Posted tagged ‘warm weather’

“Quiet diplomacy is far more effective than public posturing.”

August 18, 2017

Yesterday was a perfect day. The weather was warm but breezy enough to keep the heat at bay, the sun shined all day and we even found a table by the water at lunch. My sisters arrived with cake and presents. We went to lunch at one of my favorite places. As a surprise my sisters had invited my friends, and I was definitely surprised. My lobster roll was filled with huge chunks of lobster and the fries and onion rings were perfect. Just ask the gulls who snapped up the French fries we threw on the rocks. After lunch we came back to my house for cake and ice cream and presents. My sisters had chosen the best cake, mocha, and my favorite ice cream, coconut. After that, I opened my presents and was overwhelmed by the generosity of my sisters and my friends. We then sat on the deck a while chatting and laughing. I can’t imagine a better day, a better birthday.

Today is cloudy and a bit humid. The breeze is blowing the top branches of the oak trees. Rain is predicted for later. I do have to go out but not far and off the main roads. The bird feeders need to be filled again, and the fountain is empty of water. Gracie drinks much of the water away. The fountain is the perfect height for her. I fill it, she drinks it and we do this several times a day. She has a water dish on the deck but she ignores it. Dogs aren’t logical.

Quiet seems to be the order of the day after the excitement of yesterday. I don’t hear a sound: not a kid, not a car and not even a bird. I had Alexa play sixties rock, but I kept singing with the music instead of writing so I turned on the TV to MSMBC. It is still reacting to Trump’s latest diatribe so I turned that off. Instead, I watched the Food Channel with Giada who was making a Peruvian chicken dish and showing pictures of her trip to Peru. I suppose I could just turn off the TV, but I’m not in the mood for quiet, for silence. I have stuff I could do, but I don’t want to do them. I’m just fine with being a sloth, napping on the couch, wearing my comfiest clothes and going barefoot.

“I did NOT have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.”

October 17, 2014

We are still in that warm cycle of weather. I have my front door and a couple of windows opened. It rained all Tuesday night and most of yesterday. Lots of leaves fell in the wind so the lawns and sides of the streets are multi-colored. Today is sunny and a bit breezy. The streets are drying.

Getting a new pair of shoes was a big deal. Usually I’d get two new pairs a year: one for back to school and one for Easter. My school shoes were always sturdy and practical while my Easter shoes were dressy, sometimes patent leather. After Easter, they’d morph into church and special occasion shoes. I never wore my school shoes anywhere but to school because they were expected to last the whole year. In late August my mother would herd us all to the shoe store. Until it was my turn, I’d wander the store looking at the shoes on the racks. If I found a pair I liked, I’d bring one shoe to my mother who would decide whether or not I could try that pair on. Back then, most of the shoes were tie shoes and sturdy didn’t usually mean fashionable, but I was young enough not to care about fashion. My mother stretched her budget and bought expensive shoes for us because they were more likely to last. I remember Buster Brown and his dog Tige and the picture of them on the inside heel of the shoe. I never did question the long hair and the funny cap. That was just Buster Brown.

I loved looking at my feet in the x-ray machine and having the shoe salesman measure them with that silver slide. He’d sit on the odd-looking stool which was close to the floor and close to feet. It had a front part where you put your foot to be measured and where the man would put the shoes on your feet when it came to trying on the new pair.

I walked up and down the length of the store to decide if the shoes felt good on my feet. I’d also stop at the foot mirror to see how they looked. If they passed both tests, my mother would buy them for me. I was thrilled to carry my new shoes home. They made me feel proud somehow.

“At Christmas, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ makes me cry in exactly the same places every time, even though I know it’s coming.”

December 4, 2012

Today is warm and beautiful with sun and a lightly clouded sky as its backdrop. The dog and I are going out though we have no destination, but a day like today should never be wasted so we’ll wander until something catches our eyes.

Gifts are on the bed upstairs in the guest room and in the cellar. I’ll start bringing them here to the den so I can spend evenings wrapping. I’m still waiting for one order of cards to come in the mail then I can write out my cards and send them. The tree and the inside decorations are next and then comes the baking. I have a list of what I want to make, and my sisters have put in their requests so I just need to grocery shop. Christmas is on its way.

My family has many Christmas traditions, most from my mother, but some from me. My sister Moe’s kids each got a piñata from me every Christmas starting the year they had turned three. My sister would attach their piñatas to the stair railing, and they’d hang down into the family room. On Christmas Eve, after dinner, it was piñata time. The kids loved opening all of the little presents and by bedtime they were exhausted and would sleep all night into the morning. A few times my sister had to wake them up to let them know Santa had come. My nephew Ryan has a six-year-old. On Christmas Eve his son Ryder will whack at and open a piñata for the third time. His aunt, my niece, carries on the tradition.

My mother used to send us each an Advent calendar, and every morning I’d hunt for the date so I could open the little window. I’d find candles, elves, decorated trees or toys, but I knew on Christmas Eve morning I’d find a manger scene no matter what the Advent calendar looked like. One year I sent my sister’s kids a calendar with chocolate behind each window. My nephew figured out how to open the bottom so all the chocolate would fall out, and he ate every one of them, all 24 pieces. The next year they got the traditional calendar, no more chocolate. After my mother passed away, I started sending one to my sisters every year to keep the tradition going. Last year for the first time I send one from on-line and did the same this year. The calendar is animated with beautiful scenes and lovely music. My friend sent me one, and every morning it is the first thing I do on the computer. I have decorated a tree, made and dressed a snowman and today I watched alpine skiing.  I’m thinking the 24th might just have a manger scene.

