Posted tagged ‘cold mornings’

“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him?”

August 15, 2014

It was cold enough this morning that Gracie cocooned, usually one of her winter tricks. She waits until I’m in the bathroom then pushes the covers to the bottom of the bed and nestles in the blankets so most of her body is covered, all except her head and chest. She looked pretty cozy this morning.

This is one of the coolest summers I can remember. We have hit 80˚ maybe three or four times. The rest of the days have been in the 70’s. Perfect weather. Usually August is humid and disgusting, but it hasn’t been except when we’re expecting rain. The nights have been in the 60’s. I have used my AC in the bedroom maybe five times all summer and the central air maybe three or four times. I’m wearing socks as my feet were cold. What’s with that?

Even though we haven’t had much rain, the lawns are green and beautiful. Usually by this time there are browns spots, and the lawns look dry and tired, but not this summer. When the rains come, they are substantial. Last week we got 3 inches in a single storm. Low spots in the roads became lakes or ponds as there are no gutters and no sewers for run-offs. Just up the street is one of those spots, and it always floods. This time it was the deepest I’d seen it in a long while. Cars went around the block to avoid it. After the water disappeared there was mud and sludge across the road.

I used to love to ride my bike through puddles, the bigger the better. As the water cascaded on each side of the bike, I’d take my feet off the pedals and extend my legs so they’d get wet from the rush of water. I aimed for every puddle I saw, and I laughed out loud for the joy of the puddle and the wave.

“June suns, you cannot store them To warm the winter’s cold..”

November 23, 2013

The weatherman says to expect a cold front starting tomorrow. I just bought a new hat, a wool knitted hat with ear flaps, so bring on the cold. I think I’m going to look quite fashionable.

This morning I watched leaves fall one at a time from the big oak tree by the deck. They fluttered as they fell. I watched the birds at the feeders, mostly drab gold finches, eating thistle and sunflowers seeds. When Gracie comes in from outside, her ears are cold. The other morning a thin layer of ice-covered the water in the bird bath. I don’t hear people outside any more. Winter is coming.

Winter brings back memories. I remember the hissing of the radiators in the house where I grew up and how the windows in the morning sometimes had a thin layer of ice on the inside. I’d use my nail to write my name. We always wore warm pajamas and sock slippers. For breakfast my mother made oatmeal and added milk and sugar. The walk to school was quickest in winter. The worst part of the walk was passing the field where the wind whipped across and seemed to go through every layer of my clothes to touch my bones. Getting to school was always welcomed. It was warm.

In winter there was never enough space in the cloak room outside my classroom. Winter coats were bulky and the hooks were small. I’d stuff my mittens and my hat in my sleeves then try to get my coat to hang. Sometimes it stayed on the hook while other times it was held up by the coats around it all jammed together. On the coldest days I’d leave my sweater on. The nuns didn’t care. They sometimes wore black ones with buttons.

Getting coats to go home was always done in rows. The nun would announce our row, and we’d get our coats and bring them into class and get dressed there while the other rows went and got theirs. Sometimes the nuns had to zipper coats. They never seemed to mind. I conquered zippers early though sometimes it took two tries. The hat came next and the mittens last. We’d stand in a line in the classroom until the bell was rung to dismiss us then we’d walk to the door and into the cold.

“Time felt slower when we do nothing but wait.”

October 22, 2013

Today is the last of the warm, sunny days. Tomorrow will be cold and rainy. I have been a sloth of late so I need to motivate myself to go out and enjoy today. I’ll grab Gracie and my camera and off we’ll go.

In the winter I stay home a lot. It is, after all, usually cold which is the best reason to stay inside cozy and warm. In the summer, I am a deck denizen and love to sit and read and watch Gracie in the yard and the birds at the feeders. Right now I am just… You probably wonder if I left off a word but I didn’t. I can’t describe my mood exactly. I am not sad but I am not happy either. I am just…

I am unmotivated though I did dust strange places this morning and wet mop the kitchen floor. There was no sudden burst of energy. They were necessities. I couldn’t take it any longer. The dusting was the top of the baseboard behind the tavern table and the back of the Morris chair. The kitchen floor was filled with Gracie’s paw prints.

