Posted tagged ‘clothes’

“Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown…”

March 25, 2017

It rained last night leaving today cloudy and dark. It’s warmer than it has been. All my chores and errands got finished, scratched out. Today is a stay at home day. Right now Boris Karloff as The Mummy is on TV. I have seen this movie several times, but that doesn’t ever matter. A propeller plane circles the world, the eerie music starts, and we see Egypt and the desert. We’re at a dig: it’s 1931, and the mummified remains of Imhotep, who had been buried alive, have just been found. A warning on the top of the chest buried with the mummy warns that whoever opens the chest will die. Despite the warning the chest is opened, the sacred words are said and the mummy comes back to life. There’s more but not here.

In winter, cloudy days sometimes make me feel subdued, and, after several in a row, even melancholic while other cloudy days, like today, make me feel cozy in my warm house. Life doesn’t get much better than being in my comfy clothes and watching one of my favorites, a black and white science fiction movie from the 30’s. I’m even having Chinese for lunch. It’s one of those perfect days.

When I was in Ghana, I lived alone for the first time. My house, one side of a duplex, was brand new and on school grounds right by the back gate, which I had to climb a few times as the watchman chose not to hear me yelling for the gate to be opened. (Sorry for the digression. Back to the story.) I was really lonely the first few months. I hated the quiet of my house. I played music especially at night to ward off the silence, but, by Christmas, I relished the night-time quiet because every day was busy and filled with sounds. In the morning it was the swishing of the hand- held brooms as the students cleaned the compound. After that, I could hear buckets being filled with water for bathing and the conversations of my students in a variety of languages. From that morning time on, the day was only quiet after the students had lights out.

It is always a marvel to me that life in Ghana took on a routine, became every day. Here I was living on a school compound in Bolgatanga. It was eggs and toast and coffee, horrible coffee, for breakfast, fruit for lunch and chicken or beef with a sauce and yams on the side, sometimes fried but mostly mashed, for dinner. I went to the market every third day and filled my basket with vegetables and fruit. The amazement of living in Africa was replaced by familiarity. It was home.

I think the memory of living in Ghana surfaces on days like today. I recognize the comfort in the quiet I felt then and I’m feeling now. It is contentment!

“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.”

December 20, 2016

The sun decided to make an appearance today. I guess it is a bit of a reward for surviving the cold of last night. Today is about 40˚,  warm for the depths of winter.

My mother never disappointed us at Christmas. When I was really young, Santa always brought me something from my list. Under the tree, they’d be my big gift, a new game, books, and even clothes. I loved the clothes as they were what everyone was wearing. I remember some of my favorites over the years like the white fluffy sweater, the gold necklace, the ski pants with the loops, the over the head parka with a zippered pocket across the chest, and a wool skirt. The books were classics or mysteries. The games were ones the whole family could play. Santa didn’t take the time to wrap our gifts. They were arranged under the tree. I remember looking over the banister as I walked down the stairs and being thrilled and excited. I might have even squealed with joy.

We had Christmas stockings when we were young, but when we were adults, my mother used all sorts of pseudo stockings like a basket, a really neat shopping bag or something old she’d found like a coal hod. She wrapped every stocking stuffer which heightened the excitement so I always wrapped every stocking stuffer for her and later for my sisters. Now I do the same for my friends. I am a wrapping phenomenon at Christmas.

My dad was never all that excited about Christmas. He would reluctantly open his presents long after the rest of us had finished. When he was a kid, Christmas was not a big deal. It was socks and underwear. My mother, though, loved Christmas and my dad just went with it. He always told my mother not to mention what she’d spent. He had a favorite part of Christmas, the food. He loved all the goodies and would make himself a plate and pour a glass of milk to take into the living room so he could nosh and watch.

Today has no lists. I’m going to hang around the house, maybe do laundry, but the laundry bag is still upstairs. It needs to sit in front of the cellar door for a couple of days before I get to it or I need to run out of underwear, whichever comes first.

“I like stepping into the future. Therefore, I look for doorknobs.”

