Posted tagged ‘Hyannis’

“The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.”

March 2, 2017

The last few days Mother Nature has played with our heads. It has been spring warm. Even with yesterday’s rain, it was warm. Today is another warmish day with bright sun and a daytime temperature in the mid-50’s, but I’m not deceived. Mother Nature is still playing us and our weariness with winter. Tonight she’s dropping winter right back at us. It will be in the mid-20’s.

Yesterday I went to Hyannis for a doctor’s appointment. Ordinarily I would shop after my appointment but I decided, instead, to meander home on Route 28, the garish road filled on both sides by motels, restaurants, miniature golf courses and souvenir shops. Most of them are seasonal so they’re closed. Traffic was light. In the summer, that road is sometimes bumper to bumper as cars go slowly so people can gawk. The only places open yesterday were regular businesses and some of the restaurants. I saw some construction and was able to remember what used to be. One old house is gone, replaced by a park. My friend’s grandmother’s cottages are long gone, replaced by a hotel. They were the old time cottages, individual with a small porch and one outside metal chair. I helped paint them a couple of times. Each one had a view of the ocean. A couple of restaurants used to be hangouts when I was in high school. Jerry’s was prime. It is still there and still serves fried seafood, hot dogs, and hamburgers. The parking lot was always filled. Further up was the A&W with car service. I still miss that one. The building is there but it is a roast beef sandwich spot. The biggest loss was the drive-in. It was sold because it was prime land right next to the water. I don’t know who bought it but nothing has ever been done with that land. They could have left the drive-in.

I know things change. I expect it. It is nostalgic as I grow older. What used to be is important to remember. It is part of my story.

“Feet that run on willing errands!”

August 25, 2016

Yesterday was perfection. It was sunny, cool and dry. Today is August weather, humid and hot. The sun comes and goes. It hides behind the clouds, but the clouds have no rain. They just obscure the sun. The weather report says maybe tomorrow for the rain. I am skeptical.

Yesterday I went to Hyannis. I couldn’t believe the bumper to bumper traffic heading to Main Street. Why weren’t those people on the beach?

I actually got a few things done yesterday. I had a doctor’s appointment, got my hair cut, changed the bed and watered the plants. That’s the most I’ve done in a single day for a long while. It was all because I had read an article which said that you should have only five or fewer things on your to-do list. You prioritize the items, start from the top and what you don’t finish goes on the list the next day and you only add an item if you have fewer than the five. Having this list requires you to single task, to focus. The whole story is here:

It is time to Peapod. The larder is empty. I don’t think I can have eggs one more night even with bacon.

I am so very late today as I made my bed, did an errand, called and spoke to my sister as it is her birthday, tried to fix a couple of lamps and started my laundry. Lee, one half of my cleaning couple, came and he fixed both lamps for me as I couldn’t. Come to find out I can fix a split infinitive or a dangling participle but not a lamp.

“To travel is to shop.”

August 18, 2016

Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. I walked outside to get the papers and right away saw balloons tied to a new solar garden light stuck in the grass. Now, every time I see that light, I’ll remember how fun the morning was and how wonderful my friends are. My sisters called to wish me a happy birthday as did Grace from Ghana. She once was a student of mine, but now she is a friend. More friends called during the day and the internet was crushed by the number of well wishes on Coffee and on Facebook. Two of my friends took me out to eat at Karoo’s last night. It is a South African restaurant we all like, and the food was even better than we remembered. My friends gave me a beautiful puzzle box which I could not open because I am spatially incompetent. Step by step instructions got the box opened. Instead of a cake, my friend made brownies. Chocolate is perfect for any occasion. I still have one more birthday celebration to come. It is like birth-week instead of birthday. How wonderful!!

My house is open to the air. The morning has gone from sunny to cloudy and back again, but this den where I spend most of my time stays dark and cool until the afternoon. There is even a slight breeze. If I can last through the day, the temperature will get down to the high 60’s tonight, and I won’t need the air conditioning; however, I do like the sensation of feeling cold on a hot summer night.

