Posted tagged ‘lazy day’

“Anything seems possible at night when the rest of the world has gone to sleep.”

July 18, 2017

Today was gray when I first woke up. I went back to sleep, and it was sunny when I awoke the second time. I stayed awake. After two coffees and two newspapers, I was ready to face the day. The animals got fed, I took Gracie outside, put dishes away and  cleaned the kitchen counter. That’s it, my chores, for the day. I do have to take Maddie and Gracie to get their nails cut, but that goes into the errand column and is the singular entry in that column. Most of my day will be lazy and quiet.

I take Gracie out for her last outside trip just before I go to bed. It can be any time between 12:30 and 3. It was around 2 this morning. I turn on my outside light, and it is the only light. All of the houses around me are dark. I walk gently and slowly to the driveway feeling with my foot the change from grass to hardtop. It is downhill to the gate and I shuffle my feet for safety. Once Gracie and I are inside the gate, I sit on the deck steps and wait. After she triggers the yard lights, I can see when she’s done and when we can to go back inside to bed. Sometimes I sit outside a bit longer because the night is so lovely. Gracie recognizes my mood and leans against me, her pat me signal. I listen to all the night sounds. I check out the stars. After a while, I drag myself inside to bed.

The night sky in Ghana was ablaze with stars. Nights were never dark. When I slept outside, during the harmattan, I watched for shooting stars. I saw many. Despite the heat, I slept soundly in my back yard. Roosters were my wake-up calls. When I think back, I realize it all seemed ordinary to me, a usual night. When I go back to Ghana, I have the sense that all of it is familiar especially that rooster outside my window crowing as the day dawns.

“As truth be told, homecoming never gets old.”

May 27, 2016

When I woke up, it was cloudy and dark, but within an hour the sun had burst from the clouds and taken over the sky. It is a beautiful day, sunny and warm. My deck is being stained, and the finished parts look like new. The only problem is Gracie. When she wants out, I have to divert her right down the stairs. I think she figures I’m depriving her of saying hello to the men working and also having access to all the brushes and cans of stain, great smells gone to waste. We are going to the dump so maybe that will salve her feelings.

I didn’t get my lazy day yesterday as I had to go for a few items at the grocery store. That meant getting dressed. Today I have a few things to do so tomorrow will be my lay about day. I’m already looking forward to a nap on the deck.

I think I’m getting boring. I have no stories, no remembrances and no adventures to share.  I know they are in my memory drawers somewhere, but they’re probably stuck in the same way my bureau drawers often are. I’m doing my best to pry them open.

My house is filled with memories of my travels. The most are, of course, from Ghana. They are in every room. I have baskets, gourds, paintings and drawings, metal and wooden figures, cloth, an oware game and an old stool, the sign of a chief. I have some artwork done by the art teacher at my school. I can still visualize him: Mr. Yao Blissah. His first name means he was born on Thursday. He was a small, compact man who always spoke to me when we’d meet on school grounds. I can’t remember if he lived on grounds or not.  Most teachers did in a row of houses facing the school buildings. A road of sorts led from the gate to the last house, which was mine. The back gate was beside my house. Outside the gate, the road led to the hospital and to the houses of the hospital staff. I used to take the dirt road as a shortcut until I got my motorcycle.

For forty years I thought of Ghana constantly and then I finally went back. The next year I went back again and here I am planning a third trip. All of the feelings came back in force when first I went. It was a homecoming.

“Cultures grow on the vine of tradition.”

March 29, 2016

It is a lovely morning, totally unlike yesterday with the monsoons. The sun is shining so brightly you have to squint from the glare. The blue sky looks unreal, as if it were painted in broad strokes. A remnant of last night’s heavy winds still blows bending and swaying the pine trees in the backyard.

I know spring is here as I can hear a blower being used to clean the yard next door. The season of machines has begun.

I have nothing I need to do today. The laundry has made it to this floor from upstairs and, according to my usual pattern, tomorrow the laundry will get downstairs to the washing machine. Once washed, it will sit in the dryer awhile.

