Posted tagged ‘yellow leaves’

“We take a last look out of the window at the night, and I send a silent wish to everyone out there for this kind of warmth.”

October 26, 2017

The rain has been a deluge at times and hasn’t completely stopped since Tuesday night. We’ve had somewhere between three and four inches of rain. Streets are flooded. Yesterday my mailman said he couldn’t get down the street beside mine as there was such a huge puddle he was afraid his truck wouldn’t make it. Gracie squats as close to the door as she can. She is no dumb animal. I have to go to the dump today so I’m hoping for a lull.

When I was a kid, rain and leaves meant walking carefully on my way to school. It was easy to slip and fall. The wet leaves covered the sidewalks as if glued to them by the rain. Mostly the downed leaves were yellow. It was a yellow brick road.

We didn’t carry umbrellas, and I didn’t have a raincoat. I always got soaked. In school, I’d just have to sit and wait to dry. At home after school, I usually put on my pajamas and slippers. They were my cozy clothes. I always wore slipper socks with anti-slide bottoms. I got a new pair every Christmas. Even now I have a couple of pairs, but they are old, and stretched. The toe ends are longer than my feet, and I have to keep pulling the sock part up, but that doesn’t matter. My feet stay toasty warm.

A cold spell is coming which just means the weather will be more seasonal. The nights will get down to the 40’s. It’s time to use my blanket and snuggle under the down.

Stews, casseroles and soups are winter meals to me. My mother would sometimes fill our lunch box thermoses with soup. She always included Saltines and a dessert. Most times she remembered the spoons, but sometimes she didn’t so I’d slurp my soup from the thermos cup being careful not to let the soup spill. I wasn’t always successful.

I haven’t gotten dressed yet. I am comfy and cozy. In a while I’ll drag myself upstairs, get dressed, fill the car with trash, brave the rain and go to the dump. When I get home, it’s back to cozy.

“Morning is wonderful. Its only drawback is that it comes at such an inconvenient time of day.”

October 17, 2016

Summer has dropped back to visit for a few days. Today will be in the 70’s, and it is already warm. I haven’t anything to do, but I think I’ll go out and about to enjoy the day. It ought not to be missed.

I am now sleeping to a respectable hour. Today it was 7:30. I am surprised how long it took to sleep later than 4:30 as the rule of thumb is one day for each hour. Ghana is 4 hours ahead, but it took well over a week for my system to adjust. I figure it probably had to do with the day I came home when I didn’t get to sleep until 2 in the morning, 6 in the morning for my body. A day with little or no sleep wreaks havoc on any schedule.

My oak tree’s leaves are yellow. White flowers have recently bloomed in my front garden. I have no idea what those flowers are. I know they are perennials, late bloomers and white.

Gracie loves the open front door. She sees any interlopers who dare walk on her street and barks to let them know they are unwelcome. She runs outside to bark even more loudly should a dog walk by the house. The hair on her back stands up. She looks and sounds fierce. People walk faster to get pass the house. I chuckle. Gracie isn’t going anywhere. She is stuck in the yard. Her bark is her only weapon.

I bought Christmas presents in Ghana. When I travel, I always try to bring presents back, unique gifts. This trip I was especially lucky in shopping at two great places. One was Hakim’s, a jewelry store specializing in silver. The other was an artisan gallery. Both were in Accra. The gallery had every sort of Ghanaian craft. It was a fun place to shop despite the musty smell and the heat.

I actually came home with money. It was because I used a credit card at a couple of places  including the lodge. Usually, my American Express is useless in Africa. I wouldn’t even have brought it except I had to show the card I charged the flights on at the airport. I’m glad for that. Having money left over made me feel parsimonious, not an adjective ever applied to me.

The animals are sleeping. The house is quiet. It is a typical morning.

“Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn’t even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.”

October 1, 2015

My mother would have called it a deluge. The rain all day yesterday was so heavy it was deafening. The wind came later and then the night got cold. Today is dark, damp and cold. The rain will be back, if not tonight, definitely tomorrow.

When I let Gracie out this morning, I noticed a few yellow leaves on the tree near the driveway. They weren’t there two days ago. I think yesterday’s weather shocked the leaves into changing color. I checked out the rest of the yard and saw more yellow here and there. We now have real fall weather, no more 70’s. It will be in the 50’s the rest of the week.

