Monday, April 30, 2012

April gone

So we say goodbye to April. And as of tomorrow we can't even pretend that the season isn't galloping at us now with breakneck speed. It's going to be Memorial Day before we can even catch our breath.

April has been more like March than March was this year - it came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. It was nearly 80 degrees in the first two weeks and this past week I've been waking up to temperatures in the 30s and 40s - brrrr! It's been a harsh wake-up call for sure and I honestly wonder what's happening to the climate around here. Hopefully summer will not be the horror that some people are expecting. It would be a nice surprise to have warm days and cool nights and little humidity! Now that's a dream!

April has been a good month at my house and I'm honestly looking forward to outdoor entertaining and wide open windows and screen doors. So I say bring on May!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dogwood

I have always loved dogwood trees. Especially pink ones. I love their shape and the beautiful big blossoms and I used to dream of having a whole row of them across my property line. So its no surprise that when my husband's grandmother died over twenty years ago, we used part of the $1000 that she left to buy a small pink dogwood tree for our yard, which had little landscaping at the time.

The tree has grown fairly large in that time and was beautiful for a long time, but I'm afraid its time to take it down now. The dogwoods in this area have all suffered from some type of fungal disease called "lower branch die-off" (I think that's what its called!), and despite my efforts every year to prune off the dead wood at the bottom, every year there have been fewer and fewer blossoms. This year, my once lovely piuk dogwood tree has been reduced to a skeleton with only a few blossoms at the top. I'm heartbroken.

Nothing is prettier than dogwood trees in their natural habitat, dotted throughout a forest or woodsy area. And I would love to have some on my property. But this one is going to come down this year. And it makes me very sad.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Acceptance

I think I'm beginning to accept my age now...because everyone else has. I've been the last one to see it I guess. Or else its all about denial!

There's something really insipid about aging! It creeps up on us slowly and suddenly at the very same time! For so many years we go along looking pretty much the same, with a new hairstyle here and there, but no great changes to the way we look. Then we reach a certain age and change begins to be evident. It happens so quickly almost as though time is speeding up. A strange phenomenon to be sure.

For a long time I thought I wasn't showing my age. I saw the small changes and lines here and there, but they didn't seem (to me) to make me look all that much older. Of course, we do fool ourselves easily, don't we? But...its time to embrace my age.

The local IGA has Senior Citizen's Day on Wednesdays and they give anyone over a certain age a 10% discount. I actually try to avoid Wednesdays because the small store is a bit more crowded than usual. But occasionally I forget and stop on for a few items on a Wednesday, and for the past couple years the clerk would look at me and say, almost apologetically, "You don't qualify for the discount do you?" And I would smile and say"Not yet!"

I realized this week that the last three times I stopped there on a Wednesday, they automatically gave me the discount. No questions asked.

Yes, its time to accept my age and celebrate it.....sigh.....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Typos

As someone who never learned to type properly,  I commit my fair share of typos. And I'm not the only one.

I think the arrival of word processors has highlighted the abundance of typos because people who would have simply written a note years ago now send an email. Thus folks like me, who don't type well, make lots of mistakes. And of course the whole texting thing has made it even worse as people shorten and change words to make it as quick and easy as possible to communicate.

I find that even when I read and re-read things, I still make mistakes. I suppose that has to do with the fact that I know what I mean to say and my mind sees what it thinks is there. I always read over my blogs before I publish them and yet when I read it after its published I often go back and edit mistakes.

Perhaps someday we will just speak into our computers and the machines can type ever word, mistake free and typo-less. It would be a dream for me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Make up

I think women of a certain age, like myself, have got to agree that make-up is our best friend. The puffy, baggy eyes and uneven skin tone can all be minimized by a little time in front of the mirror.

