Posted tagged ‘color’

“Stay low, stay quiet, keep it simple, don’t expect too much, enjoy what you have.”

October 20, 2017

Today is another beautiful sunny day in the high 60’s. There’s an intermittent breeze strong enough to sway the branches. It is a perfect day to take a ride.

Lately I have been quite lazy. I haven’t even made a single list. There’s no reason. It’s just inertia.

Laundry is piling up in the hall. A few dishes are in the sink. I figure I’ll get to all that later. There’s no hurry. I don’t have to do something every day.

The flowers beside the house are still blooming. The pumpkins are on the front steps and corn hangs on the gate. I saw a tree covered in yellow leaves. Fall is so filled with color. I always think of it as Mother Nature’s last gift before winter.

My lawn is disappearing under dead leaves from the tall oak tree and brown needles from the pine. It will be raked a few times before the lawn reappears. The irrigation system will be blown cleared of water and my outdoor shower will be turned off until the spring. It’s the same every year. All the pieces of summer disappear in turn.

I think being retired has brought me back to a simpler life. My wardrobe is mostly casual, and I seldom add to it. Once in a while I go out to eat, but mostly I spend time with friends. I watch TV movies but every now and then I treat myself to a newer movie though I do complain about the $5.99. I get books from the library. I used to buy the newest hardcovers, but now I get then for free. I don’t deny myself stuff. I just need less stuff.

When I was a kid, all my TV heroes always won. The bad guys were alive when nabbed. The only violence was usually a fight or a bullet to the arm or hand. Good guys never lost their hats in any fights. The animals, mostly dogs and horses, had names and were important to the plot. I remember Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, his dog Yukon King and his horse Rex.  I learned history and geography from watching this program. I remember at the end of each show he’d tell King this case is closed.  Sometimes there was even a bit of humor. Pat Brady provided that in the Roy Rogers Show. I never questioned that Roy and Dale rode horses while Pat had a jeep, Nellybelle. I was a kid. I just believed.

“Live as many lives as you can.”

March 12, 2016

Today is lovely with a bright sun though I wish it were warmer than the 50’s. I noticed my hyacinth is so tall I can almost see the bumps of the whole flower. The daffodils have buds not yet ready to open but getting closer. The croci are blooming in the different flower beds. They grab your attention with their color as everything around them is still brown or grey.

Yesterday I needed only two things: toilet paper and orange juice. At first I figured to stay home and finish my book, but I knew I had no choice but to go out. Gracie and I left around 3:15. I decided I might as well go to the dump too. It was crowded. At one store, I checked to see if they had their spinach and puff pastry lattice topped hand pie. They didn’t but the cook said he’d make me some. It would take 15 minutes. I should have said no. I decided to walk around to waste time until the pies were done. I filled my cart. I bought yogurt, shrimp, a piece of pizza, a cinnamon coffee roll for this morning, some gourmet dog biscuits, honey and oranges. I did remember the toilet paper. Sometimes I go and forget what I need. I got my pies hot from the oven. I was praising them so much three other people bought some, and the pies were gone.

I don’t remember at what age I started to notice things like the spring flowers popping out of the earth or buds appearing on the branches. The changing leaves were easy to notice as we shuffled through piles of them on our way to school. Spring meant bike riding and light jackets, not flowers, to us. It meant Saturdays riding all over town. A chill was still in the morning air, but it wasn’t cold any more.

In retirement I have noticed the world I often overlooked when I worked. I have the time to look and see things like my bulbs growing taller and the appearance of the first small shoots of flowers in the front garden. I watch the birds. I stand outside in the early morning listening to their songs. My life has a far different pattern than it used to have. It is now filled with bright color and wavy lines which change from day to day. Life continues to be good to me.

“When the English language gets in my way, I walk over it.”

March 7, 2016

This morning was hopeful. I saw my first crocus in the front garden. It is bright yellow and is the only color I can see. The sun was shining when I woke up. The birds were in and out of the feeders. The coffee was delicious. Now, a mere three hours later, it is cold and dreary. I don’t know where the sun went, but it disappeared quickly. The crocus is closed. The world is back to being grey and dreary.

