Posted tagged ‘dunkin-donuts’

Gracie Update

June 18, 2017

It was another of those sorts of nights. Gracie was restless and wanted out every hour or so. I did her bidding. I slept little. She started vomiting which is what happened a week or so ago. I decided around 3:45 to take her to the 24-hour veterinary service. She was the only one there and got immediate attention. They decided to rehydrate her with the under the skin hydration and also gave her an anti-nausea medication. That’s what worked the last time, and it worked again. When we got home, around 5:30, we both went to sleep. Gracie was up around 9 and wanted out. I, of course, obeyed. She came back inside and slept. She is still asleep.

I learned that at 3:45 on a before summer Sunday morning there isn’t any traffic. I also learned that the drive-up Dunkin Donuts opens at 5 which was just in time for me. Butternut donuts are freshest at 5:10. The sky is light at that time of the morning. I hadn’t thought about that. It was the light at the end of the day which has mostly taken my attention.

I learned a lot this early morning.

“It’s in the singing of a street corner choir. It’s going home and getting warm by the fire. It’s true, wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas!”

December 9, 2016

 

Last night was freezing. Gracie slept right beside me with her head on my arm. I guess she needed the body warmth. We have sun today, but I’d gladly trade it for a warmer day. The temperature is in the 30’s and will go down to the 20’s tonight. At least we won’t get snow.

Al my Colorado presents are wrapped. The bin holds only unwrapped Cape presents, and I have time yet. Today is busy. Gracie and I are going to the dump then to UPS. I also need to get a Dunkin’ gift card and a few groceries. I have to make fudge for my sister. I’ll be seeing her tomorrow and the fudge is a tradition, a gift she loves. Tonight I’ll watch Hallmark Christmas movies and write out my Christmas cards. I have my Edward Gorey cards, special ones for the family and a few I bought in Ghana. The tree is postponed until Sunday. I am disappointed.

This end of the street is dark, no Christmas lights, except for my house. One of my neighbors does have a white light in each window, but that is it. At the other end of the street three of the houses have lights. And on the next street, one of the houses is amazing. The lawn is filled with lights and lit figures of Santa and his reindeer. The house is outlined. All the trees are ablaze with light. It is the best house in the neighborhood.

When I was a kid, the square at Christmas always had carolers the nights before Christmas when people were shopping. The John Hancock Company gave out free soft cover books of carols, and they were passed out each night to the carolers. I remember one cover had a church with a lit stain glass window. Another cover had three choir boys wearing white gowns and red bowties. I still have a couple of books, one of each cover. I remember singing in the square. We stood on a platform right in front of the drug store and the Children’s Corner. I was in the fifth grade. We probably weren’t all that good but we were enthusiastic. I remember it all.

“cozy+smell of pancakes-alarm clock=weekend”

August 29, 2016

This morning I was forced to go to Dunkin’ Donuts. I had no coffee and no cream so Gracie and I jumped into the car and drove off for my morning elixir. When we got there, the outside line was long, but I had no choice. I hadn’t bothered to get dressed or even brush my teeth. Gracie didn’t mind the wait. She just poked her head out the window and took in the neighborhood and its smells. I listened to the radio. The line went faster than I thought it would. I was happy.

Today is already hot and humid so I am back in my fortress having shut the windows and doors and turned on the air conditioning. There are clouds but they do nothing except to obscure the sun. Rain is not in the forecast for the next couple of days. The weekend, though, will be lovely with daytime temperatures in the low 70’s and nights in the mid 60’s.  It is the Labor Day weekend, the traditional last hurrah of the summer.

My sister started work today. She is a pre-school teacher in Colorado. When I spoke to her last night, she was going to take a shower so she could get to bed early. I remember my mother sending us to bed early and reminding us we had school the next day. I also remember moaning and groaning and dragging my feet upstairs.

When I was a kid, I never kept track of the weekdays. I only knew when it was Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday my father was home. He did errands uptown and mowed the lawn. On Saturday nights he often barbecued. Sometimes we went to the beach all day Saturday or the drive-in on Saturday nights. Sunday had the only consistently distinguishing event, going to mass which also meant a change in wardrobe from shorts and a sleeveless shirt to a dress or a skirt and a blouse. After mass, the day was back to casual. We didn’t have Sunday dinners during the summer. It was more of a catch as catch can. Mostly it was sandwiches.

I think my favorite weekends were in Ghana, especially the Sundays. There was a service in the dining hall where the furniture had been reconfigured to look more like the inside of a church. The students wore their Sunday clothes. Each of the four classes had a different fabric for their traditional three piece dresses, their Sunday best. They wore a top, a skirt to their ankles and a cloth wrapped around at the waist. After the service, the older students could go to town. Visitors were allowed. A photographer wandered around taking pictures, always in black and white. I have a few of the pictures given to me as gifts. When I went to town, I could see the students walking in groups and stopping at kiosks to buy personal items like powder. Others went to the market to load up on snacks to keep in their school trunks, especially gari, made from cassava and easily stored.

