Posted tagged ‘sunny and warm’

“As truth be told, homecoming never gets old.”

May 27, 2016

When I woke up, it was cloudy and dark, but within an hour the sun had burst from the clouds and taken over the sky. It is a beautiful day, sunny and warm. My deck is being stained, and the finished parts look like new. The only problem is Gracie. When she wants out, I have to divert her right down the stairs. I think she figures I’m depriving her of saying hello to the men working and also having access to all the brushes and cans of stain, great smells gone to waste. We are going to the dump so maybe that will salve her feelings.

I didn’t get my lazy day yesterday as I had to go for a few items at the grocery store. That meant getting dressed. Today I have a few things to do so tomorrow will be my lay about day. I’m already looking forward to a nap on the deck.

I think I’m getting boring. I have no stories, no remembrances and no adventures to share.  I know they are in my memory drawers somewhere, but they’re probably stuck in the same way my bureau drawers often are. I’m doing my best to pry them open.

My house is filled with memories of my travels. The most are, of course, from Ghana. They are in every room. I have baskets, gourds, paintings and drawings, metal and wooden figures, cloth, an oware game and an old stool, the sign of a chief. I have some artwork done by the art teacher at my school. I can still visualize him: Mr. Yao Blissah. His first name means he was born on Thursday. He was a small, compact man who always spoke to me when we’d meet on school grounds. I can’t remember if he lived on grounds or not.  Most teachers did in a row of houses facing the school buildings. A road of sorts led from the gate to the last house, which was mine. The back gate was beside my house. Outside the gate, the road led to the hospital and to the houses of the hospital staff. I used to take the dirt road as a shortcut until I got my motorcycle.

For forty years I thought of Ghana constantly and then I finally went back. The next year I went back again and here I am planning a third trip. All of the feelings came back in force when first I went. It was a homecoming.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

March 8, 2016

We have actually hit 50˚ today because there is no wind. The day is bright and the sky is clear of any clouds. I just got back from my library board meeting so I’m done for the day. My outside clothes are going to be replaced by my inside comfy clothes. I brought home three books from the library, and I have yet to read the morning papers. I’m thinking turning pages might just be my only exercise for the day.

Libraries have always been favorite places for me. I used to go at least once a week when I was a kid. The librarian probably didn’t think I was reading all the books because I returned them so quickly. You’d think librarians of all people would understand how books capture you and how difficult it is to put a good book down. I’d sometimes read a book in one day. I’d even read during class by hiding my book inside a textbook. It had to be a big textbook. The best was always geography with history a close second. Not once did I get caught. I’d turned the text book pages to make it all look real. I was adept at concealment.

When I was in Ghana, I read constantly and swear I read most of the books in the Bolga library. We had no radio, no TV and terrible movies shown once in a while in town at the Hotel d’Bull, the hot spot of Bolga back then. Preparing to teach the next day never took long and neither did correcting so with all this time to fill I read. Trips anywhere took what seemed forever so I learned to read while I was on the bus. It used to make me dizzy and sick when I was younger, but I got used to reading on the road in Ghana. Anytime I had a volunteer stay with me, book swapping was part of the visit. We all carried books. When I was in Accra, I’d go to Legon to the main campus of the University of Ghana. It had a book store. I always spent a good bit of money there. Books were almost as important to us as food and water. I don’t think that’s changed.

“Ghana is a country full of vibrancy, color and culture.”

July 6, 2014

Yesterday I cleaned the deck. I also brought up all the stuff which had had been blown off the deck. Only the clay pot had broken. I was quite surprised that the glass chimney was intact. Yesterday ended up being a lovely day with sun and a cooling breeze. This morning is the same, and the forecast says high 70’s. I can live with that.

We had to wear dresses or skirts to mass every Sunday. We also had to wear hats. I had a mantilla which folded up small enough for my pocket. My favorite was the tissue paper hat worn across the head. It was attached on the sides with bobby pins. I always wondered why those women didn’t have hats. After all, they were a required part of the dress code.

When I went back to Ghana, I brought pants and wore them every day. When I lived there, I wore dresses. I’d go to the market and buy cloth, beautiful colorful cloth, and bring it to a seamstress. For a couple of cedis, think Ghanaian dollars, she’d make me a dress. Some seamstresses added intricate decorative stitching called jeremy though I’m not sure of the spelling. Tie dye was a popular cloth as was batik. The dresses were cooler in the heat than pants. It was also easier to pee in a hole or along the roadside. Pants would have been complicated. In my house, though, I didn’t care. I’d wear shorts or pants but I’d change to go to town.

I used to walk to the market as it was all downhill from my school. Sometimes I’d borrow a bicycle and ride both ways but mostly I walked the bike at the steepest part of the uphill going home. If I were walking home and carrying vegetables in my market bag, some car usually stopped to offer me a ride. I always took it. The school was off the main road but only a little way down a dirt road. There was a gate which the watchman locked at night. If I had been out, I’d have to stand outside the gate and yell for the watchman. Many times I could see him sleeping, but he chose to ignore me. Even his barking dog didn’t get him moving. I’d have to climb the fence, and that was no small feat wearing a dress and sandals.

I have dresses and blouses I had a seamstress make when I went back.  It was fun to shop in the cloth market again. I also have a tablecloth and matching napkins, all with beautiful stitching on the edges. My house is filled with Ghana.

“Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.”

June 2, 2011

I sort of know how Dorothy felt when she left Kansas and landed in the wonderful land of Oz. Yesterday was dismal, cloudy and damp with periodic rumblings of thunder. Today is gorgeous, warm and sunny, with a lovely breeze. Right away I hauled out my cleaning supplies and cleaned off the layers of pollen from the deck table and chairs then I brought out my coffee and papers. It was my first morning this season on the deck.

I noticed the birds aren’t around. It seems they’re not liking the new seed I bought so it’s back to Agway later today. I’ll put blinders on as that’s also my gardening store. I watered the deck plants while I was out there and rearranged a few candles on the trees. Gracie was with me a while then came inside for her morning nap. Fern is in the sun by the door, and I have no idea where Maddie is.

The one constant in my life has always been Oreo cookies. They have never let me down. When I was young, I could always count on my mother buying them every Friday night when she grocery shopped. My sisters, sitting together on the back steps, used to open them carefully so as not to break the wafers then they’d scrap off the cream with their teeth, the best method of all for eating the cream. The wafers went to the dog. I can still remember how the cream looked with teeth marks across it, almost like ruts on a wintry country road. I am an original Oreos fan though I do like the double stuffed. The orange ones at Halloween just don’t seem right. I know they taste the same, but my eyes tell me differently. I found a drink that tastes just like an Oreo cookie and a cookie on the rim is the garnish. It’s a bit of heaven here on Earth.

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