Posted tagged ‘skipping’

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”

May 7, 2017

This morning’s sky is the deepest of blues, a breathtaking blue. Not a cloud can be seen. I figure it is Mother Nature’s way of apologizing to us for all that rain, two days worth. The air is a bit chilly, only 54˚. It will get a little warmer but won’t break 60˚. It’s is after all spring on Cape Cod.

The trees are flowering on my street, some white, some bright pink. Gardens are filling with blooming flowers. The air smells sweet. Small leaves are growing on the scrub oak trees. I walk Gracie to the backyard several times a day. She always stops on the front lawn and sniffs the air. Any noise grabs her attention. At our 4:30 this morning walk to the backyard, she sniffed a bit then hurried to the gate. She ran into the backyard and squatted right away. We both went back inside and we both fell asleep. I woke up around 7:30. Gracie is back to sleep. It is her morning nap time.

My dance card has been really empty for the last few weeks, and the only dance this week is a library board meeting. The laundry is done, the trash has gone to the dump, and the house is clean. My deck still has its winter look, but that will change in the next week or two.

Gracie and I just came inside. The wind is blowing enough so I can hear all the chimes from my backyard trees. It is a chilly wind.

Spring energizes me. A warm day gets me out of the house so I don’t miss it. It is the same feeling I remember having as a kid. I felt free somehow. Gone was the heavy coat. Gone was walking backward into the wind on freezing cold mornings. Spring always made me want to skip.

“Recess and lunch are the best.”

November 3, 2015

Today is absolutely beautiful. The breeze is slight, the sun is strong and the temperature is in the 60’s. I think Gracie and I might be taking a ride later. I have a few errands to do then off we’ll go with no destination in mind, a ride just for the fun of it.

Every now and then we’d skip part of the way to school. There was a sense of exhilaration, of joy, when we’d skip. First we’d hop on one foot then we’d hop on the other and we’d keep hopping until we were so tired we had to stop. Skipping wasn’t as fast as running but it was faster than walking and was more fun. Learning to skip looked easy but it wasn’t. My feet seemed to get tangled in the hopping, and I’d lose the rhythm. Finally after many starts and stops I got my feet to work and I was finally a skipper.

Jumping rope was another one of those get your rhythm and your feet working together. We used to jump rope at recess. It was a single rope as none of us knew about double Dutch. We had rhymes we said while jumping. They helped us keep the cadence, the rhythm. I was okay at the slow jumping but once we hit the fast jumping, pepper, I was doomed. I always ended up being the rope swinger.

Probably around the sixth grade we stopped jump roping. We were on the second floor of the school and felt older. We thought jump roping was for kids. During recess we’d just stand around in small groups of friends and talk. Boys started to be a conversational item. We were still too young for dating but we were poring the foundation (sorry-that was the only analogy I could come up with). We’d decide who among the boys in our class was the cutest. We never talked about the nicest or the smartest. It was always the cutest.

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”

March 8, 2014

A sunny day with a blue sky and warm temperatures almost makes me wonder if I’m delusional. My mind is having trouble wrapping around this change in weather. It’s hard to believe, I know, but it is actually above freezing and will get to the 40’s today. The sides of my street are a stream of water from the melting plow piles. My birdseed barrel is no longer frozen to the deck. My front lawn is snowless. I wore my slippers to get the papers, and my socks didn’t get wet. My mouth is agape.

My furnace needed a new blower motor. It was around 62˚ in here by the time it was fixed, but it didn’t take long for the house to be warm and cozy again. The furnace even blows more quietly now. The bill will be in the mail.

When we’d have a string of warm days, I’d start riding my bike to school. It was mostly downhill in the morning until the straightaway which led directly to school. The bike rack was in the schoolyard under the trees. It was made of wood and painted green. We never used locks, and I don’t remember anyone ever having a bike stolen. The ride home was uphill, and by the time I was halfway up the hill by my house, I was walking my bike. It was early in the season, and my legs weren’t hill ready yet. They wouldn’t be until closer to summer when I would always ride all the way up the big hill and never think of stopping.

A day like today meant putting the winter coat, the hat, the mittens and the scarf away even if only for this one day. It was a wonderful freedom of movement. I loved my spring jackets. They were always light colors, usually pastels. I’d wear a sweater underneath until it got warm enough for just the jacket, for when spring was in full bloom.

In the spring I always felt like skipping. Walking wasn’t joyous enough.

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.”

July 14, 2011

All that heat and humidity of the last two days gave way to an amazing thunder and lightning storm last night. It was fantastic. I sat by the window so I wouldn’t miss the lightning. The rain poured for the longest time, and it was still raining when I went to bed. Today is amazing. It’s the sort of day I’d invent if I were Mother Nature. It’s 66° and breezy, but the sun is hot. Tonight is predicted to be in the high 50’s. Now, where did I put that blanket?

When I was young, I used to sing out loud. I didn’t know you were supposed to be on key. After I found out how horribly I sang, I didn’t sing out loud in front of anyone again. I still sing in the car, and I remember the 100 mile trip from Tamale to Bolgatanga on my new motorcycle, a Honda 90, when I sang out loud for almost the whole trip. I even sang Christmas carols as I remember the words to them best of all.

I am a terrible dancer. I have no rhythm. Even when I was young, I was a terrible dancer. It was only in the crush of the crowd on the dance floor that I would dance. It was my way of staying anonymous. But when I was young, I was an extraordinary skipper. I could even skip all the way to school if I wanted. I was also a wonderful hopper on either leg because I had a great sense of balance. We always walked on one railroad track to see who could go the longest without falling off. I usually won.

I could never get the hula hoop to stay on my hips. It would turn once or twice then fall to the floor. My friends could walk while still spinning that hoop. I was always a bit jealous. When I was  in Ghana, my mother sent me one of those wooden paddles with the red ball on an elastic. Many nights we went out back and had contests to see how long we could keep the ball going. I may not have had hip coordination, but I could that ball bouncing well into the three hundreds.

I was a good athlete and a darn good softball pitcher. I played basketball as well. That was in the days of half court girls’ games, and I played defense so I could never shoot the ball, and I was stuck in the backcourt. Back then you could only dribble a couple of times before you had to pass. I was the secret weapon strong enough to throw the ball down the whole court. I’d throw it to our lone, undefended offensive player waiting for the ball under the basket. She almost always scored.

I always think it a bit ironic that my blog posts music, but I still sing along quite loudly. It’s for the joy of  music.