Sunday, June 30, 2013

Babies

My babies are turning eleven. My first two grandchildren were born within two weeks of each other eleven years ago now and I can barely believe it, the time has gone by so quickly.

Of course my real babies are fast approaching the age of forty now so I don't think it should be surprising that the next generation is in its second decade. But it seems as though time speeds up as we get older and now here we are with grandchildren - nine of them - growing and maturing so fast its almost incomprehensible. From baby to pre-teen in such a short time!

So Daisy and Micah are entering the 6th grade in September, a time I remember very well in my life. Sixth grade was one of those "big" years when things changed - we became more aware of ourselves and the opposite sex. We started to dream about our adult life - our future selves. We thought about what we wanted to do with ourselves and where we were headed. It's a pretty important time in the life of any person. And now, in the lives of my grandchildren. My how times flies...

Happy Birthday Daisy and Micah!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Photos

A local B & B recently published some gorgeous photos taken around East Hampton as part of their website and they've been making the rounds on the internet - especially Facebook - as locals share them with each other. I think the reason they're so popular is that they capture the East Hampton that we all love so much - the special moments when the sky is perfect and the air raraified. We see glimpses of the moments that don't always last long - like sunsets and fresh snowfalls - and they are captured for eternity on film. A gifted photographer paired with a perfect subject - always a special combination!

I've always wished I could take great photos but I've never had a knack for it. Perhaps a class would help, but who has the time for that? And besides, when there are other people who can provide me with the same results and none of the work, why bother?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Beaches

The beaches have been fairly empty so far this season but that's about to change now. With July 4th week starting now, the hordes will be arriving and they won't leave until Labor Day. So much for the quiet weeks here in East Hampton!

I think we natives tolerate the months of July and August fairly well here. We've lived with the seasonal nature of our hometown all our lives so we are pretty used to all that goes along with it. Oh we complain and moan and carry on, but its the life we've always known so we deal with it. I remember when I was young and there was no year-round tourist industry here - homes were literally boarded up for the winter and not re-opened until spring, but that's changed and not necessarily for the worse. Many of our week-end residents who come out all year now have become important members of the community who contribute to our local charities both monetarily and with their time and energy, which is made possible by their presence here all year. It's a good thing and we need their energy and we know they love East Hampton too.

So the year round community has changed, but so has the summer one. We are now not dissimilar to the Jersey Shore in that Montauk has become the party capital of the East End and nightclubs are booming there. I seem to remember a day when the summer population was much more subdued and quiet, although maybe - just maybe - I was simply not aware of what was going on in places I never frequented around town.

East Hampton is a great place and its hard to resent others who want to enjoy a piece of it the way we get to all the time. Whether they are homeowners or hotel residents, they come to experience something we often take for granted.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Heat wave

I hate heat waves.

I am not a big fan of summer in general, although there are things about it that I love. I enjoy being outside and I like the ease of life in and out of the house, no coats or boots, no need for heat, etc. But I don't like heat and humidity and I don't like air conditioning. I love the spring and summer in East Hampton where the air is cool and comfortable and a light jacket or sweater is all that's required for creature comfort.

That said, this week has been miserable. On hot and humid days I don't want to do anything other than sit on the couch and watch TV or read, and my desire to clean my house or do even the most simple tasks is greatly diminished. It isn't even July yet and I'm already tired of summer.

Hopefully next week this latest heat wave will diminish and we'll get back to more tolerable weather. But I have to say, for the moment at least, I'm wishing I lived in a house directly on the ocean where the breeze would wander through....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Social

I've noticed that some of my children seem shocked that we have a social life aside from them. I'm not sure what that means, whether they think we're too old to actually be social or too old to go out at night or what, but I've seen it more than once where they assume we'll be home or not otherwise engaged and are taken aback when we say we have plans.

Which makes me think about my own parents. My parents had a good social life. They entertained often, they belonged to organizations that provided social life, and they were almost always busy on Saturday nights when we were kids. As they got older, that social life did diminish, but still they went out to dinner often and also still entertained. It never occurred to me that they were too old to be out and around and busy with friends. So the idea that I might be considered too old for a social life amuses and confuses me.

Well, so far we still do like to go out with friends and we still have a pretty busy weekend schedule at our house so I think for at least the foreseeable future that will be true. Perhaps if we live to be very elderly that will change. But not yet.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Grass

The grass is a pain in the summer. I love the feel of it beneath bare feet, I love the smell of it when its mown, and I love the way it looks. But the maintenance is a pain and without lots of work and chemicals, it never looks perfect.

