Posted tagged ‘school’

“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”

January 30, 2018

When I woke up early, I saw the snow falling outside my window so I got up and checked it out. I figured there were about 2 or 3 inches already on the ground. I decided it was a great day to go back to bed day so I did. I managed over two more hours. Maddie was impatient. She heard me moving around and started meowing trying to guilt me into getting up. She was unsuccessful.

It is still snowing. The weatherman says the cape will have snowfall the longest. When I want to get the papers, I surprised by how deep it was and how cold the air felt. It is a good day to stay home.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have all that many snow days. We’d walk to school mostly on the street because they didn’t plow sidewalks. The road always had a hard packed layer of snow, and we’d run and slide in a snow race of sorts. We’d also fall down. I remember wearing pink longish thermal underwear which came to my knees under my skirt. From the knees down, I wore knee socks. I had boots, the sort you put over your shoes. I wore my winter coat, knitted hat and mittens. I wouldn’t have looked out of place on the back of a dog sled in the Arctic.

The cloak room outside the classroom was never build to hold all of our winter clothes. There were rows of hooks on two sides but the hooks just weren’t long enough. The only hope was that the jackets on either side would hold mine on the hook and off the floor. The cloak room floor was wet and dirty from all our boots. I remember standing in my stocking feet after pulling off my boots. I then had to pull my shoes out of the boots. While I was doing that, my socks got wet and dirty. I didn’t care. My mittens and my hat went up the sleeves for safe keeping. I remember once not finding my hat until I got home. I never felt it in the sleeve. I thought I lost it.

The house is warm, cozy and inviting so I’m going nowhere. Should I get bored, there are a few things I can do including that laundry still leaning against the cellar door. The only problem is I have a bag of books I got from the library. I’ll just have to be strong.

“Winter slithers, autumn strolls, summer swims, spring skips.”

November 7, 2017

The sun is hiding. It was here earlier but it’s gone now. Today is chillier than it has been, but not chilly enough for the heat to be triggered. The clouds are white, and there is barely a breeze, but I’ll take the clouds rather than the usual cold of November.

When I was a kid, I rode my bike all year. Only the snow stopped me. The roads were seldom plowed all the way down to street so it was too slippery for bike wheels. It was sort of the same when I was walking to and from school. The sidewalks were shoveled by the people who lived beside them, not the town, so we’d hit parts which had never seen a shovel. Rather than get all snowy and wet, we’d move to the road and walk in the ruts. Sometimes we’d have to walk toe to heel because the ruts were so narrow. Sometimes we’d fall into the snow. We always laughed.

I really didn’t mind school all that much in the winter, but I really minded it in late spring and fall when the days were still warm and bright. All I could think of was I should be outside playing or riding my bike; instead, the best weather was being wasted, and a taste of the day at recess only made it worse. All I could do each school day was watch through my classroom windows as warm days withered away. We played when we got home from school but darkness came early, and the street lights were on by four. My mother didn’t care what time it was. She went with the street light curfew.

My town had so many trees bordering the streets and sidewalks that fallen leaves were everywhere. The ones on lawns were cleared and burned, but the rest sat in gutters or around tree trunks. Yellow and orange are the colors of fall to me.

Sometimes I still think of all the other seasons in colors. Spring is green, all different, varied greens. Summer is all colors especially reds and yellows, pinks and purples as the gardens come to life. Winter is white when it snows, and red and green at Christmas, but the rest of winter is mostly brown and grey. We’re almost there now.

“It is labour indeed that puts the difference on everything.”

September 4, 2017

Labor Day is the proverbial end of summer. I remember the now outdated fashion rule of not wearing white after Labor Day. I remember lamenting this was the last day of freedom, but I also remember being a bit excited about the new school year. The tradition was to barbecue, sort of a last salute to summer. I had to take a bath on a Monday. School dictated cleanliness. It was difficult to go to bed early, but my mother demanded it. Being sent to bed, however, wasn’t the same as sleeping. That took a while. Morning meant an early wake-up, a quick breakfast, new clothes and the walk to school. Everything was familiar. It was the same every year.

