Posted tagged ‘delightful day’

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”

September 8, 2017

Today is a delight. It will be in the 70’s during the day and the mid 50’s tonight. The breeze is ever so slight. The sunshine has a fall look about it. I stayed outside with Gracie a little bit this morning so I could watch the birds. The goldfinches love the new thistle feeder, and there were four of them on it at once. One got a little possessive and chased a chickadee away. I have a new thistle feeder I haven’t put out yet, but I will in a bit as I have to fill the sunflower feeders again. Luckily I bought new seeds the other day: mixed, sunflower and thistle. I’m ready for the onslaught of the birds. Where’s Alfred Hitchcock?

This has been a busy week for me. I was out every day but yesterday. I even lost track of the days. This morning I had to think about yesterday in order to remember today. I double-checked my guess by looking at the calendar. I guessed right.

My neighborhood is noisy. I can hear lawn mowers, hedge clippers and blowers from next door. They’re probably due here next. What I don’t hear are voices or even cars. The kids are in school, and the traffic has lessened since Labor Day.

My garden has flowers in bloom. They are beautiful. Three of the four front fence pieces are covered by white clematis. I keep the gate open as the flowers have spread and have started covering the gate space. I have to sidle through. When I do, I worry a bit about the bees, but they don’t seem to care about me. They have the flowers. I added red hibiscus two weeks ago to the back of the front garden, the only bare spot. The flowers were on sale so I took the chance. The first few days I hand watered, but then it rained and it rained again. The flowers took hold. The buds have blossomed. They are tall enough to be seen from the road and add a wondrous color to the garden. Now I want more color for the few here and there spots needing flowers, but that will be for next year unless, of course, I find another great sale.

I think I’ll go to the farm stand. I’d like some home-grown tomatoes. I’m also still hoping for Thai food. My taste buds crave coconut shrimp. It is probably not a coincidence that the farm stand is on the way to the Thai restaurant.

“I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”

August 31, 2017

Today is a delight. The humidity is still among the missing. The morning was even a bit chilly. I wished I had a sweatshirt on when I was outside waiting for Gracie. It rained all Tuesday night into Wednesday early afternoon but then the sun came out and the rest of the day was lovely. I hung around the house yesterday and finally did the laundry. It has made it upstairs only as far as this floor, but I still feel accomplished.

The kids around here go back to school next week, the day after Labor Day. It was also when I went back to school. I complained every year because that is the responsibility of kids the world over, but I didn’t really care. By the end of the summer I had run out of things to do. I was bored though I would never have admitted it.

On the weekend before going back to school, I checked out all my school supplies again and again. I sharpened my pencils and loaded and unloaded my school bag. I used to carry it with the strap across my chest, and I’d check out the look in the mirror.

I got to wear a new outfit on the first day of school, the only day of no uniforms. My mother would lay out our outfits on our beds. New clothes and new shoes were special.

On the schoolyard, I’d see my school friends for the first time since the summer had begun. When the bell rang, a hand bell rung by a nun, we’d go into the building but not in lines. Those would start the next day after we had found our classrooms and classmates. There were two classes of every grade, each with 40 or more students. One class got a nun while the other class didn’t. The nuns by their very natures kept us quiet and attentive. We didn’t dare do otherwise. The not nun teachers were just as strict. We all knew the being attentive position. It was sitting at our desks with our hands folded on top of it.

After the first few days, school became routine. We were back in uniform. Bells ruled our lives. We entered and left the school in lines. We did homework. It was a long way until June.

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.”

August 6, 2017

Today is an absolute delight. The humidity is gone, the sun is squint your eyes bright and there is a cool breeze. I even had to shut the window behind me as I found the breeze cold on my back. I opened the other window in here and both doors to let all that wonderful fresh air into the house. It is a deck day, a wonderful deck day.

Tonight is movie night. I think I’ll have a sweatshirt at the ready as it will be in the low 60’s. Even though it is early August, the weather hints at fall.

My neighbor barbecues chicken wings every Sunday. He doesn’t use any sauce. He never has any sides. His wife sits on the deck and keeps him company. If he sees me, he shouts for me to join him and his wife. I did one Sunday, the Sunday he barbecued Brazilian kielbasa especially for me. His wife made caipirinhas, a Brazilian drink I love. They call me Miss Kath.

