Posted tagged ‘flowers’

“Each day has a color, a smell.”

June 10, 2018

The clouds are back, but the rain won’t be. This will stay a dry weekend. My deck is just about ready for summer. A couple of pots still need flowers, the spawn of Satan ate the lights on the deck rails so I need a new set, and I have arranged for the deck and wooden furniture to be power washed. I have already chosen the first movie for the opening of this summer’s deck movie night. Get ready to roll out the red carpet!

I stood on the deck for a while last night. Henry was roaming the yard. I could hear him walking on the bed of dead leaves. The air smelled sweet. It was flowers and fresh mown grass. The night was warm. I could hear bird songs. I saw one firefly.

When I was a kid, the field below our house was filled with brown grasshoppers during the day. During the night, it glowed with hundreds of fireflies, maybe even thousands. That’s what it looked like to me.

When I landed in Marrakech, the air smelled of spices. I could see the orange-red wall around the city and some of its ornate gates. Horse drawn carriages, called calèches I found out later, were sharing the roads with cars. It was the most remarkable introduction to Morocco.

When I first stepped out of the plane in Ghana, I was hit with tremendous heat and such sunlight I had to squint. The air was thick with humidity. I could smell the greenery, the ferns, the high grasses and the trees. Now, so many years later, very time I go back, I can barely wait for that plane door to open so I can smell and feel Ghana again.

On some damp mornings, I can smell the ocean. It isn’t close, but the air carries that smell all the way to my house. I am always loathe to go inside. I want to stay until the ocean smell disappears.

I can smell the rain coming. I can feel the change in the air. I can smell those first drops hitting the ground. They smell of the dirt, an earthy smell.

Smell triggers memories more than any other sense. Turkeys cooking at Thanksgiving, the tree at Christmas and wood charcoal burning are reminders of family celebrations, places visited and a life so far filled with sights, sounds and, best of all, smells.

“At home, my mother dabbed at her brow with a wet flannel she kept in the fridge for that purpose.”

June 7, 2018

Mother Nature has blessed us of late. Each day is lovely, sunny and spring warm. The nights are chilly, perfect for sleeping with the window cracked a bit, but this morning my house was so cold I put the heat on for a while. I didn’t expect I’d still need heat in June. I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m just surprised.

I bought flowers yesterday and spent over $200.00. This morning I noticed I need a few more annuals for the clay pots on the deck. I also need a few more clay pots. The pollen is gone now so the deck and the deck furniture can be cleaned, finally. I’m so looking forward to being outside under the umbrella, book in hand, a snack on the table warding off starvation and a cooling breeze keeping the heat at bay. That is paradise for me.

When I was a kid, our house had no spots outside for lolling. There was a shared lawn with the neighbors, but it was small because of a grassy hill. We played outside and sometimes ate lunch outside, but we sat on the back steps. Our side yard had grass and two fir trees. That was where my sisters jumped over the sprinkler and where the kiddy pool was sometimes put. My father would have preferred they be elsewhere, not on his lawn, but there was no other spot. I remember the squeals from my sisters when they jumped over the cold water spewing from the sprinkler. I also remember my dog using  his paw to stop the sprinkler from turning so he could get a drink. He was a clever dog.

I never really minded the heat when I was a kid. It was just part of summer. It never stopped me from doing anything. When I was in the Peace Corps, our training in Ghana was during the rainy season, the cooler part of the year though I do use cool here with reservations. For the two years after training, I lived in the hottest part of the country where 100+ degrees each day during the dry season was common. I never loved the heat but it was part of living in Bolgatanga. I survived, but even better, I thrived.

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

February 3, 2018

Today is beautiful with a blue sky and the return of the sun, but it’s cold, an uninviting cold. I have no inclination to go outside. The hot air from the furnace is blowing and keeping the house warm. I won’t even get dressed. I’m nice and cozy in my sweatshirt and my flannel pants. It snowed a bit yesterday, enough to cover the walk and my car windows. I’m hoping the sun will melt the windows clean so I won’t have to brush and scrape.