Easter was wonderful. We sat on the porch where all you can see from the windows is the ocean. I wore a flowered dress and my Easter fascinator which is a small white hat with flowers and colorful feathers standing tall from the back. It raised quite a stir. As I was standing waiting for my table, I had to laugh when people noticed my fascinator as I could see their eyes moving right up to my hat. After we sat down, I saw a table across the room pointing at me. I waved. They waved back and mouthed that they loved my hat. I got a few thumbs up from them. People walking by stopped at our table to compliment my hat. Another table of women waved, smiled and pointed. My favorites were two young boys both of whom said they liked my hat, “Great hat,” was one of the comments. That hat turned into quite the conversation piece. I wore it the whole meal.

Dinner was delicious. I had an odd choice for me: carbonara. It had the usual pancetta and cheese as well as peas and crabmeat. It was rigatoni rather than the usual spaghetti. I had two drinks and for the life of me can’t remember what they were. They were strong. That much I remember. I had a coconut coffee after dinner. It was scrumptious. I think the rum helped.

When I got home, I took a wee bit of a nap, about an hour. That’s all I needed. I was totally refreshed and even managed to eat a little bit of the chocolate from the Easter Bunny.

We have best of all Easters filled as it is with good friends, lots of laughter and wonderful traditions, some old and some very new.

“It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.”

September 20, 2015

Today is dark and damp with the humidity at 80˚. It rained for all of three minutes, stopped for a long while then rained again for a few minutes. I think that will be the weather for the day, on and off rain. I have no urge to do anything constructive except take my shower which I suppose could be construed as constructive.

Tonight my friends and I are going out to dinner, a celebratory dinner for my friend’s birthday. I’m looking forward to the festivities.

My memory drawers are so filled I can’t even close some of them. Momentous events and whole experiences fill most drawers, but my memory drawers also save picture memories, single snapshots, and I sometimes wonder why. I remember my fourth grade lunch box was red plaid. I don’t remember any other lunch boxes. I have no memories of my school shoes, but I remember my sneakers, my play shoes. My favorite pair of dungarees had a flannel lining. The cuff had to be rolled once as the pants were a bit long. I was young and the waist of those pants was elastic, no snaps, no buttons. I remember one part of our walk to church early Christmas morning. It was still dark. I remember walking on the sidewalk and across the railroad tracks but that’s all. Arriving at church and the walk home are lost somewhere way back in one of those drawers. I can close my eyes perfectly see the cloakroom outside my first grade classroom. I remember the thick, painted walls in the rectory cellar where I spent my third grade. From high school, I remember where my freshman locker was, and I remember a before school practice for one of the Christmas pageants. I was sitting in the middle of about the third row. Once I got detention for talking on the stairs, one step away from the cafeteria where I was allowed to talk. I know exactly where that happened. I can even see the nun turn and tell me I had detention, but I don’t remember who the nun was.

In Philadelphia, at Peace Corps staging, we were together for about 5 days before leaving for Ghana. I remember standing in line for check-in. I remember sitting on the rug on the top floor with my back to the wall and reading The Naked Ape. Why I was on the top floor and not in my room escapes me. I don’t remember leaving for Ghana. I do remember after a stop for fuel in Madrid my seat belt got stuck and I couldn’t get it unstuck so I didn’t wear it for take-off from Madrid or for landing in Ghana.

Memories are so many things. Some makes us nostalgic, other makes us sad, some fill us with wonder. I always think the best ones keep those we love close to us whether they are here or not.

“I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.”

April 27, 2015

No errands to do today, but I have some laundry which I’ve brought down to this floor, only one more floor to go. I’ll probably make my bed, but that’s not a given. I will water the plants. I’ve already showered and read the papers. The day is partly sunny which I prefer over partly cloudy, a choice which reminds me of the half-full or half-empty glass description. I always figured that choice had little to do with outlook and more to do with thirst. Really thirsty makes the glass half-empty.

In our travels, my brother and I would drink water from just about everywhere except the swamp. Beside the tracks, there was a pipe with water flowing from it. Underneath the pipe was a small pool of water which was the start of a stream. We always stopped there for a drink. The water looked clean. That’s all we cared about. There were very few bubblers around town. One was at the field below our street, and we stopped there. We even taught the dog to drink from it. Germs were never a consideration. Cooties were, not germs, but dogs didn’t have cooties. People did. In my head just now jumped the memory of cootie catchers. They were made by folding a paper several times until there were four corners meeting in the middle and each corner had a pocket to put your fingers in so you could move the corners back and forth until a corner was chosen. Inside each corner was something pithy the maker had written. We also used those cootie catchers as fortune tellers, a nicer game. Later I realized these were origami, but knowing that was a long way in the future.