Last week my daughter stopped at my house early in the morning with two of her kids. I had been out exercising so I was just out of the shower where I had washed my hair. When I heard them come in the door downstairs I grabbed my robe, put my wet hair up in a towel, and headed for the stairs to see them. I honestly don't think my grandsons knew who I was. Well, I think they assumed it was me because who else would be coming down from my bedroom but me? But from the looks on their faces, I believe I was fairly unrecognizable. With no make-up and wet hair, I must have been frightening to them.

It doesn't help that I have no eyebrows anymore. I lost all my hair to chemotherapy treatments three years ago, and everything else grew back - bu no eyebrows. So I spend time every morning drawing them in, trying to make them look as natural as possible and not the straight-line arches that some women apply. Some days I do a better job than others, but on this day I hadn't yet applied them at all and that alone makes a face fairly blank-looking. The kids were rather startled by the vision before them, no doubt about it.

Well I vowed a few years ago never to leave my house without make-up, although I break that vow every day when I go for my early morning walk. Fortunately there are few people around at that time of day and so far I haven't caused any auto accidents, but I do try to get home as quickly as possible!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ice cream

I'm not a big fan of ice cream, unless its the extra-expensive type like Ben & Jerry's or Hagen Das. Except for the summer when I love soft ice cream.

When I was young my father called it "frozen custard" and he was a huge fan. So much so that he and a friend actually built the first soft-ice cream stand in East Hampton, called it the "Cream Queen" and ran it for two years until they sold it. They didn't really want to run it, they just wanted it there for them to eat! And I totally understand. I love the soft ice cream.

I think Dairy Queen has to be my favorite, but I need to go off Long Island to get that. Around here its Carvel, which isn't quite as good as it used to be. I miss the Cream Queen, and its later incarnation, "Snowflake". I preferred the former name but the latter was bigger and more diverse in its offerings.

The only other kind of ice cream I really love is when its used for a milkshake or ice cream soda. It's a rare soda fountain anywhere anymore, but when I find one I instantly crave a black and white soda. Some people don't even know what that is anymore and I've had to explain it to more than one waitress over the years. But when I find one, and the people behind the counter know what they're doing, it's a glorious treat.

A true soda fountain is a rare commodity and I think that's a loss. Perhaps if more people had access to a black & white soda once in awhile, people would be happier in this world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Faces

When you live in the same place your entire life, you see a lot of familiar faces wherever you go. It is both a blessing and a curse.

I find that I pretty much try to acknowledge everyone I pass on the street or, say, in the halls at the hospital when I'm there. Sometimes people talk to me as though we are old friends, but I have no idea who they are. Sometimes their faces are very familiar, but I can't quite place who they are or how I know them.

The most difficult thing is seeing someone out of context. I recently saw someone on the street that I knew I should know, but I couldn't quite place them. We smiled and said hello, but it was hours later when I realised that this person took care of me many times at a local store - I knew them well! But taken out of context, I was lost.

The other problem we have our here is the celebrities among us. One day I was standing in line at a restaurant when I turned to look at the person who had just walked in and was behind me, and I recognized the face immediately. I began to say hello but caught myself just in time, realizing that this was someone I had watched on a morning TV show only a few hours earlier. Naturally, she seemed like an old friend because I see her nearly everyday! But she would have no idea who I was and I certainly didn't want her to feel uncomfortable.

Faces I know. Names not so much. So I try to smile and hope no one notices.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tulips

I actually have a tulip in my garden this year! It's amazing, really, because I thought that the deer had completely destroyed every single one of them over the past few years and I'm not sure how this one survived.

I used to have many bulbs planted and for many years they thrived around my back door. I had crocuses, hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths. They are so pretty in the spring and I looked forward to them every year. However, over the past few years the deer have been venturing closer and closer to the house and last spring they not only ate every since flower that appeared, they dug up every single bulb. I had big holes in my garden from the deer eating everything they could find. Except of course the daffodils which they don't like.

So, this year for the first time ever, we had the yard sprayed with deer repellent - first in October and then in March, And now, low and behold, I have two tulips in bloom right outside my door. Apparently one bulb survived somehow, and the deer have found tastier grazing grounds elsewhere. I am so thrilled to see these two blooms, which I checked on every day as they budded and bloomed, expecting some morning to see them eaten down to the ground. So far, so good.

