Posted tagged ‘walking home from school’

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

September 16, 2013

Lately the days seem the same. The mornings are cold with the sun nowhere to be found. Today a dampness makes it feel even chillier. I’m thinking I might have to put in my back storm door. That’s the door I leave open so Gracie can come and go, but the cold comes all the way down the hall from the screen. I hate the thought that it might be storm door time for even that one door. The windows have been closed for the last three or four days. I’m not liking this at all. I want my sun back. I want warm days.

When I was a kid, I didn’t care much about what the weather was each day. I did want snow in the winter and warm days for swimming in the summer, but as for the other two seasons, I had no preferences. I’d take the days as they came except for Halloween. I didn’t want rain. As for any day rain, I never really minded getting soaked walking home from school. I’d get home, skip the play clothes and get cozy in my pajamas. I lie in bed and read. I can still see the window at the foot of my bed and the rain drops hitting the glass then sliding to the bottom. The fiercer the storm the better.

I can’t stand my feet being cold. They make my whole body feel cold so I put on my fleece-lined slippers, but sometimes they aren’t enough. I have to add socks. In winter, I spend the days at home wearing those slippers, flannel pants and a sweatshirt. It’s become my winter uniform. Right now I’m wearing those slippers and thinking of adding a sweatshirt. The house is only 66˚, colder than I keep it during the winter.

My mother kept her house too hot in the winter. We used to wear t-shirts inside and complain about how hot it was. She was always cold except for her feet. On them she wore slippers with open toes and no backs. I wish I had inherited her warm feet.

Now I tolerate cold and heat far less than I used to when I was younger. On the last two trips to Ghana, my hair was always soaked with sweat. I don’t remember that happening when I lived there so long ago. I used to wear a t-shirt all winter; now the sweatshirt is a must. I’m beginning to understand my mother and her need for a hot house.

“leafless trees dripping – autumn rain”

October 13, 2011

Last night I fell asleep to the sound of rain and this morning I woke to it. When I went to get the papers, I was surprised at how warm the day felt. I expected that damp chill which seems to find your bones. The rain stopped for a bit but has started again, and I can watch it fall through the den window. Gracie’s just came in and her coat is all wet. The ground is strewn with leaves brought down by the wind and rain. It gives the yard the look of fall.

When I was a kid, I loved it when the street gutters were filled with leaves. We didn’t walk on the sidewalk. We preferred the gutter route. The brown leaves crinkled when you walked through them and some broke and split when you kicked them into the air. We’d send leaves and pieces of leaves all over the street. Sometimes we’d pick up handfuls of leaves and throw at each other, laughing the whole time. We’d spend the rest of the walk taking pieces of  leaves out of our hair. We never did it going to school, only coming home.

Loving rainy days dates back to my childhood. I’d come home from school soaked by the walk through the rain then I’d usually change into my pajamas, no need for playclothes on a rainy day. During the rest of the afternoon, my brother would watch TV while my sisters played together. I’d go to my room and read. It was private time not easy to find in a small house with four kids. I always felt cozy, and I still think sitting inside on a rainy day with a good book is a cozy and warm way to spend an afternoon.

During the rainy season in Bolga, the storms were so magnificent I’d always watch. First the winds came, and they were so strong they bent tree tops almost to the ground. I’d hear thunder and sometimes even see the lightning. Then the rain would start. It never started small. The sound of the rain was a roar as if I were standing near a waterfall. The ground would run with rivers of water. If  I were teaching, I’d have to stop as the sound on the tin roof was so deafening no one could be heard. That sound is still one of my favorites of all sounds, and I was lucky enough to hear it again on my trip. It rained twice when I was in Bolga, and I stood and watched just as I used to do so long ago. I was under an overhang, and I was safe and dry just as I was when I was a kid in my bedroom.

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