Posted tagged ‘deck staining’

“As truth be told, homecoming never gets old.”

May 27, 2016

When I woke up, it was cloudy and dark, but within an hour the sun had burst from the clouds and taken over the sky. It is a beautiful day, sunny and warm. My deck is being stained, and the finished parts look like new. The only problem is Gracie. When she wants out, I have to divert her right down the stairs. I think she figures I’m depriving her of saying hello to the men working and also having access to all the brushes and cans of stain, great smells gone to waste. We are going to the dump so maybe that will salve her feelings.

I didn’t get my lazy day yesterday as I had to go for a few items at the grocery store. That meant getting dressed. Today I have a few things to do so tomorrow will be my lay about day. I’m already looking forward to a nap on the deck.

I think I’m getting boring. I have no stories, no remembrances and no adventures to share.  I know they are in my memory drawers somewhere, but they’re probably stuck in the same way my bureau drawers often are. I’m doing my best to pry them open.

My house is filled with memories of my travels. The most are, of course, from Ghana. They are in every room. I have baskets, gourds, paintings and drawings, metal and wooden figures, cloth, an oware game and an old stool, the sign of a chief. I have some artwork done by the art teacher at my school. I can still visualize him: Mr. Yao Blissah. His first name means he was born on Thursday. He was a small, compact man who always spoke to me when we’d meet on school grounds. I can’t remember if he lived on grounds or not.  Most teachers did in a row of houses facing the school buildings. A road of sorts led from the gate to the last house, which was mine. The back gate was beside my house. Outside the gate, the road led to the hospital and to the houses of the hospital staff. I used to take the dirt road as a shortcut until I got my motorcycle.

For forty years I thought of Ghana constantly and then I finally went back. The next year I went back again and here I am planning a third trip. All of the feelings came back in force when first I went. It was a homecoming.

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”

May 2, 2016

All I can say is ditto about the weather. May has not had a glorious start. Usually by this time we’ve had a few warmish days, but this year the weather is slow to change. We seem to be stuck in the rain belt, but I’ll play Pollyanna’s glad game and say at least it’s not snow.

My dour mood is gone. I feel lighter somehow. I even started the laundry. Last week I went a total of 14 miles. Today I have stuff I want to do so the 14 miles will quickly be eclipsed.

My flamingo and my gnome are getting anxious. They are still here in their winter quarters  and wonder when they can take up residence on the deck, their summer retreat. I wonder the same thing. The deck has to be stained, but the weather just doesn’t cooperate. I’m leaning toward staining in the fall. I’ll have to talk to Sebastian, my neighbor and landscaper, about the possibility of waiting.

I don’t have an electric can opener. I don’t want one. Mine died a few years back, and I chose not to replace it. When I lived in Ghana, I realized how easy it was to get used to not having. Everything was done by hand. I had no machines to make life easier. After a short while, I didn’t care. It was there I learned to cook and bake. I also learned how to pick a really meaty chicken, good eggs, fresh tomatoes and recently cut meat. They were necessary skills for market shopping in Bolga.

Fast forward 40+ years, and my kitchen is a marvel of appliances and machinery. I have two food processors of different sizes, a blender, an electric mixer, coffee grinder, toaster and one of those immersion type things you put in soup to puree the ingredients. All of them have been put to good use. They are time and energy savers, but sometimes I don’t choose to use them.

I grab my cutting board, a good knife for chopping and bags for finished vegetables. I sit in the den, with the TV on and cut and chop. It helps my back not to be standing, and I’m reminded that I can do without. I enjoy the cutting and chopping in the same way I enjoy washing the dishes rather than using the dish washer. I ponder the world when doing what are essentially mindless tasks though I am careful with the knife. I let my mind wander anywhere and just follow along. I’ve never forgotten the value of washing dishes by hand. It is one of the best lessons I learned in Ghana.

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