Friday, October 28, 2016

The furnace

Well I finally broke down and flipped the switch on the furnace this morning. I'm 4 days early, but had to break with tradition.

Yesterday was a very chilly day, starting out in the 30s and not getting much above the 50s I think. I was home most of the day and could not warm myself up. My hands were still cold when I went to bed last night, only to warm up after lying in a nice warm tub before I climbed in between the sheets. I decided then it was time.

So this morning I flipped the switch at the top of the basement stairs and voila! Heat!

I'm already regretting it. The temperature is supposed to climb today and the weekend will be back in the 60s again. I think I'll turn it back off because I don't want to be wasting fuel and will gladly wait until November to flip that switch back up again.  The longer I can wait the better because once it comes on, its a long, cold winter.

I'm happy I didn't relent yesterday and change out my sheets to flannel. I think I can wait another week for that as well....

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Autumn has really set the trees ablaze our here lately. We are so much later than the upstate and New England areas that it always seems odd to see the photos of those more northern spots, but when it hits here its really wonderful. I've seen more yellow, orange, and red in the past few days and its always a welcome sight. I love the colors of autumn.

When I was married in autumn 42 years ago I chose those colors for my wedding party, and now I look back at them and smile. I loved them then, and still do, but were I to do things over again (and boy do I wish I could!) I would be married in the Spring and my colors would be beautiful spring ones, like azalea pink, lilac purple, or spring green. I love the spring. And the symbolism of new beginnings is not lost on my either.

But right now, its autumn, and the colors of fall are pleasing me very much. I especially love it when the sky is a bright, summer blue, which still happens at this time of the year. Yesterday I drove to the beach and between the sky, the surf, and the sand, it seemed like a summer day but for the temperature. It was beautiful sitting in the car and looking at that empty beach! That's something you don't often see in August.

The seasons are one of my favorite things. They hypnotize me with their regularity and their beauty, each one coming like clockwork and bringing its very own pleasures for us to enjoy. And at this moment, its all about autumn.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Wednesday has become the best day to get groceries at the local IGA because they give a senior discount. I remember very well as I approached the magic age (62 I think) how insulted I would be if I happened to be there on a Wednesday and the clerk asked if I was a senior. Why no! I was NOT a senior!

I welcome the discount now. Since I've become accustomed to my age it doesn't seem such an insult. After all, I've survived some pretty heavy times to get to this age, and I miss my best friend who didn't make it this far. I remind myself of her anytime I think about getting older. I wish she had the same privilege.

Anyway - I like getting in there early on a Wednesday to get my groceries and save a little money in the process. However, I don't, and won't, go if I don't make it early in the day. For the simple reason that there are so many old people there!

Now I'm pretty patient, but being on the lower end of the "elderly" scale makes me pretty spry and quick and I roam through those aisles pretty quickly. I get frustrated when I encounter someone in a walker, or standing in front of a section of groceries blocking the way when I'm trying to hurry. God forgive me! There but by the grace of God go I, and some day I actually may. I am ashamed to admit my impatience.

So...its early to the grocery store for me. If I get there before eight, I'll have the place to myself. In and out in ten minutes. That's what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


I'm finding that time really does change things. Pain may not disappear, but it becomes less intense. Tears don't flow as often. And the future looks far less bleak with the passage of time. Of course the future looks like less and less of an option with the passage of time, which might be part of the explanation there! But knowing your time on earth is coming to a close is certainly part of the equation, isn't it?

I've been through periods of grief before. I know what the grieving process is all about. But these past months are like nothing I've ever known. The intensity and power of the grief I've felt reflects the impact that others can have on us and reminds me that when we give of ourselves, and we open our hearts, we also become vulnerable to pain. Its a sad truth in life that the more we give, the more we can be hurt as a result of it. Perhaps that explains some folks who are closed off from the world and choose to live lives of isolation and loneliness. Its perhaps more of a choice than circumstances and once burned they decide its not worth the price. It reminds me of the book "Silas Marner" that was required reading in our 10th grade curriculum. Poor old Silas was a hermit whose life was changed when a child entered it.

