Posted tagged ‘horses’

“I told myself that I was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday.”

September 30, 2017

During the night, I grabbed the afghan as my house had gotten so cold. This morning it was 66˚. I admit I turned on the heat for a while until the house was warmer. Putting on a sweatshirt also helped. The sun was out when Gracie and I got the papers. Now the sky is cloudy, and rain is predicted for this afternoon and evening. I have nowhere I have to be today, and I’m glad.

Saturday has always been my favorite day. When I was a kid, I had the whole day to do what I wanted. Breakfast and favorite programs were first then I was out the door. Mostly I rode my bike so I could explore more. No part of town was out of riding reach. The best end of town was the zoo. It didn’t cost anything in those days. Sometimes we’d ride to the next town over and bike around Lake Quannapowitt. Other times we had no destination. We just rode around town and checked out our favorite places like the house of the newspaper and rag man which had a huge porch and an out-building, both filled with papers. We’d check out the town barn and the horses. On warm days, the firemen sat outside the station in front of the engine bays, and we’d stop to talk with them. They’d let us go check out the fire engines. We’d ride down the hilly driveway to the schoolyard then skid in the sand along the sides of the yard just for the fun of it. I don’t remember ever being bored, even in winter we found stuff to do.

When I was in Ghana, I’d go into town on a Saturday and roam the market hoping to find something unexpected. When I’d finished, I’d sit and have a cold Coke at the one place which had a fridge. It was the last store in a line of stores on the main street. It had a few tables and chairs outside. It was there an American guy stopped to talk to me. He wanted to know where the bare-breasted women were. I was angry and horrified. I told him so. He quickly left. I never ran into him again.

When I was working, I wanted one free day to do whatever I wanted. Saturday was the perfect choice, the historical choice. Once in a while I’d grocery shop on Saturday and once a month I’d dust and vacuum, but mostly Saturday was for fun.

Now I always say every day is Saturday.


“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.”

March 3, 2017

Winter dropped by last night to remind us not to get giddy about spring. It will have to be patient, to wait its turn. I saw daffodil buds yesterday in my garden. They are still all green but soon enough they’ll flower. I figure winter is beginning to feel rushed.

The swamp around now would still have ice as the water wasn’t very deep. The remaining ice was mostly in the back on the shaded channels which ran between trees and what we called islands. We’d go as far back as we could. In some places we’d walk on the ice and stoop under the trees while in other places we’d have to go on all fours. We explored in the summer too but then we risked getting wet as we had to jump from island to island.

When I was a kid, we were explorers. We walked or rode our bikes all over town. We had favorite places like the field where the two horses grazed, the tracks which both ended and kept going, the zoo, and the dairy farm. I never got tired of trying the catch the horses, but I’m glad I didn’t. I watched the cows.

Growing up when I did was a gift beyond measure. It meant summers of riding my bike, walking all over town or sleeping outside. We were never afraid. Our mothers had taught us to refuse anything a stranger offered so they figured we were safe enough. They were right. I don’t even remember any strangers.

The first time I went to the movie theater at night was an event. I was 10. The movie was a fund-raiser for my girl scout troop. I remember walking around wearing my uniform and feeling important. My parents bought tickets as did most of the other parents. I don’t even remember what the movie was. I just remember feeling older as if I’d just passed a milestone.

Today is cold, 34˚. It is a sunny day which belies the cold. Tonight the low will be 17˚.

“A woman should never be seen eating or drinking, unless it be lobster, salad and champagne. The only true feminine and becoming viands.”

April 6, 2014

The sun is beautiful, a welcomed sight. The cats love it and are sleeping on the floor in the sunlight coming through the front door. Their fur is hot to the touch. They are in a sun-induced deep sleep.

I once spent a half hour watching ants travel in a long, wide line. They were many, too many even to estimate their numbers. I put a leaf in the middle to see what would happen. The ants went around it then rejoined their straight line on the other side. I had to jump the line when I was leaving.

Horses always intrigued me, but I seldom rode. The one time I did I got thrown. That was no surprise. I got right back on the horse again. We made it to the stable without further incident.

When I was nineteen or twenty, I went out to eat with my parents at Mildred’s, an iconic Hyannis restaurant now gone. An empty lot is left where Mildred’s used to be. I remember that dinner because my father ordered me a drink even though I was underage. It was a daiquiri, my father’s idea of an underage woman’s drink. It was sort of gross but I drank it anyway because my father had ordered it for me.

I sometimes wonder how many people died trying and eating new things. My brother once ate red berries and had to have his stomach pumped. I was partly responsible as I had dared him. Cranberries are red and someone had to have tasted them first. In the movies, they watch the birds and eat what the birds eat. I’d stick to fish, or if I’m not near the ocean, grubs. Disgusting I know but with lots of protein.

Eating a lobster is a messy meal. The bibs aren’t silly but necessary. Lobsters squirt. My mother always ordered the lazy man’s lobster. We sort of looked down on that. She didn’t care. The rest of us took the lobster as a challenge. We wanted every tiny piece of lobster meal, even to sucking the claws for their meat. My dad was a champion lobster eater and ate joyfully with lots of ums. He wielded the cracker with precision and artistry. When he was finished, the plate was filled with empty shells. The man missed nothing. My sister and I learned from my father. We pride ourselves on our techniques and always leave a plate filled with empty shells. We are our proud to be our father’s daughters, specially when it comes to eating lobster.

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

February 22, 2014

Usually Gracie is having her morning nap around this time but not today. The weather is beautiful, bright and warm. Gracie has been running in the yard almost since we both woke up. She comes in to look out the front door then goes back outside. She is one smart dog who knows to take advantage of a good thing when she sees it. Like Gracie, it is a day for me to be out somewhere, and I don’t think it matters where. I’ll lower the window and breathe in all the fresh air I can. I want to smell spring in the air.

Last night we had a spectacular rainstorm with thunder and lightning. I was in bed reading when it started. I loved it. Gracie, however, didn’t stir, didn’t even notice. Storms mean nothing to her.

The deck is now almost totally cleared of snow as is the backyard. Plow piles are still on corners but they are smaller and look the worse for the rain and the dirt from the road. I always wonder why the plows put those piles on the corners when right beside the corners might work just as well. If they do it so we can’t see oncoming cars, they succeed masterfully. 

Today is bike riding weather. I would maneuver mine out of the cellar, up the steep stairs, ride down the sacred grass hill and take off down the street. Maybe I’d be lucky and have a dime in my pocket, plenty of money for a couple of candy bars or lots of penny candy. I’d wear a jacket instead of a winter coat and hope not to be noticed by my mother who would demand a warmer coat, hat and mittens. One warm day does not spring make according to the Mother’s Creed to which they all adhered. I would have headed toward the field close to my house to check out the horses or to the farm at the other end of town to see the dairy cows. My town also had a barn behind the town hall where horses were kept. It had and still has a zoo. Next to the zoo was a barn filled with stalls and MDC police horses. I’d ride most of the day. There was so much to see. Finally I’d get hungry and cold and ready to go home. The bike went back into the cellar until the next warm day when I could resume my world travels.

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