Posted tagged ‘newspapers’

“The beginning of wisdom, as they say. When you’re seventeen you know everything. When you’re twenty-seven if you still know everything you’re still seventeen.”

April 14, 2015

Lazy mornings are the best way to start the day. I read my two papers, drank a fresh cup of coffee with each paper and ate a couple of pieces of Scali bread toast. The coffee, from Uganda, a new roast for me, was delicious.

I didn’t wake to eye-blinding sunshine this morning. The day is dark, a turn on your light to see in the daytime dark, and rain is predicted. I guess this is what we get after a beautiful, warm spring day like yesterday. It was 63˚. I’m okay with this on again-off again weather switch. Give me some more days like yesterday, and I’ll abide the rain.

My dad was a yeller, but by the time we were four or five we had perfected the art of ignoring him while looking interested and concerned at the same time. He didn’t expect anything, just us nodding our heads. We could do that. He’d warn us not to repeat the infraction whatever it was, and we were then free to leave or were send to our rooms depending upon the seriousness of what had irked my father. I always liked being sent to my room. It gave me some privacy and some peace. I’d nap or read, two of my favorites ways to while away the time.

I never learned to keep quiet, a surprise I’m sure. When I got older, into my teens, I always had an answer. To me the answers were funny and clever. To my dad they were me talking back, being sassy and questioning his authority. He was actually right. I figured I was in trouble anyway and there was a limit on what he could do so why not keep going, get a bit of satisfaction by driving my dad crazy. My brother and I used to have a friendly competition on which of us could drive my father the craziest.

When we were older, we were usually grounded, the ultimate teenage punishment, a forced imprisonment in our own homes, but mine never lasted long. My father always relented after a couple of hours. I knew he would as my mother had taught me to accept my punishment quietly without my characteristic witty retort. She told me just to let him rant and soon enough he’d be done, and I’d be freed. She was right. I always sat in my room waiting for him to come to give me the lecture. I always looked chagrined. I was good at that.

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”

January 29, 2015

I am still house-bound. My factotum got stuck in high drifts yesterday and didn’t make it. He said few side roads in his town were plowed yet. I cleared off the two front steps with a broom because poor Gracie was beside herself in wanting out. When I was done, I opened the door, and she went out and squatted for what might just be a new Olympic record. Before we went to bed, she completed her business. This morning, she went right to the front door to go out. I am feeling so much better and far less guilty.

I am beside myself. For the last two days I have been reading the paper on-line, a most unsatisfying experience. I want to be turning pages. This morning I could see the papers sitting on a tall drift next to the driveway. There are two bags, one I’m supposing is filled with the two days I missed. I can’t get to them. They might as well be on the moon.

Today is bright and sunny. It is even winter warm. The icicles on my house are dripping. I can hear them when I stand by the front door. A very, long thick one was hanging off my outside light. I tried to break it, but I couldn’t though I did manage to break off the thinner lower parts.

I was just in the kitchen getting coffee and toast. I love the smells of both. My bread is scali bread or, as I just found out, scala bread for a single loaf. It makes the best toast. My friends from New Jersey had never heard of scali bread. I looked it up and found out, “Scali bread is an Italian style of bread made predominantly in the Boston, Massachusetts area. It is a braided loaf that is covered in sesame seeds.” That hardly describes the taste of scali, and how when it is toasted, the bread turns a delightful brown and the butter melts lovingly into the bread. Definitions seldom do reality justice. Snow is precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice that falls from the clouds. How boring that sounds.

My doorbell just rang. Gracie barked, and I wondered who it could be. It was my neighbor, and she had my newspapers in hand. I am delighted. I am done here as I am itching to get my hands on those papers.

“I got hired by a newspaper to write a column on current events, so I wrote about Benjamin Franklin’s charting of the Gulf Stream.”

January 3, 2015

No new experiences can be had sitting in my den. I haven’t been outside for a few days except to get the mail and newspapers and fill the feeders. Last night I noticed two strings of lights on the deck rail were no longer lit so I went out and unwound them from the deck. It was cold, and I wondered why in the heck I was doing that. I didn’t have an answer but once I started I needed to finish. Now only half the rail is lit, and I’m wrestling with the half full, half empty concept.

We, Gracie and I, have to go out today. She is out of canned food, my trunk is filled with trash and I need to go to the pharmacy. It is an ugly day, cold and cloudy. Rain is expected tonight. It is a perfect day to hunker down, but that will have to come later.

I diligently read two papers every morning. When I write that here, I always get comments about reading on-line and why aren’t I. That’s easy to answer. I like the feel of the paper, the sound of the pages and all the small pieces of content. It takes me a while to read both papers. I skip over international news in the Cape Times as I had already read it in the Globe. I pick and choose what to read on the sports pages. I am first and foremost a baseball fan, but I have a while to wait before it resurfaces. I read football stories if they are about the Patriots. I am not such a football fan that anything else is of interest except I did read about Rex Ryan cleaning out his office even before he was fired on Black Monday. In college I seldom missed a home hockey game, but I don’t like hockey, never have. It was the pre-game festivities which drew me in college. I do like basketball, but I haven’t followed the Celts the way I used to.

The last thing I do in the Globe is the crossword puzzle. The last thing I do in the Times is the cryptogram. The puzzle gets finished. Sometimes the cryptogram doesn’t and that drives me crazy and frustrates the hell out of me. I tend to ball up the page and toss it. That makes me feel just a little bit better.

This morning I finished both of them.

“It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one’s fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit.”

