Posted tagged ‘summer’

“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!”

June 21, 2018

Today is the solstice, the longest day of the year, the official start of summer, and Mother Nature has gifted us with a beautiful day, a summer day with a bit of a breeze and lots of sun.

When I was a kid, summer started when school was out for the year. It was glorious. I had two full months to do whatever I wanted, well, mostly whatever I wanted. It was actually whatever my mother let me do or whatever she didn’t know I did.

I remember going barefoot at the start of the summer and having every rock and stone hurt my feet, and I remember hopping one foot to the other on the hot pavement as it burned the soles of my feet, but it didn’t take long for my feet to harden, and I could walk anywhere and on any surface. My summer attire was always shorts and a blouse, mostly a sleeveless blouse. If I had to go anywhere, I wore sneakers, low, white Converse sneakers, with socks. The only time I wore a dress was to go to mass on Sunday.

We never had a set bedtime in the summer. I can remember sitting outside on a warm summer night. The outside light attracted all sort of bugs, and I’d watched them circle the light or bang into the screen. I used to go inside by the front door so I wouldn’t bring in the bugs.

My mother kept the living room shades down in the summer. She said the darkness kept the room cooler. Upstairs was always hot. I remember tossing and turning and trying to fall asleep.

Summer mornings are favorites of mine. The air is still cool, the birds are singing and the garden smells divine in the morning air. I love to sit on the deck with my coffee and papers. Sometimes I just sit there taking in what I can hear, smell and see. I always feel a sense of solitude, a sense of peace.

“It’s not always easy to distinguish between existentialism and a bad mood.”

March 8, 2018

The rain came yesterday in the mid-afternoon and stayed all night. It was sometimes so heavy it pelted the roof loudly enough to drown out the TV. Boston and further north had snow, a wet, heavy snow, the sort which looks beautiful for a minute then you notice how laden down the trees and branches are, and you hope they survive. Some wires fell from the weight of the snow and even blocked major roads. Here the sun has been trying to come out of the clouds. Twice now the sky has brightened. I get hopeful. I need sun to dispel my dark mood, a mirror of the rain and the clouds.

My Travelocity gnome and my pink, plastic flamingo are in the den. They winter here. In the warm months they live on my deck. It is a special occasion when they travel from winter to summer, from the den to the deck. I always think there should be a parade and music. They are announcing summer is finally here, a cause for celebration, for good food, and for warm days lolling on the deck. Right now, though, all of that seems a sweet memory.

From when I was kid, I remember winter most of all. My school was an old one with high windows and drafts of cold air so for most of the winter we all wore sweaters. I remember walking across the field below my street, a sort of shortcut home, and having to walk backwards because of the wind. My cheeks turned red and numb. The wind blew up the sleeves of my coat. My ears always hurt even when I was wearing a hat as it mostly just covered my head so I’d put my mittened hands over my ears trying to warm them just a bit. Mostly I failed. By the time I’d get home, I was freezing. Right away I’d take off my school clothes and get into my pajamas and slippers. I’d wrap myself in my blanket. In a short while, I was warm and all the parts of my body had come back to life.

I have no energy today, and I don’t care. It is the weather which is causing this foul mood.   A bit of sun is all I need.

“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.”

January 1, 2018

I woke up warm and toasty this morning. The comforter was even a bit too much last night. Yesterday at this time nothing was warm, not my nose, my feet, Maddie’s fur or Gracie all over. Both of them are sleeping now.

The freezing weather continues. This morning there was a short snow shower of flaky, light snow. It was almost a whiteout. The old snow now looks new, fitting for today, though I doubt even an inch of snow fell, and it has since stopped. It is freezing cold, only 9˚. The high today will be 15˚ though I have no idea in what world we can call 15˚ a high. The sun has broken through the clouds and brought a bit of blue with it. I think of it as a bit of a celebration to welcome the new year.

