Posted tagged ‘perfect day’

“Quiet diplomacy is far more effective than public posturing.”

August 18, 2017

Yesterday was a perfect day. The weather was warm but breezy enough to keep the heat at bay, the sun shined all day and we even found a table by the water at lunch. My sisters arrived with cake and presents. We went to lunch at one of my favorite places. As a surprise my sisters had invited my friends, and I was definitely surprised. My lobster roll was filled with huge chunks of lobster and the fries and onion rings were perfect. Just ask the gulls who snapped up the French fries we threw on the rocks. After lunch we came back to my house for cake and ice cream and presents. My sisters had chosen the best cake, mocha, and my favorite ice cream, coconut. After that, I opened my presents and was overwhelmed by the generosity of my sisters and my friends. We then sat on the deck a while chatting and laughing. I can’t imagine a better day, a better birthday.

Today is cloudy and a bit humid. The breeze is blowing the top branches of the oak trees. Rain is predicted for later. I do have to go out but not far and off the main roads. The bird feeders need to be filled again, and the fountain is empty of water. Gracie drinks much of the water away. The fountain is the perfect height for her. I fill it, she drinks it and we do this several times a day. She has a water dish on the deck but she ignores it. Dogs aren’t logical.

Quiet seems to be the order of the day after the excitement of yesterday. I don’t hear a sound: not a kid, not a car and not even a bird. I had Alexa play sixties rock, but I kept singing with the music instead of writing so I turned on the TV to MSMBC. It is still reacting to Trump’s latest diatribe so I turned that off. Instead, I watched the Food Channel with Giada who was making a Peruvian chicken dish and showing pictures of her trip to Peru. I suppose I could just turn off the TV, but I’m not in the mood for quiet, for silence. I have stuff I could do, but I don’t want to do them. I’m just fine with being a sloth, napping on the couch, wearing my comfiest clothes and going barefoot.

“In summer the empire of insects spreads.”

June 25, 2017

The morning is just perfect. The air still has a bit of the night’s chill. The sunlight is sharp.  The sky has a few clouds but is still mostly blue. It will get warm today, into the low 80’s, but tonight will be sleeping weather, in the low 60’s.

Gracie had another good night. She also slept in her crate again. That gave me the whole couch so I could stretch my legs. Right now she is having her morning nap on the couch. She’s already eaten a small can of food. Last night she finished the pills for dizziness so I have to call to see if she can get a refill.

I was about to toast a couple of pieces of rye bread when I remember I had bought a cinnamon roll yesterday. I was delighted. Those bakery rolls are a favorite of mine and they’re filled with goodness.

I love the quiet of my house. It keeps me settled, centered. Most things I need are here in the den. I have books, magazines and the TV. In the basket under the table are what’s left of the corn chips. The fridge with the guac is just a bit down the hall. The bathroom is close. Alexa is here and is ever willing to entertain me with music and stories. This is just the perfect room to while away the hours.

Gracie needed to go out, and I have to take her so she doesn’t have to go down the stairs. It is hot out already. I’m thinking the sun is best seen from inside the cool house.

The deck got cleared of leaves and poop yesterday, but it is again filled with the black caterpillar poop. After I water the deck plants later, I’ll clear it off, and then I’ll do the same thing tomorrow. When I was taking Gracie out the front door a few minutes ago, I saw what appeared to be a long, green caterpillar with more legs than it needed working its way up the pine tree. Naturally, I went to check. It happened to be a small piece of a fur tree with the needles appearing like legs. I was glad, but I was also a bit disappointed.  My world is filled with black caterpillars right now so a long green one would have been a nice surprise.

Bugs don’t bother me though I do hate meal moths and miller moths. In times past I didn’t protect my flour, dog food, cereal or dry mixes so they were alive with larvae and pupae, future moths, which I hate at any stage. I tossed all the infected food and bought containers which closed too tightly for an infestation. The meal moths disappeared, but not the miller moths. They are still here. They are audacious and will fly at my head as if to taunt me. I try to grab them as they fly, and I’m pretty good at it, but there are too many of them for me. I just have to hold on a bit longer as they’ll disappear soon.

In Ghana, I accepted bugs in my flour and even some dying in my soup. I’d just pick the bug out and keep eating. I had totally different standards for bugs in those days. Even now when I go back, the old rules still apply. It is only here, at home, that I am a ruthless hunter of insects. it’s time to bring back those disgusting, long sheets of sticky paper. Die, insect, die.

“Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown…”

March 25, 2017

It rained last night leaving today cloudy and dark. It’s warmer than it has been. All my chores and errands got finished, scratched out. Today is a stay at home day. Right now Boris Karloff as The Mummy is on TV. I have seen this movie several times, but that doesn’t ever matter. A propeller plane circles the world, the eerie music starts, and we see Egypt and the desert. We’re at a dig: it’s 1931, and the mummified remains of Imhotep, who had been buried alive, have just been found. A warning on the top of the chest buried with the mummy warns that whoever opens the chest will die. Despite the warning the chest is opened, the sacred words are said and the mummy comes back to life. There’s more but not here.

In winter, cloudy days sometimes make me feel subdued, and, after several in a row, even melancholic while other cloudy days, like today, make me feel cozy in my warm house. Life doesn’t get much better than being in my comfy clothes and watching one of my favorites, a black and white science fiction movie from the 30’s. I’m even having Chinese for lunch. It’s one of those perfect days.

When I was in Ghana, I lived alone for the first time. My house, one side of a duplex, was brand new and on school grounds right by the back gate, which I had to climb a few times as the watchman chose not to hear me yelling for the gate to be opened. (Sorry for the digression. Back to the story.) I was really lonely the first few months. I hated the quiet of my house. I played music especially at night to ward off the silence, but, by Christmas, I relished the night-time quiet because every day was busy and filled with sounds. In the morning it was the swishing of the hand- held brooms as the students cleaned the compound. After that, I could hear buckets being filled with water for bathing and the conversations of my students in a variety of languages. From that morning time on, the day was only quiet after the students had lights out.

It is always a marvel to me that life in Ghana took on a routine, became every day. Here I was living on a school compound in Bolgatanga. It was eggs and toast and coffee, horrible coffee, for breakfast, fruit for lunch and chicken or beef with a sauce and yams on the side, sometimes fried but mostly mashed, for dinner. I went to the market every third day and filled my basket with vegetables and fruit. The amazement of living in Africa was replaced by familiarity. It was home.

I think the memory of living in Ghana surfaces on days like today. I recognize the comfort in the quiet I felt then and I’m feeling now. It is contentment!

“Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.”

June 18, 2016

We continue to be blessed with the most magnificent weather. The nights are cool, perfect for sleeping, and the days are hot but not intolerably hot and there’s no humidity. A slight breeze moves the leaves. The sun is bright, and the sky is blue, Crayola blue. It is the perfect day.

Yesterday was noisy. At the house next door, the summer rental, they were building or repairing something. I could hear the saw and hammers until dark. The house doesn’t get much care and what passes for a front lawn is always meadow high so I’m amazed that someone is working on the house.

The cats are sleeping on the floor in the sun. Gracie is sleeping on the couch. She is into comfort. The other day I went into the kitchen and spooked Maddie who was at the water dish. My sister has a theory about that. She claims it is a water hole survival reaction never bred out of domestic cats. They are on alert as the water hole is a perfect hunting spot, and animals drinking are easy prey. Fern, however, isn’t ever bothered. She just keeps drinking.

Science fiction movies have given me all sorts of new words and phrases. Extinction level event is one of my favorites. It is always said in a hushed voice. Many science fiction movies have plots revolving around the end of Earth or the end of humanity. Meteors on a direct collision course to Earth are a common cause. A massive earthquake affecting the entire planet is another. Aliens of a variety of ilks make their way to Earth. Some want the planet to colonize while others want the extinction of humanity. Aliens just don’t like us. I don’t know why. Maybe because we’re an unfriendly bunch who more often than not shoot to kill and ask questions later. ET is among the minority.

My dance card is empty for the weekend. Come to think of it, the card is empty until Friday and the next play. I don’t mind. I’ll just enjoy the weather and the deck.

“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”

September 17, 2015

Today is another glorious day with temperatures in the low 80’s, a brilliant sun, a sky filled with that blue color even Crayola can’t replicate and a small breeze just enough to keep the heat at bay. For all intents and purposes this is a summer day. Next week is the official opening of fall, and the temperatures will be in the 60’s, perfect weather for the close of one season and the opening of another.

Today is dump day, and I want to go to Agway to buy some flowers to plant as the perennials are marked way down, and my landscaper said planting now will still guarantee they’ll come back next spring. In the bed right in front of the house is a plant with stall stalks and beautiful white flowers blooming for the first time, a perfect time to bloom as most of the other flowers have already had their days in the sun. The plant has spread and almost covers the whole bed. I don’t remember what the flowers are. I bought a couple at a flower site on the internet. My landscaper keeps calling them the internet flowers and is amazed that they’ve thrived and multiplied. I bought them on the recommendation of Christer, the Swedish plant whiz ( The Cottage by the Crane Lake, life goes on). He might remember what they are.

