Posted tagged ‘walking in the rain’

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

June 26, 2014

Today is the day: USA versus Germany. The game starts at noon, my time. Extended lunches are the order of the day. Lots of sickness going around as well. I think it is the 24 hour flu.

It was raining when I woke up early this morning. Gracie went out, did what she needed to then ran right back inside. The paper wasn’t here yet. I was reading my e-mail when I heard the thump of the paper hitting the driveway. Just then the heavens opened, and it poured. The rain seemed to be coming straight down in torrents. Gracie and I watched from the front door. Rain mesmerizes both of us.

Summer and screen doors go together. When I was young, doors didn’t shut slowly. They slammed. Every time one of us went out, the door slammed behind us. My mother always yelled, “Don’t slam the door.” If I had known the word delusional back then, I would have used it to describe her and the other mothers because all over the neighborhood you could hear mothers yelling and doors slamming.

Summer rain never kept us inside the house. Getting wet was no big deal. My mother didn’t care. She was just happy to be rid of us. We’d walk in the woods where the trees were so filled with leaves we never got too wet. Other times we’d ride our bikes, but riding bikes on a rainy day meant taking care as sand along the side of the road was slippery and would sometimes cause us to skid and fall. Other times we’d skid on purpose to leave tire tracks behind us. The longest tracks won.

I got lost twice as a kid. The first time I didn’t realize I was lost. I just thought I was exploring with my brother. My family had just moved into a new house, and my brother and I decided to check out the neighborhood. We went through the field below our house, kept walking into the woods and came out on a street just beyond where the woods ended. We kept walking. We found a stream behind some houses and stayed a while to float leaves. When we walked back to the main street, a police car stopped, asked our names then had us get in and they took us home. Our parents had gotten scared and called the police.  We didn’t know where we were or where our house was, but we didn’t care. It was the adventure which was fun. I was five and my brother was four.

The second time I got lost was at the drive-in. I was in my pajamas and robe. When I needed to go to the bathroom, I went alone. I assured my parents I’d be fine. I found the bathroom but couldn’t find the car. I roamed up and down the aisles and finally went to the refreshment stand. They called over the car speakers for the parents of Kathleen Ryan to come, and my father did. I was about six or seven.

I have the most amazing sense of direction. I never get lost even when I’ve somewhere I haven’t been before. I just somehow find my way. I don’t go to the drive-in any more.

“Autumn flings her fiery cloak over the sumac, beech and oak.”

October 7, 2013

The weather is quirky. One minute it is dark and gray then the next is sunny. The house is cold while outside is warm. Showers are predicted for later. On my way to breakfast, I noticed many leaves had fallen. Piles of yellow were on the road and sidewalks. I thought it strange. Many trees have yet to change color while others are almost bare. My oak is still green.

Nothing was more enticing than the piles of leaves in the gutters next to the sidewalk curbs on my way to school. I’d kick through the piles and spread leaves all over the side of the road. The dry leaves on the bottom made a crunching sound while the newest fallen leaves on the top always seemed a bit damp and filled with morning. Most of them were yellow leaves. The trees were spaced beside the sidewalk edge. In summer the sidewalk was shady; in winter it was bare and open to the wind. The sidewalk was a straightaway to school. From the top of the small hill I could see to the railroad tracks and once there I could see the front lawn of the school building, but I couldn’t see the statue. It was too far off the road. I never minded that walk except when it rained. That was when the straightway seemed to go on forever. If I had known how perfectly descriptive a word it was, I would have said I plodded my way home.

The Cape has few sidewalks. Only the oldest parts of some towns seem to have them. My town has a few which slope and have cracks. None of them have curbs. No one kicks leaves.

I remember my dad and all the other dads standing on the side of the road near the curb burning piles of leaves. By then the leaves were curled and brown. They burned easily. All of us kids stood near the fires and watched. Our clothes afterwards smelled of fire and burning leaves. It is still one of my favorite smells, one of my favorite memories.

“Nothing reminds us of an awakening more than rain.”

September 5, 2013

I venture to say today is a bit cooler than we’ve been used to of late. It is only 69˚. The rain clouds are back and there is a breeze, from the north, seldom a good sign. My house is dark.

Today I have a few errands and Gracie gets to come with me. Her waiting in her crate days while I venture out are nearly over. In the cold of winter, she gets to ride just about everywhere as I don’t mind leaving her in the car. Next week Gracie has her older dog vet visit. That comes six months after her well-dog visit. She’ll have blood tests and a general physical. I hope all will be well.

It has just started raining.

I loved my old elementary school classrooms when it was raining. The ceilings were high and the windows facing the schoolyard reached  to the ceiling. Watching the raindrops on the windows was somehow mesmerizing. They’d hit the window then roll down and finally disappear. The sound of the rain filled the room, and we always seemed a bit quieter on rainy days. The classroom lights hung down on long wires, and even though they were lit, the room always seemed a little dark. The crafty teachers placed the desks so our backs were to the big windows, but the side windows could be seen from anywhere. The view was of trees and shrubs and a house close to the school, separated only by a fence and the drive-way size entrance to the school yard. The back door of the school faced that little road. I sometimes slipped out that door at the end of school to avoid the crowds exiting the main door. The nuns didn’t care. Once the end of school bell was rung we were on our own.

I always got soaked walking home from school in the rain. My feet would squish in my shoes, my clothes got wet and my hair dripped. I never carried an umbrella. I was never the umbrella type. But getting soaked felt liberating in a way though I wouldn’t have known that word back then, but that’s what it was. I didn’t have a choice but to walk so it was like having permission to be wet even in my school clothes. Sometimes I’d hold out both my arms and raise my face to the rain. I’d close my eyes so I could feel the drops on my face. I know I fell in love with rain on those walks home.

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