Posted tagged ‘sweatshirts’

“Don’t allow your life to become just a dead ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable.”

April 24, 2017

The house was cold when I woke up. I needed my sweatshirt so I had to dump poor Maddie off. She had slept on it last night. Gracie and I went to get the papers. It was warmer outside than the house. I wanted to cheer. It’s a sign of spring.

When I was a kid, my dog was named Duke. He was a boxer, a fawn boxer. In those days there was no leash law. Duke was a wanderer. Some mornings he’d follow us to school. My father would see him, call him and then go crazy when Duke ignored him so my father would hop in the car and go get him. Duke used to visit my aunt and get Sam to go play with him. Sam was his son. My favorite Duke story is when he followed my grandmother uptown. She wasn’t a dog lover. To try and get away, my grandmother went into Woolworth’s. Duke followed. Once inside, he lifted his leg on the comic book carousel. My grandmother was asked if he were her dog. She said no which was technically true. She left quickly. Duke, not her dog, followed right behind her.

I am not a lover of daily rituals yet I have a few. I take Gracie into the yard first. I start my coffee. While it is perking, I feed the cat, fill the water bowl and, after she comes inside, I give Gracie her treats. I drink a cup of coffee with each of the two papers. I thoroughly read each paper though I admit I only read baseball news on the sports pages and articles which catch my attention in the business section. I check my e-mail then hope for divine inspiration when I open WordPress. I have been writing Coffee for 12 years. Divine inspiration is all I have left after all this time.

The rest of the day is open. When I worked, I went to the dump on Sundays. Now I usually go on Thursdays, a quiet day at the dump, but any day will do. If I have any errands, I make a list and do them all in one day in geographic order hopping from village to village. Sometimes I get that favorite sandwich of mine at Buckies in Dennisport. I consider it a reward for doing all those errands.

When I get home, I put on my comfy clothes. The rest of the afternoon is for reading, maybe napping, doing chores like the laundry and if something is going on, watching the news on MSNBC. I check Facebook.

Dinner is whatever I have on hand which is sometimes as simple as an egg sandwich or cheese and crackers.

I go to bed, actually on the couch, whenever I’m tired. I seldom go early. Gracie sprawls at one end. I try to get comfortable around her.

That’s it. That is sort of my day every day.


“Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.

March 19, 2017

When I woke up around nine, the snow was just starting. Because of the wind, the fluffies were coming from different directions, from the north and south. Then the snow suddenly disappeared, but it’s back now, small flakes tossed by the wind. I doubt it will last long enough to accumulate.

I didn’t go out yesterday. I had no motivation. Today, though, I have a list of weird items. I need a bulb for my bathroom nightlight, an extension cord, and a plastic container for my snowmen. I’m putting them away for the season. I think they jinxed me.

I remember my first pair of nylon stockings. In those days I had to wear a garter belt. The back snaps were always the hardest to attach. I remember sometimes one would swing back and whack my leg. Pantyhose is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.

I never get gussied up anymore. I don’t go anywhere demanding gussy. The closest I get to dress up is coordinating the color of my pants with a clean shirt. That works no matter the season: long sleeves in winter, short sleeves in summer; corduroy in winter, cotton in summer; shoes and socks in winter, sandals in summer. I don’t even own a pair of panty hose. I do have three dresses: two flowered dresses for summer, one green dress for winter.

I don’t wear my winter jacket much. My sweatshirts are usually enough, but I do have the warmest sweater, blue with snowflakes, the sort which used to be called après skiing, for single digit temperatures. I have several pairs of mittens, but I don’t remember the last time I wore them. I have earmuffs and knit caps. My mother would be pleased.

I love Mad Magazine. I used to buy it every month. I remember the Alfred E. Newman for president drive. Mad taught me about satire and parodies and thinking for myself. I didn’t understand it all because I was young, but as I got older, I learned what it all meant. Spy versus Spy was a favorite of mine. Sometimes the white spy won and other times the black spy won. I believe that Mad Magazine helped form my politics and those of my generation. “What, me worry?”

“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.”

January 20, 2015

Today is pretty with a blue sky and sun. It is also cold, in the 30’s. Gracie and I are venturing out this afternoon as I have a couple of errands. She’ll be happy for the car ride but Gracie is usually a happy dog, a tail wagger.

I cleaned out my closet of clothes I haven’t worn in years, since I retired. It amazed me how many clothes I had, but I wore a dress or skirt to work every day and hated to wear the same things too close together. Now my closet has plenty of room. In it are my current outfits. There are four dresses which I seldom wear. Easter was the last time I wore a dress. Flannel shirts, polo shirts and a few dressier tops don’t take up a lot of room. Two of my tops are floral. Why I bought them I have no idea. I am not a floral type. I have summer and winter pants and sweatshirt type tops with hoods. My Ghanaian clothes are now hanging in the closet. One is a dress and three are shirts. They used to hang on the back of my bedroom door. They are colorful and stand out from the rest of my clothes. Anyone could guess they come from Africa or some other exotic place. My guest room closet is next on the list to be cleared, but I’ll save that for another day or month or even year.

