Posted tagged ‘warm days’

“This was all horribly wrong. This was red wine with fish. This was a man wearing a dinner jacket and brown shoes. This was as wrong as things get.”

September 13, 2016

The weather right now is just perfect, the sort I dream about through snow storms, freezing temperatures and winds which chill to the bone. The sun shines with that sharp light which only seems to come in the fall. The days are warm, in the 70’s. The nights are chilly, wonderful for sleeping. I love Cape Cod best this time of year.

The countdown has begun. It is seven days until I leave. My mind is filled with images of Ghana. I can close my eyes and see it all. I am as excited as I was the first time I went back. It is difficult to explain the pull Ghana has on me. Every bit of the country feels familiar. The greetings I learned so long ago quickly come to mind. I say them, and Ghanaians answer then they smile. I smile back. I hunt for my favorite foods, buy cloth and roam the market. The years disappear. It is as it was.

This morning I had two meetings, one right after the other. They were library board meetings: the annual and the monthly. I am now president of the Board of Trustees of the South Dennis Library. My responsibilities are few. I print the agenda and run our monthly meetings. I bring refreshments when needed. I sign whatever the librarian puts in front of me. She knows far more than I what’s going on. I have been on the board for nearly 12 years. Two of the trustees are in their 90’s. One of them is 95. I always joke that the only way off the board is incapacitating injury or death.

The last fish I had a week or so back was red snapper. It was delicious. The first time I ever ate red snapper was in Jamaica. The second time was at a Caribbean restaurant in Saugus which isn’t there anymore. Fish markets here don’t sell it. I always ask. I figure they must think it an exotic fish. Around here cod is king.

I’m thinking fish and chips tonight. In one of my places they also come with onion rings, the thin kind, the best kind. I was going to have hot dogs but not anymore.

“I hope nobody took the Razzle Dazzle Rose.”

September 25, 2015

Fall weather has taken hold. The days are sunny and warm while the nights are chilly, even cold. I put on a sweatshirt when I woke up this morning. The house was 67˚. If this were winter, my heat would be blasting. I have errands today, and I’m glad because it is a lovely day to be out and about.

When I was young, the nun would pass out papers with outlines of leaves for us to color. In those days the points of the crayons got blunt which make staying in the lines difficult. You had to attack the leaf with the side of the crayon, not where the point used to be. My leaves were red and yellow. I think everyone’s leaves were red and yellow. I remember carrying my treasure home and how proud I was of my art work. I especially remember how much my mother loved those leaves. She made me feel like a real artist and never did mention I went out of the lines.

Crayola crayons were the best of all. I’d get a box to go back to school and a bigger box, the wonderful 48 brilliant colors with the built in sharpener, in my Christmas stocking. When I was really young, I just called the colors red, blue or green. To differentiate, I’d just say light blue or dark red. I didn’t know names like cerulean or turquoise blue. Raw sienna totally threw me. There were so many reds you couldn’t keep track. Light red, dark red and just plain red weren’t enough. There was brick red and Indian red and maroon, my dark red’s real name.

I had a certain artistic style. The yellow sun always had rays coming out from the whole circle. Girls had turned up hair and boys just had a little on the top. Their hair was always brown. I’d put a skirt on the girls which looked liked a funnel. The boys just had stick legs. I don’t know why I didn’t add pants. My flowers were petals of different colors and each had a long green stem coming from the green grass. The trees had bare branches and were almost stick figures.

I never did get good at drawing. I suspect that if I were given a 64 pack of crayons, I’d start with a bright yellow sun with rays extending from the whole circle. It wouldn’t be lemon yellow or green yellow or orange yellow. Nope, mine would just be plain old yellow.

“A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.”

April 16, 2015

The corner has been turned. Yesterday was cloudy but still felt warm. After the winter we’ve had, the low 50’s are tropical. I sat on my deck for a while and wished I had a drink with an umbrella and a piece of pineapple. Gracie sleeps on the deck and her fur gets hot to the touch. So many flowers have bloomed now. The hyacinths are the most recent adding some purple to the yard.

Tonight Captain Frosty’s opens. The boards are off the windows. In some places birds return, the cherry blossoms bloom and the gardens fill with flowers, all announcing the coming of spring and summer. For us the first sign of the changing season is when Captain Frosty’s opens. My friends and I are going to first night dinner, another one of our rituals. I can just taste that shrimp, the corn fritter and those amazing onions rings. It’s a happy day!