I was taught Hausa during my Peace Corps training. It is a language indigenous to Niger but is also a Sub-Saharan trade language. There are even Hausa traders. I used to shop at their stalls on High Street. When I used Hausa, I got better deals. The man who oversaw the Peace Corps hostel spoke Hausa. He loved that I spoke his language. On the first floor of the hostel there were two sleeping rooms for women: one had a bathroom while the other was much smaller and didn’t. I was there once when very few volunteers were. He gave me a key to the big room and put everyone else in the small room. He hated what he called Yama Yama women who left powder all over the bathroom floor. Yama Yama women are street walkers so that was quite an insult. The other day Grace Awae, the former student I have spent so much time with, send hello from Facebook. I wrote back in Hausa: Ina kwana? Yaya kake? Good morning and how are you. She wrote Ina lafiya, I am fine.

I have a few deck clean-ups before tonight, mostly bird poop. I also have to clean the table. I’m making muhammara, a dish I learned to make in Marrakech. The original dish I had planned, shredded chicken phyllo rolls, has to be postponed as I don’t have the right ingredients. I thought I did. I have cheese and crackers and meatballs from last week which are now defrosting. We’ll have plenty.

If I were ten again, I’d be at the beach with my family. I’d be eating grainy sandwiches, probably bologna, and eating watermelon and some Oreos. I’d walk the beach to find shells and I’d swim in the warm tidal pools. I loved the summer Sundays of my childhood.

“Every morning you are reborn, and prove it worthwhile.”

August 14, 2014

The White Rabbit and I share the lateness of the hour. My morning has been leisurely. I read both papers and doubt I missed anything happening here or in the greater world. While my English muffin was toasting, I watered the plants. I am such a multi-tasker say I with a bit of tongue in cheek.

Yesterday it poured. I had to shut windows and doors. It was a noisy rain battering the roof and dripping from the eaves. Gracie slept in her crate most of the afternoon. I took a nap, the best thing to do on a rainy afternoon.

Today is another delight. It is in the mid 70’s and will go down to the low 60’s tonight, perfect sleeping weather, and every day for the rest of the week is predicted the same as today though tomorrow night may even get as low as the high 50’s. It feels more like fall than summer especially in the mornings.

Okay, it’s time for a little bit of Ghana here. The trigger was the cool morning, my favorite part of the day in Ghana. Each morning was the same. I’d have my two eggs cooked in groundnut oil as the Ghanaians call it, peanut oil for us, two pieces of toast, wonderful toast from uncut loaves of bread sold from trays balanced on women’s heads, and two huge cups of coffee, bad coffee which I actually got used to drinking. The food was cooked over charcoal on a small round hibachi like burner. The toast was cooked against the hot sides of the burner and needed turning. Boiling the water was first so I could drink my coffee while the rest of my breakfast was cooking. Thomas was my cook. He’d hand me the coffee, and I’d go outside and sit on my porch, no chair, just concrete steps. Little kids would pass me going in both directions. Just outside the front of the school was an elementary school and just beyond the back gate was a middle school. My house was beside that back gate so I could see the students lining up and hear the national anthem before they went into school. The youngest, heading to the elementary school, always stopped to say good morning and stayed a while and stared. A white person in Bolga in those days was still a novelty.

I had a table, a couple of chairs and a refrigerator in my dining area. One whole wall was just screening, no glass, and the floor always got soaked when it rained. Thomas would call me to breakfast. Those were the best tasting eggs I’ve ever had. On my two trips back, I had eggs every morning, and they were as delicious as I remembered. The coffee was still the worst. In forty years breakfast hadn’t changed a bit and mornings were still my favorite part of the Ghanaian day.

“we’re all golden sunflowers inside.”

June 17, 2013

This morning I woke up early and had that strange burst of energy I get some mornings. I made my bed, put on a load of wash, took a shower and read both papers, all before 8 o’clock. I think that’s a new record for me.

When I was walking back from the drive-way with my paper, I noticed a catbird carrying a long, brown what looked like a frond from a daffodil in its mouth. He dropped it when I walked near and the frond caught on the top of the fence. I moved the frond to the grass. When I looked later, it was gone, and while I was standing at the door, the catbird flew by with another piece of brown grass in its beak. I watched to see where the bird was going. The nest is being built in my forsythia bush in the front garden. The bush is tall and thick and perfect for a nest. The bush needs trimming so I’ll have to catch my landscaper and have him leave it be for a while. I can live with a shaggy forsythia.

My Sunday breakfast is now my Monday breakfast. With the summer crowd, my place has a line out the door and down the parking lot on Sunday mornings but not on Mondays. This morning, after the hectic start to my day, I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with my friend, and it was a wonderful way to slow down to enjoy the day, a delightful day with blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s.

I have only one errand to do and a couple of chores. I’ll get to them later. There’s no hurry. I have the whole day!

I love sitting here in the coolness of my den. The only sounds I hear are the birds. They sing in stereo all around my house. The cats and the dog are napping and for once, Gracie isn’t snoring. Content is how I feel.