Posted tagged ‘future’

“Fate chooses our relatives, we choose our friends.”

May 8, 2017

This morning is chilly. My heat went on earlier. The sky is peppered with clouds. I’m thinking it’s a day to stay close to home. Luckily I have everything I need and everything Maddie and Gracie need.

When I was a kid, the future was a day or two away.  Once in a while, I’d be asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. That always took me aback so I chose saying teacher just to have a ready answer. I actually had no idea. I was still planning what I’d do on Saturday. I always thought that was a silly question. People like my aunt the nun asked it because they had no idea how to talk to a kid. How’s school was their other question. Good, the great non-descriptor, was my answer.

My father used to drag us to Connecticut once a year to visit my aunt the nun. She was my father’s older sister. Getting there was quite a production. We’d wear our play clothes until my father stopped at a brick highway rest stop in Connecticut where my mother cleaned us up and we put on church clothes. My aunt was always a nun to me as she became one before I was born. Those were the days of black and white habits and wimples. My aunt never seemed comfortable with our visits. Mostly she just paid attention to my father whom she called brother. He hated that. I remember how quiet the convent was. A nun would deliver cookies and lemonade almost without making a sound. She just whished. Part of the visit was always a tour of the school where my aunt taught. We’d follow behind her from the convent to the school like ducklings behind their mother. The tour was always boring. We knew what schools looked like and hers was no different, but we were glad to be moving not just sitting in the reception living room. We’d finish the tour and then go back to the convent to say our goodbyes until next year. I swear we all let out sighs of relief, even my father, as we were leaving.

I was never close to that aunt even after she ditched the habit. She used to come from Connecticut every year to spend Christmas with my parents. We were all nice to her in a stilted sort of way knowing my cousins were favored and we were abided.

My father often said you could pick your nose but not your relatives. I always thought that was gross but he was right. I offer up my aunt the nun as proof.

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

July 30, 2015

If I could go back in time, I don’t know exactly when I’d choose. Lots of places in time were wonderful for me. When I was eleven comes to mind. The teenage years weren’t even on the horizon yet. Boys were around but had no real importance in my life. I loved school. Riding my bike all over my little world took up many a Saturday in the summer. In the winter was the matinée. I was a girl scout still and did fun overnights at the camp in town near the zoo. I remember the cots there were the old canvas ones tricky to open. We made camp fire stew for dinner. We hiked on the trails through the pine forest which smelled like Christmas. Life was easy when I was eleven.

I might give thirteen another look. We were the big wigs in school, the eighth graders. I was finally a teenager though nothing miraculous happened. Boys were barely interesting but were definitely seeping into my consciousness. The future was rearing its ugly head. I had to pick a high school. My friend and I colluded and were accepted into the same school. That was cause for jubilation. I had the best fun inthat eighth grade. The nun was crazy, not harmful crazy but old age crazy. We got away with everything. I, who seldom crossed the line, spent most of my eighth grade over the line setting a trend for the rest of my life. The line became arbitrary. Life was fun when I was thirteen.

I think I’d be twenty-one again. I’d get to vote for the first time and legally drink for a change. That was my senior year in college. During second semester, every Friday, we had a happy hour beginning at noon, a couple of hours before our last class of the day, and ending in the late afternoon at a bar owned by a friend’s family. It was always elbow to elbow with people, most of them my classmates. We were enjoying our last times together after four years of closeness. That was also the year I was whacked in the head with a sign which said in capital letters DECIDE. I had to plan my future. That was a bit scary so I hedged my bets. I applied to law school, interviewed for a teaching job and applied to Peace Corps, my first and only choice. The rest were back-ups just in case. All three came through, but I accepted Peace Corps, something I had wanted for so long. I remember the day the mailman brought my special delivery acceptance letter. It was in January. I was elated. Life was scary and life was crazy when I was twenty-one.

“I like stepping into the future. Therefore, I look for doorknobs.”

March 16, 2013

The sun was shining earlier but has since disappeared. I don’t really care. A cloudy day seems to be the norm. Sunny days are anomalies. It is also really cold, but March on Cape Cod is seldom warm. When I went to get the papers, I stood a while at the front garden. The crocus (or croci if I use my Latin) are fully bloomed and so beautiful. The yellow even brightens a day like today.

I am amazed by how quickly the world has changed. I used to be content with a flickering black and white TV, even for cartoons. Now I have this big HD television and am even thinking of upgrading. My typewriter is in the cellar. It was a high school graduation present from my parents. I was then and still am the worst typist. Wite-Out was my friend as was that white tape you typed over to correct the errors. Now my computer makes corrections, most of the time without my help. I don’t chop onions. My food processor does that. I have three different size processors. I use the smallest one for when I need a tablespoon of something chopped. The microwave cooks dinner in minutes. I use my oven for storage. I do use it other times to bake, but the last time I did I burned a box of crackers I forgot was in there. I have a blender and an immerser. The only machine I don’t have is a can opener. I still use a hand opener. I used to sleep downstairs on the couch in the summer with the back door open. Upstairs was too hot. Then I got an air-conditioner for my bedroom and sometimes I’d stay in the cool all afternoon. Now my whole house is air-conditioned. I remember Sunday drives with all six of us crammed in the car and all the windows opened, but it was still hot and sticky. I sometimes got car sick. Who’d blame me? The car air-conditioner solved that problem. No more encyclopedias. We can just Google anything and get more answers than we imagined existed. My first transistor radio was big, but every year radios got smaller. I had a cassette recorder with me in Ghana. The last time I went I brought my iPod with I don’t know how many songs. My iPad came with me also and was my source for books and amusement. My Instamatic took pretty good pictures back in 1969, but my parents had to send me film as none could be had in Ghana, and I had to send it to them to be processed. In two years I took 290 slides. On my last visit, using my digital camera, I took over 400 pictures in three weeks.

When I was a kid, dreaming of the future, I figured by now, like the Jetsons, we’d have cars which can fly. I expected to be anywhere in the world in a short time, but it still takes 10 1/2 hours to get to Ghana. I want to be beamed, here one minute and there the next. Maybe a bit of cryonic sleep will preserve me until then, but wait! We don’t have cryonic sleep yet.

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