Sunday, August 31, 2008

Perfection

Today was one perfect day. I mean, if in your entire life you experience 100 perfect days, this would be one of them. It was the most ideal weather, a comfortable temperature and summer blue sky ever so lightly dotted with clouds, and I had nothing that I had to do which I did not want to do. What could be better than a day like that?

Amazingly enough, tomorrow promises more of the same: great weather and nothing to do that isn't pure pleasure.

Now, I'm sure that if I were able to string too many days like this together they would soon lose their charm and become pretty ordinary. But right now I am experiencing a little bit of heaven on earth. And it's lovely.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More ambulance calls...

It's now 5:35 in the morning and I am just getting in from an ambulance call. Labor Day weekend can be difficult on the emergency services system of a small town - as any holiday weekend can. This one is going to be no different.

It began at 10pm with an accident involving a bicyclist that was hit by a car. Multiple fractures made us decide to send him by air to the trauma center so we took him to the airport and put him on the helicopter. I was home and crawling into bed about midnight.

At 3:20 another call came in and this time I was in a deep sleep. Barely able to see straight, I managed to get my car safely over to the ambulance barn and climb on board with the other members of the team and we headed to the home of an elderly person who was having difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, the poor person had just come home from the hospital earlier in the day and did not want to go back - and their spouse was equally adament that all they needed was oxygen. We were at their home over 45 minutes before we finally managed, with the help of the police officer who was also there, to convince them that this person really needed to go back to the hospital. By the time we left the house an hour had passed and so now, here I am just getting home.

This is the worst time for getting home - its too late to try and get back to sleep because the sun will be up soon, and yet I've only slept about 3 hours so I am exhausted and have a busy day ahead. So what do I do?

It's the perfect start to the holiday weekend.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Darkness

The early mornings are dark these day! It feels as though I am getting up in the middle of the night so as an early riser I look forward to turning the clock back in the fall if only to give me some light to get dressed by.

Today is the first day of the official Labor Day weekend. I think I have all my groceries bought and I can pretty much stay at home for most of the weekend, but I know that the forays out into the larger world will be stressful. However, the stress of a crowded Labor Day weekend is well tempered by the knowledge that come Tusday morning peace will return to my beloved East Hampton. And come Wednesday morning all those wonderful children will be marching back to school. Once again I will be free to wander the aisles of TJ Maxx and K-Mart in a blessedly solitary state.

It's interesting how our childhoods shape our lives. I know that I am not alone in the feeling that September is a new beginning every year. It's been a very long time since I started new classes, met new teachers, or had a new desk to fill in a brand new classroom, but those early years that shape our lives do so in many ways and that "September" feeling is one of them. We are all beginning a new school year, whatever our age. And it feels good. I love this time of the year.

Only 3 days are left in August this year. And then we will happily welcome in September.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Changes

This morning I was downright cold! I actually had to get up and get dressed because it was so cold in bed - I simply could not wait it out any longer. So here I am already up for the day and ready for anything. I guess it's time to get the winter comforter out and lay it at the bottom of the bed for such mornings as this. I know it is too early to actually use it every night, but waking with the need to get warm is not fun! Tonight, I will be ready.

The remnants of Hurricane Fay are headed in our direction and I am grateful it is not a full-blown storm anymore. September is always the most worrisome month for me when it comes to hurricanes since most of the ones I remember from my youth happened when I was in school and we had to stay at home with oil lamps and battened hatches waiting them out. Autumn storms seem to be the worst here so when we get through September without one I always breathe a sigh of relief. I don't find hurricanes particularly frightening - I've lived through enough of them to know that preparation is the key - but they are a nuisance. I enjoy watching the storm's fury from the safetly of my home, but the destruction and clean-up are tedious. It is an awesome thing to see huge trees fall as you watch, and the power of rain and wind is something easy to forget when we have not witnessed it first hand in a long time, but I would rather not see all the trees stripped of their leaves before they have had a chance to beguile us with their autumn splendor, and I hate to have to put all the outdoor furniture away before the days are too cold to make them enjoyable. And of course I do not want to lose any of our beautiful big elms along Main Street as we imevitably do when there is a storm. But, nature will do what it will and we will sit by and watch...if and when.

