Posted tagged ‘cards’

“The very fact of snow is such an amazement.”

December 8, 2017

Yesterday was the second day of the wrap the presents marathon. I dosed myself with Aleve and by the late afternoon I was ready to go. All of the presents were wrapped by nine then I started clearing and picking up each room. The den is back to its usual clutter. I can start breathing normally again, no more hyperventilation. A few bags and a bunch of boxes were loaded into the car for a future dump run. The dining room is now back to normal. The living room is the only room discombobulated, and it will stay that way for a while. The couch and the chair are filled with bags filled with wrapped gifts, all headed to Colorado. Each bag is labeled with a name. I have to close those bags and staple their tops so I can pack them in boxes I don’t have yet. The post office is on my list today. I also want to finish my cards. It seems my to-do list, despite everything I do, never gets any smaller. I want to start decorating the tree by first putting on lights then moving the tree to its usual spot, in the corner by the hearth, before I add strands of tinsel and ornaments. My house too needs to be decorated. I’m talking all of downstairs, four rooms and a bathroom. Yup, even the bathroom gets a holiday makeover. You need something to look at.

The day is chilly and cloudy. Tomorrow will be cold, in the 30’s, and they’ll be a mixture of rain and snow, maybe 1-2 inches.

When I was a kid, I wanted lots of snow for Christmas. I always thought the whole season revolved around snow. Santa had a sleigh with runners, not wheels. It was pulled by reindeer, natives of cold places like the arctic or the tundra. Santa was completely bundled in a heavy coat, mittens and a warm hat. He wore boots. He was dressed for the cold.

I’d look out the window every night and check for snowflakes. I’d listen to the weather on the radio, and I’d hope to wake up to a wild storm of snow slanted sideways from the wind. Most mornings I was disappointed.

“He yawned like a black bear coming out of hibernation.”

November 18, 2017

The sun has disappeared. Nothing is moving. The day is warm and quiet. Gracie and I went out first thing. She went into the backyard and I got the papers in the front. When we came back inside, Maddie gave me her demanding meow, loud and annoying, so I fed her first. Gracie was next, and I, as usual, was last. It’s two cups of coffee and two pieces of toast later, one with grape jelly my friend made.

I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the return of the gray day, but I have very little energy today. I even sat a while between cups of coffee, most unusual for me. Luckily, I have no plans for the day, no errands and no chores. I do have book two in the series by Elly Griffiths so perhaps the couch will be my spot for the day and turning pages my only activity.

I send cards for every holiday. That started when I was in college. My grandparents were around then, and one of my grandmothers was thrilled to get them. She was the one who wanted to be teacher so she loved that I was. I enjoy choosing the cards and lament my Hallmark store having closed. The closest one is in Orleans which always feels far but is only 12 or so miles away. When I was in Ghana, I made cards for every holiday except Christmas as I could find those. I used to go through magazines and cut out words and letters to make my cards, They looked more like ransom demands than cards. The Christmas cards I sent were wonderful. Some were hand-painted but even the ones commercially made were different. They had African nativity scenes, drummers, palm trees and even a camel or two. Each time I went back to Ghana, I was excited to find cards for Christmas. They went to family and special friends. I always send Edward Gorey cards to every one else for Christmas. I love his whimsey. The Edward Gorey house is in Yarmouth, and I go there to buy my cards. I remember last year I was afraid I had already sent all the available scenes but was glad to find one more. I’m hoping for the same this year.

I’ve started yawning which gives you a sense of today and the weather and today and me.

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

August 14, 2017

Gracie wanted out close to seven this morning so out we went. I was surprised at how cool it was. When she wanted out again, it was close to ten. I was surprised at how warm it had gotten. My house, though, still feels cool from the AC last night. I wanted to open doors this morning to all that cool air, but all I could hear from my neighbor’s yard was the beep-beep machinery makes when it goes backwards. Shutting the door helped, but I still had trouble getting back to sleep with all the noise, but I did manage. I’m a good sleeper.

We had game night last night and an early birthday for me as my friend will be out of town for my real birth date. I wore my Happy Birthday tiara and blew out the candles to a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. To make the night perfect, I won all three games we played. I was the birthday girl and the champion.

