Posted tagged ‘rain’

“Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul.”

May 14, 2019

Last night it poured so hard that Henry, who loves rain, went two steps on to the deck then turned around and came back inside. The noise on the roof was constant and loud, but I did wish for the metal roof I had in Ghana. I loved the sound of rain when it hit that roof. I could feel it all around me. Sitting in my house listening to any rainstorm was the most amazing experience. When I have gone back to Ghana, it has been during the rainy season so I get to hear again the sounds of rain on the tin roof. I cherish the experience.

When I was a kid, I loved summer rain. I’d go outside and run and play and get soaked. I’d splash through puddles and send waves of water around me. I’d slide on the grass. I’d stay outside all afternoon and let the sun dry my clothes.

I talk out loud. Many times I talk to Henry. He is kind enough to look at me and listen. I talk to the TV. I scoff at silly plot details like going upstairs when the stairs are covered in blood. I go crazy when drivers have their eyes off the road while they chat. I correct grammar. That may seem silly, but I think modeling good grammar is important. I’ve been told it doesn’t matter as long as you’re understood. I liken using bad grammar to singing or playing off tune. Neither one is good for the ears.

Yesterday I felt accomplished. I finished two loads of wash and did errands. I cleaned around the house a bit, mostly clumps of Henry hair. I uploaded pictures from my camera. The oldest set was from Easter.

Today I get to vote in the local election. The turnout in these elections is always small. I think back to turning twenty-one. I was so excited at being able, finally, to vote. Since then, I have always exercised my franchised, the privilege of voting.

Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.”

April 29, 2019

The weatherman says warmish day, in the 50’s, and a rainy night. Yesterday it rained most of the afternoon into the evening. I didn’t go to the dump. The trash is sitting on my deck box. The dump is closed until Wednesday.

I hate my laptop. I swear every day my Apple password won’t work so I change it only to find the new one won’t work the next day. I am now quite adept at changing my passwords. I have a list of what no longer works so I don’t get reprimanded about using a password I’ve used before.

When I graduated from high school, my gift from my parents was a portable typewriter. I used it all four years of college. I had that white tape you put on typing errors to sort of erase them so you can make corrections. I was a horrible typist and only used two fingers. My eyes were glued to the keyboard. Skip forward to now. I still use only two fingers, but they are the fastest two fingers in the west. My typewriter is in the cellar. It is still in working condition but needs a ribbon.

When I was a kid, I had a diary, the one with a vinyl cover and a gold lock on the side. I think every girl I knew had the same diary and got it for Christmas the way I did. I used to hide my key, and back then I never forgot where I hid it. My daily entries were boring. Seriously, life at 10 hasn’t many high spots. It was even before crushes and boys. I wrote mostly about school and what I did on the weekends. I don’t think I ever wrote enough to cover a whole page.

It didn’t take more than a couple of months for me to tire of writing. I threw the diary in a drawer and forgot about it. I suspect it was tossed out at some time. I didn’t miss it.

Today is a sloth day, a lady of leisure day. I could do a couple of errands, but they’ll wait until tomorrow.


Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

April 28, 2019

Today is sunny and beautiful. It is only 50˚ but having sun makes me a bit forgiving. Rain is predicted for later. I have trouble believing that. The sun is just too pretty, and there are only wispy, white clouds.

I don’t know why I expect really warm days as Cape Cod is seldom warm in the spring. Actually, calling this time of year spring is misleading. When north of us is 60˚, we are in mid 50’s. Some time in May it will start to get warm. In mid June we’ll jump to summer.

I shared a banana with Henry this morning. He likes fruit. So far he has eaten banana, first time today, apples, oranges, watermelon, blueberries, pineapple and mango. I don’t know if he has a favorite. I’m partial to oranges, pineapples and bananas.

Having a banana this morning reminded me of Ghana. Every day I had fruit for lunch, a fruit bowl of oranges, pineapple, mangoes, pawpaw and bananas. When I traveled, I always bought oranges or bananas because of their peel. They didn’t need to be washed. Mangoes were messy, juice down my arm messy. Pawpaws were big.

When I was a kid, we had grapes, oranges, apples and watermelon around all summer. We also had Bing cherries. I love spitting their pits. We had contests to see who could spit the pits the furthest. I never won.

Okay, the sun is gone and the sky is cloudy. I think I saw a few drops of rain on the deck. Sadly, the weatherman is correct.

