Posted tagged ‘dump day’

“On Sunday mornings, as the dawn burned into day, swarms of gulls descended on the uncollected trash, hovering and dropping in the cold clear light.”

August 7, 2016

Sunday morning is always quiet for me. I read my two papers and drink my coffee. I always call my sister in Colorado at 11, and we talk for an hour or more. That’s what usually puts me behind the time.

Last night I had Chinese food for dinner. I have been craving it for a while and finally decided it was time to satisfy that craving. Dinner was scrumptious, and I have enough leftover for today. That’s a bonus.

My windows and doors are open, but I suspect it will only be a short while before the heat gets to me as the slight breeze just isn’t enough to counter the hot sun. If I were a tourist, I’d love today. I imagine the beaches are filled. Usually by this time of the day even the beach parking lots are filled.

This morning I started watching The Lady in White. I’ve seen it before, but I liked the movie enough to see it again. It takes place in 1962 at Halloween. The Lady is a ghost. The main character, Frankie, witnesses a murder in his class cloak room which had taken place 10 years earlier. The rest of the movie hinges on that event. When I saw the beginning of the movie this time, I hadn’t remembered how it started. I did remember the rest. That a ghost is an important character doesn’t bother me at all. She is woven into the plot and is as important a character as Frankie.

I have a few outside things to do this afternoon like water the plants on the deck, clean the outside shower before I take one later and check the connections to my lights on the deck and in the yard. None of the lights go on though they’re still connected to timers. One set is on the rail of the deck and two other sets are coiled around trees in the yard. My friend misses the lights and so do I.

Today is dump day. I imagine Gracie will be excited when she sees me hauling the trash bags to the car. I’ll have to open the doors and start the AC before I put her into the car or she’ll pant. Her window has to be open despite the air as she needs to smell the world as we travel. I totally understand.


“Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!”

April 3, 2016

“In the lane snow is glistening…” We got a dusting of snow last night. It is wet and heavy. I know this because I went out and made a snowball to throw at the spawn of Satan eating from the suet feeder. The snowball was the perfect heft for an accurate throw, and I hit the spawn dead on. It sort of jumped in surprise then took off on the deck rail down into the yard.

The sun has just appeared backed by a cloudy blue sky. The wind is dying down. The day is beginning to have possibilities. We didn’t go to the dump yesterday as it rained all day, but it looks as if today might just be the perfect dump day. Strange, I never imagined myself talking about the perfect dump day or any dump day for that matter. It seems I’ve turned into such an odd conversationalist.

The snow is dripping off the roof mimicking the sound of a rain storm. I can see small clumps of snow falling from the branches. I filled the bird feeders the other day so the birds are many and varied. My usual gold finches, chickadees, titmice and nut hatches are here as are house finches, woodpeckers and a sparrow of sorts I don’t know by name. I’m sure the doves are here as I did throw seed on the ground for them.

Getting ready for spring takes more time than getting ready for winter. The outside furniture has to be uncovered and cleaned. All the decorative items like the fountain, the painted tables and the tree candles have to be brought from the cellar. The three bins filled with summer I keep stored under the deck have to be emptied then filled with the furniture coverings. The pictures have to be hung on the house wall facing the deck. The gnome and the flamingo are last on the deck. They formally announce the beginning of summer.

In the front and on the side, the gardens need to be cleaned and the dirt overturned. Two branches too close to the house on the front pine tree have to come down. The lawn needs tending. When the weather is warm enough, flowers need to bought and planted to fill any empty spots. The annuals in the herb garden need replacing. The window boxes for the deck need to be repainted this year then filled with flowers and herbs. The small vegetable garden will only have tomatoes as they seem to grow best there.

In winter the furniture gets covered and all the gardens turn brown. The front yard gets its last cleaning. The dead flowers are cut. The deck is bare and abandoned. Only the feeders are left. It never takes long to ready the house and yard for winter. I always think it’s the saddest day, the day I have to admit fall has finished its course, the day the gnome and the flamingo come inside.

It is so easy to love spring.

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”

January 28, 2016

Today is sunny and warmer than it has been. The snow is almost gone. It lingers in piles on the corners of the streets and beside driveways. My deck and parking space are clear. The drama of the first snowstorm is over.

