Posted tagged ‘treasures’

“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life because, after Africa, nothing has ever been the same.”

May 20, 2023

Rain is coming. It is supposed to rain all day, but the rain is welcomed as it is so dry. I have one errand. I have to go the grocery store to get a few items to fill my larder. I’m also thinking a Snickers bar.

Today is Africa day here on Coffee. I am wearing a t-shirt my sister gave me which says, “I don’t need therapy. I just need to go to Ghana.” My house is filled with my treasures from Africa, some I brought back and many I bought on subsequent trips. I have a metal chess set I bought in Ouagadougou, the capital of what was Upper Volta in my day and is now Burkina Faso. It was a weekend getaway destination for me. The station wagon would pick me up at my house which was on the road to Ouga. The road was laterite until close to the city where it was paved. I remember during the rainy season we had to get out of the car so it could pass through places where the road was flooded. In Ouga I stayed in a hotel with air conditioning. It felt like a resort. I dined at L’eau Vive, a wonderful restaurant run by nuns. I shopped at the market which was below street level in the middle of the city. It is no longer there. I really liked the city and went often, but now Burkina Faso is dangerous and violent because of extremists, a great loss.

In Accra, the capital of Ghana, Hausa traders used to sell their wares on High Street. I always stopped there hoping I could get bargain. I spoke enough Hausa to chat so I usually got a good deal which was probably not a good deal but felt that way to me. Accra had many Lebanese restaurants, one Chinese restaurant and a few western type restaurants. I always ate once a trip at the Chinese restaurant. It was a treat, a sort of expensive treat, but mostly I ate Lebanese food. It was cheap and good.

I used to shop at Makola Market, the largest market in Accra. That was where I bought my mosquito net which I never used. On the cloth side of the market, yards of folded cloth were stacked tall. I’d look for neat cloth patterns for dresses. I was usually lucky to find some. I still have some cloth stacked here in the den.

When I walk my house, I see memories everywhere.

“A box without hinges, key or lid, yet golden treasures inside is hid.”

February 25, 2018

All I have to rely on is my memory of the sun. It was here for a short time yesterday then the clouds took over the sky. It is raining now. I can hear it falling on the roof and that was the first sound I heard when I woke up. It will be in the mid-40’s today and will probably stay rainy. I have a couple of errands including the dump. This is the second time in a row it has rained on dump day. I’d wait until a better day, but the dump will close today and won’t open again until Thursday.

I have a pile of boxes ready for the dump recycle bin. Most of them are small. They have been coming all week as I have ordered all sorts of stuff from all sorts of places. Some stuff is for Easter while other stuff is for Christmas and one is for me, a new shirt bought at an end to winter sale.

I remember when boxes were as much fun as any toy. Big boxes from appliances became forts or hideouts. We’d bring pillows, a flashlight and a few provisions inside and stay in our fort all afternoon. We’d make a window with a three quarter cut on the side. It was the perfect spot from which to keep watch. Sometimes I’d even decorate and use crayons to make curtains. For some reason they were always red.

Shoe boxes were the best of all. They held treasures and were hidden away, usually under the bed. I remember one of mine held those two Scotties, the black and the white ones, which were magnets. I used to put the dogs’ noses together so they’d repel each other. Shells gathered on a summer afternoon at the beach were in the box and so was a starfish and smooth flat stones. Marbles sometimes made it. My favorites were the clear ones with colored pieces in the middle which always sort of looked like parts of a feather. Birthday cards, pins and CrackerJack’s prizes were also in the box. Most times stuff was added and seldom removed. Often, I’d pull the box out from under the bed then sit on the bed and lovingly take my treasures out of the box one by one. I always thought them treasures of great measure.

“One for whom the pebble has value must be surrounded by treasures wherever he goes.”

February 7, 2011

Today is another lovely day with lots of sun and the temperature hovering around the low 40’s. Gracie has been in and out all morning as she loves days like today. I should warn her to get her fill as rain or snow will be here for the next couple of days.

My mind is filled with silly things, things of little value. I move stuff around in a room, step back, take a look and then move them back. After much contemplation, I’ve decided to do two washes today with one just for my spread. If that isn’t an earth shattering decision, I don’t know what is. I think I have Monday syndrome. It’s characterized by low energy and a dislike for work of any kind, even laundry. Couches and books are appealing. Yup, I have a bad case.

I have a box here and another upstairs filled with little treasures. They wouldn’t seem like much to anyone else, but they are important to me. In the box down here, I have three Ghanaian coins, some pins from the Boston marathon I work every year, a couple of political pins, all democrats, a few Icelandic coins from the wonderful trip my mother, sister and I took, a two dollar bill I got in France, some American coins including a couple of liberty dimes I got in change and some pennies.

When I was little, my treasure box was a cigar box. I kept it hidden in my closet because everything in it was important to me. Lots of times I’d open the box and take out my treasures one by one and remember why they were treasures. I remember there were sea shells from a family vacation, a ribbon I won, some odd really neat buttons and a postcard I was sent. At some time, my treasure box just disappeared, and I didn’t even notice. Maybe  it was when we moved to the cape. I don’t know, but I do know I never outgrew treasures as I have them still. My guess is I forgot for a while how important little things can be.

“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.”

August 3, 2010

The day is again beautiful, cool and sunny with a lovely breeze. I’ve made my bed, finished the papers and taken my outside shower. I’ll be inside until I finish Coffee then it’s back to the deck with my book. I spend hours each day on that deck. I read, eat lunch, dream and ponder.

I have seen wonders and traveled the world. Every working day I went to a job I loved. I realize I have been lucky in life and lately, with all that pondering, I’ve recognized my life has come nearly a full circle. I’m not talking my imminent demise, but rather a return to simpler days when life was about adventure and surprises and the joys of every day. It’s like I’m a kid again and every day is mine.

It was easy back then to take delight in the small pieces of life. Walking the beach and finding a perfect shell was cause to run back to my mother holding  my prize and yelling for her to see what I’d found. It was a forever treasure. I never rode down the hill on my bike. I flew with the wind on my face and my feet off the pedals. Books took me away, and I was absorbed for hours in adventures on rocket ships and deserted islands and with characters I still remember with a vividness that keeps them alive. I had no money, but I really didn’t need money. My mother gave me a nickel or a dime for ice cream when Johnny rang his bell, and I could go to the Saturday matinee and buy a candy bar. A hot dog was a sumptuous feast. Cold, juicy watermelon on a hot afternoon was a gift from God. I didn’t care about fashion. Comfort was more important. Sleeping outside under the stars on a warm summer night was filled with wonder. Life was breathtaking every single day.

My life is again filled with simple joys. I watch the birds and listen to their songs. Some days I never get dressed and sit around in my cozies and read. I don’t spend much money on myself and most weeks I travel only thirty or so miles in my car. My friends invite me for burgers, Tony burgers, and we play board games. We love movie nights on the deck. Gracie and I take rides, and I swivel my head from side to side so as not to miss a single thing. Gracie just hangs her head out the window. I never mind watermelon juice on my hands, and I like to spit the seeds. I’m back to thinking a hot dog cooked on the grill is sumptuous. My life is once again breathtaking every single day.

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