Friday, November 30, 2012

Long time

Today is my wedding anniversary and I've been married to the same person now for 38 years. If you count the year we were engaged, we've been together for 39, but we didn't live together so I'm not sure I can count that. Either way its a long time to be with anyone.

I think the most challenging thing about marriage is the whole issue of compatibility. I mean if you looked at us on paper, we really aren't very. We don't share a lot of interests and we don't like doing the same things. When I want to talk, he wants to watch TV. When he wants to go to the beach I want to read a book. When I want to go shopping he wants to take a nap. I belong to a number of local civic organizations  but his only real involvement is in the church. I go out many nights to meetings while he much prefers staying at home. Sometimes I wonder how we ended up together.

Then I remember all those years we were raising our children, happily spending our evenings getting four little people fed, bathed, and bedded, which often took hours. Then there was homework to help with and later play practices and sporting events to take them to. We were busy and we were working together. I miss those years but I'm too old and tired to think about it now. Then again, if I were presented with a couple kids to take in, I think we might rise to the occasion. Because we spent nearly 30 of those years together raising kids. And I miss that sense of purpose we had as a couple.

Well, I think we'll probably make it for the long haul, differences or not. Because at some point its just to comfortable to ignore. Not to mention love conquers all....

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Midnight

Because of the insomnia I suffer due to a medication i must take for another two years, I've seen a lot of midnights lately. I watch what little there is on television and I play with my computer. (Few people are online at that hour but occasionally I chat with someone, which is nice!)

Anyway - it reminds me of when I was in high school Oh those were the days!

My best friend and I often spoke on the phone at midnight. I used to sneak into my parents room before I went to bed and unplug their phone (which I always plugged back in the next morning lest they discover my deed) and then she could call me anytime of the night and not wake anyone but me. I had a phone in my room so I would pick it up on the first ring. No one ever knew.

Usually we just talked for an hour or so about the kinds of things that teen-aged girls talk about: boys, clothes, school. Some things never change. I still think fondly on those late night conversations because those were the times we cemented our friendship, which has endured the test of time and still is strong today.

Sometimes when I'm up at midnight I think about calling her. I don't dare do it because I wouldn't want to wake her, but if there was some way to know she was up I'd do it in a second. Unfortunately she does not even own a computer so that wouldn't help.  (Hard to believe in this day and age, but its true!) So I think about her when I'm awake but that's as far as it goes.

I thought my life was so complicated back then when we spent all that time on the phone. If only I had known!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Decorating

Every year decorating for the holidays becomes more of a challenge. As much as I try to cull through the boxes every Christmas, we still seem to collect more stuff. As much as we try to make it all accessible, we're getting older and climbing up and down the rickety old attic stairs is more and more tricky. And the larger the family gets the more choices must be made in the interest of space. And so it began last weekend.

We managed to get the boxes down from the attic: he was upstairs handing the boxes down to me at the bottom of the stairs. Only one near disaster occurred this year, resulting in a bruised hand for me but no real damage. Then they need to make themselves down another flight of stairs but that's for another time. I've learned over the past few years that I can't do it all in a day anymore so we stage everything on the second story and as the following week progresses I manage to unpack boxes and decorate little by little. Saturday the tree went up and only the two boxes of ornaments were taken downstairs. Then every day this week I've tried to get one thing done, from hanging the twenty stockings to laying the artificial greens around the mantel and various other spaces that need them. Hopefully before this week is over we'll be able to drag those boxes upstairs again and leave them for at least a month until everything gets packed away.

My goal in life is to find a way to keep everything on the main level. I keep looking around trying to figure out where I can add storage but its not easy in this old house. Perhaps I need to give up the decorating!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Big bird

I had a funny experience this past week when I prepared for Thanksgiving dinner. My niece had offered to buy the turkey - a fresh one - from a local farm. That sounded good to me so I happily accepted.