When I was a kid, it was hearing the ice cream man’s bell which announced the changing of the seasons. Johnny came up the hill and parked his truck in its usual spot as if it had been yesterday instead of a year ago when he was last here. We all ran home for a nickel or, if we were lucky, a dime. A nickel bought a popsicle and a dime brought so many different choices. I liked chocolate covers but my favorite was a drumstick. The vanilla ice cream had hard chocolate and nuts covering it. The cone was always soft, and after I finished the ice cream, I ate the cone, a sugar cone. My dad, who worked for Hood’s Ice Cream, told me that my drumstick is called an ice cream novelty. I think that name fits a drumstick perfectly.

This morning I read my two papers and a phrase, seldom heard any more, was written in one column. I don’t even remember what it was, but it sent me off on a tangent wondering what will happen to all the neat words and phrases of my generation. It seems sort of silly for woman of 67, almost 68, to say groovy. Nobody bums a smoke any more, nobody smokes. My brother and I yelled dibs when we reserved a seat in the car, usually it was dibs on a window seat. Drop a dime is gone forever. Where was the last pay phone you saw?Remember always checking the change slot in case someone left a dime. I found one a couple of times. On dates guys tried to get to second base or even go all the way. It usually started with making out. Luckily some of the lingo survives. You can still flip the bird, catch some rays or wear shades.

Every new generation needs its own vocabulary. It’s a sort of teen rebellion to break from our parents and speak in tongues they don’t understand. The problem is that vocabulary, like all the previous, will be replaced when a new generation takes center stage. How uncool all of that is, a real bummer.

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas lights.”

November 25, 2014

I am getting use to these warm days, a mistake. Winter is the slyest of seasons. One warm day can be followed by frost and even snow. Today is dark. Rain is coming and tomorrow will be an ugly day.

For the last few days a box or two has been delivered. Inside is a Christmas present or some stocking stuffers. I have been computer shopping. It is not as much fun as wandering through stores, but it is less expensive. I find all sorts of sales and free shipping. One item was close to $30.00. With free shipping and a coupon I found on-line it was only $19.00. Next I’ll make a list of what I still need and with list in hand do some shopping on small business Saturday. I’ll wander on 6A and see what I can find. One stop will be for me. In Orleans is a henna shop, and I was thinking my hands could use some decorating for the holidays. They’ve been painted twice before with henna: once in Morocco and once at a fair. They looked exotic and I loved the patterns.

Traditions are important to my family especially at the holidays. Certain dishes have to be on the table to make the meal complete. We get to open one door a day on our Advent calendars. My sister gets a Life Safer book just as she did in her stocking every year. I give my niece and nephews small bags with a few gifts including a new ornament, toothbrushes and fun soaps. That started when each of them turned three and I sent a filled piñata for Christmas Eve fun. They are now filling piñatas for their nephews. I love that I started a tradition.

Some of my neighbors have already put up and lit their Christmas lights. I don’t think it’s too soon. Darkness comes early, and the lights makes us almost forget we have a long winter ahead of us.

“Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”

May 4, 2014

Dare I risk saying it aloud and perhaps ruining the spell? Well, I am a risk taker so here it is: spring is finally here. Yesterday was a delight. I opened windows to the fresh smelling air and was on the deck in the sun for a while replenishing my vitamin D. It was in the 60’s again. Today is no less a delight with the bright sun making a return engagement though the morning is a bit cooler than yesterday’s.

My lawn was mowed in the late afternoon, and the sweet smell of that fresh mown grass filled the air. The grass, a deep spring green, is still lush from all the rain. It is perfect for bare feet even after being mowed.

I still have a Sunday mentality left over from my childhood. Saturday is for chores and errands. Sunday is for church if you’re so inclined, family time and a quieter day than the rest. Today is perfect for a ride after dinner and a stop for ice cream on the way home.

