Posted tagged ‘pansies’

“What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?”

April 17, 2017

Yesterday was wonderful. The weather was so hot short sleeves were the order of the day. The restaurant was filled, and there was a line out the door, but our reservations got us seated as soon as we checked in at the desk. Looking out the bank of windows from our table, we could see only the ocean glinting in the sun and tiny whitecaps cresting atop the waves. My friend noted it was like being on a cruise.

The Easter Bunny was good to me. Besides the traditional candy, I got a new coffee mug which held pansies, a great t-shirt with Nevertheless, she persisted on it, spring and Easter hand towels, and a giant package of chocolate sea salt caramels. I admit that last night I ate two Reese’s peanut butter eggs. I could hear them calling my name from the kitchen.

Right now we have 70˚. It will get cooler starting tonight but today needs to be enjoyed. I can see myself sitting on the deck stretched out in the sun maybe reading my book but maybe just sitting with my eyes closed to take in all that warmth.

The Ten Commandments was on TV on the other night. It got me remembering when it was first shown. It was around Easter. It was a huge event. The whole family sat around the TV watching. That the movie was in black and white made no difference. We were thrilled and amazed to see such an epic movie on TV right there in our living room. My mother made popcorn.

Today we celebrate Patriot’s Day which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord, the start of the American Revolution. It is an official state holiday, and it is chock full of events. The reenactment of the battle was this morning starting at 5:30. The reenactors for both sides wear historically accurate clothes with the Red Coats in uniform and the minutemen in every day garb. When the guns are fired, smoke fills the air and it is 1775.

The Red Sox game began at 11 today. Right now my Sox are ahead 4-2, but it is still early innings.

Today is Boston Marathon day. The first wave of marathoners started the 121st running of the race at 8:50. Elite runners left at 9:30. The last wave left at 11:15. The winning woman just crossed the line on Boylston Street.

My day will be a quiet one satisfying my soul and spirit. I’m spending the afternoon on the deck. Maybe I’ll read or maybe I’ll just sit and soak in the warmth of the sun and with eyes closed listen to all the sounds around me: the swishing of leaves from the slight breeze, the spawns of Satan running on the thick branches and the songs of birds. I have hot dogs for lunch.

“The sky, a perfect empty canvas, offers clouds nonetheless. They shift and drift and beg interpretation… such is the nature of art.”

April 22, 2016

Warm today, it is actually long sleeve shirt weather, the first of the season. I can’t wait to get out. I have two errands then I get to enjoy the rest of the day. Notice I didn’t mention making my bed or doing anything domestic. They’re not on the list!

On the cat and medicine battle, Fern is letting me dose her twice a day, one rub and one liquid. Maddie is still running. She senses I am up to no good. I called the vet, and we’re going to try liquid with Maddie. I suspect she’ll still take off on me. She’s a feisty cat that one.

The ten year old me had dreams and hopes. They mostly centered around seeing the world. I wanted to hurry and get old enough to bag my bags, pick a spot, jump on a plane and go. I’d stand on the roof lookout at Logan airport, the old airport, and watch the planes leaving and I’d be wishing I was on one. The logistics of travel never occurred to me. I didn’t give money a thought. I was dreaming and my dreams were never sensible or logical. I saw myself traipsing through the world having adventures. When you’re ten, anything is possible.

I don’t know why I never noticed different flowers when I was young. I did notice dandelions and thought them flowers. Most of the front yards on my street had pansies and marigolds. I like pansies but marigolds not so much. Our neighbors all wanted the best lawns so flowers weren’t all that important. My dad planted pansies in the front garden, a very small garden because of the bushes. I used to look at the flowers and try to figure out who the faces of the pansies resembled. I think a lot of them were Winston Churchill.

I used to lie on the grass and watch the clouds. I remember the grass felt cool and soft. The clouds mostly looked like animals. The only exception was I often saw a witch. It was her hat that gave her away. I’d watch until the clouds moved and the animals disappeared into a single cloud, one with no shape or personality.

I always saw the man in the moon, and for me he was always smiling. Even now I check to make sure he’s still there. I’m never disappointed. He is always there and he always still smiles.

“A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.”

May 5, 2015

The morning is warm but cloudy. Rain is a possibility, but I won’t mind because we haven’t had much rain lately. A while back we had days of rain then it stopped, plugged by an unseen hand. Gracie and I have a couple of errands later including our first stop at the garden center. I have a list of flowers I hope to add to the front garden, and I know what herbs and veggies I want.