Wednesday night we went out to a movie and dinner with friends and arrived home about 8:30pm. I opened the fridge to make sure the turkey was there and sure enough it had been delivered. It was shockingly large. We checked on the tag and it was marked 28.5 lbs. What??? I've never cooked a turkey larger than 23 lbs and this was a monster. Suddenly I was calculating cooking time in my head and realized I was in trouble if we wanted to eat at 4pm as planned. I was expecting to get up in the morning and bake for a couple hours making desserts before putting the bird in the oven, but clearly that was not going to be possible. I got busy immediately baking a cake and then went to bed to rest.

Up at the crack of down Thanksgiving morning I made two apple pies and threw them in the oven. Then I called my husband to help with the turkey. There was not way I could handle this bird on my own! We wrestled it into the sink to be rinsed out and then squeezed it into the roasting pan. It hung out over the edges a bit, drumstick ends over the front and rear over the back, with some overhang on the sides as well. I was a bit afraid it might be hard to close the oven door because I have a small wall oven - only 24 inches wide - and some things don't fit. But once the pies came out we were able to get it in and get the door securely closed.

The turkey was delish - moist and tasty - and I can now say I once prepared a 28.5lb turkey. I doubt many others can match that. I'm still laughing...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holidays

I think the thing I like the most about Thanksgiving is it makes the Christmas holiday last forever. But not too long.

Oh there are some who are really pushing the Christmas thing this year. There were decorations up in the major stores long before Thanksgiving was over. I don't like that because I enjoy savoring each holiday as it comes. And for the most part, there was no sign of Christmas until after last Thursday. But then, POW! Lights came on, garlands appeared, and we even contemplated putting up the Christmas tree. We took all the boxes out of the attic and staged them all in one of the spare bedrooms. We got the tree up and decorated but I probably won't turn on the lights until December 1st. And I can use this week to slowly get the other things out, a little every day. I enjoy the results but I know I'll have to take them all down in less than a month and I hate that part. But - this is always my favorite month of the year.

So now, from Thanksgiving day until New Year's Day we'll be celebrating. People will be smiling, children will be excited, the very term "bustling" was, I think, created for this time of the year. And East Hampton will celebrate with a Santa Parade this weekend, making it official all the way around.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dry season

I've noticed a sure sign of the cold - dry skin. My hands, my legs, my face - everything is starting to shrivel up and flake away these days.

And its not because I don't work at blocking the effects of this dry cold. I use moisturizer every night before I climb into bed. I'm careful to protect my skin when I go out walking in the morning and I always use moisturizing soap. But at this time of the year, when the temperatures drop and the heat goes on, it doesn't seem to have much of an effect. I can't keep up with it.

'Tis the season of the shrinking, alligator skin for me. I'm doing my best to reverse it and have a nice big container of skin moisterizer upstairs in my room. But just talking about it makes me want to go get some...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The pond

Town Pond is crowded these days.

For a very long time the pond was only enjoyed by the swans. Occasionally a duck or two would find their way over from the Nature Trail, but normally it was only Mr. and Mrs. along with their cygnets until they were old enough to move out on their own.

I've noticed in the past few months that there seems to be a large contingent of ducks who have taken up residence and seem to be peacefully coexisting with the happy couple. I went by recently and Mrs. Swan was on the grass preening but Mr. Swan was swimming along in the center of a whole flock of ducks, head and neck disappearing occasionally as he reached down deep into the water for something to snack on.

The pond has definitely become more crowded these days but I have to say I like it. I'm not sure what will happen when winter hits. My guess is they may all find their way back to the Nature Trail for more protected quarters when the wind blows and the snow falls.  But for now, well, everyone seems to be getting along well and I like seeing so much activity right there in the middle of the village.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Philosophyl

I think I need to change my thoughts on something. I always believed that when you loaned something out you reasonably expected it to be returned. I've come to discover though that such expectations only work with non-family members.

In recent weeks my husband has looked for: the cordless drill, the shovel, the phillips screwdriver, and a jar of nails. None of them could be found, but all of them had recently been loaned to one of our children. I have also had the experience of looking for my glue gun, or a certain sized knitting needle, and most recently a pie pan - only to find them among the missing. I knew where they were - but it wasn't where they belonged.