I used to tell the kids when they were little that the weather was God's way of reminding us of who is in charge. I believe that to be true. But I don't need any reminding God - are you listening?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chilly!

Alright-it is a little cold this morning! I feel as though it's October already - all the windows are closed, I'm sitting here in a sweatshirt, and my fingers are still cold trying to type. What's with that?

Every year I seem to be surprised by the swift entrance of fall. When the kids were small I would worry at the end of August that they would be sweating in their classrooms when school started and dutifully have all their nicest shorts and tees ready for the first week of school - only to be surprised that when they actually started going they were wearing jackets and socks and long pants. I don't think they ever actually used any of the shorts I was prepared to put them in.

So this is a pattern with me, this surprise at the change in the weather - but still, I think this is a little early. I know, I know - I am hard to please. I complain about heat and humidity and then don't like it when it's too cold. But actually I do love this kind of weather. I love the chilly nights for sleeping, the cool mornings for shaking my senses out of their slumber, and then the long, warm days when I can shed those sweaters and enjoy the sun for a few delicious hours. I'm not really complaining. I'm just wondering at the amazing suddeness of the change. I do like September.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hydrangeas

It's more than the air that has that unique "September" feeling this week. I have noticed that our unusually dry summer is having an interesting effect on the foliage as well. My hydrangeas have already taken on their characteristic maroon hues as their blossoms dry out and shrink, and yesterday I noticed more than a few elm treees with small patches of bright yellow creeping into their big green crowns. I think it's perhaps a month earlier than usual because normally by October they are all festooned in their brilliant pallette. Nevertheless - there it is - and if you look closely today you'll see what I'm talking about.

Autumn is closing in on us in a hurry this year. As much as I hate to wish time away, I am not regretting the change - this has been a long and difficult summer at our house, so a change in season will be good for us mentally and I am more than ready.

Bring it on!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The final week

This is it - the final week before Labor Day! After spending my entire life in East Hampton, Labor Day is right up there with Christmas for me, and there will be an anticipation in the air that is nearly palpable for us locals. We know that this is the last week of the crazy, road clogged, humanity filled summer and that in a very short time we will breathe a happy sigh of relief, content in the knowlege that once again we can make left turns onto nearly any street in the village - at least from Monday through Friday! And it is the little things - like that - we most appreciate after Labor Day.

I will be able to get up Tuesday morning, exit my driveway with ease, walk into the bagel store and be out again in less than 5 minutes, take my pick of parking places at Main Beach to read the morning newspaper, shop at any hour at the grocery store, park in the main parking lot in the village, take my grandchildren to Herrick Park and be able to sit on an empty bench instead of the grass, and best of all without a doubt, go to the movie theater and have the place largely to myself.

Yes - its the little things. But oh what a difference those little things make.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday morning

Sunday mornings are beautiful at this time of the year. There is a bit of a chill in the air but it warms up quickly and today promises to be a wonderful day. It's 7am and I am sitting in my home office, surrounded by windows. I can hear the birds, the occasional car going by, the shower going upstairs, and all seems quite right with the world.

I love Sundays. I enjoy the laziness of being able to read the newspaper, watch the news, have a leisurely breakfast, and still get to church on time. And I enjoy going to church and focusing myself spritually at the start of another week. It just keeps everything in order.

And this Sunday is an especially nice one. I'm going to savor every second of it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Winding down

Here we are entering into the final official week of summer and I, along with most locals I think, am thrilled. Not only because we'll soon be getting our roads and grocery stores back but because we are going to now begin seeing the most beautiful days the year has to offer here in East Hampton. I love the fall - September and October are the most beautiful months to me, bar none. Cool nights, warm days, beautiful blue skies, and empty beaches and roadways make it every local's favorite time of year.

