Posted tagged ‘morning’

“Turkey is undoubtedly one of the best gifts that the New World has made to the Old.”

November 25, 2017

When Gracie and I went out earlier, I was surprised by how warm a morning it is. The sun is shining, and there is a slight breeze. It was quiet except for music from the radio of a car being parked next door. The car belongs to a man who works for my neighbor, the landscaper. When he opened the car door, the music stopped. It was quiet again. I was still in the backyard waiting for Gracie. She took her time. I didn’t mind, though, as I got to be outside enjoying the morning for a bit.

My groceries are being delivered in a while. I open the door, and they are brought to the kitchen where I start putting them away. When I shopped, I aways hated bringing the bags inside the house as it took so many trips. Now I complain about putting the groceries away.

Last night for dinner I had leftovers. They were almost as good as the Thanksgiving meal.    They reminded me a turkey is never a single meal. It seems to last forever. First is the grand meal then hot turkey sandwiches that night, cold turkey sandwiches piled high with stuffing and cranberry sauce the next day or two then turkey salad and finally turkey soup. My dad was a champion at picking the meat from the turkey bones. I think he looked forward to it every year. Not even the smallest piece of meat escaped him. He left an empty carcass.

This weekend will be a quiet one. I have nothing planned. Tonight I’ll watch a new Hallmark movie. I don’t know what it is, but I can guess. The possible plots are easy: two people will meet on a plane or a train or at the airport and fall in love, a curmudgeon will do a Scrooge like make-over and love Christmas, a kid will get his wish, someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas will find it in his or her heart and in doing so will fall in love.

I’m watching the antithesis of those Hallmark movies on a program called Homicide for the Holidays. I figure it will counteract all the sugar from Hallmark. I just watched a detective at his desk talking on the phone about murders during a house invasion on Christmas Eve. Behind the detective were Christmas decorations. A gold garland outlined the window and cards were strung on a string across it. Quite festive indeed!

“I guess I always felt even if the world came to an end, McDonald’s would still be open.”

October 28, 2017

My morning ritual seldom changes. I take my time. There is rarely a rush. The first thing I do is put the couch, aka my bed, to rights then I go out with Gracie, pick up the papers and put her into the yard. When we come back inside, I start the coffee, and while it’s brewing, I feed Maddie and Gracie. At this point I am into the first fifteen minutes of the morning. I grab my cup of coffee and read the Globe then toast an English muffin, grab another cup of coffee and read the Cape Cod Times. By the time I am finished with the cryptogram, I’m about an hour and a half into the day. My e-mail is next then I stir my creative juices and start in on writing Coffee. Sometimes my muse is wild with inspiration while other times I just sit and stare hoping for the whisper of an idea. I have been writing Coffee for 12+ years. The sitting and staring are getting more frequent.

When I was a kid, I sometimes had to go to confession on Saturday. I didn’t have a whole lot to confess so I used to pad my transgressions. I’d mention lying though I seldom lied. I did fight with my brother so I had that to fall back on. Disrespecting my mother or father was a good one. I think every kid used it. I wasn’t mouthy, but I was great at eye rolling or smirking. I used to give numbers like lying five times. Those were purely speculative. I never really kept count. The priest would mete out my penance. Usually it was a few Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers. I said them quickly so I could get out of there. I didn’t want people thinking I was overloaded with sins meriting a huge penance.

Today is cooler than it’s been but still sunny. The house was cold when I woke up. I turned on the heat and put on socks. I hate having cold feet.

I’m back on YouTube. Today is disaster day. I’ve watched tsunamis and volcanos and now it’s a meteor. Frantic scientists, members of the near Earth orbit emergency task force, are working to prevent the meteors from colliding with Earth and destroying life as we know it. Isn’t that always the way?

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

June 30, 2017

I love this morning. It isn’t sunny but it is windy and cool. I can hear the leaves rustling and the tinkling of the chimes from my backyard. Out my window I can see the branches being tossed by the wind. They look like dancers swaying and bending in the same direction. The weather report said sun, but I don’t miss it. A cloudy day has its own beauty.