I don’t make resolutions. I used to, but I was a complete failure. I have a few hopes, but I make no promises to myself. I’d like to think this year will be better than last. The eternal optimist in me won’t let go. It holds sway. That’s just the way it is.

My life has a rhythm. Even on days I do little or nothing, I still feel alive, open to anything which comes my way. My friends and I have traditions we love and look forward to every year. On the first day of spring we welcome the new season at sunrise on the beach where the waves sometimes have whitecaps and sometimes are very still but are always dependable hitting the shore and leaving ripples in the sand. We sing the same songs year to year. Morning Has Broken is my favorite. We hold up our Day of the Dead decorated cookies expecting praise and maybe even a bit of awe at the hidden talents we all have. The summer is our deck time with movies every Saturday night. We love the breeze going across the deck and the fireflies flitting through the trees in the backyard. We laugh at the wonderfully awful B science fiction movies. We decorate gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve. We share Christmas Day dinner and swap presents. I know this new year will be different, but I know too the familiar will happen in the same loving way.

My memory drawers are so full but there is still room in the back for new memories. I welcome each new year with open arms. It’s possibility, it’s hope and it’s glorious adventures.

Happy New Year, my friends!!

“But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day.”

October 5, 2017

The sun is bright, the sky is an amazing blue, and the breeze is ever so slight, all combining to make for a perfectly lovely day, summer’s return engagement for this week anyway.

When I was a kid, this was the golden season when all the leaves turned yellow. I know there must have been other colors, but it is the yellow I remember the most, the yellow I can still see in my mind’s eye. Fallen leaves covered the sidewalks, and most times I’d  kick them into the air as I walked to school. As the leaves dried, they made a crunching sound and broke apart when we walked on them. The wind took the pieces. I remember October as a warm month when a sweater or a light jacket was enough.

My only bad memory of October was having to go inside earlier and earlier as the days got shorter and shorter. I sort of felt cheater.

I have been lazy. I read most of yesterday and finished the book I got on Tuesday from the library. My to do list didn’t shrink. My halloween decorations are still in the cellar. The bird feeders are now really low on seed. I just have to get motivated.

I’m get to binge on sports today. The Sox open their series with the Astros at 4 and the Pats play against the Buccaneers at 8:20.

My dad would have loved to have seen the success of the Patriots. His allegiance switched from the Giants when the Pats came into being. He was always a home team fan. He loved football and hockey the most. He was only a so so fan of baseball and didn’t enjoy basketball at all. He and I had opposite favorites, but I do watch the Pats but never the Bruins.

Time is passing so very quickly. September was gone in heartbeat. If I were still a kid, I’d love such a quick passage, but now I want time to go slowly so I can savor every minute.

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

July 20, 2017

The weather has settled into monotony. Every day is sunny and hot. We reached the mid 80’s yesterday while Boston was over 90˚. The shade was bearable, but the sun was unrelenting. The only times I went outside were to bring Gracie to the yard where I sat in the shade and waited for her.

I did nothing yesterday and will probably do nothing today as well. A dump run is in our future but probably tomorrow. I do need to water the plants, inside and outside, but that’s it.

When I was a teacher, I traveled every summer, mostly to Europe, and went for three or four weeks. I traveled on the cheap. Go Europe was my travel Bible. University housing and hostels were my hotels as such. Meals were sometimes at bar happy hours where I’d nurse a single drink until I’d eaten my fill or at railroad stations which had kiosks with cheap sandwiches. I usually traveled with a friend. B&B’s were sometimes our stops mostly through Ireland, Scotland and England. I remember one in London, in Earl’s Court. The owner barely spoke English and played music quite loud from the kitchen which was next to my room. The song I remember best is Cielito Linda with the damn ay, ay, ay. I swear it was played over and over. My favorite B&B was in Dingle Ireland. It was over a grocery store. The woman was old. She entertained us with stories about guests including the Frenchman who didn’t know how to eat Corn Flakes and another who wanted a facecloth. She laughed at the thought that the face had its own cloth. Breakfasts were eggs, bacon, toast and coffee and sometimes a grilled tomato. The hostels were cheap enough but didn’t offer breakfast, but they had a value of their own. Hostels were where I’d trade books and information with other travelers. All these trips were cheap enough that I could saved enough money every year for a summer in Europe.

