Posted tagged ‘tourists’

“Each day has a color, a smell.”

October 8, 2017

The day is cloudy dark. Rain is predicted. It is also windy which makes it feel colder than it is. I had to shut the back door. Last night was Gracie busy. She had me up every couple of hours, and we went out at 3:30. I went back to sleep but woke up when I heard her moving around at 8:00, but she readily jumped on the couch with me, and we both slept until 10.

I did all my errands yesterday. I had a route in mind, but the cars in long lines at the lights had me reconsider how to get there from here. I should have realized they’d be lines as this is, after all, a three day weekend, sort of summer’s last hurrah. Today is a stay off the roads day as the weekenders will be driving around looking for something to do.

I can smell wood burning again. The smell has again triggered memories. I remember overnights at Camp Aleska, the Girl Scout camp in the town where I grew up. The camp was up a dirt road across from the zoo and was surrounded by tall pine trees. Paths were behind the camp and led all through the woods. There was one big room in the camp with a huge fireplace. My favorite part of the overnight was falling asleep as the fire waned and the embers glowed in the dark. I have mentioned mornings in Ghana several times. The air smelled of wood fires as breakfast was cooked over wood charcoal. In the market, huge bags of charcoal were for sale. In some villages tree trunks were slowly burned into charcoal and bags of it were for sale on the sides of the road. Even the irons were filled with wood charcoal.

At night, aunties, older women, sitting along the sides of the main road in Bolga cooked food over wood charcoal and sold it.  I remember the smell in the air was a combination of the wood charcoal burning and food cooking at my nighttime snack stops. That was the first time I ever tasted grilled corn and deep fried plantain and yam chips. Guinea fowl was rare, but I always bought it if I found it. I remember the spots of light from the lit lanterns up and down the street and the blazing embers under metal bowls filled with groundnut oil where the food cooked.

I am ever so thankful for having served in Ghana and for the memories still strong and vibrant.

“A movie is not a movie, it is a potential nuclear furnace of inspiration, courage and conscience.”

July 6, 2017

The last couple of days have been beautiful: sunny, clear and free of humidity. The nights have been wonderfully cool for sleeping. The weatherman is predicting rain for tomorrow. I’m fine with that as we haven’t had rain in a while.

The tourists have descended. The weekend started Thursday night and lasted until yesterday when the line of traffic wanting to cross the bridge reached back 6 miles.  Local traffic too has been horrific. Trying to get out of a parking lot and cross a line of traffic is nearly impossible. Yesterday I sat so long that I finally went right when I really wanted to go left. I pulled into a street on the left and turned around so I could converge with the single lane of traffic. It does seem silly this roundabout route but waiting is futile and even sillier. My patience will be constantly tried until after Labor Day. My vocabulary will be reduced to four letter words.

I’m back to watching MSNBC. My short hiatus made me hungry for news especially with Mr. Trump in Germany meeting with Merkel and Putin with no script, just off the cuff. I find that scary. He has little command of English vocabulary and reverts to simplistic words when specific words would carry so much more weight. My favorite Trump quote today is that the US will confront North Korea’s, “Very, very bad behavior.” Is a time-out an appropriate response for bad behavior? Sometimes, but I’m not sure it is enough for, “Very, very bad behavior.” That sounds like cause enough for being grounded.

Gracie has an appointment today off-Cape with an internist, a specialist. Other than the weakness in her back legs and the head tilt, everything else is back to normal. Her vet said there are brain lesions probably causing the two issues.

I have a few things on my to-do list. I finally bought replacement flowers for the dead ones in the pots. I’ll plant them when I get back from the vets. The deck still has a bit of caterpillar poop that needs cleaning so I’ll water the pots then spray the deck.

The premier for 2017’s movie night will be this Saturday. For opening night, we always have dinner first so I have to figure out what to serve. Also, the red carpet has to go down, the corn needs popping and I have to choose the movie candy. I have three or four new movies and will let my guests decide. I’ll let you know.

“If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend”

June 23, 2017

Right now the day is beautiful with a breeze and sunny skies. The clouds will be intermittent, and there is a possibility of rain. I love days like this. The daytime is perfect, and it rains at night keeping the grass green and the flowers bright with color.