Grace, my student, not to be confused with Grace my dog, had her appointment at the embassy today hoping to get a visa to visit. I think she is probably done already given the time change. I called but got no answer. She is willing to come even in the cold, but Grace has no idea what cold really is. During the harmattan, especially around December, the nights are cold but only in comparison to the hot, hot days. I had a wool blanket on my bed. The mornings during the harmattan were my favorite times of the day. They felt like cool fall mornings when you knew the sun would soon enough warm the day. My students wore layers of sweaters. They complained bitterly about the cold. I relished it. It was such a strange feeling to be cold in Ghana. Well, Grace is in for a jolt. I doubt she owns enough layers for November cold. Luckily I have plenty of jackets. I don’t even know if Grace owns shoes. Sandals are all everyone wears. Shoes are unhealthy. Maybe our first stop will be a shoe store.

I am on tenterhooks waiting.



“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

September 16, 2013

Lately the days seem the same. The mornings are cold with the sun nowhere to be found. Today a dampness makes it feel even chillier. I’m thinking I might have to put in my back storm door. That’s the door I leave open so Gracie can come and go, but the cold comes all the way down the hall from the screen. I hate the thought that it might be storm door time for even that one door. The windows have been closed for the last three or four days. I’m not liking this at all. I want my sun back. I want warm days.

When I was a kid, I didn’t care much about what the weather was each day. I did want snow in the winter and warm days for swimming in the summer, but as for the other two seasons, I had no preferences. I’d take the days as they came except for Halloween. I didn’t want rain. As for any day rain, I never really minded getting soaked walking home from school. I’d get home, skip the play clothes and get cozy in my pajamas. I lie in bed and read. I can still see the window at the foot of my bed and the rain drops hitting the glass then sliding to the bottom. The fiercer the storm the better.

I can’t stand my feet being cold. They make my whole body feel cold so I put on my fleece-lined slippers, but sometimes they aren’t enough. I have to add socks. In winter, I spend the days at home wearing those slippers, flannel pants and a sweatshirt. It’s become my winter uniform. Right now I’m wearing those slippers and thinking of adding a sweatshirt. The house is only 66˚, colder than I keep it during the winter.

My mother kept her house too hot in the winter. We used to wear t-shirts inside and complain about how hot it was. She was always cold except for her feet. On them she wore slippers with open toes and no backs. I wish I had inherited her warm feet.

Now I tolerate cold and heat far less than I used to when I was younger. On the last two trips to Ghana, my hair was always soaked with sweat. I don’t remember that happening when I lived there so long ago. I used to wear a t-shirt all winter; now the sweatshirt is a must. I’m beginning to understand my mother and her need for a hot house.

” I once walked in on the queen wearing her crown and pink, fluffy slippers.”

October 17, 2010

The morning is cold. The sky is deep blue, the sunlight sharp. Last night the wind was fierce and loud, but today is quiet and still. Many of the trees are now bare, and the ground is strewn with leaves. My front yard is speckled with pine needles. Fall is losing its grip.

The house is always chilly in the morning. The sun just isn’t enough anymore. I turn on the heat to warm the house then I turn it off again. It’s just too early in the season for the heat to be blasting.

I was a pajama sort of kid, never one for nightgowns as they never kept me warm enough. My favorite winter pajamas were a matching set made of heavy jersey with cuffs at the wrists and ankles. They made me feel cozy all over, except for my feet. Those were kept toasty warm in sock slippers. Every Christmas I’d find a new pair of sock slippers under the tree. They were always brown. I used to love the scuffing sound they make on the floor when I walked. My mother didn’t. Last year my sister gave me a pair, and when I opened them, I felt like a kid again. Those too were brown.

