Posted tagged ‘parking lot’

“You’re traveling all over the world but to be home is something special.”

August 5, 2017

The air is damp yet again and makes me feel closed in, hemmed in by the humidity. Rain is predicted for late this afternoon but the gray sky doesn’t look like a rain sky. It looks as it has in days, just gray.

Our Saturday movie night is going to be Sunday movie night because of the weather, the possibility of rain tonight. I have three new movies from which to choose: a new, unbroken Four Feathers, To Kill a Mockingbird and An American Werewolf in London. I’m leaning toward the last one. It has humor and a werewolf, an unbeatable combination.

I had to go around the parking lot three times yesterday before I found a space. It was almost right in front of the store. I gave thanks to the God of parking. I was in and out quickly, but now I find I need to go back. I didn’t read all of the recipe. I missed the sauce and its two ingredients. I figure to wait for the afternoon or for the rain.

I have a project. On the bottom shelf of my large metal table are three baskets. I keep putting stuff in them but take nothing out. They are mini closets, catch-alls for stuff I don’t know where else to put. My mother always had a junk drawer in the kitchen. My baskets are my junk drawers. I’m going to use a large trash bag for debris when I go through each basket. I’m hoping to find some surprises.

When I got home from Ghana and was hoping to find a teaching job, it never occurred to me to find a job which required international travel. I don’t know why unless it was just needing to get used to home again as I wasn’t happy here for a long time. I missed Ghana, the friendliness of the Ghanaians, the fun of market day, fresh fruit at lunch, the spectacular night sky, the wonderful smell of wood burning and so much more. It took me a while to notice the best parts of home.

Newspapers are making a comeback. The Washington Post and The New York Times, among others, are booming. Last November The Times signed up 130,000 new subscribers. I remember when I was a kid there were morning and evening papers, even special editions when something happened. I also remember getting ink all over my fingertips when I read the paper. I was mostly interested in the comics. My dad read the whole paper while he was having coffee. He got the Globe when he was a democrat and switched to the Herald when he became a republican. I get the Globe and the Cape Times. As did my father, I read the whole paper, each paper except I skip the international news in the Times having already read it in the Globe. I have a cup of coffee with each paper. I am my father’s daughter.

“A knife wound heals, but a tongue wound festers.”

March 24, 2015

No weather report today. Day after day is always the same. It’s depressing. The only bright spots are the large numbers of green shoots in my front garden. They give me a bit of hope.

When I was a kid, we lived in what we called the project. The houses were all duplexes, one side the mirror image of the other. Living there was only open to veterans and their families. Kids were everywhere. We first lived around the small rotary which the last of the duplexes circled. Below those duplexes was the field surrounded by woods. A long fence in the backyards separated our houses from the privately owned houses behind us. I used to climb the gate by the parking lot as it was a shortcut to my aunt’s house. I never once, in all the year’s we lived there, see the gate opened. No car ever used it. No car ever really used the parking lot either. Most cars were in front of the houses. My dad always parked his on the side road as our house was on a corner with the hill on one side.

Most times nothing much happened in the project. In the summer you could, now and then, hear people yelling at each other through the opened windows. We always listened. At supper time, mothers yelled out the doors for their kids. Once there was a fight between two men who were neighbors. I remember one man was a photographer who took pictures for the local newspaper. I don’t remember who the other man was. I do know the fight started because the wife of the photographer was German. He had met her while he was in the service on duty in Germany. This was in the mid 1950’s, and most of the men in the neighborhood had served in World War II. The guy I don’t remember called the wife a Nazi and a few more choice names and then the fight started. They rolled and wrestled on the grassy hill, and I remember the photographer’s sweater vest was pulled over his head so he couldn’t see to defend himself. Everybody was out watching. I don’t remember how the fight was ended. I figure neighbors must have grabbed the fighters and separated them as I would have remembered the police coming.