At some point we make decisions based on how much pain we are willing to bear, from bearing children to letting ourselves be vulnerable to others. But lessons learned may change us forever. I hope my heart stays open, but there are days I think about shutting myself off from the rest of the world.

Pain can certainly be a great motivator!

Monday, October 24, 2016


Well I do believe that we have finally settled into some true autumn weather here and not a moment too soon. Those summer-like days were beginning to bore me. Once I put the summer clothes away I don't like having to dig them out again when the temperatures suddenly soar in an unseasonable way. Yes, I think we are well into autumn now and the weather is reflecting that.

Our fundraising party was carried out under rainy, windy conditions on Saturday night and it felt every bit of autumn for sure! Most everyone was cold but I was very content in my short sleeves and lightweight coverings. I am not a fan of the heat and the cool air was comforting and comfortable for me. I enjoyed it very much.

And the community came out in force to support this effort, for which I am always grateful. It was a nasty night but the spirit inside the Maidstone Tennis House was warm and loving as we gathered to laugh and socialize and raise money for local cancer patients. It was a heartwarming night and I floated home on the knowledge that I live in a great community and there are many people out there who care about me. Its a good feeling.

Yes, the temperature is dropping, but I find that the "warmest" time of the year here is during the coldest months, when the citizens of East Hampton come out of hiding and show the world we are a very special place. Not because of the beaches or the expensive houses, but because of the people.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Last night I had a sleepover guest at my house. My six-year-old granddaughter stayed over because her parents were in the city and getting back very, very late.

I love having grandchildren stay over, especially now that I'm here alone. I like having another person in this lonely house, and none more than a grandchild. I love their conversation, their love, and their sweet spirits, and having them here totally brightens my mood. In case you haven't noticed, I haven't enjoyed being alone lately, so this is just what the doctor ordered.

Now this particular grandchild is a force to be reckoned with. She's smart, funny, full of life, and very loving. She notices everything and misses nothing. And I love that about her. I need to be constantly on my toes when she's around because if I'm not I'm in trouble.

And as with any child, life is a great adventure for her. I plan to take her to breakfast before we go to church, and I know she'll love that. She's always anxious to please and will be on her best behavior for sure. So will I.

Its a short-lived pleasure, and its probably best that way. I know I don't have the stamina I used to have and while I would be the first to step up and take any of my grandchildren in if they needed a place to live, I'm content to take them in smaller doses. No doubt they feel the same way about me! I adored my grandmothers but I'm not sure I would have been happy living with them!

Last night, and now today, I'll have plenty of love and affection right with me and I haven't had nearly enough of that lately. So my plan is simply to take it all in and enjoy every second of it. I love being a grandmother...

Saturday, October 22, 2016


Tonight is the culmination of months of work as we celebrate our sixth "Real Men Wear Pink Cocktail Party" here in East Hampton. We begin working in May and spend our summer collecting raffle prizes, silent auction items, selling tickets, making plans, and focusing our efforts on this one night that we put aside to raise funds for local cancer charities here on the East End. I am so looking forward to it.

Like all these things it is a lot of work, and it takes a dedicated and strong committee to accomplish. And like all these things, it is extremely satisfying when our plans come together and our work is rewarded with a successful event and large amounts of money raised for a good cause.

My mother taught me years ago that while I may not have the means to support others financially, we all have the means to work hard and make a difference in our communities and the lives of our neighbors. She was so right. I am often frustrated by my inability to take care of simple needs I see through money, monetary donations being so needed so often. And yet not being able to do that is not an excuse not to. Because I can work. I can organize, I can inquire, I can set up tables and chairs - in short I can use what I do have to accomplish the same ends, and she taught me how to do that.

So tonight, when so many members of this community come out to support this event, I'll be content to know that I did my part. And I'll come home feeling tired, but very satisfied, knowing I did my part. It's a great feeling.