Sunday, November 23, 2014

Drilling

Today we're having a huge drill for the east end's fire departments and ambulance squads. It's what we can an MCI drill, which stands for Mass Casualty Incident and involved a major event, like a train derailment or a bus accident - something that stretches the limits of the available resources. Since I've been in EMS for twenty-four years now this not my first MCI drill - I've even planned them in the past - but its the first I've done in awhile.

I've always learned things from the drills I've participated in, which is the point of course, but used to surprise me. I used to think "Why am I wasting my time with this? We already know what to do, this is what we've trained for" but learned early on that there is always something to take away from the exercise. Which is of course what makes it all worthwhile.

Because it does take a lot of time and energy, bopping around in heavy turn-out gear with helmets and boots and such. And its not as though I don't have anything else to do with my morning. And I always miss going to church. But just like when I was in the 5th grade and had to do drills for the multiplication tables or spelling, the whole drilling idea has certainly proved its merit. It's going to be an interesting morning.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cold snap

I've been enjoying the weather this week. It's not quite at my favorite place - I prefer the 50s to the 30s in terms of temperature - but I don't dislike it. I was game to get the heavy winter coat out and wrap myself in a faux fur blanket when watching TV in the evening, sitting in front of my gas fireplace and enjoying the pleasure of my cozy living room.

I'm not in a hurry for snow. It's a bit early for that - I'll gladly wait until the end of December for snow. January and February, bring it on - winter is all about snow and I'll take it. Not too much - not Buffalo snow - but a little here and there I'm fine with.

I remember one year some time ago when we had a blizzard on Thanksgiving. That was over twenty years ago and since then we've not seen as much as a flake as early as Thanksgving here.

The wonders of winter lie ahead of us: ice skaters on Town Pond, Christmas lights up and down Main Street, .snow that turns the world into a wonderland. It's ahead of us and I'm looking forward to it. By March I'll be ready for Spring. And that's what I love about East Hampton.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Buffalo

Seeing the news about all the snow in Buffalo this week makes me very introspective.

My mother grew up in various communities in upstate New York, and lived in Buffalo when she want off to college where she met her husband. I often wonder what my life would have bee like had they decided to settle in her neighborhood instead of my father's. I can't even imagine it really. I mean, I would love being near Niagara Falls and would enjoy some of the beautiful places in our big state that are so far from us here, but all that snow? No thank you.

I suppose wherever you grow up is simply "home" to you and you always have a yearning to return to that place of your childhood, although I can't say my mother ever really had those feelings. I think they moved around enough that she ad no real connection anywhere. I know she missed ice skating, which we don't get much of here, but other than that she never talked longingly of home. East Hampton had become home to her and she loved it here.

Well - the photos of all those feet of snow in Buffalo right now remind me of her, and my grandparents, and the aunt who still lives up there. I'm not sure how they cope.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Windows

I've been spending time in an office on Main Street this week and I find myself enamored with the windows.

I've always loved having nice windows wherever I worked. Many years ago I worked on Newtown Lane as a travel agent and the office had huge display windows on the sidewalk. I loved seeing life go by on The street as morning passed into afternoon, summer to winter, and all in between. That was the early 1970s, when most businesses were still owned by locals and we saw people we knew all day -they would pass by and wave at us, or stop into say hello. It was like a neighborhood and we knew all our newborns.

 I once had a job in an upstairs office on an alley off Newtown and I hated that space. There were tiny windows, up high, and there was nothing to see anyway. My office at the church I used to work for had windows behind me so I looked at a wall all day. The church where I work now looks onto the cemetery, which is pretty in the winter when it snows but the greenery hides it in the summer and I look at that instead of anything more interesting.

Which brings me back to this office I'm temporarily using on Main Street. It has wonderful windows looking onto the street and I love seeing people walk back and forth, crossing in the crosswalk, police cars  winding in and out of traffic, etc. It's life happening  right in my view and I love that.

Give me a good window and I'm a happy camper....

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Time

My time is not my own anymore it seems. I have my fingers in a few too many pies these days and find myself running around a lot. And being expected to be a lot of places. And see a lot of people.

Fortunately I like being busy. In fact, I celebrate it. It reminds me, always, that I am alive, that I'm healthy, and I'm grateful for that. I often think, as I lie in bed wanting just a few more minutes of sleep, that there are people who would give anything - anything - to be able to get out of bed and be productive. I am blessed.

These days as the temperature drops down and the down comforter feels so good, I am sure there will be more days where I'd gladly stay undercover a little bit longer. And I welcome them. Because they serve as constant reminders that I'm here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cold

The cold air has arrived here on the east end and I can't say I'm sorry. The only thing I don't like about our weather right now is the wind. And hopefully that will begone today.

I find the cold air invigorating, as opposed to the way the heat saps our energy and makes us feel as though we should sit around on Big front porch sipping lemonade or mint Julips and having servants to wave large palm branches over us to create a breeze. But the breeze we long for in the summer is dreaded in the winter because it causes that cold to bite into your skin and penetrate into your innermost being. "Chilled to the bone" as they say.

Yes, I welcome the cold air. It makes me feel alive and I like that feeling. But about that wind...

Eyeglasses

I am miserable wearing eyeglasses right now. For complicated reasons that aren't important for the purpose of this post, I have had to take my contact lenses off and revert to glasses for a period of one month. And it's torture.

I began wearing contact lenses when I was a sophomore in high school. I had to pay for them myself because my father thought they were silly, but I had been wearing glasses since the 4th grade and hated them. So with a summer's wages in the bank I went to the eye doctor and paid an outrageous amount for my first pair. I think it was about $350, which nearly 50 years ago was no joke. It was probably all my savings.

And the process of wearing them was not easy. In the beginning I could only wear them for an hour or two at a time as my eyes adjusted to these hard things on them, and those hours were not fun. You know what it feels like to get a grain of sand in your eye? Imagine that for an hour. It took a lot of determination to get through the long process but I've loved them ever since.

Now I am remembering everything I hated about glasses. And I have two weeks to go. Oy vey.