Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Anniversaries

This date will always be my parents' wedding anniversary for me.  Although they were married in 1948, and obviously I wasn't there, I feel as though I remember it well. I've seen the photos and heard the stories and can imagine the scene.

It was the hottest day of the year, according to my mother. I've been to Buffalo in the summer so I know what that means - hot and humid! The wedding was in the early evening but it was still brutal, with the minister taking his handkerchief at one point and passing it to my father to wipe his brow. There was no such thing as air conditioning in those days and the church must have been pretty uncomfortable for the wedding party dressed in white dinner jackets and pink taffeta dresses.

The reception was in the church hall, which was typical for that era. Again, a hot place to be in July!

My favorite photo is the last in their album. It shows a young, good-looking couple dressed in their best traveling clothes, a light colored suit for Dad and what was probably a beautiful one on Mom, although in black and white its hard to appreciate it and I have no idea what color it was! He sported a carnation and she a beautiful big orchid corsage.  They were leaving the reception in a shower of rice, surrounded by smiles and good wishes.

There are few things as uplifting and optimistic as a wedding and theirs was no exception. I only knew my parents after they were older and wiser and seeing those photos always makes me wonder how different they were. I wish I'd known them then. If I could travel back in time I think July 31, 1948 might just be a good day to go back and visit Buffalo, NY.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Adult children

I think I figured out parenting pretty well when my kids were young. I mean, I was far from a perfect parent, but I pretty much knew when to step in, when to have a "talk", when to advise, etc. But dealing with adult children is a whole different animal and I am far from good at it. I long for my mother's wisdom because she was great at knowing when to say something and what to say!

Watching children go through difficult times or struggling with any of the many things that we adults deal with is hard. We want to help - we actually want to kiss them and tell them that everything will be OK! We want to share the wisdom we've gained over our lives, the lessons learned from our own struggles, and help them through the tough times. But with adults, its not quite so easy. They react differently - they don't think we have all the answers like they once did, and they don't always want us interfering.

It's not easy being a parent of adult children. How many times do you hear the phrase "Little kids, little problems - big kids, big problems!"? It's so true. Not only that but they don't seem to want our opinions anymore. I long for the day I was the first person they turned. And I long for my own mother to be here so I can turn to her. She would be able to advise me wisely - she always could! Maybe that's a lesson we don't appreciate until its too late....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dazzling

These are beautiful days on the East End of Long Island and no doubt other people feel the same way because the roads are clogged with traffic and the beaches are busy - not to mention the ambulances. It's a sure sign that there are too many people in town when the ambulances are going all day long!

Our early morning walks are so nice, down Egypt Lane, crossing Middle Lane, then back on Hither - or up David's and back down Fithian. Sometimes we venture along Pondview and that's beautiful as well. All the streets are quiet and peaceful at 6:30 in the morning. Sometimes we share them with a couple deer and occasionally a car passes, but no one seems to be in too much of a hurry and everyone is friendly at that hour.

Trips west can be stressful as traffic builds throughout the day, but if its early enough the drive is beautiful in the early light. The sky is a special hue in the summer, so perfectly blue. Even the clouds look friendlier.

We are nearly into August and that means Labor Day isn't far behind. There are only a few weeks left to enjoy the summer in this special place, but Autumn is another delight. What a great place this is.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Main Beach

I love Main Beach in the early morning. Occasionally my granddaughter and I get up early, grab bagels, and go sit on the bench overlooking the sand. Usually the sand rake has been through and the sand is clean and even. A few people come and go, usually with dogs in tow, and then walk down toward the water, turn left or right, and disappear into the horizon. Rarely someone else joins us on the pavilion. It's peaceful and beautiful and I love it.

I think the best places in East Hampton are usually the most beautiful and the most satisfying in the early morning or late evening hours. Those who never get up early enough to enjoy them are missing out. Sometimes overnight ambulance calls provide me with the most amazing sights - a full moon over the water, an early sunrise at Cedar Point Park, or maybe a starry night in Northwest Woods when you can hear the night sounds of the owls and raccoons. It's a little glimpse of the way things were when my ancestors lived on these shores and makes me wish I could travel back in time for a week, just to experience it myself. The sound of the ocean that's now obliterated by the traffic noise, or the dark nights without headlights or streetlights to detract from the stars - those would be worth a trip in a time machine if only for a short time.