I woke up early, a relative term I realize, but decided I wasn’t ready yet to face the day. I slept another hour and a half. Gracie joined me. I took my time reading the papers. There just seemed to be lots of news. It was a three cups of coffee morning.

Today has an empty agenda. I’m not even sure I’ll get dressed. I’m not going anywhere. My car’s trunk is filled with trash but Leandro and Rosanna will be here in a bit to clean so tomorrow will be the big day, a banner day, a day to be out and about. Tomorrow is dump day, and the weatherman says it may rain. Of course it will. It is also get Gracie’s license day as the price goes up 100% after tomorrow which also happens to be the last day I can pay my real estate taxes on line. How will I pay you ask? Tomorrow is pay day.

My dad got paid every Friday when I was a kid. He’d hand his check over to my mother, the family accountant, who would cash it. It was her job to divvy the money into budget envelopes and to pay her Christmas club for the week. I remember those envelopes. On the front of each was the amount my mother put in every week. The envelopes over time became a deep tan color and were bound together inside a red cover with strings to close it.

When I bought my house, I started to use budget envelopes, but I wasn’t fancy. I just grabbed white envelopes, labeled them and put the amount on the front. I got paid every two weeks. The first couple of years I owned the house the mortgage was half my month’s salary. Those were the lean years. I didn’t travel anywhere for the first time since 1969 when I went into the Peace Corps. Restaurants, except once in a while, were not budget items. Grocery shopping was limited to needing only. I got sick of hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner.

The lean years lasted about four years. In the fifth year I went to Europe. My fiscal crisis was behind me: no more envelopes, no more scrimping and no more longing to be somewhere.

“Parents have got to chill out. Let your kid eat dirt – they’re gonna be fine! “

June 2, 2015

The rain came last night, stayed a while then left earlier this morning. In its wake is a dank day, a sweatshirt to stave off the cold day. I don’t see much hope of sun. Gracie and I are going to the dump. Days like today are perfect dump days because most people are smarter than I and stay away when it rains. I don’t really care. I’ll dry. Gracie cares even less: she stays in the car.

Gracie’s water dish and my toilet bowl looked a bit like the beach yesterday. Gracie buried her chew bone outside, and   her face and jowls acted as a shovel to push dirt over her treasure. She came inside and drank to clean her face and left behind sand, lots of sand.

When I was a kid, I never minded being dirty. My hands were sometimes filthy because I caught grasshoppers in the field who left what I figured was brown poop on my hands and grabbed frogs out of the swamp water covered with bugs and algae. I usually had black blots on my fingers and hands from my bike’s handlebars grips. My pants had grass stains and dirty knees. None of it bothered me. We played hard when we were young. It was proof of a day well spent.

I always think the amount of dirt you can tolerate is directly proportional to your age. The younger you are, the dirtier you don’t mind being. I think that makes life easier. Now I hate it if my clothes have stains or if I drop a bit of lunch on my shirt. Out comes the Tide Pen. I used to carry Shout Wipes, but the pen is much easier to use. I now espouse the cleanliness next to Godliness maxim.

I do look forward to being really old simply because stains will no longer matter. The 90-year-old on my library board often wears a shirt with a stain. I chalk it up to her age and think nothing of it. It’s a sort of freedom granted to the very young and the very old. I am stuck in the middle.

“For anyone who lives in the oak-and-maple area of New England there is a perennial temptation to plunge into a purple sea of adjectives about October.”

October 5, 2014

When I woke up, I checked outside my bedroom window and saw sunlight. The world appears to be aglow. The leaves are patterned with light and shadow and are moving just a bit in the slight breeze. The sun has moved into its autumnal phase and has a cooler light. I stood on the deck for a bit, watched Gracie in the yard and took in the sun but wished it were warmer.

Gracie and I are going to the dump today. It will be crowded. I figure the rain of the last three or four days kept people away. I know I chose to stay home and just kept adding trash to the trunk. I still have one more bag and some newspapers. It will be a monumental dump run.

