Posted tagged ‘spring’

“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.”

March 3, 2017

Winter dropped by last night to remind us not to get giddy about spring. It will have to be patient, to wait its turn. I saw daffodil buds yesterday in my garden. They are still all green but soon enough they’ll flower. I figure winter is beginning to feel rushed.

The swamp around now would still have ice as the water wasn’t very deep. The remaining ice was mostly in the back on the shaded channels which ran between trees and what we called islands. We’d go as far back as we could. In some places we’d walk on the ice and stoop under the trees while in other places we’d have to go on all fours. We explored in the summer too but then we risked getting wet as we had to jump from island to island.

When I was a kid, we were explorers. We walked or rode our bikes all over town. We had favorite places like the field where the two horses grazed, the tracks which both ended and kept going, the zoo, and the dairy farm. I never got tired of trying the catch the horses, but I’m glad I didn’t. I watched the cows.

Growing up when I did was a gift beyond measure. It meant summers of riding my bike, walking all over town or sleeping outside. We were never afraid. Our mothers had taught us to refuse anything a stranger offered so they figured we were safe enough. They were right. I don’t even remember any strangers.

The first time I went to the movie theater at night was an event. I was 10. The movie was a fund-raiser for my girl scout troop. I remember walking around wearing my uniform and feeling important. My parents bought tickets as did most of the other parents. I don’t even remember what the movie was. I just remember feeling older as if I’d just passed a milestone.

Today is cold, 34˚. It is a sunny day which belies the cold. Tonight the low will be 17˚.

“The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.”

March 2, 2017

The last few days Mother Nature has played with our heads. It has been spring warm. Even with yesterday’s rain, it was warm. Today is another warmish day with bright sun and a daytime temperature in the mid-50’s, but I’m not deceived. Mother Nature is still playing us and our weariness with winter. Tonight she’s dropping winter right back at us. It will be in the mid-20’s.

Yesterday I went to Hyannis for a doctor’s appointment. Ordinarily I would shop after my appointment but I decided, instead, to meander home on Route 28, the garish road filled on both sides by motels, restaurants, miniature golf courses and souvenir shops. Most of them are seasonal so they’re closed. Traffic was light. In the summer, that road is sometimes bumper to bumper as cars go slowly so people can gawk. The only places open yesterday were regular businesses and some of the restaurants. I saw some construction and was able to remember what used to be. One old house is gone, replaced by a park. My friend’s grandmother’s cottages are long gone, replaced by a hotel. They were the old time cottages, individual with a small porch and one outside metal chair. I helped paint them a couple of times. Each one had a view of the ocean. A couple of restaurants used to be hangouts when I was in high school. Jerry’s was prime. It is still there and still serves fried seafood, hot dogs, and hamburgers. The parking lot was always filled. Further up was the A&W with car service. I still miss that one. The building is there but it is a roast beef sandwich spot. The biggest loss was the drive-in. It was sold because it was prime land right next to the water. I don’t know who bought it but nothing has ever been done with that land. They could have left the drive-in.

I know things change. I expect it. It is nostalgic as I grow older. What used to be is important to remember. It is part of my story.

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”

February 18, 2017

My neighbors didn’t try to break-in with their mirrors to test my breathing. I don’t know why they didn’t check or at least call as my newspaper was sitting in the driveway until noon. Maybe there needs to be a stack of papers before the neighbors notice.

I slept so late to make up for the interrupted sleep on Thursday when Gracie was shaking enough to wake me up three or so times. I took her out each time then gave up the bed to sleep downstairs on the couch.

I think I’ve figured out the shaking. It has nothing to do with going out. When I turned the bedroom light on to get ready to go downstairs to take her out, Gracie was always by the edge of the bed looking nervously at the floor. I’m now thinking she might have fallen off the bed, but I can’t imagine when. She is always with me upstairs so maybe it was when I was gone; anyway, last night I decided to switch sides of the bed. It was easy, and it worked. Gracie and I both slept the whole night and the whole morning. We didn’t wake up until noon. She didn’t shake once all night. Solution found though the question still lingers.

Today is a beautiful, warm sunny day. There is a breeze and sometimes even a wind which makes the pine trees sway. The oaks still have brown leaves at the ends of branches. I know spring is coming, it always does, but I get impatient around this time of year. I figure winter has held sway for far too long. The snow last week was the final straw.

