Posted tagged ‘movie’

“Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.”

May 5, 2017

The morning sky is dark and the air is chilly. Rain’s coming, heavy rain. It should be here by early afternoon. I have to go out, but I hope to get home before the rain starts. Given the ominous sky, I’m not optimistic.

I’m watching The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. The beast is a prehistoric creature awakened by an atomic blast at the North Pole. The film was made in 1953. One line made me chuckle. The radio news reported about a ship sunk by what one survivor described as a giant monster. The radio announcer wanted to know what the guy had been smoking. I’d like to know what the token female scientist was smoking when she went clothes shopping. Her wardrobe is ugly from the hat down. In one scene, people start running. A couple of guys by the river had seen the monster, and they were the first runners. Most of the people running have no idea why. They even knock a blind guy down. A policeman foolishly tried to shoot down the creature with his handgun. He got eaten for his efforts. A woman screamed.

Of late, my world has been small. I’ve mostly stayed home with Gracie. I don’t mind. The house is cozy and warm. I have movies to watch, books to read and plenty of crackers and cheese. The only chore left is that blasted laundry.

I have a pair of black and white saddle shoes. I bought them to go with a 50’s costume which included a poodle skirt. When I was in high school, I wore saddle shoes, lots of us did. Now I’m thinking maybe I ought to wear them again. Maybe I’ll be a trend setter. Now that is funny.

I was always a horrible bowler. Here we play candlepin with the small bowling balls, three to a frame. My mother belonged to a bowling league. The alley where she played is now a shoe store. Every Saturday she and my dad watched Bowling for Dollars. I would have needed to be tied and gagged before I’d watch bowling on TV or anywhere for that matter.

I’m not sure which plague it is, but I am in the midst of one. Moths are all over the house.  I kill them on walls and catch them with my hand. Maddie does her bit but they are quicker than she. The last few cold nights have helped as the moths are logy and easy to grab even in the air. There seem to be fewer. It may be the end.

“There is no season such delight can bring, As summer, autumn, winter, and the spring.”

January 30, 2016


A day in winter with bright sun, no wind and temperatures hovering around 40˚is a beautiful day. Miss Gracie is further proof. She is my barometer: the longer she stays out, the nicer the day. She hasn’t barked or checked in with me for a long time so I’ll take a peek just to make sure everything is okay. It is.

Saturday was the busiest day of the week when I was a kid. My father always went uptown to leave and pick up his white shirts at the Chinaman’s and get a trim at the barber’s. I never thought about the word Chinaman back then. It was just a place to me, a dry cleaner’s, owned and run by a man from China, a Chinaman. I think everyone in town called it the Chinaman’s and nobody meant anything by it. It was purely a description.

Al the Saturday activities were seasonal. In winter I went to the matinee or ice skated at the town rink, a fenced in area built at the start of every winter and taken down when the warmth of spring got too much for the ice. It was the only season my father and all the other fathers in the neighborhood were not outside working in the yards, but come spring  there they were. Saturday was yard day.

My father was never really exact at some things. When he fertilized his lawn, he threw out the fertilizer by hand instead of evenly distributing it with a spreader. When the grass grew, I could always see the pattern of my father’s tosses by the condition of the grass. As soon as the lawn got taller, the whole neighborhood was filled with clipping sound of hand mowers. Every spring my father planted his flowers in the front garden though calling it a garden elevates it as the space was a small one between bushes across the front of the house.

In summer, my father continued to mow the grass every week. He also watered the grass from a sprinkler connected to the hose. My sisters used to love to run through the sprinkler, but my father was never a fan. He said it ruined his grass. He did have nice grass.

Fall was time to rake the leaves, a communal activity in my neighborhood every Saturday. After being gathered, the newly raked leaves were piled by the curb on the side of the street. Tradition dictated that the piles be burned. I watched as closely as my father would let me. I can still picture the flame coming from the middle of the pile and the smoke rising above it. I remember the smell of those burning leaves, one of my favorite smells.

Last year I burned a few leaves just for the memories. The smell, the aroma, was so familiar I could have been ten again and standing with my father.


Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.”

July 8, 2012

We’re still in a heat wave of sorts. It’s not as hellish as the south or the mid-west, but it is far too hot for us this time of year. I’m still inside where it’s cool. Later, though, I’ll have to venture out as I still need a few things for tonight.

Saturday night was drive-in movie night. We, of course, always wore our pajamas. I remember when I was around 5 or 6 and I left the car by myself to go the bathroom telling my parents I’d be fine. I found the bathroom but couldn’t find our car afterwards. I went up and down the rows getting more and more panicky. Finally I went to the concession stand. They announced me over the car speakers, and my dad came and rescued me. I was still young enough to feel relieved instead of embarrassed. My dad was an impatient man. The idea of waiting in a long line to exit the drive-in was totally unappealing so he’d get a head start on the traffic. We left before the movie was over. My father guessed at the end time, but I have no idea how close his guesses were. I just know I watched a silent movie as we left the drive-in.

By this time most Sundays, my dad would have packed up the car for the beach. That meant the tartan cooler, the picnic basket, the blanket, towels and shirts for sun protection. We didn’t have any sunscreen back then except for my mother who’d make us cover up before we got too burned. My mother was fastidious about keeping the sand off the blanket. She’d let us sit down as long as our feet were stretched out across the sand. During the day she was known to move everything off the blanket a few times so she could shake the sand off it because that blanket was where my mother perched the whole day except maybe for a walk on the beach in the afternoon with my sisters who wanted to look for shells, and on really hot days when she’d sometimes tip her toes into the ocean, but that was always as far in as she dared. We were the water bugs.

My dad worked a long week and often didn’t make it home for dinner. On summer Saturday mornings, he did errands and household chores like mowing the lawn, but the rest of the weekend he spent with us. Even though I never saw the movies end, I loved going to the drive-in and nothing was better than Sunday at the beach.

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