Posted tagged ‘sweaty’

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

July 12, 2016

The weather is glorious this morning. It is sunny, still and warm. The street is quiet. Last night the street was filled with kids, noisy kids. Gracie went to the door to see what was going on. She found it boring so she went back to the couch and fell asleep.

Yesterday I finally planted the flowers which have been sitting on the brick walk for nearly two weeks. I filled the front step pot and three pots for the deck railing to replace the ones the spawns broke. By the time I was done, I wasn’t fit for social interaction. Sweat poured down each cheek and my hair was soaked, but I didn’t mind. I felt accomplished. I even swept the step and walkway. It was a productive afternoon.

Today will be nonproductive. I have to go to the library. It’s the big event of the day. I’ll take my shower later, the second big event. I never mind days like today. I figure most of my life before retirement was spent being busy every day so I have earned idle time. I have come to love an empty dance card.

All my animals, the two cats and the dog, are considered elderly by the vets. I’m thinking I might just be in the same category. Fern takes four medicines a day and the dog takes one. Maddie would also take one if she weren’t so feisty. I take more than all of them.

I don’t see many people, but my friends and I keep in touch by calling each other. The other day it was my friend Maria who called. She and I have been friends for almost sixty years. I saw her three or four months ago for the first time in a long time, but our connection has stayed so strong it is always as if we had been together a day or two before. We have so many stories starring each other, and we laugh every time we tell them. They never get old. When I taught, I used to spend just about every summer traveling, usually in Europe. I’d be gone four to six weeks. Those summers always went by in a flash. Traveling does that: makes the days short and quick.

My next trip is back to Ghana for my third visit. The two and a half weeks will be gone in the blink of an eye, but I’ll hold close everyone I see and every place I go. Ghana is also home for me.

“I went to a Catholic school, so of course we had to wear uniforms. My only form of expression was in shoes and the style of my hair.”

August 18, 2015

The hoopla is over, the festivities finished. The floor is covered in confetti. The balloons have lost helium and now are floating close to the ground. The cake is but a memory, a sweet memory. Last night my friends took me to dinner at the South African restaurant. It was the culminating event. Now my birthday is put away for another year.

The heat continues. We are still living behind closed doors and shuttered windows. Yesterday It became official. Boston is in the midst of a heat wave, three consecutive days above 90˚. We have been a bit cooler thanks to the ocean so no heat wave. The high 80’s don’t rate. They are just plain hot days.

Usually by this time in the summer, I’d done everything so many times I was getting bored. The joy of playing outside late had lost its luster. It was no longer a novelty. It was too hot during the day to do much. We’d bike ride, stop at a shady spot and just sit there until the sweat had stopped rolling down our cheeks, and we were cool enough to get back on our bikes. At every bubbler we’d drink water and wet our heads so we’d feel cooler. Bottled water was a long way in the future. Behind the town hall was a bubbler and another was in the middle of the field at the back of the baseball diamond near my house. That last one gave me the energy to get up the hill to my house.

We’d never have admitted it but it was exciting to get new clothes even if it was for school. We always got new shoes and socks and one new outfit for the first day of school because we didn’t have to wear our uniforms that day. We’d shop with my mother for the new outfit. The rest of the school clothes she’d just buy without us. The new white blouses and new blue skirts, our school uniforms, were never exciting so we didn’t care what my mother chose. It wasn’t as if there were a lot of options.

When I worked, I’d be back full time by now. Seldom did that mean new clothes for me.The excitement was gone.

“Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them.”

July 14, 2014

Last night the weather woman predicted a polar vortex. She was describing summer temperatures in the mid to low 60’s. I guess polar was about the best adjective she could find to describe the cool, even cold, summer days and nights. Right now, though, it is oppressively humid and totally still. I feel closed in, surrounded by the thick air. I swear I can even see it.

Gracie and I are going to the dump today. Sunday, our usual day, is, in the summer, the worst day to go. I know. I’ve been there. Cars are lined up at the gate waiting to get in, and there are no parking spots near the trash or the recycle bins. I just hope the predicted rain holds off. My luck is usually such that just as I’m arriving at the dump the skies open and the deluge begins.

I don’t remember staying in the house any day, especially on a rainy day, when I was a kid. Rainy days were fun. We’d find the biggest puddles, jump in and send sprays of water all around us soaking ourselves at the same time. We’d walk barefooted in the gutters filled with rainwater splashing and kicking water as we went. If the rain was heavy, the water ran quickly through the gutters to the sewers. We’d float leaves or pieces of bark and run along side to watch them fly through the water until our makeshift boats disappeared in the sewer grate. Then we’d go back and do it again.

I never minded getting wet or dirty when I was young. My standards for cleanliness were low. Sometimes I’d even go to bed in the clothes I had worn that day. It just seemed easier. Now I carry wet naps in my bag and in the car. I wear gloves when I pot  plants or when I’m in the garden. I carry a Tide pen in case of spills. My standards now are quite high. I think that is one of the burdens of adulthood.