Posted tagged ‘sweatshirt’

“He had mittens, Minjekahwun, Magic mittens made of deer-skin; When upon his hands he wore them, He could smite the rocks asunder, He could grind them into powder”

November 30, 2015

Today is cloudy and in the 40’s which I still consider warm for this time of year. A sweatshirt is enough for me. I suppose if I were outside for a long time, I’d probably have to wear my winter jacket which sees little action most years. I do keep gloves in the car just in case, but I prefer mittens. They keep my fingers warmer. My pink ones are my favorites. They brighten even the darkest winter’s day.

When I was a kid and outside for a long stretch, the snow would stick to my wool mittens which would get so heavy with balls of snow the front would sag under the weight. It was time to go and trade. My mother kept pairs of mittens handy in case we wanted dry ones. She’d take our wet mittens, remove as much snow as she could and then put them on the radiators to dry. She also kept mittens without a mate just in case the mate appeared. If worse came to worse, we’d wear unmatched mittens. Fashion was never an issue.

Sometimes we got mittens in our stockings. My mother would buy them at church fairs where there was always a table of handmade goods. The women, always my grandmother’s age, sat behind the tables chit chatting. Every now and then one would get up to sell something or to rearrange the table. When I started buying stocking stuffers for my niece and nephews, that table was always my first stop. I swear the same old ladies were sitting behind it chatting.

Today is a day to get things done. I have a wash sitting in the hall, another load in the dryer where it’s been for a week and I have some errands to do. My larder is bare. Last night it was eggs and toast, a favorite dinner of mine, but not for two or three nights in a row. I am definitely thinking mashed potatoes and some kind of meat. Maybe I’ll go comfort food and cook meatloaf. Add peas, and that’s perfect dinner for me.

But you can’t plead with autumn. No. The midnight wind stalked through the woods, hooted to frighten you, swept everything away for the approaching winter, whirled the leaves.

November 2, 2015

Skip, my factotum, is here, and the deck furniture and decorations are disappearing, some being covered and others being stored in plastic bins. I was outside for a while just chatting but I got chilly so I came inside. Skip doesn’t need any instructions from me. He does this every year. For him it’s a job, but for me it is the sad ending of movie nights, barbecues, sitting by myself under the stars watching fireflies flit through the backyard and listening to cicadas which always remind me of maracas.

The sun taunted us a bit earlier. It came and went quickly. It’s getting chillier and the sky is cloudy. The breeze comes and goes. Right now everything is still, not even a leaf is moving. I think I’ll read today. I’m thinking cozy under the covers. If I nap, it’s all good.

I’m wearing what I think of as my winter uniform: flannel pants, socks and slippers and a sweatshirt with a pouch to keep my hands warm. When I was a kid, I had pairs of flannel pajamas. When I got home from school and wasn’t going out, I’d change into pajamas because they were comfy and warm. I always wore slipper socks. They and the pajamas were traditional Christmas gifts. My pajamas had snowmen or elves, Christmas trees or even Santa on them. My slippers were usually red. They had a sort of knitted top and leather soles. I liked the scuffing sounds the soles made on the wooden floor. My mother didn’t.

My mother wore slippers, sort of slippers. The toes were open, and they had no backs. I always thought they were useless because to me slippers are meant to keep your feet warm, but my mother said her feet never got cold. The rest of her did as she always had the thermostat up high. We’d complain. She’d get feisty.

I know why the heat was up so high. I’ve learned the older I get the less tolerant I am of cold. My mother’s house would be perfect now.

“Are we not all actors playing parts in another person’s play?”

July 17, 2015

My house was only 66˚ when I woke up. In the winter that’s cold but during this time of year it’s a pleasant, lovely morning. Today will be in the 70’s, but tomorrow the humidity will return with stifling air which will make moving uncomfortable and sweaty. No one is attractive in the humidity. We all wilt. Sunday will be the same but with a probability of rain.

My mother was always cold. She kept her house in the 70’s during the winter. The rest of us wore t-shirts and sandals and light pants. Her house was almost tropical. We complained, and she hated it when we did. Now, as I get older, I understand. Each winter I am colder than I had been the winter before. I keep the house at the same temperature it has been for years, but I need a sweatshirt. Long sleeves used to be enough. I think I am becoming my mother.

The other day my former Ghanaian student Franciska called. She likes to check to make sure I am doing well. She calls me her mother though I am only seven years older than she, but motherhood, to her, is a matter of principal, not age. I was her teacher, and that is enough to bestow motherhood on me.

When I am with Franciska, I notice she talks to anyone she can. She also introduces me to her new friends as her mother. They look a bit bewildered until Franciska explains I was her Peace Corps teacher 45 years ago. I cringe at the 45 but love that Peace Corps gets into the conversation. Anything that promotes the Peace Corps is just fine with me. Franciska often tells me she is still bewildered as to why volunteers actually agreed to go to Bolga. She says even Ghanaians don’t like Bolga. It is flat, almost treeless and hot, really hot, in the dry season. Back in my day there were no creature comforts, but I always figured that was just part of the Peace Corps experience: you take, even embrace, what you’re given.