So, in the interest of family peace and harmony, not to mention my own sanity, I've developed a new rule of thumb. Anything loaned to one of my children will be considered a gift. We will then make a mental note to go buy a new one for ourselves. Then, voila! No aggravation and no phone calls to track the missing item down.

Now I think this may work most of the time. Until one of them wants to borrow the car....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving

I can't say that this is my favorite holiday because as a Christian, Christmas and Easter are right up there in terms celebrations. But Thanksgiving is certainly very high on my list of favorite times. I love the fact that it feels like a religious holiday but its one that all of us as Americans can share regardless of our religious affiliation. Well, I'm not sure what an atheist might think about Thanksgiving - I assume they simply ignore the "thanking God" part of the picture and simply enjoy it as a time for family to get together, but other than that we all understand the concept of thanking the creator for our many blessings, among them the fact that we were lucky enough to be born in this country where freedom is valued and we all have more than much of the world's population.

So today I reach out to all my readers with a sincere wish for you to have a wonderful, blessed day this Thanksgiving of 2012. For me, I'm mostly grateful for being here...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparations

Today is all about prepping for tomorrow, really. I need to spiff up the house, start the cooking, and get out extra dinnerware for the crowd. I enjoy the prep and to me its part of the holiday fun.

Only half the family will be here for the holiday - both daughters are in Pennsylvania with their families. But my sons are here and their families, and my brother's family will be joining us as well. So we'll have plenty of people around our table(s) this year. We've never had less than a table full and this year it will be more.

So today there are pies to prepare and linens to laundry, and there are smells to fill the kitchen. I love the scents of the holidays and I look forward to them as much as anything. And East Hampton is peaceful and quiet, full of hometown feel during this, the best of the year as far as I'm concerned. Life is good for me and I thank God every day for my many blessings. I don't need a special holiday for that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sticker shock

I remember many years ago when my father laughed about a relative who rationed her water. When I visited her house she only allowed me to put about 2 inches of water in the tub for my bath. He thought that was funny and commented that "water is about the cheapest thing we have".

I couldn't help thinking about Dad when we were on the road last week and stopped on the Jersey Turnpike to use the rest rooms. I took the opportunity to stop at the newsstand and pick up a daily paper along with some M & Ms to snack on. As I was checking out I remembered I needed a drink and pointed to the fridge section and said "I'll take one of those $1.99 waters too", feeling guilty that I would be spending that much on a bottle of water. "No" said the check-out girl "that's soda". "OK" I said, "charge me for a bottle of water and I'll grab one". I was surprised when my total was rung up and even more surprised when I walked over to the fridge and picked up a small bottle of water that was marked $2.99.

Seriously? Three dollars for a bottle of water that I could have gotten for free had I been smart enough to carry along a water bottle? I could only imagine my father, who was frugal to the point of being a real cheapskate, was rolling over in his grave at the thought of it all.

Sorry Dad. Next time I'll make sure I bring my own bottle.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dogs

Three of my children now have dogs.
We always had dogs when we were growing up. Boxers actually - which were popular back in the 1950s - and I loved every one of them. My mother took complete care of them and it seemed a simple thing to own a dog in my house! We never had to walk them or feed them - it was all taken care of. And then when I had children of my own and they wanted a dog I thought "Why not?"

We went to the local shelter and chose a sweet dog that looked part collie and part shepherd. He was smaller than a shepherd but had the coloring of one, black and tan, and had some longer hair along his legs and bottom area so there seemed to be some collie there. He was a nice dog but he had issues.

First of all we could not housebreak him. I took it as long as I could (there were no kennels in those days so that wasn't an option and might have made all the difference!) and then "Ace" became an outside dog. We set him up with an insulated dog house and lots of blankets and a nice long run and he grew a nice heavy coat. I always felt he had a better life with us outside than he would have at the kennel and the kids were outside playing with him a lot. But I regretted that I didn't have my indoor dog that would curl up in the kitchen or in from of the TV at night.

