Posted tagged ‘early meeting’

“Nothing reminds us of an awakening more than rain.”

April 12, 2016

Today I started early with a nine o’cock meeting. When it had finished, I went to the bank, the post office and the grocery store. I got home after eleven and had another cup of coffee while I read my second newspaper and my e-mail. It was while I was reading the local news I realized how tired I was so I decided to take a morning nap. Gracie must have felt the same way because she joined me upstairs. We just woke up. Gracie, though, is now back to napping, and I’m still tired.

When I looked out the window this morning, I saw a cloudy, ugly sort of day. When I went outside to leave, I was surprised at how warm it was. My car said 55˚, almost balmy for this time of year especially with no sun. I knew it was supposed to rain during some part of the day and it did just as I arrived home. All I would have needed was four more minutes so I could have gotten the dog, my packages and me inside without getting wet.

The easiest way to describe the weather is to say it’s a rainy day, but that’s just the beginning. What sort of rain? All rain storms don’t fall from the sky in the same way, but they do have two things in common: they get you wet and all the rain ends up in the same place, down. My favorite description of rain is one my mother used to use. She’d say it was spitting rain, and I knew exactly what she meant. The earlier rain I got stuck in was heavy. My mother would have called it a deluge. Sometimes rain is torrential. Other times it rains cats and dogs. Sprinkling is the lightest of rains. Coming down in buckets is just the opposite. I remember the rain falling on the long windows when I was in elementary school. The drops would hit the windows then drizzle down until they disappeared. When the wind is great, the rain falls sideways. Some storms have pounding rain. They are probably my least favorite because I always get so wet.

My favorites of all storms are in Ghana at the start of the rainy season. After months of no rain the sky turns almost black and the clouds darken the day. All of a sudden the wind and the rain start with unbelievable ferocity. Trees bend under the onslaught. Lightning strikes jaggedly across the sky. I once saw it hit the ground. The dry, hard earth can’t absorb the rain so it forms rivulets which run and make furrows on the ground. Sometimes the rain is so magnificent I can’t catch my breath from the awe of it. I stand and watch until the storm wears itself out and the sun comes back. I know the dry season is over and it will rain just about every day, but it is this first rain which I’ll remember.

“We have lunch at ten-forty-five,” Colin said. A stupidly early lunch. At our school, the older you get, the stupider your lunch period.”

October 14, 2014

On my way back from an early morning meeting, I noticed how many trees have burst into color. I saw yellows and reds and one tree where the leaves were yellow on the edges and red in the middle. Several trees, though, still have green leaves including the ones in my backyard. Full color isn’t expected here on the Cape until close to the end of the month.

When I was a kid, there were no school buses. Everybody walked. The public elementary schools were scattered all over town, but my school was the only Catholic school, and some of my friends walked a mile or more to get there. None of them cared about the walk. It was just part of their day.

We didn’t have a cafeteria so either you went home for lunch or you brought your lunch. Milk was for sale as were candy bars. The milk came in those little containers which were always difficult to open. The candy was in a big lunch box, and you got to pick your bar. It was a nickel. The milk was only 3 cents. It was never really cold.

We had recess every day unless it was raining or single digit cold. Some of us would just stand in groups and talk, and there were always girls jump roping. The boys stayed on one side of the school yard and the girls on the other. It wasn’t a rule, just tradition. The basketball courts were on the boys’ side. They played half court games.

One of the best reasons to go to St. Patrick’s was we got all the holy days of obligation off from school. All Saint’s Day, November 1st, was famous because it was the day after Halloween. We didn’t care about the saints though we did have to go mass. We were just happy we could stay out later trick or treating.

I’d be freezing walking to and from school in the cold of winter and I’d get soaked if it rained. It didn’t matter. None of us ever complained. That’s the way it was back then.


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