Posted tagged ‘cold feet’

“Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.”

February 28, 2014

The feeders needed filling so I braved the cold and filled the biggest one hoping that would hold the birds for a couple of days. It didn’t take long for the word to go out about the feeder. The birds were back almost before I got inside the house. It was mighty cold outside, only 19˚, so I was quick with the seed. Tonight it will be around 7˚, a temperature fit for neither man nor beast.  Yesterday we had another snow squall. Today we have sun and a blue sky, but the sun is useless. It is light, not heat.

My furnace is cranking endlessly trying to keep the cold at bay. I’m wearing two pairs of socks. Nothing is worse than cold feet. I have an errand or two I can do, but I just don’t want to go out and face the elements. The house is too comfy, and I’m cozy and warm.

I remember walking to school during the coldest of mornings. By the time I’d get there, my face would be bright red. Though the walk wasn’t really all that long, it seemed to go for miles and miles and take hours and hours in the cold or rain. Finally, when I was inside the heated classroom, my face would begin to warm and my cheeks would tingle. I had a classmate who lived two doors down from the school, and I envied her this time of year. She’d hear the bell and run from her house to get in line.

If we went outside for recess, the wind would whip across the school yard. We’d freeze and pray to hear the bell calling us back inside. On the coldest days the nuns had us eat inside at our desks. On those inside days, I remember the nun would put some sort of a cardboard shield around her desk so we couldn’t see her eat. It didn’t seem strange at all. Nuns weren’t like real people.

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”

August 10, 2013

Yesterday’s rain had a tropical feel about it. It was preceded by the wind, came down in torrents then disappeared. Later, in the evening, the rain came again but only intermittent wiper rain. Today has no humidity. The breeze even feels cool. Gracie isn’t panting.

I never buy lottery tickets, but I always plan what I’d do with the money. My family, my sisters and my niece and nephews, would each be given a good chunk, in the 6 figure range. I’d travel, but that’s an easy one. I’d plan an amazing trip to exotic places and invite people to come along for the journey. I wouldn’t be offended if they refused, given the off-beat places I want to go, places like Bora Bora, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, India, Botswana for a safari and a trip along the Okavango, Madagascar and a few more of the Pacific Islands. I’d go to Ghana, but no one seems interested in going with me except my sister Moe. The trip wouldn’t have to be all at once. We could do it in geographic chunks with stops at home to catch up with ourselves. I know this all dreaming, but I love to dream.

I saw a coyote in my car lights last night as it was walking on my street. It was a small one, maybe young. He crossed another street and went into a backyard. I lost track then.

Bare feet give me a different perspective on the world. I walk across the grass to get the papers and my feet get wet from the morning watering. On the deck, I sometimes step on those small acorns, and my foot jumps into the air hurting just a little. During the afternoon, the deck wood is hot from the sun, and I hurry to get under the shade of the umbrella. In the backyard, I walk on dirt and sand. They each feel different to my feet. In the house, the floors are cool in the morning but never feel warm in the afternoon. At night, my feet sometimes get cold even though it’s summer. When I put on my sandals, Gracie knows I’m going somewhere. When I was a kid and my mother put on lipstick, I knew she was going somewhere. It’s the unusual, shoes for me and lipstick for my mother, both dead giveaways.

“The sun burnt every day. It burnt time.”

July 18, 2013

Yesterday I went on the deck to fill feeders and water plants. That was my only visit to the outside world. Today it may reach 90˚ here on the cape for the first time all summer. The rest of the state is in an official heat wave, 90˚ weather three days or more. Today is day four. I have to go out, a no choice errand. I’m already dreading the trip.

I have become intolerant of too much heat and too much cold. Maybe it is because I am so much older than I was. My mother used to keep her heat so high in the winter the rest of us wore t-shirts. When I lived in a hot country, I abided the heat. I had no choice. Now I leave the air-condition running. I think today is day three. My feet get cold so I put on slippers. I think having cold feet in the middle of a heat wave is a wonderful thing.

None of my windows have shades. I have never liked them. I might have gone with blinds, but I didn’t think of them, and I probably would have put them only in the two bathrooms. The windows in the den here and the ones in the dining room have nothing, not even curtains. The window in here facing east is my favorite view of all the windows. From it I can see the trees in the backyard, the bird feeders and the now opened red umbrella on the deck. If I were a painter, I would use water colors to paint my view. The living room lace curtains came from Ireland. I bought them in a store in Dublin. The rest of the rooms have a variety of curtains: valances, full curtains and half curtains with valances. The ones in my bedroom came from India. I bought them on-line. The ones in the guest room came from Bradlees, a store no longer in existence. Soon the upstairs bathroom will have curtains made of cloth from Ghana which matches some of the cloth in my new shower curtain. Grace said she saw the cloth in Accra at a market and will buy it for me. That’s kinda neat when you think about it: there’s the Ghana connection still so strong and the market and cloth and my former student who is 60 or 61 and happy to shop for me but won’t call me by my first name. I am Madam or Miss Ryan.

When I was young, I lived in a cave, not a real cave but a darkened house which resembled a cave. My mother put the shades down in every room to keep out the heat. I remember walking outside and not being able to see because of all that sun. We had morphed into moles.

“He’s a gentleman: look at his boots.”

January 28, 2011

Most times I am a quick study and learn easily. Yesterday I overdid and last night I woke up every hour or so in pain, and it’s still here this morning. I guess I keep trying to find the line between okay and ridiculous. Obviously I went over that line yesterday. I do have an addendum about yesterday and locked doors. My plowman was here when I left for an appointment. I told him the de-ice stuff for the steps was inside the house by the door as was his check. He was fine with that and I left. When I got home, I was locked out again. My plowman had noticed my storm door was ajar and he’s a good guy so he closed it. I called my friend Tony and told him he’d need a step ladder. I’m thinking of putting a stepladder permanently against the back porch. In the summer I’ll put plants on it so people will think it a gardening design. How pretty to see the morning glory vines climbing the ladder.

Today is a white day. The sky is white. The trees have a layer of white from the wet snow, and the ground is covered. The sun came out yesterday and melted some of the snow. Last night it froze. Ruts of ice are on the sides of the road and on the pathways. Going out makes for a strange sort of dance of stepping in one place then moving to the side then across and back all with tiny steps which remind me of the Mikado.

I seldom stayed home from school. We, my brother and sisters and I, were all pretty much a healthy bunch. We walked to school on the coldest or the wettest or the snowiest day of the year. It didn’t matter.

This time of year presented to every kid the greatest of all challenges: putting on and taking off boots. Back then they were rubber and they went over our shoes. In the morning, at home, my mother would hold the boots while we pushed and pushed until our shoes were all the way inside then she’d tuck our snow pants into the top of the boot. When we got to school, we’d sit on the floor to pull off our boots. Usually our shoes came with them, but that was just fine. We’d pull out our shoes, put them on and go into the classroom. All of that was the easy part. It was getting dressed to go home which presented the biggest challenge. If the boots were wet, the shoes just wouldn’t go inside all the way, and the bottom part of the boot would flop around. Pushing the shoes in with my hands sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t. Lots of days I’d walk home in my shoes, the boots in my school bag. My mother was never happy when I came home with wet shoes, wet socks and cold feet. Neither was I.