Posted tagged ‘candy’

“The family is always the family but during vacations it is an extended family and that is exhausting.”

July 15, 2017

They’d be cornToday is another dreary day, cloudy and damp. Movie night is postponed as it may rain and the deck is still wet from the rain yesterday. Tomorrow night we’ll be watching Gunga Din and munching appies and assorted movie candy. We pause for bathroom breaks.

My old MAC is totally defunct. It needs a new fan, a new battery and a new hard drive. May it rest in peace.

The house next door is rented this week. A car is in the driveway, and I can hear their voices. They have a kid or two.

I went to the library this morning. Traffic was bumper to bumper even on the back roads. I dread the rest of my errands as I have to go on main roads. Beaches are empty on days like today so tourists take to the main roads to find something to do and souvenirs to buy.

We never came to the cape when I was a kid. If we were going away, we went north. My father’s friend had a place in Ogunquit, Maine. It was a tiny cottage in a row of side by side tiny cottages. There was a small kitchen with a table and chairs, and there were beds, lots of built-in beds. We never slept one to a bed as there were too many of us. In one room were two sets of three bunks. It was like a couchette on a train.

The Maine water was so cold only my father went swimming. He used to body surf. We’d go at low tide and try to catch the small swift fish in the tidal pools. We’d walk the dunes. I remember my horror at seeing naked people sunbathing among those dunes. Meals were mostly catch as catch can except for dinner which was usually hot dogs or burgers on the grill. They’d be corn on the cob and sometimes potato salad. The informality of the meals was part of the vacation.

When I reached my mid-teens, the last thing I wanted was a family vacation in close quarters with nothing for anyone my age to do. My father had to threaten me with dire consequences if I continued moaning and complaining. I used to pout with all the teenage angst I could muster.

The last family vacation I remember was the one to Niagara Falls. I was sixteen that summer. Woolworth’s was a summer away.

“I love the ritual of drawing up lists, and there’s something wonderfully satisfying about ticking tasks off.”

April 14, 2017

Today is chilly, only 52˚. It will even get down to the 30’s tonight. Luckily, though, Easter Sunday will be 64˚, perfect for Easter outfits.

When I was a kid, girls wore dresses on Easter. The dresses were fancy.  They were pastel colored and poofy with a couple of petticoats underneath. My sisters like to swirl their dresses by quickly spinning like Whirling Dervishes. On their feet, they wore white patent leather shoes with a strap across the foot. Their socks were delicate with lace around the top. My sisters were much girlier than I. Petticoats itched. I never once wore one. I remember one Easter at my Grandparents’ house. There were cousins, lots of cousins, and aunts and uncles. I was around 10 or 11. I overheard an aunt ask my mother about my Easter clothes which weren’t dressy. I wore a new skirt, new blouse, and a new blazer. I felt spiffy. My mother answered my aunt: that’s what she wanted. That ended all discussion and was the best answer.

Gracie had a not so good day yesterday. She jumped off the couch and somehow ended up on her back with her paw caught under a basket. She was perfectly still and frightened. I untangled her and got her on the couch. A few hugs later she was wagging her tail and wanting a treat. Gracie was none the worst for her fall. Today is a good day. I am taking her into the yard through the yard gate so we can avoid the steps going down, the scary steps. Gracie loves being in the yard.

Skip, my factotum, is here doing a few jobs. New lights are on the deck rail and in the yard and both are connected to timers. Skip is now working on the stairs and putting the new treads down. I’m just hoping Gracie will go upstairs so I can start sleeping in my bed.

I made another list. I discovered I get more done if the list is concrete. It forces me to get up and out of the house. Today there are four errands. I have plotted the route. None of the stores are close to each other. I figure to start in South Yarmouth at the vets to pick up medicine for Gracie, then on to 6A in Dennis to Nancy’s Candy, then back to South Dennis to Agway for litter and puppy pads. My final stop is Dennisport. I need Easter gifts for the two dogs, Gracie and Darci, my friends’ dog. I’ll hit the bakery for them, the dog bakery. I’m hoping they have whoopie pies. My last stop is for me, Buckies for a sandwich, for number 14: a panini with cheddar, bacon, avocado, tomatoes and a horseradish sauce. I’m salivating at the mere mention of that sandwich.

The list is right in front of me, mocking me. I have to hurry.

“Here’s what we know about Santa. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. I think he’s with the NSA.”

December 22, 2016

I woke up to another dreary day and a very dark sky screaming rain. The weatherman agrees. Snow is predicted in some parts of the state, but we will be too warm, in the 40’s. Yesterday was the Solstice, the longest night of the year. By next week, we will be gaining a minute and a half of light a day then two minutes in February. That sounds so hopeful.

Christmas vacation begins today around here. I remember this last day and how excited the kids were, high school kids wearing Santa hats and sucking on candy canes. They used to sing Christmas carols at lunch, spontaneous outbursts from one table then another then on and on. The halls between classes were filled with cheer, with kids wishing each other a Merry Christmas. At the end of the day, the school emptied quickly. The festivities had begun!

I have errands today then cookie baking. I was out a long time yesterday, but I couldn’t finish my list. One store was closed so I have to go back today. I also have to go to the candy store and the grocery store. I’ll get everything I need so I won’t have to go out again between now and Christmas. (I’m laughing here. That will never happen. I’ll find out I need something else. I always do.)