I spend two hours with my neighbor. We chatted about foods, relatives, weather and the  verb doesn’t. She seems to prefer don’t as in he don’t. I told her I’d start charging her money for all the times she uses the wrong verb. My grandmother and my father used don’t all the time and they were born in this country. I might be fighting a losing battle.

Gracie and I are going out later. She is out of canned food, and I am out of bread, two essentials for our lives. Lately I have been into naan. Gracie has been into whatever I feed her.

When I was a kid, our boxer, Duke, ate two cans of food every day. Back then it was horse meat. It smelled gross. I hated when it was my turn to feed Duke. I’d turn my head away as I was spooning his dinner into his dog bowl. Duke loved his dinner.

My electric can opener is among the missing. I moved it from the counter and now I can’t find it. I am back to using the old silver can opener where you turn the wheel around the cover. It works great except on the larger cans. With some cans I use a churchkey mostly when something to be poured is in the can. I also keep a churchkey in my car. It is one of those things you need when you don’t have it.

Every time I travel I take my Swiss Army knife. It has every possible gadget I might need on my journey. It used to be with me but now it travels as cargo being a weapon and all. I’ve have it forty-seven years. The tweezers and the toothpick are missing, but other than those, the knife is in perfect condition. I have a really small one I keep on my keychain. It comes in handy.

On the Amazing Race last week one of the tasks was to put together a Swiss Army knife. It is done by hand piece by piece, blade by blade. Now I know why they are so expensive. When the teams were leaving for Switzerland, one team member wanted to know what language is spoken there. Swiss, of course, was the answer. The best question of the season so far was also last week. In what country is Switzerland?

“First a howling blizzard woke us, Then the rain came down to soak us, And now before the eye can focus — Crocus.”

March 31, 2015

Today is bright and lovely, a bit chilly but that’s okay. It feels like spring; it doesn’t smell like a spring morning yet, but I think we’re close. Two bright, beautiful yellow crocus (croci) have flowered in my front garden. My eyes, hungry for color after the winter, saw them as soon as I walked outside to get the papers. It seemed as if they sprang from the earth overnight, maybe as a gift from much maligned Mother Nature.

I keep watching the birds flying in and out of the feeders, and I keep checking to see if I will again be plagued by the red spawn. I thought I caught a glimpse of the beastie on a tree limb, but he didn’t go to the feeders. I wonder if they have red spawn tasers.

I have decided winter is over even though it will be 28˚ tonight. You will read no more complaining about this extended season from me. Every day I see or hear a new sign of spring. The mornings are now filled with the songs of birds. No longer does that single bird sing. The sun is so bright coming through the storm door that all three animals vie for a sunny spot. Maddie’s fur was hot this morning when she came for a pat. The plowed snow is still on the corners of the street but the piles are tinier every day. I no longer pay them any mind. When I look out my window here in the den, I see the deep blue sky and I see trees no longer seeming shadowy, no longer silhouettes in the darkness of a cloudy day.

The last few days have been busy ones for me. I think the winter sloth has moved on. All the chores I kept putting off are done. I don’t even have any laundry in the drier. Today I have PT and some errands. I’m excited about going outside in the sun. Today is a sweatshirt day. I think I’ve seen the last of a winter coat day.

“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”

February 23, 2015

Tonight’s projected temperature is -2˚. I have nothing to say. Complaints don’t help and neither do prayers. Loud sighs are just  an audible angst caused by this winter.

If I could be anywhere, I would choose somewhere warm but not too warm, not sweaty warm. A breeze would be pleasant. I don’t need an ocean. I mostly need color. I want beautiful flowers in window boxes and along the sides of walkways. I want to be stopped in my tracks by the luscious gardens. I want people wearing clothes made from bright cloths with colorful designs. I want to eat outside at a table under a tree. I want just picked fresh fruit. Music would be nice. A single guitar player would be enough. I’d sit and linger over my meal. Finally, I’d be ready to move on. I’d applaud and tip the guitar player, pay my bill then take a leisurely walk. I’d smile a lot. That would be a best day.

I don’t want to live in Florida to escape winter. As ugly as this one has been, it is still just winter, worst than most, but it will end and spring will follow. I always greet the first sunrise of spring, my welcome to the hopeful season.