My front garden has green shoots. I think they’re daffodils. I also think they’re brave and I do hope they survive. February isn’t finished yet, and March can be snowy.

Baseball spring training is in full swing.

“Laziness is the first step towards efficiency.”

November 29, 2016

or mThere isn’t any sun again. I’ve lost track of how many days. I get up and see clouds out the window; I go to get the papers and feel the cold and damp. The wind is slight so that’s a good thing. Only the edges of the brown leaves flutter and none fall to the ground.

Gracie has a vet appointment at 12:00, an old dog appointment which just means a second physical to make sure all is well. She also needs one shot and to have her nails clipped. It will be expensive. It always is.

Maddie howled me awake this morning. It was late so she probably had lost her patience and wanted her treats and some loving, in that order. Now she is standing beside me getting her neck scratched, and she is purring. If I dare stop, she nudges me with her head.

The laundry is back downstairs in front of the cellar door. Last time it sat here nearly a week. I finally got sick of seeing it. I could have thrown it downstairs, but that would have been far too lazy even for me.

I went through all the catalogues I had yesterday only to get more in the mail. They are never ending.

When I woke up this morning, my first thought was how to fix the dog door. The plastic fell again. I’m thinking a plastic strip over the holes would keep the screws attached. The big holes would disappear. I think I have just what I need in the cellar. That is now today’s other chore. Changing the bed is tops on the list.

Winter makes me lazy. The summer invites me outside and the spring demands attention. Fall catches my eyes with all its color, and I don’t want to miss it. Those colors never last long enough. In winter I’d much rather stay home. Being outside has little appeal. I don’t have to get dressed but can stay in my laze around the house clothes. Any chores can keep. I figure if I dust, I’ll only have to dust again so why bother. The house is neat, and that’s enough.

“May: the lilacs are in bloom. Forget yourself.”

May 19, 2016

Yesterday my irrigation guy came to turn on the lawn water and the outdoor shower. He told me I wouldn’t be taking a shower for a while. I was curious. He told me there was a giant nest in the shower and tons of pine cone pieces. A spawn of Satan daring to build a nest to reproduce was my first thought. I went this morning to check. It is a giant pile, but I didn’t see an opening indicating it might be a nest but I forgot to check the backside in case the spawn chewed through to make a door. I’ll do that later. If it is empty-the pile will be a memory. If there are spawn babies, I’ll wait.

I am announcing it is spring. I know it’s chilly during the day, but the nights only get as low as the 40’s. I even had my window opened all night.

Lately I have had a feeling of anticipation, a sense of something coming. I haven’t ordered anything, am not expecting visitors and no parade is being organized for my street. I’m at a loss so I’ll just have to be patient, not a strong point of mine.

The May procession was around this time. It was on a Sunday, and the whole school took part. The second graders wore their white first communion outfits. The rest of the boys had to wear white shirts and a tie. The colors of their pants didn’t matter. The girls had to wear dresses. The route was a square, not a circle. We started at the school and ended up at the grotto beside the church. The outside of the grotto was stone. A statue of Mary was in a high niche in the front. All the students stood circling the grotto and sang the songs we’d been practicing for weeks. “Mary, we greet thee with flowers today, Queen of the angels, Queen of the May.”I was in eight May processions so I still remember snatches of all the songs. Parents lined the streets to see the procession. Many of them had cameras, Brownie cameras. The pictures were in black and white. Somewhere in the house I have a few of the photos my parents took the year I crowned Mary. I had to walk up a ladder holding the crown of flowers and then placed the crown on the head of the statue. It was quite an honor. The only things I remember are stopping for photos on the route and having Father Smith help me up the ladder because I was wearing an old wedding gown which came to my ankles, and he was afraid I’d trip. That was the highlight of my elementary school years.

The sun is shining. There isn’t a breeze. It is a good day.