I know the world hates the Patriots. According to many they only win if they cheat. That to me is poor sportsmanship and sour grapes. The latest accusation comes from the Colts, no surprise there after the beating they took. They are accusing the Pats of using under-inflated footballs to gain an advantage in the rain. It is being called deflate-gate. I loved the CNN post by Mike Downey which called this, “a weird, wild, farcical, you-gotta-be-kidding-me “controversy” that has, uh, blown up unexpectedly.” Mr. Downey filled his article with puns and jokes befitting the accusation. His conclusion was, “I  believe the Patriots win most of their games because they score more points than the other team does.” Jimmy Fallon was hysterical with his opening monologue last night about inflated and deflated balls. You had to know that was coming.

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”

November 13, 2014

The cold is coming. Yesterday was near 60˚ while today is down to 40˚ and tonight will be in the high 30’s. It’s time to take my mukluks from storage, match pairs of mittens, find the socks with no holes and build layers. I hate it when my nose gets cold.

Despite the chill, winter sometimes redeems itself. I love the crunch of frost under my feet when I cross the lawn to get the papers. I stand by the door and watch snowflakes fall. At night they glisten under the backdoor light. Some snowstorms are pure quiet. Nothing moves and the snow falls silently to the ground. I use the deck rail as a ruler of sorts to see how much snow has fallen. If I go outside, some nights are so cold they take my breath away. My down comforter keeps me cozy and warm. I always think Christmas has to come in winter when the dark night begins in the afternoon and stays until later in the morning. All the colors and lights of Christmas are so bright they keep the darkness at bay. I like colored lights on the fence and a giant white star on the gate.

This time of year it is too cold for just a shirt and too warm for a jacket so I wear a sweatshirt. I didn’t start wearing them until I was in college when I proudly wore my Merrimack College blue sweatshirt. Now I have so many. One of my favorites is a red one with Red Sox emblazoned across the front. I have a couple that are worse for the wear from the National Peace Corps Association. They are now inside sweatshirts. Right now I’m wearing one with Celtics on the front. It is a boring grey. It too is an inside sweatshirt.

Today I am staying around the house. I have some laundry, but mostly it is because my back and hip are painful. The couch gives welcomed relief. Besides, it’s a great spot for a nap. Just ask Gracie. She is sleeping there right now.

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. “

March 22, 2014

Winter is a solitary season. I sit in my warm house with the doors shut against the cold. My neighbors and I wave as we drive pass each other going one place and another. The world goes quiet when it’s winter, and I seldom hear outside sounds except for the rain and the wind. I have more sloth days in winter than in any other season. Winter days are for flannel, sweatshirts and warm socks. Winter nights are for down comforters. I read, sometimes the whole day into the night. I like soups and stews and macaroni and cheese. An afternoon nap is a bit of bliss. I abide winter in its turn.

This time of year is the yin-yang season, the time of winter and spring. It is the most frustrating of all the seasons because it isn’t really one or the other. The calendar says spring but the weather is sometimes wintry, cold and even snowy. Two warm days lull us into thinking it is spring then a day of 23˚ throws winter right back at us. The only consolation is in the garden where the spring bulbs have become flowers bursting with color. Today will be warm. Tomorrow will be in the 20’s during the day and the teens at night.

Summer is the social season. I am out and about a couple of evenings each week and spend my days on the deck sitting under the trees, sometimes reading, sometimes just sitting. My friends and I have our movie nights and game nights. My neighbors are out in their yards mowing and raking and playing with their kids. I can hear their voices from my house. The birds are loudest in the morning when they greet the new day. I love the songs they sing. The front garden is filled with flowers of every color, and I always stop to admire it  when I go to get my papers. The rain in summer seems gentler even with thunder and lightning. Sometimes I sit under my outside umbrella during a rainstorm just to hear the drops. I love summer nights with all the sounds of night birds, the flickering of fireflies in the backyard and the candlelight glowing from the glass tree hangings. Summer is just so glorious.

Fall is the magnificent season, my favorite of them all. The garden shops are filled with pumpkins and mums whose colors are a bit muted, perfect for fall, the end of the growing season. It is still warm here during the day but cools a bit during the night. In late fall, when even the days get cool, I always think they are a slow easing into winter, a warning about what’s coming. I know winter must have its turn, but I wish it wasn’t at the expense of fall.

“Colder by the hour, more dead with every breath.”

