Posted tagged ‘dust’

“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.”

February 22, 2018

For two days Boston has hit 70˚. We hit a high of 55˚. The sun has deserted us. It is cloudy again and damp and chilly. Last night it rained a little. I was lying in bed reading and heard what I thought at first was a mouse gnawing. It wasn’t. It was the patter of rain falling quite slowly at first then more heavily, but it quickly stopped.

Yesterday I went to the deck and did a bit of cleanup. I also filled the bird feeders. The cover for the barbecue has disappeared. I checked the yard from the deck but didn’t go under the deck. My first thought was an army of squirrels has set up camp somewhere close and my cover, which already had a huge section chewed off, was perfect for their tents. Two bricks were on the top to prevent the cover from blowing off. I found those on the deck. Maybe a spawn of Satan will be back to get the bricks for their camp walkway.

I actually cleaned most of this room. I polished and washed all the curios on shelves. I did such a good job I need sunglasses now because everything shines. I also caught up with the laundry. I feel accomplished.

When I sleep, I look a bit like a question mark as I still make room for Gracie to sleep beside me.

When I was a kid, my town was my world. I never thought it was small. Uptown had wonderful stores, and the library and the post office anchored the beginning and the end of the square. Some days the square smelled like fresh bread from Hank’s Bakery or popcorn from the candy makers behind the square. O’Grady’s Diner was across the street from the library. Once in a while, my father took me to breakfast there. We sat at a booth with red vinyl seating. I used to beg for dimes or a quarter to play the juke box. Every booth had a small box, and I’d turn the pages in our booth to find a favorite song. On Saturday mornings seats at the counter were mostly filled with all men. Saturday was their errand day with stops at the Chinamen, the barber and maybe the drug store or the Redmen then finally the diner. I loved my little uptown

“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”

January 20, 2018

The day is warmer than it has been. The little snow left is melting. It’s cloudy and breezy. I did go out yesterday and got my errands done so today is an around the house day. That laundry I keep talking about is still upstairs and needs to come downstairs to get washed.  I put that on the maybe list.

Last night I used the sleeve of my sweatshirt to dust the bottom shelf of the desk. It had so much dust I could have written a whole novel, okay maybe a short story, in the dust the same way Clean Me is often written on cars’ back windows. I then moved to dust around the TV. I even did the remotes. I stopped there before the dusting could take hold of me.

I get absorbed into tasks which then lead to other tasks which then go on and on with me in a bit of a frenzy. The dusting in here would have led to the living room and then the dining room and kitchen. From there I’d move on to sweeping floors and wet mopping the kitchen floor. I wouldn’t just go to bed when I was done. I’d change sheets first.

The couch in here, the den, isn’t all that old, but Fern used it to sharpen her claws so the stuffing is popping up behind the pillows, but I’m the only one who knows because the white stuffing is hidden by the pillows. Gracie slept in the same spot on the couch, but I have washed the couch covers many times. I know I’ll have to break down and buy a new couch, but the problem is you never just put in a new couch. Instead, there is the domino effect. The three baskets under the large metal table here will have to be cleaned out. Books will go down to the cellar to make the room less cluttered, but I’ll have to put up shelves for those books and clean the cellar to make room for the shelves. I’ll need a dumpster. The cellar is the repository of anything I no longer use. Most of what’s there can be tossed, but I’ll have to hire someone for the heavier stuff, maybe a couple of someones. I’ll need bins for storage on those shelves which I don’t have yet. I’ll probably need hooks from the ceiling for my bike and some of the more awkward items.

First I dusted then I wet mopped then I bought a new couch. After that, I winnowed stuff from the baskets in this room and finally moved on to reorganizing and cleaning the cellar; however, all of that, except for the dusting, is from my imagination where I choose to keep it because winter is not the time for cleaning. That would be in spring. Until then I’m very good at doing nothing and waiting, especially the doing nothing part.

“To this day, I have the most fond memories of some of my old toys.”

September 3, 2017

It has been raining since the early morning. The dampness coupled with the strong breeze has made it a cold day. The house is chilly. I put on a sweatshirt. The heat is off but were it on, the temperature is 1˚ from triggering the furnace.

When I first went to take Gracie out, she backed away from the door. I had to grab her by the halter to get her outside. She squatted right by the walkway.

Gracie needs canned food, and the bird feeder needs thistle so we’ll be heading to Agway sometime later. I think I’ll stop at the new Thai place and treat myself to lunch. I know I’ll order coconut shrimp then I’ll check out the menu to see what else appeals to me.

This room is so dusty I could write my name on just about any surface. Actually, on the larger surfaces I could write adages, messages and things like Wash Me or Dust Me with several exclamation points following behind. I used to feel guilty about the dust, but now I don’t care. I subscribe to the if I clean it now, it will be dusty again by tonight school of thought.

I got a few boxes yesterday from Amazon. I haven’t opened them yet. They’re still on the floor by the door. My lack of curiosity is explained by the e-mail confirming my orders have been delivered. I bought two balsa airplane kits for two of my grandnephews. I remembered flying the same sort of plane when I was a kid. I’d buy it at Woolworth’s for ten cents. The plane had to be put together slowly and gently or the wood would split. The front had a red plastic nose to give the plane a bit of weight. The back had two pieces: one like a fin and the other a small wing-like piece. The pieces had to be slid into their positions. The main part was the wing. It was slid through the middle of the plane really slowly and required a deft hand or the wing would split. Moving the wing up and down in the slit made the plane fly different ways like in loops. We’d fly the planes in a field so they could land on grass. The wood was too flimsy to save the planes if they hit anything. We hated losing the planes but knew a dime would buy us another one.

