Posted tagged ‘humdrum’

“It had been like swallowing a gust of October wind.”

October 15, 2016

The morning came late for me, finally. I woke up at 7:30. The day is chilly but the sort of chill you know won’t last. When I went out to get the papers, I saw smoke from my neighbor’s chimney. She had turned on her heat to ward off the cold of last night. Another neighbor was returning after walking her dogs. We exchanged pleasantries and commented about the chill.

I have a few things to do around the house: a wash, putting in the second storm door and watering plants. Life is back to the humdrum.

Gracie and I are heading to the garden center. It is pumpkin time. I’ll buy a few for my front steps, a few different size pumpkins. I’ll also buy some gourds, the last of the garden fresh vegetables and some bread.

Gracie is snoring and sleeping on the couch. The two cats are sleeping in their usual spots. Their morning rituals never change.

Moxie is an acquired taste. It is like drinking medicine. I don’t know anyone who drinks it. A lot of people never even heard of it. I don’t like Dr. Pepper either. I love A&W root beer, and I love how it foams when you pour it. Right now my drink of choice is fresh apple cider. It is the drink of fall.

When I was a kid, I always had a school bag. When I was really young, my school bag was almost like a briefcase, square with buckles to close it and a strap which went across my body. It was sometimes plaid. When I was older, my school bag was the green one with rubber inside to protect the books from the rain. It had a drawstring. When I was teaching, I had a blue briefcase. I always liked carrying it. It made me feel a bit important.

When I became an administrator, I stopped needing a briefcase. I switched to a backpack and used it as a handbag, a purse. My first one was nylon. Now my backpacks are leather. The one now was made in Vermont, is black, and the leather is soft. It is my winter bag. My summer bag is canvas, a messenger bag. It is getting close to switching time.

“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”

January 5, 2015

The sun is shining, but it is cold, and the strong wind makes the day feel even colder. I need to fill the bird feeders, and that will be my only outside venture. I have plenty to keep me busy here as I have vowed to clear off the couch filled with Christmas decorations from all the other rooms. That will leave only the trees which will stay through tomorrow, a feast day with so many names: Little Christmas, the Feast of the Epiphany and Three King’s Day. It is the last official day of the Christmas season and the day to send,

“On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
12 Drummers Drumming
Eleven Pipers Piping
Ten Lords a Leaping
Nine Ladies Dancing
Eight Maids a Milking
Seven Swans a Swimming
Six Geese a Laying
Five Golden Rings
Four Calling Birds
Three French Hens
Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

I never liked that song. I think of it as the 100 bottles of beer on the wall song of the Christmas season. I don’t how much all that costs now, but the paper seems to have the need to tell me year after year.

January is, after New Year’s, quite the boring month. I miss the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I was busy most of those days, but it was fun busy. Now I stay home because it is easier and warmer. I clump my errands into a single day so I’m not running around days at a time, but I find my errands are even boring. Buying bread and animal food just doesn’t give the day much pizzazz.

Well, I need another cup of coffee, and I need to close the back door. I can feel the cold coming in through the dog door. Gracie is asleep and probably doesn’t care. Besides she can always ring her door bells to go out. I think I’ll add some toast to that coffee.

What a day! Even my last paragraph is boring!

“Africa is less a wilderness than a repository of primary and fundamental values, and less a barbaric land than an unfamiliar voice”

May 15, 2012

It’s an acceptable day: not too cool, not hot, and varying between sunny and cloudy. Rain is predicted for this afternoon but right now the sun holds sway. I have a bunch of stuff to do today, a listful, and it’s been a while since I’ve needed a list. A couple of the errands are for tomorrow, but I figured I’d add them anyway while I was listing, so to speak.

I need a little excitement. Over the winter, my life was a bit humdrum. Okay, it was hugely humdrum. I didn’t go anywhere. Even my night out for trivia was sporadic. The one social event I could count on was on Sunday nights when my friends and I had our Amazing Race evening together. We’d play games before hand and eat dinner while watching the race, but that was the sum total of my excitement.

In Ghana, there was little to do at night. The occasional movies were shown at the Hotel d’Bull and many of them were Indian with all the singing that goes with them. It wasn’t Bollywood back then, but all the pieces for it were in place. Mostly we played games, but I was never bored. Life was never humdrum. All around me was Africa with sights and sounds I never knew existed. I couldn’t have dreamt them as I had no idea what Africa was like. I had to experience those sights and sounds, absorb them and etch them into my memory so I could draw on them and bring them back.

I brought them back often. I’d close my eyes and remember. I’d see the road to town and all the stores across from the post office, and I’d remember market day with all the bustle and noise and the stalls filled with fruit and vegetables. I remembered the beautiful colors and patterns of the cloth and how women carried babies on their backs and baskets on their heads. I kept my memories vivid.

Last summer I saw all of those things again. My town was huge compared to forty years earlier, but its essence hadn’t changed. The market is enormous now but still filled with color and with women carrying baskets on their heads and babies on their backs. I heard the sounds of FraFra, the local language, everywhere I went. I greeted people just as I used to but in Hausa, the language the Peace Corps taught me, and the Ghanaians always greeted me back. I didn’t have a TV, and there is no more Hotel d’Bull with its Indian movies, but none of that mattered. Just as before, I wasn’t bored once.


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