Posted tagged ‘leaves’

“God in His wisdom made the fly And then forgot to tell us why.”

November 17, 2018

Today is sunny with a breeze strong enough to drop more leaves. My grass and driveway have disappeared. After the yard had been cleared, it took only a day for them to be hidden again. My father would have spent a day like today raking and then burning the leaves.

I have had a few false starts this morning. I think my muse is still sleeping. First I wrote about today’s obituaries. The one of the woman described as loving to shop caught my eye. I wondered if she’d approve of that legacy. Then there was the man who bowled, his favorite pastime, and I wondered about my own obituary, but then I got stuck so I stopped, thought a bit then went on to another subject. Yearbooks were next. I always felt bad for the kids with nothing under their pictures. They spent four years of high school being phantoms. From there I jumped to still waters run deep, the classic description of the shy kid no one knew well. At that point I stopped and deleted what I’d written. It had led nowhere.

I then sat for the longest time letting my mind wander. Here’s where it went: I thought about pajamas with matching tops and bottoms. Mine were flannel in the winter and cotton in the summer. I remembered wearing them to the drive-in and having to put on my robe to go to the bathroom, about the only time I ever wore it. White canvas sneakers with pointed toes were fashionable when I was in high school. I thought they were uncomfortable as my toes didn’t have enough room, but I wore them anyway. Pain for beauty is what my mother used to say. We always kept a fly swatter in the house. I remember trying to perfect my technique. I had to be slow in aiming but quick in swatting. Now that I think about it, the fly swatter was pretty gross. It was never cleaned but kept hanging on a hook in the kitchen anyway. Even grosser than the swatters were those fly paper strips which hung from the ceiling. They spiraled like an odd decoration and were always covered in dead flies which had gotten stuck to the paper.  They were mostly in stores up town. I never thought them strange or disgusting.

Well, look at this: despite the loss of my muse, I did manage to finish another entry in the Coffee saga.

“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.”

September 24, 2017

We have sun and a blue sky, both among the missing for the last five days. I was surprised by how warm it is when I went out to get the papers. My lawn and deck are a mess. Leaves and branches cover both. The leaves are so wet they are pasted to the lawn and driveway. The deck is slick. I had to take mincing steps to keep my balance. I hope the leaves are quick drying in the sun.

Breakfast is my favorite go out to eat meal. I like my bacon crisp and my eggs over easy. My toast is usually rye. I love to use it to sop up the yoke. Sometimes I get French toast. I slop on maple syrup, the real stuff. I also get crisp bacon with my French toast. Some places offer home fries, but I only like them seasoned so most times I just pass.

In Ghana, my breakfast was the same every day. I had two eggs fried in peanut oil, toast and coffee. Butter was expensive so I used margarine from a tin. The coffee was instant with tinned milk. The eggs and the bread were fresh. Sometimes the eggs came from my own chickens. The rest of the time I bought them in the market. The bread was fresh and sweet. Cooking the eggs in peanut oil added a wonderful taste. I always had two giant cups of coffee, one with breakfast and the other sitting out on the steps in the front of my house. I’d watch the little kids walk to schools close to my school fences.

Every place I’ve stayed on return trips to Ghana serves a complimentary breakfast. It is generally two eggs, toast and coffee, and yes, the milk is still tinned.

I don’t often cook breakfast for myself. Usually I just have coffee and, of late, toast or an English muffin. I don’t ever use margarine, and I use light cream in my coffee. I like to indulge myself. My favorite coffee is called African blend, but I like to try different coffees. I just bought some Ugandan coffee. It was expensive partly because it came in a red striped cloth bag with beadwork. I admit I was drawn by the bag.

Peapod has come and gone. The driver was nice enough to leave freezer and refrigerator items in bags near the fridge so I’ve already put them away. When I finish here, I’ll put the rest of the groceries away. I had to be inventive to fit everything in the freezer, and my fridge is hardly ever this filled. My kitchen has become a land of plenty.

“Autumn is the time of picturesque tranquility.”

September 22, 2017

Last night the wind sounded like a freight train. I know it’s a cliche, but it perfectly describes what I was hearing. The wind blew in gales. In between the gales it was quiet if only by comparison. I think it was the wildest wind since the start of the storm. This is day four of the remnants of Jose. Earlier this morning it was raining loudly enough to hear. At other times the rain has been misty, quiet. The wind is still raging.

My deck and yard are filled with fallen leaves and smaller branches. Every time I go out, a few leaves are blown inside the house. All of them are shriveled and dead.