Today is dump day, and tonight is game night. I’m in charge of tonight’s appetizers. I’ll go to the market and hope to find ready to eat or easy to make appetizers. In case I don’t, I have a couple in mind and a list of the ingredients I’ll need, but I am not really up for cooking. I did plenty on Friday.

Time to finish up and load the car with trash bags. Please, rain, hold off until I’m done.

“If I can’t garden in it, then I won’t wear it.”

April 23, 2019

When I first wake up, I ask Alexa the time, pat Henry and look out the bedroom window to check the weather. This morning I saw a grey sky yet again. I went back to sleep.

I have a couple of errands today. Prime among them is getting canned food for Henry. He is partial to Merrick’s hearty chicken thigh stew. When I’m filling his bowl, he turns in circles and stands up on his hind legs. That boy loves to eat.

When I was a kid, we all hated to feed Duke his canned food. Back then dogs ate horse meat, and it smelled bad. Opening the can took a while using the silver hand opener so holding my nose wasn’t an option because I needed both hands to work the opener. I did hold my nose when dumping the food into the dog’s dish but it was really too late.

When I was growing up, life was simple. I had school clothes, church clothes and play clothes. I had a pair of good shoes, play shoes and sneakers. I went to school every day and to church on Sunday. I had roller skates, ice skates, a bicycle and a sled. I was equipped for every season.

I ice skated at the swamp and roller skated around the neighborhood, especially the unused parking lot at the top of the hill. My roller skates needed a key to tighten the front clasps to my shoes. Sneakers were never good to wear as the clasp didn’t hold to the sneakers. My ice skates had to be tighten by the laces. It was an art making sure they were neither too tight nor too loose.

When I was in Ghana, I had to wear dresses all the time, and I wore sandals. I didn’t bring enough dresses with me so I had several made using Ghanaian cloth. With some mending, my sandals lasted the two full years.

When I first taught here, I had to wear dresses. Pants came later. When I became an administrator, it was back to dresses.

I am now back to simple. I wear pants just about all the time. I have a couple of pairs of winter shoes and some winter wool clogs, and I have two pairs of sandals for the summer. I have sneakers, a brand new red pair I love. I do have dresses, three of them. I wore one to Easter dinner. That’s about as formal as I get.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

January 20, 2019

The rain is a deluge. Poor Henry went out then turned around and came   right back inside. His fur was soaked in that short time. Last night the wind blew. It rattled the windows and shook branches. Limbs swayed. This morning I was surprised how warm it was when I dashed to get the papers. The temperature is in the 50’s, but tonight, it will drop to the teens. All that water will turn to ice.

Nothing much is happening. I liken January to the doldrums. I could go out as I do need a couple of things, but I’ll manage. I have a few avocados and a half bag of chips, snack treasures. I have chocolate chips and caramel chips, eggs, flour and sugar. All I need is energy.

Life continues to amaze me, especially its simplest moments, those times of simple pleasures: freshly brewed morning coffee, the smell of sheets dried in the sun, funny movies and buttered popcorn with just a touch of salt, warm slippers on a winter’s day, an afternoon nap on the couch, a hot shower after a tiring day and brownies, any kind of brownies, as long as they’re chocolate. The rain sustains me, not the lightning bolts.

I haven’t made my chicken curry in a long while. It’s time. I think curry with its bit of heat is the perfect winter dinner. I can remember the last time I ate curry. Actually, I still remember the first time. I filled my fork and tentatively took my first bite. I could have done a happy dance. I tasted the heat of the curry, watermelon and peanuts, coconut and bananas.

My life has had momentous events, life altering events, but I’ve learned it is the little pieces gathered together in my memory drawers which give life meaning and depth, which make it whole.

“What in the world would we do without our libraries?”

September 11, 2018

I am a character in a science fiction novel having to adjust to a wet, sunless world, and I am not adjusting well. It is a cloudy, hot and humid day already in the 70’s. It rained this morning.

A library, any library, is a favorite place. When I was a kid, I walked uptown to the library once a week in the summer and every couple of weeks in the winter. The library always felt cool in the summer even without air conditioning. The chairs and tables were wooden. They were captain’s chairs, the ones with spindles in the back and wooden arm rests. The shelves were up high and down low. The mysteries and science fiction books were on high shelves. It took a while until I was tall enough to reach the top shelves.

The library at my college was new. It had smoking rooms on each floor. Serious students stayed on the bottom floor where it was quiet. My friends and I went to the top most floor and took over tables in the corner. We weren’t quiet. During exam times, I sat at an individual carrel. I spent many afternoons and evenings at that library but seldom for reading, almost always for studying.