The whole neighborhood smelled like skunk the other night. Gracie was outside at the time. I don’t think a skunk can get into my yard because of the fence, but I was careful anyway. I called Gracie to the deck and gave her neck a sniff. She smelled the way Gracie should so we both went into the house. Today, though, I’ll buy Nature’s Miracle skunk smell remover. It is one of those things I like to keep around the house. Before the fence, Gracie got skunked, and Nature’s Miracle worked wonders. The smell disappeared. In the old days, we thought to use tomato juice but the juice really doesn’t work. It is best fit for bloody Mary’s, not for skunk.

“I’m painting a blue square in my backyard. So that Google Earth thinks I have a pool.”

July 16, 2015

Glorious is the perfect description for today. The brightly shining sun is framed by a lovely blue sky. The breeze is strong and the humidity has disappeared. It will be in the 70’s. I can hear the deck whispering my name.

Most houses around here have decks. At night I can hear people talking. One of my neighbors at the other end of the street has a distinct laugh, and when those neighbors have company, I can hear that laugh all the way down the street from their deck. When I was a kid, nobody had decks. Some people had brick patios but not in my neighborhood. On my bike rides I’d see them in the backyards of houses. Most had a table, chairs and an umbrella, sold in stores as patio sets. My backyard had a clothes line and a hill. When my father barbecued, we’d eat inside. It didn’t seem at all strange. That’s what everyone did.

Even when we moved to our own house, we didn’t do much outside. My parents bought a few webbed lawn chairs and a chaise lounge for the backyard, but I seldom spent any time out there. When my dad cooked, he’d pull over one of the chairs. We still ate inside.

After they moved off cape, my dad spent more time outside where he’d sit to drink his coffee and read the newspaper. Once when their living room furniture was being redone, my dad brought the chaise lounge to the living room, and it became his spot to watch TV. Their backyard was filled with mosquitos so my sister would sit on the lawn chairs in the front on the grass. Those were the days when the darker the tan the more impressive it was.

My house when I bought it had a farmer’s deck, and I found the perfect size small table with two chairs so I could sit outside, but I really wanted a huge deck. I got my wish. This deck is as long as the back of my house. It has two sets of stairs and at one end is what I call the dining room and at the other end is the living room. I love my deck, and I need to finish here so I can get outside. I’ve got a good book and some limeade. I’m set for the day.

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”

July 25, 2014

Today is glorious. It is the definition of a summer day. The air is dry, the sun warm and there is a bit of a breeze ruffling the leaves so they glint in the sun. It is a day to be outside.

Today my grandniece was born, Georgina Kay Smith, 7 pounds-9 ounces and 19 inches long. The first picture arrived shortly after her birth. She still had flat ears and a squashed face as new babies do. Both Georgina and her mother are fine. My sister, the grandmother, called from the hospital and was thrilled. We all are. Now we wait one more week for the next baby, Jackson, who will be born on August 1st. He will be my niece’s second child. Georgina has an older brother, Ryder, who is eight. It is amazing that in one week the number of grand babies will have doubled.

The cool weather has put me in a peculiar mood. On hot days I have no ambition, but today I want an adventure of sorts. Maybe I just want to be ten again when the whole world was mine to explore. There was the zoo, the  farm, the horses in the field, the ripe blueberries, the swamp, the pool and the pond with the raft, the Huckleberry Finn raft. All we had to do was pick one or two or as many as we could fit into a single day.

When I travel, I still love adventure. I take in everything. My memory drawers fill. I wake up early and roam the streets. I buy coffee and fresh bread still warm from the oven, find a place to sit and eat and watch the morning unfold. Each new place is different but each morning seems somehow familiar. I watch people rush to work while others amble and take their time. I prefer the latter. During the day I sometimes have places to see while other times I just wander and hope to chance upon the unexpected. I eat when I am hungry usually at a place where I can sit outside. At night there are lanterns and muted light. Sometimes I eat in a restaurant while other times I buy food to take with me as I walk. People sit outside. I hear a babble of voices in a language I don’t usually understand. At open store doors, merchants beckon me to shop, but I just smile and shake my head. I am on an adventure.

“He’s too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie.”

July 30, 2013

If I were Mother Nature, today would be among my finest creations. The sun is brilliant, the sky a dark blue, a slight breeze rustles the leaves and the air is clear and comfortable. Earlier, I was on the deck reading my papers and it took such a long time. I kept stopping to watch the birds at the feeders and Gracie run through the yard with her deflated basketball in her mouth. She looked joyful. almost prancing, playing in the coolness of the morning. She came on the deck and sat down beside me. I read the papers and absent-mindedly patted Gracie the whole time.

Gracie and I are going to the dump later. The trash is out by the car waiting to be loaded. Poor Gracie hasn’t been riding much as it has been too hot for her to be left while I did errands, but I always take her with me to the dump.

