Posted tagged ‘glorious day’

“I can make another list because the choice is mine. A list of what to do. So I won’t be listless ever again.”

August 10, 2017

My eye survived the laser though it felt as if something irritating were in it, something I couldn’t remove. I also had a headache, a common after-effect I was told. I took some Tylenol and had a nap. Both helped. Everything now is just fine. My other eye is scheduled for Tuesday.

My neighbor is putting in a new septic tank. His giant truck is parked in my driveway so Gracie and I had to maneuver around it to get into the yard. While I was doing that, I was attacked by a wild rose bush. My usual morning on the deck with my coffee and newspapers had to be cancelled. I could smell the old septic. All my doors and windows are shut and the AC is on, all to thwart the aroma of septic.

Yesterday was a glorious day, cool enough will lots of sun and no humidity. I did a few errands, and when I got home, I filled the bird feeders. All of those exertions made me tired enough to need a nap though I confess I could have done nothing all day and still have needed a nap.

When I lived in Bolga, in Ghana, the post office and most kiosks closed every day between the hours of one and three. My students had a mandatory rest period. It was Ghana’s siesta time. It was also the hottest time of the day. Despite the heat, I enjoyed afternoon naps. The school compound was quiet for the first time since very early morning, and the heat made me drowsy. I learned the value of an afternoon nap.

Yesterday I had three sticky sheets on my table filled with schedules and things to do. Today there are none. I finished all the items on the lists. There is now a hole, a space needing filling. I love lists. They keep me organized and sort of compel me to accomplish something. If it is on paper, I pay more attention.

I don’t remember when I started to make daily lists. I do remember when I was having company for a big dinner I always made flow charts and lists. One list had all the ingredients I needed to buy and another had the names of each dish and their sources. I learned that last one the hard way when I had ingredients but didn’t remember the dishes and when, a couple of times, I forgot to serve a dish. The flow charts listed what I needed to do and when I needed to do them, things like shop on Thursday and what to start making on Friday. On the day of the event, the flow charts were explicit and intense. One would list what I did in the morning, the final preparations, while others listed the times to put in and take out stuff from the oven and at what temperatures to cook them. I used to tape the lists to a cabinet above my work space. and check off my progress. My sister made fun of my flow charts. I didn’t care.

“America is a tune. It must be sung together.”

June 30, 2015

This morning I was rudely awakened at 8:30 by the sounds of mowers and saws. I cursed. Come to find out, they were working on my front yard removing the branch which had fallen in that tremendous rain storm, trimming the forsythia and wild roses and blowing my deck clear of leaves and twigs. They also cut off the branches which hung over my umbrella. After they finished, all was quiet except for the birds then a shrill voice broke the silence. It came from next door, the renters ( I almost want to make that word totally capitalized). They have about a 4 year-old girl with the sort of voice which causes chills up and down your back. She’s not quiet, and she yells often. Right now she is crying. The noise forced me inside.

The red spawn has learned a valuable lesson. I didn’t fill the beastie’s favorite feeder so it is forced to use one with wire mesh all around the seed area. When I blasted the feasting beastie with the hose, it couldn’t get out of the mesh fast enough. When I went out on the deck this morning with my papers and coffee, the spawn got out of the feeder and ran. I raised my hands in Rocky type triumph.

What a glorious day it is today. The sun is bright and warm and the sky is blue and beautiful. The slight breeze is cooling.

I have to dress my flamingo in its Uncle Sam outfit for the holiday. It is a star filled blue vest, an Uncle Sam hat and a white beard. Jaunty comes to mind. My Travelocity gnome is always dressed in red, white and blue. He’s a patriotic gnome. I think his name is Henry.

From as long ago as I can remember we celebrated the 4th of July. We always had a barbecue, and we always went to the parade. I love parades with all the music, the floats and the pageantry. Every parade, no matter the length, seems to start and end the same way with police in cars and on motorcycles at the beginning and fire trucks at the end. On July 4th floats and bands, drill teams and drum and bugle corps filled the parade with color and music. Uncle Sam walked the route on stilts. I love July 4th. I’m already making plans!

“This squirrel is inadequately afraid of humans! Squirrel, I am a threat to you! We are enemies! Please get off my bench! Oh, god! Oh, god! Don’t touch me—oh, god!”

June 7, 2015

All glorious adjectives are springing from my dancing fingers to describe the morning. The sun is where are my sunglasses bright and the sky is the bluest blue in any palette. It is warm, the warmest in a long while. I can hear my deck calling. My book is nearly finished so it and I will amble outside later to enjoy this lovely day. Gracie is already outside and has been all morning. That is one smart puppy!