The kids from down the street woke me again this morning. It was around 8:30. They were playing in front of one of their houses. I heard a couple of them singing, but I have no idea of the song. I also heard a couple of them yelling and a couple of them screaming. They’re gone now except for one, the oldest. He is shooting baskets. I can hear the ball when it hits the road and when he dribbles. I have no idea what happened to the rest of them.

Our girl scout camp, Camp Aleeska, was in the woods at the end of a sandy road across the street from the zoo entrance. The camp was in a pine forest and had been built by the fathers of scouts. Inside was one huge room with a tall fireplace and storage benches lining two walls. The kitchen and bathroom were off the big room as was a small room where the adults slept. Cots, the old canvas type with the wooden bars at each end, were stored in the benches. A couple of times, my troop went on overnights at the camp. After we had brought in the food, we set up our cots with a lot of laughter as sometimes they collapsed. We went on hikes and followed trails in the pine woods. Other times we did stuff to earn another badge for our sashes. We all had jobs like cooking, cleaning, doing dishes or sweeping. I remember the stew we usually had for dinner, poor man’s stew. It was hamburger, a can of soup, potatoes, carrots and sometimes canned corn. The stew cooked a long time on the stove. It was always delicious. I remember cooking breakfast with eggs and bacon and toast. We each had a single task at every meal. I always hated it when I had to wash dishes.

I loved the inside of that camp. It had the aroma of a wood fire. It was always quiet as there was nothing near us. We made the only noise.

The camp is gone now as are the trees that kept it hidden. It is the site of construction equipment and piles of sand. I don’t know when the camp was demolished. I’m sorry for its loss as no one else will make memories there.

“In summer the empire of insects spreads.”

June 25, 2017

The morning is just perfect. The air still has a bit of the night’s chill. The sunlight is sharp.  The sky has a few clouds but is still mostly blue. It will get warm today, into the low 80’s, but tonight will be sleeping weather, in the low 60’s.

Gracie had another good night. She also slept in her crate again. That gave me the whole couch so I could stretch my legs. Right now she is having her morning nap on the couch. She’s already eaten a small can of food. Last night she finished the pills for dizziness so I have to call to see if she can get a refill.

I was about to toast a couple of pieces of rye bread when I remember I had bought a cinnamon roll yesterday. I was delighted. Those bakery rolls are a favorite of mine and they’re filled with goodness.

I love the quiet of my house. It keeps me settled, centered. Most things I need are here in the den. I have books, magazines and the TV. In the basket under the table are what’s left of the corn chips. The fridge with the guac is just a bit down the hall. The bathroom is close. Alexa is here and is ever willing to entertain me with music and stories. This is just the perfect room to while away the hours.

Gracie needed to go out, and I have to take her so she doesn’t have to go down the stairs. It is hot out already. I’m thinking the sun is best seen from inside the cool house.

The deck got cleared of leaves and poop yesterday, but it is again filled with the black caterpillar poop. After I water the deck plants later, I’ll clear it off, and then I’ll do the same thing tomorrow. When I was taking Gracie out the front door a few minutes ago, I saw what appeared to be a long, green caterpillar with more legs than it needed working its way up the pine tree. Naturally, I went to check. It happened to be a small piece of a fur tree with the needles appearing like legs. I was glad, but I was also a bit disappointed.  My world is filled with black caterpillars right now so a long green one would have been a nice surprise.

Bugs don’t bother me though I do hate meal moths and miller moths. In times past I didn’t protect my flour, dog food, cereal or dry mixes so they were alive with larvae and pupae, future moths, which I hate at any stage. I tossed all the infected food and bought containers which closed too tightly for an infestation. The meal moths disappeared, but not the miller moths. They are still here. They are audacious and will fly at my head as if to taunt me. I try to grab them as they fly, and I’m pretty good at it, but there are too many of them for me. I just have to hold on a bit longer as they’ll disappear soon.