I love spring mornings when the birds sing to embrace the new day and the air has a freshness redolent with the sweet smell of flowers. I check my front garden every morning so I know when a flower has bloomed or a new shoot has appeared. I drink my coffee and read the papers on the back deck. I watch the birds at the feeders. Spring has a newness every year. I marvel at every flower.

I know this the dead of winter. but I also know spring is coming. I just have to be patient.

“How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.

February 21, 2015

Pollyanna and her glad game have no place around here. She’d be struck mute. 28˚ doesn’t merit hats, horns or balloons. I’m still astonished today’s paper called this a warming trend. It also warned the cold would be back next week. Our definition of cold seems to have been forever altered after the last two weeks.

I am not one to run to warm places in the winter. In January one year I went to Morocco. Despite it being their winter, it was comparatively warm to winter here. The Moroccans wore winter coats and wool caps. I wore a sweatshirt.

Springs makes me forget winter. I exalt in the green shoots which appear first in my garden. I watch their progress. The buds sheathed in green are next and then color starts to appear through the green. I want to yell and cheer. Finally the first flowers bloom, always the croci (I did have four years of Latin) and the hyacinths. Purple, white and yellow flowers dot the side and front gardens. I always stop and admire the flowers for the colorful miracles they are.

At Christmas I take a ride to see the lights. I hunger for color. I stop for a bit at the brightest houses. I even sit in the car to look at my house strung with both white and colored lights shining through the darkness. Even now I have lights on part of my deck rail and on a couple of bottle trees in the backyard. The prayer flags and the Mexican banners hung between trees in my yard are victims of the wind and snow. I miss them.

I go on flower rides in the early spring. The yards along 6A are filled with croci, hyacinth and tulips. I love the colors, but even more I love that winter has finally been displaced.

“I call this season fake weather. The sun is shining but it cold like the north pole outside.”

February 6, 2015

Winter has us and is holding on far too tightly. Last night was way, way below freezing, a negative temperature with the wind chill. Today is not much better. The walk to the driveway and the mailbox is treacherous, icy and uneven. I take mincing steps. Cars driving on the street make crunching sounds on the icy road. Nothing is melting. More snow is coming starting on Sunday. I am numb from the onslaught.

I bought a pot of flowers yesterday, yellow dafs. They were beside the register and the color caught my eye. I so need more than white. I am so tired of snow. Today I think I’ll wear bright red.

My elementary school yard was mostly a parking lot for Sunday mass. There were two baskets only the boys could use and a green bicycle rack under the trees. In spring that’s where I parked my bike. During recess little kids chased each other and played tag while the girls jumped rope or just stood in groups talking. I was never a rope jumper.

We were directed by bells, hand-held gold bells with wooden handles. A bell would ring every hour, and we’d change subjects. Lunch began and ended with a bell. We’d hear the first bell, pull out our lunch boxes, get milk from the case in the front of the room and then sit down to eat and talk but only from our desks. A bit later another bell would ring and we’d go outside for recess, the only real break in our school day. We went out every day except when it was raining.

The older I got the less I liked recess. It was mostly boring and in winter it was really cold, never a consideration for calling off recess. My friends and I would stand there longing for the bell to call us back into the building. We didn’t care it meant back to work. We just knew it meant being warm again.

“The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. “

April 7, 2014

It must be spring. I can hear blowers cleaning yards, and I saw my landscaper with his green spreader fertilizing a neighbor’s lawn. Good luck to him with mine. It is covered with small branches felled by that last storm with all the wind. My backyard too has fallen branches but large ones from the pine trees.

Color is returning to the world. The male goldfinches have their bright yellow chests and are beautiful against the backdrop of the brown, bare branches. In my garden are yellows and purples and stark whites. I am back to my stop and look at the garden routine when I get the papers. I don’t want to miss a single new spring flower.

Yesterday I treated myself to my favorite sandwich: an avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese and spicy mayo panini. I also bought a whoopie pie. They were my reward for doing errands.