Two red spawns have found each other, and I’m thinking they’re spooning. This morning both of the red beasties were on my deck eating at the bird feeders. They ran as soon as I grabbed my hose. Later they were chasing each other up and down branches and tree trunks. That’s all I need, a family of spawns living in my backyard.

I used to think squirrels were cute standing on their hind legs begging for peanuts when I visited the Boston Public Garden. They were everywhere running and chasing each other. I think they were the first wildlife I ever fed when I was little. My dad would give me a bag of peanuts in the shell and once a peanut appeared hordes of squirrels ran and stood all around me hoping for one. I’d throw a peanut or two and the crowd of squirrels would head to the thrown nut. I thought it was fun, but then again I was too young to realize I was perpetuating a species of spawns.

My backyard has attracted a variety of animals. I saw a coyote back there a couple of times but not since the fence. Inside the fence there has been the giant raccoon, the spraying skunk, the playing dead possum, the baby grey squirrel chattering at me as I saved it from the mighty hunter, Gracie, and a mouse. The last one was sort of funny. Both Gracie and the mouse were around a tree trunk-one chasing and the other being chased. It reminded me of the tigers running around the tree until they turned to butter. I finally grabbed Gracie and the mouse ran to safety. I expect both were a bit dizzy.

“Life’s a beach. Just roll with it.”

May 17, 2015

Today is a glorious day. The sun is bright, the sky so blue it looks painted and the air warm and smelling of the ocean. It is a day to be outside to feel the sun on my face, to get drowsy in the warmth and maybe fall asleep.

The Sundays of my childhood were quiet days. First we had to go to church. Sometimes we’d go with my dad while other times we’d walk, my brother and I. In the summer the early masses were crowded so people could have the whole day. Those were my favorite masses. Often there were no open seats in the pews so we had to stand in the back and even outside on the steps where I was so far away from the altar at the front of the church I never heard any part of the mass. I’d get tired and sit on the steps. The adults standing in the back used to crane their necks to see what was going inside. I was never that curious.

Most Sundays were family days. In the summer that often meant the beach for the whole day. We never tired of the beach and the ocean no matter how often we went. My favorite ocean time was low tide when there would be pools of warm water. We’d check out the starfish and toss empty crab shells at each other. We’d try to catch the small darting fish we called minnows even though they weren’t. We’d take our pails and walk along the water’s edge looking for shells, but not just random shells, we were picky. We’d pass by the clam shells and look for spirals with different colors inside and out. It was rare to find a complete spiral. Often one side was missing or chipped. We’d nearly fill our pails, wash out the sand in the water then put the pail near the blanket so we could bring home all our treasures. Mine usually went on my bureau for a while.

Eating at the beach was mostly when we were hungry. We had our choice of sandwiches, usually cold cuts but  sometimes egg salad. There were always chips to go with the sandwiches and my mother always packed a bag of Oreos, the easiest of all desserts.

My dad would make sure our feet were cleaned so we wouldn’t bring sand into his car. He’d open the car door, we’d sit and he’d dunk our feet into a pail of water then we’d scramble our way to our seats without touching the parking lot sand. I think it a bit ironic that we ended up living on the Cape where sand is almost part of the car floor.

I remember falling into an exhaustive sleep after a day in the sun and water. Sometimes, when my head was on the pillow, warm water would drain from my ears. It was a strange sensation.

“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.

“…it was so rich and exotic I was seduced into taking one bite and then another as I tried to chase the flavors back to their source.”

July 22, 2014

The morning has been a busy one around the Ryan homestead. The huge pine branch which fell is gone as are several branches and a dead pine tree or two. I had to keep an eye on my landscaper as many more trees would have gone on the chopping block. He loves to cut down trees. All the ground brush was also cut down then everything was blown clean, including the deck. The yard looks great. The deck needs a bit of washing because of the birds, and I’ll do that later.

Finally we have a glorious summer day, sunny and cool, and in the 70’s. It rained again yesterday so the grass is staying green and the flowers are tall and filled with buds. My front garden will soon be awash with brilliant colors. Every morning when I get my papers I check on the garden. I stand and marvel at how fresh and beautiful it all looks.

I really have nothing to do today, but I thought I’d go to the library and Agway. A few of my deck flowers need a boost so I’ll buy some annuals which didn’t find any homes and supplement the ones on my deck. I ate tomatoes yesterday, cherry tomatoes, straight from my garden. They were sweet and juicy.

