Posted tagged ‘great weather’

“It’s a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn’t even know you were aiming for.”

November 20, 2014

The sun is in and out of the clouds this morning. The day is warmer than it has been. Tonight will be cold, but I’ll be under my down comforter with the dog beside me keeping me even warmer. Today is an errand and an early dump day. Gracie gets to come.

Earlier I turned on the TV to watch the news. It was NECN, New England Cable Network News. An on-site reporter was in a small town where a town meeting had become raucous and subsequently shut down when banning cigarette sales was being discussed. “It’s not about tobacco — it’s about control” and “Smoke ’em if you got them” were some of the cries from the protesters. “This is about freedom; it’s my body and it’s my choice to smoke.” The reporter commented that all the outbursts caused the meeting to be adjourned. “They had a went to postponement.” That is not a typo. That is the reporter speaking off the cuff and outside the common rules of English grammar.

A totally new topic follows.

In Columbia I went to the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá which is inside an enormous salt mine. The mine was amazing, huge and almost eerie with blue lights shining off its walls and on the statues and altar. I noticed the salt was blackish, not at all the free-flowing white of Morton’s. I asked my guide, whom I had hired in Bogotá car and all, how the salt gets to be white. Before I knew it, I was being driven down a highway into a huge salt factory. The guide went in then came out and had me follow him. Inside the main office I got a yellow hard hat to wear and a tour of the whole factory. The man leading us spoke English and was a boss in the factory. We went all over, climbing up metal stairs and around huge machines. I learned the journey of salt from the mine to the table. The factory boss gave me a huge chunk of blackish salt as a memento. I still have it stored always in my refrigerator. I have two outstanding memories of that factory. One is walking from one side of the factory to another on a metal walkway looking down at a huge machine. The other is the taste of salt which filled my mouth during the whole tour. The air was permeated with it. I’ll never forget that taste.

In Morocco I hired a car and driver to take me into the Atlas Mountains. The driver asked if he could bring a friend. I didn’t care so the three of us left for a whole day trip. On the way back we stopped at a small factory which made olive oil as the two men wanted to buy the fresh oil. I walked around and saw the whole process of making olive oil. The men working there just nodded as I walked by them. The air was filled with the aroma of the newly pressed olives. It was not an aroma I knew but rather one redolent of many aromas.

I mention these two adventures as they were unplanned, spurn of the moment. They were serendipitous.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.”

July 12, 2014

Yesterday and today have been delightful days and last night was cool, low 60’s cool. Today is sunny with a sharp light. The sky is dark blue and cloudless. Tonight will be in the low 60’s again. It is my first movie night of the season. The War of the Worlds, the original with Gene Barry, is on the big screen. We’re having hot dogs and chorizo and a salad or two. We’ll munch a few appetizers beforehand and have candy and popcorn for the movie. I love movies on the deck.

I do a crossword puzzle everyday. Some of the clues and answers are anachronisms. One of the Bobbsey twins is a frequent clue. The answer is always Nan, twin to Bert. Today Look-alike was the clue. The answer was carbon copy. I have no memory of the last time I used carbon to copy anything. I do remember using them years and years ago when I taught, and I remember how the kids always smelled the papers when they got them. They had a peculiar smell from the carbon. I think carbon copy for many people will have to come from the clues around it. Card catalog was another answer, but the clue acknowledged it no longer exists: Part of a library once. My mother would sometimes but not often yell, “Ash truck,” so we would hurry to get the trash barrels out. The need for haste brought back a place in time, a childhood memory. My dad always called the cleaners the cleansers, a word also dating from his childhood. We always knew what he meant.

Words and phrases are born then fall out of usage and finally disappear. I remember having Chinese fire drills at red lights. I still call a bottle opener, the simple metal one, a church key. Police were heat and then pigs. I remember, “Oink, oink I smell bacon,” when police were around. Submarine races were popular viewing except they didn’t exist. I can’t remember the last time I said groovy or when I last rapped with anybody.

My dad would call someone a good egg. My sisters say it now and then in a deep voice like my dad’s just for the memory. I remember heebie-jeebies and ants in my pants, neither of which I get any more.

I grew up outside of Boston. Wicked good is common. I still use it all the time. That one, I think, will never fade and disappear.

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

October 3, 2013

The weather needs to be bottled so I can call it out at will on a frosty, cold day. Every morning I wake to temperatures in the 70’s and fall asleep to nights in the 50’s. KIng Arthur in Camelot would approve, “By order, summer lingers through September in Camelot.” That would make this the very first week of fall and the rest of it would stretch until November. A few years ago on Thanksgiving we had appetizers on the deck. I wouldn’t mind that again.

Gracie and I went for a lovely ride yesterday. We stopped at a farm stand, and I bought tomatoes, gourds and pickles, bread and butter pickles. We also took ocean ride. The sea was calm and the air-filled with birds. It was noisy from all those seagulls. I rolled the window down to listen. It is a sound like no other. I think seagulls and their screeching would have served Hitchcock well in The Birds.

Gracie has been outside most of the last few days. She roams the yard in the morning and sleeps on the deck in the sun in the afternoon. I think that a dog’s life, at least this dog’s, is darn good.

My cleaning frenzy has stopped though I did straighten a few pictures and a calendar; however, I also noticed the bottom shelf on my tavern table needs to be polished, but I’m afraid to touch it as it may set off another frenzy.

My student Grace is going to try again to get a visa, but I don’t know how affected the embassy in Accra is by the shutdown. I suspect all consular services have been halted, and she’ll be turned away at the gate. The Peace Corps volunteers are still in place across the world and are unaffected as of yet, but of the Washington staff, 627 were furloughed. To bring the volunteers home and end Peace Corps service abroad would cost approximately $29 million, with minimal savings in operating costs. The move would end decades of good will in countries which have depended on the help of Peace Corps volunteers who contribute up to $50,000 per volunteer in free labor. I know if I had been removed from my school, I would have been devastated.

Having an empty dance card has been wonderful.