It is a small victory over the deer population, which is so strong here in the village now. But it's a victory nonetheless and I'll take it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ina

Ina Garten is coming to our next ambulance association meeting. Well, at least she is filming there. I'm not sure how much of her will actually be there but apparently she is filming a segment about cooking with the ambulance members, just as she did with the fire department a few months ago.

I have mixed feelings about this. In fact, I can't attend that night's meeting so I have no worries about being on camera. I'm sure the food will be wonderful but I wonder how much business will actually get done that night. My limited experience with television tells me that there will be more filming than actual business done and in that respect I don't think I'll miss much of anything important.

I don't regret not having my "fifteen minutes of fame" as they say. I am filmed twice every month at my Village Board meetings and I find it disconcerting. Of course Ina will have a national audience, not a local one like I usually have, but still, cameras make me nervous. The ones at our board meetings are pretty unobtrusive, but when I occasionally catch sight of one I am immediately on edge. Am I sitting up straight?  Am I frowning? I don't want people to think I am not engaged or involved in the business at hand. So....cameras bring with them a certain amount of stress. I won't miss being part of the action for Ina's show.

But I'm looking forward to seeing it when the final product appears on television. Because then I can watch my friends and think "They should be sitting up straighter" or "Why do they look so bored?"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturdays

Every Saturday for many years my husband and I have been doing projects around the house. Since we bought this house in 1979, we've torn out plaster walls, insulated, replaced windows, painted, and basically renovated every square inch of it. Saturdays are work days. And our age is definately showing.

Last week my husband did some painting. There's a window that has never been completely painted since we renovated the kitchen five years ago. It's one of those things that keep getting put off and eventually you stop noticing it altogether. So finally, he got to it and worked most of the day scraping, prepping, and painting one side of this bay window.

And paid a price for it the next day. His legs ached from the crouching and his shoulders hurt from the painting. And we talked about how much harder it is to do jobs around the house as we get older. Which is strange to even say, because we don't feel older. I mean, mentally we don't feel older! But physically our age is showing and that hurts! 
We worry about hoe we're going to keep up with the maintenance of the house in years to come, but when we talked about it we decided it was a silly thing to worry about. Because if there's one thing that our age has brought is its the wisdom to know that life is uncertain, and neither one of us may be around long enough to worry about it! And who knows? Perhaps the aging process will slow down a little now and we won't deteriorate quite as quickly as we have been. After all, if we DO live another twenty years, maybe we'll hit the lottery at some point and then we can hire someone else to do it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Missing

I have grandchildren in Pennsylvania that I haven't seen in three months. It's killing me.

I know I'm luckier than many people in that I'm not across the entire country from them, or in another country altogether. I know there are people who only see their grandkids once or twice a year. So I don't want to complain. But here's the funny thing that happens: the longer you go between visits, the less they think about you. It's not their fault, its a human thing. But I can tell the difference between the week after we've been with them and three months later. I think its an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of thing.

I also understand it because I remember when my kids went to college. When they first left the grief was intense. As time went on I adjusted to not having them here and it was less stressful as long as I didn't dwell on it! I missed them, but I adjusted to the missing.

We're going to see the kids soon and this summer they'll be here for weeks, so I'm excited to know that soon enough we'll all be together enjoying each other. But I wish they lived here so I could stop in whenever the spirit moved me, whenever I missed them. I wish it weren't such a big deal to spend a few minutes with each one of them. It is what it is, and I'm grateful for the ones I have here, but still, I miss the others.

It's never fun to be far from those we love. But at least with my daughter I can have regular phone conversations and keep connected. It's far more work with kids and any phone time takes effort. I'd much refer to see them in person!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Undercover boss

I love the television show called "Undercover Boss". It's another reality type show, where a CEO of a large company goes and works at menial jobs in his company. It's sort of the dream of every working person, to have the one paying their salary actually walk in their shoes and see what it is that they do.

