Posted tagged ‘cloudy’

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.”

October 8, 2018

Every morning the weather is the same: cloudy and damp. The sun usually appears later in the day but never stays around too long. This morning, like every other morning, is quiet. Only the birds are noisy. I’m watching a godawful movie called Zone Troopers. I don’t recognize a single actor. Aliens help GI’s in Italy fight the Germans during WWII. The aliens have giant hands each having two fingers and a thumb. The aliens chatter, eat tobacco and point a lot. The males all have blond hair. The females are ugly and look like giant bugs. I am easily entertained.

I finished my last book around 2:15 this morning. The ending was only a few pages away  so I decided to keep going. It was a Mrs. Murphy the cat book by Rita Mae Brown and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown. My cat has no writing ability. She doesn’t even use her litter box anymore. She pees on puppy pads. She stares at me and meows. I suppose she is conversing, but I don’t speak cat.

My dance card has been empty for over a week. All I’ve done is errands. I don’t even have a to do list and now I have no books left to read. I’m thinking to bake and use up the two cans of pumpkin I bought. It is, after all, pumpkin season.

I need to start decorating for Halloween. I have the most amazing decorations including a few rats, spiders, a zombie, a scary clown whose eyes light up and stuffed monsters, all the great monsters, even a Mrs. Frankenstein.

When I was a kid, we carved pumpkins, and that was about it for Halloween decorations.  I remember a Halloween party. It was in our cellar. We dunked for apples and tried to eat donuts hanging by strings without using our hands. The donuts used to swing back and forth and hit our faces on the swings. It took a while to get a bite. The best way to get an apple was to try to hold it against the sides of the tub. I knew the trick but still wasn’t all that good with apples. Mostly I just got wet. There was a pin something on the witch game, but I don’t remember what. There were refreshments including apple cider and unbitten donuts.

Henry is barking at the front door. I’m going to check to see what has his dander up.

 

“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.”

September 10, 2018

Oh no, it’s cloudy. It’s so dark you need the light to read. Rain is predicted. Every now and then the wind blows so strongly even the big branches are tossed.

The windows are closed. The back door is open for Henry, and I can feel a chill when the wind blows through it.

My dance card has been empty for a while. I have a meeting tomorrow at the library but that’s it for the week. I am still hoping for another movie night. The Lady in White, not to be confused with the Collins’ novel The Woman in White, will be the last movie. It’s a good one.

I have a list of projects, a list which has been around a while. I want to catalog the Christmas gifts I’ve bought, organize the cabinet under the sink upstairs, clean the tile grout in the kitchen and go through the big cabinet to check dates on the jars and cans. I suspect after reading the list you can totally understand why it has been around so long.

I don’t collect shoes, but I do seem to have a large number of them. The reason for the large number is partly because I don’t throw any away until they are beyond repair. I used to have several pairs of heels, short heels, which I donated to the Salvation Army when I retired. Most of my shoes are built for comfort. My favorites for winter are the wool clogs which I have in four different colors. In summer, it’s always sandals. I have a new pair of red sneakers, the first shoes I’ve bought in years. I love the bright red.

In Ghana, nothing gets thrown away. It all gets repurposed. My sandals were resoled with pieces of tire. My rice from the market was wrapped in the Sunday New York Times, my meat in banana leaves. Old bottles held palm or groundnut oil. Old cans were good for storing stuff and for scooping water. Paper helped start cooking fires. I learned so much in Ghana about the country, its wonderful people and about myself. Peace Corps volunteers always say we get more than we give. Even learning to repurpose was part of the getting.

“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”

September 9, 2018

I slept late, until close to ten. I swear it is because subconsciously I knew the weather was the same as it has been. That I had to snuggle under the warm comforter last night was reason enough to stay in bed, but I dragged myself downstairs, let Henry out, started my coffee, went to get the papers and fed Maddie and Henry. The morning ritual changes little from day to day. The grey clouds change little from day to day. The dampness changes little from day to day. This is my world right now. The only bright spot, figuratively as we haven’t seen the sun in eons, is I have more books to read, more books to take me away from the daily chores and the weather.

Every Sunday I chat with my sister in Colorado. Today she asked me if I had done my laundry yet. I haven’t.

