Thursday, May 25, 2017

As expected

Yes the trip to NYC went pretty much as expected yesterday. I was exhausted when I got home.

The Jitney ride in was OK - lot of traffic during rush hour of course, but we got in only a few minutes after scheduled arrival time. But once in Manhattan things were crazy. There was one taxi ride that nearly sent me over the edge. Those drivers are so aggressive I can barely stand it. At one point the taxi was jockeying for position against a city transit bus and I swear to you, that bus was within six inches of my face. There were other skirmishes just as close, with big trucks and other taxis, everyone trying to get in front of the person next to them and no one seeming to want to back off. Yikes. It was a hair raising ride from 45th to 60th and down a few blocks from Madison to 3rd. 

I always love going by the park. I love the handsome cabs and I'm always amused at the way the different drivers pimp out their cabs with artificial flowers, trying to get the attention of anyone looking for a ride through Central Park. We did it once many years ago and it is a favorite memory of mine. The park is peaceful and green, a spot of tranquility in the midst of a crazy, noisy, busy city that has to be experienced to understand.

It was a busy day that even involved a tram ride to Roosevelt Island where my friend lives, and ending with a long drive home, once again during rush hour. New York City is a great place to visit. I'm glad I don't live there.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

NYC

I'm spending the day in NYC today and I'm always a bit apprehensive when I do that. I am not, by any means, a city girl.

Sometimes when I'm in the city I'm so overwhelmed by it that I want to run into a corner and hide. Literally, I wish I could find someplace to just cower because its all so huge and impersonal to me. Then every once in awhile I make a very personal connection in that huge impersonal city and that warms me no end. Like the time we were in the front row at the Lincoln Center theater and the orchestra conductor turned around and had a conversation with us because my grandson was with us. Suddenly the city was a much friendlier place than it had been. Of course it doesn't take long after one of those nice encounters to see someone sleeping in a doorway that everyone walks by as though they were invisible. And suddenly anonymity returns.

It is an amazing place, and I do enjoy an occasional foray into the streets of Manhattan. You can literally find anything you want there, and if you can't find it there it probably doesn't exist. I love the energy of the place, and the amazing experiences you can have there. And sometimes, once in awhile, when you come from a small town where everybody knows your business, a little anonymity can be a very nice thing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Confusion

I will admit that this has been the most confusing time of my life.

I remember so well those teenage years when the questions never stopped: Will I have a family some day? How many children will I have? Will anyone ever want to marry me? What will my career be? What should I study in college? What do I believe about God? What is my purpose in life? And on and on and on....always questions about the future and the present - never about the past.

Now my questions are often about the past: Did I make too many mistakes? Did I marry the wrong person? Should I have pursued more education? Should I have waited to start a family? Should I have moved to another community? Again, lots of questions...but mostly not about the future. Because at this age, our future seems to be determined by our past to a large extent. And our past is what generally predicts our future.

I'd like to think there is still time to do something different with my life because I don't feel as though I've accomplished much with it so far. But it seems as though time is running out. And while I thought I was doing something important in my life, now I question that assumption and as I said in my first sentence, confusion abounds.

I do believe that God can still use my life for good in this world.  Perhaps I haven't lived up to my potential at this point and maybe I've failed to do what I should have been doing all these years, I don't know. But more important at this point is how do I figure out where to go from here? And what to do with what's left?

Oh the questions never end. And the confusion never wanes. What a weird time this is for me! I'm hoping for clarity one of these days. But maybe this is just the natural order of things. Its just difficult to go from feeling content and fulfilled one day to realizing so much of what I knew and loved was nothing more than a fantasy the next. And that certainly doesn't create contentment and peace now, does it?

Well...maybe in the next life...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Glorious

The best thing I can say about the weather this past week is that it was glorious!

The definition of glorious: having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration.

Yes indeed - it was glorious spring weather: warm but not hot, no humidity, cool at night - what's not to love about that?

It seemed to be a long time coming this year. For whatever reason that "in between" time of cold but no snow, wet but not ice, just went on and one and we felt as though winter would never end. I have never before put my gas fireplace on in May - we've had it for about 7 years now and this was a first. But it was so cold some evenings that short of going to bed I had to do something to warm myself up. I was glad to have the fireplace so I didn't need to keep the heat on.