In Bolgatanga, the library was also brand new. The architect was J Max Bond Jr who lived in Ghana for a while in the 60’s. The library was designed with an umbrella shaped roof to keep the building well ventilated and cool, a necessity in Bolga. I was a frequent visitor to the library. Books were essential to me. I had so much down time I needed something to fill the void. I coached volley ball and taught adult ed in town, but it wasn’t enough. I had a Peace Corps book locker, but I went through that in a short time. The library was a godsend.

My local library was an old captain’s house. It’s tiny, but I never have difficulty finding books to read. I go every couple of weeks to browse the shelves. I used to buy new books as soon as a favorite author published one, but now I borrow though I haven’t completely given up buying. I sometimes read all day. At night I’ll read until 2 or 3 in the morning. The time passes so quickly I am aways surprised at how late it is.

Right now I am still reading the Patterson/Clinton book and have two more in the wings. Today is a perfect day to read.

In case you were wondering, I did my laundry yesterday.

“The journey is the treasure.”

June 4, 2018

The rain was the first thing I heard when I woke up. It was pounding the window. I could also hear the wind, and from my window, I could see the top tree branches flying left and right. The house was cold. I had left my bedroom window open so my room felt damp and chilly. Henry wanted out at 8 so out he went into the rain. I went back to bed, and when he came back inside, Henry joined me. His fur was all wet. We both slept another hour. Given my druthers, I would have stayed snuggled under the covers, but Henry had a different idea. He started jumping and playing on the bed. I gave up and got out of bed. Henry got his breakfast, the cat got her treats and I got my coffee.

My house is dark. Henry is chewing on one of his toys. I think the cat is by the water dish waiting to meow when I walk by, her reminder to me to change the water. I’m just sitting here thinking and writing. The rain seems to make us all a bit logy.

I cleaned a basket yesterday, one of three under the table here in the den. It had clumps and more clumps of dust. It had an unopened calendar from 2015. I also found a manila envelope filled with return address labels. Another envelope had a few recipes and a third had nothing. A few books were in the basket, books I haven’t read. My Peace Corps mug book was there. It has pictures and short bios for every volunteer in my training group. We all look so young. The bio gives my age, 21, and my address. It notes I am a graduate of Merrimack College and majored in English and minored in education. During the summers, I worked in the post office. That seems a bit boring especially given the varied experiences of my fellow trainees. It also says in my free time I enjoy softball. That makes me laugh. I hadn’t played softball since high school.

I thumbed through all the pages and memories flooded back, memories of trainees who left during training, those people I never got to know, memories of friends who stayed and, sadly, a memory of one who died in Ghana.

None of us in that mug book knew what was waiting for us. We didn’t know we were about to embark together on the most remarkable journey. I haven’t seen many of the people in that book, but I still have so much affection for them, so many memories of them. I will always be thankful for them, Peace Corps and most especially for Ghana.

“My idea of absolute happiness is to be in bed on a rainy day, with my blankie, my cat, and my dog.”

May 12, 2018

I’ve been lazy this morning. I didn’t get out of bed until 9:45. Henry finally drove me out  by jumping on and off the bed.

Henry never walks. He sounds like a herd of horses when he runs down the hall. Yesterday he seemed afraid to use the dog door, but today he went right outside. Last night he wouldn’t come near me. I dared to try to put his harness on him, notice I said tried. Today he hasn’t left my side except to eat and go into the yard. I am so very patient with my Henry changing from day to day.

Today is dark with clouds. It is supposed to rain later. I can feel the dampness in the air. Earlier, I could hear hammering but not now. It is quiet. The wind every now and then is blowing the top most branches.

When I was a kid, a Saturday like today was a disappointment. The impending rain meant staying close to home. The house felt crowded with all of us in it. The TV was blaring. My brother watched from the couch. My sisters played dolls on the rug in the living room. My mother was usually in the kitchen, hiding from the noise and us. My dad watched TV when he came home from his Saturday uptown errands. My refuge was my bedroom. I’d get lost in a book and everything else would fall away.

I’m putting my laundry on my to-do list but in italics. I really don’t feel industrious enough to do anything let alone laundry and all it ensues, but I don’t like seeing the filled laundry bag in the hall. My solution is to throw it down the cellar stairs.

Yesterday I swiffered the downstairs. I don’t know why Henry isn’t bald. The Swiffer pad was covered in fur. I even had to change it. Today I picked up a few new clumps. Sisyphus had his rock. I have my dog fur.

