If April showers really bring May flowers, then we are going to have a gorgeous May. For every lovely sunny day, we have had to suffer a week’s worth of gloom. Ok, I am on a weather rant. It is cold. Raindrops pelt the window. The trees are whooshing and swaying in the wind. Traffic rushing by on the wet interstate sounds like the ocean. I want to get away for a walk on a beach, but the forecast for the week is mostly rain.
When I was a teenager, I often spent Easter vacation at my grandmother’s. She lived at the shore (that’s New Jersey speak for “downy ocean, hon”). It was usually cold and damp. While the forsythia would be bursting into bloom in Maryland, in Dooda’s backyard it made a feeble effort to look spring-like. A rainy week would be bone-chillingly damp. I’d stay inside and read and read and read. And eat jelly-beans until the only ones left were the black ones. And then I would eat even them.
Rain would pelt the pavement and splash from the gutters. Traffic rumbling down Lafayette Avenue would rattle the storm windows. Clocks ticked loudly, and the one over the fireplace would chime every quarter hour. The gas smell from the stove being lit meant that Dooda was preparing tea. We would sit at the formica table in the kitchen. The tea steeped in a small glass carafe with a black plastic lid. It was Lipton or Tetley, plain black tea served with sugar and milk. In the next room, the china cabinet guarded a treasure trove of beautiful things, but we poured our tea from the small glass carafe into everyday cups or even mugs from the A&P. The yellow kitchen was tiny but the cheeriest room in the house. Above the table for two, a cuckoo clock would maybe tick-tock and coo. Maybe not.
Those had to have been the most boring vacations anyone could have endured. The rain. The ticking clocks. The stillness of the house. But they were also a balm to an introverted soul. And I’m craving that right now.
Well, except for the rain. Since I can’t garden in the sunshine or take a walk on the beach, I’ll just fix myself a cup of tea and curl up with a book. And maybe some jellybeans.