Posted tagged ‘nights’

“Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o’clock is a scoundrel.”

January 29, 2019

Winter is supposed to be cold, but I think we’re on overload. Single digits are predicted for tomorrow night and on Thursday night it will be 11˚. Today is 37˚, and it actually feels warm.

Today is a lazy day. I slept until close to eleven. I took my time reading the papers and had a couple of cups of coffee. The kitchen smelled wonderful between the grinding of the beans and the brewing of the coffee. I am watching television as I write. I admit that I actually stopped watching two science fiction novels on tubi, something I almost never do. One was about the San Andreas fault and the big quake and the total destruction of LA, and the other was about a glacier from Iceland heading toward North America and causing a new Ice Age, but I just found what may be the worst one of all. It is called Star Leaf. The description says, “Three friends fight to stay alive after finding extra-terrestrial marijuana deep in the woods and accidentally provoking the alien forces guarding it.”

Last night I went to get my mail around 11:30. The street was dark except for my outside light. No cars went down the street and no dogs barked. I could have been the main character in a science fiction movie about the world after a cataclysmic event left few survivors.

When I was in high school, I used to walk home at night after evening events. I remember the silence. I remember the circle of light under each street lamp. I could hear my footsteps.

In Ghana, in Accra, the capital, I used to walk back to the Peace Corps hostel at night. I could have taken a taxi, but I liked the walk. I remember men sitting outside on wooden chairs talking in hushed tones. They seemed always to be smoking. We greeted each other as I passed.

I love to sit outside on summer nights. I watch fireflies flit through the trees. From the small pond at the end of the street, I can hear the croaking of frogs. The Katydids add to the chorus. Summer nights are the most glorious of all, nights so filled with life.

“I like it where it gets dark at night, and if you want noise, you have to make it yourself.”

February 27, 2016

My stomach is still upset. Every morning our ritual is the same. I wake up first, Gracie is next and Fern last. We all stretch then get out of bed. Fern, Gracie and I head downstairs. Maddie comes out of her room and is last down the stairs. I open Gracie’s door then get my papers. Gracie gets a treat while Fern and Maddie settle on their spots for morning naps. Gracie is the last to settle in. This morning I noticed no Maddie. I called her, made that weird sound with my lips which cats seem to like but still no Maddie. I started reading the paper but was a bit preoccupied wondering where Maddie was. I drank my coffee and called Maddie a few more times. I went upstairs and checked her room, no Maddie on the bed. I was really worried. I checked outside just in case, no sign of her. I opened closets and looked under beds. I even stuck my head into the eaves and called her again and again. I went and walked around the yard not expecting to see her but just in case. I was frantic thinking something had happened to her. I put a can of food in the cats’ dish, came downstairs and checked the front yard. I had no idea what to do next. All of a sudden Maddie jumped on the den table. I have no idea where she could have been. Cats are notorious for hiding. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to throttle her.

We always had a dog when I was a kid. My father didn’t like cats though he never gave a reason. Their being cats was enough. I brought home a kitten my junior year in high school. My dad was working in Maine and came home only for weekends. He told me to get rid of the cat before he got home. I didn’t. He wanted to see it so I gave the kitten to him. It snuggled in his arms. The cat stayed and became the first of many cats. My father told other people the cat was my mother’s and he was not a fan. I always figured he thought dogs were masculine and cats feminine, but when no one was around, he patted them, scratched their heads and let them sleep beside him on the couch. He really was a fan.

My street is loaded with kids and dogs. There are nine kids under ten living in three houses and nine dogs in eight houses. The kids are noisy. Every morning they play on the street and ride those new Big Wheels. They do this around 8 o’clock giving them playtime before the school bus comes. Four of the dogs are barkers, including Gracie. After school the kids are back on the street. They yell a lot.

I know kids make noise. It’s build into their genomes. They grow out of it, but it takes a long time. I’m going to have to be a bit more patient.

I love the nights. The quiet is soothing. I think that’s probably why I have become a night owl. The kids are in bed, and it’s my time to own the street.

“Smells, I think, may be the last thing on earth to die.”

September 2, 2014

Today is unpleasant, another hot and humid day in the 80’s. Gracie and I went to the dump this morning. It was packed, and I had to wait in line to dump my trash. A bit later I drove my friends to the bus stop as they are going to stay in Boston tonight then leave for Hawaii in the morning. That’s it for the day. There is nothing more on my dance card. When I finish here, I am going to change into my comfy clothes and be a sloth for the rest of the day and luxuriate in my cool house. I see a nap in my future.

Gracie went out around 12:30 last night before we went upstairs to bed. While she was out, I went on the deck for a bit. The songs of crickets filled the night air. I stood there for a long while and listened. Their songs took me back to the summer nights my friend and I would sleep in the backyard and pretend we were camping in the woods. Those nights too were so filled with song it was easy to believe there were no houses or people. We were alone under the night sky with crickets for company. We were never afraid. We were amazed.

My lawn got mowed the other day, and the air was filled with the sweet smell of cut grass. Someone in the neighborhood was grilling yesterday, and I could smell their chicken cooking. I always put four flowers on the table for movie night because I have a vase with four holes. Last Saturday it was white roses, and the first thing my friend did was pick up the vase to smell the flowers. My kitchen smelled like popcorn. I ran my hand up the lavender in the deck box and my hand smelled like lavender. My friend couldn’t decide what was in the deck box behind him so he grabbed a few leaves, rubbed them between his fingers and smelled them. He knew they were oregano.

Smells are sometimes so unique and trigger the most amazing memories. Wood charcoal burning is Ghana. Fir trees no matter when are Christmas. Turkey is always Thanksgiving. I swear I can smell snow coming before the storm starts. Sugar cookies baking are Christmas. They remind me of my mother. The aroma is a favorite smell for everything it brings to mind and to heart.