The real meaning of Labor Day has been blurred. It was first celebrated in the early 1880’s as a day to honor laborers, “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” The first states to recognize the day were Massachusetts, Oregon, New York, Colorado and New Jersey. It became a holiday in 1884 and was a day for parades and speeches, all meant to honor workers and the contributions of the American labor movement.

Most stores are open today. Municipal and federal buildings and properties like the dump are closed as are banks and those schools which had opened last week. When I was a kid, nothing except maybe a corner store was open. I wish it were that way now.

Today is a beautiful day, sunny and warmer than it has been. I’m thinking I need deck time. I need to bank a few warm days to remember when winter comes and rears its ugly head. I have chicken I can defrost so maybe I’ll even barbecue. I do have to go out for animal food, but that’s it for the day, my only chore, my only to do list item.

When I lived in Ghana, we didn’t celebrate most holidays. We did celebrate the big ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas and one year I celebrated New Year’s Eve at the home of the ambassador to what was then Upper Volta and is now Burkina Faso. We had to work on Thanksgiving, but we did have dinner with turkey and all the fixings. We also added chickens to the menu. Christmas was our biggest holiday. We had gifts, decorated a tree and eat a special dinner. We never celebrated Labor Day. I don’t even think we remembered it.

“Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. ”

July 25, 2017

I apologize for the lateness of the hour, but I have been trying to find out why my new computer keeps telling me it has run out of application memory. I have been deleting files like crazy. I found pieces of files I thought I had wiped from my computer were still lurking in a variety of places. I went looking for duplicate files and found several. I don’t know if I have solved the problem, but I’m hopeful.

This morning when I woke up neither Gracie nor Maddie was around, and my stirring did nothing to alert them. I got worried. Gracie started moving in her crate when I called her. Maddie didn’t respond to my calling her or making that come here cat sound with my lips. I went upstairs and found her sound asleep on my bed. I was so relieved.

Today is dark and damp and really cold. The only word which comes to mind is ugly. It rained most of yesterday, and I got wet taking Gracie into the yard. She dried quickly. I didn’t.

We have to go out in a bit and one stop is at CVS for Gracie’s pills. I’m thinking the parking lot will be filled with cars, and I’ll have to park miles away. I curse tourists on days like today. On sunny days, I can be patient and tolerate, but my mood on a day like today mirrors the weather.

It isn’t bad enough I have to stay up to watch a Sox game from the West Coast which doesn’t start until 10, but I also have to watch them lose. Such misery and pain!

The Patriots have started training camp. Tom Brady just turned 40. He lives for football and his whole regimen, his whole diet, is meant to maximize his physical well being and strength. I, on the other hand, believe that life without ice cream is barely worth living.

The trap in the kitchen is still empty. Maybe the four mice I caught are the end of the infestation. The other two floors, upstairs and the cellar, have no evidence of mice, no poop. Now, if I could only get rid of the spawns. I still haven’t put up my new backyard lights. I miss them as the yard is dark when I take Gracie outside before bed. Last night I heard a noise. Gracie did too. We both looked in the same direction. I kept looking. She went and peed. I took that as all is well.

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

June 5, 2017

Last night was a long one. It rained the whole night. Gracie and I went out at about ten. I got a bit wet and so did she. I was still wide awake an hour or so later so I watched a Hallmark movie. Yes, it had a happy ending despite arson, theft and a murder. At one, after the movie, I roused Gracie to take her out again. She got to the door and backed away, but I was insistent. I should have paid more attention. It was a deluge, but she needed out for the night so I pushed her out the front door with me unhappily behind her. Though I ran as quickly into the house as I could, I got soaked anyway and so did she.

This morning at about eight, Gracie was restless, and she woke me up. We went outside. It was wet but not rainy. It was cold. We came back inside and I went back to bed, or back to couch to be more specific. I snuggled under the covers and the cozy warmth lulled me to sleep. Gracie joined me. I woke up at ten. Gracie was still asleep so I rousted her to get her outside. I led her to the yard then ran inside the house and made coffee. I read the papers and had two cups of coffee. It was a leisurely morning.

Rain is expected again today so the sky is mighty dark. What a surprise! I have some errands, and it is chilly enough for Gracie to come.

