Posted tagged ‘breeze’

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

February 19, 2017

Today is a bit of a gift from Mother Nature, and considering how many times I cursed her this winter, I am surprised by her generosity. It is sunny and warm, even springlike. A few puffy clouds add texture to the blue sky. A breeze ruffles the brown leaves. It is a day to be outside. I’m working on getting there.

My neighbor put my newspaper on the front steps for me this morning. I saw it and one other paper when I opened the door. The other paper is the Cape Times from February 13th. I have no idea where he found it. I didn’t  miss a paper. I figure it must be my neighbor’s, and it got tossed here with the snow when her driveway was shoveled.

Small mounds of snow are still visible but only on the corners of the streets. Between the rain and the above freezing temperatures, the snow had no chance. I’m glad it’s mostly gone.

My front lawn, mostly on one side, is a total mess. It is covered with branches and needles from the tree sized branch which fell. There are long gashes on the grass. I’m thinking that whole side of the lawn may need a reboot.

This is school vacation week. I used to like traveling to one place for the whole week. My mother and I spent this week in Rome on our last vacation together. We saw it all. One of my favorites was the catacombs, a couple of bus rides and a long walk away.

Each night we’d have a drink in the bar before going to our room. My mother had cognac. That was a shock. My mother was a whiskey and coke drinker. When I mentioned my shock, my mother said it was vacation mode when anything goes. I loved that.

My week will be quiet. Actually, the rest of February will be quiet. I have an empty dance card until March.

Gracie needs to be fed, and I need to get dressed in my outside the house clothes. We are going out to enjoy the day.

“To travel is to shop.”

August 18, 2016

Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. I walked outside to get the papers and right away saw balloons tied to a new solar garden light stuck in the grass. Now, every time I see that light, I’ll remember how fun the morning was and how wonderful my friends are. My sisters called to wish me a happy birthday as did Grace from Ghana. She once was a student of mine, but now she is a friend. More friends called during the day and the internet was crushed by the number of well wishes on Coffee and on Facebook. Two of my friends took me out to eat at Karoo’s last night. It is a South African restaurant we all like, and the food was even better than we remembered. My friends gave me a beautiful puzzle box which I could not open because I am spatially incompetent. Step by step instructions got the box opened. Instead of a cake, my friend made brownies. Chocolate is perfect for any occasion. I still have one more birthday celebration to come. It is like birth-week instead of birthday. How wonderful!!

My house is open to the air. The morning has gone from sunny to cloudy and back again, but this den where I spend most of my time stays dark and cool until the afternoon. There is even a slight breeze. If I can last through the day, the temperature will get down to the high 60’s tonight, and I won’t need the air conditioning; however, I do like the sensation of feeling cold on a hot summer night.

Around here Hyannis is the big city. It has lots of heavy traffic and stores tucked into a variety of big and small malls. The main route in and out of town has four lanes, two of them for turning. Most times I avoid Hyannis. There are stores I love, but I don’t want to hunt for a parking space or sit through light cycles. The exception is when I have an appointment and have no choice, like today, but I’ll do some shopping because I’m there. It makes the trip fun and worthwhile.

“If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.”

August 1, 2016

The reason for my tardiness is I spend Mondays with my neighbor. She is the neighbor who just became a citizen. We used to go over the citizenship questions, but mow we sit and talk just so she can practice her English. Usually I stay an hour or an hour and a half. Today we lost track of the time, and it was two and a half hours.

The day is just about perfect. All that’s missing is the sun, and I’m just fine with that. There is nice breeze keeping the house cool, the birds are singing loudly and the kids are quiet. I have nothing to do today. I was going to water the outside plants, but it rained last night. I don’t know how much or how long it rained as I slept through it. The wet deck was the only evidence.

The cat, Fern, woke me up the other night. She nipped my elbow. That was the first time in nearly 18 years she has ever nipped me. I woke up with a start. She was purring and then ran her head under my hand. She had woken me up because I was ignoring her need to be patted. After I had finished, she let me sleep.