My list is long today-errand day. I have four stops and not a single one of them is fun or exciting. Where’s the Ferris wheel when you need one?

“We move in and out of darkness and light all our lives. Right now I’m pleased to be in the light.”

March 4, 2014

The sun is intermittent in a cloudy sky. Right now we’re at 27˚. Last night was even colder, in the low teens, but the hope for spring is not yet lost: it may be buried in the snow but a glimmer of it survives. Supposedly Friday and Saturday will be in the 40’s, but I have become skeptical of weather predictions. This one, however, I need to believe for the sake of my psyche. I need a respite from winter. I need a day with the warm sun on my face.

This feels like the longest of winters. The snow falls, covers everything then melts so we can see the grass and the garden then it snows again. The amount of snow doesn’t matter any more. It is the mere act of snowing which has made this an intolerable winter. The 1 and 1/2 inches we got on Sunday aren’t much in the scheme of things, but it covered everything yet again. I have to terms with the cold but not with the snow.

I seem to be wearing an inside the house uniform every day. It is always my slippers with socks, flannel pants and a sweatshirt. Today I switched to my Italia sweatshirt friends brought me from Italy and my Christmas flannel pants covered in wrapped presents. The colors of the presents are bright and I needed some brightness.

All over my house are strands of lights which I plug in most nights. The kitchen has lights inside scallop shells and a swag of red pepper lights hanging from a shelf. The living room has lights in a gourd and around branches in a huge vase. The dining room has a set of lights around a shelf. The bathroom has a snowflake night light which, given my attitude toward snow, is a generous gesture. The den where I spend most of my time just has regular lamps as I need the light. In those other rooms, no lamps are lit. The strings of lights are enough. The rooms feel cozy and the lights reflect on the ceilings. Before I go to bed, I go around and pull out the plugs. It is my last nightly ritual. When Gracie and Fern, the cat, see what I’m doing, they both head to the stairs and wait there for me so we can all go upstairs to bed together.

“I dont hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I dont. I dont! I dont hate it! I dont hate it!”

February 7, 2014

Today I am grouchy and tired having not slept well the last couple of nights. I want someone to cross me so I can take my mood out on an unsuspecting stranger. I mean, really, I’d hate to do it to a friend or Gracie and the cats. Maybe a telemarketer will call.

It’s sunny and the sky is blue, but it’s a ruse. The morning is cold. Luckily there is no breeze or wind to make it feel even colder. I have to go out for an appointment so I’m going to add a bit of fun shopping to make the trip palatable. I’ll stop at odd shops, the ones with antiques and little doo-dads. I’ll go up-cape for a change. I’ll bring my camera and my dog.

Everyone is sick of winter. My cousin, living in New Hampshire, said it was about 5 below when she got to work this morning. Compared to her, I live in the tropics. For my sister in Colorado it was 4˚ yesterday though today is supposed to be hot at 40˚. I think it’s the snow causing all these winter woes. It chills the air making it even colder, and without it, we might be able to dupe ourselves into thinking warmer thoughts: I’m lying on the lounge chair on the deck with my face toward the sun. My eyes are closed. The sun is hot so I cool off a bit by taking sips of my drink, the one with the little umbrella. Astrud Gilberto and Brazilian salsa is playing in the background. Okay, I can’t keep doing this.

One look out the window to the snow-covered yard, and I am back in the throes of winter: to the furnace blasting to heat the house, to drinking hot coffee to warm my innards and my cold hands and to wearing flannel pants, a hooded sweatshirt and socks and slippers around the house every day. It’s no wonder I’m grouchy! Even Pollyanna would be having a tough time about now.

“When the bold branches Bid farewell to rainbow leaves – Welcome wool sweaters.”

November 8, 2011

Glorious comes to mind in describing today. It is warm and beautiful. Earlier, at 9, I had a library board meeting then came home and went to the deck and filled the bird feeders. I then stayed outside a while in the sunshine and watched Gracie in the yard. She is enjoying the day as much as I am.

Lately I have had the urge to bake and have been going through cookbooks. I always used to bake, more during the holidays of course, but I would also spend a Saturday in the kitchen making my favorite chocolate cake, the family’s whoopie pie recipe or some cookies I might have been waiting to try. I think I’m going to bake this week. I want the house to fill with all those wonderful aromas wafting from the oven. Maybe I’ll give pumpkin whoopie pies a try. I’ll let you know.

The older I get, the more the cold and heat bother me. I think I am becoming a spring and fall person, especially a fall person. My sister chuckled that in all my pictures from Ghana, my head was soaked from sweat. She was absolutely right. This time of year I never used to wear a sweatshirt around the house or socks on my feet, but now I wear them all the time. Oddly enough, though, I don’t wear a winter coat. My sweatshirt seems to suffice, and besides, I am seldom out long enough to feel the cold. It’s a run from the house to the car or the store to a car.

At night, in winter, the animals and a quilt keep me more than warm enough. I wear a t-shirt to bed and though the temperature is set at 62° I am never cold.

My heat is programmed so when I get up the house is warm, but I still put on my flannel pants, my sweatshirt and my socks and slippers., and now I’m beginning to think I might have to add mittens to my winter ensemble.