roosters still crowed. Those mornings were a delight.

Gracie has muscular degeneration. Signals aren’t getting to her back legs. The vet said it will get worse, but she is hoping we can slow the progress. Gracie is now getting a pain pill every day. In two weeks the vet will assess the value of her continuing to take them. After that two week mark, Gracie is going to start acupuncture. She’ll have two sessions and then an evaluation to see if it has helped.

I could barely walk this morning and my back pain was horrific. Yesterday I had to lift Gracie three times: twice to the car and once to the backseat of the car after she had lost her footing and couldn’t get back on the seat; consequently, I have ordered a back dog lift. I wish I had it yesterday.

Every time I look out at the deck, I feel a bit of sadness. All the furniture is covered. The flowers have been moved off the rails. The candles hanging off the branches are gone. Only the bird feeders remain.

When I was a kid, the preparations for winter were my father’s jobs. He took down the screens and replaced them with the storm windows. He removed the screens from the two doors and put in the storm doors. He went to the gas station and had the snow tires put on his car. Every weekend he’d rake the lawn, move the pile of leaves to the gutter by the sidewalk and then burn them. The smell of burning leaves is one of my all time favorites, and it carries memories of my dad. I can see him standing there by the flaming leaves while smoke billowed into the air. He held on to his rake and used it periodically to move more leaves into the fire. I stayed until the leaves were gone.

“A rainy day is like a lovely gift — you can sleep late and not feel guilty.”

October 14, 2017

It was a late night so it is a late morning, actually an early afternoon. I was still awake at four when Gracie finally settled, Maddie got comfortable on my sweatshirt, and I was snuggled under the afghan to stave off the chill.

This morning when I took Gracie out I was surprised to see everything was wet, and the air was a bit chilly from the dampness. I came back inside and put on my sweatshirt which Maddie had been kind enough to leave for me. It’s raining again. I opened the window behind me to hear the drops on the leaves in the side yard. It started as a gentle rain but is now heavier, a steady storm.

I have no lists today. I could do a couple of errands but I’ll wait until tomorrow. Today I have designated a do nothing day.

My friend Bill keeps track of the weather in Bolga where we lived. I checked today, and it is currently 94˚, a cool day. Tomorrow will be 99˚ and every day for the rest of the week will be over 100˚ but will drop to the low 70’s at night. I used a woven wool blanket this time of year as the 30˚ drop was chilling. It was an unexpected but wonderful feeling being cold. I still have that wool blanket.

My house is dark except for a lit nightlight and a small driftwood tree lit with white lights in the bathroom and a strand of scallop shells and a cluster of red peppers lit in the kitchen. They give the house a cozy feel.

I’m watching a really bad movie called Deep Space. You’re probably thinking of course you are. The creature sort of looks like giant bug with lots of legs and sharp teeth. I had to laugh when it traveled on a sidewalk as it looked like a wind-up. None of its legs moved. It attacks by jumping at the necks of its victims. A few babies just as lethal as their mama have been born. The death count of their victims is rising.

It feels strange to have a Saturday with no baseball.

“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory…”

February 12, 2015

Earlier this morning I rolled over and looked out the window. I swear I saw the sun. Later, when I woke up, it was a gray day. It was yesterday and the day before and the day before that. I could keep going but you get the idea. That sun must have been a dream, a wanting and most of all a hoping.

More snow is in the forecast, light snow starting later today. I am passed screaming. I can only sigh. The temperature is going to plummet. It will be 12˚ tonight and 9˚tomorrow night. The 20’s during the day will seem downright tropical. Where did I put that Hawaiian shirt? I’m thinking mai tai, many mai tais, all with umbrellas.

In Northern Ghana this is the harmattan, the season when a cold-dry dusty wind blows from the desert. It is also the hottest time of the year. In Bolga, where I lived, every day this time of year was over 100˚. The cold shower was a blessing, a relief from the heat. I didn’t have a fan, never even thought of buying one. The heat was something to abide just as the snow is. The nights during the harmattan brought relief from the relentless heat of the days. The temperatures dropped as low as the 70’s. I was cold and even had a wool blanket on my bed. The early mornings were brisk, even chilly. They were a delight.

In the midst of the harmattan I thought of home and winter. I thought of snow but it was an idealized version conjured by my imagination. The snow was pristine, perfectly white. Snowmen with carrot noses, buttons and top hats sat on front lawns. Kids sledded down hills. Snowball fights were fun. Cars made a crunching sound from the snow as they drove down the street. We all looked healthy with red cheeks.

It is easy to get discontent with extremes so we have to remind ourselves that seasons change. The heat ends when the rains come. Spring always follows winter.