So we have one week to endure now - one very long week with the frantic, SUV- driving (but never off-roading), transient population all around us. And then, come Labor Day, peace shall descend on the East End once again. We are all ready for it. And we are all anticipating it. It's palpable at this point. You can see it in the raised eyebrows and long sighs which accompany every antic observed. We have moved beyond the days where everything is driving us crazy into the days of "It's nearly over - I can get through this!" attitude. We are all counting down.

In September I really love East Hampton!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Musings

I wonder sometimes about things. Not the big questions about life and death, love and war - I wonder about the little things. Like for instance, why do magazines all put those annoying postcards between their pages? You know, the ones that fall out when you start reading or even when you pick the magazine up. Do people really use those things? Wouldn't it be more efficient if they were all attached like some of them are? I mean, what good are they if they just fall out so easily? The first thing I always do when I bring a magazine home is to flip through the pages pulling out and detatching every little piece of cardboard I can easily find. They go right into the trash.

And as long as we're talking annoyances, another pet peeve of mine is the way people use their key fobs to lock their car doors. I mean, its so easy to hit the button on the car door when you get out, locking all the doors in one silent motion. Instead, if you were to walk througn any parking lot today you would hear a constant barrage of short little "beeps" filling the air as one after another people leave their cars and, as they walk away, push the key fob to lock their doors. It's a form of noise pollution as far as I am concerned. Why should I have to listen to that?

I'm not really a curmudgeon, honestly I'm not. But it has been a long summer for me and I'm at the point where even the little things are hugely annoying.

And sometimes its just the little things that make life more pleasant. So today I will try to concentrate on the nicer side of things. Like the little kindnesses of strangers, motioning me to enter the intersection or thanking me profusely when I let them ahead of me at the grocery store with their two items in hand. As long as the proponderance of little things is on the positive side I think I can cope with the others.

Little things do make a difference.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday

OK, so its another beautiful day here in East Hampton. I'm not sure where the humidity has gone but I'm happy to see it stay there for the rest of the summer, thank you very much! This past week has been a real hint of autumn but I am loving it. I was almost cold in bed last night!

Today is Thursday and Thursdays are tricky days here. Some of the weekend crowd begins to trickle in, but we locals can still get out and do our errands without too much difficulty as long as we time things well. Early to the grocery store and later to CVS - its a science here and most of us study it carefully. The real "week-end mentality" does not settle in until Friday so everyone is still smiling and generally accommodating today.

But tomorrow - well that will be another story altogether. With the August rush in full swing and the frantic comings and goings of every visitor happening right in front of my house, I mostly like to hibernate if at all possible. I have a list for today: grocery store, pharmacy, farm stand - and whatever else I think I may need to visit before the weekend is over. Because today is the day for running around. Tomorrow is a day for workimg in the yard.

Summer weekends are "nesting" times in East Hampton. Times for entertaining friends, or trimming the hedges, or simply curling up with a good book, or watching some TV. The season is winding down now and aren't we all glad?

I know I am.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August???

This morning feels like September. It is downright chilly and I am going around closing windows, waiting for the air to warm up enough to open them back up again. This is typical fall weather in East Hampton and I love it - but it seems a bit early today. I would imagine we have a few more really hot days left in the season so I'm not going to pull out the long-sleeved shirts just yet, but I will keep the sweatshirts handy!

I love the change of seasons. So many people spend their winters in Florida and I think its great if that's what they want to do but for me, its all about change. When September arrives I am ready for cooler weather. By December I am looking forward to the first snow. In March I am hungry for some warmth! And when June rolls around I am more than ready for the sights and sounds of the summer.