The excitement started to get palpable around this time when I was a kid. The countdown was at two until Christmas Eve and three until that glorious morning, Christmas day. Every afternoon we watched Santa Claus at his workshop. I remember the channel was WMUR from New Hampshire. Santa talked to us as if he were in the room. He discussed all of the work being done by the elves to get ready to fill the sleigh. I don’t remember what he looked like, whether he had great whiskers or paltry whiskers, or if his voice was jolly. I just remember sitting on the rug and watching Santa.

We didn’t have a fireplace, but I was never in doubt that Santa would find his way to the living room and the tree. He was magical so nothing could stand in his way. I figured he just used the door, probably the front door. That the dog didn’t bark was just more of the magic. I figured Duke wagged his stubby Boxer tail and gave Santa lots of kisses.

It is when the questions appear that believing in Santa gets shaky. The how does he do it in one night is a biggy. It shows a bit of skepticism. I am five and seven years older than my sisters. I told them nothing after I found out and I even became part of the Santa conspiracy and teased them about the good or the naughty list. It was wistful for me.

“A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.”

February 18, 2016

I have amazed myself. This morning Gracie and I were out and about by 9:45. Perhaps that doesn’t sound early, but it was shortly after I woke up and it was accomplished without coffee, a feat in itself. The first stop on our list was for blood letting, the reason for no coffee. Next stop was the dump though it would be better described as the tundra where a freezing wind blew across the open areas. My trunk was filled, but I was quick to toss the bags into the receptacle then jump back into the warm car. CVS was next for Gracie’s pills. The last stop before home was Dunkin’ Donuts.

Most of my favorite places in my old home town are changed almost beyond recognition or are totally gone. I lived there for eleven years. I remember the sights, smells and sounds of that town. While walking in the square, I could hear the pins falling in the bowling alleys below the movie theater. The alleys as well as some pool tables were at the bottom of a set of stairs. I used to peek through the glass on the door, but I could only see the stairs and a bit of the wooden floor where the stairs ended. Never once did I venture down. I didn’t know anyone who did. I only remember the sound.

Uptown sometimes smelled like popcorn. Down a narrow street off the square was a small place where candy and popcorn were made. It had a counter at the front of the store where you could buy the candy and popcorn, always cheaper than at Star Market. They were packaged in plastic bags with only the name of the contents on the front. I didn’t know the name of the small plant which made them. I only remember the smell, the aroma.

Two drugstores were in the square. One was small with only four stools at the soda fountain while the other had a long marble counter and several stools. I could get a free coke from the small one if I was with my father. I had to pay at the other drug store, but it was only a dime. I always ordered a vanilla coke. The soda jerk started by putting the vanilla syrup in the glass, then added coke syrup and finally the fizzy water as we used to call it because we didn’t know what it was. The drink was never served with ice. I used a straw from the metal container to sip my drink. I don’t think I have ever tasted a better coke.

I remember every store. I could give you a tour of what was. I remember the green police box which stood in the middle of the road where three streets met until someone hit it and the box could not be saved. During the day shoppers walked up and down Main Street. Some shoppers carried paper bags while others wheeled wire baskets behind them. At night the movie theater marquee was lit. The stores were closed for the night. There were some street lights which were decorated every Christmas. Even now after all these years I can close my eyes and see it all.

After eating chocolate you feel godlike, as though you can conquer enemies, lead armies, entice lovers.

October 27, 2015

I see spider webs. That may not sound like much, but it means I am just about healthy again. It means the weird cleaning obsession is back so I have to stop and clean away the webs and dust whenever I see them. Already the dishwasher is filling with dusty votive glasses and chimneys. I’m even going to empty the dryer.

Today is much like yesterday, sunny and in the 50’s. We’ll have warmer weather later in the week, back to the 60’s for a couple of days. I love this time of year.

My mother always created our Halloween costumes. We never bought them ready-made. Sometimes, though, we’d buy a mask to go with whatever we were, but I never really liked full-faced masks. They were hot, and most times my eyes didn’t line up with the holes so I could only see half the world. I liked the masks favored by the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet, the ones where only your eyes were covered.

We used pillow slips to carry our bounty so we didn’t have to worry about paper bag handles breaking. Those were the days of red apples, popcorn balls and little tied bags with a few pieces of candy. I remember one red apple had a nickel stuck in it. That was a treasure. I never thought about the time that went into making popcorn balls. I was a kid. All I thought about was the candy.

Fun size candy bars didn’t exist when I was a kid. Now that’s just about what everyone gives. A few years ago I decided to give out what we called nickel bars. I remember how excited we were to get them, and how from year to year we’d return to the houses which passed them out. One was a red house with a huge porch. It was on Main Street right near my friend’s house. Two old ladies usually answered the door. They loved to see the costumes and always complimented us on how good and scary we looked. They gave us Hershey Bars every year. The red house is still there though now it is a business. I always think of those two old ladies every time I go by it. We were so excited to get those Hershey Bars. That memory so filled with delight had me switch to full size bars. The first year I did, a little girl was so excited she yelled to her father waiting on the street, “It’s a big bar.” I knew exactly how she was feeling.