So once Ace was gone we never got another dog. My children grew and left home and it seemed best not to have anything that would need cleaning up after anymore. I still feel that way. I like the freedom of not having any pets and have no desire to have one. But now, three of my children have dogs of their own, each very different, and I am remembering how nice it is to have a dog in the house to greet you when you come home from wherever. I may not want one of my own, but I can certainly enjoy theirs. I think they are alot like grandchildren - fun to play with and enjoy and easy to give back when they make a mess or need to be fed......

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wireless

Modern technology continues to confound me. First it was radio. Then the telephone and television. After that in quick succession came the FAX machine, the internet, and cell phones. I liken them all to my belief in God: I don't really understand how it works but I believe that it does because I see the results. And enjoy them.

I'm amazed at how I can take my new telephone and with a few flicks of my wrist I can be reading the late-breaking news bulletins from ABS. Or I can check Facebook and see who's doing what. Then I can play a video game and make a phone call. All this with no wires attached and only the explanation that everything is being plucked out of the air. Pure faith.

I'm sure there are people in this world who totally understand the concept of sound waves and satellite signals, but I'm not one of them. I like what it all brings to me, but I don't get it. the older I get the more faith I have to have in things around me.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mom

Today is my mother's birthday.

When I was young I loved her birthdate because her birthstone was topaz. I thought that topaz was the most exotic and beautiful stone of all, amber-colored and smokey, a go-with-everything kind of color. I loved it. I wanted a November birthday too!

Since then I've come to appreciate my own pale-blue birthstone and others as well, but back then it was all about topaz. Funny thing was that Mom was not so enamored of her stone and although I bought her a topaz ring at one point I don't think she ever really cared for it.

Mom would have turned 87 today had cancer not taken her at 81. Her sister is going to be 90 this year and I wish Mom had been so lucky. Or we had. I miss Mom every day and today I'm going to wear that ring that's in my jewelry box....

Friday, November 16, 2012

Time

I'm not sure whether it was the storm or the multiple storms, having company at the house, or what really - but November has flown by in a scary way. We just returned from a few days in Pennsylvania visiting with the grand kids and suddenly I'm looking at Thanksgiving. Yikes. I need to get out and buy a turkey today and start planning our Thanksgiving meal. And I have yet to get myself organized for Christmas.

Little panics me as much a disorganization in terms of my time. I can have a messy house and my relationships can be in chaos, but my calendar must be in great shape or I'm a mess. And I'm already getting a little panicky at the thought that I'm behind the eight ball in terms of holiday preparations go.

I have this weekend really to turn that around. I need to sit and start making some lists and designate days for the things that need to be done. I need to go through the things I've been collecting for Christmas and see what I still need to buy. And I need to make the calendar look good so I feel good about the next month. January will be here soon enough and with it some time to sit back and relax.

Ah the holidays. Some people may get stressed about December 20th. But for me, it starts now....

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Conflict

I've had a pretty good life in terms of conflict. My parents never fought - at least in front of us - and I'm very uncomfortable with any kind of issue that causes conflict among people. I like everyone to get along.

So when anything causes conflict in my life it throws me completely. One might ask why I would ever be in a political office when I feel that way and that's a very good question. My answer would be that the office I sit in is pretty devoid of conflict and if circumstances were different I wouldn't be there.

The most upsetting conflict to me is family unrest. Because in my mind the family is the one place where you should be accepted, where peace should reign, and where conflict never escalates but always is quickly resolved. I suppose that's because I don't have that experience and there are probably others who are so used to turmoil within the family that they aren't comfortable without it. The same issue that might cause me to be upset and stressed may make them feel very much at home.

I can't quite figure out whether my parents did me a favor or not. But I do think if more people were like me in terms of having a desire to resolve all conflicts quickly and lovingly the world might be a better place. And perhaps if I was better able to deal with such disagreements I'd have less stress in my life! Where exactly is the middle on this one?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Humankind

I have vasillated so often during the past two weeks between think humans are wonderful and generous and loving, and being horrified by the evil humans possess. Because any kind of tragedy always brings out the best and worst of people.

