Posted tagged ‘small breeze’

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

July 7, 2016

I am behind closed doors and shut windows. My house is a fortress against the heat and humidity. If I happen to step outside, I feel overwhelmed by the heat, but mostly by comparison to the wonderfully cool house. The breeze is stirring the oak tree leaves, but it isn’t strong enough to keep the house cool as the day becomes afternoon. The afternoons are pure misery.

Last night was a delight. I went to the Payomet Performing Arts Center, a small, perfect venue. We sat in the cheap seats, but the tent is so small you can see the stage from anywhere, and we were mostly outside so there was a lovely breeze. We saw Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I don’t think I stopped smiling during the whole performance. It was wonderful. Their voices mingled in the most amazing harmony as they sang a cappella. Their hand gestures helped translate the words of their native language. They danced and kicked their legs as high as their heads. They sometimes did it over and over. I figured they must be exhausted at the end of each performance. The first time I had heard them was on Paul Simon’s Graceland album. Last night they sang Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes and Homeless, songs from that album. My friends were a bit hesitant to come because they had never heard of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but they were fans by the end and thanked me for suggesting they come, but I figured the ice coffee and the blueberry dessert they brought were thanks enough.

It seemed a bit strange for me to be coming home at eleven. Usually I am watching the news or a movie and thinking about going to bed but last night was different. I was glad for an evening spent listening to great music and being with my friends who made the everything even better.

Today is a quiet day.

“My favorite meal is turkey and mashed potatoes. I love Thanksgiving, it’s just my favorite. I can have Thanksgiving all year round.”

November 24, 2015

Today is a sunny day but not a warm, sunny day. Gracie’s ears are always cold when she comes back inside the house. There is hardly any breeze, and only the tips of the dead leaves on the smallest branches move. The summer sun warms us while today’s sun, the deep fall sun, only gives us light.

My hand is still swollen, but I am back to my two fingered typing. When I went to get the papers this morning, I walked gingerly on the brick walkway, the site of yesterday’s fall. All went well.

Just before Thanksgiving never had the excitement of just before Christmas. In school we colored turkeys and cut out construction paper turkey tails we’d later glue to our papers though a few usually ended up stuck to our fingers. I hadn’t ever seen a real turkey, just pictures of one. My turkeys came in a package and were usually frozen. My mother always bought a huge turkey which fed us endlessly after the holiday. She’d put it in the blue, enamel roasting pot then into the oven where it would cook for hours. She’d baste it with its own juices, and she’d sneak a bit of the stuffing, the crusty part sticking out of the turkey. My mother made the best stuffing. The secret, but not such a big secret here in New England, was the Bell’s seasoning, which my sister and I still use. It comes in a small yellow box with a turkey on the front and is a combination of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, and marjoram. My mother would cook the onion and celery in butter then pour it on the bread, add milk and finally the Bell’s. I used to try to sneak a bit of the seasoned bread before it even went into the bird. It was delicious.

The house on Thanksgiving smelled the best it ever smelled. Every time my mother opened the oven more of that aroma would spread into the air and fill all of our senses. The turkey, when it was finished, was a beautifully browned masterpiece. My father always carved. He’d ask us what we wanted. We always said the white meat. When I was much older, I realized the dark meat was the best, moist and tasty. My father always took a leg. He’d cut what he could then he’d pick up the leg and eat the rest of the meat. When he was done, the leg was stripped clean, only bones and cartilage were left on the plate.


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