In Ghana, I accepted bugs in my flour and even some dying in my soup. I’d just pick the bug out and keep eating. I had totally different standards for bugs in those days. Even now when I go back, the old rules still apply. It is only here, at home, that I am a ruthless hunter of insects. it’s time to bring back those disgusting, long sheets of sticky paper. Die, insect, die.

“A procession is a participants’ journey, while a parade is a performance with an audience.”

May 28, 2017

The morning is lovely; the sun so very bright. The air is sweet. When Gracie and I went to the backyard, I felt the early morning chill as I was awake and stirring before the arrival of my newspapers. My neighbors across the street were also awake. Their shades were up. The dogs from the corner house were barking.

I’ve had coffee but nothing else yet. I’m thinking maybe an English muffin. I eat a piece and Gracie eats a piece, but what she doesn’t know is pills are hidden in the nooks and crannies. When it comes to food, Gracie is easily duped.

Okay, my weather prognostication skills are faulty. It is still chilly, and it has gotten cloudy. The sun is on and off.  It is 61˚ and won’t get much warmer. At least it isn’t raining.

I watch far too many Forensic Files. Yesterday I cut my finger, but it didn’t hurt so I didn’t notice. A while later I saw the blood, cleaned my hand, and put a band-aid on the cut. I found blood smears on the door and bathroom faucets. Immediately I thought DNA evidence.

TCM is my viewing choice of the day. I just watched 36 Hours which I had never seen. The theme today seems to be Nazis and spies of all sorts out to thwart them. James Garner was this movie’s hero as was Rod Taylor, a Nazi who helps James Garner and Eva Marie Saint escape a fake hospital run by Nazis pretending to be Americans to get information about D-Day from Garner. Taylor convinces Garner it is 1950 and the war is long over. If you want to know more and wonder about Eva Marie Saint, you’ll have to watch the movie. Next up is 1942’s Journey into Fear starring Orson Wells.

My town has a parade tomorrow. I’m hoping it isn’t raining as I really do enjoy these little  hometown parades. The Memorial Day parade is the shortest. The middle school band provides the music, and every other year the high school band joins them. On the off year, the band goes to Yarmouth, the other half of the school district. Veterans, girl scouts, and boy scouts march. The boy scouts lug the same float they lug every year. There is always one jeep, the same one every year with the same driver. The end of the parade has fire trucks with their sirens blaring. It doesn’t matter that the parade is always the same. I think that’s my favorite part.

It’s game night Sunday!

“And falling’s just another way to fly.”

October 18, 2016

The morning is cloudy and damp. I could smell the ocean when I went to get the papers so I lingered outside a while. It was quiet. I knew my neighbors were awake as their shades were up, and their paper was gone. I don’t see them much. Thinking about it, I don’t see many of my neighbors. When I do, we always wave.

My groceries arrived right on time yesterday. My fridge is now filled. I bought some plantain hoping to make kelewele. I’m also going to try my hand at jollof rice. It’s fun making something new, especially dishes filled with memories.

I left my windows open last night. I had thought them closed for the season, but yesterday was warm. Today will be even warmer. I got to hear the birds sing when I woke up. They were far less intrusive than that Ghanaian rooster. It doesn’t really matter where I am. I love mornings the best. My dad used to switch to storm windows around this time of year. It took him the whole day. He had to get each window on hooks, and it wasn’t easy because he also had to lean on the ladder for balance. We all watched.

It is from my dad I inherited the gene associated with all my falls. His falls were sometimes spectacular. They were also sometimes funny like the sawing himself out of the tree fall I have mentioned before. He didn’t fall far. He did break his hip on a fall from a high ladder when he was painting his house. He always limped after that. I have been luckier with only a broken bone in my shoulder, and no after effects because of physical therapy. I just accept falls as a fact of life.

“It had been like swallowing a gust of October wind.”