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.”

October 16, 2012

Around 1:30 last night (although I suppose it should be early this morning) I was roaming around the house unable to fall asleep so Gracie and I went outside for a while. It was a misty, warm night. When Gracie went down to the backyard, she triggered her sensor lights so I joined her. She roamed while I picked up and piled a few fallen branches and emptied the bird bath. One house had lights on, but it always does no matter the time of night, but the other houses were dark. I went about my yard cleaning then came back inside. It was well after 2 before I went to bed. By then I could hear the rain: the gentle mist was gone.

Today is sunny and warmer than predicted. It’s the sort of day which makes me glad I’m not working, not staring out the window and wishing I could sit in the sun. Happily, the day is mine to do with as I choose, no wishes necessary.

Nothing in today’s papers made me glad, except maybe the comics.

Two of my friends are coming to dinner. I missed their birthdays in September so tonight we’ll celebrate. Their brightly wrapped gifts are ready to be opened, and I have my shopping list for the grocery store, one of a few errands I have to do before tonight. We’re having sausage shepherd’s pie, a favorite of mine they haven’t ever had. I figure some crusty bread will perfectly complete the meal. I’m thinking a round loaf.

With the storm doors up and almost all the windows closed, the house is quiet. Gracie is sleeping on the couch beside me, and she is lightly snoring, and every now and then she sighs; they are the only sounds I can hear. The window in my bedroom facing the backyard is still open, and last night I fell asleep to the sounds of the night birds and the rain. How wonderful that was.

“I didn’t know that the world could be so mind-blowingly beautiful.”

October 15, 2012

The day is perfectly beautiful; it’s so warm and sunny I have “unbattened” down the hatches and opened windows. I feel as if  sitting inside is wasting the day so I keep going out to the deck and just standing there to enjoy the warmth before the rain starts or it gets cold though I don’t know if either is predicted. Weather just changes so quickly this time of year. It rained last night. I never heard it. The only way I knew we had rain was the wet street.

Yesterday it rained during the ceremony. Fewer people were there than expected, but the hardy ones came anyway armed with umbrellas and wearing rain gear. I was a fashion statement, a fashion statement for Ghana anyway. A reporter from the Cape Times took my picture and interviewed me. She asked what were some of the difficulties of living in Ghana. I came up with a lack of cole slaw. She also asked about Peace Corps, and I said it was the most remarkable experience, an unequaled experience. She wanted to know about what I was wearing. I swear it was the matching hat which caught her eye!

I’m going out and about today. I have an appointment at noon then I can roam. I have no set destination, but I’ll stop if something catches my eye. Back roads are favorites of mine. I like to go places I’ve never been. You can never get lost on the Cape. When you hit the ocean, just go in the opposite direction. Almost any road will lead to a main road as there are so few of those. Figuring out where you are is usually easy.

On The Amazing Race last night they were in Bangil, Indonesian, and it was beautiful, strikingly beautiful. I immediately put it on my wish list of place to visit. I haven’t ever been to Asian so I’m figuring it might be, in a year or two, my next destination. That will give me time to plan the trip and save enough money.

I love my life, but for this, I wish I were wealthy. I could just pack a bag, book a trip and leave.

“Candy Corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason. All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911.”

October 26, 2010

Last night was so warm I slept with the bedroom window open. The wind was blowing hard, and I could hear the rustling of leaves. Just as I was falling asleep I thought I heard drops of rain, but I wasn’t sure if I was awake or drowsily dreaming. The drops seemed to fall too slowly to be real, but this morning, the street and driveway were wet. The deck is strewn with yellow leaves from the oak tree. The sun is shining. The day is early September warm.

It’s errand day. I always save my errands until I have a bunch as I figure it’s best to ruin one day by running around than several. The errands will start with the allergist and Staples in Hyannis then on to the Christmas Tree Shop for suet, Agway for bird seed and dog treats then finally the grocery store. My larder is empty. I have a list.

Whenever my mother needed anything during the week, one of us was dispatched to the corner store, either the red store or the white store. We never knew the store names. They were just known by their colors. The white store was closer by a couple of blocks. It was a great ride on my bike. I’d go down the lawn hill and hope my father wouldn’t see the bike track then I’d take the street on the left and follow it until the last turn, also a left. From the end of that street I could see the store. It was across Spring Street and facing that last road.

The white store had wooden display cases with glass across the front. That’s where the penny candy was stored. The ladies who ran the white store, sisters I think, were patient. They knew that spending even a couple of pennies was not to be rushed. I tended toward candy which lasted a long time like Squirrels, Mary Janes or those green and yellow wrapped square candies which hurt my jaw to chew. I loved Atomic fire balls but holding on to the handle bar with one hand and using my other hand to make sure my mother’s bag, usually filled with milk or bread, didn’t bump out of my bike basket made it impossible to take the fire ball out of my mouth when the heat got too great. Besides, those were best sucked with a water source nearby.

My mother was smart. She knew we’d hurry to the store when we could keep the change. It was never more than a nickel, but in those days, to us kids, that was big money.