Posted tagged ‘motorcycles’

“There are no such things as curses; only people and their decisions”

October 7, 2017

The sun predicted for today has yet to appear. It is cloudy and damp. I could feel the moisture in the air when Gracie and I went out to get the papers. It made me feel a bit chilly and I wished I had put on a sweatshirt. The house, though, with all the doors and windows closed is warm.

We’re going out today, Gracie and I, to the dump, the market and Agway. My trunk is filled with trash from Thursday’s great cabinet clean-out. Gracie needs canned food and a treat or two, and I need the essentials for life: bread, coffee and cream.

My friends are coming on Tuesday for a couple of days. These are the friends I traveled with to Ghana last year. We first met in 1969 at Peace Corps staging in Philadelphia at the Hotel Sylvania. Staging is the first time the whole group of trainees get together before leaving for in-country training, and it is where we got shots, had interviews and were introduced to PC staff from Ghana. Right away we became friends and co-conspirators. The three of us skipped some of the orientation to tour Philadelphia. It didn’t take a whole lot of convincing. They were supposed to be posted in Tamale, a city 100 miles from Bolga. That would have made us neighbors. Instead, after Peace Corps found out Peg was pregnant, they were posted to New Tafo, in the south. I visited them every time I went south, and we traveled together. Just before our second year, there was an open post at my school. They were willing to join me in Bolga, and the principal agreed to make the request to Peace Corps so we became neighbors living in a duplex on the school compound. Bill had a red motorcycle. I had a grey one. We used to take day trips around Bolga. He’d take Kevin, their son, and I’d take Peg. We had adventures. I remember a couple of picnics during school holidays, one by a watering hole and another in the hills of Tongo where school boys stood and watched us the whole time. It was there an old man threatened us with the gods because he claimed we had desecrated a sacred rock by putting our small charcoal burned on it. The schoolboys said he just wanted money. We decided to take our chances. As we were leaving, Bill’s motorcycle stopped dead. It just quit running. We sort of chuckle and hoped the old man didn’t see us. The motorcycle did start right away, but it gave us pause.

“No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.”

January 9, 2017

Today we have fake weather, similar to fake news. I looked out the window and saw a blue sky and a sunlit day. No wind was blowing. I was thinking warm and pleasant. I was thinking the deck and sun on my face, but I was wrong, lulled into believing the view outside my window. I can’t even get to the deck. It is covered in snow, in deep snow. Outside is freezing, only 16˚. The high will be 24˚.

I haven’t gone stir crazy, but I’m still watching the worst movie I think I’ve ever seen, one called Land of Doom. There isn’t a single actor in the cast. I’m figuring the leads, both female and male, have mundane jobs and took time off to make this movie hoping for the best. I have no idea of the actual plot. Marauders on motorcycles destroy villages, kill the men and rape the women. Our leads get caught, kick their way out of the capture and move on only to be caught again. The cast seems huge, but most of the time their faces are hidden so the same people can be used time and time again in different roles. The society is primitive, but there are plenty of motorcycles with full tanks of gas. There are also flies. They walk on the food and on the faces of the cast. I’d be swatting, but the cast doesn’t seem to care. Unless this is the only movie left on Earth, don’t watch it.

The living room is clean. I swept and vacuumed yesterday. I put the furniture back. I just haven’t cleared the couch. That will be first. It is up and down the cellar stairs for me today.

Gracie slid on the driveway last night. The stairs were clear of snow, and I had put de-icer on them so each step was down to the wood and safe for walking. Gracie made it to the tar then slid, her back legs splayed. She looked like Bambi on the ice. I kept watching and she walked just fine through the snow to the backyard. I then threw de-icer on the driveway, and it was clear of ice this morning. I also threw de-icer on the front step. I don’t want to tempt the fates.

“The best mirror is an old friend.”

October 19, 2014

Today is cloudy and chilly. Gracie and I are heading to the dump later. Right now she is having her morning nap and snoring up a storm. Fern is napping beside her on the couch rolled in a ball. Tonight is predicted to be as low as 35˚, sounds like turn on the heat and bundle under the comforter weather to me.

One small item caught my eye in the paper this morning. It seems a teacher from Maine has been put on a 21 day paid leave so she can voluntarily quarantine herself. This was done at the request of some of the school’s parents. It seems the teacher went to a conference in Dallas. The closest she got to the hospital with ebola cases was 10 miles.

My friends are coming tomorrow so Coffee is going on hiatus from today until Thursday. They are friends from my Peace Corps days, and I met them during staging, the first time we were all together, in Philadelphia. They were supposed to be posted 100 miles from me, making them my neighbors, but Peg was pregnant and Peace Corps wanted them close to Accra and the office. I always stopped to visit them on my way home from Accra. They were on the second floor of a house with no water. It was a run to the outhouses in the backyard. I was impressed when Bill used to carry his own water in buckets. During our second year, they transferred to my school and we each lived on one side of a duplex. We had motorcycles and made lots of trips together around Bolga. When we did, I carried Peg on mine and Bill carried Kevin, their son, on his. We had supper together every night and most nights played word or card games and had an ongoing paddle ball championship until the elastic on the red ball broke. We could each paddle well into the hundreds when that happened. We were ready if it ever became an Olympic sport.

We share a love for Ghana and for each other. The memories of our time together are sweet.

“There was nothing but that savage ocean between us and Europe.”

January 25, 2014

We are in the middle of a heat wave. It may even reach 40˚ today which sounds like deck weather, the time to start on a summer tan. I am tired of being pasty white with winter written all over my face, but we have no sun or blue sky; instead, we have a grey sky, the possibility of rain and a wind advisory. The dead leaves are being blown and the branches are swaying. What a waste of warm weather.

We had a wonderful evening last night. We reminisced about Ghana and told funny stories about each other. We talked about riding our motorcycles around town and in the bush, and how we met up with a man who cursed us for not giving him money and how Bill’s motorcycle stopped dead just as we were leaving. No curse though-the bike eventually started. Dinner was my curry, and Peg brought hummus, brownies and her own hot fudge sauce. For breakfast we had the blueberry muffins she also brought. They are now my favorite guests.

Today we have a craft fair then a ride around the Cape. Bill has never been here before so I wish we had the sun so he could see the cape in all its beauty with the light reflected off the water and in the marshes. I will take him down 6A, about the prettiest road around. I can be a great tour guide. I’ll tote my camera so I can post a few Cape pictures.

It is a short entry this morning as I am the only one yet dressed, and we’re shortly hitting the road. I’ll be back to post some music this afternoon. I promise!