When I lived in Ghana, I never had sloth days. I was always up early and dressed early. Coffee was first then breakfast then teaching. It was a daily pattern just as my days now have a pattern, but every day in Ghana and the pattern of every day was amazing. Roosters often woke me up. I could hear my students sweeping the school compound then I could hear water flowing from the taps into their metal buckets as my students stood in line for their morning bucket baths. I often had my second mug (giant mug) of coffee sitting on the steps in the front of my house. Small children walking to school stopped and greeted me. “Good Morning, Sir.” English was new to them, and they were learning greetings first, the same as I did in French and Spanish. Their teacher was a man. If it was market day, I went into town. I loved market day. It was like a country fair and even more but without the rides. I loved wandering among the tables, among the rows selling everything: fruit, cloth, chickens, eggs, vegetables, juju beads, pots and pans and bruni wa wu (used clothing translated as dead white man’s clothes). Sometimes I found a treasure. Once it was a small watermelon.

“Adventure is a need.”

July 21, 2018

The weather is playing games with my head. When I first woke up, it was sunny. I turned over and went back to sleep. When I finally woke up, it was cloudy, and that’s how it has been all morning: sunny then cloudy. It is 71˚ which is pleasant. Rain is predicted for some time tonight. I just hope that means after the grand debut of movie night. I’d hate for the proverbial red carpet to get wet.

My lawn got mowed this morning. The machine was so loud it got Henry barking at the intrusion. We were both glad when the guy was finished. Now it is quiet. Henry and Maddie are both asleep. Henry is exhausted from protecting the house and me while Maddie, at 19, sleeps most of the day getting up only to eat and have fresh water.

The weather is the first thing I check each morning. I stand outside with my papers in hand and take in the day. I smell the fresh air, check the flowers in the garden and pull up a weed or two off the brick walk on my way back to the house. The weather matters now, and I don’t know why. When I was kid, I never really thought about the summer weather unless it was raining. Light rain was a minor inconvenience, but heavy rain ruined the whole day, and we were stuck inside the house.

All summer, I wore shorts with a blouse, usually a sleeveless blouse, and sneakers. My brother spent the entire summer wearing dungarees, striped jerseys and sneakers with socks. Only the little boys wore shorts. We played ball on the hottest afternoons, and the only thing we minded was being hitless. I don’t ever remember the heat being an issue at night. I suppose the explanation might be we were so exhausted we collapsed. Relief from the heat didn’t mean air-conditioning. It meant a popsicle; red and blue were my favorites, one for taste, the other for tongue color. Running through the sprinkler was great fun on any summer afternoon.

When I was older, I sometimes walked with my friends to the opposite end of town to the MDC pool. We paid our dime, swam all afternoon and walked the over two miles home thereby defeating the entire purpose of the pool adventure. Of course, being kids, the illogic of the situation escaped us. I just remember the fun of that walk home, talking all the way as we carried our wet bathing suits wrapped in wet towels, occasionally swatting one another as we walked.

Life was amazing every day back then. The nights we slept outside in our backyards we’d  pretend we were on a big adventure. We’d talk while lying on our backs looking at the millions of stars lighting the night. We’d talk until the exhaustion of summer fun  closed our eyes. 

“Your words become your world.”

March 6, 2018

No sun again today, just clouds, darker than yesterday. The wind is brisk and cold. It is another stay cozy and warm at home day. I have a few things I could do like the laundry and changing the bed, but I don’t want to do anything so I won’t.

When I was working, I got everything done. The house got cleaned, the laundry washed, the groceries bought and the trash dumped. Now I have all the time, day after day of time, but I procrastinate. Like Scarlett, I think,”After all, tomorrow is another day!”

I have redefined my lexicon. I have removed words like lazy and non-productive; instead, I stress lifestyle words like settled and describe myself as comfortable and undemanding. I still long to travel, and that won’t ever change. It is in all capital letters should you look it up in my lexicon.

I live on a small street with nine houses. Three of the houses have kids. Three have dogs. This time of year I hear only an occasional dog barking. I know when the mailman comes. I can hear his truck. A few cars go up and down, but they usually belong to neighbors. If I’m out, we always wave. Some of us have lived on this street since the beginning when the houses were first built. My neighbors across the street are the oldest residents. I don’t see them much anymore. He has Alzheimer’s and she is his caretaker. Seldom do I see any of my other neighbors. I rarely see any of the kids. I’m beginning to think we’re all in a hibernation of sorts.

