Posted tagged ‘swimming’

“The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled.”

August 11, 2016

Here I am again, inside the house retreating from the heat. Today will be in the high 80’s on the cape and the 90’s in Boston and north of Boston. My friend Bill sent me the weather from Bolgatanga, Ghana where it will be cooler than here and rainy. What’s with that, cooler in Africa than here?

I could do a couple of errands today, but I won’t. I’m staying housebound by choice. I have food and drink, a semi-full larder, so I’ll be content and cool. I’m even considering baking something.

I hit a wall in watching the Olympics so last night I hunted for something else. It ended up being Cupcake Wars. I traded one boring program for a really boring program, but I’m guessing those cupcakes inspired me to think about baking today. This morning I’ve already watched women’s water polo. That wall is getting closer.

Yesterday I did two loads of laundry. They by themselves are not remarkable, but, for once, I didn’t leave any laundry in the dryer. I am known for leaving laundry in the dryer for up to a week. The clothes come out really wrinkled, but I don’t care.

Books are on the table in front of me as is the TV remote. They represent the day’s diversions, things to keep me busy, things to help the day pass.

When I was a kid, I’d be bored by the middle of August. I had done all the fun things several times, and they had begun to lose their luster. The afternoons were often too hot to do much. I remember being at the park and sitting in the shade. We played some checkers at the table and worked gimp. I remember painting a tray for my mother. We couldn’t play softball. Little kids couldn’t use the slide and seesaw because of the heat. The metal slide would have burned the backs of their legs. August is always hot and humid.

Every month I get a report from my electric company on my usage and how it compares to my neighbors’ usage. My sister in Colorado happened to mention her report to me as her husband, Rod, showed her they were the highest in the neighborhood. I said mine was too. We both decided we didn’t care. We want to live comfortably: cool in summer and warm in winter. I’m sending my next one to Rod so he’ll see they are not alone.

Tonight after midnight the Perseids meteor shower will begin, but the best viewing is after 1 AM or even later. There will be an unusually high number of meteors tonight anywhere from 160 to 200 meteors per hour. The suggestion is to lie on your back and look straight up. Drinking caffein to stay awake was another suggestion. I’m thinking iced coffee.

“How dreary – to be – somebody! How public – like a frog – to tell your name – the livelong June – to an admiring bog!”

June 12, 2011

The day is a mean one-the rain has left a damp chill. It’s a stay in, read all the papers and watch the ballgame sort of day. I may even sneak in a nap.

Everything is still. No wind blows the leaves. The pouring rain of yesterday has cleared the pollen. The yellow is finally gone. Now only a few drips from the roof disturb the silence.

Ants are in my kitchen. I found a couple in the sink. I figured they were advance scouts for the rest of the army. The traps have been set. The ants’ days are numbered.

The last couple of days have been uneventful. I’m probably jinxing myself by saying that, but I’ll take the chance.

My very favorite vacation when I was a kid was in Vermont. We were so far up state my parents went to a town in Canada for dinner. I love the beach, but I don’t love salt water. It makes my skin dry and itchy. In Vermont we were on a lake. It was filled with fish, and I could see them just off shore where the bottom dropped and the water got really deep. I don’t open in my eyes in the salt water, but I do in a lake. I could see all the fish darting out of my way as I swam underwater. My hand seemed to move in slow motion when I reached toward the fish. Some were really small and some were middle sized. I have no idea what kind they were. I knew catfish from the pond near our house where my brother often fished, but I didn’t know the names of any others. All I knew was they were really fast.

We traipsed through the dense pine woods, went frog hunting in the stream which ran parallel to the house and swam every day. I loved that vacation, and I’d do most of it again. I think I’d just eliminated the frog hunting. They’re too slimy for me now.

“After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.”

August 30, 2010

The weather says heat is on its way, 80’s for the next few days. I guess the dog days of August have made it just under the wire. Schools around here start next week. The paper listed their start days this morning. That always meant the end of summer for me, but I never really minded. My favorite time of year was coming.

During summers, when I was growing up, meals were haphazard. We were always coming and going, even to being outside after the streetlights went on. Dinners were simple, usually hot dogs or hamburgers, corn on the cob, popsicles and every now and then my mother’s famous peppers and eggs. We were never a green salad family. My mother made potato salad. My father loved homegrown tomatoes, and he used to cut one up, put the slices on a plate, add a spoonful of mayonnaise for dipping and have it as a side dish at dinner. We kids ate as quickly as we could so we could get back outside. Sunday family dinners were put off until cooler weather.

We spent countless weekends at the beach. The picnic basket was always filled with sandwiches, fruit and cookies. The tartan jug held bug juice. My mother seldom ventured off the blanket. She’d sit and watch my sisters. My brother and I roamed. My father swam in the cold water while my brother and I waited until low tide so we could swim in the warmer, tide pools. I remember walking on the rippled sand to get to the deep pool. The houses across from the beach were huge, and I always wished I could live in one of them and wake up every day to hear the gulls and see the water. My mother used to get annoyed if we tracked sand on the blanket. I remember a wet bathing suit, a towel around my shoulders, my butt on the blanket and my legs and feet in the sand. The last bites of food always tasted gritty.