I always think it is the darkness of winter which palls the spirit so I do my best to compensate. I keep white candles lit in the windows, and their light shines across the dark lawn. In the living room, I light lanterns in the corners of the room. Their candles flicker and leave shadows on the walls. On the hearth, twelve tea lights shine in the votives of the long candle holder, and a gourd filled with white lights sits atop firewood in a basket. The room is filled with light and is warm and cozy and welcoming.

I do love New England and am not tempted to leave for sunnier climes. I am tired of winter, but around this time I am always tired of winter. The two years I spent in Ghana gave me an even greater appreciation for the changing seasons I so love. It was always warm there, and I tired of the warmth. I wanted to be cold, to see my breath on a crisp winter’s morning. I missed the beauty of snow and how wonderful it looks as it falls and how breathtaking the world is after a snowstorm. I wanted to welcome spring with all its colors and sights and smells. Where I lived in Ghana had no flowers. It had baobab and pawpaw trees and fields filled with millet and yams. It had grass, tall and green, but it had no flowers. I missed looking for the first spring shoots to appear, for the crocus and the daffodils.

Spring is always a miracle, and I wait for it with great expectations. Every day I check for the tips of shoots in my front garden. When I find one,  I want to dance wearing bright colors and flowers in my hair.

“Smells are so powerful and evocative, sometimes stronger than visual cues.”

January 28, 2018

This is day 4 of the wash watch!

Earlier this morning I heard the rain and decided to turn over and get back to sleep. I slept for almost two more hours. Now I can face the rain.

Maddie is much better. I suspect the boneless chicken thighs I cooked for her worked miracles. She ate quite a bit yesterday and also ate all the pieces I had left on her plate when I went to bed. She is now meowing at me in her usual indignant voice. I’m even glad for that.

I have to go to the dump as I didn’t yesterday, and it is closed Mondays through Wednesdays. It won’t be busy in the rain .

I often buy flowers in the winter. My senses beg for stimulation. My eyes need colors. I just get so tired of grays and browns. I want vivid yellows and oranges. My nose craves the sweetness of flowers to combat the air in the house which gets stale from closed windows and doors. The Christmas tree helped for a while, and I was so sorry when its time had ended. I also burn candles, but nothing terribly sweet. I prefer aromas like apples, balsam and spices like cloves and cinnamon. I wonder about the candles with strange aromas. Who decided what Sweet Nothings or a Calm and Quiet Place smell like? I’m also curious about Sun-Drenched Apricot Rose. What does sun-drenched smell like especially when added to apricots and roses. I’m thinking maybe sweat.

I am getting forgetful; it’s a matter of aging. My word retrieval skills are blunted. I get distracted and forget what I wanted in the first place. Mnemonics have become my best friends, and I use my mother’s trick of going through the alphabet. Most times that works. My spelling skills often take a vacation. I wonder about the spelling of a word, and the longer I look, the stranger the word looks. I could use spell check but that only makes it worse.

It always amazes me that I am the age I am. I don’t feel old. I don’t think old. At least as far as I can remember.

“Stay low, stay quiet, keep it simple, don’t expect too much, enjoy what you have.”

October 20, 2017

Today is another beautiful sunny day in the high 60’s. There’s an intermittent breeze strong enough to sway the branches. It is a perfect day to take a ride.

Lately I have been quite lazy. I haven’t even made a single list. There’s no reason. It’s just inertia.

Laundry is piling up in the hall. A few dishes are in the sink. I figure I’ll get to all that later. There’s no hurry. I don’t have to do something every day.

The flowers beside the house are still blooming. The pumpkins are on the front steps and corn hangs on the gate. I saw a tree covered in yellow leaves. Fall is so filled with color. I always think of it as Mother Nature’s last gift before winter.

My lawn is disappearing under dead leaves from the tall oak tree and brown needles from the pine. It will be raked a few times before the lawn reappears. The irrigation system will be blown cleared of water and my outdoor shower will be turned off until the spring. It’s the same every year. All the pieces of summer disappear in turn.

I think being retired has brought me back to a simpler life. My wardrobe is mostly casual, and I seldom add to it. Once in a while I go out to eat, but mostly I spend time with friends. I watch TV movies but every now and then I treat myself to a newer movie though I do complain about the $5.99. I get books from the library. I used to buy the newest hardcovers, but now I get then for free. I don’t deny myself stuff. I just need less stuff.