Main Beach is one of our natural wonders and I appreciate the modern convenience of the pavilion where I can sit and take it all in without getting sand in my shoes. But I also love the beauty of the scenery that's changed little since before humans even arrived.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alone again

Once again the house is quiet. The kids are gone and the summer is more than half over. Another year passing quickly and another summer nearly behind us. Wow - amazing.

It's easy to forget how quickly time passes, until I notice the sapling we planted twenty years ago that's now a full grown maple tree, or realize how heavily wooded our small garden is, which we started from scratch to provide a screening from the street all those years ago. Things evolve slowly when you live in the same place for a long time and that provides a wonderful record of the passing of time. I can look at my yard and know the progress we've made. I can look around the rooms of the house and see how things have changed.

Of course there's always more to do. I noticed the plaster on the ceiling by the staircase is badly in need of patching and the paint on the living room ceiling peeling. It's been a long time since that room was done. The kitchen was redone nearly 6 years ago now and the paint is already showing wear and tear from children racing around and toys banging into cupboards.

The quiet house reminds me especially of the passing of time - no longer full of noisy children but a place for people to grow old in. I love the idea of growing old with someone but I also love it when the house i filled with laughter and noise again. Perhaps getting older is the best of both worlds. I can enjoy the fruits of our labor in this place we've created, and occasionally fill it again with family and friends. Not a bad thing at all.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Knitting

I've been busy knitting recently and its unusual because I don't like to knit in the summer. The warm weather is not conducive to having wool or other yarn on my lap so I normally leave it all until the fall when I pick up whatever project I was working on in June and start again.

But this year I had a pressing matter to deal with - my son is having twins in September, so I needed to get a couple blankets done for the shower. I started a sweater for my granddaughter months ago which I still haven't finished, and a good friend's son is having a first baby this winter so I wanted to get something started for that. On our road trip I got some work done on a nice baby blanket. But since I've been home I've been slacking off a bit. I think its time to get going on the sweater so it might be done for Christmas, and the blanket needs some attention as well. I'm thinking this year I may need to spend August knitting for a change...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Flowers

This is a great time of year for the flowers on my deck. The pots are overflowing with full, lush plants and everything looks healthy and happy. My window boxes not so much - they seem a bit worse for wear - but the deck is lovely. We spend a lot of time out on the deck in the summer, eating quick meals and sitting on the outdoor furniture when its not too hot.

Every year I plant a couple big pots which I bought at  a yard sale a few years ago. They clay pots but they have a carved design all around the sides which is nice. I go to the nursery in May and grab a bunch of small plants, looking for some that will drop over the sides, some that will grow tall in the center, and some nice geraniums for the filler. When I first plant them they are a bit sparse and since I'm not much of an expert on flowers I never know exactly what they'll look like once they take off, but they always seem to fill in nicely and look bountiful. This years' are especially full and in fact my step is getting crowded with them, narrowing the pathway into the house.

I love the flowers in the summer. I hate weeding and I don't much enjoy the maintenance that goes with any of the outdoor plantings, but I do love the results. With autumn only a few months away I'm enjoying these final weeks of color and foliage.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Final days

We're down to the last few days of our daughter and her family being here for their summer visit and it's sad to think about how quiet the house is going to be and how much I'm going to miss her and each of the three kids. No matter how busy I make myself the days will still seem sadder when they're back in Pennsylvania.

It's difficult to believe how quickly time goes once we are adults. When we're very young it seems as though time drags along, from the long school years to the months leading to Christmas or the summer - time sometimes seems to stand still when you're a kid. We wish for things in our future - we want to be old enough to do so many things, like staying alone in the house, or driving the car, or graduating from high school. And then suddenly here we are wishing time would just move a little more slowly and allow us to savor the moments just a little longer. And we think about the people we had in our lives back then and wish for just another day with them - our grandparents and our childhood friends, for instance. The carefree days of childhood are over and responsibilities and losses weigh us down.

Being surrounded by children reminds us of our own childhood and takes us back to a simpler, softer time, when life was so easy and everything was taken care of for us. I've had a taste of that these past weeks with the family here and I'll miss it when it's over for yet another year.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Flashbacks

All the heat and humidity this summer has reminded me more than once of the hot summer days three years ago when I was going through chemotherapy. What a miserable experience that was!

