Posted tagged ‘cold day’

“fuzzy black lines hiccuped across the screen.”

January 2, 2017

All the hoopla is over. It is time to put Christmas away, my project for the week. I also need to grocery shop. Alexa is keeping my list. I added coffee filters and trash bags this morning.

Tomorrow Gracie and I are going to the dump. It’s back to the mundane. All the anticipation is gone. January is a boring month.

Being stuck in the house was always a winter woe when I was little. It was either too cold or too wet or too snowy to go out. We’d play games until we got bored then we’d watch TV for a while. We’d play in the cellar. The bottom of the banister was a horse to me. I’d use old blankets to make a saddle to put over the wood. I’d concoct a story of me as the sheriff or the marshall, and I’d ride that horse until I’d captured the bad guy. I was every character, and I’d use different voices. My lowest voice was the bad guy’s. He always got caught.

My favorite way to spend time was lying in bed reading my new Christmas book. I was cozy under the blankets. The headboard lamp was warm. It lit the pages perfectly. I was by myself. I heard nothing. I had been captured by my book.

Even now, so many years later, I find books the best way to while away time. I don’t read in bed much anymore as I tend to fall asleep; instead, I get cozy here in the den on the couch with an afghan keeping me warm and Gracie asleep by my feet. It is always time well spent.

Today I watched Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford who always wears a suit and his fedora. It is in black and white and dates from the mid-1950’s. In this episode, the Highway Patrol is hunting an escaped mental patient with homicidal tendencies and abnormally strong hands. He is a frustrated violin player whose hand jumps so he can no longer play. That is often what triggers his rage: any mention of his hand or music. He just killed a man who mentioned the shaking hand. 21-50 to headquarters. Body found! 10-4!

“I’m flying… / Look at me, / Way up high, / Suddenly, / Here am I, / I’m flying.”

July 9, 2016

Today is another cold, damp, overcast day. I have shut all my windows, and I’m about to go get my sweatshirt. Rain is predicted for the afternoon. This is the sort of day which makes an afternoon nap sound inviting. I’m already tired thinking about it.

Peapod came this morning. I was told the delivery would arrive between 7:30 and 9:30. He knocked on my door just before 7:30. Luckily I was awake. The larder is full again.

Last night I saw a wonderful production of The Music Man at the Cape Playhouse which is starting its 90th year of continuous entertainment. I have been going there at least 35 years. I remember when every play was sold out. That’s not the case anymore. I’m thinking that live productions don’t appeal to the Netflix, Amazon Streaming, YouTube generation as I see so few of them at the Playhouse, but for the first time in a while there were several kids last night. I was glad they were being introduced to a live performance. None of the ones near me looked bored. That’s a good sign.

The library in my town had records you could borrow. I remember bringing home Camelot and playing it so many times I memorized most of the songs. A live version of Peter Pan with Mary Martin played on television when I was a kid. It was wonderful. My mother bought the records of the musical for us. They were 45’s. We’d load them on the middle piece you put on the hifi so we could pile three or four 45’s at once. I still remember most of the words to all the songs. My sister took my niece when she was young to a revival of Peter Pan. She loved it as much as we had only she was lucky to see it in person. She got to watch Peter fly. I never thought it strange that Peter Pan was always played by a woman when it was staged. My niece saw Cathy Rigby, but for me, Peter Pan is always Mary Martin.

I have flowers needing to be planted in pots and the dead flowers on my front step need to be replaced. Today seems the perfect day to do outside work, but I’m going to have to force myself to be motivated. Being cozy and warm inside is just so appealing.

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

November 17, 2015

I seem to be apologizing every day for the lateness of the hour. This morning I awoke close to lunch time. It was just one of those nights, fitful and restless. I’m sure Gracie was annoyed by my moving around. Her head was on the other pillow when I woke up which, I suspect, minimized her discomfit from my moving all around. Fern was lying right beside my legs. I do remember her meowing at me during the night as I wasn’t sleeping deeply. I also remember ignoring her.

The hunt for Gracie’s Christmas digs continues. I am not having a whole lot of success. One kennel told me to call back today. I’m hoping they have space. (SUCCESS!!!!!!-Gracie will be staying at that kennel!!!!)