Last year’s trip to Ghana was expensive enough for a couple or even close to three trips to Europe in the old days, but I was perfectly fine with that. I enjoyed the lap of luxury as if I had been born to it.

“You either get Africa or you don’t…”

July 7, 2017

“Okay, I am in crisis mode as my laptop isn’t working. It stopped last night. Now it makes a noise and the battery isn’t recharging. The computer boots but I am warned about the low battery. I’m going to have to visit an Apple Store. I am using my iPad, and I hate it for typing. The keyboard is either too small or my fingers are too large.

Today is humid and chilly, the sort of chill that goes to the bone because of the dampness. It wasn’t raining when I went out with the dog, but as soon as we got outside, the rain started. Of course it did.

Last night the back outside lights didn’t come on. I have to check them, but I’m thinking the spawns ate them again. They ate red lights off the last sets so I’m wondering what color attracted them to this set. I swear the spawns who come here are crazy. There was the summer of the paint eating spawn who gnawed all the black paint off the chair arms. This one may be related.

The mouse trap is still vacant of any resident. It is filled with peanut butter. Either the mouse isn’t hungry or there are no more kitchen mice.

The summer has been uneventful. It is still early, I know, but nothing is planned. Last year I had Ghana ahead of me. That set the bar so very high that little will compete with the excitement and the countdown of the days watching the trip get closer and closer.

When I look at my pictures from Ghana, there is still a sense of amazement. I was in Africa. I wonder if my far younger me would believe I had lived there and it had an every day quality about it. I know I mention Ghana here often, but it is so much a part of whom I am I can’t help but write about it. It shines so brightly in my memory banks. The colors and sounds are so vivid. Going back has only intensified my feelings about Ghana and the wonderful Ghanaians.

I can only hear the rain.

 

 

 

 

“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

June 10, 2017

Summer has arrived. Today is already a lovely day with lots of sun giving lots of heat. It will be in the low 70’s here. This room is still dark and cool as the sun hasn’t yet worked its way around the house. I went out earlier and needed to turn on the car’s AC as Gracie was with me. I left it on when I stopped. She threw up all of yesterday’s food so I was hoping to find something to entice her. I bought a frozen dog treat but she didn’t want it. I gave it to the dog in the next car, and he licked every bit of it. I know she is hungry as she keeps checking her dish,  but I can’t find anything she wants. The lady whose dog ate the frozen treat suggested tuna dog treats. I came home and checked the recipe on-line. I just have to go and buy the tuna. I’ll try anything.

It is a noisy Saturday. I can hear lawn mowers from all over the neighborhood, no kids though. I wonder where they are. I’m guessing baseball and t-ball.

A warm, summer Saturday is about the best of all days. It invites us outside to enjoy the weather. It is a day meant for sitting on the deck to enjoy the warmth tempered by a slight breeze. Inside the house can stay dusty, and the laundry can wait a day or two or even more. I know that from experience.

My deck is still closed. The furniture covers got soaked the other night so yesterday I emptied the water caught in the folds. The deck floor is covered with leaves and debris from that last storm. My factotum, Skip, is coming Monday. I have a long list for him to do. He has to clean out the shower as it is filled with the gnawed pieces of pinecones. I still see the spawn of Satan around that shower. He is in for a rude awakening.

The exterminator came back yesterday to plug the mouse holes around the foundation. He figured by now the mice would have moved to a more exalted place, and the cellar does have a peculiar odor. I’m thinking dead mice or decomp as they call it on TV.

I still have flowers to buy before Skip comes, at least the deck flowers. I always think flower shopping is about the best of all shopping sprees. I just can’t help myself and always load the cart. Flowers are intoxicating.