 

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

May 16, 2016

Home! Gracie and I got home late yesterday afternoon. It had been a wonderful visit for both of us. Gracie had Bill who walked her every day and Peg who fed her goodies. Peg and I went to the glass blowing shop where I bought some Christmas presents and to a wonderful craft fair where I bought more presents and some stocking stuffers. I also bought myself a few things, that seemed only right. All the area around Mont Vernon where Bill and Peg live is lovely. There are dairy farms, lots of wooded areas and old houses, big old houses. A few miles from their house is a wonderful view from the top of a hill. Stretched out before me were hills, small hills, tall hills and some hills tall enough to be called small mountains. The hills were different color greens and looked like a landscape painted on canvas. The sky was blue and the clouds had the most wonderful shapes. I stopped for a few minutes at the top of the hill to take in that wonderful view.

We laughed a lot, Bill, Peg and I. We share so many memories and have made a few more. Bill said he always wondered how they knew I was coming to visit them in Tafo, in Ghana. I always wondered the same thing. We figured it must have by mail, and in Ghana it was truly snail mail. I used to visit them on my way home from somewhere, usually Togo. I always took the train. They moved to my school for our second year. That’s when we had so many adventures.

The trees near Boston and on the South Shore are filled with leaves. I could see them rippling and turning when the wind blew, but as I continued toward the cape, the trees got barer. By the time I crossed the bridge, I was seeing trees with buds and tiny new leaves. Spring is slow to come to Cape Cod.

A dump run is coming up, and I have a wash to do. Everything is as it was.

“She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.”

May 10, 2016

Today is a gift. I’m thinking Mother Nature has decided to stop teasing us with winter and has embraced spring. Not a branch moves in the stillness of the morning. The sun is bright and is framed by a blue sky. The birds are singing, and I hear several different songs. My feeders are getting a lot of traffic. It is in the mid 50’s but will get warmer as the day grows older. Tonight will be in the mid 40’s. It is a Cape Cod spring day.

This is the time of year when I’d ride my bike to school. I remember speeding down the hills and feeling chilly from the wind. My jacket would fill with air. The ride was short, probably about ten minutes, all downhill going and uphill returning. It should have been the opposite.

The bike rack was old and wooden. It was under branches from the tree in a yard next to the school fence. It was painted a dark green and had layers of paint. You could see them all when the paint chipped. I never had a lock for my bike. I don’t think anyone did. The bikes weren’t fancy. They had the back pedal brakes. Most had wire baskets. The best part of riding my bike was getting home fast and having more time to play in the afternoon.

The streets all had sand from winter when the sand trucks would come by and spew their sand on the snow to give cars better traction, but this time of year it was the street cleaning trucks which would come by. They had brushes low to the ground and would sweep the sand to the  curbside. A couple of times I skidded in the sand. Sometimes we did what came to be called wheelies. Our bikes would leave circular skid marks. Braking at the right time and place was the key.

The day hasn’t started well. I had an early morning meeting and nearly fell out of bed when the alarm went off. On the way to the bathroom I stepped in cat throw up. I have to go out but not for anything fun. I have to some x-rays done of my back. I’ve decided I deserve a good lunch, my favorite sandwich and a whoopie pie for dessert. I definitely earned it this morning.

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

April 28, 2016

Though it is still chilly, I think spring has started to take hold. When I went to get the papers, I stayed outside a while to listen to the birds. Their songs filled the air from everywhere.

Gracie has been outside most of the morning. She lies in the sun on the deck until her fur is hot to the touch, and she has started panting from the heat. She comes inside, waits for a small treat then goes into her crate for a bit of a nap. She and I are going to the dump later.

Yesterday was a busy day for me mostly picking up Coke cans. I was in the cellar looking for a wooden box when I knocked the bags of cans over. The open bag fell and cans went everywhere. I picked them up and put them back into the bag only to have them fall one more time. I didn’t complain because in picking up the cans I found an old wooden box once used for storing cranberries. It was exactly what I was looking for. It is now in the kitchen and already filled.

My daytimes are people-less and quiet. Dogs, including Gracie, bark and they and the birds make the only sounds. I do hear cars going down the other street but not so many during working hours. Winter is the quietest season but this, now, the in-between season, is almost as quiet, but all that will change too enough. In summer the noise will seem endless, but now it is only in the afternoons when the kids get home from school. On good days like today, they play in the street, and they are not quiet. They don’t speak in normal tones. Everything has to be yelled from one kid to another. I don’t know if yesterday was bike or scooter day. I just know it was loud.