Duke, the boxer of my childhood, was the most stubborn of dogs. Usually he came on vacation with us, but I remember one time my grandparents took care of him while we were away. I’m sure Duke wasn’t all that thrilled as they weren’t animal people; in fact, they weren’t people people either (I know this wording sounds odd, but I tried several different versions, and this one despite the repetitive words was the best). Anyway, they’d let Duke outside, no leash laws back then, and he’d take off and go home. My grandfather had to fetch him several times which made my grandfather annoyed which eventually morphed into angry. When we went to pick Duke up, my grandfather told my Dad never again would he dog sit. I think Duke was relieved.

Every day is colder now. It gets dark far too early. The trees look naked without their leaves, and I can again see my neighbor’s houses through the branches of the trees. The sun slants a different way than in summer. I’ve added socks do my daily ensemble. There’s no denying it now. The season has irrevocably changed.


“I think that travel comes from some deep urge to see the world, like the urge that brings up a worm in an Irish bog to see the moon when it is full. “

June 1, 2015

I apologize for the lateness of the hour. Every Monday my neighbor and I chat. It is her way of improving her English. She is Brazilian and does speak English but is hoping to learn better pronunciation. Today her son, who is graduating from high school on Saturday, joined us, and the three of us chatted about everything including corn ice cream, a favorite in Brazil. I couldn’t imagine ice cream and vegetables being a good pairing. Her son agreed.

The day is damp and cold. My house is only 65˚ so we’re back to sweatshirt weather. It has started raining, and it is a welcomed rain. My garden needs the moisture as does my grass. My pollen-covered car could use a good cleaning and a heavy rain will do the trick.

When I was a kid, I dreamed of going to faraway places. My geography book was a wish book filled with pictures of where I would travel. I was in Rio on the top of the hill standing below the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer. I went up the Amazon on one of those long wooden boats while two tribesmen paddled. Each tribesman had a bone through his nose. I wandered down the rows of banana and cocoa trees growing on plantations. I saw the sphinx in Egypt from atop a camel. Riding in an airplane was part of my dream. Though no one I knew traveled just for pleasure, I knew for certain I would.

I once walked from my grandmother’s house in East Boston to Logan Airport. My uncle, only two years older than I, was the guide. It was a long walk, miles, but I didn’t care. We wandered the terminals, the old wooden terminals. I stood on the observation deck of one of those old terminals and watched the planes coming and going. From displays scattered around the gates I took brochures describing airline routes, sights and hotels. I watched people with their suitcases getting in lines to board planes. I was both wistful and jealous.

When I got back to my grandmother’s, my parents were livid, but I thought their anger a small price to pay for what had been a grand adventure. A few days later, I started reading the brochures and cutting out pictures. I began an album of my trip. I described the plane ride and flying into and being surrounded by clouds. The pictures of my hotel rooms had arrows pointing to my bed. All the wonderful sights we saw in the different cities were pasted on the pages and described by me in a first person account. I was traveling the world.

I filled the whole album with wishes and dreams.

“There’s something about the sound of a train that’s very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful.”

April 25, 2015

The house was cold this morning. I really didn’t want to get out of bed and neither did Gracie. She stood up, shook, then settled back down beside me, leaning against me. She’s into warmth. It was late, 9:20, so I dragged myself downstairs to begin the day.

My mother never woke us up on the weekends or in the summer. The older we got, the longer we slept in, but when we were young, we wanted the whole day. On summer Saturdays we’d get dressed, bolt down our cereals then take off, sometimes on our bikes and sometimes on foot. We’d cut through the woods to get to the horses in the field on Green Street. The house on the property was red, large and old. It was one of those square houses I found out much later were called federal. We’d stand by the fence, and the horses would come over and we’d pat them. My brother and I would try to feed them grass but they weren’t interested. A couple of times we climbed the fence hoping to jump on the horses and ride them. They’d take off as soon as we got close which was a good thing. I’m sure riding bareback would have lasted about a minute or two before I hit the ground.