I need more bird seed and I need bread. I’m thinking of going to Cape Abilities Farm which teaches skills to adults with disabilities. It will have all I need and far more.  I usually end up with a carriage full of fruits and vegetables, cheese, frozen chicken pie, fresh bread, and cookies. I also need a plant for my front steps and a hanging one for the deck. I do love shopping there.

My house is cold. I’m thinking a hot cup of coffee is a perfect remedy.

“There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy and a book.”

May 4, 2018

Sometime during the night it rained. I woke up to clouds but now the sun is breaking through. The windows are still open. The morning is quiet except for the birds. After today it will get chilly again, back to the 50’s. Summer had a short run.

Yesterday was a quiet day for me. I didn’t even get dressed. My cleaning couple came. They greeted Henry first and and tried to get him to feel more comfortable with them by plying him with treats. He ate the treats but didn’t love being patted. Henry is becoming a guard dog but only when someone knocks or rings the bell. His growl is deep. I’d stay away.

Today I go to the dentist for my six month cleaning. I have never liked going to the dentist even for something as benign as having my teeth cleaned. This is because of the dentist I saw when I was in the seventh grade. He was old. His equipment was old. He didn’t use novocaine. My fingertips left imprints on arms of the chair. He had been my father’s dentist. We went to him because he was cheap. After that I was willing to let my teeth fall out rather than go to a dentist; however, before I left for Ghana, I had to have my teeth perfect: no problems, no teeth needing fillings or yanking so I bit the bullet and went. Since then I have faithfully gone to the dentist twice a year, reluctantly gone to the dentist twice a year.

I went through the movies I’ve bought for this summer’s movie nights. The Beast of Yucca Flats is one of them. It is so awful it is fun. Some critics content it is worst than Plan 9 from Outer Space. It has no soundtrack. You never see the characters talk. They turn their faces. There are only voice-overs and narratives. I think the reason might be that the film’s total budget was estimated at $34,000. The Four Feathers, from 1939, is another. It is an excellent film. I’ve seen it a couple of times and am happy to see it again. One of my favorites is Dick, the story of Watergate and the fall of a president as told by two teenage girls. It is a parody filled with happenstance. It’s funny. I also have To Kill a Mockingbird but I’m not so sure how that’ll go over. The film is superb but maybe not for a Saturday on the deck. 

Necco may close. It is scheduled for a bankruptcy auction on May 23. People are stockpiling Necco Wafers. I can’t imagine Valentine’s Day without Necco Sweethearts. Sky Bars have always been a favorite of mine. I just bought a whole box of twenty-four, sort of a mini-hoarding. I’m saving them for movie nights. I just discovered Tropical Necco Wafers so I’ll hunt down a box of those. I remember the great toilet paper scare when people were depleting grocery shelves thinking they’d be a shortage. This is worse. I could find substitutes for toilet paper but not for Necco Wafers.

“It’s not always easy to distinguish between existentialism and a bad mood.”

March 8, 2018

The rain came yesterday in the mid-afternoon and stayed all night. It was sometimes so heavy it pelted the roof loudly enough to drown out the TV. Boston and further north had snow, a wet, heavy snow, the sort which looks beautiful for a minute then you notice how laden down the trees and branches are, and you hope they survive. Some wires fell from the weight of the snow and even blocked major roads. Here the sun has been trying to come out of the clouds. Twice now the sky has brightened. I get hopeful. I need sun to dispel my dark mood, a mirror of the rain and the clouds.

My Travelocity gnome and my pink, plastic flamingo are in the den. They winter here. In the warm months they live on my deck. It is a special occasion when they travel from winter to summer, from the den to the deck. I always think there should be a parade and music. They are announcing summer is finally here, a cause for celebration, for good food, and for warm days lolling on the deck. Right now, though, all of that seems a sweet memory.

From when I was kid, I remember winter most of all. My school was an old one with high windows and drafts of cold air so for most of the winter we all wore sweaters. I remember walking across the field below my street, a sort of shortcut home, and having to walk backwards because of the wind. My cheeks turned red and numb. The wind blew up the sleeves of my coat. My ears always hurt even when I was wearing a hat as it mostly just covered my head so I’d put my mittened hands over my ears trying to warm them just a bit. Mostly I failed. By the time I’d get home, I was freezing. Right away I’d take off my school clothes and get into my pajamas and slippers. I’d wrap myself in my blanket. In a short while, I was warm and all the parts of my body had come back to life.

I have no energy today, and I don’t care. It is the weather which is causing this foul mood.   A bit of sun is all I need.