I am a creature of change and I have noticed over my lifetime that I get restless with anything if I am doing it for too long. I will throw myself headlong into every new adventure, whether a challenging job or a new creative outlet, and then once I've conquered it I'm ready to move on to the next thing, whatever that may be. This is not necessarily a good attribute and I often need to reign myself in because I know I need to stay the course sometimes. (After all, you can't abandoned your children when they get to be 10 years old just because you want to try something different! Fortunately with kids every year is a new adventure....) So its a matter of maturity to know when and where I can jump ship and become intrigued with a new project. And I certainly have not mastered this flaw of mine. But for me, the change of seasons is the perfect antidote. Every few months a new beginning - never too long in one tempreature zone! I get to change clothes, style, and even my setting when I pull out the winter throws to decorate the living room. I can put the kntting away in June and pull it out again in September. Or retire the outdoor clay pots every October until they come out again in the spring.

So...I am anticipating September with enthusiasm. But gee, isn't this still August?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Now I get it!

I guess now I know why I like mornings. After a particularly unpleasant day yesterday - a day which began with a horrendous ambulance call and went on to include a number of sad and disappointing events involving the extended family - I woke up this morning feeling like a new person. The term "clean slate" may be overused but it fits. Somehow everything looks better after a good night's sleep and in the face of a beautiful day. Had it been raining this morning I'm not sure I would be saying the same thing!

We are given many new begninnings in life. If we are healthy, every day we are able to get out of bed with the attitude that this is going to be a good day or a bad one. We can decide if we want to improve our lives or let them slide. We can be determined to be happy - because I do believe happiness is largely a choice - or not. And our decisions are easier when we're well rested.

So I do like mornings. Especially today.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wiborg

Tonight we joined friends at the beach about 6:00 and for all intents and purposes it felt very much like September - the air was cool and the sun was rapidly dropping down below the dunes, making way for the pinks and lavendars of a beautiful sunset. This is my favorite time at the beach - just before sunset. There is a peace that settles over me whenever we're there and I take it home with me, a more mellow and content person for the time spent.

Sunday night has a distict feeling all its own. There is a palpable sigh in the community as another busy weekend closes out and our regular week is looming over the horizon. I love Sunday night.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sleeping in

Sometimes I long to sleep in. You know, just lay in bed for an extra hour or two, dozing and thinking - especially on these cool mornings when the temperature is just right and the bed feels so good. It doesn't happen all that often, but when it does its hard to get up and get moving.

So why get up you may ask. Good question! I ask myself all the time the same thing. I know people who routinely sleep in on weekends and think its the best thing in the world. Well, I don't know if its my mother's voice deep in my brain that gets me moving or the fact that I've been married to an early riser for over 30 years, but somehow the guilt sets in once I've stayed more than about 30 minutes past my normal rising time. And as much as I may try to convince myself in one of those little internal dialogues we have with ourselves, I just can't seem to justify it.

And the fact of the matter is, usually I'm glad. Because there is nothing quite as lovely as the early morning light. It's almost as if everything takes on a different tone when suffused with it and sometimes it simply takes my breath away.

Here in East Hampton there is an additional bonus: I can go to the bagel store, walk right up to the counter and order, and be back in my car within 5 minutes. There is nothing quite as delicious as a fresh bagel when you are sitting on a bench at Main Beach at 7 in the morning! It's like being in your own little world, but not quite alone. Because the birds fly in and out of the pavilion with their morning food too and they don't even notice you sitting there. It's a constant show of swooping and diving, out to the sand, back to their nests, over and over again they go about the business of their day. And then there is the occasional dog walking his owner along the shore, running, jumping, knowing he is enjoying the best part of the day. Sometimes a car will pull up and the engine will stop and another early riser will pull out his newspaper and sit a spell. It's quiet and peaceful so early in the day -a huge contrast to the frantic busyness to follow in only a few short hours.

