Posted tagged ‘flannels’

“Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual worker.”

March 24, 2016

We’re back to dreary and cold. I had put away my flannels only to pull them out this morning. I’m even wearing socks. I spent a couple of hours earlier with my neighbor, the one who became a citizen. We just chat, my way for her to learn better conversational English. She is still having trouble with has and have. I don’t speak any Portuguese beyond please and thank you so I am quite amazed with her grasp of English, a language with weird rules and odd spellings.

I remember workbooks from elementary school. We had one for arithmetic and one for English.  My most vivid memory of a math page was the one on coins. It had a line up of a reasonable facsimile of each coin. I had to figure which coins and how many I needed for something like 35 cents. The answer had to be the smallest amount of coins. A quarter and a dime would get me a check; three dimes and a nickel would merit an X. Dollars were self-evident and didn’t appear in my workbook. We’d do a page or two during the lesson, and sometimes had to finish at home.

The English workbook was filled with things like contractions, subject-verb agreement, singular and plural words and verb tenses. There were pages filled with sentences which had one blank. You had to choose between he or him, she or her and all the rest of the pronouns. I’ve come to believe that many people were either sick at home or sleeping in class and subsequently missed that particular lesson. TV dialogue is rife with errors. I hear things like, give the book to him and I or to her and I, and it makes me cringe. I’ve been told that’s the way people talk now so I should accept it, but what’s wrong is wrong as far as I’m concerned.

I think music and language are similar. If someone plays or sings a piece of music off-key, people don’t find that entertaining. They cringe. They don’t say that’s the way people sing now. I wish language was given the same respect.

I find language beautiful. The right words strung together can fill you with love or longing. They can make you laugh or cry. They have the power to hurt, to cut. Our memories are images described in words.

I accept new words and I know old ones disappear from lack of use. Language is fluid, but the form doesn’t change. A name is a noun. An action word is a verb. The object of the preposition is objective case. It’s him, not he. It’s me, not I. That’s all I’m asking.

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. “

March 22, 2014

Winter is a solitary season. I sit in my warm house with the doors shut against the cold. My neighbors and I wave as we drive pass each other going one place and another. The world goes quiet when it’s winter, and I seldom hear outside sounds except for the rain and the wind. I have more sloth days in winter than in any other season. Winter days are for flannel, sweatshirts and warm socks. Winter nights are for down comforters. I read, sometimes the whole day into the night. I like soups and stews and macaroni and cheese. An afternoon nap is a bit of bliss. I abide winter in its turn.

This time of year is the yin-yang season, the time of winter and spring. It is the most frustrating of all the seasons because it isn’t really one or the other. The calendar says spring but the weather is sometimes wintry, cold and even snowy. Two warm days lull us into thinking it is spring then a day of 23˚ throws winter right back at us. The only consolation is in the garden where the spring bulbs have become flowers bursting with color. Today will be warm. Tomorrow will be in the 20’s during the day and the teens at night.

Summer is the social season. I am out and about a couple of evenings each week and spend my days on the deck sitting under the trees, sometimes reading, sometimes just sitting. My friends and I have our movie nights and game nights. My neighbors are out in their yards mowing and raking and playing with their kids. I can hear their voices from my house. The birds are loudest in the morning when they greet the new day. I love the songs they sing. The front garden is filled with flowers of every color, and I always stop to admire it  when I go to get my papers. The rain in summer seems gentler even with thunder and lightning. Sometimes I sit under my outside umbrella during a rainstorm just to hear the drops. I love summer nights with all the sounds of night birds, the flickering of fireflies in the backyard and the candlelight glowing from the glass tree hangings. Summer is just so glorious.

Fall is the magnificent season, my favorite of them all. The garden shops are filled with pumpkins and mums whose colors are a bit muted, perfect for fall, the end of the growing season. It is still warm here during the day but cools a bit during the night. In late fall, when even the days get cool, I always think they are a slow easing into winter, a warning about what’s coming. I know winter must have its turn, but I wish it wasn’t at the expense of fall.

“I dont hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I dont. I dont! I dont hate it! I dont hate it!”

February 7, 2014

Today I am grouchy and tired having not slept well the last couple of nights. I want someone to cross me so I can take my mood out on an unsuspecting stranger. I mean, really, I’d hate to do it to a friend or Gracie and the cats. Maybe a telemarketer will call.

It’s sunny and the sky is blue, but it’s a ruse. The morning is cold. Luckily there is no breeze or wind to make it feel even colder. I have to go out for an appointment so I’m going to add a bit of fun shopping to make the trip palatable. I’ll stop at odd shops, the ones with antiques and little doo-dads. I’ll go up-cape for a change. I’ll bring my camera and my dog.

Everyone is sick of winter. My cousin, living in New Hampshire, said it was about 5 below when she got to work this morning. Compared to her, I live in the tropics. For my sister in Colorado it was 4˚ yesterday though today is supposed to be hot at 40˚. I think it’s the snow causing all these winter woes. It chills the air making it even colder, and without it, we might be able to dupe ourselves into thinking warmer thoughts: I’m lying on the lounge chair on the deck with my face toward the sun. My eyes are closed. The sun is hot so I cool off a bit by taking sips of my drink, the one with the little umbrella. Astrud Gilberto and Brazilian salsa is playing in the background. Okay, I can’t keep doing this.

One look out the window to the snow-covered yard, and I am back in the throes of winter: to the furnace blasting to heat the house, to drinking hot coffee to warm my innards and my cold hands and to wearing flannel pants, a hooded sweatshirt and socks and slippers around the house every day. It’s no wonder I’m grouchy! Even Pollyanna would be having a tough time about now.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

November 25, 2013

Winter with all its bluster has arrived. Last night was another night of howling winds and chilling temperatures. I wore my lined jacket for the first time this year. 27˚ was a bit cold for just my sweatshirt.

Gracie and I went to the dump yesterday. I swear I saw armed guards with dogs watching men from a gulag work the mulch piles in the open field part of the dump or maybe it was just an optical illusion brought about by the cold wind gnawing at my bones. I’m not really sure. The dump, open to the wind, is always colder than the rest of the world.

My heat blasts almost continuously to keep the cold at bay. I don’t care. I will be comfy and warm in my house.

Yesterday I went out to fill the big bird feeder. I noticed it was low on seed and the birds were numerous, all sorts flying in and out, and I didn’t want them hungry. It was freezing on the deck, and I broke my record in filling the feeder. Some of the seeds fell to the deck so the spawns would have had dinner as well. The birds didn’t voice their thanks, but they came right back when I rehung the feeder. That was thanks enough. They are back in full force today.

My dance card for today is now empty. I went out for breakfast at nine, stayed a while and talked with my friend. When I got home, I read both papers, did all my puzzles, spoke with my sister on the phone then finally started writing KTCC. The morning had pretty much slipped away, but that’s okay as I have absolutely nothing planned for the rest of the day. I’m going to change into my comfy flannels, put on some warm socks with my slippers and while away the day. I may read or catalog shop for Christmas or maybe not. I love having choices every day.