Around here Hyannis is the big city. It has lots of heavy traffic and stores tucked into a variety of big and small malls. The main route in and out of town has four lanes, two of them for turning. Most times I avoid Hyannis. There are stores I love, but I don’t want to hunt for a parking space or sit through light cycles. The exception is when I have an appointment and have no choice, like today, but I’ll do some shopping because I’m there. It makes the trip fun and worthwhile.

“A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.”

July 29, 2016

Rain! Finally we have rain, a gentle but persistent rain.

I shut off the air conditioning and opened the windows so I could hear the rain falling on the leaves. The day is extremely dark. I needed a light when I read the papers. The only light now is from my computer. The day is quiet. Rain does that, mutes most other sounds. According to the weather report, it will rain most of the day, and the Cape is under a flash flood warning.

It is only 72˚, the coolest day in a few weeks. I like having the doors and windows opened connecting me with outside. I was happy to turn off the air conditioner.

In the paper this morning I learned a new word for a grouping. The reporter wrote, “A flock of purple, white and red balloons was released.” Who knew many balloons were designated a flock?

I can’t imagine being on the road today. Tourists will be out and about trying to find something to while away the hours. Movie theaters and their parking lots will be filled so some cars will be parked outside the lots on grass and beside all the roads leading to the theaters. Souvenir shop owners love a rainy day.

During college summers I worked in Hyannis. It was crowded with people even on rainy days. Tourists didn’t seem to mind the weather. Cars crawled on Main Street in what looked like rush hour traffic. All on street parking spaces were taken. The store with the most customers sold penny candy, now a nickel or a dime. The Planter’s Peanut store also had a line of customers. I think they were drawn by the aroma. Every restaurant had lines. My favorite was the deli.

I’ll find enough around the house to keep me busy. I do need to make a dump run, but I’m not anxious to fight with the traffic. The dump is a few streets and three long lights away and one of them means waiting a few cycles before I get the green light.

A nap actually sounds good for today. I always think falling asleep to the sound of rain drops is the best nap of all.

“They talked in the shorthand of old friends and shared memories.”

November 6, 2015

My friends have left. The house is just so quiet without them, but luckily Gracie is snoring which is sort of keeping me company. We had a wonderful time together. The weather was perfect, nearly 70˚ each day. Today is raining but ever so lightly. It is still warm. I have had the heat off and windows open the last three days. The cold will start returning tomorrow.

On Wednesday we rode around Hyannis and Hyannisport. We went by the Kennedy Compound then drove a different road back, all the more to see. That night we had dinner at Karoo’s, a South African restaurant with a cuisine quite different from Ghana’s. Two of my other friends joined us. We stayed talking and laughing long after we had finished dinner. Yesterday we went to the Kennedy Museum and the Kennedy Memorial then I took my friends to lunch at Jerry’s where I’ve been eating since high school days. The original Jerry is long gone, but the name and the good food remain. I showed my friends where my family lived, and we did a nostalgia tour. Last night was dinner at home.

The three of us, Bill, Peg and I, will be going back to Ghana together next October. We’ve already started talking about the trip. Grace, a former student, is building a house in Bolga and hopes to have it finished so we can stay there. We’re making a list of places we want to see. I mean, really, it’s only a year away!

Being with my friends is always comfortable. They are family. We shared a unique experience which created a bond so strong that time can never break it. We have stories which still make us laugh and we have a history. We met during staging in Philadelphia at the Hotel Sylvania. Staging is when the trainees get together for the first time, meet each other, have all our paperwork checked and see slides and hear lectures about Ghana. Bill and Peg were my kindred spirits as we skipped the large group events and went sightseeing. In Ghana we were first posted far apart as Peg was pregnant and PC wanted her near a decent hospital. They stayed there for a year then I talked my principal into asking Peace Corps to transfer them to my school. The three of them, Bill, Peg and Kevin, came and we lived in a duplex. That was the beginning of all our adventures.

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

October 29, 2013

The day is sunny then cloudy then back again. A tiny breeze ruffles the dead leaves. Only the drab gold finches are at the bird feeders. I don’t know where my other stalwarts are. It’s a quiet day. I brought my laundry downstairs, the first step in a long process. In the early afternoon, I have to go to the big city, Hyannis, for an appointment. I’ll make a few stops while I’m there including Trader Joe’s. That place is an occasion of sin, a term the nuns used for temptation.