There is much to be said for enjoying a morning lying in bed. But I've learned that if I do it for just s short time, there are other wonders out there when I leave it. And if I time it just right I can enjoy a bit of both worlds.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Morning

I left the house this morning just before 9am and the rain had halted only about 20 minutes earlier. Already the sun was shining though and the moisture left on the pavement, the grass, and every little bush and towering tree reflected the light and bounced it all around making it look rather like a movie set, all sparkling and freshly painted. I drove up Egypt Lane toward Maidstone Club and the beautiful greens there were positively luminescent. Even the houses looked freshly scrubbed and ready for the day.

There is magic in the morning light.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Honoring our own

Another thing I love about East Hampton is the way we honor one of our own. And by that I don't mean someone who was necessarily born and raised here, but rather someone who has made this community their own, someone who not only lives here or "escapes" here but rather a person who allows East Hampton to become their spirit and their heart. Its the person who volunteers with the fire department or a local charity, attends fund raisers when someone is sick and needs help, sends their children to the local schools...in short someone who makes East Hampton their hometown, not their adopted home. We all know those people - you would think they were born and raised here, but often they arrived much later in life, through job or marriage, or maybe even retirement. But to them, East Hampton is the place they love. Those are the people I'm talking about.

I have attended a number of funerals in the past year for some of those people. What has struck me is the way East Hampton embraces those people. And when those people die, we honor them sincerely, deeply, and passionately. We talk about the things they did and what they meant to us. We explain to anyone who will listen why that person was special. And we attend their church to say goodbye, then parade them down Main Street to the cemetery where we stand in awed silence at their open graves, paying tribute to one of our own.

I love that about East Hampton. Because it means you don't have to be born here to belong. You simply have to love it the way those of us who have been born here do...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What it's all about

The thing I really love about East Hampton is the nature of it's personality. I mean, where else in the world can you find such a diverse and interesting constituancy? From the ancestors of founding familes with their wonderful histories, to the rich tapestry of characters who have made their way here in the past 30 years from places all over the globe, inexpicably drawn to this particular (though gorgeous) place, and even to the most recent additions who seem always to bring their sense of entitlement with them - it's all fascinating to me.

I have made some of the most wonderful friends in the past 30 years and many of them are the type of people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet, no less befriend, had I lived anywhere else. Our lifestyles and our upbringings, even our tastes are incredibly diverse and yet we connect on a very basic level. This is something that would not happen in many places. So many small towns across this county are populated by similar people with similar values and similar tastes - rather like the movie "Pleasantville", right? If someone different suddenly arrived on the scene they would be looked at as "exotic" - an oddity. But here in East Hampton? We take it all in stride. And in fact, they very often become good friends.

It's one of the interesting things about this place. Of course its not unlike many metropolitan areas around the world. But to find it in such a small town is unique I think. It is the cause of some of our most angst ridden local issues to be sure. But it is also something that makes life so grand. Vive la difference!

Picture perfect!

This is a picture perfect day in East Hampton. Yesterday was one as well. The sun is shining, the sky is a beautiful blue with just the right complement of clouds to break up the magnitude of it, the air is clear, crisp, and blessedly free of even a hint of humidity. Yes, perfect in every way.

Interestingly enough. on days like this everything looks better and everyone feels better. When I glance out my window, the bushy white hydrangeas seem stunning where they brush up against the windows lining the sun porch where my office is. Even the shaggy and overgrown hedge is bouncing the light around in such a way that it looks more "natural" than unkempt. Shadows lay across the lawn with defined shafts of light streaking through the tree branches like long daggers on their way to the ground. There is even an air of civility I can sense - a rarity around here in the middle of August.

I fear we do not properly appreciate these perfectly sculpted days. They are a gift and we need to see them for that - savoring each moment and making sure we take full advantage of them before they disappear. I am going to do that today. I hope everyone around town is thinking the same thing. Because days like this are rare enough to need appreciating and we are busy enough to easily miss them if we are not careful.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ambulance calls

One of the things that is most intrigueing out here in the summer is the frequency and type of ambulance calls we get. When I volunteered 18 years ago and was trained as an EMT I expected to be rushing to life and death scenarios on a regular basis, feeling good about being able to help people in need. Nothing could have prepared me for the summer influx of some of the silly people that we deal with.