Once in a while we’d alter our walking route and head for a different side of town, the area where the box factory, the railroad station and the red store were. Back then my town had a lot of factories for a small town: the Jones Shoe factory up town and two other factories which make chemicals, both by the railroad tracks. Those two buildings were brick, not common for buildings where I lived. Across the front of one was a black sign, but I don’t remember the name of the company though I passed it more times than I can remember because that part of the tracks was a shortcut home. All the factories were still active when I was a kid. One of my friend’s mothers worked in the shoe factory, and I remember watching the trains crossing the main road on their way to the chemical factories.

I used to love walking those tracks, none of which remain. Even now I always stop and watch trains. There is something about them which grabs my imagination.

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”

April 19, 2015

It’s cold, but I don’t care because it’s sunny. The day is a pretty one. Earlier I was on the deck cleaning and filling the bird bath, and the birds flew by my head to the feeders and one nearly got me. I ducked. If birds can laugh, that one did.

My body aches and my bones crack. Lifting heavy stuff hurts my back. I like naps. I’m older than I used to imagine I’d ever be when I was young but being older is far different from I thought it would be. I’m not sitting in a rocking chair on a porch. I don’t wear a house dress or shoes with clunky heels or an apron if I’m working in the kitchen, though I probably should as I’m messy. I don’t even have a hat with flowers. I’m not thrilled with all those aches and pains, but with aging came an epiphany. I realized how much I’ve gained as I’ve grown older. I think everybody does.

I never really noticed all the best parts of spring. When I was a kid, I just figured it was time to ditch the winter coat and haul the bike out of the cellar. Now I see so much more. Every morning I notice the new flowers blooming in my garden. There are five or six hyacinths, all different colors spaced as if on a palette. The yellow dafs are so bright I almost want to shade my eyes. The tulips are beginning to make an appearance. I never tire of watching the birds. I love the smell of a spring morning. I can sit on the deck for hours reading books and watching the world.

I am slower now, and that has made all the difference. I get to see what is happening around me. I get to watch spring unfold a flower at a time.

“I’m not senile,” I snapped. “If I burn the house down it will be on purpose.”

January 23, 2015

The morning is a cold one, a frosty morning. The sun is shining but has a pale winter light which brings no warmth. Gracie has been burying her treats. Her new chew has been buried twice and is still somewhere hidden underground in the yard. Gracie’s dirty face was a giveaway. She pushes the dirt over the hole with it. I cleaned her face but she didn’t seem grateful, only annoyed.

I watched Zorro today, twice. When I was a kid, it was shown in black and white, but it was filmed in color so that’s what I see now. Today Don Diego sang to Sergeant Garcia about how strong and powerful Garcia is, a flattering lie. The song was dubbed, not something I would ever have noticed when I was young. When the theme played at the beginning, I still knew the song by heart. Like Superman’s Clark Kent, Zorro’s Don Diego hides his alter ego but the disguise is easy to see through. Though Zorro wears a mask, he has Don Diego’s voice and mustache. When I was a kid, I knew enough to suspend my disbelief, and I loved watching Zorro. I even bought and read the first book of the Zorro series by Johnston McCulley. Instead of being a distraction, TV was an inspiration which led me to read novels on which the programs had been based.

I remember when cigarette commercials ruled the TV. Dancing packs, virile cowboys, catchy phrases and movie stars hawked cigarettes. I remember, “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should,” bad grammar but catchy. Santa Claus even smoked Luckies. I figure with all that traveling, he needed a cigarette break. It would have been tough smoking as the sleigh flew.

Pharmaceuticals now rule the TV commercial world, and I chuckle a bit at how many commercials are aimed at baby boomers. They show people my age solving problems such as incontinence, erectile dysfunction, the need for whole life insurance and wearing underwear like Depends which can’t be noticed under clothing. I’m thinking my future is fraught with indignities if the commercials are any indicators.

“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”

January 5, 2015

The sun is shining, but it is cold, and the strong wind makes the day feel even colder. I need to fill the bird feeders, and that will be my only outside venture. I have plenty to keep me busy here as I have vowed to clear off the couch filled with Christmas decorations from all the other rooms. That will leave only the trees which will stay through tomorrow, a feast day with so many names: Little Christmas, the Feast of the Epiphany and Three King’s Day. It is the last official day of the Christmas season and the day to send,

“On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

I never liked that song. I think of it as the 100 bottles of beer on the wall song of the Christmas season. I don’t how much all that costs now, but the paper seems to have the need to tell me year after year.