When I was a kid and it was close to my birthday, I’d sit on the front steps waiting for the mailman. I was hoping for birthday cards with money tucked inside. Usually it was a dollar, a huge amount in those days when even a quarter went a long way and my fifty cent allowance every week made me rich. One grandmother sent money while the other usually gave gifts. I still have a couple of Bobbsey Twin books with a Happy Birthday message from my grandmother. I was eight.

It was sunny earlier but is now cloudy. The weather says partly sunny today. I figure that’s an optimist’s view like the half full glass.

Today is a quiet day for me, on purpose. I am foregoing a dump run. I’m just not in the mood though I’d be hard-pressed to define a no dump mood. It is just a sense of it. I will go to Agway as I need small cans of Gracie food, the ones she has in the morning. I am also going to buy some plants on sale to fill in empty spots in the front garden. The bird feeders need filling again. The hungry avians emptied them in two days.

That’s all. I got nothing else. Oops, one more thing: tomorrow I am having my other eye done so no Coffee. I’ll see you on Thursday.

“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.”

August 17, 2012

Mornings this time of the summer are lovely. The air is still cool from the nighttime and the sun has a sharpness that highlights even the smallest leaf. My cats sleep sprawled in the sun shining through the front door while Gracie sleeps in her crate and snores loudly enough to be heard here, down the hall in the den.

When I woke up this morning, I rushed downstairs to open the front door expecting to see a planter of mums. I didn’t and was disappointed. My friend has never before failed to leave them on the steps. I stood there bemoaning the morning then I noticed the mums were by the gate. The festivities can begin.

When I was a little kid, I’d rush to the mailbox hoping for cards and hoping to find a dollar or two tucked into each card. It wasn’t being greedy. Back then a dollar meant I could buy two new books, and two dollars was almost wealth beyond comprehension. One grandmother always sent a dollar until I was a teen then she sent five dollars. Even when I was in the Peace Corps she’d slip a dollar or two in the aerogramme which warned about enclosing anything. I doubt she even noticed, but I was always appreciative of those dollars. They were hard to come by in Ghana.

My mother always made the cake. Chocolate was my favorite. We’d sit around the table after dinner with the cake in the middle and the right number of candles on the top. I’d endure the singing. It always embarrassed me a little, still does. After the singing ritual, I’d blow out the candles, my mother would cut the cake, and finally I’d get to open the family presents.

This afternoon my friends are taking me on the lobster cruise out of Sesuit Harbor. It is the perfect day for a cruise with still air and all that sun. My camera battery is charged and ready. Come to think of it, so am I.

Today, in the normal course of events, I would be eligible for medicare!

“Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age.”

December 22, 2011

55° on December 22nd just doesn’t seem right. When I went to get the papers, I stood a while outside and took in the morning. We have sun and blue skies for the first time in days, but it all seems wrong. Where’s the snow? I should be seeing my breath and be clad in wool from head to toe. I’m sure it sounds like complaining, and I really don’t want winter as I’m loving this temperature, but it’s Christmas time. It’s sleigh bells ringing and Frosty dancing. It’s even the first day of winter. Mother Nature is behind her time.

Every kid counted down to the big day, Christmas Eve. The lucky ones, like us, had advent calendars which let us know how many days were left without having to ask. I swear that’s why my mother started giving them to us. We just counted the unopened windows and knew how long. Later, when we were older, we did the math. I have to admit that still being in school until the 23rd helped. We were forced to be busy so the days went more quickly. Christmas Eve is the longest day of the year, not the summer solstice. Just ask any kid.

I don’t remember the specifics of most Christmas Eve days except night was a long time in coming. I bet we drove my mother crazy. It was never a day for us to play outside or wander. It was a close to home day. The TV was always on in case there was a Christmas show, just what we needed to heighten the excitement. We wondered what Santa would bring. Would he follow our list or be creative?

We always got a new game or two for Christmas. As long as I can remember, we were a family of game players. Learning to play cards started with war then we worked our way up to more complex games as we got older. My parents, figuring they had built-in partners, taught my brother and me whist. We also played all sorts of board games either sitting on the living room rug or at the kitchen table. Santa always left the games front and center under the tree leaning upright against other toys. They were often the first things we saw. I don’t remember asking for games on my list. They were Santa’s choice, but we never complained.

I still try to give a game at Christmas. It’s one of those traditions meant to be carried on year to year. The one change is we just can’t manage sitting on the rug to play. It’s too hard to get up.