But now I think the fireplace is off for the season and we can rest assured that the potted plants will be OK. I'm happy to say I've put the wool sweaters away and only have a few lighter weight ones out now for the cool of the evening and morning. O think we're most definitely on our way to summer now and that's OK with me. I'm ready for the change. (I'll feel the same way in August, but then I'll be looking toward fall!)
 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stressors

I think the most stressful thing in my life right now is the process of paying my bills.

When we were first married bill paying time of the month was always very stressful. But we lived so frugally and had so little money it was just life to us and we did what we had to do, paying a little at a time until things like the drug store or the auto mechanic were paid off, doing what we had to do to make ends meet. I thought it was very stressful at the time!

Those were much easier days I must say.

Now I struggle again every month to pay the bills, mostly because there are so many more of them now, and because I can't keep up with them. Life was simpler before owning a home, that's for sure. Now I have to replace broken appliances, do maintenance on all kinds of things, and try to keep my house looking presentable enough, all while working with way less income than I had a year ago. So every month I sit at my desk and try to decide what to pay. Its like stepping back in time forty years and I hate it. "This bill I can pay a portion of..." "Maybe its time to let the cable go...." "I wonder if I can do without this now..." "Do I really need flood insurance?" These are all thoughts that run through my mind and I truly ponder as I sit with the check book, looking at my bank balance on the computer screen, trying to figure out how to make it all work.

In some ways I've stepped back in time to the place I was when I was first married. Only this time I'm A. not seeing any improvement in the future and B. in it all alone. I'm thinking about selling my house. I never thought it would come to that. But hoping I can find a way not to. There've been enough changes in my life this past year without having to move now. I try not to ponder that thought too long.


Who knew that at this point in my life I'd be back to square one again? Life certainly does take interesting turns now, doesn't it?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Busy season

This weekend is a perfect example of what's wrong with the busy season here in East Hampton. There are simply too many things on the calendar to try to squeeze in. Today is a perfect example.

This morning there is an EMS Breakfast at the hospital in honor of EMS Week. I always try to attend but this year, impossible. We have a village street fair all day along Newtown Lane and Main Street and I hope to spend a good deal of my morning there.

At 1:00 I have to attend a memorial service at St. Luke's Church. At 3:00 the newly restored Life Saving Station in Amagansett has its official opening. I want to go there! I must attend a retirement party at 5:00. And I think there's something else on my calendar in that time frame as well. I know I can't do both so although its written there I can't retain it because my mind is too cluttered.

To top off my day I'm on ambulance duty at 8pm for the rest of the night. And I'm tired before I even start. Not enough time to really enjoy any of these events, and that rather stinks now, doesn't it?

Its only the beginning. In another week we'll be saying goodbye to May and jumping into June and then things really begin to heat up. I think I need a vacation from the summer already... 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Waning

The lilacs are beginning to wane now. Its one of the saddest days of the year for me.

The scent of lilacs is like a gift from heaven. Its full of nostalgia and the headiness of spring and I look forward to them blooming every year. When I was a girl my grandmother had three kinds of scent that she wore: when she dressed for dinner she put on Shalimar. But for every day, she had bottles of something called "toilet water" which was a light scented thing that women used regularly - referring to the term for their cleaning up and getting ready for the day back in Victorian times - toileting. It was the last thing she used every morning before being ready for the day, dabs behind each ear and one on each wrist. Her toilet water came in two scents: lily of the valley and lilac. I used to take the tops off those little glass bottles and smell them, drinking in the wonderful fragrances, and to this day my lily of the valley and lilacs bring all those memories right back to mind. I'm sitting in my grandmother's "dressing room" (who has those anymore?), watching her put on her scent of the day, and letting her dab some behind my ears as well. Those are wonderful memories because my grandmother was one of the people I knew loved me unconditionally and completely and I loved her right back.

So my lilacs are special to me. They are Grandma Warren, the dressing room, the little glass bottles, the whole thing. And I grieve when they wither away for another year.

I put a bunch of them in my white enamel pitcher yesterday and plopped it on the coffee table on the back room. I think I may get one more bunch out of this year's crop, which has been abundant. If I do that will mean I had them in my house for two whole weeks - a banner year for lilacs. 

And then, I'll be dreaming of the day they come out again, next May, right around Mother's Day to remind me of the strong and wonderful women I had in my life. Lilacs can do that to me.