When I was a kid, I never thought flowers would become important to me. My father and his pansies were all I knew. Few of the yards around us had gardens either because my neighborhood was filled with lawn people. A green, lush, beautiful lawn was a status symbol. It had to be mowed just right and frequently watered. On hot days we’d run through the sprinkler which sort of annoyed my dad. It wasn’t good for his lawn to have us tamp it down as we ran. The neighbor behind us was a radical lawn lady. Even though we shared a hill, she never wanted us walking on the grass. She’d yell from her kitchen window if we dared pass the line of demarcation between her part of the hill and ours. It wasn’t a real line, but it was the visual boundary between her yard and ours, between a lush lawn and just grass. My father didn’t care about that hill. It was his front lawn which he tended lovingly.

When my parents came to visit, my dad brought all his lawn tools including his mower. My mother and I would go shopping, and my dad would tend my yard. He’d mow and rake the grass then trim the bushes. He’d even venture into my wild backyard and mow the tall grass, reminiscent more of a field than a lawn. I think my neighbors were probably cheering as I never mowed until I figured the grass was high enough to make it worth my while. When my mother and I would get home, my dad would give us the grand tour of all he’d done. The difference was amazing. He always made my front yard looked cared for and loved. That was his gift to me, one he enjoyed giving. I loved him even more for it.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

April 21, 2013

Last night was cold, and today is chilly though the sun is warm. I envy Fern who is sprawled on the mat by the front door in the sun. Her fur is hot to the touch. Cats know how to live.

My tulips have bloomed. Their bright red is eye-catching. The hyacinths are pink and white and purple and are in the front garden where everyone can see them. My neighbor called and thanked me. She said she looks out her front window often to see how beautiful the colors in the garden are.

I only remember pansies from when I was a kid. They were the only flowers my father planted in the small garden near the front door. I loved their faces. To me they had eyes and mouths and different expressions and they all looked like they were wearing bonnets. I expected them to break out in song. Their voices I figured would be high like the voices in the old cartoons. They’d sing and bob their heads in unison.

When we were really little, my dad would lie on the floor and raise his legs just a bit. We’d get on his feet, stomach first. He’d then raise his legs all the way and up we’d go as high as his legs would take us. He’d hold our hands and spin us using his feet.  We’d laugh the whole time. The worse part was we had to take turns. Even this ride had a line.

I loved it when the whole family would jump into the car for a Sunday ride. My dad would pick back roads, and we’d see farms and cows and sometimes horses. My brother and I each had a window. On warm days I’d open the window, and stick out my hand so the wind could blow it.

When I was growing up, my parents did all sorts of stuff with us. I doubt they knew how important all of it would become, how it would become part of who we are now. They gave us a love for museums, the fun of taking a ride with no destination, and the best of all, playing games together at the kitchen table. Tonight my friends and I will play Phase 10 and Sorry, a game I’ve been playing since I was six.

“I want to write a book about shoes that’s full of footnotes.”

March 15, 2013

This morning is winter. When I left for breakfast at 9 o’clock, it was 27˚. I saw people wearing winter coats, hats and gloves while walking their dogs, also sporting coats. While I was eating, the temperature rose to 32˚, but that cold didn’t stop me from being hopeful. I still believe that spring is taking hold. The front garden is filled with blooming crocus, and the birds are singing and greeting the morning. The sound is joyful.

The other day I bought a small pot of pansies for the kitchen. The flowers are yellow, my favorite color this time of year, the color of the sun. The daffodils I bought have finally bloomed and they too are a bright yellow. The sun is shining today, and the sky is blue. I am content despite the cold.

Today I have a few errands so I’ll go out in the afternoon. I’m sure Gracie will be glad for the ride. I try to take her all the time now because when summer comes, Gracie stays home except when we go to the dump where I can keep the car and the air conditioning running between stops. The heat is otherwise too much for Miss Gracie.

When I was a kid, I had three pairs of shoes: well, two pairs of shoes and a pair of sneakers. One pair of shoes was for school every day and church on Sunday. The other pair was for playing. That pair started out as school shoes then got worn and eventually demoted to play shoes. I wore those mostly in the winter or on cold days. In the summer I always wore sneakers. Nobody wore sandals back then except little kids. My sisters had white sandals with straps. My sneakers were red or blue when I was little. When I was older, they were white. We all wore white sneakers, mostly Keds, which narrowed at the toes. We kept them as white as possible. Sometimes we even used white shoe polish to cover marks. That had its disadvantages as the polish would seep to our socks and through to our feet, but that didn’t matter. White sneakers were a point of pride.

For my eighth grade trip, my mother bought me new clothes: a pair of sneakers, a blouse and clam diggers. I don’t know if that was a purely regional name. They were also called pedal pushers, and they looked a lot like Capri pants, the Mary Tyler Moore type, but to us they were clam diggers. It was the perfect name. Not many clothes boast a name which fits their function. If you wore those pants while clamming, they’d stay dry and out of the mud. We never did, but we could have.

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