Posted tagged ‘school vacation’

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

February 19, 2017

Today is a bit of a gift from Mother Nature, and considering how many times I cursed her this winter, I am surprised by her generosity. It is sunny and warm, even springlike. A few puffy clouds add texture to the blue sky. A breeze ruffles the brown leaves. It is a day to be outside. I’m working on getting there.

My neighbor put my newspaper on the front steps for me this morning. I saw it and one other paper when I opened the door. The other paper is the Cape Times from February 13th. I have no idea where he found it. I didn’t  miss a paper. I figure it must be my neighbor’s, and it got tossed here with the snow when her driveway was shoveled.

Small mounds of snow are still visible but only on the corners of the streets. Between the rain and the above freezing temperatures, the snow had no chance. I’m glad it’s mostly gone.

My front lawn, mostly on one side, is a total mess. It is covered with branches and needles from the tree sized branch which fell. There are long gashes on the grass. I’m thinking that whole side of the lawn may need a reboot.

This is school vacation week. I used to like traveling to one place for the whole week. My mother and I spent this week in Rome on our last vacation together. We saw it all. One of my favorites was the catacombs, a couple of bus rides and a long walk away.

Each night we’d have a drink in the bar before going to our room. My mother had cognac. That was a shock. My mother was a whiskey and coke drinker. When I mentioned my shock, my mother said it was vacation mode when anything goes. I loved that.

My week will be quiet. Actually, the rest of February will be quiet. I have an empty dance card until March.

Gracie needs to be fed, and I need to get dressed in my outside the house clothes. We are going out to enjoy the day.

“What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”

February 16, 2015

Just looking out my front door to watch the progress of the plowing and shoveling gave me snow blindness when I turned back into the house. It is as bright a day as we’ve had in weeks. It is also freezing. The wind is so strong it is blowing the snow with the same ferocity and lack of visibility as in a sand storm, just not with the grit. Though my plow guys keep turning their backs to the snow cloud, their beards were frosted and icy with snow. My walkway is shoveled, the car is free and Gracie’s steps and stairs have also been shoveled. I threw de-icer on all the front and back steps, and it is already working. This morning’s paper is now in my hands. I just brewed a fresh pot of coffee. It is already a good day.

This is school vacation week around here. I never understood why we needed one in February having just had a long Christmas vacation, but I didn’t argue. When I was a kid, we never went anywhere or did anything special as my Dad was working. When I was older, my friends and I would get together. I remember a toboggan party at the Winchester Country Club. My friends Bobby and Jimmy and I fit perfectly on Bobby’s toboggan. We were daredevils who went down the steepest hills. I remember one hill with a slope in the middle. The toboggan flew over the slope and the three of us were airborne. When the toboggan landed, Jimmy ended up half hanging off the back of the sled. He stayed that way until we finally stopped. He wasn’t hurt just snow-covered. We looked at each other without saying a word and as if on cue, we started trudging up that hill to do it again. This time we all stayed on.

When I was teaching, I used to go traveling for the week, mostly to Europe. The weather wasn’t all that bad, it was off-season and cheaper and there were fewer tourists. I’d pick one place for the week. One year it was Rome. Another year it was Vienna. I can’t remember how many times it was London.

Today I have laundry to do. I’m tired of looking at it in the hall. Looks like a big day ahead of me.

“Heap on more wood! the wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will, We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.”

December 19, 2011

Last night dropped to the teens, as low as 14°, but, luckily, I was home warm and cozy wearing slippers and wool socks to complement my usual nighttime winter ensemble. Today feels warm at 39°. If the wind would disappear, it would feel even warmer. It’s strong enough to sway the big feeder and take the birds for a ride. I’d get car sick if I went back and forth that many times.

I never did get to the grocery store with my list but, instead, I went to a smaller store to pick up cat food and paper towels; however, I can procrastinate no longer and will leave for the Stop and Shop as soon as I finish here. I need to do my Christmas baking.

December 23rd was usually when we got out of school for vacation. We went to school the same as usual that morning, but it was never really a usual school day. We were far too excited to learn anything so the nun, knowing she was facing a losing battle, would vary the activities. In the morning we’d color Christmas scenes and make Christmas cards for our parents. In the afternoon we’d have a party.

My Christmas cards were seldom works of art. Most had a tree on the front because trees were easy to draw and decorate. I used a yellow crayon to make garlands because the white crayon was never any good to use. You couldn’t see it. You could feel it but not see it. I made dots of color for the lights but never ventured into ornaments. They would have looked like blobs. My inside messages tended to be on a slant and sometimes I ran out of space and had to loop my words. My mother made a big deal oohing and ahhing when I gave her my card. It was as if I had given her a real masterpiece. I always felt proud.

Christmas Day is a Sunday this year. When I was a kid, I loved it being on a Sunday. It was like cheating a little as it counted twice. It was both a Sunday mass and a Christmas day mass. We often went to the very first mass of the day walking to church in the cold darkness so we could hurry home to play with our new toys. I remember thinking we were the only people in the world awake that early. All the houses were  dark, but, on the way home, the sky was light and the people were awake. We could see tree lights shining when we looked at the windows as we quickly passed by them. We were in a hurry to get home.

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