Another nor’easter is predicted but not fierce or damaging like the last one. We will get rain; snow is north of us. The rain in winter always seems to come in at an angle, driven by the cold wind. It lashes against the windows in a constant barrage of heavy, noisy drops. The cold air is so damp it chills to the bone. Streets flood. The ground is hard, and the rain has nowhere to go. I have no affection for winter rain.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

March 5, 2018

I am reminded of the scene in War Games when it appeared as if ballistic missiles had destroyed bases in the US. Using the radio, the general asked the radio operator at one base if anyone was there: if anyone was left alive. There was silence then a voice, “We’re still here. We’re still here.” Well, I’m still here too. I have no idea if the powers that be have commuted my death sentence. I think so, but I could be off by a day or two.

My morning was a busy one. I was out early to finish two errands. I was thinking about  rewarding my efforts with coffee and a donut, a Boston cream donut, from Dunkin’, but I decided to go home, put the coffee on and get comfortable.

The weather is still ugly. The day is chilly and raw. We have clouds and wind gusts. Some people are still without electricity. Another nor’easter is coming this week but will be far less destructive as the moon is no longer full. We could get rain or even snow.

I used to love to play jacks. Every Christmas in my stocking and most Easters in my basket I’d get a new set of jacks. I’d sit on the floor and toss the ball then hurry to pick up the jacks, starting with onesies. For some reason all the numbers were like that. After onesies came twosies then threesies then on and on. The throw was always the key. Another small favorite toy was the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached by an elastic. At first I’d be totally frustrated. I’d hit the ball, and it would fly back and hit me in the face or some other part of my body. Sometimes I’d get so frustrated I’d even throw the paddle but then I’d always pick it up and try again and eventually I’d coordinate my eye and hand. My mother sent me one of those when I was in the Peace Corps. My friends and I would stand in the back of one of our houses and have contests. We got really good and paddled into the hundred’s. It was, until the elastic broke, one of our favorite diversions. We didn’t need much to keep us occupied.

In Ghana, the day started early and ended early. It was in the evening that my friends and I would get together. We always ate supper together. The table and chairs were brought outside during the dry season. When it got dark, we’d go inside. We played word games and listened to music. Once in a while they’d be a movie in town at the Hotel d’Bull. It was usually really old or Indian, but we didn’t care. It was a grand night on the town.

I never got bored in Ghana. What I didn’t have didn’t matter. Living there was more than enough.

“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.”

March 4, 2018

My hopes are high that Coffee will be here tomorrow. If not, remember to go to www.keepthecoffeecoming.blogspot.com as I’ll be waiting there for you.

Today is damp but lighter than it has been. The sun is working to get out of the clouds. I’m its most ardent cheerleader. There is still wind which makes the day feel even colder. I think it rained during the night as the sides of the street were still wet this morning when I got the papers, the dry papers. I can’t fault a day which starts with dry papers.

When I was a kid, Sunday was always boring. It followed the same regimen every week. Eat breakfast, put on church clothes, walk to church, go home and hang around until Sunday dinner, the most lavish meal of the week. It always included a roast of some sort, potatoes and vegetables. The potatoes were mashed and the vegetables, except for the carrots, came from cans. Those fresh vegetables, the carrots and the potatoes, were always boiled. We never had salad, and we never had bread on the table. A roast of beef as my grandmother called it is still my favorite.

My mother grocery shopped on Friday nights. As she had no license, my father drove her. They’d return with a trunk load of filled paper bags. The only foods we, my brother, sisters and I, cared about were the cookies. We knew they’d be Oreos and sometimes chocolate chip cookies or some other kind. We’d want them right away, and my mother would warn us that once they were gone, they’d be no more. We were kids. We were in the moment. We wanted the cookies.

I have grown my palate since I was a kid. Canned vegetables will never grace (sort of grace) my table. I like to cook potatoes all different ways, but I love mashed potatoes covered in gravy the most. I love carrots, and I experiment when I cook them. The last recipe called for ginger. My favorite is honeyed carrots. I use the baby carrots still with their greenery.

I just heard a loud crash which seemed to come from my deck. I ran outside but saw nothing except the man in the house behind mine burning leaves in a barrel. What I saw made me laugh. The wind is taking the burning leaves, and they are falling on the carpet of leaves in the guy’s yard. Small fires start, and he goes around with his rake putting the fires out. Maybe this will teach him why burning leaves is illegal.