Mind you, I don't mow the lawn - my husband does. So I can't complain. But the lawns I love to see are the ones that are perfect - no crab grass, no dandelions, no dead spots or fungus - lawns that are like sod. I love them. And in order to accomplish that look it takes either a lot of work or a lot of money. Neither of which we have at this house.

My father used to joke about pulling up his lawn and replacing it with stones, the way they do in some places. Of course, he never did his own lawn care - he had a sprinkler system and a company to take care of his lawn. He had lovely, lush green grass and it was wonderful.

I've been saying for years that if I could, the first thing I'd do is pay someone else to do our lawn so my husband wouldn't have to be out there on hot summer days pushing a mower. Maybe someday....and then it will be lush and green and beautiful. And he can sit in the house and watch someone else make it look that way.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Company

The grandchildren from Pennsylvania are here for a few weeks and I love this time when they're in my house. My favorite time of the day is when they wander downstairs in the morning, one at a time, still clouded with sleep and not quite bright eyed yet. They join me on the couch and watch TV as I blog or answer emails on my laptop and I like listening to them yawn and seeing them stretch out their arms and legs trying to wake themselves up. They still feel warm and cuddly and aren't quite ready to run off to the beach of pool. It's my time with them - just being together - barely talking but sharing the couch just the way I did with my own years ago in the summer months.

Sometimes the best times are the quiet ones, when nary a word is spoken but being together is all that counts.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Aging

I was having a conversation with another woman the other night about the fact that I seem to perspire much more profusely than I used to and I ended it by saying "The problem with our age is its difficult to know what is "normal" anymore!"

So true! We wake in the morning with a new ache or pain and think "Did I do something to my leg yesterday? Or is this just a new thing I'm going to have to deal with?" Every day seems to be a new adventure and I totally understand why occasionally someone dies of a heart attack or just diagnosed late-stage disease and our first reaction is "Why didn't they go to the doctor when they had symptoms?" Now I know why. If I ran to the doctor every time I had a new "symptom" I'd be on a frequent flyer plan. Every week brings something new and the questions always revolved around "Is this because of a medication I'm taking? Or is it normal aging? Or should I be concerned about what's happening.....?"

My father used to say that aging was not for the faint of heart and I know what he meant. Its a challenge every day to move beyond the aches that seems to develop all the time. One of the medications I take causes aches in the joints. Really? So if I stop taking it will they stop? Or are these aches just part of life at a certain age? Who's to know?

I have no real idea what "normal" is anymore. Which I guess means this is it....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jobs

I've had many jobs in my lifetime. When I was in high school I worked at two different clothing stores during my summers. I learned retail from some real pros and many lessons I will never forget about work ethic and customer service. I still hold those early teachers in high esteem!

When I left high school I worked as a travel agent. I dreamed of traveling to places I will probably never go, and wanted to travel more than anything. Of course life had other plans and I never did get to see the world, but my job soon became raising a family and that was fulfilling enough.

Over the years I was raising my children I did many odd jobs to help with the finances. Some jobs were unique and fun - like making desserts for a caterer or painting plaques for the local VFW. Others were purely economical, like the months I spent mailing out concert tickets to members of Paul McCartney's fan club. But the experiences were all interesting.

When my eldest went to college I took a job working at a church, organizing the office and keeping it running. I did that for nearly eight years and enjoyed it immensely. People are rarely rude or obnoxious when they go into a church to do business! That was a nice bonus!

I am about to embark on another church office job and I must say I'm looking forward to again being in the position of combining business with ministry. I won't be making a lot of money doing this job, but it will be satisfying and fun to begin a new challenge.

Many people do the same job their entire lives. I must say its been nice to be able to say I never had a career - other than motherhood - but jobs, well, those I have plenty of experience with!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer

This time of year is so busy everywhere when you live in a resort community like ours. The weather is great and it seems as though every night there is some outdoor event to attend, or a dinner with friends on the back deck, or just a cook-out at the beach - we want to take full advantage of the outdoors while we can.

It's also a time when friends come to visit and take advantage of our beaches, and a time when every non-profit has fundraising events, and every venue has its outside music and cocktails to pull in the crowds. One never need be bored in the summer in East Hampton!

There's danger in being busy. It's easy to get so caught up in the schedule of activities that we fail to enjoy the simple things - the sunsets, the blue summer skies, the sound of a baseball bat making contact with a ball - the sounds and sights of summer are beautiful. Even the sounds of parties and laughter, which can be annoying late at night, are a welcome change when we first begin to enjoy our evenings outside.