This weekend for instance was a classic case. We were called to go for someone who thought they were having an allergic reaction to food. When we arrived we found a female patient who was vomiting, had a red and swollen leg, (which was painful and looked as though it could posibly be a case of phlebitus or some other type of blot clot), and she was hysterically stating that she was having an allergic reaction. In trying to assess the situation I asked the obvious question "Do you have allergies?". "No" was the response." "Then what makes you think you are having an allergic reaction?" "Because this started right after breakfast" was the response. "What did you eat for breakfast" I asked innocently enough. "Bread and jam" was her answer. It was difficult to even assess her condition because her husband, who was bending over her cooing and soothing her, kept anseering questions for her or talking over me. He seemed overly solicitous and smothering to me.

After seeing clearly that she had no respiratory difficulty and showed no other signs of any type allergic reaction we quickly put her on the stretcher and took her out to the ambulance. Enroute she began questioning every little detail of my evaluation and care:

"What is my blood pressure? Is that too low? Why do I need oxygen? Am I going to die? Why does my leg hurt? IT REALLY HURTS - YOU HAVE TO GET ME HELP!"I assured her that I did not believe she was having an allergic reaction, nor did I think she might die today. I told her she needed to relax and let us get her to the hospital and they would help her. Honestly, I thought she might die of overexcitement she was so crazed.

Then there was the husband. As we usually do, we suggested that he might want to drive to the hospital so they would have transportation home later. "Oh no" he said "my wife would want me with her" and then proceeded to climb into the back of the ambulance. "You must sit in the front seat, sir" I told him, and he climbed back out and got into the front. (I would later find out that he had already been told he would need to sit in the front seat by another member of the team.)

Throughout the ride to the hospital he would turn as far as he could in his front seat and back call to his wife, (usually interrupting my questions) "Are you OK Susie?" and she would give him a thumbs up. I reassured him a couple times that she was fine and then gave up. These two were obviously not going to listen to anything we said anyway so why waste my breath?

At the hospital I instructed him to go to the front desk as they would not allow him in with his wife until she had been evaluated. He totally ignored me and followed us into the ER treatement area. She kept crying to him and saying "Am I going to die?" (I assure you, she was not.) Then as we moved her onto the ER strether she says to him "Strip me, OK?" At that I said firmly "NO, the nurses will be right in - he should not do ANYTHING, OK?"

By the time we filled out our paperwork and rolled the newly made up stretcher out the doors I saw him standing at the front desk. Obviously the ER staff had less tolerance than I did because he barely lasted 5 minutes inside the treatment area before he got booted out.

On the way home the crew discussed the call and the strange, enabling relationship between this odd couple whom none of us knew. They were not from here - visitors from another state - and we talked about how interesting it was to observe people as couples and the way they relate to one another.

When I was driving home I wondered - did I really think they were silly - her with her need to be doted over and him with his willingness to dote - or was I jealous? Hmmm. I will have to think about that one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

August traffic!

I made the mistake yesterday of driving to Bridgehampton - on a Sunday - in the late afternoon. Need I say more?

As soon as I left my house and turned onto 27 I knew I had made a major error in judgement so I quickly adjusted my route and headed west via Route 114 through "The Harbor". My next tactical error came when I turned off Scuttlehole Road and onto Butter Lane. Well, truth be told I made a mistake there - no tactics ever came into play. I was intending to turn onto Mitchell but the traffic was so heavy that I could not slow down enough to see the street sign and turned onto the wrong one. Anyway, mistake made, and I figured "No problem - I'll adjust at the end of the road". Well of course this was the day that the school on Butter Lane was having a big fundraising event so when I approached that area of the street both sides of the little country road were lined with parked cars, there were cars double-parked letting people off, and luxury buses idled by the road waiting for some big star to make their quick escape, I suppose.