December 16, 2014

Today is warm even without the sun. I woke up early, around 5:30. Though I tried to go back to sleep, I couldn’t so I came downstairs, brewed my coffee and checked out the TV news. I heard the thud of the papers hitting the driveway a little later and wandered outside still surprised at how warm a day it is.

This morning I have to bring goodies to the library’s Christmas open house and I have PT at 11. After that I get to decorate my tree. It is not as tall as usual but is beautiful and fresh. I ran my hand up and down the needles just for the pine smell. The tree is sitting in the middle of my living room all ready for the lights.

One snippet in the paper caught my attention. Yesterday the police arrested a drunk driver on the highway. He was also cited for an unsafe car. It seems he was riding on three tires and a rim. When asked about it, the driver said he hadn’t noticed.

Every Christmas Eve my mother and I were always the last to go to bed. We’d sit, have a drink and chat and exchange one present, one special present. One year my present to her was a replica of a framed picture which used to hang in the bathroom when I was young. It had a small boy wrapped in a blue towel and a poem with started, “Please remember, don’t forget never leave the bathroom wet nor leave the soap still in the water…” It was hung on the wall across from the toilet, and I used to read it every time I went to the bathroom, and it is permanently etch into my memory drawers. We saw it in a house in Ireland, and my mother tried to buy it but wasn’t successful. I found the replica on-line. She loved it.

“If you stand still outside you can hear it… Winter’s footsteps, the sound of falling leaves.”

October 27, 2013

If you looked up fall in the dictionary, they’d be a picture of today. The sun is shining, the sky is a pale blue and the breeze is brisk with a bit of a chill. Fall is in full burst. My front yard is filled with fallen leaves and pine needles. The grass doesn’t needed mowing any more. Yesterday my irrigation system was shut down for the season, and today I’ll clear the water from my back yard hoses. It’s time to close down the deck for the season though I’ll save a place to sit on a sunny day, my big wooden chair. I love fall, but I find it sad when fall begins to move toward winter.

Summer is always exuberant. It is warmth and colors and the sweet smell of flowers wafting through the air. Every morning I’d get the papers and then stop to look at my front garden. I’d lean against the car and marvel at the beauty of the flowers. I always noticed a few empty spots and would get excited at needing to buy new flowers. I can never have enough flowers. I’d finally pull myself away and go into the house, get my coffee and go outside on the deck. It takes me a long time to read the papers when I’m outside. I stop and watch the birds at the feeders and Gracie in the backyard. I listen to the singing. I raise my face to the sun and close my eyes. Summer fills me.

Fall always seems to have a faster pace than summer, and I think of October, nearing its end, as the bridge between fall and winter. Fall has a unique beauty when the leaves turn, and the trees are filled with color, muted color. My garden celebrates the season with fall flowers. The plants I put in last year were in full bloom this fall, and I was surprised as I had forgotten planting them. This year I added three more fall flowers, and they must have been happy to be planted as they bloomed a week or two later. Of all the seasons fall surprises me the most. The days are sometimes as warm as summer while the nights get downright cold. The sunlight slants in an odd direction. Darkness comes earlier and earlier.

My heat comes on in the mornings now. I can hear it as I’m waking up. The days seem to be warm enough to keep the furnace at bay, but I doubt that will last too much longer. Winter is coming.

“Football combines two of the worst things in American life. It is violence punctuated by committee meetings.”

January 7, 2013

A good afternoon to you all! It seems I slept away the morning. Because the clock in my bedroom doesn’t work, I had no idea the time when I finally got out of bed. Fern and Gracie were with me, and they stretched and greeted me before we went downstairs. I got a shock when I saw it was after eleven. My neighbors must have been thinking about calling the rescue squad as my newspapers were still in the driveway. My morning ritual doesn’t change despite the hour so I took my time and read the papers with my coffee and did the crosswords puzzles and the cryptogram before I opened my computer. The sun which greeted me when I finally crawled out of bed is gone now. I guess I missed most of it. Now the sky is filled with clouds which have darkened the day. I have to go out and fill the feeders so I hope it doesn’t rain.

My dance card for the week has dinner with a friend, a doctor’s appointment and breakfast with friends on Friday. I can’t remember the last time it was so filled. One event a week has been the average. I don’t ever count Sunday breakfast as that is a ritual as is Sunday game night with my friends when we do appies and dessert with games in between, mostly Phase 10 and Sorry. Who’d ever think that a game like Sorry would be the source for such language, blue language which hangs in the air over our heads. Sunday is the one day I try never to book anything else. Next Sunday will still be game day, but not our game day. Next Sunday is football and the Patriots.

I always think of my Dad when the Pats are in play-off games. He was an ardent fan who would be thrilled at the success of the Pats. His first allegiance, when I was a kid, had been to the NY Giants but that was before the AFL and the Boston Patriots. He quickly became a Pats fan, but they were the lowly Pats who appeared only once in a championship where they were trounced. My father, though, never gave up. He watched every game from his spot on the couch. I really mean his spot as no one else ever sat there. It was his seat. My dad would jump up and yell and curse at the TV when the Pats fumbled or the other team scored. Most of the time my mother and I sat in the kitchen playing games. My mother never liked sports of any kind so I’d keep her company but I’d periodically check on the game.

If my parents were still with us, I’d go up to their house next Sunday, and we’d all watch the game together, even my mother. She, however, had no inkling as to how the game of football is played. A couple of times she rooted for the other team. We never said anything. She was just trying to be good fan.