Posted tagged ‘flying’

“Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time!”

March 11, 2017

The snow is deeper on the lawns and gardens. The streets and walkways got wet before they got snowy. I took Gracie out front this morning because the back steps were covered above my shoes. My feet got wet anyway.

It is the brightest of days. The sun shines off the snow. The air is so clear even the smallest pine branch is having its day, its place in the sun with a blue backdrop, deep and cloudless. If it weren’t so cold, this would be the perfect day. It is currently 19˚with an occasional wind strong enough to sway the top branches. I have to go out later, but I’ll bundle up and I’ll put Gracie in her coat.

I figure kids are sledding at the golf course. It is one of the few places around with a good hill that’s safe from cars. I’ve stopped to watch a couple of times. The kids were using all sorts of sleds. I saw the traditional wooden ones like I used to have, but the plastic sleds far outnumbered the wooded. The circle sleds, the ones we called saucers, are still circles but are now plastic. Plastic sleds resembling toboggans had multi-riders, mostly smaller kids. Inflated inner tubes give a great ride but a wild ride with little control.

I loved sledding especially on the hill my house faced. Every kid in the neighborhood would be out either sledding or walking back up that hill. I always think sledding is as close as we can get to flying while staying on the ground.

The clock goes one hour forward tonight. I never understood daylight savings time when I was a kid, and I’m still a bit confused. Everything I’ve read says the energy savings are only negligible, and some have even found that costs are higher, since people in hot climates are more apt to use air conditioners in the daytime. The original reason was WWI and conserving electricity for the war effort. Daylight savings was repealed after the war but reinstated during WWII. After that war, it was never repealed. Some states honored the hour; other states didn’t so in 1966 Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized daylight saving across the country except in Arizona and Hawaii which didn’t choose to honor it. After all the reading I did, I’m still confused as to why. Tradition? Habit? Laziness to change the status quo? Nobody cares?

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”

October 9, 2016

I have traded the roosters for the morning songs of the birds. No more do I hear the calls to prayer. Nobody is sweeping my yard, and I can’t smell the wood charcoal burning. I am home.

The flights were uneventful. The 10 and a half hours from Ghana gave me time to watch 2 and 1/2 movies, 4 Big Bang Theories and 2 Bones. I also read and I think I napped for an hour. The food seemed endless then the flight attendant brought a basket of snacks. The hot towels were wonderful. The flight from New York to Boston was over in a minute, actually 38 minutes.

I waited at Logan for an hour. I saw my car go by a couple of times but couldn’t get Lee’s attention. Finally, he saw me when I was moving across the street hauling my luggage. The ride home was longer than the flight from New York.

When I got home, the animals were thrilled to see me. The cats head butted me and purred. Gracie  wagged every part of her body. I was exhausted but couldn’t get to sleep. I was up until 2 which was 6 am for me. I slept two hours but had naps on and off all day. One bag is emptied but two more sit on the floor. My house had to be put back to rights. The coffee is gone so I’m going out to grab a couple of Dunkin’ Donut coffees. Maybe I’ll get a donut.

Being in Ghana in the morning and at home in the night is still amazing to me. As glad as I am to be home, I am missing my friends and Ghana. The trip was just about perfect. The only glitch was that pesky stomach ailment from which we all suffered.

Every time I go back I realize how much I love Ghana. The Ghanaian people are warm and friendly. As soon as I greet them in their own languages, they beam. They smile. Ghana was familiar this time, as if I hadn’t left. Every morning I waited to hear the morning call to prayer and the roosters one after the other. The brown rooster was always close to my window. During the day he traveled with a few hens and a Guinea fowl but he was alone for his morning greeting. I was in the restaurant early in the morning for the wifi. Coffee and eggs weren’t until 7. The eggs were always fried, the toast cold. Once I tried to explain French toast. I ended up with an egg sandwich fried only on one side. There wasn’t any maple syrup anyway. Bill went out to the road hoping to find the donut lady selling along the roadside. It wasn’t a real donut but a fried, greasy ball which we love. There used to be many small girls selling them, but now the donuts are difficult to find.

(We are back from our coffee run. The roads were almost empty of cars. I was the only one at the drive-up window. It is raining.)

Even though it takes a long while. I love traveling between cities in Ghana. We go through small towns and villages. I see women carrying loads on their heads, and I’m always amazed . Sometimes it is market days and the streets are filled with people. The goats are everywhere; some are tied but most are loose. All are munching. On a stretch of road with no houses, I’d see a woman walking without an apparent from where and going to. I always figure there is a lone compound somewhere off the road. At any stop, we are swamped by sellers hawking their wares. You can buy gum, fruit, veggies and already cooked food like kenkey. We usually don’t buy but just keep moving. There are police stops. They are checking for all the vehicle stickers. At one stop they nailed our driver for not wearing shoes. He was wearing slippers. I saw the driver grab a log book and stick 10 cedis inside then go to the officer. When the driver came back, the book was empty of cash and we got permission to drive. In Ghana, that is not a bribe but a dash.

Our last day in Ghana was spent shopping. We had all those cedis to get rid of. I did so well I had to get a few more to pay for lunch. We first shopped at a wonderful jewelry store. It was small and only a couple of people were allowed in at the same time. The silver jewelry is weighed to determine the price. I bought Christmas gifts and earrings for me. We then walked across the street and has Lebanese food for lunch. So ended our culinary adventure and our trip to Ghana. We left early the next morning for home.