The other day I bought cat food, dog food and dog treats. The treats are dried chicken strips. I put the bag on the floor as I was carrying so much, and that bag was quite heavy with all the cans. Later that night, Gracie was in the den, with me. She was scratching at the rug. I figured one of her toys must be under that rug so I got up to retrieve it. Well, it wasn’t a toy. It was the bag of treats. Gracie had gone into the bag, moved a couple of dog food cans out of the way and grabbed the treat bag in her mouth. That was the first time Gracie has ever done that.

My animals are getting brazen as they age. Gracie is nearly 12. Fern has been so sick I have been babying her so she must think I have given tacit permission to be harassed.

My father once said he would love to come back as a pet in any of our houses. Mine would be a great choice. He’d get the best dog food, canned and dried, the best dog treats and a couch to sleep on during the day and a bed at night. If a cat, my dad would get canned and dry food, pine litter instead of that awful clay and cat treats, mostly Temptations. He would be able to sleep on any couch, chair or bed. The only drawback would be those trips to the vets. My father always hated having to go to the doctor’s.

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

July 17, 2016

It’s a later than usual start for me as I was on the phone with my sister. We talk every Sunday. Today we ended up chatting for two hours. For those of you thinking that in no way could you chat for two hours, believe me, the time goes quickly. We never ran out of things to talk about. We never do.

This morning, I tried to live for a bit without the air conditioning. I turned it off, opened the windows and the doors. I lasted an hour and a half.

There is a small breeze, but it is still hot and humid. When I let Gracie out the last time, I followed her to the deck. As soon as I walked outside, I was hit by the heat blast and stifled by the humidity. The day looked far better out the window. I figure I was taken in by that breeze ruffling the leaves.

My front garden has a few but is mostly in between flowers. Many of those flowers have so many buds I am anxious to see them bloom. The clematis has spread to three fence pieces and is filled with buds. Other flowers whose names I don’t know are tall and also filled with buds close to opening. In a short time, my garden will be glorious.

I ordered some Mexican hat jellies thinking they’d make good movie treats. I haven’t seen that candy in a while. The picture had a yellow, red, green and black hat. When I mentioned the candies to my sister, she said she liked the black ones. I do too. I also love Chuckles black jellies. Being my favorite flavor, I save them for last. Black jelly beans are also a favorite of mine. I was thrilled when they started selling only the black ones in a package. Anise cookies are my favorites. My uncle used to make the best-tasting anise cookies every Christmas. He said the secret was using anise oil, not anise flavoring. I actually hate black licorice. I like the red licorice but think the black tastes awful. My sister, strangely enough, has the same weird taste. She told me her son, Ryan, also hated black licorice but loves all the same black candy we do. She thinks it’s a strange gene the three of us have.

The only entry on my dance card this week is a follow-up appointment for Fern at the vets.   I guess I’m still in my solitary confinement.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”

August 6, 2015

I think I know what heaven may be like. It’s a deck high up in the trees. Birds fly in and out of feeders filled with sunflower seeds and hanging from branches. The round glass table is in the shade. A red fountain constantly flows and sounds like a brook with water cascading over rocks. Birds stand under the flowing water as if it were a shower then shake their feathers dry. Other birds stop and take a drink. The humidity is a memory and there is a cooling breeze. Pinwheels stuck in flower pots spin and spin in the breeze, and their colors run together in whirls of red and blue. The only sounds are birds, chattering red spawns and a few planes flying overhead almost close enough to brush the tree tops as they make their way to Logan. Welcome to my deck.

The neighbors across the street seldom venture out of their house. They used to weed the front, but when they replaced the ground cover with mulch, they don’t have to weed at all so I don’t see them much anymore. They were city people so locks and closed windows keep them safe. I never see the front door opened to the screen. If I have to go over, I hear my neighbor ask who it is then I hear her unlock several door locks. Her husband has Alzheimer’s but always waves and says hello to me. Once he thought he was locked out of the house and came here for help so I think he still remembers me.