I remember that there were days I could barely get off the couch. Without the energy to walk out to the deck, or even to get into my air conditioned car to drive around for awhile, it was a pretty horrible way to spend those hot summer days. I sat on the couch and perspired. For hours.Yuck-I hope I never have to be in that place again!

I've also noticed that since that summer my tolerance for the heat had decreased significantly. I'm not sure if that's connected to the chemo or if its just a thing that came with aging - my mother was similarly intolerant of the heat and humidity. And I've come to realize that its that "age thing" that is to blame for people not seeing doctors soon enough when serious problems may be lurking. After all, once you get into your late 50s, new aches, pains, and other physical changes are part of everyday life and who knows what's to worry about and what just goes with the territory?

Well in any case, I'm happy to have the energy this summer to take a drive when the heat gets to me. And we finally have an air conditioned bedroom, so at the very least I can get a good night's sleep on a regular basis instead of lying awake in bed with the sweat making the sheets damp. I'm very grateful those days are over....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Haagen dazs

I am one of those rare people who doesn't love ice cream. I have rarely met another one.

My father would eat ice cream in any shape or flavor and loved the soft kind especially. So much so that he built an ice cream stand in East Hampton fifty years ago to feed his addiction. My mother also loved ice cream and used to talk lovingly about making ice cream when she was young in an old fashioned ice cream maker.

I do enjoy a really good quality ice cream. Haagen dazs is my favorite. If I were offered a bowl of good ice cream I would take it. But it would have to be a really good brand. And if we happen to drive by a Carvel or Dairy Queen, I might be tempted to stop. But regular ice cream for dessert? Not likely. Call me crazy but I would pass....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

NYMed

There's a new show on television which is more compelling than anything I've watched in a long time now. It's on ABC and its called "NY Med". It could be called reality TV, but it's the ultimate in reality, real life filmed as it happens in a big New York City hospital. It's about real patients, real medical issues, real drama.

The first week we watched one patient, a young woman with 2 children, who found out she had a brain tumor and was going to have surgery. An older man in his 60s went in for surgery for liver cancer and the doctors discovered they could not help him and closed him up immediately. The cancer was too widespread to operate on. Another gentleman had a mitral valve repair and still others came into the ER for various reasons. Each one was a dramatic story, each one had a real, human face. As someone who's been through the medical trauma of tests and surgeries and hospitals, I was mesmerized. I shed tears with the patients and I felt for the doctors as they agonized over telling family members and patients the worst news. I saw compassion and caring and excellent medical care by people I would be happy to take care of me.

I think this show is my new addiction.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Downhook

Someone recently asked why my license plate said "DOWNHOOK". I'm not sure if I ever talked about this on my blog so I think I'll do that now.

I never used to be able to remember my license plate numbers, the randomly assigned ones we always received from the DMV. So I decided I'd like to get vanity plates. But what would they say? I didn't want anything that would too easily identify me, like a name, nor would I want something that strangers might remember easily in case I did something embarrassing that could come back to haunt me. Being a local history buff I thought about the term "downhook" which had the exact number of letters and would not be something an average person would understand.

The term refers to the place my family has lived for over 200 years here in East Hampton. "The Hook" was the area around Hook Pond, the western edges of the village on the way toward Amagansett. When a windmill was erected in that area in the early nineteenth century it was referred to as "The Hook Mill". When residents wanted to describe a place they would say it was "downhook". My family lived and worked "downhook". So - it seemed like a good term to use because I would remember it easily. And that is why my license plate says "downhook"...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More heat

I cannot believe how hot this summer has been! If this is a sign of global warming we're all in trouble. And I see central air conditioning in my future.

And I wonder what August will bring. It has already been a crazy summer on the East End. I cannot remember as many automobile accidents, fires, and other horrible things so early in the season. It seems as though every week brings new craziness, like wires down, power outages, multi-car accidents, and pedestrians being hit by cars. It reminds me to the Lovin' Spoonfuls song "Summer in the City", all about the heat and tension of the summertime.

But, with the realization that we are more than halfway trough the summer now I am dreaming of the cooler, calmer days of early September and looking forward to another wonderful autumn in East Hampton.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Missed

Being away for four days while my daughter was visiting with her kids made me realize two things: number one, I miss so much when they are home in PA and not here. And two, I totally take the rest of my family for granted because I see them all the time.