Slowly I worked my way along the road and past the parking mess, eventually coming to the railroad overpass where I deftly snaked my way right and headed toward the K-Mart plaza. Back to Mitchell Road, past the tents being prepared for the Hampton Classic, and into the parking lot I went.

Now I passed TJ's, and then the pharmacy, and I got as far as about the third lane of the parking lot when I spotted a few available spaces and turned on my left turn signal to turn into lane number 3. Naturally, as I did so a lady in a large SUV suddenly appeared in that lane, heading toward me and signaling that she wanted to turn left. Since she was taking up more than half the lane of travel, I waited and gestured for her to come on out so that I could enter. I could not figure out why she did not respond to me until yet another SUV (have I mentioned yet that I hate SUVs?) suddenly whizzed by me on my left, passing me and proceeding down the travel lane - no doubt late for an importnat date at King Kullen or something. I could have touched him had I wanted to. OK, one jerk has gone by so now I wave her on again. Still no response. I look into my side mirror and there is a huge black pick-up truck, the kind that sits so high I cannot imagine ever trying to get anything out of the bed without having to climb up into it, and the kid driving it is signaling that he is going to pass me on the left! Here I am with my left turn signal on and people are passing me-on the left-because they do not want to wait all of 10 seconds for this lady to pull out! I was so angry that I did something very uncharacteristic of me and gestured to him through my window. (No, not that kind of gesture! I could never be that uncharacteristic!) So there I am waving my arms at him and yelling "Could you please let the lady pull out here???" and finally he stops, to my left about half way down the length of my little car, and waits. She quickly pulls out, I just as quickly turn left and right into a parking spot before this guy even gets past the parking lane.

By this time I've got no desire to even complete my errand anymore, but hey - I'm here so I go in, shop and head home.

Now one would think that this may be the end of my story but no, I still had to get home. This time I headed toward Route 27 because now I would be facing the long line of traffic and could simply pity them all the way home, feeling superior in my "localness" and knowing I do not have to commute anywhere. But - I decided to turn off onto the southern route anyway and try to enjoy the scenery on the way home. That was no doubt my best decision of the day because suddenly I was driving by farmhouses and hedges and some of the most beautiful sights to be seen out on the East End. Suddenly I could feel my shoulders relax and the tips of my mouth turn back up again as I breezed along Waiscott Main Street, past the Osborn farm, and then the colorful farm stand on the corner of Beach Lane.

Ah, yes...life is good. There are blue skies, green fields, and warm people on these back roads, and I was once again at home, feeling chivalrous and content to be here and not driving back to my apartment in metropolis or some other place that I would not reach for a couple hours or more.

East Hampton is the place for me. And all the rude drivers and silly celebrity events and clogged roads cannot dissuade me from loving it. Because the back roads are still here to remind me that this is a place like no other. And the only one I want to live in!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August in East Hampton

August has hit East Hampton. And we are all agitated.

It's an interesting phenomenon to watch the August mentality take hold of every law abiding man, woman, and child every year - and it always amazes me. Suddenly the locals who have patiently endured every insult to their sense of civility and decorum are no longer taking anything sitting down. They beep their horns and wag their fingers at people doing things that would hardly engender a glance at any other time of the year. But it's August! And they just can't take it anymore!

And there are the August visitors. For some reason there is a sense of urgency and entitlement that seems to descend these people the minute they cross the Shinnecock, and they are ruder, less patient, and far less tolerable than their June or July counterparts. I love East Hampton in the summer, but if ever there was a time to escape, it's August.

So, here we are, with the most beautiful clear blue skies of the year, flowers of all colors and sizes that are overflowing their beds, and warm, clean beaches just beckoning us toward the (finally) warm surf...and all we want to do is hole up in our houses, pretending life is normal out there.

Can there possibly be a month as frustrating as August in East Hampton?