Posted tagged ‘list’

“Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.”

April 15, 2017

Today is warmer than yesterday, and tomorrow will be even warmer than today. I’m thinking that’s just as it should be. Easter Sunday is spring to me and tomorrow won’t disappoint. It will be a spring day in the mid-60’s, perfect Easter egg hunt weather and perfect for showing off new clothes, maybe even spinning the petticoats.

At Christmas, the mere mention of Santa kept us in line. We didn’t dare be bad and risk losing a gift or, worse yet, many gifts, but Easter was always different. The Bunny was never a threat. No elf on the shelf reported me and my behavior. There was no list so the Easter Bunny was completely in the dark as to who was naughty or who was nice. That was definitely to our advantage. The baskets were always full.

Gracie and I did all our errands yesterday. All the items on the list got crossed off and the list was subsequently crumpled and thrown away with fanfare. I have no list today. I’m not going anywhere. I have some wrapping to do and a couple of baskets to fill, but that’s it for the day.

In Ghana, we celebrated Christmas with a decorated tree and presents. The tree was acacia, but that didn’t matter. It was the celebration which was important. Easter, though, was different. In Ghana, it is purely a religious day, spent mostly in church. No rabbit or hare is involved. It was Easter vacation time for me, and I usually traveled down south to Accra for a few days then on to Togo or somewhere else. I do remember Easter Sunday during my second year. Three or four of us went to the beach, to Labadi Beach, which was the best beach in Accra. We swam and walked down the beach. Using a coconut as a ball and a dead piece of palm tree as a bat, we played a makeshift game of baseball on the sand. We were at the beach all day.

We out for dinner together, but I don’t remember where. Peace Corps volunteers know all the cheap places with good food so I’m guessing dinner was delicious.

That Easter Sunday is one of my favorite memories of the day. There I was in Africa walking on a sandy beach lined with palm trees. Only my eleven-year-old self, the dreamer, would not have been surprised. She knew I’d be there some day.

“I love the ritual of drawing up lists, and there’s something wonderfully satisfying about ticking tasks off.”

April 14, 2017

Today is chilly, only 52˚. It will even get down to the 30’s tonight. Luckily, though, Easter Sunday will be 64˚, perfect for Easter outfits.

When I was a kid, girls wore dresses on Easter. The dresses were fancy.  They were pastel colored and poofy with a couple of petticoats underneath. My sisters like to swirl their dresses by quickly spinning like Whirling Dervishes. On their feet, they wore white patent leather shoes with a strap across the foot. Their socks were delicate with lace around the top. My sisters were much girlier than I. Petticoats itched. I never once wore one. I remember one Easter at my Grandparents’ house. There were cousins, lots of cousins, and aunts and uncles. I was around 10 or 11. I overheard an aunt ask my mother about my Easter clothes which weren’t dressy. I wore a new skirt, new blouse, and a new blazer. I felt spiffy. My mother answered my aunt: that’s what she wanted. That ended all discussion and was the best answer.

Gracie had a not so good day yesterday. She jumped off the couch and somehow ended up on her back with her paw caught under a basket. She was perfectly still and frightened. I untangled her and got her on the couch. A few hugs later she was wagging her tail and wanting a treat. Gracie was none the worst for her fall. Today is a good day. I am taking her into the yard through the yard gate so we can avoid the steps going down, the scary steps. Gracie loves being in the yard.

Skip, my factotum, is here doing a few jobs. New lights are on the deck rail and in the yard and both are connected to timers. Skip is now working on the stairs and putting the new treads down. I’m just hoping Gracie will go upstairs so I can start sleeping in my bed.

I made another list. I discovered I get more done if the list is concrete. It forces me to get up and out of the house. Today there are four errands. I have plotted the route. None of the stores are close to each other. I figure to start in South Yarmouth at the vets to pick up medicine for Gracie, then on to 6A in Dennis to Nancy’s Candy, then back to South Dennis to Agway for litter and puppy pads. My final stop is Dennisport. I need Easter gifts for the two dogs, Gracie and Darci, my friends’ dog. I’ll hit the bakery for them, the dog bakery. I’m hoping they have whoopie pies. My last stop is for me, Buckies for a sandwich, for number 14: a panini with cheddar, bacon, avocado, tomatoes and a horseradish sauce. I’m salivating at the mere mention of that sandwich.

The list is right in front of me, mocking me. I have to hurry.

“Close your eyes because all the great sounds of existence can best be heard with eyes shut!”

April 10, 2017

The morning has been a bit trying. Nothing I did made Gracie happy. I walked her down the stairs to the yard twice. I gave her treats three times. I patted her until my hand was tired. She wasn’t impressed. She sat beside me and stared. When I ignore her, she gave me the paw on my arm. When I continued to ignore her, she continued to put her paw on my arm. She drove me crazy. Finally, she got on the couch, got comfy, and went to sleep beside me. It is amazing how much my dog rules the roost.

