Posted tagged ‘cold and cloudy’

“The best mirror is an old friend.”

October 19, 2014

Today is cloudy and chilly. Gracie and I are heading to the dump later. Right now she is having her morning nap and snoring up a storm. Fern is napping beside her on the couch rolled in a ball. Tonight is predicted to be as low as 35˚, sounds like turn on the heat and bundle under the comforter weather to me.

One small item caught my eye in the paper this morning. It seems a teacher from Maine has been put on a 21 day paid leave so she can voluntarily quarantine herself. This was done at the request of some of the school’s parents. It seems the teacher went to a conference in Dallas. The closest she got to the hospital with ebola cases was 10 miles.

My friends are coming tomorrow so Coffee is going on hiatus from today until Thursday. They are friends from my Peace Corps days, and I met them during staging, the first time we were all together, in Philadelphia. They were supposed to be posted 100 miles from me, making them my neighbors, but Peg was pregnant and Peace Corps wanted them close to Accra and the office. I always stopped to visit them on my way home from Accra. They were on the second floor of a house with no water. It was a run to the outhouses in the backyard. I was impressed when Bill used to carry his own water in buckets. During our second year, they transferred to my school and we each lived on one side of a duplex. We had motorcycles and made lots of trips together around Bolga. When we did, I carried Peg on mine and Bill carried Kevin, their son, on his. We had supper together every night and most nights played word or card games and had an ongoing paddle ball championship until the elastic on the red ball broke. We could each paddle well into the hundreds when that happened. We were ready if it ever became an Olympic sport.

We share a love for Ghana and for each other. The memories of our time together are sweet.

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

April 29, 2014

Today is a stay at home and be comfortable sort of day. It’s cold and, surprise, surprise, it’s cloudy. The errands got finished yesterday and the bird feeders were filled. I added cayenne pepper to the seeds in the big one, the one the red spawn loves. This morning he was at a smaller feeder, the one with a cage around it. I ran out and he was stuck for just a bit in the cage. He panicked and was gone in a heartbeat. Maybe that cage will keep him away.

Speaking of rodents, there have been no more mice in the trap. I’m still at two in the trap and one in the washing machine.

I don’t remember seeing critters when I was a kid. I remember bugs the most. My favorites were the grasshoppers. In the field, every step I took disturbed a grasshopper who leapt into the air then landed back down into the tall grass. Sometimes I’d run through the field just to watch the grasshoppers leap one after the other almost like a choreographed show. At the swamp we watched the tadpoles morph into frogs. We’d lie at the edge of the swamp on our stomachs and watch the tadpoles dart through the water. Their dark bodies were easy to see and follow. Sometimes I’d poke a finger into the water just to watch all of the tadpoles scatter. Mostly I remember their tails and how those tails disappeared over time through the spring into the summer. My favorite part of the cycle was when they still had tails but looked like frogs in their upper bodies. They could have been from a black and white 50’s science fiction movie when giant bugs and oversized creatures destroyed cities and ate people. My favorite bug of all was the praying mantis. It was neat looking with those forelegs which always reminded me of a fighter ready to box. I watched one for a long time once from the front steps to the garden. It hid in the plants and caught and ate a moth. I was delighted.

Once in a while, while we were riding in the car, we’d see a deer in a field near the side of the road. The first one to see it would always yell deer and point so we wouldn’t miss it. We had Weiss Dairy Farm in our town, and I loved going by it to see the cows in the field or in the corrals. I don’t remember ever seeing a skunk or a possum amble through the yard. I never even noticed they were missing.

Around here I have seen wild turkeys, coyotes, deer, foxes, possums and raccoons. The pond at the end of the street has spring peepers. I can already hear their calls. I wonder if there are tadpoles yet.