I keep my outside sandals by the clothes tree in the living room. Around the house I wear flip-flops. Before I go out, I switch from one to the other. Today my feet are cold so I think it’s time to hunt down my slippers and my outside shoes. The sandals will be moved to their winter home, the closet. It’s a sad day.

I have a list of all the chores that need to be done, the ones I’ve ignored for a while. My book got in the way and then I got two new books and started one of them. I have no guilt over being a sloth, but the list seems to get longer and longer so I’m working on crossing off chores one by one. I’ve already cleaned the litter and brought the trash to the car. I have laundry to bring upstairs to put away and I need to change my bed. Once that’s done Gracie and I are going to the dump. I’ll stop to pick up a few groceries on the way home. That will finish my list and I can go back to more days of lolling about reading and eating bon bons, which happen to be on my list.

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

September 22, 2014

Summer is busy packing. Gone are days on the deck, the flowers in the front garden, movie nights, hotdogs and burgers on the grill and the bright, warm sun. Fall is impatiently waiting in the wings for its big arrival tonight. Colorful leaves, crisp mornings, mums, pumpkins in all sizes and shapes, gourds and bales of hay are waiting their turn. Warm days and cool nights are already here. At 10:29 tonight fall is official.

My windows are open as summer is leaving with a flourish. It will be in the mid 70’s today. The day is lovely and smells of flowers.

When I was a kid, the start of school was the start of the year for me. It meant the end of carefree days, bike riding, bare feet and playing outside after dark. New rules applied. The street light turning on meant the end of playing outside for the day. Homework had to be done, and we were forced to go to bed early. Mornings started all too soon. Breakfast was first, then getting dressed for school then leaving with book bag and lunch in hand.

The school day never changed. We had the same subjects at the same time except art and music which were random and not every day. In music we learned songs like My Grandfather’s Clock. In art we used colored pencils or crayons. We made cards for our parents for every holiday. I loved art but I was horrible. I never moved beyond stick figures. In music I couldn’t carry a tune, but I enjoyed singing. The academics were my strongest suit.

Even when I was young, I thought fall was the prettiest season. Front steps had pumpkins and sometimes sheaves of hay. The red and yellow leaves were glorious. On Saturdays we could smell the burning leaves and see the smoke from so many fires billow and curl into the air. Fall was a feast for the senses.

“But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.”

October 31, 2013

It happened: my Red Sox won the World Series last night in splendid fashion. They led the whole game. I, however, still had clenched teeth until that last out at the top of the ninth. I was so excited I stayed up until after two and watched all the festivities. How could I not? It was spectacular.

The morning was sunny, lovely and warm but since then the sun has been replaced by clouds, and the day is getting darker. I don’t mind. Halloween should be dark and even a bit scary.

I can remember the Halloween excitement from the moment I woke up and remembered what day it was. Having to sit in school for so long was pure torture. At lunch and recess all we talked about was what we were going as. It was never what we were wearing. It was always what we were going as. We were, for one night, witches or ghosts or pirates. I can remember hounding my mother to let us start trick or treating as soon as it got dark. She always said it was too early. We’d look out the picture window hoping to see a trick or treater, a sign it was finally time. Some years my brother and I would go together. We were adventurous spirits who would roam all over town. I can still see in my mind’s eye the sidewalk covered with yellow leaves and here and there bright circles of light from the street lamps. The houses always had their porch lights on as invitations for us to stop. Those were the days of small trick or treat bags filled with individual candies. The lady, never a man, would come to the door, open it a bit and give us a bag from the pile on the table beside the door. If it was a neighbor, she’d try to guess who we were. It was never really very difficult, but the best neighbors always pretended it was. We’d finish the neighborhood then branch out to streets around where we lived then we’d even go further afield. I remember a house where we once got an apple, never a favorite treat, but it had a nickel pushed into the skin as the real surprise. Sometimes the candy bags had a penny or two, and back then pennies still had great value. As the night wore on, we’d see fewer and fewer trick or treaters and fewer lit houses. We knew then it was time to head home.

The haul was always important, but the best part of Halloween was being out at night when the shadows of bare branches looked like hands reaching out to grab us and when we’d hear footsteps behind us and be a little afraid to look. We sometimes scared each other, and I remember laughing while my heart raced just a bit from the fright.

We always walked home slowly making the night last as long as we could.

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