I feel sleep deprived. The Sox games have ended late then I’m too stoked to sleep so I watch some TV and go on-line. Usually it is around 2:30 before I realize the time. The Sox won last night and are headed back to Boston for game 6 tomorrow night. If the Gods of Baseball smile in our favor, the Sox could clinch the series.

I couldn’t do the cryptogram this morning. My brain just isn’t working. I gave up after a couple of minutes. Usually I am far too tenacious to give up at all but my brain seems sluggish. I don’t even have much to say here today. I haven’t been out so no comments are forthcoming on the state of the world here on Cape Cod though I did read in the paper the local school board continues to fight with the town over solar panels, on the ground panels. The school committee and the superintendent got turned down once because the town committee said the panels are dangerous so the school board tried an end run though the state but got stopped just before approval because of a complaint by an abutter. I don’t get it. The panels will save a good deal of money over time, and the town of Yarmouth where the panels would be placed always complains about paying its portion of the school budget so you’d think the money would be an incentive to approve the panels, but no, not in Yarmouth.

What’s with November coming so soon? Last time I looked it was August, and we were complaining about the heat then September must have sneaked by and now October is almost at an end. I’m not going to blink because next thing I know I’ll be wrapping presents and going out and about to find my Christmas tree.

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.”

July 27, 2012

It rained last night. I didn’t hear it, but I saw the street still wet along the edges when I went to get the papers. Back inside the house again, I opened the door for Gracie who dashed into the yard. I followed but only stood on the deck for a while to gauge the day. Nothing is moving and the sky is cloudy, but the sun seems not so far away.

I have a doctor’s appointment in Hyannis today. I dread the ride. On cloudy days the roads are jammed with cars filled with tourists looking for something to do. Hyannis is a prime destination with its Main Street filled with stores, candy and ice cream shops and t-shirt emporiums. You can even play miniature golf.  Some of the restaurants have outside tables where tourists can sit and eat their hamburgers and watch the crowds pass by. All of those attractions beckon tourists, but they make Hyannis the last place to be on a day like today.

I’ve become insular. I used to go to Boston all the time to see plays or to have dinner, but now I seldom go. I am content to sit on the deck with friends, play a few games and enjoy a barbecue or even just some appetizers. Most nights I watch baseball though that has become painful this summer. When the Sox are down by 5 or more, I have no guilt about changing the station. HGTV and the Food Channel are my escapes from endless reruns and a disappointing season. I even find myself talking HG. My master has no en suite!

I am traveling, and that will give the summer a bit more dimension. When I was teacher, I used to travel every summer usually for at least five weeks. When I become an administrator, I had to work summers so my travel was limited to a week or two at most and usually to only one country. Now I have all the time in the world to see the world. I just need to win the lottery!

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

April 21, 2012

The day is cloudy and damp. It must have rained a bit during the night as the ground is wet, and there are now Gracie paw prints all the way down my floor from door to den. Usually my cleaning compulsion kicks in, but I’d be cleaning over and over, each time she comes in, so I’ll be patient and live with the muddy prints.

Once in a while I think about how much fun my life has been. I think it all comes from being a dreamer. When I was a kid, I dreamed about all those places in my geography book, and I promised myself I’d visit them some day. My Dad had been to Europe but that was compliments of Uncle Sam and WWII, and his memories centered around the pubs near his hospital in England. My neighbors went to Martha’s Vineyard every year for the whole summer, and I thought that was so exotic, to stay on an island. Marty Barrett, my elementary school classmate, went to England every few years to visit his grandparents, and I envied him, but I knew, without question, my time would come.

My first airplane ride was when I was a freshman in college, and I flew from Boston to Hyannis, an Easter gift from my parents. The plane was a small prop, and I could see landmarks from the window. My eyes followed the highway as we flew close to the land but over the ocean. I watched waves crash against the beach sand and saw the canal as we crossed to the cape. Before we landed, the plane circled a bit and I saw the parking lots in Hyannis and recognized the stores. When I landed, my dad was waiting for me and right away wanted to know how I liked the flight. I think I gushed, and I am not a gusher by any stretch of the imagination. The trip was almost magical for me. I was hooked, and I knew it. That was the beginning.