When I was a kid, all my TV heroes always won. The bad guys were alive when nabbed. The only violence was usually a fight or a bullet to the arm or hand. Good guys never lost their hats in any fights. The animals, mostly dogs and horses, had names and were important to the plot. I remember Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, his dog Yukon King and his horse Rex.  I learned history and geography from watching this program. I remember at the end of each show he’d tell King this case is closed.  Sometimes there was even a bit of humor. Pat Brady provided that in the Roy Rogers Show. I never questioned that Roy and Dale rode horses while Pat had a jeep, Nellybelle. I was a kid. I just believed.

“Such bees! Bilbo had never seen anything like them. “If one were to sting me,” He thought “I should swell up as big as I am!”

September 12, 2017

Alexa woke me up this morning as I had an early library board meeting. When I heard her dulcet tones, I said thank you without thinking. Alexa said, “You’re welcome.” I’m going to start calling her Hal.

Today and tomorrow are predicted to be perfect fall days. It will be in the high 70’s today and down to the 50’s at night. Tomorrow will be about the same but a little warmer when the sun goes down.

The flowers on my front fence are bee magnets. When I went through the gate this morning, I brushed against the flowers and disturbed a few bees who then flew around  Gracie and me. She didn’t care, but I was a bit unnerved because when I was a kid, I was stung by a bee. We were in Maine on vacation. The house where we stayed was up the hill from the ocean and was surrounded by trees, but if you walked a bit, you came to fields overgrown with wildflowers. One day we explored. As we walked through the fields, bees rose from the flowers. I swear there were hundreds, but I admit the sting probably skewed my perspective. One bee flew around me and then stung me on the head. I yelled, well, maybe I screamed. I said I’d been stung. My parents checked my head and said the bee wasn’t there. I knew it was so I yelled again. They rechecked. They found the bee which I swear had bitten me two or three times. I can still see that field in my mind’s eye. I’n not afraid of bees despite that experience, but I don’t like them either.

I’ve mentioned how much I hate the Dole ad about the mixed doubles fruit cup drainers who are assailed by the Dole sipper who tells her husband, “Oh, they’re drainers.”  As she says this, the sipper’s face shows perfectly the distain in her voice. This commercial has disappeared, but the sipper is back. This time she is in the aquarium, and she is still a know-it-all who just happens to have an extra Dole juice cup on hand to give her drainer friend when she has her fruit epiphany.

Yesterday I took a nap and stayed around the house so today I have yesterday’s errands That’s it for my list. That’s it for the day’s activities.

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”

August 14, 2017

Gracie wanted out close to seven this morning so out we went. I was surprised at how cool it was. When she wanted out again, it was close to ten. I was surprised at how warm it had gotten. My house, though, still feels cool from the AC last night. I wanted to open doors this morning to all that cool air, but all I could hear from my neighbor’s yard was the beep-beep machinery makes when it goes backwards. Shutting the door helped, but I still had trouble getting back to sleep with all the noise, but I did manage. I’m a good sleeper.

We had game night last night and an early birthday for me as my friend will be out of town for my real birth date. I wore my Happy Birthday tiara and blew out the candles to a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. To make the night perfect, I won all three games we played. I was the birthday girl and the champion.

When I was a kid and it was close to my birthday, I’d sit on the front steps waiting for the mailman. I was hoping for birthday cards with money tucked inside. Usually it was a dollar, a huge amount in those days when even a quarter went a long way and my fifty cent allowance every week made me rich. One grandmother sent money while the other usually gave gifts. I still have a couple of Bobbsey Twin books with a Happy Birthday message from my grandmother. I was eight.

It was sunny earlier but is now cloudy. The weather says partly sunny today. I figure that’s an optimist’s view like the half full glass.

Today is a quiet day for me, on purpose. I am foregoing a dump run. I’m just not in the mood though I’d be hard-pressed to define a no dump mood. It is just a sense of it. I will go to Agway as I need small cans of Gracie food, the ones she has in the morning. I am also going to buy some plants on sale to fill in empty spots in the front garden. The bird feeders need filling again. The hungry avians emptied them in two days.

That’s all. I got nothing else. Oops, one more thing: tomorrow I am having my other eye done so no Coffee. I’ll see you on Thursday.