Inevitably, these shows end the same way. These big business people discover things about their company that they would never otherwise know, and of course they learn how hard their employees work and how hard their jobs are.

But my favorite part of the show every week is when the boss calls in the people he worked with and tells them how much he appreciates them, and then gives them some sort of bonus that is enough of a gift that it brings tears to everyone's eyes. Recently a woman who had a disabled son was given a van with a wheelchair lift. Sometimes people are given vacations or monetary bonuses that you know are a drop in the bucket to these big time business people but to their employees they're life-changing.

It reminds me a little bit of the show "Millionaire" that was on tv back in the early '60s. Someone with a lot of money presented an anonymous check every week to someone whose life would be changed by it. It was fictional, of course, but it was every person's fantasy. This show has the same effect, and its real.

I'd love to go undercover myself, but in a small town that's pretty hard to do. Another fantasy....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Neighbors

I love the way neighbors get reacquainted in the spring. After a long winter of being closed up in our homes, suddenly you see people out in their yards, planting, weeding, raking - getting ready for the season. And there they are - the people that sleep within yards of where you do!

We rarely see any of our neighbors. On one side - to the north - they are only here for the months of July and August. Because we are facing the side of the house to our south, we rarely see them either, because their driveway is on the south side and they come and go out of our view. Barely a wave is ever warranted.

This has been hard for me to adjust to because for nearly thirty years my parents lived in that house to our south and it was like an extension of my own. I walked over regularly to visit, the kids grew up playing in both yards, and Mom would always be in her yard greeting me or waving from her kitchen window. So for these past few years since she's been gone, my world has shrunk. But this fall a niece moved in to the house and now I find myself looking forward to the summer. I hope to see life again in the back yard and around the house and once again, to know my neighbors. That's what life in a small town is all about, really, and I realize now how much I've missed it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cablevision

We had a real go 'round with Cablevision last week. We lost all our upper channels and they couldn't seem to figure out what the  problem. We only have basic family service so we're not talking premium channels like HBO - just everything over channel 13, including many of my favorites like TLC and HGTV.

Well, they kept sending techs out and they kept "fixing" it, but as soon as they'd leave those channels would disappear...again. I spent more time on the phone with them last week than I spent watching TV I think. Which got me to thinking about this: what would happen if all businesses ran the way the utilities do? I know in our own business, insurance, if we kept sending checks to clients for losses and they kept bouncing, we wouldn't be in business very long. And I think if the grocery store kept selling me sour milk I might decide to go someplace else., What might happen if my car came home from the dealership and stopped working...again? Somehow, I can't imagine anyone would be able to keep their clients long if they couldn't keep their basic service going. And yet here we are, with no other options here "in the hinterlands" other than a satellite dish, which has issues of its own.

So we are beholden to Cablevision for our most simple pleasures - a little TV to watch at the end of a long day. You would think with as much as we were put out with four visits from technicians and over a week without service, we might get a little bonus from the company. But no. We are their captive audience. Somehow that just doesn't seem right...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crisis management

There's a new show on ABC called "Scandel" and its about a "crisis management expert". What the heck is that? I didn't even know there was such a career and I want to know why, because I would have been a good one!

Actually, I think most mothers would be able to find a good career in such an area as they deal with on pretty much a daily basis. At least, I know someone like myself who had a big family can relate! With four children - especially when they were all between the ages of, say, ten and twenty,  crisis management was a daily job around my house.

At that point I might get a call in the morning from my daughter at college, in tears because she was late to class and got locked out. After some counseling and calming conversation, it was on to the 4th grader who forgot to bring his instrument to school and the 7th grader who left his lunch at home. Or perhaps it was the 10th grader whose friend was angry at her, causing a major upset in the house. Those kind of days were pretty typical back in the 1990s at my house!