When I was a kid, rainy days always seemed different than other days. My classroom seemed quieter. The rustle of papers sounded loud. The rain on the windows caught my attention as the drops slid down the glass and disappeared. The day seemed longer. Lunch was inside, but we didn’t really care. The rain seemed to drain our energy.

In Ghana, I loved the rain. After the dry season ended, every rainstorm was a bit of a miracle. The brown turned green. The dust became soil. Trees sprouted leaves. The fallow fields came alive with the tiny shoots of corn and millet. Rivers sometimes overflowed their banks. I always felt the rain and never minded getting wet.

“Fate chooses our relatives, we choose our friends.”

May 8, 2017

This morning is chilly. My heat went on earlier. The sky is peppered with clouds. I’m thinking it’s a day to stay close to home. Luckily I have everything I need and everything Maddie and Gracie need.

When I was a kid, the future was a day or two away.  Once in a while, I’d be asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. That always took me aback so I chose saying teacher just to have a ready answer. I actually had no idea. I was still planning what I’d do on Saturday. I always thought that was a silly question. People like my aunt the nun asked it because they had no idea how to talk to a kid. How’s school was their other question. Good, the great non-descriptor, was my answer.

My father used to drag us to Connecticut once a year to visit my aunt the nun. She was my father’s older sister. Getting there was quite a production. We’d wear our play clothes until my father stopped at a brick highway rest stop in Connecticut where my mother cleaned us up and we put on church clothes. My aunt was always a nun to me as she became one before I was born. Those were the days of black and white habits and wimples. My aunt never seemed comfortable with our visits. Mostly she just paid attention to my father whom she called brother. He hated that. I remember how quiet the convent was. A nun would deliver cookies and lemonade almost without making a sound. She just whished. Part of the visit was always a tour of the school where my aunt taught. We’d follow behind her from the convent to the school like ducklings behind their mother. The tour was always boring. We knew what schools looked like and hers was no different, but we were glad to be moving not just sitting in the reception living room. We’d finish the tour and then go back to the convent to say our goodbyes until next year. I swear we all let out sighs of relief, even my father, as we were leaving.

I was never close to that aunt even after she ditched the habit. She used to come from Connecticut every year to spend Christmas with my parents. We were all nice to her in a stilted sort of way knowing my cousins were favored and we were abided.

My father often said you could pick your nose but not your relatives. I always thought that was gross but he was right. I offer up my aunt the nun as proof.

“The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature.”

December 8, 2016

I think the sun went on vacation. Yesterday it rained in the morning and stayed cloudy the whole day though it was warmer than I expected. Today is also drab and gray. I am so glad that I was out for quite a while on Tuesday, the first sunny day in a while. I took the highway down cape but came back Route 28. It was a beautiful ride. I passed the ocean a few times. It was low tide and the water was still. It had a grayish tone. I saw a wild turkey fly. I hadn’t ever seen one fly before. It took a lumbering leap into the air and over a fence. I wasn’t sure the turkey had the height but it did. When I was passing the cove, the only boats moored, other than a single sailboat, were fishing boats. Most needed paint and had nets and lobster traps on deck. They all looked weathered and old. In Chatham, the store where I wanted to shop was gone. It didn’t matter. I really enjoyed the ride.

Last night my house was aglow. The front fence has strands of colored lights. The gate has a huge white star on top with trails of white lights coming from it. The top of the fence to and from the star is also white. Beside the driveway, bare branches on a bush are covered in huge Christmas ornaments. A floodlight shines on them. My deck rail has strands of colored lights atop it. I added bows to the three wreaths, put balls of colored ornaments in the basket on the steps and put my old sled with my ice skates beside the step. When it got dark last night, I went outside and stood on the street to check out my house. It is beautiful.

I did what I thought was quite a bit of wrapping yesterday. Come to find out I have so much more. All of the gifts are now downstairs filling the den and the hall. Maddie, though, is complicating the process by lying on the paper. She looks so comfy I don’t want to disturb her. I’ll probably just use different paper.

Tomorrow I’ll get the tree, the highlight of my Christmas. I love to sit in the living room just to look at it. Its aroma fills the house. I have a couple of new ornaments from Ghana. They aren’t really ornaments, but they’re big, round and colorful. They’ll do just fine.