Being retired, my days tend to run together. I sometimes have to check the paper to see what day of the week it is. My chores and errands aren’t confined to a single day. I don’t ever have to go to bed early.

“My life is better with every year of living it.”

August 19, 2016

This morning I was up and out early to have some lab work done. On the way, I had to stop to let a turkey hen lead her brood of five across the road to the other side. The five were walking all in a row and moved quickly to stay behind their mother. After the lab, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts as I hadn’t yet had my coffee. The ride through had fifteen cars in line so I parked out front and walked inside. I was second in line and got my coffee quickly. I also treated myself to a croissant lemon donut. It was my prize for remembering to get the lab work done.

Today is quite hot but dry. The doors and windows are still open. My neighborhood was noisy earlier. I could hear a radio blasting from the house next door, and I could hear voices from the rental. I shut the door, started to read the papers and fell asleep for about an hour, a weird time for me to be napping. I must have inspired the animals as all three are in the den here with me, and all three are asleep. Gracie is lightly snoring.

Only two weekends left until Labor Day weekend. The summer is speeding away. This has probably been my quietest summer in a long while. We didn’t see a movie on the deck though I am determined to have three, one on each remaining weekend. I have spent most of August behind closed doors and windows with the AC at full blast.

Tonight is another birthday celebration at my friends’ house down the street. They are the balloon friends. We’ll play a few games, drink a little and have dinner. I’ll open another present. Nothing is better than celebrating a birthday over and over.

“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.”

June 9, 2016

This morning I heard the first bird greeting the day. It was around 4 or 4:15 and still dark, but the bird knew. The sky started to lighten. I tried to go back to sleep. I couldn’t so I got of bed around 5. The papers weren’t even here. I decided to get coffee and a donut. I saw one truck at the red light. Dunkin Donuts was the only place open, but that was all I needed, two coffees and a butternut donut.

It’s a chilly morning. Even now at 8 it is only 55˚. The sun is shining, but the breeze is strong enough to rustle the leaves. I can even hear them.

I started watching The Gathering Storm. Winston Churchill is warning England about the rise of the Nazis. The plot also touches upon the relationship between Winston and his wife Clemmie. Albert Finney played Winston, but his acting reminded me many times of when he played Scrooge. He even looked and sounded like Scrooge. I kept waiting for him to say bah humbug.

I can hear Gracie snoring from her crate. Fern took her place on the couch so Gracie’s routine has been up-ended as has mine. I figure, though, we’ll both adjust.

My laundry finally got done. It is one of the chores I dislike. I think it is the folding and the hauling up two sets of stairs which puts me off.

I also watched Sergeant Preston of the Yukon on Grit. The picture was a bit weird looking as they had stretched the film to fit the screen. All the actors looked short and the trees stunted. King, the dog, looked elongated. It was winter in the Yukon.

The hot spot in Bolgatanga Ghana when I lived there was the Hotel D’Bull. Its outside walls were painted like the black and white body of a Holstein cow. Other than that, I have no idea as to the name. D’Bull doesn’t sound at all Ghanaian but sounds as if a Ghanaian thought it a wonderfully fancy name. It had an inside bar with air conditioning, but it was usually so full you couldn’t feel the cool air. That was called the cold room. The hotel had a huge courtyard in two parts. The upper part was where the bars were, the cold bar and the outside, windowed bar with tables and chairs. The lower part, a couple of steps down, was where they showed movies on the wall. I saw my first Bollywood movie there. It was subtitled, and I was amazed at all the singing and the glitter. The clothes were spectacular and colorful. The singing sounded odd to my ears with the jingle jangle of lyrics. I saw an old western there, one from the 30’s in black and white. I usually got the expensive seat, on the roof, a patio table with chairs. We usually ordered kabobs for dinner. The first time I ever ate liver was on that roof. It was one of the pieces of barbecued meat. The room were spartan but clean, all with their own bathrooms. They had ceiling fans, not AC.

When I went back, the building was still there but its name had changed. It is now the Black Star Hotel. The cold room has been removed and a small internet cafe has taken its place. The rooms are air-conditioned but still a bit shabby. I think they lost a lot when they painted over the cow.

I was just warned by the deputy chief of police not to be alarmed if I hear gunshots and bomb blasts. They are having a drill about a mile from here. It’s a good thing to have a warning.

“A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.”