The birds are at the feeders in such numbers the sunflower and thistle feeders need to be refilled. I’ll just have to brave the rain. I don’t want to disappoint all those birds.

I did finish my errands yesterday. At the doctor’s they had snacks to thank us for getting our flu shots. I had a chocolate chip cookie and a mini-cupcake. Last night the spot where I got the shot itched a bit, and the spot hurts a little today. I’ll just have to be brave.

Last night I was cold so I grabbed a light blanket and snuggled a bit under it. This morning when I woke up the house was at 67˚. Since then, the temperature has risen a couple of degrees but not enough as I’m still a bit chilly, but I refuse to turn on the heat this early in the season. I’m still taken aback by having to use the AC the last couple of days because of the humidity. It is late for the AC and too early for the heat. Weather has gone amok.

Today is the autumn equinox, a beginning and an end: the end of summer and the beginning of fall, autumn. The nights will now be longer than the days.

When I was a kid, I loved when the leaves were falling. On our way to school, we would walk in the gutters kicking leaves and watching them fly. I remember yellow the most.

The only things on my to do list are to order groceries and finally get the laundry finished, or rather get it started. It is still upstairs. I have no ambition whatsoever, but I guess I could scare up enough energy to order groceries on line.

Rain is predicted for tomorrow as are wind gusts up to 45 MPH. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be sunny and in the low 70’s. I’ll believe it when I see it. All this rain has made me gloomy and skeptical.

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”

September 19, 2017

The window by my head was open. When I first heard the rain falling, it was so gentle I thought it might have been a breeze rustling the leaves, but when the sound continued, I knew it had to be rain. It stopped and started again and again, and that’s been the morning. I opened and shut the window a few times as the dampness was chilly. Finally I grabbed the afghan and left the window open. Gracie joined me and we both fell back to sleep.

Tropical storm conditions are expected on the Cape within 36 hours. What is left of Jose will bring rain, 2 to 4 inches, and heavy winds of around 65 MPH. The surf will be high,  and there will be rip currents and coastal flooding. I’m going out to the deck later to take down the decorations hanging from the trees. I’ll leave the bird feeders until the last. I have to go out later as I have no dog food. She had her morning can but will be looking for more this evening. Besides, I need bread.

The flies are still here, but their numbers are far smaller. I see two on the ceiling in this room, and I killed four buzzing around a dining room window pane. Three others were set free. They had been on the door screen. This was quite the infestation. I’m trying to figure out what offense of mine has caused such wrath.

It is a dismal day, a dark day. I need to go to the library as I have finished the books I got last week, and I can’t imagine being housebound without books and snacks. Need I mention chocolate?

From when I was a kid, I only remember hurricane Carol. I suspect there were probably more but Carol was so exciting it still hangs around my memory drawers. I was too young to notice damage or destruction so I only remember the wind and the pelting rain.  I watched out the picture window as the trees bent and the tops of the bushes seemed to touch the ground. After Carol moved on, we went outside. The streets and the yards were filled with debris, mostly branches. Some of the leaves still on the trees had died; they were shriveled and brown. Some of the trees had healthy leaves on one side and dead ones on the other.

Tomorrow is my Coffee day off, but if Jose lives up to its hype, I’ll keep you updated.

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”

November 14, 2016

Last night I slept on the couch. Gracie had an upset stomach, and I needed to be near the spider plants. I threw all the cushions on the floor, grabbed an afghan and tried to get comfortable. Gracie slept right through the night. Maddie did not howl. She slept on the chair, and because I was close, she too slept through the night. I was the only one who kept waking up.

Last night I kept going outside to see the moon. I didn’t want to miss it. I’m glad it was a warm night. Tonight I’ll do the same.

My television viewing has changed lately. I’ve been avoiding the news and have conquered my addiction for MSNBC. I’m watching mostly movies, mostly documentaries. Yesterday I watched documentaries about World War II. I watched the US leapfrog across the Pacific taking island after island from the Japanese. Now I’m watching December 7, a film by John Ford. It is Hawaii before, during and after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The battle scenes in all of these films have been difficult to watch. The deaths of the servicemen are real.

Today will be close to 60˚. It is not a day to be inside, not a day to be doing laundry. I think Gracie and I will take to the open road. I’ll open her window so if she gets the urge, she can stick her head outside. We’ll keep to 6A, a slower road, a pretty road filled with old captains’ houses and real trees lining the sides of the road. I never tire of 6A.