Over and over we see others reaching out to those affected by the storm. Our town has adopted another seaside town, collecting supplies and sending them the things they need to sweep up and mop out their homes and businesses. I am encouraged by the stories of generosity and assistance all over New Jersey and New York. And amazed to see the dedication of people like the nurses at NYU who evacuated dozens of tiny babies from the NICU, walking down dark flights of stairs with them while bagging them with tiny respirators all the way to the receiving hospitals. There are so many exampkes of the very best of us out there!

Then I open the newspaper and read about looters and how some poor people returned to their homes to find them ransacked by lowlifes who take advantage of the sad circumstances. Its horrifying.

Thankfully, the good seem to outweigh the bad. For every person who argued or pushed their way into a line for gasoline there were dozens who politely waited their turn and some who even helped push other cars who had run out of fuel trying to get there. I do believe in the best of us. And sometimes difficult circumstances bring it all out to the light of day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Castle

I really like the television show "Castle". I've been a huge lover of murder mystery and thriller novels since I was a kid reading Micky Spillane books in high school and I actually don't get much of a chance to read but if I buy a book, that's my genre. So this show, which is about a murder mystery writer who works with the local police department solving murders, is charming in its simplicity. Every episode revolves around a murder and the cast's hour long efforts to solve it. Which, of course, they always do.

There is so much formula television these days - I mean how many CSIs can we really deal with? But this one found a unique niche that is clever, funny, and different from anything done in the past. and besides, Nathan Fillion is really easy on the eyes.

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran;s Day

When Applebees announced they would be serving all veteran's free meals on Veteran's Day I had to laugh out loud. Because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that had my father still been alive he would have insisted on driving all the way to Riverhead to get his "free" meal, despite the fact that the trip would cost him more than the meal was worth. My father was all about a free meal!
Unfortunately he's no longer with us because he would have loved Applebees forever for that offer.

He also would have enjoyed the new respect that veterans enjoy today. For many years, throughout the Viet Nam era and beyond, there wasn't much notice given to the veterans among us. We were ashamed of our military involvement and took it out on the wrong people. But now we've learned that lesson and hopefully we'll never again fail to show our appreciation the way the deserve.

I'm sorry that my father isn't here to enjoy his free meal at Applebees - or some of the other ways the country has found to say "thank you". But in his behalf, I appreciate it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mornings

Now that the time change has occurred our morning walks are much more fun. We leave when the sun rises and we get to walk in the light.

When we leave my house and follow Egypt Lane - those are my favorite walks. We peel off along Middle and then back on Hither...or head down Pondview and back along Davids. Being able to get back onto the country roads and off 27 is a pleasure because its quiet and peaceful along the way. We can travel down the middle of those roads with barely a car passing and plenty of time to get to the side as we can hear them from a long distance. Occasionally a deer or two will bound across the street in front of us or scatter across a huge lawn when we approach. We can hear the leaves crackling beneath their hooves and the whoosh of them passing along the side of the road.

Sometimes now the wind cuts into our skin with the cold and its easier walking with our backs to it. But others days the air is calm and still. I wear gloves now and bring my ear covers along in case I need them. So far it's not quite that cold. But I know its coming. I wonder how long we'll be able to handle the early morning temperatures. Hopefully through the winter, but we'll see. For sure the morning light is making things more fun.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Disney World

I've been literally dreaming about Disney World. We're hoping to take the entire family on a trip there for our 40th wedding anniversary in a couple years and I'm already planning ahead to see how much money we'll need to save and when would be the best time to go in order to accommodate every one's schedules. Not an easy thing with a family totaling 19.

So I wake up in the middle of the night now with visions of Mickey Mouse and The Little Mermaid dancing in my head. I've spent a good deal of time on the Disney website, studying various accommodations and making notes in my notebook about possible places to stay. I think I've figured out how we can swing it with some of the economy rooms and I think its going to be a great time to be together.

At our age there is a danger in planning so far ahead. As we learned only a few short years ago the best laid plans don't always work out very well. We had a trip to the Grand Canyon planned for the  year I ended up having cancer treatment. I still hope to get there some day, but for now, a trip with the family is all I'm dreaming of.

