Posted tagged ‘sweeping’

“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”

September 9, 2018

I slept late, until close to ten. I swear it is because subconsciously I knew the weather was the same as it has been. That I had to snuggle under the warm comforter last night was reason enough to stay in bed, but I dragged myself downstairs, let Henry out, started my coffee, went to get the papers and fed Maddie and Henry. The morning ritual changes little from day to day. The grey clouds change little from day to day. The dampness changes little from day to day. This is my world right now. The only bright spot, figuratively as we haven’t seen the sun in eons, is I have more books to read, more books to take me away from the daily chores and the weather.

Every Sunday I chat with my sister in Colorado. Today she asked me if I had done my laundry yet. I haven’t.

When I lived in Ghana, I never had sloth days. I was always up early and dressed early. Coffee was first then breakfast then teaching. It was a daily pattern just as my days now have a pattern, but every day in Ghana and the pattern of every day was amazing. Roosters often woke me up. I could hear my students sweeping the school compound then I could hear water flowing from the taps into their metal buckets as my students stood in line for their morning bucket baths. I often had my second mug (giant mug) of coffee sitting on the steps in the front of my house. Small children walking to school stopped and greeted me. “Good Morning, Sir.” English was new to them, and they were learning greetings first, the same as I did in French and Spanish. Their teacher was a man. If it was market day, I went into town. I loved market day. It was like a country fair and even more but without the rides. I loved wandering among the tables, among the rows selling everything: fruit, cloth, chickens, eggs, vegetables, juju beads, pots and pans and bruni wa wu (used clothing translated as dead white man’s clothes). Sometimes I found a treasure. Once it was a small watermelon.

“Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your life’s journey and play on.”

July 10, 2017

Okay, a lady walks into a computer store, dead computer in hand. She waits while the technician tries a few things, but there are no easy fixes. She forks over $80.00 and leaves her computer for 3 to 5 days meaning the poor woman faces more time in iPad hell, but she is still a bit hopeful as she knows hope springs eternal. On the way out of the store a line of new computers are all connected and sitting in a row against the wall. She foolishly tries one. It’s magic she thinks. The computer is speedy, the touch needed is a delicate one and it has this changing sort of screen at the top of the keyboard. Wow, she thinks then calls over the guy and asks a few questions. There is still time to run, but she doesn’t. She stays and plays with the computer. In a short while, she walks out of the store with computer in hand, a new MacBook Pro with a 15 inch screen, Siri and all sorts of bells and whistles. The woman is smiling.

Today is a beautiful sunny day. It will be in the low 80’s, tolerable when there is no humidity. The breeze is ever so slight; only the leaves at the end of the branches move up and down. I have doors and windows open. Every now and then the chimes ring. It is the sweetest sound. It is the only sound now.

Earlier, the neighbor’s dog was barking for what seemed hours. Another neighbor had her landscaper mowing her lawn and cutting the front bushes. It was around 8 when the the mower started. I am against raucous noise in the morning.

On my school compound in Ghana the morning sounds at first were so different they woke me far too early, but soon enough they became part of my consciousness, and I didn’t hear them while I slept. Roosters were the first sounds I heard and the first sounds I learned to ignore. Next, I could hear the swish of hand held brooms made of stalks. My students were sweeping the whole compound including the dirt in front of my house. Afterwards, they lined up in front of two spigots to fill buckets with water for their baths.  I could hear the clicking of the buckets, the flowing water and the conversations in the line. By then, I was usually up and dressed and having my first cup of coffee while sitting outside on the small concrete porch in front of my house.

After a while, I took for granted those sounds, but I had stored them away in my memory drawers. When I went back to Ghana, to Bolga, the first morning sound I heard was a rooster. It woke me up, but I just smiled, turned over and went back to sleep.

 

“Summer has set in with its usual severity.”

July 16, 2016

Yesterday I mentioned how living in an air conditioned house was like a voluntary solitary confinement. This morning, to add to the isolation, I was totally disconnected from the digital world. My phone, internet and cable weren’t working. I did have my two newspapers so I pored through each drinking coffee all the while. I decided to call Comcast. They attempted to reset my modem. The modem didn’t respond. I decided to stay on the line for what seemed forever. Finally, a real person answered who said the East Coast had lost its connection, but they were coming back a section at a time. He said mine should reconnect by 9:30. He was almost right. It was 9:50 when my internet came to life followed by the phone and about five minutes later the TV.

I thought it horrible to be so disconnected. It wasn’t as if I needed the connection, but I like the choice. I did have my book to read after I finished the papers so I was content. Now I’m watching The Great British Baking Show and have the urge to bake bread.

My broom is at the ready. I have to sweep away the last of the poop which is under the table. I have just unfurled my table umbrella. I next need to connect the umbrella adaptor to the lights and unfurl my second umbrella. Once all that is done, it will be deck time.

I love coconut. In Ghana, small girls used to sell balls of toasted coconut. The balls were in a square glass container with wooden corners which the girls carried on their heads. I always stopped to buy a few when I saw the small girls. Along the sides of the road, aunties, older women, sold coconuts. When you bought one, they’d use a nail and a mallet to make a hole so you could drink the coconut milk. I aways love buying food from the aunties on the sides of the road.

The caterpillars have left and the moths have taken over. If this were a science fiction movie, I’d go outside and the moths would cover my body. When they were sated and had flown away, only my bones would remain. Okay, maybe I have been alone too long!

“I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.”

June 1, 2014

Today is a glorious spring day filled with warm sunshine and deep blue skies. I just came back from driving my friends to the bus stop in Barnstable, and the ride home was a joy. The trees along the highway are leafy and are so many different colors of green. Hawks were riding the thermals. No one was in a hurry. When I got off the highway close to home, I saw people walking their dogs, runners along the bike path and bike riders along the road. The warmth of the sun is like a magnet drawing us out of our cool, dark houses. The sun on the deck is waiting for me.

I have memories of Junes long past, of transitions and changes. It was always the month ushering in the freedom of summer days. It was the month of graduations, of moving from one place in my life to another. I left for Ghana in June on a journey which changed my life. I came home two years later in June with experiences to hold for a lifetime. June is when the cape finally wakes from winter, when the flowers all bloom and the air smells fragrant. It is no wonder I count June as my favorite month.

The laundry has made it down to this floor. It is by the cellar door. It may get done today or maybe not. It depends on how long I can stand seeing it lying there. Sometimes I need to do things right away, the laundry obviously not one of those things. This morning it was sweeping the kitchen floor. When I was making the coffee, I noticed dust in the corners and bits of dry dog food around Gracie’s bowl. I lasted only through one cup of coffee then took out the broom. I couldn’t take it any more.

I have decided how to spend my day. I will do nothing but sit in the sun, sip a cold drink and read. The laundry in the hall will just fine for another day or two.