February 18, 2016

I have amazed myself. This morning Gracie and I were out and about by 9:45. Perhaps that doesn’t sound early, but it was shortly after I woke up and it was accomplished without coffee, a feat in itself. The first stop on our list was for blood letting, the reason for no coffee. Next stop was the dump though it would be better described as the tundra where a freezing wind blew across the open areas. My trunk was filled, but I was quick to toss the bags into the receptacle then jump back into the warm car. CVS was next for Gracie’s pills. The last stop before home was Dunkin’ Donuts.

Most of my favorite places in my old home town are changed almost beyond recognition or are totally gone. I lived there for eleven years. I remember the sights, smells and sounds of that town. While walking in the square, I could hear the pins falling in the bowling alleys below the movie theater. The alleys as well as some pool tables were at the bottom of a set of stairs. I used to peek through the glass on the door, but I could only see the stairs and a bit of the wooden floor where the stairs ended. Never once did I venture down. I didn’t know anyone who did. I only remember the sound.

Uptown sometimes smelled like popcorn. Down a narrow street off the square was a small place where candy and popcorn were made. It had a counter at the front of the store where you could buy the candy and popcorn, always cheaper than at Star Market. They were packaged in plastic bags with only the name of the contents on the front. I didn’t know the name of the small plant which made them. I only remember the smell, the aroma.

Two drugstores were in the square. One was small with only four stools at the soda fountain while the other had a long marble counter and several stools. I could get a free coke from the small one if I was with my father. I had to pay at the other drug store, but it was only a dime. I always ordered a vanilla coke. The soda jerk started by putting the vanilla syrup in the glass, then added coke syrup and finally the fizzy water as we used to call it because we didn’t know what it was. The drink was never served with ice. I used a straw from the metal container to sip my drink. I don’t think I have ever tasted a better coke.

I remember every store. I could give you a tour of what was. I remember the green police box which stood in the middle of the road where three streets met until someone hit it and the box could not be saved. During the day shoppers walked up and down Main Street. Some shoppers carried paper bags while others wheeled wire baskets behind them. At night the movie theater marquee was lit. The stores were closed for the night. There were some street lights which were decorated every Christmas. Even now after all these years I can close my eyes and see it all.

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.”

March 18, 2014

The world looks different in the early part of the day. The cars are fewer and the lines shorter. People are purposeful with destinations in mind, and this morning Gracie and I were among them. I had an appointment, a destination, so we were out and about before nine, even before coffee and the papers. The appointment didn’t take long so when I was done and on my way home I rewarded myself for the early hour with a stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and a butternut donut. Gracie got a munchkin. I don’t know which of us was happier. I got home, drank my coffee and read the papers. My day was back on schedule.

I don’t usually make breakfast for myself at home except for brewing coffee though sometimes I have toast if the bread is interesting enough. The other day I had a couple of biscotti. They were chocolate, and they were delicious.

My father never cared for breakfast in Europe except in England and Ireland where he got eggs, a broiled tomato and floppy bacon. In most of the other countries breakfast was cold cuts and rolls, lunches my dad called them. In a lovely hotel on a river in the Netherlands, an egg in an egg cup was sitting on a dish at his place at the table. He was delighted until he found out it was hard-boiled. 

My father would have liked the hotels in Ghana. Breakfast is part of the room rate, and they serve eggs and toast, sometimes fruit and always instant coffee which my father preferred. I never understand that. At my parents’ house, my mother had a coffee pot and real coffee for when I visited, but my dad always had his Maxwell House.

“God, it was hot! Forget about frying an egg on the sidewalk; this kind of heat would fry an egg inside the chicken.”

May 31, 2013

I never did get to the garden center yesterday because Gracie and I went to the dump. She saw me bringing trash to the car despite my stealthiness and got quite excited at the prospect of going to one of her favorite places. I couldn’t disappoint her so off we went. When I got home, I sat for a bit and that small break drained me of any ambition. It was around two, and I was sitting on the couch reading and sweating because yesterday afternoon was about 84˚. Why in the heck am I sweating thought I so up I got to turn on the air-conditioner. The house was so hot it took until early evening before it was comfortably cool. This morning I went outside to see if I could turn off the air. Nope!

I had no milk or cream so Gracie and I went to Dunkin’ Donuts. She enjoyed her morning ride and I got my coffee. We are both happy with the start of our day.

I don’t remember being hot when I was young. I remember cold, but the memory of heat escapes me. We walked from one end of town to the other to go to the pool, and I remember carrying my towel and bathing suit in both directions. On the way home the wet bathing suit was wrapped in the towel. I remember walking up the huge hill on the way to the square, but I don’t remember the rest of the walk. I remember tired but not hot. At night, the air was sometimes stifling in my bedroom, but I always fell asleep anyway. It was the exhaustion of a kid in summer.

We didn’t have air-conditioning. Nobody did. We didn’t even have a fan that I remember. My mother pulled down all the shades in the house to keep it cooler. We were moles every summer.

