Posted tagged ‘Light’

“Here’s what we know about Santa. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. I think he’s with the NSA.”

December 22, 2016

I woke up to another dreary day and a very dark sky screaming rain. The weatherman agrees. Snow is predicted in some parts of the state, but we will be too warm, in the 40’s. Yesterday was the Solstice, the longest night of the year. By next week, we will be gaining a minute and a half of light a day then two minutes in February. That sounds so hopeful.

Christmas vacation begins today around here. I remember this last day and how excited the kids were, high school kids wearing Santa hats and sucking on candy canes. They used to sing Christmas carols at lunch, spontaneous outbursts from one table then another then on and on. The halls between classes were filled with cheer, with kids wishing each other a Merry Christmas. At the end of the day, the school emptied quickly. The festivities had begun!

I have errands today then cookie baking. I was out a long time yesterday, but I couldn’t finish my list. One store was closed so I have to go back today. I also have to go to the candy store and the grocery store. I’ll get everything I need so I won’t have to go out again between now and Christmas. (I’m laughing here. That will never happen. I’ll find out I need something else. I always do.)

The excitement started to get palpable around this time when I was a kid. The countdown was at two until Christmas Eve and three until that glorious morning, Christmas day. Every afternoon we watched Santa Claus at his workshop. I remember the channel was WMUR from New Hampshire. Santa talked to us as if he were in the room. He discussed all of the work being done by the elves to get ready to fill the sleigh. I don’t remember what he looked like, whether he had great whiskers or paltry whiskers, or if his voice was jolly. I just remember sitting on the rug and watching Santa.

We didn’t have a fireplace, but I was never in doubt that Santa would find his way to the living room and the tree. He was magical so nothing could stand in his way. I figured he just used the door, probably the front door. That the dog didn’t bark was just more of the magic. I figured Duke wagged his stubby Boxer tail and gave Santa lots of kisses.

It is when the questions appear that believing in Santa gets shaky. The how does he do it in one night is a biggy. It shows a bit of skepticism. I am five and seven years older than my sisters. I told them nothing after I found out and I even became part of the Santa conspiracy and teased them about the good or the naughty list. It was wistful for me.

“The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.”

October 16, 2016

Warm days are coming back starting tomorrow. That’s a good thing as last night was cold. When I woke up, the house was 61˚ so I gave in and turned on the heat. It’s cozy now.

The sunlight seems sharper this time of year. In summer the light touches everything. In the fall the light is more focused. Summer light is scattered and strewn about. It shines through the leaves. This time of year the light is behind the leaves as if the sun is getting stingier. Winter is not so far away.

I wore socks yesterday. My sandals are back in the closet. Just a short while ago I was sweating from the heat of Ghana where the coolest day was 95˚. Now I’m staying warm by wearing a sweatshirt inside the house. I’m just fine with that.

I don’t want to watch the news anymore. I don’t want to hear about the election, about drug tests, sexual assault or threats of violence. We have always taken pride in the peaceful transition of government. I’m afraid that will no longer be true.

Yesterday I treated myself to lunch and a whoopie pie for dessert. I had my favorite panini: avocado, cheddar, bacon with horseradish sauce on focaccia bread. The whoopie was filled with cream. It was the perfect finish for the meal.

My sister makes whoopie pies all the time. Her kids, a little old to be called kids but I still do, ask for whoopie pies on their birthdays instead of cake. The recipe is an old one from my other sister who first made the whoopies in home ec class in elementary school. The whoopies from that recipe are the best ever. My sister hasn’t yet passed along that recipe though she has been asked by her daughter-in-law. It has now become a family heirloom, a secret recipe.

Tonight is game night. I haven’t won recently. I’m hoping that trend will end.

“Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals.”

March 31, 2013

The sun is shining on this Easter morning. The air is still, and the day is getting warmer. No winter coats will cover pastel Easter dresses. I can hear birds singing even though the windows are closed. Yesterday I saw a few buds on one of my bushes. The buds are tiny and closed tightly, but they are another sign that spring is gaining hold.

The alarm rang at 6:15 this morning, and I turned it off and went back to sleep for an hour. I had set it early so I could sneak down my friends’ house and decorate the tree which hangs over their deck: it’s an annual Easter surprise. Though if it’s annual, is it really a surprise? Anyway, when I realized how late it was, I was afraid they’d be awake, but Gracie and I went anyway. The car was covered in frost so I scrapped the windows and off we went. At their house, all the shades were down so they were still abed. I went on the deck and started decorating. One of the giant decorated paper lanterns fell over the deck rail. That meant walking off the deck then all around the outside of the deck and through the underbrush to retrieve it. That was an adventure. The leaves and branches were soaked and sucked up one of my slippers. I had to yank it out of the muck. I found a bird feeder covered in wet leaves and put it on the deck rail. I also saw a mango. I’m still perplexed a bit about the mango, strange spot for one. While I was mucking about, the door opened and out came Darci, their dog. Whoever let her out never looked so I wasn’t caught. I walked back to the deck, petted Darci for a while, hung the lantern then sneaked away. I just got a call thanking me for the surprise and telling me how lovely the tree looks.