My neighbors were raking leaves yesterday. Both of them are in their late 70’s. He has Alzheimer’s. His job was to hold the bag for the leaves while his wife raked. I stopped to chat when I was leaving to go to the dump. He always says hi. When I got back home, they were gone from the yard, but there were still plenty of leaves to rake. I think there will always be leaves. They are the bane of fall.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

May 16, 2016

Home! Gracie and I got home late yesterday afternoon. It had been a wonderful visit for both of us. Gracie had Bill who walked her every day and Peg who fed her goodies. Peg and I went to the glass blowing shop where I bought some Christmas presents and to a wonderful craft fair where I bought more presents and some stocking stuffers. I also bought myself a few things, that seemed only right. All the area around Mont Vernon where Bill and Peg live is lovely. There are dairy farms, lots of wooded areas and old houses, big old houses. A few miles from their house is a wonderful view from the top of a hill. Stretched out before me were hills, small hills, tall hills and some hills tall enough to be called small mountains. The hills were different color greens and looked like a landscape painted on canvas. The sky was blue and the clouds had the most wonderful shapes. I stopped for a few minutes at the top of the hill to take in that wonderful view.

We laughed a lot, Bill, Peg and I. We share so many memories and have made a few more. Bill said he always wondered how they knew I was coming to visit them in Tafo, in Ghana. I always wondered the same thing. We figured it must have by mail, and in Ghana it was truly snail mail. I used to visit them on my way home from somewhere, usually Togo. I always took the train. They moved to my school for our second year. That’s when we had so many adventures.

The trees near Boston and on the South Shore are filled with leaves. I could see them rippling and turning when the wind blew, but as I continued toward the cape, the trees got barer. By the time I crossed the bridge, I was seeing trees with buds and tiny new leaves. Spring is slow to come to Cape Cod.

A dump run is coming up, and I have a wash to do. Everything is as it was.

“I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly.”

May 19, 2014

The mornings have a routine. I make coffee, get the papers, give the cats and the dog their treats, have a cup of coffee while I read each paper and then get dressed. The rest of the day is open. I like my mornings. The cats and the dog have their own routines. Fern and Gracie greet me when I wake up and then follow me downstairs where Maddie is waiting for attention. Gracie goes out, barks a bit and squats. Fern lies in the sun and Maddie stays beside me on the couch. Within a short time, all three of them are having morning naps. I suspect they like their mornings too.

The weather has been perfectly lovely with lots of sun, temperatures in the 60’s and chilly nights for cozy sleeping. The leaves are all open on the oak trees, the lilacs have flowers and the front garden is beginning to bloom. I’m itching to go flower shopping.

Monsters were big when I was a kid. We had the Mummy, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, the Invisible Man and insects the size of a city building. Most were scary because I was young. My brother was even afraid of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. He hid under his seat at the movies. But as I got older, they stopped being scary. I had learned the difference between real and pretend. I admit I jumped when the head appeared in the hole in the sunken boat in Jaws. I also jumped when I saw Aliens and a creature leapt at the test tube. I think most people in the theater jumped. Afterwards, we all chuckled in a sort of reflex action.

I yell at the TV during some scary movies. When a character says, “I’ll go check it out,” I yell in warning. He will be next to go, no question about it. In one movie, there was blood up the stairs on the wall, and off he went to check it out. He never made it downstairs. As fort me, blood on the wall would have me running in the opposite direction.

 

Not much of late scares me. Movies have become blood and mayhem and the number of corpses runs into the double digits. Zombies are being replaced by the living dead, a wonderful oxymoron. I remember my first of them: The Night of the Living Dead. I thought it was gross. I like The Walking Dead, but it too is gross. I do have a conundrum with that show. After the walkers attack and eat a person, how come that person doesn’t become a walker? My guess is they also eat the head, but you never see that, only the dining on the disgusting innards.

I still like a movie which scares me.

“When the sun shines wondrously in the morning, even the shadows in our mind start running away!”

May 30, 2013

Last night Gracie went out about 11 for her last visit to the yard before bed. When she came in, we went upstairs. I saw something out of the corner of my eye, light I thought, but I looked outside and saw nothing so I got comfy in bed to read. All of a sudden the loudest clap of thunder rattled the windows and went on forever. The rain came next, heavy rain, and then more thunder as loud and long as the first. I figured it was lightning I’d seen out of the corner of my eye, a warning of what was to come. I read for about an hour and then fell asleep to the sound of the rain. This morning I woke to sun and warmth. It is supposed to be around 83˚ today: too hot for May on Cape Cod.