Because here's the thing: if there's one thing I learned when we cancelled our last trip its this: nothing is as important as the people you love. And anytime spent with them is time well spent. And making memories with them is priceless.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Waves

Between last week's hurricane and this week's nor'easter we've seen some pretty spectacular surf lately. When I can drive down toward the beach and see spray and foam flying in the air from hundreds of feet away you have to know its spectacular.

Wednesday this week I was going to pick up a friend in Amagansett and went via Further Lane. When I turned right onto Indian Wells Highway I could see the surf from there. There was white spray flying every few seconds and I knew the beaches would be spectacular. I couldn't resist the urge to drive all the way down to the beach head before completing my trip down Bluff Road. There were rows of waves, line behind line of them, crashing in different directions and throwing foam every which way. It was low tide so there was plenty of sand, but the water was spectacular.

There is nothing quite as amazing as storm surf. And lately we've seen plenty of it. Beautiful, destructive, amazing. And very special.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Heat

So far we haven't put the heat on in our house. I normally wait until November to even consider it, and so far its been pretty mild here so I haven't felt the need at all. There have been a couple chilly nights where the gas fireplace was used, but not so cold that I would have turned on the heat had we not had that option. Instead I would have piled on the wool sweaters and blankets to watch tv. I hate spending money on heat.

You would think I would want to live in a warm climate, but no. I actually enjoy the cold when it comes. I don't like to freeze, mind you - but I like chilly weather.

I love layering. I like to put on a long-sleeved tee, and then a flannel shirt, and if need be a sweater over that. then I can peel them off if I'm working around the house and get too warm. And put them back on slowly when I begin to cool down,

I even like the morning walk in the cold. I love the fact that its so cold when you leave the house you need gloves and ear coverings but by the time you get home they're tucked into your pockets and you've worked up a good sweat. So much better than the heat that is inescapable in the summer.

I'm ejoying life so far without the heat. Not sure it will last much longer now....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Angels

My mother use to love the scripture reference in the Bible that talks about the fact that we entertain angels "unaware". She talked about how we can lend a hand to a stranger without knowing it's actually an angel we're helping.

Of course the scriptures also tell us that Jesus told his disciples that whenever they performed a kindness for another they did it for him. I'm not sure if those two things are the same, but they certainly carry the same message - that our actions tell who we are and what we care about. Our true selves cannot help but show when we interact with others.

Watching the footage on television in these days following the storm bring those scriptures to mind over and over as I watch people extending themselves to each other, strangers really, in an attempt to do whatever they can for fellow human beings. I think every time that happens it has to make God smile.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mail

I dread the day there is no longer mail delivery. I know its coming - we can all see the writing on the wall - but it will be a very sad day when it happens. I imagine eventually most correspondence will be done via the internet and perhaps we'll all have boxes at a central post office where we can pick up packages, but I don't think we'll see a mail carrier come to our doors every day and drop off letters.

I have always been enthralled by the mailman. When we were kids we had the same one for many years and we loved him. He knew us all by name and always took the time to say hello and chat with us. And receiving a card of letter from my grandmother, or an invitation to a birthday party, was beyond exciting. So seeing him climb the front porch steps every day at the same time was a real event.

We've always had mail delivery with the exception of the three years we lived in Amagansett right after we got married. We had a box at the post office then and that has its own pleasures, but there's nothing quite like having it brought to your door for you. I think its going to be a sad day - the end of an era - when we no longer have delivery by someone in a blue uniform. From the Pony Express to the internet. Amazing.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November

Wow-its actually November! I think losing a week with the storm has set me back a bit and now I need to get myself organized.

In November I assess my Christmas gift list. I've managed to get most of my list checked off but I need to get everything out of the closet, sort through it, and make a list of anything still needed.

In November I start wrapping the Christmas gifts so I don't have to do it all at the last minute. I like to get the wrapping done early and then at the last minute I can add ribbons and tags.

I like to start my Christmas baking in November. I do tins of cookies for many friends and family - about 30 altogether - and the sooner I start getting them into the freezer the better.

In November I work on my December calendar, which needs organizing early. There are so many things to do in December if I don't get the major things put on the main calendar we'll never survive. And I can tell you right now, if I predecease my husband his Decembers will be complete chaos.

