Monday, September 30, 2013

Last

Here we are - the last day of September - and my how its flown! I think because Labor Day was so late in the year we've barely gotten used to the summer being over and suddenly here it is - October!

I love October, but at the same time I could use another week in September. It seems as though I've only just pulled out the sweaters and can hardly adjust to the temperature change. I'm not complaining - I'm loving the weather, which has been unusually gorgeous here on the East End. If I could fine a place in the world where this weather lasted throughout the year I think I might consider living there. It's the best of both worlds - warm days and cool nights - and I get to enjoy my sweaters and jackets along with the tee shirts. No need for winter coats but no need for air conditioning either. You've got to love that!

So here we go now into October. Pumpkins, gourds, dried cornstalks, indian corn - they're plentiful and colorful in this, the harvest season. I see apple picking in my future. And maybe some chili in the crock pot...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fundraising

I've noticed that now the summer is over the locals are coming out of the woodwork to support local charities. Recently I was approached to buy tickets for two dinner coming up - one for the local Rotary Club and another for a nearby church. And why not, I'm thinking? What could be better than eating with other community members and donating to worthy charities at the same time?

This town comes alive in September. I laugh when visitors wonder what we do out here when they leave. It reminds me of the people who are shocked when they learn we grew up here. There seems to be this perception among latecomers that nothing really happened on the East End until they arrived. And those who come to visit in the summers seem to believe that once they leave we wither away and die on the vine. Little do they know that this is the time we come alive here.

So we'll be attending some spaghetti dinners and pot roast suppers in the next few months, enjoying the fact that we are a small community that takes care of its own.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Robes

Another thing that this time of the year highlights is the glory of a nice warm bathrobe!

Again, my husband never uses a bathrobe. Sometimes I wonder where he came from. Because in my world bathrobes were an essential part of one's wardrobe, and I still have a variety of them for every season.

Nothing feels better to me than to come home for a long day, eat dinner, and get into a warm bathrobe to settle in for the television. I can curl up in the corner of the couch and luxuriate in the warmth of flannel or velour. There's nothing much better than that.

And of course first thing in the morning, when the air is this chilly and its hard to get out of bed, that robe is a gift that keeps on giving, wrapping me in warmth and security and keeping me warm while I get ready for the day.

I think I need to go shopping for a nice warm bathrobe....

Friday, September 27, 2013

Combos

There are some combinations that are just too good to pass up and one of them is happening right now. That would be the combination of chilly weather in the morning and no need to get out of bed.

Yesterday I didn't need to get up as early as usual. No work to go to, no volunteer position to fulfill, no one expecting me anywhere until after 9am - that does not happen very often! I've been getting out of bed most mornings at 6am so this was a real treat.

Combine that with the fact that the morning air is downright cold these days! And snuggling up under the comforter with only my head out in the fresh air - well there's nothing better than that. Even after I'm wide awake, lying in that bed, all cozy and comfy, it's the best.

I know not everyone feels that same as I do - my husband, for instance, jumps out of bed as soon as he wakes in the morning. He has no desire to stay in bed and linger in that place between sleep and full consciousness. He wants to get up and go, and he always does. But I'm perfectly content to be perfectly lazy...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Premiers

This week there are lots of new premiers on all the television channels and we've barely been home to see any of them. I remember which all those fall premiers happened in the same week, on all the channels, and if you missed any of them, oh well! But not anymore!

Technology is a wonderful thing in the case of television. Not only can we record multiple shows at the same time, we can also see shows we couldn't record by going to the "on demand" section of our cable offerings. We've not only caught up on known shows that way, we've discovered new ones and been able to watch multiple seasons. Sometimes a Saturday marathon is all it takes and is the perfect way to spend a winter weekend. I love it.

