Posted tagged ‘phone calls’

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”

October 2, 2017

I’m getting used to these beautiful fall days. Earlier, the morning was crispy and chilly, but the bright sun has dispelled the chill. The sky is a deep blue. A breeze shakes the branches, and more leaves keep falling, mostly oak leaves. I was excited and surprised to see newly bloomed flowers in my front garden. The flowers are purple, and that’s all I know about them. Now,hite and purple flowers are blooming in the front beds. It as if the garden is giving me its last gifts before the end of fall, before the coming winter.

I slept the whole night last night. The phone woke me at 8:15. It was a robo-call which I didn’t answer. Ten minutes later there was another call, but this one I answered. I knew the caller. Gracie then joined me on the couch, and we both went back to sleep.  The phone woke me again, and I cursed until I saw the time. It was late morning, close to ten. I answered the call then got up and began my morning rituals.

I am getting braced for the coldest times of year, for winter. In Ghana this time of year I braced for the dry season, for the total lack of rain for at least 5 months. I knew intense heat was coming with days hot enough to melt my unlit candle, but I also knew a reprieve was coming. The nights would start to get chilly, not New England chilly but chilly by comparison with the days. The temperature dropped over 30˚ every night. My bedroom had two rows of louvered windows; one row was the whole length of the wall beside my bed while the other was a single louvered window on the end wall next to the armoire. I’d leave the windows opened. It got cold, but feeling cold was glorious. I’d snuggle under the wool blanket I kept on my bed. I still have that blanket and keep it folded over the back of my couch. It brings smile from all the memories. It is also pretty itchy. I guess I forgot that part.

“I like freedom. I wake up in the morning and say, ‘I don’t know, should I have a popsicle or a donut?’ You know, who knows?”

August 8, 2016

It has already been a full day for me. I am unused to having a list of must go places all in a single day. Usually I get to spread them around. I even went to one place twice. I got home from Agway and couldn’t find my bag so I drove back to Agway then I saw my bag on the back seat floor. I would never have looked there as my usual spot is on the other front seat, and I seldom deviated from the usual.

Today is a lovely day, in the low 80’s but with no humidity. I’ll be heading to the deck later with one of the books I just got from the library. I’m thinking cheese and crackers for lunch. I also have some Italian hard salami. It will be a wonderful sort of picnic except at a table and with no ants.

Sometimes I wish I were Samantha the witch. I’d just wiggle my nose. One of my gripes is the number of calls I get every day from unknown people and unfamiliar places. If I could, I’d send them back to the caller accompanied by an ear-splitting sound. I wonder how many calls they make to me before they give up as I don’t answer any of them. I’m beginning to think it is in the hundreds.

It is popsicle weather. Licking a cherry popsicle on a really hot day is a shortcut to nirvana, but you have to lick fast or popsicle drips go down your fingers to your hand. Having sticky fingers isn’t any fun. When I was older, I learned to lick from the bottom to the top.

Watermelon chunks are in my fridge. I bought the watermelon already that way. It is far easier to eat the chucks of fruit than watermelon off the rind. I consider watermelon the finest of summer fruit treats.

 

In winter I eat hearty food; in summer I eat random food, whatever appeals to me. It just has to be refreshing or quick to make. Most of my summer food comes out of the fridge ready to be eaten. Winter food generally needs to be cooked.

Okay, I’m hungry so I’m off to the deck with my book, a pseudo-picnic and a cold drink. I’m thinking it is a perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

March 22, 2016

A lovely day with lots of sun, a deep blue sky and a little breeze greeted me this morning. Most of the snow has disappeared. The only bits left are in shaded areas. I’m being hopeful and putting my primroses on the front step. They’ve been in the house keeping warm since I bought them, but I think it is warm enough to introduce them to the world.

Today I have lists, but I’m quite behind my time because I spoke to both of my sisters this morning. One sister is sick so it was a short conversation, but my other sister, in Colorado, and I spoke close to an hour. Yes, we did find plenty to talk about for all that time. Lulls are generally not part of our conversations.

I still keep in touch with a few of my childhood friends. We talk every couple of months and get together about twice a year. My college friends and I lost track of each other while I was in Ghana. We wrote for a while but the time between letters got longer and longer and then the letters stopped. We were living far different lives a long way from each other. I still have Peace Corps friends that I met in 1969, and I feel as close to them now as I did when we worked and lived together. We shared an experience few are fortunate to have and built a bond which has stayed strong. We have stories which make us laugh every time we tell them. I think it is the same with just about every volunteer no matter the country of service. We all have a bathroom story, but I use bathroom loosely here. Outhouse, hole in the ground or a quick run into the bushes would be better choices. I know I’ve tried them all. We have great stories about medical problems and try to top each other in the telling. The conversations usually include worms, boils, tropical skin diseases, infections, cracked lips and feet and diarrhea, the bane of most volunteers. We graphically describe the symptoms and are never offended or grossed out by what we hear. Sometimes we even applaud the story, the grosser the story the longer the applause.

My closest friends live down the street. We are an odd family of three. We celebrate major and rare holidays together, rare holidays like Cowboy Day. We decorate and wear special clothes to help celebrate. I still have my cowboy hat and my sombrero from Cinco de Mayo. We greeted the sunrise together at the beach on the first day of spring. I’m working on their Easter baskets. They are fun friends. My life is enriched by knowing them.

I have no idea how I got where I did. I guess mentioning childhood friends set me on my way. I’ll just end here with how lucky I am with my friends.

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

February 10, 2015

Winter has been kinder to us than we expected. We didn’t the amount of snow the rest of the state did. Saturday it rained all night and yesterday it sleeted. Even now we are a tick above freezing. The roads, though, are still horrible. The ruts are difficult to navigate and going around corners is dangerous because of the sliding and the blocked views of on-coming cars. I can’t even remember the last time I saw sun. I think one glimpse of that light would be enough to bolster my spirit.

Last night was game night, and it was so much fun. We had great eats: cheeseburger sliders, chips and fruit and brownies for dessert. We played Phase 10, Sorry and Uno, a game we haven’t played in years. I had such a fistful of cards at one point I could have used an extra hand. There were so many cards I couldn’t even fan them. I didn’t win. I did win a game of Sorry.

My parents were game people so we grew up playing games. For that I am grateful. I was the only kid who actually knew what to do with dominoes besides setting them up to fall one after the other in a spectacular display. I was taught whist at an early age because my parents were grooming my brother and me to be their partners. It was always girls versus boys, and we usually won. My mother was a patient partner who never yelled even if I made a mistake. My father, on the hand, was a passionate player who did yell. I was glad he wasn’t my partner. I never liked Monopoly. It was boring and seemed to last forever. Parcheesi was fun until someone set up a blockade.

When I was older, we played card games all the time. My dad and I would play cribbage until he won, we’d all play skat and untold games of high-low jack, our favorite. Friday nights at my parents’ house were always get-together nights. My uncle would usually come and stay all night. We’d sit at the kitchen table playing cards. At some point in the evening the singing would start. I remember the phone ringing at my house on a few Fridays in the wee hours. I knew exactly who it was. When I picked up the phone, my uncle began to sing. He always called me Leeny when he was in his cups. I enjoyed those phone calls despite the hour.

I love that my friends are all game players.