January is, after New Year’s, quite the boring month. I miss the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I was busy most of those days, but it was fun busy. Now I stay home because it is easier and warmer. I clump my errands into a single day so I’m not running around days at a time, but I find my errands are even boring. Buying bread and animal food just doesn’t give the day much pizzazz.

Well, I need another cup of coffee, and I need to close the back door. I can feel the cold coming in through the dog door. Gracie is asleep and probably doesn’t care. Besides she can always ring her door bells to go out. I think I’ll add some toast to that coffee.

What a day! Even my last paragraph is boring!

“A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away.”

December 2, 2014

My house smells of rosemary. I just came from Agway. I needed dog biscuits, and I ended up also buying two wreaths for outside, a rosemary plant for here, two small poinsettias, and I scooped some greens off the cutting area for my outside bowl. It is definitely beginning to look like Christmas. I went outside last night and admired my lights. They are lovely. I’ll take pictures, but I am so bad at posting. A bunch are sitting in my camera.

After 60˚ yesterday, we have a raw, cold day today. I was out before ten as I had PT then I  had a list of places to go and things to get. I made it to all six places, and it took me two trips to bring everything into the house. Most are for decorating though I did buy myself a new pair of shoes. My physical therapist kept telling me I needed new shoes as even the treads were gone on my old ones. At the shoe store the clerk told me I had certainly gotten my money’s worth from the old ones. The new ones feel great.

Cats tend to throw up. Sometimes it is just hairballs, gross I know but not gag worthy. Fern will sometimes eat too much too fast and then get sick. This is the story of one cat and her throw up. I got up during the night to go to the bathroom and in the darkness I stepped in cat vomit and was totally grossed out. I tried to walk without using the affected foot, but ended up with a weird limp.I cleaned both me and the floor then went back to bed. This morning I went to put my slippers on and saw that Fern had left her mark on one of them. I cleaned the slipper but didn’t choose to wear it.

I have one small errand to do later, but I’m going to read a bit and have lunch. My book is a Clive Cussler. I find his fun to read. I don’t have to think a lot about the plot or the characters. They are perfect for when I put my feet up, brew a new pot of coffee and just relax.

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.”

April 10, 2014

I want a weapon which uses projectiles. I’m thinking a potato gun. My target is the red spawn of Satan who is constantly at the big feeder. I chase it away but it always comes back. This morning, after my second chase, I was thinking of putting barbed wire across the part of the deck rail the spawn uses for its take-off to the feeder. I’m also giving a bed of nails serious consideration or a metal cylinder. I chuckled at the picture of the spawn trying to get a paw hold on the cylinder but sliding every time. Buying a Have-a- Heart trap is another idea. I’d catch the beast and drive it so far away it would have to learn a new language. That spawn has to go!

The sun is out, but the morning is chilly. It is only 45˚ right now though it is supposed to get warmer by afternoon. I opened the front door and Fern is sleeping on the rug, sprawled in the sun streaming through the storm door. When the sun shifts, Fern too will move to the rug by the back door for the afternoon sun. Maddie is still sticking her head up under the lamp shade for the warmth from the lightbulb. The house isn’t cold, but I guess it’s not cat warm.

Today is my only lazy day, and I’m taking full advantage. Granted, I did make my bed and change the cat litter so I haven’t been a total sloth. I’m really just saving my energy as tomorrow is such a full day.

I always hated people asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had so much trouble figuring out what I wanted to be at Halloween that choosing a profession for my whole adult life when I was ten was ridiculous. I had pat answers: teacher or nurse. Which answer I gave depended upon my mood and the asker. I actually hadn’t given a thought to either one. I was a kid, not a long-range planner. No kid ever was.

I did end up a teacher but hadn’t planned on being one. I was going to be a lawyer. My dad told me law was not for women so he was against it. That didn’t matter to me. I got into law school and was also offered a teaching job, but I turned both of them down for the Peace Corps. Law school was willing to defer my admission so that was my plan after Ghana, but it never happened. I became a teacher. It seemed I had been prophetic at ten.

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