My one issue is that technology is not my forte and I can't easily navigate the remotes and the many options. I am hoping things don't get any more complicated than they already are or I'm doomed. Because I'm barely hanging on as it is now.....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hectic

This has been one of those crazy periods everyone has in their life every so often. We've had to empty out a house for a rental and have been selling furniture, meeting people at all times of the day to let them take things away; an elderly friend is in the hospital and my husband has been trying to make arrangements for live-in help for her; I have a big event in two weeks that I'm trying to get ready for; and all that one top of our usual busy schedules. We are a bit overly committed at the moment and feeling as though a good vacation would be a blessing.

Life is hectic. And most of our vacations are taken at home. I often dream of cruises and slow trips through European cities or countryside. Maybe a drive through Ireland. Or a place on the beach in Hawaii. At this point about anything would be a wonderful break.

Well - its not to be - but no one can stop my fantasies and those I have in abundance. This week I'm taking little mind trips to a cabin in the mountains near Tennessee. Next week I think it will be a cruise through the Panama Canal with a cabin that has a veranda where I can sit outside in solitude and get room service if I'm hungry. Ah yes - the mind is a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesdays

Tuesdays are busy days for me. I get to the hospital at 7:30 for my two hour volunteer stint. Then I drive to Sag Harbor to work for about 5 hours, getting home late afternoon tired and ready for a night at home. Sometimes I have that but sometimes I don't. Tonight, for instance, is my monthly ambulance training and meeting so I won't be home until 9:00 or so, and at that point I'll head right to bed. So Tuesdays are long days for me.

Occasionally someone suggests to me that I should give something up. Like my hospital volunteer time. But that's hard for me to do. And here's why:

One of the things I do while I'm volunteering is transport patients from their rooms on the second and third floors to radiology for testing. I find the patients enjoy seeing a non-medical person and often comment about volunteerism and how much they appreciate our presence. I always assure them that I enjoy doing it, which is fairly accurate. I do get tired from all the time on my feet and my feet, which give me a lot of problems, always ache for hours afterward. But here's the thing: last week I was taking a lovely, elderly lady down to radiology. When we were in the elevator I leaned against the wall beside her, which I often do, so we could talk face-to-face instead of me being behind the patient while they sit in the wheelchair. Anyway, she looked up and me and could see that I was visibly sweating and said "You look like you've been working hard! Maybe I should be pushing you and you should be in this chair!" We both laughed and then I said "I bet you'd like to be walking, wouldn't you!" to which she replied "Yes, I certainly would".

I took that very short conversation with me all week and it was the thing that allowed me to keep the proper perspective on life and on my own existence. I am lucky to be alive, to be well enough to walk, and push a wheelchair, and work hard enough to sweat a little...or a lot!

And that's why I don't mind Tuesdays at all...

Monday, September 23, 2013

People

People are funny you know. They sometimes puzzle me and others completely confuse me.

I've been working at a new job that involved typing up minutes for someone. As someone who was the daughter of a teacher and then trained by a professional writer, I pride myself on my ability to edit and correct punctuation and usage as I work. I could work as a copy writer or editor and I think I can hold my own in the English usage department. I can still diagram a sentence and conjugate verbs.

So I was surprised when I typed up some minutes recently at my job and in the course of it all made minor corrections in terms of capitalizations, punctuations, and usages, knowing they were correcting some small, overlooked things which are easily done when hand writing minutes in a meeting. I thought I was doing the person a favor so she would not have to make the corrections herself when she saw them in the typed minutes. Wrong! She sent them back to me with all the minor changes corrected to match her original writing, mistakes and all.

Well, I suppose perhaps she was insulted by my attempt to help, which was not the way my assistance was welcomed in my last position where I did the same thing. Different people, different reactions. Well - live and learn. I suppose if she wants to present her minutes with grammatical errors that's her prerogative, but if I were in the same position I think I'd welcome the corrections.  But I know better now.....

