Posted tagged ‘leisure’

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

December 28, 2017

The high today will be about 12˚ and the low around 6˚. The rest of the week will have similar temperatures. I dread going out, but I haven’t any choice. My trunk is filled with trash, I’m out of bread and cream and Gracie is out of canned dog food. I fear the dump stop most of all. It is open land and the freezing wind whips across the recycling area. I think of it as the local tundra. Avoiding it today only postpones the inevitable. Warm weather won’t be here until after the new year.

Yesterday was a day of leisure. I didn’t even get dressed. I read most of the day and was so exhausted I needed a nap.  Last night I had leftovers from Christmas for dinner. They were delicious. Now, only a bit of green bean casserole and some beef are left. Soon they too will be gone and Christmas dinner will be a delicious memory.

I don’t love being out in the cold, but I do love the cold as an excuse to stay home, comfy and warm. When I take Gracie out, I plead and beg for her to be quick, but she doesn’t really need my exhortations as she doesn’t like the cold much either. Boxers have short fur and on their bellies they have virtually none. When we go out, Gracie wears her coat to keep her warm while I am in the stores. Her coat is quite fashionable.

After Christmas, I feel a bit letdown. Everything which made the day special is finished. The leftover wrapping paper and ribbons are stored until next year. The decorations will soon be stored down cellar. The tree will be emptied of ornaments and thrown outside. I hate that most of all. It seems like an ignoble end for something so beautiful, for something which has keep the dark winter nights aglow. Its pine aroma still fills my downstairs rooms.

After the tree is gone, it takes me a while to get used to the house as it always is. The corner where the tree was looks wrong. That’s the most difficult part of Christmas, the end of it.

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

February 24, 2013

I heard the most welcome of sounds when I woke up this morning, the sound of rain on the roof. I didn’t hear people shoveling or a plow working its way down the street. I heard heavy rain, and I was glad. The day may be dismal and dark, but the rain is a bright spot, sort of oxymoronic I know, but that’s the way it feels.

I am going to Hyannis today. It is really not very far, but I sometimes think of the journey as a trek of sorts. I’m attending a luncheon with the Cape Cod Returned Peace Corps group. We get together every now and then. The last time was in October for the dedication of a stone we’d purchased with a plaque on it celebrating fifty years of Peace Corps and honoring all who served. This luncheon is to recognize Peace Corps week. It starts early so I should be home early which is perfect as I have promised Gracie we will go the dump even if it’s still raining.

When I was younger, not young, but younger, never did I imagine I would pamper myself so much. My groceries were just delivered by Peapod, and they’re already put away. I didn’t have to go up and down aisles silently cursing the aisle hogs or make three or four trips from the car to bring the groceries into the house. When snow fell the last two weekends, I waited for Skip who plowed out my car, the driveway, the mail box and the place in front where I usually park. He shoveled two walks. My front lawn is covered in small, broken pine branches felled by the winds. The back yard has several larger branches on the ground, also victims of the wind. I know in a few months my landscaper and his crew will come and spring clean both yards. Roseana and Lee will be here this week to clean the house. They come every two weeks. I do cleaning in the off-week but usually as little as possible. I have had cleaning people for years, even before I lived here. They date back to when I had a roommate and we shared a house. We both worked, and that was our excuse for housecleaners. She got married and sold her house so I bought my own house. For a long while I cleaned it myself due to finances, not a work ethic, but as soon I could afford it, I hired housecleaners again. When I stopped working, I still kept the housecleaners. Age and a bad back finished off my shoveling career. When I redid the yard, I used a landscaper and decided he was the best choice to keep the grass green and free of weeds. I am, for the most part, a woman of leisure though I am still stuck making and changing the bed and doing laundry. I guess we all need a bit of suffering to keep us humble.

“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”

August 21, 2012

The morning is lovely, sunny and cool. All the animals are having their naps in all their favorite places. Every now and then I can hear a kid’s voice from down the street and a bird or two, but mostly it’s quiet. I love this kind of morning.

I took my time this morning. The day has lent itself to leisure, to reading the papers slowly, missing nothing, and having an extra cup of coffee. I’m staring at the laundry bag in the hall. It hasn’t moved and neither have I. The morning has brought a contentedness and laundry can wait.

When I was young, I loved summer mornings. They were always the coolest part of the day, and they smelled sweet, of grass and flowers and sometimes rain. I was up and out quickly after a bowl of Rice Krispies and a piece or two of toast. Sometimes I went to the playground; sometimes I rode my bike, and sometimes I’d go uptown to the library, a favorite summer spot. It was always cool on a hot day even though it wasn’t air-conditioned. The floor was highly polished tile. The librarian sat at a round wooden station to check out books. She also had a desk near the mysteries. Sometimes she’d sit there and work. The chairs around the tables were wooden and had fancy backs like captains’ chairs. I was always careful not to scrape mine across the floor when I moved it to sit down at the table to browse through a few books. I’d sit there for a while then I’d return those books to the shelves and start to choose the ones to take home. I always took the maximum.

Books never lasted too long for me. I read them quickly, sometimes in a single long sitting. Books held me enthralled and the day passed unnoticed. When I was older, it was the night which passed unnoticed. I remember finishing a book, looking up and seeing it was morning. That still happens to me.