The people we love are the people we want to be with. Any distance between loved ones is difficult and not fun. But when they spend a good amount of time here I so miss them all the more! I am reminded of how much fun the kids are, how thoughtful and generous my daughter is, and how I just don't appreciate enough the fact that I get to see all my other children and grandchildren at least once a week. I am not going to forget this lesson again.

As I've said before, going through cancer treatment makes you more appreciative than ever before of the things that are important in life, of which family is certainly right there at the top of the list. So I've rarely taken them for granted. But sometimes we forget the lessons we learn and need to re-learn them over and over again.

Consider this one re-learned!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weekends

The best thing about going away for a weekend in the summer is missing the weekend in East Hampton. As great as it is to be busy, its also sometimes nice to have an excuse not to do things, and a weekend away provides for that.

Going in to the village on a weekend in July is risky business. I do it occasionally just to look at how things are going, how traffic is moving, how the TCOs are handling things - because its my job to do that! I need to be on top of things and if I never went in to see what was happening I couldn't do that.

But usually if we need to do anything in the village we go in very early - way before 10am - or we walk in. Which is of course the advantage to living close to everything. That's what makes up for the traffic I deal with right outside my door. At least that's what I tell myself!

So - we missed an East Hampton weekend while we were in Buffalo. But another is right around the corner and July is nearly over already. Wow - what a fast summer this has been!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Road again

Today we're heading back to Long Island after our whirlwind trip over hundreds of miles. Travelling from one end of New York State to the other is exhausting and one needs to have fortitude to deal with the many roadside rest stops. Not that I'm complaining - I remember what it was like to make this same trip in the 1950s and "60s!

With my mother coming from the Buffalo area I've been upstate many times in my life. I think I was only about 4 the first time I made the trip to stay with my grandparents for a week. And throughout the 50s and 60s I remember how long and boring the New York State Thruway was! Rest stops were infrequent and never fun - the only amusement coming from the Burma Shave road signs.

I remember my mother searching for dimes in her pocketbook before the six of us had to go into the rest rooms because we had to pay to get the stalls open! My brother and father could take turns in their rest room, opening the door for the other when the first was done, but with three girls (and often one or more needing to get in quickly after a few hours on the road) she would usually need more than one dime for us.

I also remember the first rest stop in Sloatsburg, which wasn't much more than porta-potties at the time. I didn't like the experience at all. Thankfully times have changed and the rest areas are large and clean for the most part, and not unpleasant. With food courts and free stalls they are a far cry from the earlier ones we endured. So - all things considered its not a terrible thing to take a long road trip. I can knit and we can talk - which we don't do often enough usually. Besides, we have a fairly new car and are still on our 6 month trial of Onstar. Technology can be a wonderful thing!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Antique Roadshow

I have enjoyed watching the Antique RoadShow on PB for years now. There's something compelling about seeing people discover they have a rare treasure in their possession they had no idea was valuable. Sometimes its like winning a lottery and always fun to see.

It's also educational and I've learned so many things over the years about various valuable things, like Rookware and Connecticut high boys. I've learned never to clean any piece of furniture if its old and not to ever allow anyone to refinish something. And I've also learned the value is a relative thing. Sometimes the ugliest items are worth the most money and I would gladly part with them were I to come across them in an attic somewhere.

Recently I saw an "update" version of the RoadShow - an episode from 1997 which they repeated, but each value given was then updated at the bottom of the screen with the 2012 value. Many were worth more now - other worth far less.

I just find it interesting what people will pay a lot of money for.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The road

We are on the road this weekend, upstate NY for a wedding and a visit with an elderly relative who is living in an assisted living facility. But July is not the time of year I'd ordinarily choose to travel as I'm a spring and fall gal when it comes to weather. Had this wedding not been for a beloved family member, we would have found a good excuse to stay at home.

But here we are, on the road for a few days, enjoying some time together as well as with extended family. The difficult part has been leaving other family at home - because our grand kids have been visiting for a few weeks and are still at our house for another couple weeks. We hated to take any time away from them as it is a rare, long visit and once they leave we may not see them for weeks and weeks at a time.