If only I had known I could have hired someone to handle it all - what a great thing that would have been! And perhaps if I need to make a career change, I can look in that area...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The pond

Well the swans are back at Town Pond but they have a lot of company this year. There are dozens of ducks that seem to have taken up residence on James Lane.

So that brings many questions to my mind. For instance, was it getting too crowded at the Nature Trail? Or do these rogue ducks just want a better view? Perhaps they are like the "village people" who prefer the hustle and bustle of the main roads as opposed to the "woods" people who prefer living where the trees hide them from any prying eyes. Or maybe there is some sort of feud going on down at the David's Lane site, and these ducks left in a huff over some sort of argument or turf war.

Somehow I imagine there is just a problem there that we feel all over the place on the east end:: lack of space. The more ducks there are, the less space to spread out and the fewer ducks who will have waterfront property. Maybe its just about the "locals" feeling pushed away so they've decided to move south. Next thing you know there will be a group heading toward the Carolinas...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Landscapers

Three times this past week I made trips west on Rt. 27 and every time I was stuck in crazy traffic. First, it was bumper-to-bumper almost the entire way. It was movng so slowly I couldn't believe it - its not the season yet! But every time, I discovered the reason: way in the front of these long lines there were landscaping trucks. They were giant spades, or long flatbeds with gigantic, full-grown trees. And they were traveling at about 35 miles per hour. Sigh!

Twice I experienced another interesting thing: huge trucks backing into driveways and stopping traffic in both directions to do so. One was at a construction site; the other (surprise!) at a nursery. Well, it must be April on the East End...

I am always amazed at people who build out here and then plant completely mature trees and other landscaping, including beautiful sod and huge bushes, trying to look as though their property had been fully developed for at least fifty years. It's status I suppose. I don't get it because I myself took price in planting small saplings and watching them grow, but then they were what I could afford, too.

This I know for sure: right now there is an epidemic of landscaping vehicles on the road. And they are a pain in the you-know-what!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Air

The air is glorious this time of the year. When my friend and I walk in the early morning we notice how clean and fresh it is - as long as we stay off Main Street and avoid the exhaust fumes that come with all the commercial traffic at 7am! But head down Dunemere, or David's, or even James Lane and suddenly its like breathing in the spring.

Along with the air is the morning light that I never get tired of. It's so stunning the way the sun comes through the trees as it comes up over the horizon and lays the long shadows across the open fields. The sun-drenched grass is bright spring green and that in shadows a beautiful deep forest hue. And each tree is a riot of color as the bright light sprinkles sunshine in and out of the branches.

It's a best time of the year for we locals here on the East End - before the crowds descend, yet after spring has fully inhabited it. We get to enjoy the natural beauty all around us in peace and quiet and feeling every bit as though its our own little piece of heaven.

I enjoy East Hampton during every season of the year, but this is the time when it seeps into my soul and becomes an integral part of who I am.  I find as I breathe in the morning air I feel as though I'm part of the spirit of this place and it is who I am as much as the family I'm from and the things that I do are. Its a wonderful time of the year.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holidays

I drove to Tanger Outlets with a friend earlier this week and it was so crowded! I was surprised until I realized it was a holiday week so the shoppers were out in droves. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my mother some years ago. It was when my kids were young and in school and I think we were looking forward to a long weekend - perhaps for Columbus Day. In our conversation I mentioned the kids were off Monday and she seemed surprised. She hadn't realized it was a holiday weekend and I was taken aback by that. She explained that since she no longer had kids in school the days off didn't mean as much to her as they had.

Suddenly I am my mother. I know its inevitable and it happens to all of us but I don't feel ready to be my mother yet. But here I am, forgetting about holiday weeks and school vacations, and going to Tanger when the hordes of people are there. Big mistake and boy am I getting old!

Well fortunately we didn't have too many things to do there and we hurried home, but not before stopping at a very crowded Applebee's for lunch. It was nice to get back into my own driveway, away from the hustle and bustle that I normally try very hard to avoid. It was like the first time you go into the village on a Saturday and realize the season has arrived and there will be no more trips like that until at least October! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Color

I love the colors of spring!