On this trip I learned how much I love spending time with and traveling with my friends. I learned Ghana is still a home for me. I remembered how much I love the Ghanaian people. I got to see elephants, baboons, warthogs and a variety of antelope. Kelewele is still my favorite Ghanaian food, and goat is tasty. I don’t know if I’ll go back as it takes so long to save the money, but I’d like to think Ghana is waiting for me to return.

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.”

September 15, 2015

Such a busy morning it has been. Fern and her caterwauling woke me again, but I didn’t mind as much as it was after nine. I emptied cat boxes, fed the beasties then went downstairs. I made coffee, got and read the papers. Gracie was barking incessantly but I couldn’t figure out the reason. She came in when I called then I shut down the dog door for a bit. I looked at my e-mail and found out I needed to call the GOES site as it seems I have two accounts: one is the renewal I just did and a second account I must have started. Five times I tried to reach a human being but all circuits are busy. (The GOES program is for trusted travelers: I skip customs, stop at a kiosk, put my hand on the screen for fingerprint ID then get an entry pass. The last time I used it I beat the crew outside.) I am skeptical that all circuits are busy so I used the e-mail form for problems, but I don’t have much faith in that either.

The thought of flying always gave me a sense of awe when I was a kid. We’d go to Logan when we visited my grandparents so we could watch the planes take off and land. My uncle, only two years older than I, led the way. The Logan terminal back then was one long building shared by all the airlines. We used to walk through, and I’d take brochures of hotels, airlines and whatever else was offered. One time I made a scrapbook of my vacation, my imaginary vacation. I used pictures cut from the brochures and wrote a story to go along with each picture. I imagined the flight and wrote about the clouds below me and being so far above the ground. I described the airline dinner and the fun of eating on a plane. My hotel room was beautiful and overlooked the ocean. We ate dinner in ornate restaurants where the waiters wore white jackets and black cummerbunds. I found beautiful shells along the shore as souvenirs. I fell asleep happy and contended every night. It was the best vacation.

“You look like a protagonist.”

August 8, 2015

I don’t know what we’ve been doing right because we are blessed with another glorious day. It is cool, in the 70’s, bright with sun and breezy. The birds are singing, the chimes are tinkling and I can hear water flowing from the fountain.

While I was sitting outside and taking in the morning, I had some deep thoughts. I wondered which super power I’d want. Flying was my first thought. I could go anywhere I wanted whenever. I was thinking of lunch in Rome, dinner in Paris and a quick weekend in Accra. I wondered if I could fly and carry baggage at the same time. I did think I could wear layers so maybe I wouldn’t need much baggage after all. Night would be the best time to arrive so I wouldn’t spook anyone.

When I was a kid, I wanted all of Superman’s powers, and I wondered what superhero costume I’d wear. I liked his cape but not the rest. The cape was flamboyant, and I could envision it blowing behind me as I flew. The red is a good choice.

Sitting outside seemed to engender strange wonderings. I pondered which book I’d choose to enter as a character. Heidi came to mind because of the beauty of the Alps but then I thought of winter and decided against Heidi. Around the World in Eighty Days went on the list. It’s that travel bug thing I have. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy went on for the same reason. I’d stay away from Hemingway except maybe The Sun Also Rises. I like On the Road but of course I would. I’d reread Walker Percy as I think maybe his books might be good jumping into places. I’ve always like Dashiell Hammett, and I’d get to wear great clothes and all those hats. I’d leave off the fox stoles, the ones with heads.

I’m going back outside when I finish here. I’m sort of curious where my mind might wander next: a science fiction movie maybe but only in black and white.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

April 21, 2012

The day is cloudy and damp. It must have rained a bit during the night as the ground is wet, and there are now Gracie paw prints all the way down my floor from door to den. Usually my cleaning compulsion kicks in, but I’d be cleaning over and over, each time she comes in, so I’ll be patient and live with the muddy prints.

Once in a while I think about how much fun my life has been. I think it all comes from being a dreamer. When I was a kid, I dreamed about all those places in my geography book, and I promised myself I’d visit them some day. My Dad had been to Europe but that was compliments of Uncle Sam and WWII, and his memories centered around the pubs near his hospital in England. My neighbors went to Martha’s Vineyard every year for the whole summer, and I thought that was so exotic, to stay on an island. Marty Barrett, my elementary school classmate, went to England every few years to visit his grandparents, and I envied him, but I knew, without question, my time would come.

My first airplane ride was when I was a freshman in college, and I flew from Boston to Hyannis, an Easter gift from my parents. The plane was a small prop, and I could see landmarks from the window. My eyes followed the highway as we flew close to the land but over the ocean. I watched waves crash against the beach sand and saw the canal as we crossed to the cape. Before we landed, the plane circled a bit and I saw the parking lots in Hyannis and recognized the stores. When I landed, my dad was waiting for me and right away wanted to know how I liked the flight. I think I gushed, and I am not a gusher by any stretch of the imagination. The trip was almost magical for me. I was hooked, and I knew it. That was the beginning.

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