That fight was the talk of the neighborhood for the longest time. The men never spoke to each other again. The photographer and his wife and son eventually moved. That is the only time in my life I have seen adults physically attacking one another. Burned in my memory is the image of the two men rolling down the hill trying to punch one another. I remember the sweater vest had the argyle pattern popular in the 50’s. The son of the photographer wore glasses.

It is strange what our memories hold on to and what is lost over time.

“I call this season fake weather. The sun is shining but it cold like the north pole outside.”

February 6, 2015

Winter has us and is holding on far too tightly. Last night was way, way below freezing, a negative temperature with the wind chill. Today is not much better. The walk to the driveway and the mailbox is treacherous, icy and uneven. I take mincing steps. Cars driving on the street make crunching sounds on the icy road. Nothing is melting. More snow is coming starting on Sunday. I am numb from the onslaught.

I bought a pot of flowers yesterday, yellow dafs. They were beside the register and the color caught my eye. I so need more than white. I am so tired of snow. Today I think I’ll wear bright red.

My elementary school yard was mostly a parking lot for Sunday mass. There were two baskets only the boys could use and a green bicycle rack under the trees. In spring that’s where I parked my bike. During recess little kids chased each other and played tag while the girls jumped rope or just stood in groups talking. I was never a rope jumper.

We were directed by bells, hand-held gold bells with wooden handles. A bell would ring every hour, and we’d change subjects. Lunch began and ended with a bell. We’d hear the first bell, pull out our lunch boxes, get milk from the case in the front of the room and then sit down to eat and talk but only from our desks. A bit later another bell would ring and we’d go outside for recess, the only real break in our school day. We went out every day except when it was raining.

The older I got the less I liked recess. It was mostly boring and in winter it was really cold, never a consideration for calling off recess. My friends and I would stand there longing for the bell to call us back into the building. We didn’t care it meant back to work. We just knew it meant being warm again.

“How strange it is to view a town you grew up in, not in wonderment through the eyes of youth, but with the eyes of a historian on the way things were.”

August 24, 2013

The morning is delightfully chilly. The sun, though, is warm and has drawn Fern and the dog to the mat by the front door. The deck is in shadows so I stayed inside to read the papers. My lawn got cut this morning. The noise scares Fern so she sits on the floor between my feet until the lawn is done. The deck cleaning is after the lawn and that noise is right by the window in here so Fern runs for cover. Now that everything is quiet she’s asleep in the warmth of the morning sun.

My mother did her grocery shopping on Friday evenings. She didn’t learn to drive until she was in her late 30’s so she had to be driven to the store by my dad. The weekend was always errand and chore time for my dad. Taking my mother was first on his list. We always liked   their going grocery shopping because cookies and treats were back in the house. Though they never lasted long, it was still nice having them for a while. Oreos were a staple, no fancy double stuffed or orange at Halloween, just your regular Oreos. My sisters were famous for eating just the middles and feeding the rest to Duke, our dog, a Boxer of course. He knew to stay close to my two sisters.

Saturdays my dad went uptown in the mornings to drop off his shirts at the Chinaman and to get a trim at the barber shop. It was a small shop with either two or three chairs. I can’t remember which. After an Italian deli opened up, my dad would stop there to buy cold cuts. The place was called Angelos.

I swear my dad knew at least half the town. He had lived there since high school, was an usher at church and was also a member of the Red Men; he was even Sachem once. It was an all male club which had meetings and did some charitable stuff but mostly I think it was a place for guys to get together and have a few drinks. The Red Men building was a nondescript gray square with only a door in the front. It was on a side street and had an unpaved parking lot beside it. You had to know what it was because the front gave no inkling. The downstairs was for drinking while the upstairs was for rent, and I remember going there many times. We even had my aunt the nun’s anniversary there. I think it was her 50th.

The Red Men building was razed as were several others including the Chinaman’s laundry when that part of uptown became the victim of beautification. The town built a park and a parking lot where those buildings used to stand. I was sorry to see them go. The ones on the Main Street were not the prettiest, and they needed some tender care, but they were old and had been a part of the town for decades. A bit of local color disappeared for the sake of beautification. I figure that’s the definition of irony.