The best and the coldest water was from the hose. Before you drank it, the water had to run a bit as the sun had warmed the water already in the hose. Once it was cold enough, the flow had to be gentle or the front of your shirt got soaked. It was a balancing act which took some practice.

Even in Ghana we drank suspect water which had floaties, our pet name for whatever was in the water bottle, really a beer bottle holding water, but on my latest two visits to Ghana, I bought water, bottled water. I figured I’m beyond taking chances with floaties.

“I made a sandwich out of things. I’m an American. We can eat anything as long as it’s between two pieces of bread.”

January 24, 2015

The road was covered in slush when I went to get the paper. I left deep footprints and could see the track of the car which had been driven down the street some time this morning. Gracie was hesitant to go down the back steps. They were covered in slush like the road. It was raining, but there had been a sprinkling of snow first. After Gracie came in, I threw de-icer on the steps. I don’t want the steps freezing. Off-Cape is getting the snow.

Today lends itself to laziness. It is an I won’t get dressed day or do any chores day. I will most decidedly take a nap later. That is not in question. I may have a pizza delivered. I don’t know. That sounds too much like a plan, and today is not a day to plan. It is a whatever happens day. Fern and Gracie are asleep on the couch beside me. They are my role models.

I cut out recipes and have a gigantic folder filled with them. Periodically I go through the gigantic folder and put the recipes I’d most like to make in a smaller folder. I have yet to make any. Most times I fall back on the familiar: my curry recipe, my brother-in-law’s chili and my uncle’s sausage cacciatore. This week I am going to make Peg’s corn chowder. She brought it down when she and Bill last visited, and I loved it. It is a perfect winter recipe, one to warm the innards.

When I was young, my mother sometimes gave us Campbell’s tomato soup and her grilled cheese sandwiches especially on cold days. I still love grilled cheese sandwiches, especially gooey ones, but mine have become a bit more sophisticated than using yellow cheese unwrapped on Wonder bread. My aunt was the first to give me one with tomato, and I still like tomato as a basic addition to the sandwich. I also like bacon, jalapeño or avocado with pepper jack. I think grilled cheese is the best sandwich to personalize. A BLT is just that. Bologna is about as unsophisticated as a cold cut can get.

A couple of Christmases ago I got a panini maker from my sister. It elevates sandwiches from a simple lunch to something far greater, far tastier. Avocado is the best addition of late to grilled cheeses and regular sandwiches. I now have an addiction to them. When I was a kid, I would have thought avocados too squishy and far too green. The rule of thumb back then was to avoid anything green. The only exceptions were green beans and unripe bananas as they had a yellow future.

“In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.”

April 10, 2014

I want a weapon which uses projectiles. I’m thinking a potato gun. My target is the red spawn of Satan who is constantly at the big feeder. I chase it away but it always comes back. This morning, after my second chase, I was thinking of putting barbed wire across the part of the deck rail the spawn uses for its take-off to the feeder. I’m also giving a bed of nails serious consideration or a metal cylinder. I chuckled at the picture of the spawn trying to get a paw hold on the cylinder but sliding every time. Buying a Have-a- Heart trap is another idea. I’d catch the beast and drive it so far away it would have to learn a new language. That spawn has to go!

The sun is out, but the morning is chilly. It is only 45˚ right now though it is supposed to get warmer by afternoon. I opened the front door and Fern is sleeping on the rug, sprawled in the sun streaming through the storm door. When the sun shifts, Fern too will move to the rug by the back door for the afternoon sun. Maddie is still sticking her head up under the lamp shade for the warmth from the lightbulb. The house isn’t cold, but I guess it’s not cat warm.

Today is my only lazy day, and I’m taking full advantage. Granted, I did make my bed and change the cat litter so I haven’t been a total sloth. I’m really just saving my energy as tomorrow is such a full day.

I always hated people asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had so much trouble figuring out what I wanted to be at Halloween that choosing a profession for my whole adult life when I was ten was ridiculous. I had pat answers: teacher or nurse. Which answer I gave depended upon my mood and the asker. I actually hadn’t given a thought to either one. I was a kid, not a long-range planner. No kid ever was.