Both the boys have grown up with electronics, but maybe the novelty of the planes will pique their interest. Watching them loop and fly was the best fun. I hope it still is.

“Hobbies take place in the cellar and smell of airplane glue.”

February 13, 2016

The sun was shining and the sky was blue but I blinked. When I looked again, the sky had turned grey, a white ominous grey, and the sun had escaped to warmer climes. I hyperventilated when I read today’s weather report. The high will be 24˚ and the low tonight will be 1˚. No, I didn’t forget a number. 1˚ is the prediction. Snow squalls are also predicted. The walkway and the car were covered in about an inch of snow when I went to get the paper. Tonight we’ll have flurries and another inch of snow. Tomorrow will be basking weather. It will be 16˚ during the day and 10˚ at night with more flurries to add to the excitement. The ocean is the warmest place around here at 40˚.

I don’t remember if my mother made us stay inside on really cold days. I know we usually walked uptown to the movie theater on Saturdays, but maybe, with single digit temperatures, my dad offered to drive us. He was going up town anyway. He had Saturday rituals. I know we always walked to and from school no matter the temperature. We could have adopted the unofficial postal creed minus the gloom of night part.

When I couldn’t go out, I’d play in the cellar. It was a big cellar divided by the stairs with a landing at the bottom. I remember being a cowgirl. The newel post was my horse. The bannister held the reins. I’d saddle my horse by putting old blankets on the newel post top and then I’d chase the bad guys. They were always caught. Bad guys had no chance with me riding Old Blue.

The sun shined through the small cellar windows high up on the concrete of the wall. I remember the rays sparkled. I’d learn later it was really just dust in the air highlighted by the light from those small windows. Sometimes the cellar was the only peaceful part of the house.

“You’ve got bad eating habits if you use a grocery cart in 7-Eleven.”

January 12, 2016

We have a light snow shower which I doubt will amount to much. The flakes are tiny and susceptible to the wind. They keep changing direction. I’m staying close to hearth and home today. It’s dark and cold outside, unwelcoming.

I could do a wash, but I won’t. I could change the sheets on my bed, but I won’t do that either. According to Martha Stewart I could make my own pretzels sprinkled with my favorite toppings, but I’ll never do that. As you can tell I have no ambition today, and I’m just fine with that.

When I was a kid, it was difficult to find a place where I could be alone. The house always seemed filled with people. It was small, and there were six of us. I shared a bedroom so I couldn’t kick my sister out if she wanted in. Sometimes I’d go down the cellar and sit and read. The cellar was below ground and had those small windows high up on the walls. When the sun shined through them, I could see dust in the light. I didn’t care. I was a kid. Dust has no meaning to a kid.

In my mind’s eye, I can see that whole house. The kitchen was small. One side had the sink, the counter and the fridge. The other side had the stove and the kitchen table. The fridge saw the most action. We’d all open it and stand there looking. I always had the hope they’d be something delicious, but delicious disappeared really fast in my house. My mother always yelled for me to close the fridge,”Get what you want then close it!” I didn’t know what I wanted. It was usually an exploratory hunt.

My parents grocery shopped on Friday evenings. My dad had to take my mother as she didn’t drive. They’d carry the filled brown grocery bags into the house, and we’d empty them not as a help, but to find the Oreos, the go to cookie in our house. There were always Oreos but not for long.

After eating chocolate you feel godlike, as though you can conquer enemies, lead armies, entice lovers.

October 27, 2015

I see spider webs. That may not sound like much, but it means I am just about healthy again. It means the weird cleaning obsession is back so I have to stop and clean away the webs and dust whenever I see them. Already the dishwasher is filling with dusty votive glasses and chimneys. I’m even going to empty the dryer.

Today is much like yesterday, sunny and in the 50’s. We’ll have warmer weather later in the week, back to the 60’s for a couple of days. I love this time of year.

My mother always created our Halloween costumes. We never bought them ready-made. Sometimes, though, we’d buy a mask to go with whatever we were, but I never really liked full-faced masks. They were hot, and most times my eyes didn’t line up with the holes so I could only see half the world. I liked the masks favored by the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet, the ones where only your eyes were covered.

We used pillow slips to carry our bounty so we didn’t have to worry about paper bag handles breaking. Those were the days of red apples, popcorn balls and little tied bags with a few pieces of candy. I remember one red apple had a nickel stuck in it. That was a treasure. I never thought about the time that went into making popcorn balls. I was a kid. All I thought about was the candy.

Fun size candy bars didn’t exist when I was a kid. Now that’s just about what everyone gives. A few years ago I decided to give out what we called nickel bars. I remember how excited we were to get them, and how from year to year we’d return to the houses which passed them out. One was a red house with a huge porch. It was on Main Street right near my friend’s house. Two old ladies usually answered the door. They loved to see the costumes and always complimented us on how good and scary we looked. They gave us Hershey Bars every year. The red house is still there though now it is a business. I always think of those two old ladies every time I go by it. We were so excited to get those Hershey Bars. That memory so filled with delight had me switch to full size bars. The first year I did, a little girl was so excited she yelled to her father waiting on the street, “It’s a big bar.” I knew exactly how she was feeling.