I have pulled all my spring/summer clothing out to the front of the shelves and am enjoying the bright pinks, greens, yellows and lavenders that we rarely see in the winter months. Not only does the warmer weather lift my spirits, but the colors do as well. Between the clothes and the trees, it's a cheery, happy time of the year. On Easter Sunday the church was ablaze with colors, including daffodils and tulips, and everyone was dressed in similar hues. It made me smile just walking in the door.

The spring-green grass will soon mellow to a darker shade, and the trees will lose their blossoms, covered instead with a canopy of green leaves.  But for a few glorious weeks right now, we are bathed in color everywhere we look. And it only takes stepping outside my door to bring on the joy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shazam!

Sometimes things just happen that seem amazing!

Months ago we talked about getting new outdoor furniture. The white wicker we have for our deck is over ten years old now and most of the pieces are showing their age, with fraying edges and sagging seats. We've talked about it for a couple years now, and I thought this would finally be the year to splurge, but then...we decided we needed to replace my car. There goes the new outdoor furniture.

Then, by chance, I was with someone who knew of some outdoor furniture looking for a home for a small price. Would we be interested? Of course! We went to take a look. It's almost identical to the furniture we already have, only much newer and in much better shape. And, with many more pieces. For only a few hundred dollars we could have all this furniture, including covers (which we've never had - we used ugly blue tarps to cover ours) and there was no need to even consider it - we took it!

Now I have more wicker furniture than I know what to do with. I'll be sharing our older pieces with my children, as well as a few of the newer ones because we can't even fit them all on our deck. Talk about an exciting occasion!

Suddenly, summer is looking brighter and more comfortable than ever this year. Shazam!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weeping cherry trees

One of my favorite spring trees is the weeping cherry.  Pink ones are beautiful but the white ones are also lovely. Last week they were all beginning to pop.

When I was working at the hospital I glanced out the windows when I walked down the corridor that was lined with large picture windows. There were two small weeping cherries side-by-side, one in full bloom and one that had not yet popped. I looked at them in amazement, wondering why one would be all pink and beautiful and the other still green. Perhaps one got more direct sun than the other? I don't know the answer but it was an odd juxtaposition.

Later the same morning I was driving past the McDonald's and noticed that there were about six small pink weeping cherries there, but the management had decided to trim the branches all back evenly, giving them the appearance of a patch of giant mushrooms. I made me smile because it looked so amusing, but it was a bit sad too. I love it when the branches reach all the way to the ground in a waterfall effect.  

I miss the big weeping willows that used to stand across the street on Methodist Lane and look forward to the weeping cherry on the green there, growing bigger and filling out more. It's only been there four years now but soon enough it will take off and grow nicely. That will help make up for the loss of the gracious old willows now gone.

Weeping cherries - a sure favorite and a wonderful sign of spring.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter

Today is one of my favorite holidays - Easter Sunday. We celebrate the resurrection of Christ, the culmination of Holy Week, a long and somber week of remembrances. Today we celebrate. Today we go from the darkness of Good Friday to the light and joy of Easter Sunday.

I love everything about Easter. I love the bright colors, the egg decorating, the baskets, the beautiful flowers, Easter dinner, family gathering - I love it all. I no longer get to wear hats on Easter because they don't go well with choir robes, but I love the way the church looks with everyone in their beautiful spring outfits and the flowers filling the chancel. It looks beautiful, it smells beautiful, and the atmosphere is wonderful-joyful and upbeat.

And after church the family gathers for a meal, spending the day together. I don't remember an Easter Sunday that was anything less than wonderful. My mother did her best to put together the most beautiful Easter baskets, and her meals were always amazing. I try to emulate her and hope today will be memorable for my grandchildren. I know I'll enjoy watching them hunt for eggs in the back yard!

How special is it that Passover and Easter both came on the same weekend this year?