“If you’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all.”

October 17, 2011

It’s raining slightly, but still it’s raining. The paper got it wrong. The prediction is for rain tomorrow so I don’t know if that means two more days of rain despite all the rain we had last week. I swear this is Mother Nature’s way of erasing all the memories of summer. She gives us nothing but dreary days, and we start to expect them. Fall becomes winter far too quickly.

Today I have to go to Boston where I haven’t been in a while, other than the airport. I used to go all the time, but I’ve become a country bumpkin. Now I gripe and complain when I have to drive to Hyannis, a trip taking about 15 minutes. I don’t know if it’s age, retirement or just being comfortable here at home and on the Cape. Once I get on the road, I’m okay with the travel, but it’s getting the incentive to move that takes time. Today I have a doctor’s appointment, just a regular one so I have no choice.

When I was a kid, any car trip of great length was pure agony. Three of us were crammed in the backseat of a car which had that big hump in the middle of the floor. The windows never let in enough air, and I was prone to car sickness. We elbowed each other and whined about space and who was violating our space. I couldn’t read in the car and we had nothing but looking at the scenery to keep our attention. We’d play state license bingo, twenty questions, and I spy with my little eye but interest was difficult to maintain. How much can you spy in the same car for hours? We seldom stopped. My dad believed that any trip anywhere could be made in a single day. He groaned about bathroom stops and lunch never took much time, always at a picnic bench with the lunch my mother had made.

The only trip I remember with sightseeing was the one to the White Mountains. We saw the Old Man of the Mountain, now a memory since his collapse, went up Mount Washington and toward the end of the day stopped to the Flume. It was late in the afternoon and we got the last bus of the day to the Flume which meant we had to walk back to the car. I remember how cold it felt on the top of Mount Washington and how the road seemed far too close to the edge. The old man did look like a face, but he didn’t impress us all that much. We were kids, and he was a rock. All I remember about the flume is a bunch of walkways and some waterfalls. I can still see the tarred road we dragged ourselves on to get back to the car.  And, yup, we did all of that in one day.

“Good-bye–my paper’s out so nearly, I’ve only room for, Yours sincerely.”

April 17, 2011

It rained during the night, and the wind was fierce. One pine tree swayed so much I thought it would snap. When I woke up a couple of hours ago, it was still damp and cloudy. Now the wind has disappeared, the sun is shining, and the day is getting warmer. It’s a pretty Sunday morning.

Today is Palm Sunday. I remember my mother and a father had an old wooden crucifix over their bed and stuck behind it all year were palm fronds. Every Palm Sunday my mother would change the fronds after she’d come back from mass. The old ones were so dry their ends were like needles, and I remember being stabbed by a palm frond as I helped my mother.

I never worked when I was in high school, but I did babysit for extra money. It was easy. Once the kids were in bed, I could watch TV or read and get paid for doing it. It was so long ago, though, I don’t remember how much I got an hour, but I remember it was good money easily earned. My first real job was the summer after I’d graduated from high school and it was at Woolworth’s in Hyannis, and I didn’t like it much. I earned minimum wage and cleaned mice and hamster cages, worked the register and did whatever else I was told. The store was right on Main Street and was huge. It had a large souvenir section, and tourists could buy shells and star fish and snow globes from China. The store is gone now, replaced by a couple of different stores.

Every summer after that until I went to Ghana and every Christmas vacation during college I worked at the Hyannis post office. It was a great job for really good money. Christmas time I worked noon to midnight while summers I worked noon to nine. The job had little pressure, and all I did was sort mail or run letters through the stamping machine. We could chat and smoke as we worked. I was what was called a seasonal. Hyannis was, back then, a really busy post office, and all the cape mail was sent from there to Boston. Years later, Buzzards Bay became the hub and Hyannis became just another post office. I stopped in there last summer to get stamps, and it looked just about the same. People were chatting and sorting mail just as they had well over forty years ago. Only the smoke was missing.

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