Posted tagged ‘smell of the ocean’

“The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.”

August 25, 2017

Some mornings all the elements converge just right and the most gorgeous day dawns. Today is one of those mornings. The breeze is from the north, and I could smell the ocean when I was out with Gracie. Both of us stayed on the deck, not wanting to come inside. The smell of the salt water flooded my mind’s eye with familiar images. I saw the ocean with its tiny whitecaps hitting the sand. I saw the grasses atop the dunes dancing, blown by the slight breeze.

The morning air is cool today. Sharp sunlight glints through the trees hanging over the deck and leaves shadows of armlike branches. The small round mirrors hanging from the pine branches send a reflection of white circles bouncing around the side yard. The birds fly in and out, and I was glad I filled the feeders yesterday.

Today in all its glory needs to be savored.

I’m watching the news about Hurricane Harvey. I know what it’s like to dread the coming wind, rain and high water. I remember Hurricane Bob. It left trees across roads, wires hanging from split telephone poles and branches all over streets and yards. I lost a fir tree in my front yard, my second Christmas tree, but I still felt lucky because the tree fell away from the house. Stores were closed. I was without electricity for days. I cooked all of the freezer meat on the grill trying to save it. I drove all over to find ice. I couldn’t believe the damage I saw. It took a long while for the clean-up and for everything to get back to normal.

On August 25th 1954, two amazing events occurred. Hurricane Carol developed near the Bahamas and started its way toward New England. It would reach the coast days later, at the end of the month. Carol was devastating and deadly. Cape Cod was evacuated. More than 10,000 homes across New England were damaged including 1,545 that were completely destroyed. 3,000 boats and 3,500 automobiles were wrecked. Even Boston wasn’t spared. The wind sheared off the steeple of the Old North Church. Though I was only seven, I have memories of this storm. The giant, old elm tree across from my house went down and fell on the street making the road impassable. My father brought my brother and me outside during the eye of the hurricane to see the tree, and we climbed among the branches. I remember how still it was and how quiet.

The second amazing event was my sister Moe was born. Today she turns 63. She was under 5 pounds at birth so the hospital kept her until she gained more weight. That was the practice back then. She was still in the hospital when we lost electricity so we glad she was. By the time she came home, our house was back to normal.

My sister and Carol are forever joined in my memory.  That’s not to say they have anything in common except both were born on the same day.

“Wisely and slowly; they stumble that run fast.”

October 13, 2016

hinesThe morning again came early. I was awake at 4:30 but stayed in bed until 5 hoping to fall asleep again. That didn’t work. I brewed coffee, checked my e-mail and watched the TV news. When I went outside to get the paper, the air had a bit of the ocean about it. Most of the houses were still dark. My neighbors across the street still had their shades down. It was quiet. I miss the hubbub of Bolgatanga’s mornings. I even miss that rooster.

Getting back to the usual takes time.

Ghana wasn’t my last trip. My wanderlust has only been sated, not eliminated. I figure in three years or so I’ll have enough for a trip somewhere. I’m thinking the Dominican Republic.

The last couple of days have been delights. The temperature has been in the 60’s. The sun shines and the sky is a lovely pale blue. Today a few clouds are hanging around to legitimize the possibility of rain predicted on the early weather.

Fern, Maddie and Gracie survived quite nicely. The housesitter favored Gracie, and all the dog’s treats were gone. The home health aid, the person I paid to come every day to give Fern her medicine, did a great job. Fern looks good though a bit skinny. She has been eating up a storm including lots of cat treats. I suspect the cats missed me. Cats are like that. Either they will eat everything or very little when upset. There were too many unopened cans. They are now making up for lost time.

My dance card is empty for today. I could do a second wash, and I need to water my plants, but all in good time is my current view of life. I had to go to Hyannis yesterday and I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. That is far too much excitement.

“I am drawn to the ocean; I find solace in its mystery.”

June 12, 2015

The morning is lovely. Earlier I met friends for breakfast at a spot on the water. To get there I took the long way around on the road which hugged the seashore. The houses along the sides of the road are big and beautiful with gardens to match. A couple of the bigger houses are well hidden behind high bushes. Some are gated.

As there is no breeze for a change, the water was still. The fog was thick enough to hide the ocean beyond the breakwater. When I arrived at the restaurant, it was high tide, and I could smell the salt water. I took in deep breaths as if to memorize the smell. Boats came and left by way of the channel. One excursion boat was filled with kids in life jackets, a school group we guessed. Good for them! It is a perfect day to be on the water.

The sun is shining, and it is already warm, 76˚. After today, though, the days will be cooler, and even a couple of nights will dip to the 50’s. The weekend will be dry. June on Cape Cod is unpredictable.

Today all is quiet. Not a lawnmower or blower disturbs the songs of birds. This room is still shaded and cool. The sun won’t be here until the late afternoon.

I am barefooted. That is the summer standard in the house and on the deck. When I was a kid, I went barefooted all the time. My feet were calloused and even the hot sidewalks had no effect. I loved the feel of cool grass between my toes. In Ghana I wore sandals all the time, but my feet still each became a giant callous impervious to everything including a lit match. Why a lit match? It was a test, a silly test, to determine exactly how tough my feet had become. The match did not even bother me at all.

I have a couple of places I need to go, but I am reluctant to leave the cool house for the hot, busy road. I guess, though. I’ll just have to bite the bullet.

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

September 27, 2014

Yippee! It is a deck day, warm and lovely. Summer just isn’t ready to leave yet, and I’m glad. Both doors are open and the air smells like cut grass. Early this morning it smelled like the ocean.

When I went to get the papers this morning, I noticed yellow leaves on the bush across the street and red leaves on my burning bush by the driveway. It seems fall is making its presence known a bit at a time.

The best part of being a kid was taking delight in so many things. I mostly remember being happy. Many adults see the world through darker glasses and have learned to be cynical and sometimes distrustful. A kid is wide-eyed. Snow is a joy not an inconvenience. Rain means puddles to run through. Grass is soft and cool and lying on it gives the best view of the summer’s night sky. A bicycle takes us away. A nickel is a king’s ransom, a treasure. Finding a bottle is another nickel, another treasure.

Being a teenager was a lot of work. I had to endure those horrific rollers in my hair, sometimes even overnight. The right clothes and shoes were a necessity. Boys got important. I seldom noticed the weather except for rain. It ruined my hair. School meant hours of homework. I did have fun with my friends and I was out most weekends, but the future was always looming.

College was work but it was fun. We partied a lot. Some weekends passed in a daze. I was far too busy with classes and weekends to notice much about the world. I had choices to make my senior year. I chose the Peace Corps, and I am forever thankful for that. All of a sudden it was a new world and I was wide-eyed again. I stopped and looked and slept outside under a billion stars. I was a little kid again.

I still stop and notice. Once relearned, it isn’t ever forgotten.