I remember so well Easter Sunday mass when I was young. The church was always beautiful and filled with light. The sun shined through the stained glass windows. The dark purple of lent had been replaced by white and all the statues were uncovered. Flowers decorated the floor in front of and all around the altar. I remember the lilies because they were the tallest. The church was always crowded. Women wore hats, fancy hats with veils, small see through veils that went down as far as their eyes. The men wore suits and carried their hats into the church. Little girls wore dresses in pinks and blues and all the different shades of pastel. They wore short white gloves and round hats with ribbons. Their shoes were patent leather, both black and white, and were worn with fancy white socks with lace around the edges. Some boys wore suits, ones with jackets checkered in the front. Others wore white shirts and ties and new pants with deep creases. The shoes were always new and always with laces. The choir sang at Easter. If I had known the word back then, I would have said it was majestic, mass on Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter!

“Even though it’s dark and cold there is always a shade of light.”

January 5, 2013

Last night was one of those when will I ever get tired nights. Luckily, TCM kept me occupied with a slew of B science fiction movies. I got to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Tarantula, The Incredible Shrinking Man and It Came from Outer Space.  It was around two before It returned to Outer Space so I could go to bed. I love those movies as bad as they are at times. That’s the fun of them. In the Creature, a favorite of mine, the jungle is filled with howls and the sounds of animals. It is overgrown with vines and trees. The underwater is almost eerie with plants waving back and forth and trailing in the water. The best scene is when the Creature swims beneath the girl in the water and touches her foot a couple of times but touches it so gently the girl has no idea what is in the water below her. It’s the scene Spielberg borrowed for the start of Jaws though his opening ended a bit less gently. Later in the Creature, the girl, as per the rules of B movies, runs and then falls so the Creature can capture her and take her to his lair, a maze of underground caves. The brave men follow. One man dies. The girl is saved. The Creature isn’t until the sequel.

The morning is chilly, around 35˚, and the day won’t get much warmer. I have to go out for a few groceries. The larder is so empty it echoes.

There is a mouse living in my kitchen. It hangs around behind the refrigerator, and Maddie just sits and waits patiently for the beastie to appear. I have to think it stays well hidden as Maddie would have sent the beastie to its heavenly reward by now. She is a good and patient mouser.

Most of Christmas is gone now. I have a pile of decorations which needs to be taken down the cellar then the pine tree will go last. It stays decorated and is covered by a plastic bag until next year when it will assume its rightful place in the dining room.

The house seems dark and bare. I have a few electric candles I light in the living room and some pepper lights in the kitchen, and they do help a little to scare away the darkness, but the tree was magnificent. I miss the bubble lights, the red peppers, Santa and his reindeer flying up the tree, the white lights in the middle like stars and all those colored lights. Maybe it should be a winter tree. Christmas time doesn’t last long enough.

“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”

January 7, 2012

My sister and brother-in-law are coming down today. I’ve held their Christmas presents and Christmas goodies for ransom until they visit. Every Christmas my sisters have certain expectations from me. Moe and Rod, in Colorado, expect English toffee. Sheila, who’s due here any time now, expects her fudge and date-nut bread. She won’t be disappointed. Once I knew Sheila was coming, I made both of them. She’ll open her presents first then we’re going to lunch.

Last night was warmer than I expected. When Gracie went out before we went to bed, I decided to follow her and check out the night. She went into the yard, and I stood on the deck looking at the lights strung across the driveway gate. They’re coming down after Little Christmas. I’m going to miss all of them, but I’ll miss the star most of all. It lit up the night. I’m thinking maybe I just ought to keep it lit, let it keep away the deep darkness of winter nights. It will have to be moved a bit so I can open the gate but that doesn’t seem like a big deal.

Whoever chose December to celebrate Christmas chose well. Joyousness and celebrations and music and color and families gathering together brighten even the darkest days and nights. Fireworks, I think there should be fireworks.

I finished my book today. It was the newest James Patterson, at least I think it was. He seems to write a new book every month. This one was an Alex Cross novel.

Books go quickly for me. If I like one, I take every opportunity to read it. Whatever break I have, out comes my book. When I’m watching a TV program, the commercial is another opportunity to read. Often I get so involved in the book I lose the program I’m watching. A day spent reading a good book is a day well spent.