When I was growing up, my neighborhood was filled with kids. The younger ones stayed around the backyards under the watchful eyes of mothers looking out kitchen windows. We older kids roamed sometimes on our bikes and sometimes on foot. We made forts in the woods and sustained ourselves with blueberries picked from the bushes on the sunny side of the path in those woods.

The path was brown grass in-between two parts of the woods. At one end of the path was the water tower. The other end was the field below my house. That’s where we used to catch grasshoppers and fireflies and where we’d play tag or red rover. I can still see in my mind’s eye the grasshoppers jumping up in front of us as we ran through the field. I remember the sounds they made.

I think I grew up in the best of all places at the best of all times.

“Cultures grow on the vine of tradition.”

March 29, 2016

It is a lovely morning, totally unlike yesterday with the monsoons. The sun is shining so brightly you have to squint from the glare. The blue sky looks unreal, as if it were painted in broad strokes. A remnant of last night’s heavy winds still blows bending and swaying the pine trees in the backyard.

I know spring is here as I can hear a blower being used to clean the yard next door. The season of machines has begun.

I have nothing I need to do today. The laundry has made it to this floor from upstairs and, according to my usual pattern, tomorrow the laundry will get downstairs to the washing machine. Once washed, it will sit in the dryer awhile.

Easter was wonderful. We sat on the porch where all you can see from the windows is the ocean. I wore a flowered dress and my Easter fascinator which is a small white hat with flowers and colorful feathers standing tall from the back. It raised quite a stir. As I was standing waiting for my table, I had to laugh when people noticed my fascinator as I could see their eyes moving right up to my hat. After we sat down, I saw a table across the room pointing at me. I waved. They waved back and mouthed that they loved my hat. I got a few thumbs up from them. People walking by stopped at our table to compliment my hat. Another table of women waved, smiled and pointed. My favorites were two young boys both of whom said they liked my hat, “Great hat,” was one of the comments. That hat turned into quite the conversation piece. I wore it the whole meal.

Dinner was delicious. I had an odd choice for me: carbonara. It had the usual pancetta and cheese as well as peas and crabmeat. It was rigatoni rather than the usual spaghetti. I had two drinks and for the life of me can’t remember what they were. They were strong. That much I remember. I had a coconut coffee after dinner. It was scrumptious. I think the rum helped.

When I got home, I took a wee bit of a nap, about an hour. That’s all I needed. I was totally refreshed and even managed to eat a little bit of the chocolate from the Easter Bunny.

We have best of all Easters filled as it is with good friends, lots of laughter and wonderful traditions, some old and some very new.

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

March 18, 2016

Spring arrives this Sunday. I have this visual of winter packing its duffle bag while spring is unpacking its flowered tote. Spring, being experienced in the passing of the baton, will have packed a few sweaters and maybe a pair of bright yellow galoshes.

According to the weatherman, parts of the state will get snow on Sunday. I think it is just so wrong no matter how you look at it. If I were in charge, I’d make a law which prohibits snow once winter has skulked away. Luckily, we here on the cape will get mostly rain.

The sky is ominous in some spots right now. The weatherman has predicted afternoon showers. Gracie has her well dog visit to the vets this afternoon, and we’ll also go to the dump. That’s the spoonful of sugar.

St. Patrick’s Day was wonderful. Dinner was perfect. Everything was cooked just right. The meat was tender and delicious as were the vegetables. I love cabbage, but I don’t understand why. Its strange smell when it’s cooking seems to hang around far too long. I’m guessing one of the reasons I like it is I was an adult before I tried it for the first time so I brought no childhood food nightmares with me to the tasting.

When I was a kid, there were certain foods I hated. Beans, as you know, is one of them. Peaches have fur I can’t get passed though even if I could, I don’t like the taste. Over time I do keep trying the foods I wouldn’t eat. I came to love turnip. As for beans, no matter how many times I try beans of different varieties I still don’t like them. The only bean I’ll tolerate, actually the only bean I like, is green beans in that wonderful casserole which has been around for millennia. I grew into liking carrots by themselves instead of eating them mashed and mingled with potatoes the way my mother served them to us. Actually duped, not served, is the better verb here. My mother was being very clever and quite sly. It took a while before I realized potatoes didn’t turn orangey when cooked.