Posted tagged ‘fresh air’

“There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy and a book.”

May 4, 2018

Sometime during the night it rained. I woke up to clouds but now the sun is breaking through. The windows are still open. The morning is quiet except for the birds. After today it will get chilly again, back to the 50’s. Summer had a short run.

Yesterday was a quiet day for me. I didn’t even get dressed. My cleaning couple came. They greeted Henry first and and tried to get him to feel more comfortable with them by plying him with treats. He ate the treats but didn’t love being patted. Henry is becoming a guard dog but only when someone knocks or rings the bell. His growl is deep. I’d stay away.

Today I go to the dentist for my six month cleaning. I have never liked going to the dentist even for something as benign as having my teeth cleaned. This is because of the dentist I saw when I was in the seventh grade. He was old. His equipment was old. He didn’t use novocaine. My fingertips left imprints on arms of the chair. He had been my father’s dentist. We went to him because he was cheap. After that I was willing to let my teeth fall out rather than go to a dentist; however, before I left for Ghana, I had to have my teeth perfect: no problems, no teeth needing fillings or yanking so I bit the bullet and went. Since then I have faithfully gone to the dentist twice a year, reluctantly gone to the dentist twice a year.

I went through the movies I’ve bought for this summer’s movie nights. The Beast of Yucca Flats is one of them. It is so awful it is fun. Some critics content it is worst than Plan 9 from Outer Space. It has no soundtrack. You never see the characters talk. They turn their faces. There are only voice-overs and narratives. I think the reason might be that the film’s total budget was estimated at $34,000. The Four Feathers, from 1939, is another. It is an excellent film. I’ve seen it a couple of times and am happy to see it again. One of my favorites is Dick, the story of Watergate and the fall of a president as told by two teenage girls. It is a parody filled with happenstance. It’s funny. I also have To Kill a Mockingbird but I’m not so sure how that’ll go over. The film is superb but maybe not for a Saturday on the deck. 

Necco may close. It is scheduled for a bankruptcy auction on May 23. People are stockpiling Necco Wafers. I can’t imagine Valentine’s Day without Necco Sweethearts. Sky Bars have always been a favorite of mine. I just bought a whole box of twenty-four, sort of a mini-hoarding. I’m saving them for movie nights. I just discovered Tropical Necco Wafers so I’ll hunt down a box of those. I remember the great toilet paper scare when people were depleting grocery shelves thinking they’d be a shortage. This is worse. I could find substitutes for toilet paper but not for Necco Wafers.

“On Sunday mornings, as the dawn burned into day, swarms of gulls descended on the uncollected trash, hovering and dropping in the cold clear light.”

August 7, 2016

Sunday morning is always quiet for me. I read my two papers and drink my coffee. I always call my sister in Colorado at 11, and we talk for an hour or more. That’s what usually puts me behind the time.

Last night I had Chinese food for dinner. I have been craving it for a while and finally decided it was time to satisfy that craving. Dinner was scrumptious, and I have enough leftover for today. That’s a bonus.

My windows and doors are open, but I suspect it will only be a short while before the heat gets to me as the slight breeze just isn’t enough to counter the hot sun. If I were a tourist, I’d love today. I imagine the beaches are filled. Usually by this time of the day even the beach parking lots are filled.

This morning I started watching The Lady in White. I’ve seen it before, but I liked the movie enough to see it again. It takes place in 1962 at Halloween. The Lady is a ghost. The main character, Frankie, witnesses a murder in his class cloak room which had taken place 10 years earlier. The rest of the movie hinges on that event. When I saw the beginning of the movie this time, I hadn’t remembered how it started. I did remember the rest. That a ghost is an important character doesn’t bother me at all. She is woven into the plot and is as important a character as Frankie.

I have a few outside things to do this afternoon like water the plants on the deck, clean the outside shower before I take one later and check the connections to my lights on the deck and in the yard. None of the lights go on though they’re still connected to timers. One set is on the rail of the deck and two other sets are coiled around trees in the yard. My friend misses the lights and so do I.

Today is dump day. I imagine Gracie will be excited when she sees me hauling the trash bags to the car. I’ll have to open the doors and start the AC before I put her into the car or she’ll pant. Her window has to be open despite the air as she needs to smell the world as we travel. I totally understand.


“It was luxuries like air conditioning that brought down the Roman Empire. With air conditioning their windows were shut, they couldn’t hear the barbarians coming.”

August 31, 2015

The air conditioner was turned off for a bit this morning so the house could have some fresh air, but the AC is back on as it didn’t take long for the house to get hot. I am spoiled now with central air. I think back to when I was a kid, and we had only one fan. It was moved from room to room. In the evening it was in the living room always facing my father. He and fans had quite a history. Once he was trying to clear off the fan blades while the fan was on. He cut all the fingers on the one hand. It was not a surprise to us given my father’s abilities with anything electric. My bedroom was always hot, and I think I sweated myself to sleep every night. Nobody had air conditioners in those days. Even after we moved to the cape, we still had that one traveling fan. While I was in Ghana my parents moved. The fan went with them and at night took up its customary place in the living room facing my father.