It is just so quiet outside. The birds were singing earlier, but I don’t hear them anymore. A few leaves flutter on a branch but make no sound. I do hear Gracie snoring from her crate in the kitchen. It is often her spot for a morning nap. I don’t know where the cats are, but I know they’re sleeping somewhere. Today is my day to buy flowers for the deck and the front yard and vegetables and herbs for the side gardens. I’m going with red and white flowers for the deck, basil for the window boxes and cucumbers and tomatoes again for the garden. I’ll decide one more vegetable and a few more herbs when I roam at Agway. This is one of my favorite days though I usually end up going back at least one more time. I just can’t resist those flowers, and this year I have all those new pots to fill on the shelf I had built on the deck.

I’m leaving deck cleaning for tomorrow if my back cooperates or Saturday if it demands a day of rest which I suspect will happen given all the hauling from the car to the deck to the gardens. Tomorrow will probably be a recuperative day. No complaining here about sitting outside with a cold drink and a good book. I just started another Patterson, an Alex Cross, a perfect book for a summer’s day.

My laundry has been sitting by the cellar door for three days but hasn’t inspired me to do anything about it so it can sit a bit longer. As Scarlett was wont to say, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”

October 30, 2012

All is well here. Sandy left a mess of pine needles, leaves and branches but no damage. Even the lights stayed on, a phenomenon in these parts, though they did flicker a bit to give us pause. During the day I went out a couple of times to pick blown covers off the deck and put them back over the furniture. A light rain was falling so I had to be careful walking on the slick leaves covering the deck. The backyard has the most fallen branches. Half of the front lawn has disappeared under a sea of brown pine needles. Sort of pretty in its own way.

It was near the water where Sandy was the most devastating. The ocean was mighty with huge, fierce white-capped waves, and they, combined with Sandy’s wind and the high tide, dragged buildings into the sea and flooded roads. The paper this morning is filled with pictures of beached boats, damaged buildings and fallen trees. For the second day in a row, there is no school.

I went down my friends’ house last night for dinner and games. Mine was the only car on the road. I took the long way around and circled the neighborhood to check it out but saw nothing. Later, as my friends and I were sitting at the table, we heard the rain. The drizzle of the day had given way to a heavy rain. I got soaked just going to and from the houses and the car.

I awoke this morning to sun, but it has gone. The day has darkened, and the sky is filled with clouds. Rain is in the forecast. I’m okay with that as I have nowhere I need to be and nothing I need to do.

Yesterday I battened down the hatches and on the deck took down or put away anything which the wind could carry. The breakable bird feeders were the first taken down. The covered umbrella was leaned against the rail so the wind wouldn’t smash it to the deck. Later, I saw the bird feeders which hang off the trees swaying high back and forth so I went outside and took them down. This morning all of them were hung back on the tree branches.

The one thing I most worried most about was my palm tree. It is tall at 6 feet and too awkward to move so bringing it inside was not a possibility. Yesterday was dark enough to trigger the timer so the palm tree was lit all day and well into the night. Before the storm hit, I got a bungee cord and nailed one end to the deck then wrapped the other end around the thin, metal trunk of the palm tree. I checked the tree several times, and it swayed but never fell. My palm tree has survived a hurricane.

We were lucky yesterday.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”

October 26, 2012

I woke to a lovely day, warm and sunny. The birds were in full voice, and they drew me to the deck. I watched Gracie sniff the driveway already covered in yellow leaves and pine needles. On the outside branches of the oak tree the leaves have browned. Most will soon fall but some will hang on through the winter fluttering in the cold wind. It is the oak tree I can see best through the window in my den. It is a barometer of the changing seasons.

Today is dump day, Gracie’s favorite day. I haven’t told her yet, but she’ll know soon enough. Right now she is sleeping beside me on the couch and snoring. Life is good for Gracie

Sandy is the headline on the TV news and in the papers, but we are in a wait and see pattern as to how destructive the storm will be here though it has already been dubbed Frankenstorm and described as ghoulish. Utility crews have been out cutting branches and making sure lines are cleared anticipating wind and trying to prevent power outages. I doubt they’ll be too successful. Power outages are common here even without the wind. I often hear the loud bang of a transformer just before the lights go out. I have an empty larder so I’ll hit the supermarket today before the crowd arrives to buy all the water and the batteries. The water part still amazes me. I get that people with well water will lose their pumps but most of us have town water which will flow regardless of electricity. My list has the everyday items, the boring ones, but I’m also including crackers, a variety of cheeses, dips and chips. If I have to sit and read by the light of the lantern, I want my taste buds to be happy.