My town used to have a Dairy Queen. We’d ride our bikes down and get small vanilla cones with chocolate dips. My father was indignant when we called it ice cream. He always corrected us and said ice milk. It comes as a powder to which milk gets added in the mixing machine. My father worked for Hood Ice Cream, real ice cream, not ice milk, so the difference was important to him. I didn’t care. It was still ice cream to me though the ice milk did melt faster than real ice cream. The cones from DQ were never my favorites. They were tasteless. Sugar cones from ice cream shops were the best though sometimes the ice cream would leak from the bottom cone tip. It was a race to make sure the top of the ice cream didn’t melt or the bottom didn’t leak all over my shirt. I had ice cream crazes. Mint chocolate chip with jimmies (as we call them) was one as was mocha chip. I ordered one or the other for the longest time. Lately coconut has assumed the top position as favorite. Add some caramel sauce with sea salt and it is a dish fit for the gods.

“In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. “

March 22, 2014

Winter is a solitary season. I sit in my warm house with the doors shut against the cold. My neighbors and I wave as we drive pass each other going one place and another. The world goes quiet when it’s winter, and I seldom hear outside sounds except for the rain and the wind. I have more sloth days in winter than in any other season. Winter days are for flannel, sweatshirts and warm socks. Winter nights are for down comforters. I read, sometimes the whole day into the night. I like soups and stews and macaroni and cheese. An afternoon nap is a bit of bliss. I abide winter in its turn.

This time of year is the yin-yang season, the time of winter and spring. It is the most frustrating of all the seasons because it isn’t really one or the other. The calendar says spring but the weather is sometimes wintry, cold and even snowy. Two warm days lull us into thinking it is spring then a day of 23˚ throws winter right back at us. The only consolation is in the garden where the spring bulbs have become flowers bursting with color. Today will be warm. Tomorrow will be in the 20’s during the day and the teens at night.

Summer is the social season. I am out and about a couple of evenings each week and spend my days on the deck sitting under the trees, sometimes reading, sometimes just sitting. My friends and I have our movie nights and game nights. My neighbors are out in their yards mowing and raking and playing with their kids. I can hear their voices from my house. The birds are loudest in the morning when they greet the new day. I love the songs they sing. The front garden is filled with flowers of every color, and I always stop to admire it  when I go to get my papers. The rain in summer seems gentler even with thunder and lightning. Sometimes I sit under my outside umbrella during a rainstorm just to hear the drops. I love summer nights with all the sounds of night birds, the flickering of fireflies in the backyard and the candlelight glowing from the glass tree hangings. Summer is just so glorious.

Fall is the magnificent season, my favorite of them all. The garden shops are filled with pumpkins and mums whose colors are a bit muted, perfect for fall, the end of the growing season. It is still warm here during the day but cools a bit during the night. In late fall, when even the days get cool, I always think they are a slow easing into winter, a warning about what’s coming. I know winter must have its turn, but I wish it wasn’t at the expense of fall.

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”

October 3, 2013

The weather needs to be bottled so I can call it out at will on a frosty, cold day. Every morning I wake to temperatures in the 70’s and fall asleep to nights in the 50’s. KIng Arthur in Camelot would approve, “By order, summer lingers through September in Camelot.” That would make this the very first week of fall and the rest of it would stretch until November. A few years ago on Thanksgiving we had appetizers on the deck. I wouldn’t mind that again.

Gracie and I went for a lovely ride yesterday. We stopped at a farm stand, and I bought tomatoes, gourds and pickles, bread and butter pickles. We also took ocean ride. The sea was calm and the air-filled with birds. It was noisy from all those seagulls. I rolled the window down to listen. It is a sound like no other. I think seagulls and their screeching would have served Hitchcock well in The Birds.

Gracie has been outside most of the last few days. She roams the yard in the morning and sleeps on the deck in the sun in the afternoon. I think that a dog’s life, at least this dog’s, is darn good.

My cleaning frenzy has stopped though I did straighten a few pictures and a calendar; however, I also noticed the bottom shelf on my tavern table needs to be polished, but I’m afraid to touch it as it may set off another frenzy.

My student Grace is going to try again to get a visa, but I don’t know how affected the embassy in Accra is by the shutdown. I suspect all consular services have been halted, and she’ll be turned away at the gate. The Peace Corps volunteers are still in place across the world and are unaffected as of yet, but of the Washington staff, 627 were furloughed. To bring the volunteers home and end Peace Corps service abroad would cost approximately $29 million, with minimal savings in operating costs. The move would end decades of good will in countries which have depended on the help of Peace Corps volunteers who contribute up to $50,000 per volunteer in free labor. I know if I had been removed from my school, I would have been devastated.

Having an empty dance card has been wonderful.