For me, this is a full week. I have something on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. It always seems to work that way. I have weeks with nothing scheduled then my dance card fills. I actually resent my time being taken. I moan and groan at having to set an alarm, get up early and be out at some ungodly hour. I’m talking nine here. Everything is relative.

My first bike was clunky. All of them were back then. The brakes were back pedal, and there were no gears. The chain sometimes fell off, but we were all skilled at getting it back on the silver cogs. It was one of the first bike maintenance things we learned out of necessity. Once in a while, my pant leg got caught in the chain, and it would all be greasy and sometimes torn before I could free it. I had a wire basket on the front and a bell on the handlebars. When I’d hit a big bump, the stuff in the basket would bounce and sometimes even fall out. We’d attach playing cards or baseball cards to the spokes with clothespins, the snap kind, and we weren’t riding bikes anymore. We were riding motorcycles.

“I think ‘lunch’ is one of the funniest words in the world.”

March 15, 2014

Today started out dark and rainy, but the sun and blue sky are making headway. The weatherman says warm, even into the 50’s for today, but the cold will be back tomorrow. The good news is we only have to suffer three days in the 30’s before the 50’s break through for a while. That sounds to me as if spring is getting a toehold. This morning I saw the yellow of a crocus poking up from my garden, and I stood there for a while taking in the color. It is so bright and beautiful against the drabness of the rest of the garden. Alexander Pope is right especially during this cusp between the spring and winter when it is neither, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”

I am at a loss for words today. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does I am easily distracted. I leave the computer and look out the front door, polish a table or clean the counter. All the while the keyboard sits undisturbed. I sift through my memory drawers hoping for inspiration but nothing captures my attention. It is just one of those days.

I was required to carry a green school bag in high school, the ones you sling and carry over your back. It always seemed heavy. The rubber inside used to split then peel off in pieces. That meant time for a new bag.

In high school, I bought my lunch then my friend and I volunteered to work dish patrol. That meant I didn’t have to pay for my lunch, but my mother still gave me lunch money. I’d use it to take the T to Harvard Square or for festivities at Brigham’s. That’s where we celebrated Mardi Gras. As for the school lunch, no matter what was served, the lunches always came with corn bread because the government gave free corn flour to the school. I still love corn bread. I think we got green beans more than any other vegetable. I don’t like green beans any more.

“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”

January 10, 2014

The alarm went off at eight as it is breakfast Friday, the once a month get-together of women I worked with for years. I turned off the alarm, looked out the window, saw snow and went back to bed for another half hour. The breakfast is a come-if-you-can sort so I wasn’t expected. I’ll go next month.

The day is dreary. The snow, only a dusting, covers everything. Even the pines look sort of nice with their branches layered in snow. The birds were missing from the deck feeders during the coldest days, probably holed up in tight clumps of bushes or branches somewhere, but they returned in yesterday’s warmth, a word loosely used here, but they aren’t around again today. Only the red spawn was at the sunflower seeds. He does his trick of jumping from the deck rail to the squirrel buster feeder (note the feeder’s name), grabs a seed in flight then lands back on the rail to dine. I get crazed and usually chase him off the rail into the yard. I think I have him so paranoid that the door opening scares him right off the deck away from the seeds for most of the day. Banging my feet on the deck as I run at him probably helps too. I suspect the birds will return tomorrow when it is supposed to be 50˚.

I was all set for a dump run today, but now I’m not so sure. The dump is always cold with a strong wind which cuts to the bone, and I’ve had enough of bone-chilling cold this week. I’ll stave off my conscience by doing laundry, but if the afternoon looks better, Gracie and I can still do the dump run.

Christmas gives such color and brightness to the winter that I miss it terribly when it’s gone. I left my outside lights and my fake inside pine tree lit until the day after Little Christmas. My neighbors did the same. Now we have all gone dark except for my palm tree. It stands on deck near the backdoor and is bright green with a yellow trunk. My neighbors love my palm tree.

I crave color in winter. Even my winter wardrobe tends to be drab, utilitarian. The clothes are meant for warmth, not fashion. I could remedy that I suppose, but since my retirement I am seldom inclined to buy new clothes. I did buy a flannel shirt this winter, but that’s it. Maybe I’ll add a jaunty scarf in brilliant pink to my winter ensemble.