Posted tagged ‘sloth days’

“Memories are like a garden. Regularly tend the pleasant blossoms and remove the invasive weeds.”

January 16, 2018

I woke up to the sun and a blue sky, but I knew it was just the sun with light, no warmth. The temperature is 33˚. My feet crunched on the grass when I went to get the papers. The dusting from yesterday’s snow has frozen. Nothing will melt. The snow covers the ice. I’m careful.

I don’t remember much about being really little. I have only fleeting pictures in my memories. I remember the nursery school where I lasted a single day. It was a brick building covered in ivy and was across the street from our apartment building. My mother told me I cried so much the second day she never sent me again. That part I don’t remember. I remember the backyard. It was filled with clothes lines stretched from metal poles. They were in boxes outlined by chain link fences, and each apartment building had its own lines in its own box. I remember how the lines were surrounded by the brick buildings filled with apartments. The front of my building had steps which were in a small round row.

When I was five, we moved from the city to the town where I would grow up. I don’t remember moving, but I do remember exploring and being found by the police who said I was lost. I didn’t notice. My sister lives on the same street only a block away from where I was found. Coincidence is funny. I have no recollection of my first day of school, but I remember being terrified by Sister Redempta. Mrs. Kerrigan was my second grade teacher, and she was old. I remember flowered dresses and gray hair and seeing her walk across the street from the church to the house where she lived. Her apartment was on the second floor. I loved my nun in the third grade, Sister Eileen Marie, and I remember our classroom was in the cellar of the rectory. I remember tables and chairs instead of desks, and I know I sat on the outside of a table toward the back of the room. I was eight that year. Going to school in the cellar was a sort of adventure.

From then on, my memories are more vivid, but they are fragmented as my memory drawers are nearly full. I cram the most recent memories way in the back of the drawer almost in a pile. I figure it is a good thing when I have sloth days as there is nothing memorable, nothing to keep in mind except warmth, comfort and a good book.

“In the morning I woke like a sloth in the fog.”

December 9, 2013

I am going back to bed for a bit hoping to shake this malaise. My heat is cranking, but I am still cold, never a good sign. We went out for breakfast today, but we should have stayed home in bed warm and cozy under the comforter. It is raining: a cold, heavy rain. This morning the ground had an inch or two of slush. I didn’t leave footprints on the lawn when I got the papers but I left a trail which filled with water as soon as I took another step. The day has little to commend it. The best I can say is it isn’t snow. 

On my way to breakfast I noticed cars on the side streets still running and filled with parents and kids. They were waiting for the school bus. Not a single little kid waited in the rain. I would have had no choice but to walk to school. Most of us always did. On days like today we’d hurry to school not drawn by the idea of learning but by the warmth of the schoolroom and the hopes of getting dry. We’d hang up our coats then walk into class with red cheeks and runny noses from the cold. I don’t remember math or any other subjects on those sorts of days. I just remember the lights being on and the rain hitting the windows. 

My house is dark except for the laptop’s monitor. I can hear the rain. It is heavier than it has been all morning. The temperature is too warm for snow so it will stay rainy all day into tomorrow. I’m content to be inside. I have cards to write, laundry to do and books to read.

I am tending toward a sloth day being, as I am, out of sorts so I’m going to finish now so I can change into my cozy flannels, my slippers and my sweatshirt, the accepted uniform for a winter sloth. 

“Walking is a virtue, tourism is a deadly sin.”

September 15, 2013

Fall weather has settled in for the duration. The days are pleasant, the nights cool, even cold. In the morning, the house is still night cold so we go outside in the sun on the deck to get warm. When I last went outside, Gracie was lying in the sun on the lounge chair.

Last week was busy for me with something every day. I drove over 400 miles. I wasn’t happy. Considering I usually drive between 20 and 40 miles a week you can understand why. I like my sloth days, and I haven’t had one in a while. This coming week four days are already booked so I’m keeping the rest of my week’s dance card empty.

My friends have already landed in Ghana and are probably at their B&B. I wished them a safe and wonderful trip through teeth gritted with envy. Their plans aren’t solidified. Bill said they’d be leaving Accra in three days for parts unknown though I know Bolga will be on the list. He said they hadn’t yet made hotel reservations anywhere. I chuckled to myself. Who makes reservations in Ghana?  Up country has plenty of hotels and not a lot of tourists.

Most people I know who visit other countries do so in places with flush toilets, hot water and air conditioning. The very thought of aiming at a hole in the ground is horrifying to them. Good aim is the difference between a tourist and a traveler. I have stayed in absolutely gorgeous hotels and in some of the seediest places you can imagine. Once I stayed at a brothel. I didn’t know it was until all the knocking on doors and all the men doing the knocking. I didn’t sleep much that night. In a small hotel in Columbia, I swear you came out of the bathroom dirtier than when you went in. The hotel at the Iguazu Falls was pure luxury. It was right at the falls and had huge rooms and amazing food. There was a garden walk with parrots in the trees. There was even a casino. It was not my usual hotel. In Lomé, Togo I spent two nights at a wonderful hotel as a treat for myself  before I moved over the Peace Corps Hostel. The hotel had air-conditioning and hot water and a delicious breakfast. It’s where I ate barbecued lobster on the terrace. The hostel had bunk beds.

On my first trip back to Ghana we stopped at a roadside chop bar (restaurant sort of) for fufu. I had to go the bathroom so I walked around the corner wall to the hole in the ground. My aim wasn’t as good as it used to be, but it got better the longer we traveled. By the time I left, it was perfect.

“Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.”

June 6, 2013

On Tuesday, of all my errands and chores, I only managed to buy the flowers. The rest of the list was put on hold for no reason except I didn’t want to do them, my favorite reason of all. Yesterday, though, was my most industrious day to date. I was the ant, not the grasshopper. I planted in all the deck boxes, pots and baskets, all 16 of them, and was quite creative in putting together the displays. There was one which was red, white and blue and another with beach grass and pink flowers with a sea creature on a stick added to each pot for decoration. I put the herbs in their window boxes: the thyme, rosemary and basil. When I’d finished planting, I was filthy and sweaty but yesterday was the perfect day to be working outside. It was cool and sunny so when I had finished with the pots and all, I sat outside for a bit just to enjoy the day. When I came back inside, I went upstairs. The cat boxes got changed as did the bed. My last upstairs chore was the badly needed shower after all that dirt. I sat and read for a bit downstairs then went out. Poor Gracie didn’t come as this is too warm a season for her to be left in the car. I sneaked to the dump, the pharmacy, the drop-in clinic, Staples and finally the plant store for a small tomato plant for the hanging thingee which hangs the tomato upside down. When I got home, I collapsed. I figure I don’t have to do anything else for at least a week!

In front of my house the other day was the truck belonging to the irrigation guy. Later that same day Peapod delivered my groceries. Today Roseana and Lee will be here to clean. I have Skip, my factotum, who is always only a phone call away. Here I am with more free time than I’ve ever had, but time I don’t want to squander on the mundane, on cleaning or shopping. I already resent my laundry, one of the few chores left to me. When I worked, I did everything on the weekends. I mowed the lawn, went grocery shopping, changed the bed, did my laundry and went to the dump every Sunday. Now I have people and more sloth days than anything. I figure I earned them.