Summer is here. And so far, the weather's been ideal and I'm enjoying it immensely. Soon the humidity will set in so I'm taking advantage of this perfect time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tragedies

We had a real tragedy here in East Hampton last weekend. Not 200 yds from my house, on busy Montauk Highway, a 14-year-old girl was killed riding her bike. I have no idea where the fault lies and in fact, it could lie in more than one place - such is the nature of accidents - but I do know this: when a child dies in a small community like East Hampton it is a tragedy for all of us. Because we all consider the children here to belong to all of us. We all watch them as they grow, we follow their lives in the newspapers as they triumph in sports or theater, we rejoice in their scholastic achievements, and we are all proud of the adults that come from this place we love. A loss is huge to all of us. All of East Hampton was a comber community over this weekend.

I did not know this girl personally. But she was a student of my son-in-law, her brother was a student of my daughter-in-law, I had my photograph taken once by her father, and the common threads of a community were clearly defined as lives touched those who touched hers. It was a grief we all felt. It is a loss for each of us. And for the community as a whole it is unspeakable.

It is a rare thing here to lose a child. I remember each one who has been taken from us over the years since I have been an adult: one hit by a car in Springs, one who died of Reyes Syndrome in elementary school before the connection to that disease and aspirin was known, one who died in an accident while her family was vacationing out of town one summer. Each was a promise unfulfilled and each a sad chapter in our history here in East Hampton.

In honor of this latest young life I pray that we won't see it happen again for a very long time - if ever.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Extentions

Last Sunday I attended the baptism of my niece's baby girl - my grand-niece. I still can't believe I can be a great-aunt, despite the fact that I am a grandmother! I remember my great-aunts from years ago and they seemed so elderly and decrepit! Is that really me?

Events like that are so special for the way they connect us with our extended family and weave the threads of love throughout our life's tapestry. Each one of our extended family members brings special gifts to us and adds to our family in a unique way. And watching the family continue to grow as new lives are added - well - it simply confirms the whole idea of family being our safety net during the stormy times of life. We're there for each other when most friends move on - they keep us afloat when we most need a life-preserver.

It was a wonderful thing to be part of, this special event, and I was so glad I was there for it. These are the things that make life a gift. Those threads that strengthen us and make us know the gift of love.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

Father's Day always makes me think about what a great choice I made in the person who would be come the father of my children. This year, for the first time in awhile, all the grandchildren were here for Father's Day and watching him interact with them always makes me grateful for who he is. He was a great father to our children and now a wonderful grandfather to our grandkids. I hope they all realize how lucky they are.

Growing up I had two very different grandfathers. One was a conventional, warm and kind, gentle man who was the very epitome of a grandfather. He would walk us around his garden, explaining what the different flowers were, laughing at our antics, and just loving us to death.

The other was not so warm and fuzzy. He was funny and larger than life, but physically and in personality, but I never sat on his lap or played with him in any way.

If I had a choice I would have preferred they both had been like the former rather than the latter, but we don't have choices about such things, do we? In later life I learned to

Monday, June 17, 2013

Yikes

For the first time since I started blogging, I forgot to post something one day. Suddenly yesterday came and went and no blog. Is this a symptom of my advancing age? Or simply a result of an extremely busy time in my life. Between being sick all week and having the family arrive from Pennsylvania, I must have been a bit overwhelmed.  At least...I hope that's what it was.

This is post number 1852 which means I've been writing this blog for nearly six years now. Every once in awhile I think I really have nothing else to say, or I feel as though I'm repeating myself, but the reason I started this blog always comes back to me - its my therapy. It helps me to verbalize my thoughts and work through them. It's easier to vent about traffic than succumb to road rage. And I even keep a private blog so I can rant about personal things that I would never make public in consideration of the people I may mention.....they shall forever remain anonymous!

Well, so yesterday shall forever be a blogless day. Not that it wasn't memorable, because it was, but I have a week ahead to talk about the things I did in retrospect. And so I shall!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Down - but not out

I spent two days on my couch earlier this week. An allergy became a respiratory infection and suddenly I felt as though I'd been run over by a truck. I think it's the worst I've felt since chemotherapy four year ago.

So I took to the couch and rested, intermittently sleeping and paying video games,watching television, and reading when my eyes weren't hurting. It was a boring two days and it reminded me why I am one of those people who likes to stay in motion.