I have to go to Agway to pick up a flat of annuals. Four of the same plants in clay pots on the deck are dying. I also need dog and cat food and treats. I’m going to have to resist the temptation to buy more flowers.

Gracie has done well the last two days. She has eaten dog food and a whole bag of treats. She hasn’t had the dizziness and nausea of the previous three nights, and that is the best of all as she has slept through the night. I, however, am still exhausted. I don’t sleep deeply as I listen to check her breathing.

July is when all the hoopla begins here. The highways will have backups of cars trying to exit. The main roads will be filled with gawking tourists riding in slow motion so they don’t miss anything on either side of the road. It is even worse when it rains. I never leave the house in the summer on a rainy day because running into a traffic jam is cause for my swearing aloud and occasionally whacking the steering wheel.

I remember going to Islesboro, Maine one summer. We had to take the ferry as Islesboro is on an island. One day we went into nearest town, and my dad gave each of us some money to shop. I roamed through the store filled with postcards, individual inflatables, and all sorts of touristy kitsch. I ended up buying small dog magnets. One was white and the other black. They were both Scotties. I had them for years. They always reminded me of that vacation.

My deck is again a mess. It is covered in leaves and frass, the official name for caterpillar poop. I don’t even want to be out there under the trees, usually the perfect place as it is shady and gets any breeze. Now it also gets something else.

“I love watermelon! Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!”

June 24, 2016

Miss Fern had a follow-up visit at the vet’s today. It was hopeful. Her x-rays showed less water around her heart, her breathing is regular, and he thought she looked alert. The back  leg she was dragging is now just about 100%. She ate this morning and drank a lot of water. The vet will call later about her blood test.

Today is also beautiful but hotter than it has been. I still have a great breeze so I haven’t used the air conditioning. Today is errand day. I need animal food and groceries. I have no bread, nothing for dinner and I’m craving a Snickers bar. Yesterday I had cereal for lunch, Sugar Pops. I can’t remember the last time I ate Sugar Pops. It’s funny the associates we keep in our memory drawers. Sugar Pops reminded of watching The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. His sponsor was Sugar Pops and the show opened with the cereal and Wild Bill. I haven’t eaten that cereal for years, but it didn’t matter. A slew of memories filled my mind’s eye, and I saw Wild Bill and Jingles.

With schools out, oil down and the weather perfect, I expect the Cape to start being inundated this weekend so I will start hunkering down. My frazzled nerves won’t tolerate traffic. I’d be arrested for public profanity.

I was never bored summers when I was kid. Every day was filled. We had the most wonderful places to explore. I remember the wild blueberries near the water tower. They were sweet and delicious. We always ate our fill. The town has blueberry patches where you can pick the fruit. They remind me of those blueberries near the water fountain.

I like cherries. I also liked when we had who can spit the pit the furthest contests. I never won. It seems I haven’t been blessed with the skill necessary to spit pits.

Watermelon in the summer is always the best. I used eat them with so much relish the juice ran down my arms. It was red and made lines as it ran. Now when I eat watermelon I cut it off the rind and eat it in pieces. I guess that’s a sign of adulthood.





“Books and movies, they are not mere entertainment. They sustain me and help me cope with my real life.”

May 26, 2013

The house was winter cold this morning. I actually turned on the heat to warm it up. 61˚ is just too uncomfortable, and I refuse to dress in layers inside the house. My cousin in New Hampshire had snow. The weather has gone topsy-turvy. My sister in Colorado had her air conditioning blowing at full force. Hope, however, springs eternal. If the weatherman is right, tomorrow will be 68˚.

Turner Classic Movies has been my go to channel all weekend. World War II has been the subject of most of the films. Yesterday seemed to be submarine day. Today I get to go back to Bataan, and I just watched John Wayne, the captain of a German freighter, being chased by a British destroyer at the start of the war. Yup, John Wayne was a German, but a good German.

I do need to go out today and I fear the roads. It may not be raining but it is cloudy and damp. I suspect people will be looking for something to do, and they need to ride up and down the main roads to find it.