Well - when my kids were teenagers I remember them agonizing over choices, usually between events that they wanted to be part of: should they be in the school play or play sports? Should they attend a class trip or stay home to get their work done? And I also remember telling them more than once that life is full of difficult choices. And they are never easy to make. So here we are, missing time with the kids, but enjoying a rare occasion of celebration and a visit with people we love. It's what life's all about.

Friday, July 13, 2012

They're here!

OK last weekend the traffic was abominable. But we expect that over the July 4th weekend, right? It's the week after that gets to us...and here we are!

All this week traffic was horrible. The lines at every traffic light and every stop sign and turning onto every side street all over the village were long and slow. And instead of people being patient and dealing with it all, they make matters worse by jumping ahead of other people, by passing on the right, by beeping their horns, etc, etc - all of which only serves to aggravate the locals more and more. Or is it the locals who are doing the deeds? Sometimes it hard to tell. I usually pas it off as city drivers, but I remember well the story a friend told me recently. She lives in the Northwest Woods area of town and was walking along the road one day when someone came careening down the road at a speed dangerous to anyone in sight. She signaled the driver to slow down with the two-handed signal of gesturing with hands palm down slowly up and down and instead of the offending driver slowing down, she stopped, rolled down her window and yelled "I LIVE here! Who do you think you are????". As someone who was born here she was a bit taken aback!

So, although I usually assume the city drivers are the most aggressive and offensive in the summer, I fear some of our locals are just as bad, feeling entitled and annoyed that anyone might be in their way.

It's going to be a long summer.....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Books

Speaking of technology, I can't imagine that it will ever completely erase the need for books. Because books serve more than just an "information" purpose. They meet a certain spiritual need as well. This was clear to me when I discovered that a favorite book of my children's has been put back in publication.

I'd looked for this particular book many times over the years, hoping to add it to my grand children's libraries because their parent's had loved it so much. And every time I looked for it I came up empty,, no doubt because it had been out of print for some time. It's not the only book I've searched for and been disappointed not to be able to find it. Oh I know there are rare book places to look, as well as online book finders for out-of-print tomes, but I never wanted to spend $50 or more for a simple child's book that would have been $10 to start with. Imagine my delight in finding this little book at the local bookstore, all shiny and new with a beautiful cover! I grabbed one quickly and brought it home for my own library and hope that soon the grand kids will be enjoying it just as much as their parents did all those years ago.

Some things are good enough to  keep around and I'm glad someone else felt the same way about this one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Computers

Computers are wonderful things, but I freely admit to being a complete idiot when it comes to doing anything technological with them. I can't fix things, can't figure out what's wrong with them, and certainly could never install one.

In fact, I can't even figure out the new television sets. So I am totally and completely hopeless in this area.

So much so that I think were I not completely happy in my marriage, which I am, I would need to stay with it just to have the tech help that my husband provides. Because without him I'd be computerless and probably televisionless as well.

I suppose there are worse reasons for being needed by someone but I hope he knows I have him around for many others. And this week, when he changed over my dilapidated laptop to a brand new one and then spent days working out the kinks in the new system, I apprecieated him even more than usual. I think I need to come up with a good tip for him soon....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Church

Summer church has been moved from the sanctuary to the Session House because one is air conditioned and the other is not. And as with everything else, this causes some controversy and consternation. Whew!

I love our church sanctuary. It dates back to 1860, although it was renovated in 1960, but it still retains the lovely ambiance and charm of a simple meetinghouse from New England. It's lovely in its neutrality and simplicity and I feel very worshipful when I enter the doors.

However, it is extremely hot in the summer. There is little circulation and no air conditioning and the heat and humidity can be brutal.

Our Session House, which is a smaller building to the rear of the property, is similarly historic, built in 1858 for Sunday School and meeting space, and was more recently renovated into a lovely large congregational hall. It has central air and is cool and comfortable in the heat of the summer. It is logical to move the congregation back there for the months of July and August.

Well of course some people are not happy with the move, using reasons such as "It doesn't seem like church in that room" and "I don't like having to sit so close together" among others. I understand change is hard, and some people deal with it better than others. But when I was sitting in that air conditioned comfort Sunday morning all I could think of was "Ahhhhhhhhh......"