My street is on its second generation of kids. The first generation has kids of its own. Four houses still have original owners, mine included. We have all improved our houses with backyard decks, patios and, in one case, a swimming pool. We sit in those backyards and take joy from the quiet. I read or listen to music. I leave my phone inside. I sometimes hear it ring but I don’t care to answer caught up as I am with the deck, the day and the beauty around me.

“A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.”

September 21, 2014

The day is wonderfully warm but cloudy. A bright sun would have been a nice touch. The breeze is strong. Pine branches are swaying, and the leaves are billowing. My neighborhood is quiet, Sunday quiet, the way I remember Sundays used to be.

Today I have nothing that needs doing. The week was a busy one so I’ll just relax in sloth mode. I’m not even going to get dressed. I earned today.

I have three dresses. Two are for summer and the third is for winter. I used to wear dresses to work every day, even in Ghana, but now I seldom wear them. They are reserved for weddings and events which happen in fancy venues. Those events tend to be special and have a dress code, unmentioned but expected.

I am drawing a blank today. Nothing comes to mind. I did think about pizza and ribs earlier, and I have no idea why. They seemed strange topics to pop into my head, but they did remind me of my mother who used to make those English muffin pizzas and freeze them for later, for snacks. She also made crabbies on English muffins and would serve them on game nights. As for the ribs, I have no idea where they came from.

My parents didn’t have much money when I was growing up, but I didn’t know that. Christmas was a wonder and under the tree was always filled with gifts. Every Easter we got new clothes. For Halloween my mother made our costumes just as my friends’ mothers made theirs. Store bought costumes had no originality, no imagination and were sort of ugly with plastic masks held on by an easily broken elastic. Sunday dinners were always special. We could count on sort of a roast, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies. That is still my favorite dinner. Last night my friend served a roast chicken, tons of mashed potatoes, gravy and carrots. I was in heaven.

“What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”

July 10, 2014

Yesterday was a sweat producing day, a day for the air-conditioner which was on all afternoon and night, but I turned it off this morning though it is still a bit warm. It’s just that the mornings are so lovely I hate to miss them sitting behind closed doors and windows. Right now there is a little breeze from the window behind me, the birds are singing and the neighborhood is gloriously quiet as if I’m alone in the world. I like that feeling sometimes. Last night it rained, but I didn’t hear it. Today might reach 80˚ but it will drop to the 60’s tonight. Tomorrow’s forecast has the nighttime temperature at 59˚. That sounds delightful.

My energy comes in spurts sometimes dictated by my back. Yesterday my sole accomplishments were to re-set the flag holder and screw in the hook off the deck which holds a bird feeder. Both were victims of the wind. The bird feeder had been filled but it fell to the ground and was emptied. I’m thinking the spawns had a picnic. Now that the hook is fixed I’ll go and retrieve the items which fell off the deck and refill the feeder. I am already on my second load of laundry, and I have to go buy Gracie food and drop a few things off at the dump. That, for me, is quite the busy day.

My sisters used to give my mother dandelion bouquets. She’d act thrilled as if she had been given the rarest flowers. She’d put the bouquet in a jelly glass and then in the middle of the table. The dandelions were brilliant yellow and didn’t seem at all like a weed should be.

My father always got two weeks’ vacation, and he took them in the summer. Most of the time we didn’t go away as it was too expensive though I do remember the trip to the island in Maine and the Niagara falls trip, but that’s it; instead, we’d go places close to home. I remember going to the beach on weekdays when the traffic was light, and there were parking spaces near the water. We’d stay most of the day. A couple of nights we’d go to the drive-in. Sometimes we’d go to Maine for a weekend and stay at my father’s friend’s cottage. I always found that boring. The water was too cold, and there was little to do. The museum trips were my favorite. I remember standing in the Egyptian section at the MFA and marveling at how tall the sarcophagi were. I still get that feeling when I visit the MFA even now. Once during the two weeks we’d go out to dinner, a rare occasion for us. We’d go to Kitty’s where the food was cheap and plentiful. It never occurred to me that we didn’t have enough money to go away. I never felt deprived, and I loved being surprised by every day.

“Part of the urge to explore is a desire to become lost.”