October 15, 2016

The morning came late for me, finally. I woke up at 7:30. The day is chilly but the sort of chill you know won’t last. When I went out to get the papers, I saw smoke from my neighbor’s chimney. She had turned on her heat to ward off the cold of last night. Another neighbor was returning after walking her dogs. We exchanged pleasantries and commented about the chill.

I have a few things to do around the house: a wash, putting in the second storm door and watering plants. Life is back to the humdrum.

Gracie and I are heading to the garden center. It is pumpkin time. I’ll buy a few for my front steps, a few different size pumpkins. I’ll also buy some gourds, the last of the garden fresh vegetables and some bread.

Gracie is snoring and sleeping on the couch. The two cats are sleeping in their usual spots. Their morning rituals never change.

Moxie is an acquired taste. It is like drinking medicine. I don’t know anyone who drinks it. A lot of people never even heard of it. I don’t like Dr. Pepper either. I love A&W root beer, and I love how it foams when you pour it. Right now my drink of choice is fresh apple cider. It is the drink of fall.

When I was a kid, I always had a school bag. When I was really young, my school bag was almost like a briefcase, square with buckles to close it and a strap which went across my body. It was sometimes plaid. When I was older, my school bag was the green one with rubber inside to protect the books from the rain. It had a drawstring. When I was teaching, I had a blue briefcase. I always liked carrying it. It made me feel a bit important.

When I became an administrator, I stopped needing a briefcase. I switched to a backpack and used it as a handbag, a purse. My first one was nylon. Now my backpacks are leather. The one now was made in Vermont, is black, and the leather is soft. It is my winter bag. My summer bag is canvas, a messenger bag. It is getting close to switching time.

“There are people who like to be alone without feeling lonely at all.”

July 11, 2014

The morning is a quiet one with only the songs of birds breaking the silence. I am part of the morning. A calmness seems to take over, a slowness with no need for haste. I stood outside leaning on the deck rail for a long time. I could smell the freshness of the morning air. I watched the birds at the feeders and the slow sway of the leaves from the slight breeze. It is a familiar feeling for me, the sense I am alone. I remember being in Maine on vacation, and it was pouring. I took my book and went to the car, got comfortable and read for hours. I loved the sound of the rain on the car roof, and I loved being alone. When I’d get home from school on a rainy day, I’d take off my wet clothes, put on cozy pajamas, get in bed and read. I snuggled in the warmth of the blankets and loved the quiet of my room. I used to be a night owl, and I was always the only one awake in my neighborhood. I remember being outside at one or two in the morning watching the meteor shower. I oohed and aahed as they lit up the sky. Every other house was dark, and I felt sorry for them. I wanted to run up and down the street waking my neighbors so they could share the glorious sight of all those meteors. I didn’t, which was probably the right choice.

The first time I ever lived alone was in Ghana. We were altogether for training so someone was always around who was sharing the same experiences I was. At the end of training, the transition to my post, Bolgatanga, way north and off the beaten path, was difficult, especially the first few months. I was terribly homesick and had no one to talk to about it. I was also having trouble teaching. The students didn’t understand my American accent, and at the end of the class they would tell me they heard nothing, a Ghanaian term for not understanding a word. I felt like a failure. Here I was lonely, miserable and a complete failure. I made plans to go home by Christmas if things didn’t change, but happily for me they did. I began to love being alone, to having all this time to myself. I would read for hours. My letters home were filled with everything I saw and did, and I took pleasure in the descriptions. I didn’t have to lie any more about everything being great because it actually was. I learned how to teach, how to enunciate. No more did students not hear me. Everything had fallen into place, and I couldn’t imagine leaving.

I bought my house when I was 29. I have lived alone the entire time. Sometimes I’d like some company, and I always miss my guests when they leave, but I am content living by myself.