It's the same thing that makes a vacation at the beach uninteresting to me. I could spend a day or two on a good book but after that I'd go stir crazy without something to do. I like to sightsee and shop and get to know any neighborhood I visit.

I have to be pretty sick to stay at home. It's just not in my nature to sit around all day. Not that I'm not a lazy person because I certainly can be guilty of that, but I have my limits. It might be a result of my mothers work ethic - she rarely sat and read a magazine! But whatever the reason, being home made me once again appreciate my health and ability to move. May I never take it for granted!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rain rain rain

I've always loved the sound of the rain. I have no desire to live in Seattle, but occasionally I do love a good soaker.

Last week we had a tropical storm blow through - the first of the new hurricane season - and I found myself dealing with a touch of insomnia at midnight. It was a nice cool night and I was sufficiently tired, but sleep was elusive so the sounds of the passing storm were background for my thoughts as I lay in bed trying to fall back to sleep.

I especially like the sound the water makes as it pours from the gutters onto the deck below my bedroom windows. The constant flow of it, accompanied by the staccato of the heavy raindrops pounding the house, is soothing in its steady rhythm. Don't ask me why I couldn't sleep with such a great, relaxing background - but it was enjoyable to listen to in my sleepless state in any case.

We had 4 inches of rain fall that night and at times the filed across from my house was ore like a lake than a green, but my newly planted pots on the deck were happy and we won't have to water the new privet for a few days either. Eventually the sounds of the night did put me back to sleep but not before I said a little prayer of thanks for the sounds of creation just tipping its hat at the world.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brides

I have to say if I've learned one thing by watching television its that I'm very glad didn't go into the bridal business. Which is odd because I've always thought I'd like to be a wedding planner or own a bridal shop. After all, I loved planning my own wedding and helping with each of my childrens'. But....

There are a number of shows on television right now that center on the bridal business. There are shows that take place in bridal salons, and show that follow horrific brides in the days leading up to their weddings when stress is high and manners in short supply. And honestly, I don't think I could handle the people.

Which is a life lesson, really.  I may love bridal gowns and weddings and all the trappings of such an exciting occasion. But the people that are attached to them....well...that's another whole issue.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Eyes

I've always liked eyes. I don't know it they are truly the window to the soul as someone has suggested, but they certainly are a magnetic part of a person's face. And I've never been partial to any one color - I find them all beautiful.

Now that I have grandchildren its fun watching their eye colors change as they get older. Some started out bright blue but have mellowed to a softer one. Others are now more hazel, and still others becoming that deep brown that dances in the light. Each is distinctly their own, all different shades and certainly reflecting their personalities as they twinkle and shine with mischief.

My own eyes are a cross between blue and green and my husband's are brown. We had only one of four children with brown eyes - the others all have various shade of blue/green. So now the grandchildren are also displaying the same genetics as the differences are sprinkled throughout each family. Genetics aside, none of them has the same eye color as we do - some have my shape and his color, some their father's shape and my color, but none has them in the same combinations. I love the way our genes get put into a virtual blender and come out in so many interesting ways.

Eyes. Truly one of my favorite facial features.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The sandlot

We've been attending a lot of Little League games lately - with grandsons aged 8 and 10 I guess that's inevitable. But I've found one of the most interesting things at the games is the conversations among the adults about how different baseball is for our grandchildren.

When we were kids the boys spent all their free time playing sandlot ball. In the fall it was football. In the spring it was baseball. They would meet at the local ball field on Saturday mornings, or after school, and play for hours. They learned baseball inside and out, watching it - or more than likely listening to it on the radio - religiously. When we had recess at school, there was always a ball game involved for the boys.

For our children it was becoming less of an obsession. A changing society forced us to keep our children closer to home. Communities became more spread out (few children live in the village anymore where they can walk or bike to a ball field). And more options were presented. They began offering lacrosse and soccer for instance at school.

Now the world of baseball is even more removed from them. They have technology - computers, video games, tablets - to entertain them. Baseball is a slow game - no short attention spans there! Kids today don't know the game the way they used to. They need to be taught the fine points of where the play is and how to catch a grounder. They don't have the instincts that come with familiarity.

I'm not sure where "America's pastime" is headed, but it's certainly no longer in the sandlots and playgrounds of our neighborhoods.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rewards

I am a sucker for games of chance. It's a wonder I'm not broke.