When air conditioning was common, my parents bought three: one for each of the two bedrooms and one for the living room. My dad then had one of his brilliant ideas. He tacked a sheet over the molding on the archway between the living room and the hall. Its purpose was keep all the cold air in the living room. It looked silly but it did keep the living room cooler.

When I bought my own house, I bought a couple of those famous move from room to room fans, and I had another put on the ceiling of the guest room, not so much to cool my guests but more so I could keep my own fans. When it got really hot, I slept downstairs on the sofa bed with the back door open and the fans whirling away the whole night. I finally bought an air conditioner for my bedroom as I seldom spent a summer night sleeping in my bed.

Putting in central air was one of the best decisions I ever made, electricity bill be damned. I am now into creature comforts and being cool on a sweltering summer day is a prime comfort. I deserve it.

“Knock Knock! Who’s there? Tibet! Tibet who? Early Tibet and early to rise!”

August 27, 2015

Delightful is the first adjective that comes to mind to describe today. It is cool and dry, magical words. The windows and doors are wide open. Sitting here in my room, I can smell the fresh air, the cut grass and the flowers. I can feel the cool breeze from the window. I can see the sun shining through the branches and glinting off the leaves. I can hear the birds singing and the boys down the street yelling to one another as they play. I have reconnected with the world all because it is cool and dry.

I am guilty of procrastination. The morning filled my senses but left my brain blank of thought. I knew I had nothing to talk about today. I made my bed, sat on the deck, took my time reading the papers, checked the TV Guide for the next couple of days, read my e-mail and finally faced the inevitable: it was time to write, to compose, to imagine, to start Coffee.

If I could reorder my life, I wouldn’t change much right now. I have been retired for eleven years and have recently entered the what day is it phase of my retirement. I thought today was Friday until I remembered it wasn’t. I don’t live high on the hog (I’m thinking maybe today can be idiom day), but I do believe in ease and comfort. I have my house cleaned every two weeks though I am forced to do a bit of cleaning in between, as little cleaning as possible. I have my lawn cut and tended to all season. In the winter my yard is plowed and shoveled. My groceries are delivered though I do go to Ring’s, a bit of an extravagance, where I buy gourmet foods, pizzas and even organic dog biscuits for Miss Gracie. When I’m out, I sometimes stop to treat myself to lunch, usually my favorite sandwich with avocado, bacon, cheese and horseradish sauce. I have season tickets to the Cape Playhouse.

How do I keep body and soul together? (still working on idioms here). I don’t go out to eat much, don’t go to movies except on my deck, seldom buy new clothes (“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes”) and use the library for new books.

I haven’t traveled in a couple of years, and the itch is starting, but I need to build more of a nest egg (number 3 if you’re counting). Rome was not built in a day (4) and my trip won’t be either. I’m thinking next year back to Ghana. My friends too are going back, and we are working on going back together. We lived side by side in Bolga and traveled together often. It’s time we did it again!

“I’m not making any plans. I’m just going to let the universe surprise me.”

April 18, 2015

Today smells like fresh earth. It smells like grass. The air is warm. The sun is bright. I keep going outside to the deck drawn by the warmth. Gracie has been out all morning mostly lying in the sun. Off in the distance is the sound of a leaf blower cleaning winter away. I think today is glorious.

The sun has made me energetic. I have completed and crossed off chores on the list for weeks. I am even getting closer to tackling the cabinet under the counter. I am curious as to what lies hidden there. I know there must be mice nests as I found some the last time I cleaned the cabinet, and I also found their cache of rice. I am on the hunt for a special baking pan long-lost in the Bermuda Triangle of my cabinet.

When I was young, I confronted noises. “Come out. Come out. I know you’re there,” I’d yell, but the last thing I wanted was for anyone or, even worse, for something to come out of the darkness. My bravery was bravado. I had this idea that by yelling I’d scare away whatever was making the noise. Nothing ever came after me. I figured I’d scared them or it. The older me knew better. Nothing was really there.

In the summer we could play outside even when it got dark. The street light rule was no longer in effect. We had to stay in the neighborhood, but our neighborhood was filled with wonderful places and so much to do. Hide and seek was even more fun in the dark. Sometimes we’d jump out at the seeker and scare him or her half to death. The more the seeker yelled in fright the more fun it was for us. Kids do have a bit of a sadistic streak.

Being a kid meant taking each day as it came. Saturday was the day filled with the most possibilities. We could go to the movies or ride our bikes or walk the tracks. We could catch grasshoppers in the field or watch the polliwogs in the swamp. We’d decide on Saturday morning. Planning is never a kid thing. Life is so much easier without a calendar waiting to be filled.

“I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair.”

March 9, 2015

The sun is shining and today’s temperature will be in the high 30’s. All week the daytime will be warm, even hitting the high 40’s by Wednesday. All I can hear is dripping, and it almost sounds like rain. The icicles are melting. Most are already gone. The roof has very little snow left. I can see some of the road in front of my house. The ice path on my walk melts a little every day and is getting narrower, smaller. It freezes again at night, but there is less of it in the morning. The piles of snow on the deck are shrinking. That sure as heck sounds like the stirrings of spring to me.