Nothing much is happening. The only people I saw this week were cashiers. The phone was my chief means of communication with family and friends. Nothing much was happening with them either. Either we are all quite boring or we are just slowing down to get ready for the oncoming winter, the inside season.

One branch of leaves on one of the trees in the backyard is orange. None of the other leaves have changed so this stands out among many. I wonder why.

When I was a kid, I loved the leaves changing color this time of year and never really cared why. It was enough for me that they were beautiful and so many colors. I knew the shadows of trees and the shadows of my friends and me on our walks to school would be different somehow, but I never cared why. All of it was part of the landscape, a part of the changing season and that was enough for me.

“Without Spam, we wouldn’t have been able to feed our army.”

August 18, 2014

This room is chilly. It still holds the cold from last night, and the sun won’t be here until late afternoon. Most mornings I love sitting here, but not this morning. I need sun and warmth and maybe even some socks.

My birthday was wonderful. It was a two-day gala. The culminating event was going out for the birthday dinner last night. My friend and I celebrate each other’s birthdays that way. We decided a long time ago we didn’t need more things, but we need time together as we don’t see each other as often as we did. Usually it doesn’t happen on the exact day but it always happens. The timing isn’t important. It’s dinner with a friend that counts.

Today is Gracie’s favorite day, dump day. It’s also laundry day. They are both quite a comedown from all the festivities of the weekend. My tenure as queen was short-lived.

I don’t know if Hormel is offended or pleased that the mailbox for useless, unwanted e-mail is called spam. For me the word always brings to mind Monty Python’s Spam sketch and the Vikings singing. It also brings to mind my father. He loved Spam. He first ate it during World War II and all his life after that. Mostly he’d put it in sandwiches but sometimes he’d fry with his eggs. My sister became a Spam fan. She even has a pair of tiny Spam can earrings. The gelatinous goop, aspic I guess, makes the newly opened Spam sort of gross looking. Its pedigree is sometimes in question. My favorite Spam story is when my sister was invited to her in-laws for dinner. Her mother-in-law said they were having a pork roast. A square of Spam dotted with cloves, decoratively applied, arrived on a small platter and with a flourish was placed in the middle of the table. That is about as exalted as Spam will ever get. My sister managed not to laugh or gag and did eat some of that pork roast. I don’t think I’ve ever bought Spam though I am impressed at how many different flavors there are now. There is even a Spam spread should you need an extra appetizer. Most impressive is that Spam can last for years. I’m thinking a Spam jalapeño sandwich with melted Velveeta cheese. If you aren’t hungry for it now, just wait a few years. It will still be good.

“Everybody likes a roller coaster ride.”

August 11, 2014

This morning I have already cleaned off the deck and filled the bird feeders. I also tried again to attach the fronds to my new palm tree, but they are just too heavy for me to hold with one hand and attach with the other. I’ll have to wait until Thursday when Lee and Roseana come to clean. Lee is always happy to help.

If you want to know the weather, check yesterday’s Coffee because it is the same today, the same gorgeous day. I see a deck day, and I also see a dump run as I have already loaded the car. Gracie will be glad. Weekends are no longer dump days as the traffic is lined up along the street to the dump and inside is a mad house. Mondays are quiet.

My front garden is beautiful so I’ll try to take some pictures today. I always wanted a garden filled with flowers, and this garden is exactly what I dreamed. Not being a gardener, it was hit or miss with the flowers I chose, but I did well. I noticed some bare spots and a bush is going to be moved this fall so next year I get to buy more flowers, perennials in the front. I’ll do a bit of research first then make my list. Some I may have to get on-line as rare flowers aren’t at the local garden shops. People tend to buy the familiar.

