Posted tagged ‘no coffee’

“cozy+smell of pancakes-alarm clock=weekend”

August 29, 2016

This morning I was forced to go to Dunkin’ Donuts. I had no coffee and no cream so Gracie and I jumped into the car and drove off for my morning elixir. When we got there, the outside line was long, but I had no choice. I hadn’t bothered to get dressed or even brush my teeth. Gracie didn’t mind the wait. She just poked her head out the window and took in the neighborhood and its smells. I listened to the radio. The line went faster than I thought it would. I was happy.

Today is already hot and humid so I am back in my fortress having shut the windows and doors and turned on the air conditioning. There are clouds but they do nothing except to obscure the sun. Rain is not in the forecast for the next couple of days. The weekend, though, will be lovely with daytime temperatures in the low 70’s and nights in the mid 60’s.  It is the Labor Day weekend, the traditional last hurrah of the summer.

My sister started work today. She is a pre-school teacher in Colorado. When I spoke to her last night, she was going to take a shower so she could get to bed early. I remember my mother sending us to bed early and reminding us we had school the next day. I also remember moaning and groaning and dragging my feet upstairs.

When I was a kid, I never kept track of the weekdays. I only knew when it was Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday my father was home. He did errands uptown and mowed the lawn. On Saturday nights he often barbecued. Sometimes we went to the beach all day Saturday or the drive-in on Saturday nights. Sunday had the only consistently distinguishing event, going to mass which also meant a change in wardrobe from shorts and a sleeveless shirt to a dress or a skirt and a blouse. After mass, the day was back to casual. We didn’t have Sunday dinners during the summer. It was more of a catch as catch can. Mostly it was sandwiches.

I think my favorite weekends were in Ghana, especially the Sundays. There was a service in the dining hall where the furniture had been reconfigured to look more like the inside of a church. The students wore their Sunday clothes. Each of the four classes had a different fabric for their traditional three piece dresses, their Sunday best. They wore a top, a skirt to their ankles and a cloth wrapped around at the waist. After the service, the older students could go to town. Visitors were allowed. A photographer wandered around taking pictures, always in black and white. I have a few of the pictures given to me as gifts. When I went to town, I could see the students walking in groups and stopping at kiosks to buy personal items like powder. Others went to the market to load up on snacks to keep in their school trunks, especially gari, made from cassava and easily stored.

Being retired, my days tend to run together. I sometimes have to check the paper to see what day of the week it is. My chores and errands aren’t confined to a single day. I don’t ever have to go to bed early.

” I don’t want to sound pretentious, but I love art, I like to go to museums, and I like to read books.”

March 12, 2013

The morning started poorly. First was a call at 8:15 which woke me up. I didn’t answer, and the party didn’t leave a message. No self-respecting person calls before nine. Ann Landers would have been horrified. Luckily, I fell back to sleep, woke up close to ten, leapt out of bed, washed face, brushed teeth, got dressed and left, before morning coffee, to a fasting blood test. I mumbled and groused the whole way. Afterwards, I got coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts and treated myself to a lemon donut then came home and read the papers. That brings us to now.

What about the weather you ask? Well, let’s see. It’s damp and, of course, it’s cloudy. Outside my window is grim: dead leaves, brown and grey branches and the clouds, always the clouds. I am going to change into my cozies and stay home the rest of the day. I have no ambition and I don’t care.

I am a member of the Museum of Fine Arts. I seldom go, but I like supporting the museum. It is my parents I can thank for giving me and my sisters and brother a love for museums. I remember going to the Peabody Museum at Harvard and seeing the outrigger hanging from the ceiling. I also remember the ape heads in jars. They were my favorites. Kids like gross stuff. The Museum of Fine Arts had the sarcophagi, and I loved that room. The Mummy had always been a favorite movie, and I imagined Imhotep having been buried alive in one of the sarcophagus on display at that museum. How neat it would have been to see him dragging his wrappings as he moved through the museum’s rooms.

On my first weekend in Accra during training, I went to the National Museum and dragged a couple of friends with me. They balked a bit, but I convinced them that a museum is always the best first stop, the place to learn more about a country’s culture and its past, but at that museum I was amazed to see so much of the present displayed as artifacts of the past. The exhibits of regalia and traditional cloth were historical, but they were also contemporary. You could still see the same cloth being worn, especially the kente and adrinka, mostly by men all around Ghana, a country of traditions.

I  have a fun memory of a museum we, my sister, my parents and I, went to in Belgium, in Waterloo. We paid our money and went inside the worst museum any of us had ever seen. The roof leaked, and there were puddles of water along the floor and in front of the exhibits, but I use the term exhibits loosely. There were half-dressed mannequins, poorly done drawings of battles and imitation drums and swords. All we could do was laugh. We had been bilked. Luckily, though, we later found the real museum. I remember being horrified by the tools the surgeons used and I remember Wellington’s bed. I was surprised he was so short. I expected him to be much taller, maybe even a giant.