When I lived in Ghana, some days I minded the extreme heat. I’d sit in my chair, and when I got up, the imprint of my body was in an outline of sweat on the cushions. Candles melted sideways without being lit. That’s how hot it got in the Upper Region. I didn’t have a fan then either, never even thought of buying one. I just got used to the heat as best I could. In my mind it was just part of the experience of being a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa.

Every night I’d take my cold shower, no hot water, but the first water from the pipes was always hot, warmed by the sun, and I’d wash my hair quickly. The rest of me endured the cold water. I always took my shower just before I went to bed. I had learned not to dry myself off so I could air dry once I got into bed. It was like I was my own air-conditioner. I think the Peace Corps calls that adapting.

“The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with only a loaf of bread are three billion to one.”

October 12, 2012

Today was an unexpected sleep in late day. I won’t even admit what time it was when I finally crawled out of bed. Because I had no cream, the dog and I, as soon as we came downstairs, went to Dunkin’ Donuts to buy my morning coffee. Good thing they have a drive-up as I didn’t even bother to get dressed.

As soon as the sun goes down, it gets cold now, a lingering cold, the sort you know is here to stay. Tonight is supposed to be in the 30’s, yup, I said the 30’s. This morning, during my jaunt, the sun was out, but it has since disappeared and has left us with a gray, ugly day, the sort of day which invites coziness and a good book, but, alas, I do have to go out to get the cream for my coffee.

My mailbox will soon disappear. Everyday the pole on which it sits sinks further into the ground weighed down by the   catalogs my mailman has to deliver day in and day out, but, luckily, this is a rural route so Bob, my mailman, has a truck which is a good thing as I figure most of his route, maybe even much of the world, is being inundated by catalogs. Yesterday there were twelve catalogs in my mailbox. Three of them had threats, “This is your last catalog unless you order;” however, I am undaunted by these threats. Go ahead, stop my catalogs. I dare you!!

I admit some catalogs make me salivate. William Sonoma and Crate and Barrel are two of them. I also love Napa Style and VivaTerra. I look through each of them and make a mental list of what I’d buy if I had money and room for all the purchases. I even turn down the corners of the pages so I can go back and be tempted.

Back when we were kids we only needed one catalog, the king of catalogs: the Sears Catalog. It had everything anyone ever needed. I always thought it had a bit of magic about it. From its toys pages came our lists for Santa, including catalog numbers so Santa would have no doubt exactly what we wanted. We looked through those pages so many times they got wrinkled and dirty, but we still looked over and over again. Maybe we’d changed our minds or just maybe we might have missed something the first ten or twelve times we looked through those pages.

 

“When you are at home, your troubles can never defeat you.”

August 24, 2012

The morning is already warm, and I’m about to turn on the AC. It’s been a noisy morning as there have been a couple of barkfests with at least four dogs joining in, including Gracie. It has also been a pain in the butt sort of morning. When I poured milk into my coffee, it was bad, not smelly, but floating on the top of the cup bad. I grabbed Gracie and went to Dunkin’ Donuts. The drive-up window line was so long I couldn’t see the little voice box for ordering. I couldn’t get out to order as I didn’t get dressed deciding to hide in the car so I was stuck in the long line. Finally I got my two cups of coffee, sighed in relief and went home to my usual coffee and the papers.

One day, only one day until my trip. I am so excited to be going back. Last year I was both excited and a bit apprehensive given the 40 years between visits, but the trip turned out so well that this time I’m just excited to go back. I know I talk about Ghana a lot, maybe too much sometimes, but it is such an important part of who I am, who I became, that every time Ghana comes to mind my heart swells and fills with memories of friends, of shared experiences, of love for another country and for the beautiful Ghanaians, their smiles and their greetings. I know there were downsides, but they were tolerable once I made up my mind that this was home. It was like living in New England and complaining about the cold and the snow.

I’m going to be meeting the current volunteers. We’ll enjoy dinner together. One of them told me they want to hear all about the old days. Now there are 13 volunteers just around the Bolga area. That amazes as there were only 9 of us in the entire Upper Region, now two regions: the Upper East and the Upper West. The region in my day was primitive with very few schools. Even Ghanaians didn’t want to teach in the Upper Region because of the climate. We didn’t know any better so we loved living there far away from Accra, far away from Peace Corps. We thought it ideal.

I have a single errand left for today then I’m going to start packing. The sports bag I bought last year to haul home the Bolga baskets is coming as are the school supplies for one of the primary schools. My bag should weigh in the hundreds as those crayons are darn heavy. My house/pet sitter is coming this afternoon to find out what she needs to do. Her son is coming with her to translate as she speaks only Portuguese and I don’t.

One day left!