Posted tagged ‘gimp’

“The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled.”

August 11, 2016

Here I am again, inside the house retreating from the heat. Today will be in the high 80’s on the cape and the 90’s in Boston and north of Boston. My friend Bill sent me the weather from Bolgatanga, Ghana where it will be cooler than here and rainy. What’s with that, cooler in Africa than here?

I could do a couple of errands today, but I won’t. I’m staying housebound by choice. I have food and drink, a semi-full larder, so I’ll be content and cool. I’m even considering baking something.

I hit a wall in watching the Olympics so last night I hunted for something else. It ended up being Cupcake Wars. I traded one boring program for a really boring program, but I’m guessing those cupcakes inspired me to think about baking today. This morning I’ve already watched women’s water polo. That wall is getting closer.

Yesterday I did two loads of laundry. They by themselves are not remarkable, but, for once, I didn’t leave any laundry in the dryer. I am known for leaving laundry in the dryer for up to a week. The clothes come out really wrinkled, but I don’t care.

Books are on the table in front of me as is the TV remote. They represent the day’s diversions, things to keep me busy, things to help the day pass.

When I was a kid, I’d be bored by the middle of August. I had done all the fun things several times, and they had begun to lose their luster. The afternoons were often too hot to do much. I remember being at the park and sitting in the shade. We played some checkers at the table and worked gimp. I remember painting a tray for my mother. We couldn’t play softball. Little kids couldn’t use the slide and seesaw because of the heat. The metal slide would have burned the backs of their legs. August is always hot and humid.

Every month I get a report from my electric company on my usage and how it compares to my neighbors’ usage. My sister in Colorado happened to mention her report to me as her husband, Rod, showed her they were the highest in the neighborhood. I said mine was too. We both decided we didn’t care. We want to live comfortably: cool in summer and warm in winter. I’m sending my next one to Rod so he’ll see they are not alone.

Tonight after midnight the Perseids meteor shower will begin, but the best viewing is after 1 AM or even later. There will be an unusually high number of meteors tonight anywhere from 160 to 200 meteors per hour. The suggestion is to lie on your back and look straight up. Drinking caffein to stay awake was another suggestion. I’m thinking iced coffee.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

July 6, 2015

I’m melting. I’m melting. Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit. From wearing hoodies on July 4th to 84˚ this morning is a giant leap. The sun is brutal already. It is pretty to look at but that’s where the good part ends. It is just plain hot. Luckily this room is still cool as it doesn’t get sun until afternoon. It is a full 10 degrees cooler than outside. I will migrate to the deck when I finish here. If there is a breeze, it will find my deck.

At the park where I used to spend my summer days, the picnic table was in the shade under trees.The horseshoe pit was also in the shade just below where the table sat. The softball field was in total sun. Practice meant sweating all over including drips in my eyes and on my cheeks. I used the sleeves of my blouse to wipe my face. The sleeves got grimy, but I didn’t care. The slide got so hot in the mid-afternoons you chanced burns using it. The only water was a bubbler close by to the park. We taught Butch, the neighbor’s dog who followed us everywhere, to drink from it. We also taught Butch how to climb the ladder then slide to the ground. I spend most of my pre-teen summer days at that park. We always had plenty to do. I remembering painting flowers on a wooden tray for my mother. It was the best painting job I ever did. I bought gimp and made my father a key chain which he gushed over but never really used. It was well made but a bit gaudy and what adult male uses a gimp key chain? A couple of afternoons a week we competed against other town parks in baseball and softball. There was even a park column in the town’s weekly paper, The Independence. I love seeing my name in print and saved all of the columns which mentioned me. The park closed from 12 to 1 for lunch, and I’d go home, about 5 or 6 minutes away, eat lunch and sometimes even change my grimy blouse then it was back to the park until it closed at 4.

At the end of the summer we had contests then awards. I was the horseshoe champ a couple of years running. I also got awards for softball as our team was always first or second in the park league. I won the checker board award one year but only one year. I really loved going to that park. It was such a fun way to spend every summer day and having my name in the paper was my favorite perk.

“I love how summer just wraps it’s arms around you like a warm blanket.”

May 16, 2013

Today is supposed to be warm, maybe even hot. Yesterday Skip, my factotum, was here all day getting the backyard and deck ready for summer. Looks like the timing was perfect. The vegetable garden was weeded, its fence mended, candles hung in the trees, furniture uncovered and cleaned, Gracie’s holes filled, including the one closest to China, backyard ornaments put into the ground and my favorite new addition set up from the heavy pine tree: two stars hung together with five tails extending from them all in white lights. I put them on the timer and last night the stars were beautiful. A few things remain, like planting the veggies and adding flowers and herbs to the pots and getting the shower ready, but that’ll wait until it’s warmer every day. I can’t help it. Seeing the deck ready makes me excited to be out there every day.

When I was a kid, and it was summer, we never stayed in the house, even when it rained. We’d find a leafy tree and stay under it to keep as dry as we could. Most days, though, we’d spend at the playground on the field at the bottom of our street. There were two college students there and at each of the playgrounds in town. They ran all the activities. One summer I painted a tray, and it was the best painting I’d ever done. Every summer I’d make lanyards or bracelets out of gimp. I could do all different knots. The first one I learned was the square knot then the round and then the flat. The round was for the lanyard and the flat was the best for a gimp bracelet. I made pot holders on that square loom with the hooks where you wove the cotton. I think I gave my mother one for every Christmas for years. I played horseshoes, checkers and softball and learned to play chess and tennis. For years I spend the entire day at that playground. The local paper, The Independent, had a playground section once a week,and I got my name in the paper a few times for winning at horseshoes and for being the winning pitcher in softball. Nothing makes a kid happier than to see her name in print.

I out grew the playground and spent summers round the house more. By the time I was a teenager, my friends and I were at the go out at night stage. I was on a drill team and we had drill practice two nights a week, and once every couple of weeks we’d go the drive-in. Some nights we just hung around the way teenagers do. My mother didn’t seem to miss the potholders.