In November I try to get all my annual doctor's appointments completed if I haven't already done so. The dentist, the optometrist, the gyn - got to get them all done. November is the time.

So - November is a busy time. And I feel as though I've lost a week of it. Time to get busy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sounds

Among my many memories of Hurricane Sandy will be the sounds of the storm. Not only the storm itself but the aftermath.

Of course the wind from these storms is the most amazing thing. It's loud and unending. Gusts whip up and twigs hit the side of the house, and leaves are flying in every direction. Its was a tremendous racket all day Monday and throughout the night.

By Tuesday the wind had subsided somewhat. But even on Wednesday morning when I woke early I could hear the surf through my open bedroom window which faces south. It was a low rumble in the distance that crescendoed every few seconds as wave after angry wave continued to pound the shoreline, reminding us over and over that we are small beings in this world and God is the one in control.

Wednesday and Thursday the power saws and wood chippers were at work around my house and that noise was unrelenting. I finally left home for a few hours to do errands so I could escape the racket.

The storm sounds last for days and remind us once again that we are resilient and strong people. We hang together, we help each other, and we clean up our messes! Other than the losses that people suffered, a good storm is not a bad thing every once in awhile. It reminds us who we are and what we are capable of. And also what the truly important things in life are. An important reminder.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Simple pleasures

When we were without power we played board games by candlelight and oil lanterns. We went to bed early and rose with the sun. We talked about how this was "the way it used to be" and knew that was true. We had water - hot water in fact - and we were able to flush our toilets, so we are never as bad off as some when the power goes out. We could even cook spaghetti and eggs on our cooktop since it's gas. We had our phone and my insistence on maintaining a landline payed off nicely in that case. There was little cell service anywhere.

But the second day when I came home from being out and around and realized the lights were on in the kitchen my spirits soared. There's something so great about having light in the house! Suddenly everything looked rosier and I was smiling as I walked around the house checking what had been left on and what needed adjusting, like all the clocks on things like ovens and the microwave.It gave me a renewed sense of purpose and I started cleaning my kitchen and clearing the countertops of candles and lighters. Then I cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer, made a list of the things I needed to replace and headed to the IGA to shop.

Just a very simple pleasure. And so appreciated now.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Village

It's become much easier to get around the village now and there are no real roads closed in this part of town. There as still a tree down across a road near my son's house in Springs but the commercial core and all village roads are now passable and looking clean. It's amazing how quickly the crews can accomplish their clean-up efforts.

Looking at the exhibit on the Hurricane of '38 that is in Clinton Academy now certainly makes one grateful for the modern conveniences of power saws. Apparently back in '38 it took months to get some streets open   with nothing more than two man hand saws to work with. Not only did they need to saw all the branches into movable pieces, they had to drag them all away with horses and wagons as well as small pick-ups. No pay loaders back then to help with the mess. Imagine not being able to drive down your road to months! And we have fits if it takes us a week to get things put back together.

Today is a stark contrast to that time and I easily made the trip back and forth to Southampton on Wednesday. In only a day we were able to get our power back and drive our car wherever we wanted. Not a bad time to be alive.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Powered up

Well we finally have power again and we're busy cleaning up from the storm. We were lucky here on the East End - lots of debris and lots of coastal erosion, but compared to what others suffered we cannot complain! We had little rain so we didn't lose as many trees as we could have. Some came down and with them lots of power lines so many are without power, some may be so for awhile. Springs and Northwest took a good hit. But here our power was out from 3:10 on Monday until about 11am on Wednesday so I'm not complaining!

Yesterday I was out doing rounds to see what the damage was. Main Beach and Georgica was hit hard and there will be lots of damage control there. But for us, living in the village means we always have water and the biggest inconvenience was not having the internet or cell service. One does feel cut off without the internet these days! But our landline never faltered and we were never really cut off. I was able to get electronics re-charged and borrowed a computer at Village Hall early Wednesday morning to check in on Facebook.

Our thoughts are with those west of here who suffered great losses. But for us here on the East End - all is well.