Posted tagged ‘happy hour’

“Never hesitate to go far away, beyond all seas, all frontiers, all countries, all beliefs.”

June 22, 2017

Today is lovely. I woke up to a blue sky and the brightest eye squinting sunshine I’ve seen in a while. My house is comfortably cool. Outside my window, I can see chickadees on the branches munching sunflower seeds. None of the leaves of the oak tree are blowing. It is a still day.

Though Gracie ate on Tuesday, around midnight she started panting and walking from room to room. She’d sit on the couch for a bit then get up and walk some more. Around 12:30 am, I took her to the emergency vet for the third early morning in a row. She was given anti-nausea medication which settled her down. The vet told me that this was treating only a symptom. I already knew that. She suggested a battery of tests, most of which I probably can’t afford.

Last night was different. During the day, she ate two small cans of dog food, not her usual as I was tempting her taste buds. She ate treats, new treats. She napped and last night slept through the night. I had anti-nausea pills for her, but she didn’t need them. She and Maddie, the cat, are having their morning naps now. I’m going to take one later. I am exhausted.

The best part of any summer has always been having empty days to fill.  When I was a kid, it was games and crafts at the local playground. I’d be there all day. During high school, I did little on summer days, but I was never bored. When I was in college, it was a summer job which I didn’t really mind. Working in the post office was easy and paid well. The pace was slow. Europe filled my summers when I was a teacher. My trips generally lasted 4 to 5 weeks. I knew how to travel on little money. I slept in hostels or on night buses. I ate as cheaply as possible sometimes buying bread and sandwich fixings. I found bars where I could get a drink and eat my way through happy hour. I had only a broad itinerary open to change. It was a wonderful way to travel. They were some of my favorite summers.

Posting my Ghana pictures yesterday got me thinking about the faraway places I love. Ghana, of course, is my favorite. The rest are in no order, no preference. Old Quito is on that list. The narrow streets, the old buildings, the colors and the women’s hats still have a prominent place in my memory drawers. I loved Portugal and Morocco and the Roman ruins in Italy. Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso was my second favorite spot in Africa. It was my weekend getaway. The beauty of the Andes took my breath away. On overnight bus rides, stops at roadside restaurants where the menus were in languages I didn’t understand and peeing in a hole in the little house in the back were part of the adventure. In Morocco and in Ghana I found out that thitting the hole is a lifetime skill.

I don’t travel summers anymore, but I keep my passport up to date just in case.

“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.

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.”

May 11, 2013

The morning is damp and cloudy, and every now and then it rains a bit then stops. The whole day is supposed to be like that: a bit rainy, but I don’t mind. I have laundry to do, a bed to change and a book to read. It’s Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly who’s not a favorite of mine but the book so far has been interesting.

I can hear lawn mowers: a Saturday sound ever since I was little. Now, though, it’s the gas mower and not the click clack of blades. Also missing is the sound of voices, of men talking to one another across lawns.  Mowing was traditionally a man’s job. Women worked inside the house except when hanging laundry and men worked outside. The yard was my father’s realm.

Saturday has always been my favorite day of the week. When I was a kid, it meant no early bedtime on Friday, a matinée in the afternoon during the fall and winter and staying up late until I was tired. This time of year it was a day to roam, to ride bikes, to have no destination in mind and no real plans. Saturday was spontaneous. When I was older, in high school, Saturday meant sleeping late, and Saturday night was reserved for friends. We’d go bowling or to a movie or just hang around together. My friend Tommy would invite us over his house, and his mother would make us pizza, great homemade pizza. When Bobby got his license and a car, we’d go to the drive-in, all of us. I remember laughing a lot.

College was a whole different set of friends and Saturday was party night. Sometimes we’d go to a hockey game and sometimes we’d party before but we always partied after. I remember going for breakfast around two or three in the morning at a local hole in the wall diner. Those were the best eggs I ever tasted. I’d get to bed around four.

When I was in Ghana, Saturday was sometimes go to market day and sometimes it was go see a really old movie outside at the Hotel d’Bull, like a drive-in without the car. Saturday was chore day for the students. They did their laundry and worked  around the school compound, but on Saturday night they had entertainment. Tribal dancing was one of my favorites. Usually Bill and I would roam all over to see the dancers. Peg usually stayed with the baby. Other nights we’d see a movie or a play completion or a singing competition among the houses.  It was, in its own way, a special day.

When I taught, Saturday was grocery shopping day and clean the house day, but it was still the best day of the week. I got to sleep late and I usually needed it. Friday was happy hour day, a day to celebrate the end of the work week, and Saturday was the day to recuperate from all that celebrating. Most Saturday nights I was busy with friends, sometimes we’d see a movie or just hang around together.

Now I joke that every day is Saturday, but there are still a few hold-over traditions. When it gets warmer, Saturday will be movie on the deck night. I love that. It’s like a return to the matinée days but without getting hit by a JuJu bead or having a flashlight shined in my eyes.