I did end up a teacher but hadn’t planned on being one. I was going to be a lawyer. My dad told me law was not for women so he was against it. That didn’t matter to me. I got into law school and was also offered a teaching job, but I turned both of them down for the Peace Corps. Law school was willing to defer my admission so that was my plan after Ghana, but it never happened. I became a teacher. It seemed I had been prophetic at ten.

“Most people gaze neither into the past nor the future; they explore neither truth nor lies. They gaze at the television.”

May 6, 2013

The weather today is the same as it has been in days: sun, blue skies and a temperature in the 50’s. Wednesday we’ll get some much-needed rain, and I’m hoping it will pour.

Every morning when I go get the papers, I check out the front garden. It is filling up with the shoots of flowers, and I noticed some of the flowers I planted last year have spread, and in the garden close to the house, some have already bloomed. It is still too early to plant as the evenings get cold, but that will give the flowers time to fill in so I’ll know if I have any space for new plants. I love shopping for plants. I do need to shop for herbs to plant in the side garden and for vegetables to plant in the garden below the deck. Last year I had tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. I never thought I’d become such a gardener.

Today is a lazy day. I could go get my new dump sticker, but that can wait as the dump isn’t open on Mondays and Tuesdays. I am going to do a peapod order later so maybe that will count as grocery shopping. The end of my book is close, under a 100 pages, so this afternoon I will get comfy on the couch and finish it. I could do some house cleaning stuff, but I won’t.

The Amazing Race ended last night, and I was happy with the results. Three teams were left for the final hour. There was only one team, a newly married couple, I hoped wouldn’t win, and they didn’t. They came in second, and I suspect the results stuck in the guy’s craw for a long time. Usually we don’t know when the race took place, but this one was in December as we saw Christmas trees and lights in some of the cities. They went to amazing places on this race, as promised by the title, including Botswana, a country on my list.

I am not a fan of reality television except for the Race. I could care less who dances or sings the best or who gets a rose or even why a rose is given. I won’t watch people make fools of themselves, and I don’t care who survives. All of these programs got me thinking about the movie Running Man. I wonder how close we’ll get to that reality or even how close we already are.

“Family is just accident…. They don’t mean to get on your nerves. They don’t even mean to be your family, they just are.”

February 5, 2011

I have no excuse for the lateness of the hour. Today is just one of those low energy days that happen every now and then. I have a list of the errands I had hoped to accomplish, but I’ve decided I don’t want to do them today so I’ve most over to tomorrow and a couple to Monday. I will fill the bird feeders, and I have a wash going. That’s about as accomplished as I’ll be.

It’s another gray day, and I’ve lost count of how many we’ve had. Yesterday’s sun now seems a tease from old Mother Nature. I find it difficult to believe it is only the beginning of February. This winter has been so long it should at least be the middle of March.

I have two pairs of saddle shoes, and I have decided to wear them once the sidewalks and streets are cleared of snow. I bought the first pair years ago and forgot about them until after I had bought the second pair for a 50’s party. Being 63 gives me all sorts of privileges including eccentricity, and I suspect that will be people’s reactions to my saddle shoes. Perhaps I’ll even wear stripes and plaids though that may be taking it too far, even for me.

The very young and the old are allowed to do so much more without criticism. People figure the young don’t know any better yet and the old are past caring or may even be forgetful. I am neither but I’m willing to take advantage.

My grandmother walked everywhere. She went grocery shopping and pulled a wire basket behind her to carry her groceries home. She always wore a dress and those clunky heeled shoes. Once a week or maybe every other week, she went to the hairdresser. My grandmother never learned to drive, and I don’t think it mattered. She had a really loud, annoying laugh and punctuated her conversations with it. I never noticed that laugh until I was older then it drove me crazy. My father visited her often and tried to drag one of us along with him, but we never wanted to go. She wasn’t a warm grandmother, but she did write to me when I was in the Peace Corps and always put a dollar bill in those air letters which said they should not contain any enclosures.  A dollar bill doesn’t sound like much, but in Africa in those days it bought a lot. When my grandmother was in her late 80’s, she forgot most things, even my father, her son. At Christmas I’d sit with her in my parents’ living room when she came to dinner. We all took turns sitting with her and keeping her company. She’d chat and ask a lot of questions, some several times, but we’d answer her every time. I think it was then she was the warmest she’d ever been.