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer

Summer is absolutely flying by this year. These past few years with my daughter coming to stay with her kids for weeks have been so great, with so much life in the house and constant activity. It seems as though the summers are a long string of family cookouts and fun outings and the weeks nearly leapfrog over each other in their hurry to pass.

The weather has been trying for me, with the super hot and humid days. I don't like the heat and humidity. But I don't want to complain since we finally got an air conditioning unit in our bedroom last year and its such a treat to at least get a good night's sleep or sure! I hated all those nights before when even the sheets felt wet and sticky from the humidity. Now I can crawl into my nice cool sheets and pull them up over my shoulders, protected from the cold air that greets me when I open my bedroom door at night. It's delightful.

We're halfway into July already and August is looking at us right down the road. My how tie moves along, faster with each passing year. I wish it would slow down just a tad....

Sunday, July 8, 2012

OCD

I've come to the conclusion that we all have some sort of learning disorder - or at the very least some some issue that would be tagged in today's school system. My husband says he thinks he's ADHD and while that may be true, I also think that the labels we give people are sometimes convenient excuses not to do things. Or to do things poorly.

Anyway, the other day I spent three hours in the walk-in medical center in town with my daughter and granddaughter. The youngest had pain in her ear and we were there to have the doctor see her to determine whether it was an ear infection or swimmers ear. And it was a long wait.

While I sat there I spent a lot of time looking at the beautiful photographs they had on the walls in the waiting room. They were lovely black & white prints of surf scenes, with one or more surfer in various stages of the sport. All had nice water/sky contrast and made really nice wall art. But here's the part that bothered me: these prints were large, about 2 ft x 3 ft I would guess, and all framed in the same silver painted wood frames. But the three that were on the wall facing me were not exactly the same. The middle frame was about 1/4 or 1.2 an inch longer than the other two. It was a very small thing and I would hazard a guess that most people never noticed it. But I did and it drove me crazy. I couldn't stop looking at it. I needed to see if it was simply hung too low or if the frames were indeed different sizes. And I realized that if it had been in my house I would have returned them to the framing store and asked that they be fixed or I would never be able to enjoy them.

Not sure what that is but I'm guessing OCD. Whatever the acronym, it's what I have.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Melting

I don't think I've ever sweat as much in any summer as I have this year and its only the first week in July. Yikes.

Now in all fairness my mother had no tolerance for the heat and I assume I've inherited that post-menopausal attribute of hers. But this has also been one of the hottest years ever. Everyone is sweating.

This past week right before the holiday I was working in the house and the sweat was pouring down my face to the point where I had to take regular breaks to grab a paper towel and wipe myself down. It's hard to get things done when salty water is dripping into your eyes! So I've decided that I want to go back to a 9 to 5 job. I remember very well how much I looked forward to getting to work every day during the summer, where the air conditioning cooled the air and made sweaters a necessary part of my summer wardrobe. I miss that.

So I think I'm going to keep my ears open. Perhaps someone out who has a nice air conditioned office would like a middle-aged woman to work for them. I promise I'll never go out on maternity leave!

Friday, July 6, 2012

All alone

I am rarely lonely, which is a blessing. My life is full, I have a busy schedule, and I have lots of family around. Yet one day last week I found myself feeling a bit lonely and it made me ponder the whole issue of loneliness.

I know that being alone does not always trigger loneliness. Sometimes it seems like a great blessing to be alone, to have peace and quiet for spending time with one's thoughts and for doing whatever one wants. Being alone s not what loneliness is about. In fact, I conversely think its very possible to be sitting in a room full of people and feel very lonely. So I'm not sure what triggered my thought on this particular day. I did happen to be alone, with some family off at the beach (not always where I want to be) and others off doing errands. This might be a perfect time for cleaning the house or catching up on other work, but this day none of that was necessary. I found myself wishing I was with someone.

Of course we make choices that affect where we are and what we're doing, and this was certainly true at the time. But then, we've already determined that loneliness isn't about being alone, is it? So what was behind those feelings of loneliness on this particular day? I didn't have an answer, but I spent a good deal of time pondering the question.

Sometimes there are no simple answers to questions that revolve around our thoughts and feelings. We are complicated  creatures. But I love delving into the "whys" of it all. I think I should have been a psychiatrist.....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Holidays

I remember when holidays often fell on Wednesdays. It happened for Washington's birthday, Lincoln's birthday, Columbus Day - but then it was decided that they should all be on Mondays so we would all have three-day-weekends. Of course that meant that we now had "President's Day" instead of the two holidays we used to have in February, an Coluimbus Day would rarely fall on the 12th anymore. But July 4th would always be celebrated on the 4th. It's as sure as Christmas.

