Posted tagged ‘cloudy dark’

“I guess everybody thinks about old times, even the happiest people.”

July 6, 2018

The world is back. I have turned off the air conditioning and opened the doors and windows. There is a stiff breeze and so much humidity my granite countertop is damp to the touch. Thunder showers are a possibility for later. I can believe it as the sky is cloudy dark. I’m glad I got all my deck pillows put away yesterday or I’d be scurrying today.

I can hear the birds, and I heard the truck idling in front of my neighbor’s house. It was a Dennis DPW truck. It’s gone now. Only the birds are left.

I am watching Forbidden Planet, one of my all time favorite science fiction films. It was released 62 years ago, but it is still an excellent film. The setting is a planet far from Earth. Robby the Robot thinks and has a personality. Morbius and Altaira, his daughter, are the only people left from the Earth expedition sent there 20 years earlier. Altaira is young and naive and knows nothing about men and allows herself to be kissed as an experiment. After all the kisses, she doesn’t get the hype promised by the lieutenant.

I looked up the movie’s cast members in the information provided on the screen. There was a picture of each cast member and the two writers. One writer was Cyril Hume and the other was William Shakespeare. I like Shakespeare getting credit. The plot of this movie is supposedly analogous to The Tempest.

I have a few maybe or maybe not things I can do. My laundry sits in the dryer wrinkling. My trash bag is full and waiting to be put in the trunk. Clumps of white dog hair need to be cleaned off the floor. It is all over the hall, den, stairs and kitchen. I am amazed at how much hair Henry loses.

I have bought some old postcards. One is of Main Street Hyannis in the days when it was a downtown filled with stores like Woolworths and Liggett Drugs. It is easy to date by the cars parked on Main Street. Another is a market scene in Ghana. It could be 50 years ago or it could be yesterday. Two others are of the cape in bygone days. A  cranberry bog is being harvested by hand and Thompson’s Clam Bar is filled with diners. The last one is a black and white card of the angel in front of St. Patrick’s Grammar School. It was there when I went to school, and it is there now. My sister and I figure it was put there in 1910 when the school was built.

I get nostalgic for the old days when I look at the postcards. They chronicle the world I remember from when I was a kid. Sometimes I truly miss those days.

“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!

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

August 18, 2013

This morning I woke up early to go to the bathroom. The bathroom window was open so I rested my arms on the small sill and looked out. It’s the same view as from this room but so much higher, a third floor view. I was in the trees. I could see movement in and around the branches, but I couldn’t see the birds. I could smell the morning air, a combination of so many things. I could smell dampness, not the sort a moist cellar brings, but the sort which comes from humidity and a wet driveway and dewy grass; the sweet aroma of flowers was strong, mixed as it was with the dampness. It seemed to circle me on all sides and come from all the gardens. The best smell of all, though, was the one only a morning brings. It was the smell of freshness in the air, the smell of a new day, of another start. I stood for a bit at the window, took it all in then went back to bed. The morning was still too new, too early. Fern and Gracie hadn’t moved. They were both still asleep in the same spots on the bed as when I’d left. I slid in between them and fell back to sleep.

Today is dark, cloudy dark, with a chance of rain, but I don’t think it’ll rain. Today will stay humid and close. Right now nothing is moving in the dense air, and it is quiet except for Gracie’s every now and then bark. She sounds so loud I keep wanting to hush her. I want the quiet I love so much.

When I was little, my dreams were enormous. I thought I could do and be anything. The worse part of growing older was learning I had limitations. Math was out of reach. Once it got too complicated for my fingers, I knew it wasn’t for me. I loved nature and bugs and snakes and all sorts of crawly things, but I didn’t want to learn about them from books. I wanted to watch them crawl and slither. I learned early, third grade, that I couldn’t hold a tune so singing was out. I had begun whittling the list of what I could do and be. Amazingly I wasn’t disappointed that some doors had closed for me because I figured there were plenty out there just waiting for me to find them, and when I did and turned the door knobs, I knew I’d find treasures. I started to like some things over others and was better at the ones I liked. I tolerated the ones I didn’t. Soon enough, I got to pick, and I chose to study English. It was the best of all choices for me. It gave me the world.

The first time I ever taught was in Ghana. I remember those first few months. I was awful. I stood in front of my students day after day, and they had no idea what I was saying. I spoke too quickly, and they couldn’t hear my English accent though they spoke English. I was having the same trouble but in reverse. Somehow, though, over time, I stumbled into teaching so that we all learned. Franciska still remembers much of what I taught her. The best thing she said was I told them the sky was their only limit. They could do and be whatever they wanted. They just had to keep reaching.

I still do that-I still keep reaching.