Posted tagged ‘irony’

“You are a child of humanity and every day is your precious birthday.”

April 11, 2017

This early in spring is the only time I regret living near the ocean. The cold water keeps spring at bay. Look at today: Boston will be in the high 70’s and may even reach 80˚ to break the record temperature for the day. We are in the 60’s with a chilling breeze. All records are safe.

I’m sitting on the couch with an afghan wrapped around me just because it feels good. I had a 9 o’clock meeting this morning, and I wasn’t happy when Alexa woke me up. I’m thinking a nap later.

I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with a bit of history for today, a story of growing up or of growing older. I have tons of stories. I remember my 16th birthday. We were in Maine, in Ogunquit. My aunt and uncle were there as well. My birthday was their anniversary. They got married and I got born. I was a bit put out by their being in Maine with us. I wouldn’t have minded sharing any other birthday, but I minded sharing my 16th. I didn’t show up for the joint cake. I think it was one of those cut off your nose to spite your face sort of decisions.

My 21st birthday was memorable. I got to drink legally for the first time. One of my friends sent me a magnum of champagne. Other friends took me out to dinner. It was a fun meal until the bill. I expected my dinner to be paid for. It wasn’t. My friends had split the bill among the four of us, but they forgot the tip. I paid that. My friends found out when trying to reimburse one another for my dinner and drinks. They were horrified, and a bit embarrassed.

I feel as if I am emerging from hibernation. The sun and the warm temperatures are drawing me outside. It is too soon for an open window, but I can hardly wait for the closed air of winter to disappear and be replaced by the clean fresh air.

The other morning, for the first time, I heard the birds greet the new day. That smacks of spring.

“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.”

August 24, 2013

The morning is delightfully chilly. The sun, though, is warm and has drawn Fern and the dog to the mat by the front door. The deck is in shadows so I stayed inside to read the papers. My lawn got cut this morning. The noise scares Fern so she sits on the floor between my feet until the lawn is done. The deck cleaning is after the lawn and that noise is right by the window in here so Fern runs for cover. Now that everything is quiet she’s asleep in the warmth of the morning sun.

My mother did her grocery shopping on Friday evenings. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her late 30’s so she had to be driven to the store by my dad. The weekend was always errand and chore time for my dad. Taking my mother was first on his list. We always liked   their going grocery shopping because cookies and treats were back in the house. Though they never lasted long, it was still nice having them for a while. Oreos were a staple, no fancy double stuffed or orange at Halloween, just your regular Oreos. My sisters were famous for eating just the middles and feeding the rest to Duke, our dog, a Boxer of course. He knew to stay close to my two sisters.

Saturdays my dad went uptown in the mornings to drop off his shirts at the Chinaman and to get a trim at the barber shop. It was a small shop with either two or three chairs. I can’t remember which. After an Italian deli opened up, my dad would stop there to buy cold cuts. The place was called Angelos.

I swear my dad knew at least half the town. He had lived there since high school, was an usher at church and was also a member of the Red Men; he was even Sachem once. It was an all male club which had meetings and did some charitable stuff but mostly I think it was a place for guys to get together and have a few drinks. The Red Men building was a nondescript gray square with only a door in the front. It was on a side street and had an unpaved parking lot beside it. You had to know what it was because the front gave no inkling. The downstairs was for drinking while the upstairs was for rent, and I remember going there many times. We even had my aunt the nun’s anniversary there. I think it was her 50th.

The Red Men building was razed as were several others including the Chinaman’s laundry when that part of uptown became the victim of beautification. The town built a park and a parking lot where those buildings used to stand. I was sorry to see them go. The ones on the Main Street were not the prettiest, and they needed some tender care, but they were old and had been a part of the town for decades. A bit of local color disappeared for the sake of beautification. I figure that’s the definition of irony.