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

August 18, 2013

This morning I woke up early to go to the bathroom. The bathroom window was open so I rested my arms on the small sill and looked out. It’s the same view as from this room but so much higher, a third floor view. I was in the trees. I could see movement in and around the branches, but I couldn’t see the birds. I could smell the morning air, a combination of so many things. I could smell dampness, not the sort a moist cellar brings, but the sort which comes from humidity and a wet driveway and dewy grass; the sweet aroma of flowers was strong, mixed as it was with the dampness. It seemed to circle me on all sides and come from all the gardens. The best smell of all, though, was the one only a morning brings. It was the smell of freshness in the air, the smell of a new day, of another start. I stood for a bit at the window, took it all in then went back to bed. The morning was still too new, too early. Fern and Gracie hadn’t moved. They were both still asleep in the same spots on the bed as when I’d left. I slid in between them and fell back to sleep.

Today is dark, cloudy dark, with a chance of rain, but I don’t think it’ll rain. Today will stay humid and close. Right now nothing is moving in the dense air, and it is quiet except for Gracie’s every now and then bark. She sounds so loud I keep wanting to hush her. I want the quiet I love so much.

When I was little, my dreams were enormous. I thought I could do and be anything. The worse part of growing older was learning I had limitations. Math was out of reach. Once it got too complicated for my fingers, I knew it wasn’t for me. I loved nature and bugs and snakes and all sorts of crawly things, but I didn’t want to learn about them from books. I wanted to watch them crawl and slither. I learned early, third grade, that I couldn’t hold a tune so singing was out. I had begun whittling the list of what I could do and be. Amazingly I wasn’t disappointed that some doors had closed for me because I figured there were plenty out there just waiting for me to find them, and when I did and turned the door knobs, I knew I’d find treasures. I started to like some things over others and was better at the ones I liked. I tolerated the ones I didn’t. Soon enough, I got to pick, and I chose to study English. It was the best of all choices for me. It gave me the world.

The first time I ever taught was in Ghana. I remember those first few months. I was awful. I stood in front of my students day after day, and they had no idea what I was saying. I spoke too quickly, and they couldn’t hear my English accent though they spoke English. I was having the same trouble but in reverse. Somehow, though, over time, I stumbled into teaching so that we all learned. Franciska still remembers much of what I taught her. The best thing she said was I told them the sky was their only limit. They could do and be whatever they wanted. They just had to keep reaching.

I still do that-I still keep reaching.

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”

June 11, 2013

Another early morning for me-this is a habit I have to break. I was up at 7, read the papers, even did the crossword and the cryptogram, then left for my library board meeting at nine. I just got home.

Last night it poured again. The world is green and lush but damp and chilly at only 64˚. It is supposed to rain again today. I have to go out later to do three errands but not until the afternoon. Yesterday I did my laundry, all three loads of it. The hall is now clear. I even took the clean laundry out of the dryer and put it away. Usually it sits there a while. I don’t know where all this industry is springing from, but I’ve had enough.

My landscaper and I discussed the flowers he forgot to plant last week. I was able to grab him for the chat as I up and about so early. He promises tomorrow he’ll plant and then mulch. I reminded him that last week he also promised Wednesday. He laughed. Sebastian keeps telling me he wants to take down the two pine trees and the two wild roses in the front yard. I keep saying no.

It has been a long time since I last cooked a fancy dinner, and I’m thinking it’s about time for another. I’ll have to do my flow chart such that I cook over a couple of days so my back will be okay. No big dinner of mine ever gets done without a flow chart. It always starts with the recipes in order: appetizers, meat, side dishes and dessert. Beside each dish is where the recipe can be found. I then make a list of the ingredients by category like fruits, veggies, frozen, meat and assorted to make shopping easier. The flow chart also lists the steps for each day and on the day of the dinner for each hour.. Some things I can cook ahead a few steps but not finish until the big day. After the dinner time is set, my flow chart works around that time so all the food is ready and on the table together. The need for a flow chart grew out of past bad experiences when the dishes were ready at all different times and some dishes, especially salads, were left in the fridge and never served. My flow chart and I get made fun of by my guests. Taunting the hand that feeds you is never a good idea.