Fortunately I'm not a "gambler" in the sense that I don't play cards or travel to Atlantic city to play the slots. Those things can be addictive and I know I have an addictive personality. It is rare that we spend money on a lottery ticket or a raffle. I can probably thank you very tight budget for that - a lifetime of watching every penny helps!

No, my biggest weakness is the label on a cereal box or bag of candy that says "Win $10,000....". Just last week I needed to buy a bag of m&ms for my daughter so I stopped in to CVS to pick up the needed item. A I approached the counter I spied the m&ms and immediately realized there was something different about the bag. I grabbed one off the shelf and there it was! If the bag is full of all back m&ms I would win $100,000! Wow! The things I could do with $100,000! Now I had a dilemma - how many bags should I buy? And if I buy multiple bags, what if I give her the one that has all the black m&ms? And mine didn't? Oy vey!

My better judgement prevailed and I bought only two bags. Once home I opened one and naturally, there were multicolored candies in it. So now - the next dilemma - how to keep myself from opening the other bag...just in case!

I  managed to control myself. But if I find out later that the other bag was full of black m&ms there will be hell to pay!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

More local

Shopping locally was my theme yesterday and I realize how difficult it is to buy some things around here anymore. I have had to expand my idea of "local" to include Riverhead so Target and Tanger are included. TJ Maxx is great and K Mart of course. I rarely find clothes around here that fit me but I can find good prices on children's clothes of I shop the sales at local luxury retailers on Main Street.

But since we own a business I see the other side of the issue a well. More than one customer has gone to the internet to shop for insurance, especially car insurance. After all, who can resist a cute green lizard and a cheaper price? But here's the rub. He's also had former customers come to see him to ask questions because they have no one to go to when they have a problem. And despite the fact that they are no longer customers they feel free to come in and pick his brain about their coverage or whatever the issue is. Hummm. Makes the case for shopping locally doesn't it?

Well he is incredibly patient with people and usually answers their questions. But at the end of they day he wonders why his time isn't worth something. And I think the extra money I sometimes spend on buying something in a local store (like the very expensive lasagna pan I bought one day last year) is worth it because its an investment in having our shops full and active and having a healthy downtown here in East Hampton.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Local

People keep encouraging me to shop with PeaPod, which is an online option that delivers groceries to your door. And I keep resisting.

Well, I certainly see the advantages. I love the idea of someone else carrying all those bags into my house for me and I love the idea of browsing the website to think about what we need or want in the way of groceries. But I have reasons for not doing it.

First of all, I was raised in a family that has a business in East Hampton.  My mother did her best to shop locally for everything she could because the feeling was we should support the other local businesses the way we hoped other residents supported ours. Makes sense to me - and since we still own a local business that still holds true.

Then there is the fear that I'll actually spend more money shopping where there are so many options - I avoid large grocery stores for that reason. Impulse buying is one of my great weaknesses.

And at the end of the day when I'm thinking about this issue, I do what I always do in thinking through dilemmas: I ask myself what the end result would be. By that I mean, what would the end result be if everyone shopped for groceries online?  And this is the conclusion I come to: all the local grocery stores would go out of business. Then suppose at the last minute I run out of bread or milk? Or I'm having a dinner party and realize I don't have the spice I need for a certain dish I'm making? And there is no local grocery store to run to for that item that's needed right then and there. Right now I can walk to a grocery store and be home in 10 minutes. Somehow shopping online isn't such a good idea anymore.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Breezes

There is nothing quite like the cool breezes of the seaside. I thank my ancestors every year at this time for coming to this end of the island to make their home. I hve no idea what brought them here or why they decided to stay - it was many generations ago now - but I'm very happy for whatever reason it was. Because I love living by the sea.

Last week there was a small heat wave here in the northeast and there were 3 or 4 day over 80 degrees most every where. But whenever I watched the weather I took great comfort in the inevitable line that always came: "Highs in the 80's except on the eastern end of Long Island along the shore where highs will only reach the 70's".

Ah yes....and again I tip my hat to my great, great, great grandparents who in their wisdom came here and helped establish this place. How lucky am I?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stacking time

This is the beginning of the crazy time around here. For whatever reason, June, July and August are the busiest times of the year, with the possible exception of the Christmas season.

I have to live with my calendar close at hand. It seems as though every day I am stacking up the appointments and meetings and every evening its the same. I rarely have a night at home. In fact, when I tried to find a time to schedule a meeting of a group who will plan a cancer fundraiser for October, I could not find a time in June to do it Yikes!

