Posted tagged ‘rag man’

“I told myself that I was going to live the rest of my life as if it were Saturday.”

September 30, 2017

During the night, I grabbed the afghan as my house had gotten so cold. This morning it was 66˚. I admit I turned on the heat for a while until the house was warmer. Putting on a sweatshirt also helped. The sun was out when Gracie and I got the papers. Now the sky is cloudy, and rain is predicted for this afternoon and evening. I have nowhere I have to be today, and I’m glad.

Saturday has always been my favorite day. When I was a kid, I had the whole day to do what I wanted. Breakfast and favorite programs were first then I was out the door. Mostly I rode my bike so I could explore more. No part of town was out of riding reach. The best end of town was the zoo. It didn’t cost anything in those days. Sometimes we’d ride to the next town over and bike around Lake Quannapowitt. Other times we had no destination. We just rode around town and checked out our favorite places like the house of the newspaper and rag man which had a huge porch and an out-building, both filled with papers. We’d check out the town barn and the horses. On warm days, the firemen sat outside the station in front of the engine bays, and we’d stop to talk with them. They’d let us go check out the fire engines. We’d ride down the hilly driveway to the schoolyard then skid in the sand along the sides of the yard just for the fun of it. I don’t remember ever being bored, even in winter we found stuff to do.

When I was in Ghana, I’d go into town on a Saturday and roam the market hoping to find something unexpected. When I’d finished, I’d sit and have a cold Coke at the one place which had a fridge. It was the last store in a line of stores on the main street. It had a few tables and chairs outside. It was there an American guy stopped to talk to me. He wanted to know where the bare-breasted women were. I was angry and horrified. I told him so. He quickly left. I never ran into him again.

When I was working, I wanted one free day to do whatever I wanted. Saturday was the perfect choice, the historical choice. Once in a while I’d grocery shop on Saturday and once a month I’d dust and vacuum, but mostly Saturday was for fun.

Now I always say every day is Saturday.

 

“Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.”

July 8, 2011

Today is a favorite sort of days. Earlier, I was awakened by the sound of a torrential rain storm. The rain came straight down and pounded the deck and umbrellas. That was the sound I heard: rain hitting the umbrellas, almost as good as rain on a tin roof. The rain stopped quickly giving me enough time to run for the papers. In a bit after that, it started again but far more gently. The day is dark, and I have turned on a light. Sitting in my house surrounded by rain with a single light brightening the room gives me a cozy feeling, a feeling of being safe and warm and dry. Those feelings coupled with the wonderful sounds of rain are why this sort of day is a favorite.

Yesterday a giant crow used my deck as a perch. I heard him first and looked out the window to investigate the sounds I was hearing. He was strutting up and down and stopping occasionally to caw. I think it’s the same crow who visits often. He never eats from the feeders but just sits on a branch near the deck making noise or preening his feathers. I think he’s beautiful. I also think he’s huge.

As a kid, I don’t remember ever watching birds, except seagulls. Flowers and gardens went unnoticed, but the garbage truck got a great deal of attention as did the garbage man. The rag man too was a favorite with his horse and wagon. Back then, my world was filled with people who did the neatest things and roamed the neighborhoods offering their services. The sharpening knives and scissors man rode a bicycle and shouted as he pedaled through. My mother sometimes sent me with her knives. The milk man came every other day, and I could hear the clinking of the bottles and the sound of his truck left running as he went from neighbor to neighbor. The trash truck came once a week, and my dad dragged his barrels to the sidewalk before he left for work. The ice cream man came about the same time every afternoon. He had a bell, a sound we all recognized as belonging to Johnny and his truck. The paperboy threw our paper against the front door usually about an hour before school. He came around himself to collect for the paper every week. We knew the mailman. He was on our route for years. Around my birthday, I’d sit on the steps and wait for him to come hoping he was bringing cards with a bit of cash inside.

I have a newspaper person who delivers before I’m awake. I’ve never seen her even though she’s delivered my papers for years. Bill is my mailman, and he waves from his truck as he leaves the mail in the box across the street. If I have a package, he’ll walk it over to my house. My landscaper lives next door.

My childhood was wonderfully filled with the most interesting people who were pieces in the fabric of my life. Some came every day, some less often, but I knew them. They were like friends in an odd sort of way. Now I only have two I know and one I don’t. It makes my world emptier and far less interesting.