January 28, 2014

Cold isn’t enough of a descriptor for the weather today. Bone-chilling comes a bit closer but even that seems inadequate. Yesterday was “…Just spring when the world is mud-luscious.” The snow was soft, perfect for snowballs. The streets had reappeared and the icicles were melting from the roof. It was like a day in early March when the first green shoots start appearing and winter begins its swan song. Today, though, is pure winter. The snow is hard and the water of yesterday has frozen making it slippery especially along the sides of the road. I walked gingerly and carefully to the driveway to get my papers. The high today will be 20˚. The only bright spot is we will not be getting any snow. That will fall in the most unlikeliest places like the Virginias and the Carolinas where more than six inches are predicted. Forecasters have called this storm a once in a generation winter storm. I have to think kids will be thrilled with their first ever snow day.

I have errands, but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow because of the dump. It is closed on Tuesdays, and I really need a dump run so I might as well lump all of the errands together for tomorrow. I do fear the dump most of all. It is open ground and like the frozen tundra with the wind blowing and howling and with no place to find shelter. I will even wear my winter coat for the first time this season. I swear I saw a polar bear on the last dump run.

My mother used to keep her heat so high we wore t-shirts around the house when we visited her in winter. She was always cold. I finally understand why. The older we get the less resistant we are to the cold. I always wear a sweatshirt around the house now. I used to wear only a long-sleeve shirt and was plenty warm. That won’t do any more. Socks with my slippers are now a necessity. Nothing is worse than cold feet. I haven’t moved my thermostat any higher to combat the cold. I’ve decided to layer, even in the house.

I got an energy report from the gas company. It seems I burn more gas than my neighbors. That makes perfect sense considering four of the neighboring houses are empty most of the winter and my two closest neighbors heat with oil. I guess I win the prize by default.

“There ought to be gardens for all months in the year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season.”

September 26, 2013

My official acknowledgement of autumn was yesterday. The back screen door is now in the cellar and the storm door is in its place. The nights had been too cold to leave the backdoor open so Gracie didn’t have access to her dog door. She would ring the bells to go out, and I’d have to go running to open the door then wait for her. Now Gracie can come and go as she pleases.

The days seem darker to me, the sun less bright. I figure it’s mostly my imaginings at the transition in seasons. The cat still sleeps in the morning sun streaming through the front door so she is content. I am not. Every day seems to bring a change as we rush toward winter. The fall flowers are at their peak. The mums in my garden have all bloomed. The new flowers are planted in the front garden. The deck looks desolate and has pine needles, small twigs and branches and the hulls of sunflower seeds strewn about. Some days I sit in the sun in the afternoon, but I wear a sweatshirt against the chill. The days of short-sleeves have ended. We do have plenty of autumn left so my lament may be early, but the nights are cold. They feel like the first touch of winter.

I’m wearing my slippers and a sweatshirt. The house was cold this morning, colder than when I have the heat going, but I can’t bring myself to start the furnace: it’s the final surrender.

When I go to my old town, I always follow the route I used to walk to school. I notice the changes and remember what used to be there. The house where my friends grew up is gone. It was a pretty white house with red shutters and a trellis by the back door. A house near it was always a favorite of mine. It was an old house, one of the first on the street. It too is gone. In their place is a small brick apartment building, an ugly building with no character, with no homeyness. I am glad I don’t walk that route any more.

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

September 16, 2013

Lately the days seem the same. The mornings are cold with the sun nowhere to be found. Today a dampness makes it feel even chillier. I’m thinking I might have to put in my back storm door. That’s the door I leave open so Gracie can come and go, but the cold comes all the way down the hall from the screen. I hate the thought that it might be storm door time for even that one door. The windows have been closed for the last three or four days. I’m not liking this at all. I want my sun back. I want warm days.

When I was a kid, I didn’t care much about what the weather was each day. I did want snow in the winter and warm days for swimming in the summer, but as for the other two seasons, I had no preferences. I’d take the days as they came except for Halloween. I didn’t want rain. As for any day rain, I never really minded getting soaked walking home from school. I’d get home, skip the play clothes and get cozy in my pajamas. I lie in bed and read. I can still see the window at the foot of my bed and the rain drops hitting the glass then sliding to the bottom. The fiercer the storm the better.

I can’t stand my feet being cold. They make my whole body feel cold so I put on my fleece-lined slippers, but sometimes they aren’t enough. I have to add socks. In winter, I spend the days at home wearing those slippers, flannel pants and a sweatshirt. It’s become my winter uniform. Right now I’m wearing those slippers and thinking of adding a sweatshirt. The house is only 66˚, colder than I keep it during the winter.

My mother kept her house too hot in the winter. We used to wear t-shirts inside and complain about how hot it was. She was always cold except for her feet. On them she wore slippers with open toes and no backs. I wish I had inherited her warm feet.

Now I tolerate cold and heat far less than I used to when I was younger. On the last two trips to Ghana, my hair was always soaked with sweat. I don’t remember that happening when I lived there so long ago. I used to wear a t-shirt all winter; now the sweatshirt is a must. I’m beginning to understand my mother and her need for a hot house.