Posted tagged ‘paddle ball’

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

March 5, 2018

I am reminded of the scene in War Games when it appeared as if ballistic missiles had destroyed bases in the US. Using the radio, the general asked the radio operator at one base if anyone was there: if anyone was left alive. There was silence then a voice, “We’re still here. We’re still here.” Well, I’m still here too. I have no idea if the powers that be have commuted my death sentence. I think so, but I could be off by a day or two.

My morning was a busy one. I was out early to finish two errands. I was thinking about  rewarding my efforts with coffee and a donut, a Boston cream donut, from Dunkin’, but I decided to go home, put the coffee on and get comfortable.

The weather is still ugly. The day is chilly and raw. We have clouds and wind gusts. Some people are still without electricity. Another nor’easter is coming this week but will be far less destructive as the moon is no longer full. We could get rain or even snow.

I used to love to play jacks. Every Christmas in my stocking and most Easters in my basket I’d get a new set of jacks. I’d sit on the floor and toss the ball then hurry to pick up the jacks, starting with onesies. For some reason all the numbers were like that. After onesies came twosies then threesies then on and on. The throw was always the key. Another small favorite toy was the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached by an elastic. At first I’d be totally frustrated. I’d hit the ball, and it would fly back and hit me in the face or some other part of my body. Sometimes I’d get so frustrated I’d even throw the paddle but then I’d always pick it up and try again and eventually I’d coordinate my eye and hand. My mother sent me one of those when I was in the Peace Corps. My friends and I would stand in the back of one of our houses and have contests. We got really good and paddled into the hundred’s. It was, until the elastic broke, one of our favorite diversions. We didn’t need much to keep us occupied.

In Ghana, the day started early and ended early. It was in the evening that my friends and I would get together. We always ate supper together. The table and chairs were brought outside during the dry season. When it got dark, we’d go inside. We played word games and listened to music. Once in a while they’d be a movie in town at the Hotel d’Bull. It was usually really old or Indian, but we didn’t care. It was a grand night on the town.

I never got bored in Ghana. What I didn’t have didn’t matter. Living there was more than enough.

“I lied on my Weight Watchers list. I put down that I had 3 eggs… but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs. “

March 27, 2015

Home again, home again jiggety-jig! My connection problems are a thing of the past. Happy, happy!

The weather is getting colder. I was lulled into a false sense of spring when we actually reached 50˚ on Wednesday, but Mother Nature is now cackling and rubbing her hands in glee at having duped me. They, as in weathermen, are saying possible snow showers on Saturday so spring is still in the wings.

It is raining again today, and the dampness chills the bones. Francisca and I, however, are intrepid souls, and are going out when I finish here to a few shops and to the Zion Union Heritage Museum.

I give my two friends an Easter basket and have already bought trinkets for them and am hoping for a couple of more when I shop today. Some are useful while others are just whimsical. The candy I’ll buy next week. I think I’d be too tempted to eat it if it were already around the house. We, as kids, always had inexpensive chocolate. We didn’t care. Candy was candy. Now, I buy it all at the candy store.

Our Easter baskets were the best. There was candy: a chocolate rabbit which was a tradition and a necessity, jelly beans which always tasted the same no matter the color, big, hard colored beans with white in the middle and the filler candy like a little rabbit or a chocolate egg. Small toys were also in the basket. I remember yo-yos, paddle balls, a box of crayons, an Easter coloring book, a stuffed animal, usually a small rabbit, and even a pail and shovel. The grass which covered the bottom was always plastic and the rabbit with missing eaten ears used to stick to the grass. The adult me thinks it sort of gross, but the kid me didn’t care and just pulled the grass off rabbit.

Easter will come as it must, but it will not be in spring unless all of the vestiges of winter disappear.

“The best mirror is an old friend.”

October 19, 2014

Today is cloudy and chilly. Gracie and I are heading to the dump later. Right now she is having her morning nap and snoring up a storm. Fern is napping beside her on the couch rolled in a ball. Tonight is predicted to be as low as 35˚, sounds like turn on the heat and bundle under the comforter weather to me.

One small item caught my eye in the paper this morning. It seems a teacher from Maine has been put on a 21 day paid leave so she can voluntarily quarantine herself. This was done at the request of some of the school’s parents. It seems the teacher went to a conference in Dallas. The closest she got to the hospital with ebola cases was 10 miles.

My friends are coming tomorrow so Coffee is going on hiatus from today until Thursday. They are friends from my Peace Corps days, and I met them during staging, the first time we were all together, in Philadelphia. They were supposed to be posted 100 miles from me, making them my neighbors, but Peg was pregnant and Peace Corps wanted them close to Accra and the office. I always stopped to visit them on my way home from Accra. They were on the second floor of a house with no water. It was a run to the outhouses in the backyard. I was impressed when Bill used to carry his own water in buckets. During our second year, they transferred to my school and we each lived on one side of a duplex. We had motorcycles and made lots of trips together around Bolga. When we did, I carried Peg on mine and Bill carried Kevin, their son, on his. We had supper together every night and most nights played word or card games and had an ongoing paddle ball championship until the elastic on the red ball broke. We could each paddle well into the hundreds when that happened. We were ready if it ever became an Olympic sport.

We share a love for Ghana and for each other. The memories of our time together are sweet.