Spring is happening all around me. Colors are coming back into the world. Hyacinths are blooming in my front garden. Purple, pink and red flowers are popping from circles of small fronds. The daffodils in the flower bed closest to the house are sun bright. Every morning when I get the papers, I see something new in the garden.

I have no energy today to do anything. I didn’t make my usual list of chores as I’m generally compelled to finish most of them. My logic insists if there is no list, there are no chores.

I heard the kids playing this morning around 8. There are 6 boys in two houses, and they are loud. They communicate by yelling. They go out to play before the school buses come. Most times they wake me up but not all the way up. I hear them, register the fact in my brain then turn over and go back to sleep. When I was in Ghana, I did the same thing with the call to prayer. A mosque was down on the street below and across from my bedroom during Peace Corps training. The mosque was small and was sandwiched between two houses. Arabic was written at the top of the smallest ever minaret. From that mosque, I could hear the muezzin sing the calls to prayer. The one at 3:30 or so used to wake me up then I got used to it. I listened knowing when it would end so I could go back to sleep. It was the same with the dawn call. Being awakened twice by a muezzin had become commonplace for me. I could never have imagined that.

“Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.

March 19, 2017

When I woke up around nine, the snow was just starting. Because of the wind, the fluffies were coming from different directions, from the north and south. Then the snow suddenly disappeared, but it’s back now, small flakes tossed by the wind. I doubt it will last long enough to accumulate.

I didn’t go out yesterday. I had no motivation. Today, though, I have a list of weird items. I need a bulb for my bathroom nightlight, an extension cord, and a plastic container for my snowmen. I’m putting them away for the season. I think they jinxed me.

I remember my first pair of nylon stockings. In those days I had to wear a garter belt. The back snaps were always the hardest to attach. I remember sometimes one would swing back and whack my leg. Pantyhose is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.

I never get gussied up anymore. I don’t go anywhere demanding gussy. The closest I get to dress up is coordinating the color of my pants with a clean shirt. That works no matter the season: long sleeves in winter, short sleeves in summer; corduroy in winter, cotton in summer; shoes and socks in winter, sandals in summer. I don’t even own a pair of panty hose. I do have three dresses: two flowered dresses for summer, one green dress for winter.

I don’t wear my winter jacket much. My sweatshirts are usually enough, but I do have the warmest sweater, blue with snowflakes, the sort which used to be called après skiing, for single digit temperatures. I have several pairs of mittens, but I don’t remember the last time I wore them. I have earmuffs and knit caps. My mother would be pleased.

I love Mad Magazine. I used to buy it every month. I remember the Alfred E. Newman for president drive. Mad taught me about satire and parodies and thinking for myself. I didn’t understand it all because I was young, but as I got older, I learned what it all meant. Spy versus Spy was a favorite of mine. Sometimes the white spy won and other times the black spy won. I believe that Mad Magazine helped form my politics and those of my generation. “What, me worry?”

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

September 9, 2016

When I got the papers, I noticed the road still wet from my lawn being watered. That screamed humidity to me so I turned on the air conditioning. The weatherman last night did say summer was returning today.

Periodically the AC turns on to break the silence. Gracie isn’t even snoring. Both cats are awake, unusual for the morning. One is cleaning her ears and the other is just looking out the window from her perch, the back couch cushion. I have no idea what holds her attention.

Today I have nothing to do, not a single list. I’m thinking about lolling and reading. Before that, though, I might hit the chocolate shop for bon bons.

Yesterday my list was completed. I even brought my laundry upstairs, a rarity. Usually it sits in the dryer for sometimes as long as a week. I don’t mind doing laundry. It is the up and down the stairs, the folding and the carrying up two flights of stairs which I don’t like. The house we lived in when we first moved to the cape had the washer and dryer in the kitchen because there wasn’t a cellar, just a small dug out area. That made doing laundry easy.  When I worked, I managed to get everything done including planning lessons and correcting.

When I worked, I managed to get everything done, mostly on the weekends when I shopped, mowed the lawn, did laundry and cleaned the house. Now, despite having all the time in the world, I hire people. The house gets cleaned every other Thursday. On the off weeks, I do a bit of dusting, a small bit of dusting, and some vacuuming. My lawn gets mowed every Friday. Peapod delivers groceries right to my kitchen. I order when the larder is empty. Skip, my factotum, does whatever I need, things like opening and closing the deck, painting and general repairs. I know I shouldn’t complain given what little I do, but I want staff, particularly a laundress or a launderer. I did find a drop off Launderette, but I just can’t see myself driving my laundry bag to Hyannis. I guess I’m stuck.