Posted tagged ‘packing’

“I like bread, and I like butter – but I like bread with butter best.”

September 15, 2016

It is sunny and cool, only 68˚. The breeze makes it feel even colder so I have shut a couple of windows. Last night was just fine for sleeping.

5 days and counting!

Yesterday I made a day by day list of what I need to do before I leave on Tuesday. Mostly it is filled with errands like going to Agway for pet food, Stop and Shop for trip treats, the bank for money and the store which sells bus tickets. Packing is on Monday, the day before I leave. I roll my clothes and have since my packpacking days. They don’t wrinkle as easily.

My mother always brought treats on our trips to Europe. She’d have cookies and candy for the car rides and nighttime snacking. I follow in her footsteps and will bring Oreos, candy which won’t melt and peanut butter crackers. Ghana is short on snacks. We used to buy Cadbury chocolate bars. My favorite was fruit and nut. The Ghanaian bars were made by Chocolate Tree. They were dark and not all that sweet. The taste took a while to get used to. I brought home one of the wrappings. The back has black stars and celebrates the Second Republic 1969. Chocolate Tree still sells bars. The wrappings have Kente patterns on them. The chocolate taste still takes a bit of getting used to.

Nothing is better than fresh bread from the oven. The bakery in the town where I grew up baked bread, and the aroma was so tantalizing we all beat a path to the bakery door to buy it. I’d take a hunk of bread and eat it on the way home. I always thought it tasted best when still warm and slathered with butter .

Once in a while I have toast in the morning. Sometimes I have it with jelly or marmalade. My favorite is clementine marmalade which I have to buy on-line. It isn’t all that sweet, mostly fruity. I seldom buy white bread. Lately it has been honeyed wheat as I have started a love affair with honey which I never liked until recently unless you count Bit-O-Honey. I have even bought honeycomb and eaten it on an English muffin. I add honey to goat cheese as a snack on crackers. Mostly I buy local honey just because it is local.

Well, I have two chores or errands to cross off today so I bets get moving.

 

“Only he that has traveled the road knows where the holes are deep”

October 19, 2012

When I woke up, I looked out my bedroom window and saw a grey day and the possibility of rain. The breeze was strong enough to sway branches. I let Gracie out and followed her onto the deck. I was surprised by how warm it was.

Today I am going to New Hampshire for the weekend. Last night I wrote out my list of what I need. Because Gracie is coming with me, I also did a dog list. It is longer than mine. I don’t know if I’ll be able to post this weekend, but I am bringing my trusty Mac in hopes that I can. Please check!

When I came downstairs this morning, I noticed a plant had fallen off the windowsill. Pieces of pottery, both chunks and shards, and dirt were strewn in the hall and about the tile floor. It must have made a lot of noise when it fell. I heard nothing. I slept right through it. I also think Gracie slept through it. I’d like to think her ears are discriminatory, and she knew there was no danger. After all, she does bark at the UPS man. Of course, on a day when I have stuff to finish before I hit the road, a plant must fall though fall is too gentle to describe the event. The pot must smash. The dirt must be strewn about, wet dirt as the plants got watered yesterday, dirt which settles in the grooves of the tile floor necessitating an on my hands and knees cleaning, all before my first cup of coffee. I was reminded of the number one travel adage: nothing goes as planned.

I have my directions and a pretty good idea of where I’m going to a certain point. My sister heard the directions and reminded me the route is near the mall. That’s all I needed. Travel adage number two: roads are identified by their stores, not their numbers.

This is Gracie’s first overnight. I’d like to think I’ve covered all the contingencies: bells for the door so I know when she wants out, plenty of food, her halter so no slipping out of the collar and treats galore. I just hope travel adage number three never happens: expect the unexpected!

“When you are at home, your troubles can never defeat you.”

August 24, 2012

The morning is already warm, and I’m about to turn on the AC. It’s been a noisy morning as there have been a couple of barkfests with at least four dogs joining in, including Gracie. It has also been a pain in the butt sort of morning. When I poured milk into my coffee, it was bad, not smelly, but floating on the top of the cup bad. I grabbed Gracie and went to Dunkin’ Donuts. The drive-up window line was so long I couldn’t see the little voice box for ordering. I couldn’t get out to order as I didn’t get dressed deciding to hide in the car so I was stuck in the long line. Finally I got my two cups of coffee, sighed in relief and went home to my usual coffee and the papers.

One day, only one day until my trip. I am so excited to be going back. Last year I was both excited and a bit apprehensive given the 40 years between visits, but the trip turned out so well that this time I’m just excited to go back. I know I talk about Ghana a lot, maybe too much sometimes, but it is such an important part of who I am, who I became, that every time Ghana comes to mind my heart swells and fills with memories of friends, of shared experiences, of love for another country and for the beautiful Ghanaians, their smiles and their greetings. I know there were downsides, but they were tolerable once I made up my mind that this was home. It was like living in New England and complaining about the cold and the snow.

I’m going to be meeting the current volunteers. We’ll enjoy dinner together. One of them told me they want to hear all about the old days. Now there are 13 volunteers just around the Bolga area. That amazes as there were only 9 of us in the entire Upper Region, now two regions: the Upper East and the Upper West. The region in my day was primitive with very few schools. Even Ghanaians didn’t want to teach in the Upper Region because of the climate. We didn’t know any better so we loved living there far away from Accra, far away from Peace Corps. We thought it ideal.

I have a single errand left for today then I’m going to start packing. The sports bag I bought last year to haul home the Bolga baskets is coming as are the school supplies for one of the primary schools. My bag should weigh in the hundreds as those crayons are darn heavy. My house/pet sitter is coming this afternoon to find out what she needs to do. Her son is coming with her to translate as she speaks only Portuguese and I don’t.

One day left!