And so it begins, this busy time of the year and I'm trying to adjust to it. I need to gear myself up mentally because I'm already feeling a little overwhelmed, and this is only the beginning.

Hold on tight world, here we go....

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ticks

Well the season of ticks is here again and no one is happy about it.

Every year seems to bring with it a new threat from those nasty creatures and this one is no exception. Now it seems that the lone star tick bite can give you a red meat allergy. Now that's not the worst thing in the world - after all there's plenty of fish and chicken out there - but when you begin to think about the meat products in food, and the way meat comes into contact with so many things (like the scrambled eggs made on the same grill at the hamburgers at the local luncheonette) it does become difficult.

We've lived with ticks here on the East End for our entire lives so they're not the kind of things we go off screaming in the dark about - we calmly remove them, we save them in tape, we do what we need to do to deal with them. But they are becoming more and more a real pest here and I wonder where we are headed. Is enough research being done on how to deal with them? Is there a vaccine around the corner for Lyme and the other things they bring us? Where exactly are we in the fight against these creatures?

Well one thing I know for sure - I'm getting my yard sprayed for them this year.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Weather


The past few days presented us here with the near perfect weather on the East End.  It was warm but not oppressive and the humidity was low enough to be bearable. We had a wonderful breeze that keep us cofortable and able to enjoy the sun.

I accomplished a lot in those few days - I planted my outdoor summer planters, I cleaned out another drawer in my bedroom, I organized a few things, and caught up on some much needed clerical work. It was a good few days. Yesterday the temperature dropped a bit and now its even more comfortable than it was before.

I like this kind of weather. I'm not looking forward to the humid days to come in July and August. So I'm just going to enjoy these nice days while they are with us and not think too much about the heat to come. Best to live in the moment anyway!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Twins

I'm so fascinated with my twin granddaughters. I thought after having four children of my own I was pretty much an expert, although having four certainly made me aware of the fact that when it comes to children there are always surprises and we can never predict what they'll do, but spending time with these girls is a new adventure for sure.

I think the fun is in having two children who are exactly the same age, side by side, for comparisons. I remember way back when my own were babies and I was always trying to remember things like at what age the others crawled, or got their first teeth, or pulled themselves up to a standing position. I had been through it but it was a few years earlier so it was not easy to remember the little details. Even so, I did feel as though I was a bit of an expert.

But now I have these two little girls around - and how different they are! One is very active, one more passive. One is crawling, one just content to sit and watch her sister. One smiles easily, the other is more circumspect and wary. Different physically and different in personality. Since they are not identical twins they are like every other set of siblings, unique in every way.

It's nice at my age to experience new things and still enjoy new discoveries. Learning is a lifelong occupation after all.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Paradox

Last Monday when we celebrated Memorial Day we had the family here for the usual afternoon cook-out. There were hamburgers and hot dogs from the grill, potato salad, fruit, green salad, and of course ice cream and brownies for dessert.

I was thrilled to have the family all together, three generations of us eating, laughing, and playing in the yard. And I was struck by an interesting phenomenon: despite having most of my family here and enjoying it tremendously, I found myself thinking about my daughter's family living in Pennsylvania.

It reminded me of the scripture lesson from the Bible about the 99 sheep who return to the fold but the shepherd focuses on the one that's missing. He goes out into the night to search for the lost lamb because each one is special to him. And so it is with our children.

Once we have our family and raise them to adulthood, the gathering never seems complete without all of them present. It's rather like a jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece - clearly not whole and looking a bit strange until that final piece is found and put into place.

Its a bit of a paradox really - being surrounded by love and yet feeling sadness over that missing piece. Somehow I think our hearts are alot like that jigsaw puzzle...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Seasonal

This is an odd June for us. We have no wedding, no graduations, and no other big celebrations of any kind this month. We have a few things on the calendar but its not too packed...yet...

I love June. The weather is usually really nice, less apt to be hot and humid, and the crowds are not too bad yet, at least during the week. As long as kids are still in school the summer crowd goes home on Sunday and comes back in Friday, which means we have the weeks to ourselves. I like that.

We have a great aunt who died a couple months ago and they are having a memorial service for her this month. I'm trying to figure out if I can get there or not - its way upstate New York where my mother's people are from, so its not an easy trip. It means hours on the road in both directions so it will take most of the weekend to accomplish. But she was the last of my grandmother's siblings and I was fond of her so I'd like to be there, both to honor her and to re-connect with her family.

June seems to be a time for family and friends. And so it goes.