May you all have a wonderful holiday, whichever you celebrate!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Well in

In remembering an expression my grandmother used to use, we are already "well in" to April and spring in East Hampton. The usual April blooms have already come and gone but the azaleas are in bloom now and others will soon follow. It's a beautiful time of year out here and the neighborhoods are hopping with activity.

I noticed that the lilacs are in bud and always look forward to their appearance in the garden. I did some serious pruning last fall with the lilac bushes because they had grown so tall it was getting hard to clip them, so I'm anxious to see how they'll look this year. Hopefully I did no harm because lilacs are among my favorites. I'm worried about the dogwood tree too because it hasn't looked too healthy the past few years. I hate to take it out because it was planted in memory of one of our grandmothers, but it may be inevitable at some point.

We're still having some chilly evenings, and rainy days I'm still glad to have the gas fireplace to take the chill off the living room, but the heat is definitely off for the year now, not to be turned on again until the first of November, which seems a long way away right now. We may be well in to April, but its only the beginning of "the season" and we have it all ahead of us right now. What a nice place to be!

Friday, April 6, 2012

DIY

I love to watch the show on HGTV called "Bath Crashers". It's similar to "Yard Crashers", which I also like, but having three bathrooms makes the bathroom version the most enticing to me. The way the show works is the host hangs around in Lowe's waiting to find someone working on a do-it-yourself bathroom reno and then goes home with them and does their bathroom over in far greater style than they could have done on their own. What I like about it is they are always people like us, who do most of their own renovations, and in three days (as opposed to the three month renos that we do-it-yourselfers are used to) this crew comes in and totally designs and transforms their bathroom into something really special. The homeowners don't even have to paint it themselves! Wow!

I have to say I've enjoyed doing our own home improvement projects over the years, although most of the heavy work was always done by my better half. I enjoy the demo more than the re-construction part of it all, and my skills are limited. But still, having someone come in and do it all with a big crew of people, and in record time, is extremely appealing to me. Instead of living with half-finished projects for months at a time, it would all be done before week's end. How amazing would that be? I think for that I'd be more than willing to give up my usual control over surface choices and types of fixtures. I think I could adjust to whatever in that trade-off!

It's probably a good thing I don't live closer to Riverhead because if I did I'd probably be hanging out at Lowe's every free moment in hopes of being "discovered" on a search for new bathroom faucets.....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

7am

I've been walking every morning with a friend for weeks now. We leave the house at 6:30am and walk for about an hour. And the most beautiful time of the day right now is about 7am.

By 7 we've walked to the pond and headed back to the village. The traffic is beginning to build along Main Street, and we cross over to the west side (when we can catch a break in the traffic). Some people still have headlights on but for the most part it's light enough to see well.

Sometimes we turn down Dunemere, sometimes David's Lane, and then use Egypt to get us back to Accabonac. On Dunemere we get to enjoy the early light on the golf course and Hook Pond, one of the great vistas in town. On David's we enjoy the beautiful homes, and quite often a deer will join us, going in the same direction, or perhaps crossing the street in front of us. Sometimes there are three or four of them. They're all looking for safer ground at that hour because they sense its time to hide. It doesn't startle them to see us, but they seem to sense the time and know they need to get on the move.

East Hampton is peaceful and quiet, with the exception of Montauk Highway where the truck traffic is getting heavy. We can walk down the middle of David's Lane and never see a single car. It's a little piece of heaven, really.

I hate exercise and I dread getting up and going out that door every morning at 6:30, but once I'm nearly home I'm always grateful for the effort. I see East Hampton in a way many never do, and appreciate it more than ever. I still do love East Hampton.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

East Hampton

I posted a blog last week that mentioned my bunion and was chided by a viewer for over-sharing. They said "what does that have to do with East Hampton anyway?"

