Posted tagged ‘hermit’

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

December 2, 2017

The sky is cloudy, gray. A small breeze just about ruffles a leaf or two, brown ones left on the branches. It is a bit colder than yesterday but not so bad that I’d need to bundle going out. I have a list of errands, but I haven’t ventured beyond the yard for the last few days. I’m either becoming a hermit or I’m practicing for hibernation.

I actually vacuumed the kitchen yesterday and hope to do the rest of downstairs today. I can’t even remember the last time I vacuumed. I do some spot cleaning between visits from my cleaning couple, things like using my sweatshirt cuff to dust and a wet paper towel under my feet to wipe the kitchen floor, but I don’t vacuum or rather I didn’t vacuum.

I have started writing down what I want to bake for Christmas. One sister always gets fudge and date-nut bread. I add a few other cookies but those first two are more than enough for her. My sister in Colorado always wants my English toffee. I don’t make it every year, but I used to because my mother loved it. The orange cookies are on Clare’s list. They remind her in a way of her mother’s orange cake. I also usually make a new cookie each year, but I haven’t decided which one yet.

I’m Hallmarking it today. It is a perfect day to stay home and watch Christmas movies with happy endings. Last night I watched Alistair Sim find Christmas in his heart. I never tire of him as Scrooge. One of my other favorites is called Scrooge and stars Seymour Hicks. It was released in the US in 1926. It opens with Charles Dickens pacing his library and hoping for inspiration. He writes A Christmas Carol. This movie presents a graphic picture of London with its beggars and lines for food. Scrooge falls asleep with his money around him. But watching Alistair Sim is the real beginning of the Christmas season for me. Let the bells jingle and the carolers sing. It’s time to start getting ready for Christmas.

“Somebody get me a cheeseburger!”

July 28, 2016

The weather has turned me into a hermit. I stay in my cool house and have limited human interactions. The phone doesn’t even ring, and I don’t care. I am quite content as my house has plenty to keep me amused. There are books, TV, the computer, Netflix and a growing pile of magazines and catalogues. I won’t even get dressed today. I will change my bed and consider the day well spent.

I don’t get bored all that often, but I do get restless. Sometimes I need to go somewhere. I need to do something. Often I just take a ride, and that is usually enough. I try to find roads new to me. Lately I have been riding up-cape towards the bridge. I hardly know that area other than the main road. I don’t shop, but I do stop at farm stands. Buying fresh vegetables doesn’t count as shopping.

When I was a kid, about the only fresh vegetable I ate was corn. I wasn’t a fan of tomatoes or cucumbers, zucchini or any sort of bean. Now I love fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. I always stop at little tables outside houses to buy the tomatoes on the honor system. Their taste is sweet, like no other tomato. When I visited my parents, I always brought my dad a bag of local tomatoes. He’d slice them on the plate, add a spoonful of mayonnaise and sit by the TV and eat them. That was his favorite summer snack.

Every day in Ghana, I basically had the same meals. For breakfast I had two eggs over easy and two pieces of toast. They were cooked on a small, round charcoal burner.  I drank coffee with canned milk. For lunch I had a bowl of cut fruit. Depending on the time of year they’d be bananas, oranges, mangoes, pineapple and papaya (paw paw in Ghana). Dinner was a starch like rice or yams and some meat. In September and October it was FraFra potatoes, a locally grown small potato. The meat was usually beef and was always cooked in a sauce, a tomato sauce with onions. It had to be cooked that way as the meat was always tough. We’d sometimes have chicken for dinner, one we’d buy live at the market.

One year the rains were late. We ate rice every night. It was stuffed peppers with rice. I had brought Bell pepper seeds from home, and they were grown in the school garden. No Ghanaian liked them. They weren’t hot. We, my two friends and I, bought all of them and had them for dinner over and over again during that extended dry season. I got so sick of rice I didn’t eat it for the longest time after I got home. I still don’t eat it much unless it’s fried rice.

“Summer-induced stupidity. That was the diagnosis…”

July 12, 2015

The air conditioner is keeping the humidity at bay, but I feel a bit like a hermit. The closed windows and doors isolate me. No outside sounds, no people can be heard. Rod Serling could be standing in front of a camera on the front steps to introduce this episode of The Twilight Zone. I can hear him now,”Inside this house Kathleen Ryan sits in isolation, comfortable and cool and totally unaware that the world outside her walls has changed, but soon enough she’ll know she has entered The Twilight Zone.”

The morning is sunny with a slight breeze, but I can already feel the heat when I open the door to let Gracie in and out. According to the weather in the paper, the humidity will start to lessen tomorrow.

I don’t remember the weather being such a complicated topic when I was a kid. It was hot or cold or comfortable. There were no ten-day forecasts or drawings of cold fronts sweeping down from Canada. Forecasting was iffy at best, and the weatherman, always a man back then, was the target when his forecast went awry, and it went awry often. The best way to check the weather was to walk outside.

We seldom got sick when I was growing up. I think it had to do with the world being far less sanitized than it is now. We did get measles, mumps and chicken pox, but those were expected and there was nothing you could do about them. The worst was the itch from chicken pox. My mother went crazy making sure we didn’t scratch, “Do you want scars all over your face?” Then there was the possibility of blindness from measles. My mother kept the shades down and muted the light from the lamp by covering the shade. I couldn’t read or watch TV so lying in bed doing nothing made having measles seem interminable. The only thing I remember about the mumps is how huge my face and neck felt. I don’t know who brought home the mumps first but all four if us got sick at just about the same time. All I can think of is my poor mother!

“It happen’d one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceedingly surpriz’d with the Print of a Man’s naked Foot on the Shore.”

February 2, 2012

If the groundhog lived in these parts, he wouldn’t have seen his shadow today. He’d have seen a sky filled with light gray clouds which cast no shadow.

From my window, it looks cold out, but it is 43°. I figure this sense of feeling cold has to do with the missing sun. When it shines, I have an illusion of warmth.

In my garden, the shoots of the dafs are above the ground. I can even see some buds. Yesterday the local paper had a picture of croci (crocuses if you don’t like the Latin ending) which have bloomed along 6A. These poor spring bulbs have been duped by the warmth of the winter. Every other year I am thrilled to see their shoots popping above the ground as I know spring is near, but not this year. It is February which can be snowy and really cold.

I feel like a hermit. Lately I haven’t been out much. If I didn’t have the dog to talk to, I might just lose my power of speech, but Gracie is just a listener. She cocks her head to acknowledge the conversation but that’s all she offers. I figure it isn’t just me though. We all seem to hibernate in winter. The weather doesn’t invite us out to take a casual ride. I do go out to do errands but I go reluctantly as I hate to leave the warm house and my cozy clothes. Tomorrow is that errand day out of necessity: I’m out of cat food. Gracie and I will go to the dump first then do some grocery shopping. I don’t have anyone to talk to at those either. The dump is always freezing this time of year as the wind whips across the frozen tundra so I quickly go from bin to bin. At the grocery store, the only person I talk to is the deli man when I order.

I do see my friends every Sunday, and we play games and have dinner. Once every couple of weeks we go to trivia on Thursday so I get to practice my communication skills. Sometimes, though, I feel a bit like Robinson Crusoe before he found Friday.