March 16, 2013

The sun was shining earlier but has since disappeared. I don’t really care. A cloudy day seems to be the norm. Sunny days are anomalies. It is also really cold, but March on Cape Cod is seldom warm. When I went to get the papers, I stood a while at the front garden. The crocus (or croci if I use my Latin) are fully bloomed and so beautiful. The yellow even brightens a day like today.

I am amazed by how quickly the world has changed. I used to be content with a flickering black and white TV, even for cartoons. Now I have this big HD television and am even thinking of upgrading. My typewriter is in the cellar. It was a high school graduation present from my parents. I was then and still am the worst typist. Wite-Out was my friend as was that white tape you typed over to correct the errors. Now my computer makes corrections, most of the time without my help. I don’t chop onions. My food processor does that. I have three different size processors. I use the smallest one for when I need a tablespoon of something chopped. The microwave cooks dinner in minutes. I use my oven for storage. I do use it other times to bake, but the last time I did I burned a box of crackers I forgot was in there. I have a blender and an immerser. The only machine I don’t have is a can opener. I still use a hand opener. I used to sleep downstairs on the couch in the summer with the back door open. Upstairs was too hot. Then I got an air-conditioner for my bedroom and sometimes I’d stay in the cool all afternoon. Now my whole house is air-conditioned. I remember Sunday drives with all six of us crammed in the car and all the windows opened, but it was still hot and sticky. I sometimes got car sick. Who’d blame me? The car air-conditioner solved that problem. No more encyclopedias. We can just Google anything and get more answers than we imagined existed. My first transistor radio was big, but every year radios got smaller. I had a cassette recorder with me in Ghana. The last time I went I brought my iPod with I don’t know how many songs. My iPad came with me also and was my source for books and amusement. My Instamatic took pretty good pictures back in 1969, but my parents had to send me film as none could be had in Ghana, and I had to send it to them to be processed. In two years I took 290 slides. On my last visit, using my digital camera, I took over 400 pictures in three weeks.

When I was a kid, dreaming of the future, I figured by now, like the Jetsons, we’d have cars which can fly. I expected to be anywhere in the world in a short time, but it still takes 10 1/2 hours to get to Ghana. I want to be beamed, here one minute and there the next. Maybe a bit of cryonic sleep will preserve me until then, but wait! We don’t have cryonic sleep yet.

“I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”

February 20, 2012

By this time of year people are usually complaining about the cold and the snow and the whereabouts of spring. You meet someone in the supermarket and right away the conversation turns to the weather where you have common grounds about which to chat as you choose your pasta. The word cold is bandied about as people whine and complain and you pick the ziti. This year, though, is entirely different. Cold has a new definition and complaining has taken a different form. Now we complain when the weather is in the 30’s, a temperature which used to be a reprieve from the freezing days of past winters. Today is 35°, and I think it cold. The weatherman predicts the rest of the week will be in the 40’s and Thursday will be close to 50°. That’s winter, at least this year, and I have no complaints.

This morning I noticed all the green shoots in the garden close to the house. I can see three daffodil bulbs, but I forget what flowers the rest of the shoots belong to. Last fall I planted a bundle of different bulbs so I have no idea what’s coming. I figure that’s like getting a gift from spring.

Summer clothes are always the brightest. Winter clothes seem drab by comparison, and I think that the whole color thing ought to be reversed. In winter we should be dressed as brightly as we can be in orange and yellow and pinks and violets and all their combinations. Usually it is Easter which brings back the color in clothes, and that’s not when we need it. By Easter the world has already begun to color itself in bright blossoms and flowers and berries. The gardens are alive and the tree leaves are fresh and bright. It is in winter when we should be at our most brilliant.

Today I will wear the brightest color I can find, maybe even a Hawaiian shirt. I know I’ll have to wear a long sleeve something underneath to keep me warm, but that’s okay. It’s the color you can see that’s important.

In case you’re wondering, I’m that bedazzling shopper in the pasta aisle.