Well, my feet are here in East Hampton, along with the rest of me, and the reason I renamed the blog "Life Out Here" some time ago was that one can only talk about the sunsets at the beach and the ducks at Town Pond so much before every blog will sound the same. In fact, I started to write one a short bit ago about the ducks that have invaded Town Pond and I was halfway into it when I stopped and thought to myself "Have I already written about this?" It's been years since I started writing this blog and after awhile I forget what I've written and worry that people will get tired of hearing the same old thing, so I tend to write whatever my recent experiences have been in an attempt to make it topical and non-repetitive.

So - forgive me for venturing into weird territory occasionally. I don't mean to offend and I don't want to bore. And sometimes finding the perfect topics and middle ground is a challenge! But I promise to try! And yes, the pond and the ducks will no doubt see their way here again...sometime...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Babies

Last week I babysat for my niece's little five-month-old son when her regular babysitter wasn't available. Babies are very special creatures.

This little guy is about as mellow as they come, rarely making any noises that remotely resemble crying, only fussing a bit when hungry or tired. I didn't have to entertain him much, truthfully picking him up and playing wih him as much for my own entertainment as for his, and it reminded me of how easy it is for these low-maintenance babies to be left to their own devices. I remember with my own (I had some of each type) I always felt guilty about the easy ones because they never got as much attention as the fussy ones.

There was a moment on the second day of watching him - he was sitting in his baby seat, cooing and amusing himself, and I sat watching him. So many things were going through my mind, about my own babies and the years I was totally consumed by them; about babies in general and how special they are; and about how quickly times goes. He fell asleep in his seat and his face, totally angelic in rest, made my heart melt. There is nothing more special in life than a baby. It's like a promise from God, a peek at the future, a gift to the world. And I remember the scripture verse about letting the children come unto Him and I realized that Christ had the same feeling for them as I do. I can't help but believe that there will be a special kind of hell in store for those of the world who harm children.
It was such a treat to have him with me for a couple days. It made me hopeful for the world again.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Titanic

Believe it or not, I've never seen the movie "Titanic". I know, it's hard to imagine. But it's true.

I'm actually a movie lover and I know movies dating back to the 30s and 40s better than many people. I used to watch "Big 3 Theater" every afternoon after school when I was a kid and loved the old black & whites from the golden age of Hollywood. I watch the Oscars every year, study movie reviews in the newspaper every day, and try to see the best ones every year at the theater. I usually know as much about each film before I enter the theater as I do when I leave it, aware of the best performances and plot lines, and all the behind-the-scenes antics that came before the final editing. So I really am a huge fan of all things theater-related, including movies.

But I still have no desire to see Titanic. Because there are certain movies that I don't enjoy. Among them are horror films - and shows with very sad endings. Knowing ahead of time that I'm going to be pulled into the lives of these characters and begin to care about them and then they're all going to be part of a horrible tragedy...well....it just keeps me from watching. And if it weren't for the sad ending, I would love "Titanic", because historical pieces are among my favorites. I adore wonderful costuming and settings and elegant scenery - all the pieces of that famous film. The hats alone would make me swoon!

Well "Titanic" is in the news again now that its been re-produced in 3D and once again I'm enjoying the clips of the lush, rich scenes in the dining room, and as passengers arrive and embark. But then there are also those clips of the ship going down, and the poor people screaming, and.....nope - I just can't do it. Sigh....

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Big move

My husband and I have been talking about the unthinkable lately. We're thinking of selling our house and moving south,

It's hard for me to even put those words down and it makes me feel pretty sad to think about it, but our conversations have brought us to the place where we realize its the best thing for us to do financially. Emotionally I'm not sure how I'll even deal with it, but I know it has to be. We can sell our house for a nice sum and take that money and live comfortably somewhere else. I can hardly believe its come to this.

Of course, anyone who knows me well will recognize immediately the absurdity of all that and know that April 1st is providing the perfect forum for the absurd. When I thought about what I could do to take people by surprise it seemed that even the thought of such a thing would be hard to believe. And it should be!

Here's to a wonderful April here on the East End, where I hope to spend the rest of  my days enjoying every spring, summer, winter and fall for the rest of my life! And Happy April Fool's Day one and all!