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvest moon

This week we had a "Harvest Moon" which I think is the full moon closest to the harvest time. And it was quite spectacular for sure. The skies were clear all week and every night was a light show - big, full moon shining brightly and  clear skies alight with the stars as well. It was a beautiful week weather-wise and the harvest moon was the icing on the cake.

I enjoy the cool nights and sleeping has been a pleasure. Waking in the morning when the covers feel so good pulled up under my chin is perfect. But colder days are coming and soon it will be winter so each day is to be treasured for the pleasure it affords. No heavy coats yet - but they're waiting patiently in the closet. They know they'll soon be put to good use.

The kids are back in school and days are busy. I hope we find time for some apple picking this year - I enjoyed that a lot with the kids last year. Perhaps if I promise an apple pie they'll all come running - worth a try any way!

The harvest moon has put me in an autumnal mood and I hope I don't have to leave it for a few months, at least.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Equinox

So autumn is here - soon - and whether or not its official its been feeling like fall for a week now for sure. After a short heat wave last week, its been cool and comfortable and I love it.

Now - time to clean out the closets. And drawers. And turn over summer and winter clothing. And then, time to pull out the throws and heavy comforters. And take the air conditioners out of the windows.....

I suppose one of the great attractions to living in a warmer climate would be the fact that things don't need to be "turned over" every few months. Between putting away the outdoor furniture and making the inside warm and cozy, it takes weeks to make the seasonal changes. If the weather were the same all year, think of all the time we'd save!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Temperatures

The weather has cooled considerably and this time of year we never know quite what to do. Do we take the air conditioners out of the bedroom windows? Do we put the storms up? Do we put the heavy comforter on the bed? It's a tough call because some days its quite chilly but then it warms up and all those sweaters and jackets are quickly discarded in favor of short sleeves. I prefer it once we know where we are and I can put the linen away and trade out the long sleeves for the short.

I do love autumn and in a very short time it will officially be here. I love the lack of humidity, even when its nice and warm out in the sunshine. But certain temperatures are still uncomfortable for me, whether its age related or medication related I'm not sure - but I prefer the high 60s to every other area of the thermometer. And at this time of the year, it tends to hang around that area nicely. I'll take it, thank you!

September and October are the "shoulder" months - that time between the weather extremes that we experience in summer and winter. Even November can be lovely here on the East End. It's the kind of weather that makes me want to go outside and move around. No more couch potato here!

I'm content in September and I look forward to the weeks to come. It's a good feeling.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prejudice

A friend recently blogged about the divisions in our little town among various people groups - "upstreeters" and "below-the-bridgers", for instance. He felt that (and perhaps rightfully so) the divisions were based on economic factors, as well as race in other instances.

It's an interesting discussion to me because I grew up completely ignorant of any racial or economic divisions.  Of course I saw economic diversity in this town but it was more in terms of seeing the huge mansions along the ocean and realizing we were not rich like those people - but they weren't really part of "us" anyway. They were "from away"! We lived in a large house, an old Victorian that was built by my great-grandfather in the 1800s, but it wasn't fancy and we didn't live high on the hog. We saved for things we needed, we worked for our allowance, and we didn't eat steak very often! We never went hungry but we were not rich by any means. (I remember when my parents first put down wall-to-wall carpet! Wow-now that was something else! No more bare floors! We were taught to treat it with care and make it last.)

I'm not sure why, other than the fact that my parents were not prejudiced people, but even in school I don't remember being aware of such things. In fact, when I was in high school during one of the most divisive time in our nations history, the late 1960s, I was puzzled by the news reports at night about the civil rights riots, sit-ins at high schools, moratoriums, etc. What was the problem, I wondered? I had attended school for all my life with kids that I considered friends and they were black - why did these black people on television seem to hate white people? I was blissfully ignorant of the trials and tribulations the black community dealt with in other areas of the country. I didn't get it at all.