When I lived in Ghana, I had a bowl of fruit for lunch every day. The bowl was filled with oranges, pineapple, pawpaw, mango and bananas. I never tired of that same meal. The fruit was as fresh as any fruit I had ever tasted. Ghanaian oranges are green and on the small side, but they are the sweetest of the fruits. I used to buy one or two to eat when I was on the road traveling. Aunties and small girls would come to the bus window to sell oranges from trays on their heads, and I always bought a couple.

My love for pineapple comes from Ghana. Before eating the fresh Ghanaian pineapples, I had only eaten Dole’s cut up pineapples in thick juice from a can. I’m not even sure we could buy fresh pineapples when I was growing up. Had I seen one in the flesh, I would have thought it a strange fruit with all the nobs on its skin and the green sprouting top.

Sometimes I think about the foods I ate when I was a kid. Most vegetables came from a can, corn in the summer being an exception. The fruits were apples, oranges and bananas, nothing exotic unless you count green apples. I don’t remember farm stands anywhere near we lived, and farmers’ markets were a long way off in the future.

I know it was Ghana which totally changed my palate. The fruits and vegetables I ate were fresh from the market. Some I hadn’t ever seen or heard of before, but I tried them and mostly liked them. The chickens were still alive when I bought them but the beef wasn’t. It was iffy. I didn’t really care. I ate it anyway.

I found out there was more to the global world of food than just Italian and Chinese. Though I didn’t think about it at the time, one of the best side benefits of being a Peace Corps volunteer was an educated palate grown out of a curiosity about trying and liking new foods.

“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.”

June 3, 2014

This morning, around 1 am, I was awoken by an odd sound, a repeating sound. At first I thought it was an animal screaming from being caught by a coyote, but it went on too long for that. Next I figured it was a goose, a large, walking through the neighborhood goose. The sound was right below my window at one point then was quite distant at another then it came closer again. Gracie got up and went downstairs, but I wasn’t going to let her out. Finally the sound faded then disappeared, and I went back to sleep. I asked my neighbor if she heard anything. She hadn’t. My other neighbor said she had seen around 12 or 13 turkeys wandering the neighborhood yesterday. I think that’s exactly what it was: a turkey looking for the rest of the turkeys.

The leaves on the big oak by the deck are mottled with sun. They wave in the breeze, a warm breeze. The air is sweet-smelling. Today is glorious, a short-sleeve day, a day to spend outside.

My lawn is green, spring green. It is soft on bare feet. In the mornings when I go to get the papers the grass is cool, but in the afternoons the grass is hot and means a speedier trip to pick up the mail.

The front walk is lined on both sides with potted plants. I bought flowers, herbs and veggies yesterday. I didn’t buy enough. I never do. Skip is now fencing in the vegetable garden. The old fence was flimsy and needed replacing. The new one will keep Gracie outside. She’ll have to dig somewhere else. Soon enough the tomatoes and cucumbers and two more vegetables yet to be decided will be planted and watered. I get to watch them grow, and I get to be amazed.

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”

June 1, 2014

Today is a glorious spring day filled with warm sunshine and deep blue skies. I just came back from driving my friends to the bus stop in Barnstable, and the ride home was a joy. The trees along the highway are leafy and are so many different colors of green. Hawks were riding the thermals. No one was in a hurry. When I got off the highway close to home, I saw people walking their dogs, runners along the bike path and bike riders along the road. The warmth of the sun is like a magnet drawing us out of our cool, dark houses. The sun on the deck is waiting for me.

I have memories of Junes long past, of transitions and changes. It was always the month ushering in the freedom of summer days. It was the month of graduations, of moving from one place in my life to another. I left for Ghana in June on a journey which changed my life. I came home two years later in June with experiences to hold for a lifetime. June is when the cape finally wakes from winter, when the flowers all bloom and the air smells fragrant. It is no wonder I count June as my favorite month.

The laundry has made it down to this floor. It is by the cellar door. It may get done today or maybe not. It depends on how long I can stand seeing it lying there. Sometimes I need to do things right away, the laundry obviously not one of those things. This morning it was sweeping the kitchen floor. When I was making the coffee, I noticed dust in the corners and bits of dry dog food around Gracie’s bowl. I lasted only through one cup of coffee then took out the broom. I couldn’t take it any more.

I have decided how to spend my day. I will do nothing but sit in the sun, sip a cold drink and read. The laundry in the hall will just fine for another day or two.

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