Posted tagged ‘Fire station’

“I told myself that I was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday.”

September 30, 2017

During the night, I grabbed the afghan as my house had gotten so cold. This morning it was 66˚. I admit I turned on the heat for a while until the house was warmer. Putting on a sweatshirt also helped. The sun was out when Gracie and I got the papers. Now the sky is cloudy, and rain is predicted for this afternoon and evening. I have nowhere I have to be today, and I’m glad.

Saturday has always been my favorite day. When I was a kid, I had the whole day to do what I wanted. Breakfast and favorite programs were first then I was out the door. Mostly I rode my bike so I could explore more. No part of town was out of riding reach. The best end of town was the zoo. It didn’t cost anything in those days. Sometimes we’d ride to the next town over and bike around Lake Quannapowitt. Other times we had no destination. We just rode around town and checked out our favorite places like the house of the newspaper and rag man which had a huge porch and an out-building, both filled with papers. We’d check out the town barn and the horses. On warm days, the firemen sat outside the station in front of the engine bays, and we’d stop to talk with them. They’d let us go check out the fire engines. We’d ride down the hilly driveway to the schoolyard then skid in the sand along the sides of the yard just for the fun of it. I don’t remember ever being bored, even in winter we found stuff to do.

When I was in Ghana, I’d go into town on a Saturday and roam the market hoping to find something unexpected. When I’d finished, I’d sit and have a cold Coke at the one place which had a fridge. It was the last store in a line of stores on the main street. It had a few tables and chairs outside. It was there an American guy stopped to talk to me. He wanted to know where the bare-breasted women were. I was angry and horrified. I told him so. He quickly left. I never ran into him again.

When I was working, I wanted one free day to do whatever I wanted. Saturday was the perfect choice, the historical choice. Once in a while I’d grocery shop on Saturday and once a month I’d dust and vacuum, but mostly Saturday was for fun.

Now I always say every day is Saturday.

 

“There was nothing like a Saturday – unless it was the Saturday leading up to the last week of school and into summer vacation. That of course was all the Saturdays of your life rolled into one big shiny ball.”

June 11, 2016

Saturday for my whole life has been the best day. When I was a kid, Saturday was our day to roam the town or to see a movie or to sit and watch Creature Double Feature on TV. Those were the days of black and white movies from the 50’s with cheesy special effects. We didn’t care. We loved those old B movies, and even now, I’ll watch them. I’m never critical. They are fun to watch. Some Saturdays we were out all day rambling. We’d pack a sandwich and some cookies in a brown paper bag knowing we’d be gone most of the day. We followed the railroad tracks, walked to the zoo or watched the dairy cows. We looked in the windows uptown and into the fire station as we walked by it. On warm days the firemen sat on wooden chairs right outside the bays where the fire engines were. We’d walk through the school yard empty of kids. We’d get home in the late afternoon. The winter meant the matinee. I don’t remember ever caring what the movie was. I remember standing in front of the glass display case trying to decide how to spend my nickel. The candy had to be tasty but more importantly, it had to be long lasting. I think my brother chose candy by its projectile possibilities.

When I was a teenager, Saturdays meant sleeping in. During the day I’d hang around or meet up with friends. I remember roaming around Harvard Square, going to the museum and checking out stores. Back then Harvard Square was unique and the stores were not chain stores. I remember we ate at the Wursthouse a few times. I haven’t been to Harvard Square in years except to drive though to somewhere else. It has lost its identity. It is the same as anywhere. On Saturday nights we’d sometimes go bowling. I was never a good bowler, but it was fun.

Saturday nights in college were party nights. Some of my memories are still hazy. We’d find a spot, park the car and party. Those were the days of cheap wine.

In Ghana, Saturday usually meant going to town to shop in the market or at the small kiosks which sold margarine and instant coffee in tins. I’d carry my woven bag and fill it with onions, tomatoes and eggs. Once I found a small watermelon my tomato lady had saved for me to buy. I never saw another one.

When I was back home, Saturday still meant sleeping-in and food shopping, but at a supermarket with too many choices. I’ve always hated food shopping and shlepping in the bags.

Today I woke up at 8. I had two cups of coffee and two pieces of Scali bread toast. I have no plans at all for the day. I’m thinking it is finalize the deck day. I’ll put down the rug, clean the chairs, water the plants, start the fountain and then ceremoniously bring the Travelocity Gnome and the plastic flamingo to their summer homes. They inaugurate deck season every year.

“Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance – each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.”

December 3, 2012

This is an alternative universe. It just has to be as mine doesn’t have sun or temperatures in the 50’s, at least not in December. Today and yesterday have been amazing. Though it rained a little yesterday, it was so warm all day that even at 11 o’clock last night it was still 51˚. Today is just as warm, and there is actually sun, a glowing orb in the sky I barely recognized. It’s a day to be outside enjoying a bit of a breather from winter.

The birds are back. This morning was like a busy day at O’Hare. My friends the chickadees have returned, as have goldfinches, a titmouse, woodpeckers who are enjoying my new suet feeder and the nuthatches who have been, for a while, my only visitors. Yesterday it was two house finches. When I stand at the sink, I look out the window behind it to get the best view of the birds and the feeders. I’m glad to have them back though now I need more sunflower seeds.

My outside lights went up yesterday and were lit last night. I drove around the block so I could see the whole house. It looks lovely, especially the huge star with trailing tails of lights which hangs on the driveway gate and the ornament tree lit by the spotlight. I noticed the sled near the door and the wreath on the front gate could use a bit of light so that will be my quest today, to find exactly the right strands. I also want to flower shop, to buy my poinsettias and boxwood. The rosemary tree is already on order. I love decorating my house for Christmas, and this is only the beginning.

The town where I grew up always decorated the fire station, the town hall and the square. The brick fire station was my favorite. Colored lights outlined the whole building and Santa climbed a ladder on the siren tower. In the square, decorations were strung from one side of the street to the other. A giant wreath was hung on the front of the police box which used to stand in the middle of Main Street. All the stores decorated their windows. Even the fish market had snowflakes falling on the mounds of snow at the bottom of the window, but you could still see the lobster tank.

In those days, the square had the only shops in town. Carolers from the different elementary schools sang each night on the stage which was erected just for Christmas. The sidewalks were filled with people, and you could hear them wishing each other a Merry Christmas. I loved being there just as it started to get dark and the Christmas lights were lit. It was like a fairyland.

“Fond memory brings the light of other days around me.”

March 24, 2012

The day is chillier than it has been, more like the early spring we usually expect. The day started cloudy, but the sun is poking its way through the clouds. I’ve been watching a robin jump from the deck rail to the suet feeder where it fluttered its wings to stay long enough to grab a bite then it settled back on the deck to munch. Right now the robin has just finished eating and is standing on the rail with its face to the sun taking in the day.

Maddie wanted down the cellar this morning so I opened the door. Later, when I went back to the kitchen for more coffee, I found a dead mouse in the hall, compliments I expect of Miss Maddie and her cellar jaunt.

I have nothing planned for the day. Usually I have a string of possibilities but not today. It was a busy week so I left my dance card empty. I’ll probably just read or watch a movie. I’d go to the movies, but I want to wait until it’s a school day before I see the Hunger Games.

If I were still a kid, today would be a Saturday matinée or a ride my bike around town to see what’s stirring sort of day. I remember riding up town and stopping at the fire station on a warmish day. The firemen would be sitting in wooden chairs we used to call captain’s chairs outside the station in front of the open garage doors. I’d ask if I could look at the firetrucks, and they always accommodated. Back then the police station was on one side and the fire station on the other of the same building. I remember looking in at the police dispatcher in front of the console. All of the switches and buttons were fascinating, almost like I’d imagine the console of a rocket ship to be like. The town barn was also a good stop. The doors were usually open, and I remember stalls filled with horses on each side of the barn. I remember the smell, not awful as it smelled of horses and hay. The junkman, whose house was near the barn, was a ride by. The house had a huge porch which was filled with piles of newspapers leaving only an aisle to get to the door. He had a barn beside the house, and it was filled with all sorts of broken tools and pieces of metal. I remember when he used to drive his horse and wagon up the street, and he’d be yelling, “Junkman, Junkman” so everyone would run out to give him their cast-offs.

My town was always interesting when I was a kid. The up-town was where people shopped in small stores, all of which have disappeared over time. Off the square were the big houses where the rich people used to live. They were all painted white and had fences in front. I went to school with a boy who lived in one of those. It had been in his family for years. I remember his name was Steve, and he was a gentle sort. I also remember he was tall and had stick-out ears. It’s funny what we all remember.