Not everyon'e happy about that because it means they only get one day to celebrate rather than three. Personally I liked having a day off in the middle of the week and thought working Monday and Tuesday and then taking Wednesday off before going back Thursday and Friday was great. We worked two days, took one off, worked two days, took two off - it's the perfect week to me!

It will be two years now before we have July 4th on Friday. Then people will be very excited to realize that the following two years will mean additional days off because when it falls on a weekend they inevitably get the following Monday off. Ah well...some folks are never happy anyway!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The 4th

This fourth of July I'm still ruminating over the flag controversy of the past couple weeks here on the East End.  Things have settled down a bit and I'm sure the exhibit will be gone soon enough, but the question remains: Should there be restrictions on what can be done with an American Flag?

There is protocol out there, of course, and I'm always careful to follow it. I wear a flag on my ambulance uniform and I always treat the flag with respect. I am as patriotic as the next person. And yet, I wonder about why people have such angry responses to any misuse of this symbol of our country and its history. I totally get the lump-in-the-throat feeling seeing it pass in a parade or singing the national anthem. I'm there! I love my country. But just like with family, I know its weaknesses and problems as well. And I grieve over them.

At the end of the day I am still a child of the sixties and I believe in the freedoms we cherish in the USA. And as  Justice William J. Brennan said in the Supreme Court decision of July 3, 1989 "We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents" I could not have said it better and its a perfect thing to celebrate on this, the Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nora

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Nora Ephron this past week. Not only because I loved her work and never saw a movie of hers that I didn't like, but because she has been a voice for women for a long time - when we really don't have that many voices that are legitimate.

Women have a different way of looking at the world. I see it over and over again on the boards that I sit on, where the men will all be in agreement about something until one of the women speaks up and offers another opinion and suddenly they're all thinking about the possibility that there is another side of the story. There's nothing wrong with seeing things differently - after all, that's what makes the world of love work so well! But there are times and places where a woman's viewpoint is badly needed and not available. Nora was that voice in Hollywood, which is largely dominated by men.

She was only 70-years-old and there would have been so much more she could have given us had she not been taken too soon. Just imagine what she could have done with another ten or fifteen years.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Controversy

I have to admit to being somewhat amused at the protests over a local art gallery's exhibit here in East Hampton last week. The artist being shown took the American flag and did all sorts of things to it, like dying it red and painting it gold. It took no time at all for a hew and cry to erupt from locals here who were insulted by the desecration.

I don't like to see the flag disrespected in any way. When it passes me in a parade, I stand and put my hand over my heart. I treat it with respect and I would never desecrate one, because to me its the symbol of the country I love and am loyal to and I believe in what it stands for. My father and brother both served in the military, as did other ancestors. I am a pretty patriotic person.

But I also remember very well the turbulent 1960s when the flag was fair game to many in my generation who were protesting the war in Viet Nam. It was burned, it was worn as clothing, it was spit upon - and it was done legally as protected in the first amendment of the constitution. So it was with this background that I found myself amused to see the very same people of my generation up in arms over the desecration of the flag as done by this artist. My my, how we do change as we get older.

I hope its because we become wiser when we age. I remember my parents dismay over the way the flag was being treated back in those earlier days, and some of the same things they said are the things I am hearing said now. Suddenly we, the rebellious. hippie, children who made sit-ins and protests something to be proud of, are objecting to the  very things we did ourselves when we were young. Life makes me smile so often....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fickle

Our weather has been fickle to be sure. A week ago we were sweltering in a heat wave, sweat rolling off my forehead from the exertion of sitting and doing nothing.

Then on Tuesday of this past week it was so chilly my kids left for the beach at 11am with sweatshirts on. When I left my house early that day I had the heat on in my car.

Then by the end of this week - another heat wave.

What the heck?

I feel a bit unsure of what tomorrow is going to bring at this point. Today is the first of July and we've already seen summer and fall within the past week and I'm thinking this may be a wild couple months coming up.Ah well - every season is a new experience. Happy July everyone!