It’s time to decide my theme for summer movies. Last year it was movies made in Boston. This year I’d go with B science fiction, but I don’t think those movies would get a warm welcome from some members of my audience. July 4th is, of course, reserved for Jaws and Independence Day. I am not a fan of musicals so they’re out except for West Side Story. I’ve always liked that one. Westerns are also not among my favorites though She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is one I could watch, and there’s always Blazing Saddles which makes me think of a Mel Brooks medley of movies. Young Frankenstein always makes me laugh as does The Producers. I’m thinking to put them on the marquee. I love old movies, black and white movies, but they don’t have the best sound for the projector, too low for a couple of people.

For the first film of the season, whatever it is, we’ll have the red carpet and dinner, a deck dinner from the grill. I’ll put out my movie signs and get the popcorn ready. All I need is summer.


“The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.”

August 2, 2011

Earlier, during my deck, coffee and paper time, there was a lovely breeze, but it has since disappeared. The sun is bright and warm, but every now and then it hides behind an errant cloud. The Weather Channel has sent an alert that the Cape should expect rain with thunder and lightning between 4 and 8. I’m hoping it happens. We could use a little rain, and I love the thunder and lightning.

No mice to report today. I thought I heard one in the eaves in my bedroom around 4 this morning so I sneaked over to get a peek. If it had been a mouse, it would have scurried away and I could have heard it; instead, it was Maddie having an early breakfast. The cats’ dish, a Red Sox dish, wobbles a bit on the uneven wood floor in the eaves, and that’s what I heard. I gave Maddie another can of food and went back to sleep.

We never saw critters when I was a kid. We saw mostly grasshoppers and butterflies, tadpoles and frogs. The woods below our house weren’t dense enough for deer, and I don’t even remember seeing a skunk lumbering its way across the field. I remember smelling a skunk but not seeing one. Cows grazed at the dairy on the edge of town, and we had a zoo which was as close as we got to any critters. On vacation I remember the seals in Maine and a deer or two in fields as we drove by in the car. We always yelled with excitement when we saw a deer and even a cow got a shout. Around here, I have seen deer sprint across the road by my house. The woods go a long way on both sides of the road, and that’s why the deer cross the road, in case you were wondering. Years ago there used to be a deer hunting season here but not any more. Coyotes roam, and I’ve seen them often, usually in the early morning or at night. Foxes are plentiful here on the Cape and wild turkeys have made a comeback. There are also fishers, but I have never seen one or, if I have, I didn’t know what it was.

My yard has been invaded by raccoons, possums, skunks and one coyote who used to use the yard as a short cut, but since the six foot fence was put in, I haven’t seen any animals except the spawns of Satan.

States have official symbols including birds, desserts and even fish. I figure Cape Cod should have no less. The official vermin will be the above mentioned squirrel; the official bird will be the seagull and the official nuisance will be the tourist.

“If it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?”

July 13, 2010

The hot and humid air mass just hangs over New England. The slightest movement makes me sweat, not a pleasant sight. The air conditioning at night gave me a cold which is now just about gone. I thought it was allergies, but it was too persistent. Maybe the dog huddling beside me every night should have been a hint.

Summer is hot and winter is cold. These are givens. People complaining when it is too hot and too cold are also givens. The weather seems to be the one thing we all share, a commonality. It is an ice breaker, a reason to chit chat in the grocery store line. “How about this weather?’ or my favorite, “Hot enough for you?”

One summer it rained every weekend and a few days each week. Even I felt bad for the tourists. I couldn’t imagined being stuck in a cottage with herds of children and no diversions. I pictured countless games of Monopoly, the most boring of all games. The movie theaters were so filled every rainy day that summer people were parking on the grass and across the street at the lumber yard. The roads were totally clogged with cars driven by harried parents hoping to find something to keep their kids busy and quiet. I would have suggested duct tape. It seems to work for just about everything.

Every day is a beach day this summer, and the tourists are delighted. I’m glad for them. Nothing makes me happier than to see jubilant tourists.

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