My hyacinth has bloomed. Its flowers are white. It reminds me that under the snow in the front garden are bulbs just waiting to pop their green shoots above the ground. I love it once they finally appear. I check their progress every morning on my way back from getting the papers. I am a bit impatient waiting for the shoots to grow taller and for the first glimpses of buds. I watch as those buds grow higher than the shoots and begin to show the first hints of color. Usually the dainty snowdrops bloom first followed by the dafs. The irises and hyacinths take a bit longer.

Every season has its own smells. In spring the air is fresh and filled with hints of grass and flowers. I love the first warm, spring day when I can open my windows to clear the house of winter’s stuffiness, but they stay open for only a while. By late afternoon, the air is chilly, and it’s time to shut the windows until the next warm day.

Today is an empty dance card.

“Spiders so large they appear to be wearing the pelts of small mammals.”

May 15, 2014

The day is warm. The sun pops in and out. It is an open the windows and let the fresh air in sort of day. I have an errand or two to do later. I still walk oddly because of the aches and pains left over from the fall, but I have to go out. I figure the cats will want to be fed later as they just got their last can. What’s with these animals wanting to eat every day?

Gracie eats the best food. The list of ingredients starts with meat then goes on to the fruits and vegetables. I swear if I heated the turducken and served it over toast people would enjoy it, but it was different when I was a kid. Duke, my boxer, ate two cans of dog food a day, of horse meat. Feeding him was gross as the food didn’t smell good and the last thing I was for it to touch me. It also gave him room clearing gas. Most were of the silent but deadly form. It was always best to sit up wind from Duke.

Some of my friends squealed at spiders. I always thought that was silly. Spiders had no interest in us. They were hoping for flies or other stray insects though I do sometimes think of The Fly caught in the web and yelling, “Help me. Help me,” as the spider slowly walked toward him. I did figure, though, that was an anomaly. Some noises in the night scared me like people walking or the window getting scratched, but I wore a brave front and always asked, “Is anyone there?” Now that is silly. What homicidal maniac is going to answer, “I am, and I’m here to dismember you.” I had this idea that if I sounded brave I’d scare away the man with hook or the hatchet. As I never saw one, I must have been successful.

I used to walk home at night from being with my friends. No one walked in my direction. The rest walked together the other way. Once a police car stopped and offered me a ride home. He knew me which is why he stopped. I took the ride. When he got to my street, he turned on all the lights and let me out. I figured the neighbors were watching from all their windows wondering what was going on. I waved and went inside the house. I was never afraid walking home alone. The biggest news in the police blotter of the local paper was woman hears sounds in her yard, kids making noise, and cars leaving rubber and speeding. My town was not a hot bed of crime.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

March 26, 2013

The snow never materialized last night but it did sleet then rain for a short while, and the morning still bears the remnants of the storm though storm seems a bit grandiose a description for a bit of rain and sleet. Our familiar gray skies are back, but the sun has been making quick visits then disappearing to wherever it’s been going for what seems like weeks. I watched the bird feeders while my coffee was dripping, and my suet feeder had a huge guest, a flicker. I also noticed the gold finches are getting brighter. The tops of the hyacinths are appearing above their leaves, and there are several daffodil buds. I think we’re in the two steps forward and only one step back part of spring. It makes me hopeful for one really warm day when I can sit on the deck, close my eyes and fall asleep with the sun on my face.

The perfect day when I was about ten was always in the spring. It was warm and sunny but not hot. I’d wear my spring jacket, my favorite of all jackets. It had a front zipper and was pale pink. The first wearing of that jacket was a symbol back then though symbolism was lost on the young me. I just knew I loved my jacket because it was light and pink and had replaced the heavy, dark winter coats and layers we’d worn for months. Wearing it was the acknowledgment the season had finally changed and winter was passed.

On my perfect day, usually a Saturday, I’d go down the cellar and maneuver my bike out the door and up the stairs. That was never easy. The door faced a wall so the angle was all wrong. I had to lift the front wheel in the air to get the back wheel out. Once up the stairs I’d get on my bike, ride across the side lawn and down the grassy hill, a maneuver forbidden by my dad who’d yell later when he saw the tire marks. I’d always get the how many times do I have to tell you lecture, but the little ride was worth it. My dad just didn’t get how neat it was to start my adventure by going down his small hill. From there, I’d sometimes ride down the big hill on which we lived or I’d take the side street and head toward the field with the horses. I remember how bright the sun seemed and how the trees had buds and the grass was finally turning green. I’d see the colors of the spring flowers blooming above the ground. The air smelled fresh and brand new. I always took my time, not wanting to miss a single thing though I’d taken that same route so many times. I remember feeling joyful and as alive as spring as I rode through the small streets.

I have that same feeling every year on the very first warm spring day even without my bike.

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