Posted tagged ‘ironing board’

“Cities get built out of poet’s dreams.”

January 26, 2018

The day is again beautiful if you just look out the window, but if you go outside, dress warmly as it is only 29˚. I hurried when I got my paper and the mail from yesterday. I do need to go out later to get a few different cat food tastes to tempt Maddie. She’s hungry but not thrilled with the beef and liver. I can’t blame her. Liver would never thrill me either. She’s upstairs hiding again. I only got to give her one of her three meds this morning, the one slathered on her paw. As for the other two, she is getting wiser and checks my hands when I get near her.

My grandparents, my father’s parents, lived in the same town we did. They had a great old house on a street of old houses. I remember the smell of their house. It was the lingering aroma of my grandmother’s lilac perfume. Their kitchen had tall wooden cabinets, and I remember an ironing board hidden behind one long, skinny cabinet door. The closet in the kitchen always had bottles of root beer on the floor, but I don’t remember who drank it. The kitchen eating area was built in and so small we never ate there. We always ate in the dining room. I remember the furniture there was dark. A breakfront took up one wall. My grandmother stored her best dishes there. Another wall was all windows and right across from the neighbor’s back door. The chairs at the table were tall. For the longest time my feet didn’t touch the floor. The living room had a piano but no one knew how to play it. Their TV was a huge console in a light wooden cabinet. The mantle and fireplace were lovely but never saw a fire. The sun room was off the living room. It was a tiny room of all windows. A desk sat at one wall and two chairs with a table between were the rest of the furniture. My grandfather kept his pipe holder filled with pipes on that table. On the desk, there was a paperweight with an R embossed in gold. That was my favorite room.

My other grandparents also lived in an old house but in the city, in East Boston. We used to visit on Sundays. My father dropped us off at the house then he’d roam the streets looking for a parking space. The city was mesmerizing for me. All the houses were right beside each other, and every corner seemed to have a small store with an old lady behind the counter. We played in the street. I remember stick ball and using an old broom handle as a bat. The ball was half a pink rubber ball.

I loved visiting my city grandparents. We always felt welcomed. My father’s parents were aloof and lacked warmth. We visited them far less even though they were close at hand. They didn’t seem to know what to do with us or even what to say. When I was older, I never went with my dad to visit them. I doubt they even noticed.

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

September 4, 2014

School started here today. I heard the kids walking to the bus stop at the end of the street. Two parents with coffee in hands were with them. At about nine the five boys finally boarded the bus but not before they’d hung off a tree branch, climbed another tree and chased each other. Right now the summer rental next door is having its weeds mowed, and I can hear the clicking when the mower hits rocks. It hasn’t been a quiet morning.

At the housewarming party friends threw for me when I bought this house in 1977 one of the gifts was an iron. I’d do my wash, hang up everything which needed to be ironed on a line downstairs, and when I had a enough clothes, I’d set up the ironing board, watch TV and iron my clothes. I’d do that every couple of weeks. I still have that iron, and it looks as good as new. I can’t even remember the last time I used it. When my nephew started school in the mid-1980’s, he was given a test of reading readiness. The only thing on any part of the test he couldn’t identify was an iron. I only one person who still irons, and he is mystified that I don’t. My clothes have that right out of the dryer look, but they’re never wrinkled enough for ironing except for a couple of linen shirts which I do wash but bring to the cleaners for ironing. My iron can now be described as vintage 1970’s.

When I went to Ghana, I didn’t bring any music, but my mother sent me a cassette recorder and some of my tapes. The recorder was that rectangular one we all had. My camera was an Instamatic. Pop in the film and take your pictures. My mother had to send slide film to me as Ghana had no film at all for the camera, not even film for stills. I had to send the finished films to my mother to be developed. When my house was broken into, the thief left the camera.

I have some albums which I first bought on vinyl, then cassette, then CD’s and now I upload new ones or ones I don’t have from iTunes and similar sites. I can’t remember the last cookbook I bought, and I used to collect cookbooks. The only ones I’d buy now are those based on novels or authors to add to my collection.

I have a CD player, a multi-zone DVD player, an HD TV, which was the first in the neighborhood, an iPad, an iPod, and an iPhone. The phone needs to be upgraded but I don’t really care. It does enough for me. I know there is blue-tooth to replace my DVD player so I’m behind a generation, but I don’t care about that either.

I use to be filled with wonder at all the changes my grandmother had seen in her lifetime: from the beginning of air flight to the trip to the moon being the most amazing. I have grown up and gotten older in a world where change is a constant. Think about it. It is now so commonplace we seldom even notice.