Now I wear a sweatshirt around the house which keeps me nice and warm. Most times it’s an old one which is pretty ratty, but that’s okay with me. I’m into warmth, not fashion. Flannel pants and slippers complete my winter ensemble. My slippers make scuffing noises on the floor when I walk.

“Peanut butter is the pâté of childhood.”

October 16, 2010

The day has little to commend it. It’s cold, windy and raw. The heat is not on steadily yet and is set for 64°, but on this chilly morning it started by itself before I even got out of bed. I was loathe to leave my warm covers, but Miss Gracie wanted out, and I figured a cup of hot coffee made going downstairs almost worthwhile. The feeders need filling so I’ll bundle up later, go out and make my birds happy. Yesterday a flicker dropped by and ate his weight in sunflower seeds.

Our house was small though I suspect four kids would have made even a bigger house seem small. In the kitchen, the stove was narrow, and the table and chairs barely had room against the wall, and you had to maneuver in and out sideways. I remember the back screen door was green. The fridge was next to the back door. We’d open it and stand there trying to decide what we wanted, and that drove my parents crazy. My father would yell we were letting all the cold air out. In the summer all that cold air felt good. My mother shopped once a week, usually on a Friday night after my father got home. By Tuesday, all the cookies were gone, except for the stuff we couldn’t touch, the stuff for school lunches. We’d complain there was nothing good to eat, but my mother was never sympathetic. We were the ones who ate it all. Oreos were our favorite cookies. My sisters used to open theirs, eat the middles then feed the cookie parts to the dog. I always ate the plain side first then slowly savored the frosting side. I still like Oreos.

Peanut butter is one of the best all time foods. We always thought of it as a snack food, not one for school lunches. We’d make a peanut butter and marshmallow or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My mother usually bought grape jelly which had a tendency to ooze out the sides of the bread, and you had to be quick to catch it before it fell. Sometimes we’d eat Saltines with peanut butter. They were a great snack for TV watching. I’m still a peanut butter fan.

My mother never bought much cheese when we were kids, and whatever she bought was always yellow. For years I thought cheese came only in yellow and was from a box. It was quite a surprise to find not only did cheese come in colors but it also came in flavors. I love all sorts of cheeses, except blue, and I have to admit I still use Velveeta. It makes the best Mexican cheese dip.

“Man is rated the highest animal, at least among all animals who returned the questionnaire.”

May 12, 2010

Some events catapult other events and a chain reaction ensues. For example, I took the blanket off my bed in the heat of an early spring. Shortly thereafter the temperature plummeted. I don’t take the whole blame, but I have do admit come culpability.

The weather isn’t predicted to get much better in the next few days. This morning  is cloudy and breezy and chilly. After my shower earlier, I got into comfy clothes, inside the house where nobody can see them clothes, and I intend to stay in them all day. I also intend to stay home where it’s warm and cozy. My plan is to loll about and do absolutely nothing constructive. Some days just lend themselves to sloth.

When I go to bed, the natural order is in place. Gracie is at the foot of my bed, where every self-respecting dog since Viking times has put its head, and Fern, the cat, is snuggled beside me sharing bodily warmth. At some during the night, an upheaval occurs. Gracie and Fern move. Gracie sprawls across the bed. I, in the arms of Morpheus, react unconsciously. My body shifts to sleep at an angle and my legs bend at the knees, all for Gracie’s comfort. Fern too changes position and moves to my hip, something I can’t abide when drowsy or awake, but Fern is cagey and knows I am asleep and totally unaware of her movements. This morning when I woke up, my legs were cramped, my back hurt and my hip ached. The solution seems easy, shut the door and exclude the two of them, but it isn’t easy at all. Gracie would scratch and whine at the door keeping me awake and making me feel increasingly guilty. After all, she has slept on my bed the whole of her life. Fern too isn’t above scratching the door, and, besides, she needs access to her food and litter box which are hidden in the eaves of my room. Anyone with a pet understands. We have been perfectly trained.