March 1, 2014

Snow is coming on Monday. Wow, I’m just so excited. We haven’t had any in at least three days. The weatherman also says it will be cold for most of the week. What a surprise! I was getting so tired of those high 20 degree days.

Today looks washed-out with light but no sun and some blue but mostly gray skies. The breeze is brisk and chilling.

I make all these plans to go places then I decide that being home and warm is the best place to be. Today I haven’t a choice. I have some must do errands. I will, however, award myself in some way for being fearless in the face of frigid cold and winter’s mighty hand.

I am an explorer. Even when I was a kid I explored. On my bicycle I rode all over town. I’d go down roads I hadn’t ever ridden on before. It wasn’t ever to find anything. It was just to see what was there. From high school in Arlington, it was a dime bus ride to Harvard Square down Mass Ave. It was the best of times for Harvard Square. The Orson Wells Theater, the old kiosk and the Wursthaus were still there. Book stores were everywhere. My friends and I explored the square time and time again. We went down one way streets resembling alleys and found hidden places to eat. We walked Harvard Yard. We never tired of spending a dime to get to the Square. We knew we might just find someplace neat, someplace new.

In college, I was no less an explorer but hardly explored. Books and classes took far too much of my time, and each summer I had to work. I was stuck in one place for what seemed like the longest time. I had a few interesting adventures in college and they helped but weren’t quite enough. My need to explore had expanded well beyond my bicycle and Harvard Square. I wanted new places. I wanted to need maps and hear a foreign language. I wanted the chance to be lost.

I am still an explorer, but my boundaries have expanded well beyond what I dreamed when I was ten. I have been lost several times, and I love finding my way. That’s what explorers do.

“There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes.”

July 11, 2013

Last night I re-entered the world. I went to my first Wednesday play of the season. We always have dinner at a friend’s house first so I bought a few appies then drove, a new adventure for me, to Harwich, had dinner then went on to Chatham. Wouldn’t you know it but this play had three acts so I sat far too long. By the time I got home, at close to 11, I was exhausted and the house was stifling. I closed windows and put the air on. Gracie was panting, a barometer of sorts about the heat and humidity. It was close to 12 before it was cool enough to go to bed. I slept until 9:30 and am still tired. That first foray into the world has exhausted me.

We have a breeze and we have rain, not a lot of rain but rain nonetheless. The breeze is enough that the chimes hanging from the trees are making a sweet sound. I have all the windows and doors opened. Gracie loves it as she can come and go as she pleases. Even if I could muster the energy, l’d go nowhere today as the roads must be clogged with tourists looking for something to do. This is the summer of the tourist. Cars are everywhere. I’m guessing people have a bit more money to spend, and the cape is a great spot not too far away and one with all sorts of accommodations and restaurants and then there’s the ocean, the beautiful ocean which surrounds the cape.

I didn’t get my first job until the summer just after I’d graduated from high school. Back then none of us worked summers. Until I moved to the cape, I lived in a town which didn’t offer a lot of jobs for a teenager even if you wanted one. Parents never pushed. We just had to live on the paltry allowance they gave us. We managed.

The summer after high school I worked in Woolworth’s in down-town Hyannis which was a huge store. It had front and back entrances and a long counter for food. I remember the menu slots on the wall and the plastic menus with pictures of the food. I usually took my break at that counter. Working there was an okay job as I worked all sorts of places in the store and wasn’t bored. I worked the jewelry counter, the register, the pet corner and the souvenir section. The only problem was it didn’t pay a lot, but I could understand why as it didn’t take a whole of expertise or talent to work there. The pet section kept me the busiest as I had to change cages and feed the animals every day. There were fish, birds, hamsters and Guinea pigs. Little kids used to come to see the animals and watch the fish. The register was an okay spot to work. I could make change which made me a valuable employee. The souvenirs were mostly from China and included shells, fake driftwood, small boats and t-shorts. People bought a lot of souvenirs. I worked there until Labor Day which gave me a few weeks off before I had to go to college. All in all, it wasn’t a bad first job.


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