Posted tagged ‘projects’

“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.”

September 10, 2018

Oh no, it’s cloudy. It’s so dark you need the light to read. Rain is predicted. Every now and then the wind blows so strongly even the big branches are tossed.

The windows are closed. The back door is open for Henry, and I can feel a chill when the wind blows through it.

My dance card has been empty for a while. I have a meeting tomorrow at the library but that’s it for the week. I am still hoping for another movie night. The Lady in White, not to be confused with the Collins’ novel The Woman in White, will be the last movie. It’s a good one.

I have a list of projects, a list which has been around a while. I want to catalog the Christmas gifts I’ve bought, organize the cabinet under the sink upstairs, clean the tile grout in the kitchen and go through the big cabinet to check dates on the jars and cans. I suspect after reading the list you can totally understand why it has been around so long.

I don’t collect shoes, but I do seem to have a large number of them. The reason for the large number is partly because I don’t throw any away until they are beyond repair. I used to have several pairs of heels, short heels, which I donated to the Salvation Army when I retired. Most of my shoes are built for comfort. My favorites for winter are the wool clogs which I have in four different colors. In summer, it’s always sandals. I have a new pair of red sneakers, the first shoes I’ve bought in years. I love the bright red.

In Ghana, nothing gets thrown away. It all gets repurposed. My sandals were resoled with pieces of tire. My rice from the market was wrapped in the Sunday New York Times, my meat in banana leaves. Old bottles held palm or groundnut oil. Old cans were good for storing stuff and for scooping water. Paper helped start cooking fires. I learned so much in Ghana about the country, its wonderful people and about myself. Peace Corps volunteers always say we get more than we give. Even learning to repurpose was part of the getting.

“You’ll wake up on Easter morning, And you’ll know that he was there, When you find those chocolate bunnies, That he’s hiding ev’rywhere.”

March 21, 2016

First we had rain then we had snow last night but only a dusting to an inch. The weather today is in a weird cycle. The snow started to melt earlier so most of the branches are no longer covered. Right now, though, it is snowing again, big flakes falling straight down or from the north. The snow cover on the ground has slush underneath it. My shoes would leave only a hole, not a footprint if I walked in the yard. The day is dark and uninviting. It is a read a book day or a day to do that project I need finished by Easter. The problem, however, is I have little ambition, not even enough to turn pages. Cozy under the covers on a dark and snowy day seems just about right.

Easter never had the anticipation Christmas had. It didn’t have any rules about the necessity for good behavior but it didn’t have any wishes either. We knew pretty much what we’d find on Easter morning. The only surprises were the small toys and books my mother tucked into our baskets. A tall chocolate rabbit was always the eye-catcher. Around it were jelly beans, big round hard colored candies which were white in the middle, a few small pieces of chocolate and some yellow Peeps, wild out of the box. I remember if I ate a piece from something, like the ears from the big rabbit, and put the rest of the rabbit back into the basket, it would stick to the grass at the bottom. Later, before I could have another bite, I’d have to pull off the grass shoots.

We didn’t have a giant rabbit at the mall the way they do now. We just had Santa at Christmas. Seeing Santa made a lot of sense but seeing the rabbit doesn’t. What do you talk about? What do you ask him to bring? He doesn’t care if you were good or bad. You’ll get an Easter basket regardless. I suppose you can always fall back on the sort of stuffed animal you want, the one usually sitting beside the basket, but beyond that, I’m clueless.

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

August 21, 2010

It was a team effort. One of the cats dispatched the mouse, and Gracie went sniffing around this morning and found it. My guess is the event happened Thursday night because the house was cleaned that day, and yesterday morning I found the three large pillows (sit-on ones piled against the wall) askew. The deceased was lying beside them, but I obviously missed the body when I straightened the pillows. It was, after all, a small mouse. CSI was busy so I disposed of the remains. I thanked both cats and Miss Gracie for their assistance.

The day is again lovely. I woke earlier than usual and remembered I had forgotten to buy cream  for my coffee so Gracie and I went to Dunkin’ Donuts. The roads were clear, and it was so early I was only the second car in line. When I came home, I went straight to the deck. The air still had a bit of chill left over from the cool night. None of the neighbors were stirring. It was just Gracie, me and a few hungry birds.

I lived in a project until I was sixteen. It was in my small town and back then the word project had no stigma attached. We never thought twice about calling it the project when we talked about where we lived. Even now, when my sisters and I remember growing up, we start our memories with, “In the project…” The houses were all duplexes made of wood. The front yards had bushes and flower gardens, and the backyards were  interconnected but separated by plots of grass. In the middle, behind the clotheslines in the backyards, was a grass covered hill, perfect for little kids to sled on in winter and for a slip ‘n slide in summer. The project was loaded with kids of all ages. My best friend lived in the project and even lived in the duplex where we had first lived. Everyone in the project was a neighbor. One of our favorite neighbors lived in the house next door and another favorite lived right beside us in the same duplex. Their side was a mirror image of ours. A few neighbors were not so friendly, but only a few.

When I talk about my childhood with someone, I usually have to explain the project, defend it somehow, as most people tend to think of projects as block after block of brick high-risers in the poorest part of any city. They never think of them as I do: a wonderful place to grow up, a place with a field filled with grasshoppers, an old tree, blueberries, woods and a swamp perfect for catching pollywogs in spring and for ice skating on in winter.