Wellfleet still has a drive-in movie theater. Dennis used to, but it was demolished years ago. That was my favorite of all the drive-ins. It was small and it was surrounded by trees. It was like being in your own backyard. Bugs were plentiful, but you loaded up on mosquito spray before you went so they pretty much left you alone. We used to pack a picnic basket, a tradition my father started. When I was a kid, we brought our own snacks to the drive-in as the ones in the refreshment stand were so expensive. Our adult picnic basket was a bit more elaborate. We filled thermos bottles with drinks, alcoholic drinks, and had crackers and cheese and fancy hors d’oeuvres. We’d put out our lawn chairs and sit by the speaker. We always used glasses, never plastic, and real forks and knives; however, I do admit we used paper napkins.

I thought it was a tragedy when they closed that drive-in, but land had become more valuable than a screen, speakers and some parking spots; however, most of that land remains untouched. Some of it became part of a vegetable farm, but that’s gone too. Only the shed where they sold their produce is still there but it is falling apart, a victim of the weather. Most people don’t know that behind a section of trees on a pretty well-traveled road is an open spot which used to be the drive-in. I think of it every time I go by those trees and I sigh a bit for what’s now gone.

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”

June 9, 2013

If I were asked to create a morning, it would be today’s. The sun is bright and sharp. The green of the leaves and the colors of the flowers pop in the light. The breeze is just right.

For some strange reason, I feel energetic today so I’m going to finish the flower planting and actually do laundry. Yup, it’s still sitting in the hall, and I swear I saw a cobweb or two when I walked by the bundle this morning.

In the front garden of my house are wild rose bushes. They are so very Cape Cod that you can see them everywhere especially along the roadside. They only bloom once, and they are now in bloom. Mine needs badly to be trimmed, but we’re waiting until after the blooming. When I walked by the bush this morning, I could hear the buzz of bees so I took a wide berth. The buzzing was loud enough to hear from the driveway. I walked over to get a closer, but not too close, a look and I think there was a bee at every flower.

The summer world is so alive. I sit and watch all the different birds at the feeders. Two of the feeders, however, are empty as I still have to put out the oranges and the jelly for the Baltimore orioles. I haven’t seen any of them yet but that might be because I have nothing to tempt them. I also have hummingbird feeders needing cleaning and filling.

When I sit outside, I love having the birds zoom over my head on their way to the sunflower feeders. My being there doesn’t bother them at all. The rabbits are lively now and still taunting Gracie. They sit on the other side of the fence and stare. Gracie goes crazy barking and trying to find a way over or through the fence. The spawns in the yard are also Gracie targets, but they have scurrying up the trees for protection. Gracie stands below and stares as the spawn jumps from bush to bush. I’m betting it’s smiling, scoffing at poor Miss Gracie.  Spawns are like that.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

March 26, 2013

The snow never materialized last night but it did sleet then rain for a short while, and the morning still bears the remnants of the storm though storm seems a bit grandiose a description for a bit of rain and sleet. Our familiar gray skies are back, but the sun has been making quick visits then disappearing to wherever it’s been going for what seems like weeks. I watched the bird feeders while my coffee was dripping, and my suet feeder had a huge guest, a flicker. I also noticed the gold finches are getting brighter. The tops of the hyacinths are appearing above their leaves, and there are several daffodil buds. I think we’re in the two steps forward and only one step back part of spring. It makes me hopeful for one really warm day when I can sit on the deck, close my eyes and fall asleep with the sun on my face.

The perfect day when I was about ten was always in the spring. It was warm and sunny but not hot. I’d wear my spring jacket, my favorite of all jackets. It had a front zipper and was pale pink. The first wearing of that jacket was a symbol back then though symbolism was lost on the young me. I just knew I loved my jacket because it was light and pink and had replaced the heavy, dark winter coats and layers we’d worn for months. Wearing it was the acknowledgment the season had finally changed and winter was passed.

On my perfect day, usually a Saturday, I’d go down the cellar and maneuver my bike out the door and up the stairs. That was never easy. The door faced a wall so the angle was all wrong. I had to lift the front wheel in the air to get the back wheel out. Once up the stairs I’d get on my bike, ride across the side lawn and down the grassy hill, a maneuver forbidden by my dad who’d yell later when he saw the tire marks. I’d always get the how many times do I have to tell you lecture, but the little ride was worth it. My dad just didn’t get how neat it was to start my adventure by going down his small hill. From there, I’d sometimes ride down the big hill on which we lived or I’d take the side street and head toward the field with the horses. I remember how bright the sun seemed and how the trees had buds and the grass was finally turning green. I’d see the colors of the spring flowers blooming above the ground. The air smelled fresh and brand new. I always took my time, not wanting to miss a single thing though I’d taken that same route so many times. I remember feeling joyful and as alive as spring as I rode through the small streets.

I have that same feeling every year on the very first warm spring day even without my bike.

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