We never came down the cape when I was a kid. All our vacations were in Maine or Vermont. On weekends we went to local beaches on the North Shore. When I was really young, we went to Revere Beach. I remember aunts and uncles and cousins being there with us as well. I also remember the adults would take turns. Some would watch us while others would run across the street for a drink or two. Revere Beach back then had all sorts of food booths, bars, arcade games and rides. We kids never left the beach. There was always plenty to eat and drink from the various baskets. We’d whine and ask to go on a ride, but I can’t remember ever taking one though maybe we rode the merry-go-round, but that is a hazy memory at best.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would go to Revere Beach on a Friday or Saturday night. We’d buy sausage subs with peppers and onions and eat them as we walked along the boardwalk. We rode the roller coaster. I remember that roller coaster more than any other ride because when I was young I could see the top of the coaster from the highway on the way to visit my grandparents. It was a sign post of sorts as to where we were. I loved that old wooden coaster. I remember the anticipation and maybe a little fear as the roller coaster slowly climbed that first hill. I remember the sounds of the coaster. It made squealing noises around corners, the wheels clicked on the track for the whole ride and people always screamed, especially down that first hill. The brave ones didn’t hold on but raised both arms in the air in a show of bravado. I wasn’t one of them. I always held on.

“Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.”

July 14, 2014

Last night the weather woman predicted a polar vortex. She was describing summer temperatures in the mid to low 60’s. I guess polar was about the best adjective she could find to describe the cool, even cold, summer days and nights. Right now, though, it is oppressively humid and totally still. I feel closed in, surrounded by the thick air. I swear I can even see it.

Gracie and I are going to the dump today. Sunday, our usual day, is, in the summer, the worst day to go. I know. I’ve been there. Cars are lined up at the gate waiting to get in, and there are no parking spots near the trash or the recycle bins. I just hope the predicted rain holds off. My luck is usually such that just as I’m arriving at the dump the skies open and the deluge begins.

I don’t remember staying in the house any day, especially on a rainy day, when I was a kid. Rainy days were fun. We’d find the biggest puddles, jump in and send sprays of water all around us soaking ourselves at the same time. We’d walk barefooted in the gutters filled with rainwater splashing and kicking water as we went. If the rain was heavy, the water ran quickly through the gutters to the sewers. We’d float leaves or pieces of bark and run along side to watch them fly through the water until our makeshift boats disappeared in the sewer grate. Then we’d go back and do it again.

I never minded getting wet or dirty when I was young. My standards for cleanliness were low. Sometimes I’d even go to bed in the clothes I had worn that day. It just seemed easier. Now I carry wet naps in my bag and in the car. I wear gloves when I pot  plants or when I’m in the garden. I carry a Tide pen in case of spills. My standards now are quite high. I think that is one of the burdens of adulthood.

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

May 1, 2014

Yesterday the rain started and last night it poured. I know this because I took Gracie to the front garden to eat the grass there. The rain was pelting my back, and I got soaked. Gracie had trash picked the garbage bag yesterday, and I caught her but not until after she had eaten something. Last night she started swallowing over and over as if she was going to be sick. She kept gagging as well. That was what made me think she must have eaten something or had something stuck in her throat. After the grass frenzy out front we went to bed. Within a half hour it started again, the swallowing. We got up, and I gave her spider plant fronds to eat. I turned on the TV and waited a while. She seemed better so we went back to bed. By this time, it was around 2 o’clock. She fell asleep but then it started again. We went back to the grass in the front. It wasn’t raining as hard. After a while, we came back in, and I decided to try to sleep with her on the couch. It was 4 o’clock when we fell asleep. I woke up around 7:30 because my legs were contorted to give Gracie room and they ached from the odd position. That’s when we went upstairs to bed. I slept until 11. Gracie seems okay. She is having her morning nap and ate two treats earlier. I’m exhausted.

Today is dump day which may perk Miss Gracie’s spirits. Rainy days make the both of us unenthusiastic about doing much. I love staying inside my cozy house with a good book and a fresh pot of coffee while I listen to the rain.

Today is May Day, a time for the May Pole strung with ribbons, a May queen with flowers in her hair and the Morris dancers. Today I will buy some flowers for the house to bring a bit of spring and to celebrate May Day.

I have taught the red spawn how to fly. It has moved to a smaller feeder and can’t see me because the deck rail hides its sight line. I slowly make my way stopping every few steps in case it hears me. I run the last few steps to the feeder, and the spawn has nowhere to go but down. It jumps off the feeder to the ground, almost a couple of stories down then runs up a tree, sits on a branch close to the deck and starts yapping at me with squeals and squeaks. Yesterday the spawn flew twice. I gave its landings an 8 and a 7.

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