Posted tagged ‘Portuguese’

“Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?”

November 9, 2015

Today is a lovely fall day. It isn’t all that warm because of the cool breeze, but the sun is bright and sharp. My heat came on during the early morning so the house was comfortable when I came downstairs. It was my morning to sit and chat with my neighbor to help improve her English. She gets stuck on have or has. Usually she uses have for everything. She turns played and similar words into two syllables. We worked on that as well. She gives me the Portuguese word for what we’re talking about and helps me with the pronunciation. I guess that makes it a joint effort.

After Wednesday my dance card is empty. It is getting on to the time of the year when I tend to hibernate. I’ll see a movie now and then and play games with my friends on Sunday, but that’s about it, and I’m fine with that.

When I was a kid, my winters were about the same as now. We went to the Saturday Matinee a couple of times a month, but the rest of the week was pretty quiet. It got dark only a few hours after we’d get home from school, but most days we just stayed in the house as it was too cold to play outside. We’d watch television and we’d do our homework. Most afternoons we did both at once. I remember watching Superman and even back then I wondered how Lois and Jimmy didn’t recognize Clark. I guessed the glasses were a better disguise than we imagined.

Supper was usually around six. Most nights my father made it home in time. In my memory drawers I see him walking in the door wearing his overcoat and his fedora. He’d put them in the closet then change out of his suit. He always wore a suit to work. Supper was eaten around the kitchen table, but there was never enough room for all of us unless the table got pulled out and another seat was added at the end. I think that’s when my mother started eating at the counter as we never did pull out the table except for holidays. Much later, in a different house, the dining room table was big enough so the whole family and more could sit together and eat; however, we mostly did that only on holidays because by then we were scattered and it was only during the holidays we’d all together. My mother always joined us at the table.

“Every morning a new sun greets us and our new life begins.”

August 13, 2015

Gracie and I are out on the deck. She is sleeping in the shade of the oak and pine trees. It isn’t quiet. Inside my house Roseanne and Lee are cleaning, and I can hear the vacuum and conversations in Portuguese. My next door neighbor is back from Brazil. I can hear her yelling at her kids, but she too speaks Portuguese so I have no idea what the kids are doing. The ever-present birds fly in and out. They eat at the feeders and wait in line to use the fountain as a bird bath. Gracie thinks it’s a water fountain. All of us appreciate it. The day is lovely, warm in the sun but cool with a nice breeze in the shade. I am in the perfect spot.

Yesterday morning I was up early. When I went to get the papers, I could feel, hear and smell the morning. That probably sounds strange, but I swear early mornings are different. It doesn’t matter where you are. Ground fog rises in the morning and lingers until the sun holds sway. Birds sing louder than during any other part of day. On city streets, outside the small cafes, sidewalks are swept and chairs and tables are arranged. Some places serve eggs and bacon but others serve cold cuts, rolls and cheese. The bread is always fresh, soft. In other places the smell of wood burning fills the air as breakfast is cooked over the flames. Smoke curls above the fires. There are fewer people out and about in the early mornings. They always look a bit sleepy to me as if they have yet to find the day.

I am also drawn to the night. I love staying up late and being the only one still awake. The houses around me are dark except for the one behind me. He leaves his back light on. I think of him as the unpleasant neighbor. If Gracie barks more than three times, he yells which makes her bark more. He plays his country music so loud on Saturdays I have to go inside the house for a bit of peace. I don’t yell, one in the neighborhood is enough.

Last night I went outside to try to see the meteors. I was barefoot and walked tentatively as I didn’t turn on the light. My feet got wet on the grass, but I avoided the pitfalls and made it to the road without incident. I stayed for about 40 minutes, saw only two, got discouraged and went inside.