That's not to say there wasn't racial or economic discrimination in East Hampton - or that there still isn't, for that matter. But it does say something about our school system that it wasn't evident to me. And it says something about my parents whom I never head utter a slang term for anyone of another race. I lived in a bit of a bubble I suppose. But it was nice while it lasted.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eye sight

This whole issue of having to have some sort of glasses with me at all times is really getting old.

I have to use reading glasses to read. I have glasses to use at work for the computer. And I hate them.

I started wearing eye glasses when I was in the fourth grade. So its not as though this is new for me. But when I was in high school I spent my summer working money on my first pair of contact lenses, which were expensive and a real treat at the time, not like today when everyone has them. My father thought they were a waste of money so there was no way he was going to buy them for me. But they changed my life. No more walking into the house on a cold day, or opening the oven door, to have them fog up and suddenly be blinded completely. No more being called "four eyes" or having to wear special guards when I played sports in gym class. I was able to feel normal and I loved those contact lenses, suffering through months of pain and discomfort to get to the place where I could wear them everyday with no problem. It was well worth the trouble.

So now, after all these years, to constantly be looking for a pair of glasses for the simplest of tasks is annoying. Just one more of those things that age has gifted me with - deteriorating eyesight. Sigh....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Routine

Routine can be both comforting and exhausting. I love having a break form it all and yet I love getting back to it as well.

It reminds me of the whole school thing. When my kids were little I so looked forward to their summer vacations! I was anxious to get rid of the strict schedule that the school year inflicts on us and love the ease of the summer with the freedom to let them go to bed late and not have to worry about homework and lessons. I would long for June by the time April rolled around and rejoice on that last day of classes.

But then, by the end of August, I was suddenly looking forward to the new school year again. I was tired of the long summer days when there was no need to be anywhere or do anything special. It was good to finally be back into a time of rigidity and order. And so it is in life I suppose. We always look for the greener grass, but more than that, we need regular change in our lives. We need to do other things, experience different worlds, explore new places and have new adventures. And we also need order after we've had our chaos.

We are odd creatures we humans. Always looking for something different, but then reverting to the tried and true. Routine.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bonac

It's always good to be back home in Bonac, as they say. Of course the true Bonac is in The Springs, but the meaning has become more inclusive of all East Hampton in recent history so we use the expression "back in Bonac" meaning we're home. And that's a great place to be.

I enjoy traveling and I love visiting with my family from out-of-state. But I also love being home. I love having my own bed, my own bathroom, my own kitchen where everything is where I expect it to be and I don't have to search through cupboards, and I love being able to settle into my very own couch with a blanket and pillow for a simple night at home. Nothing is quite like your own space.


I think a lot about that these days because I have an elderly aunt who has to be in full time care so she's been out of her own home for a few years now. In fact, her home has been sold and she will never be able to go home again. She longs for her home and I sympathize. I can only imagine how hard it would be to have to live in someone else's space. She is still grieving for her house and I totally get that.

I hope never to have to be in a similar situation. I hope, like my mother, I am able to live out my life in the comfort of my familiar surroundings. But if not, for right now at least, I am enjoying the fact that I am home, where I love to be, and as much as I miss the people I left behind, I'm happy to be back where I belong.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Super indeed

Being from the East End of Long Island means I have had very little experience with Walmart. We don't have one too near us, the closest being in Riverhead and that one being a sad imitation of the real thing. But here in Pennsylvania its an eye-opening experience to shop in the new "Super Walmart" only a few minutes from my daughter's home.

First of all the place us huge. I think I seriously might need a cart to get around it in a few more years as my knees continue to deteriorate. It's hard to see from one end to the other. One side is groceries, the other everything else, so there is really no need to go anywhere else for anything I'm thinking.

I have always been able to find anything I'm looking for at this Walmart. Need to get a gift? No problem! The gift, the card, the wrapping paper - all in one easy location. Need postage tape? Or dishes for your house? Maybe baby items like a crib or diapers? They have it all under one roof.

I love it. But I also hate it. Because were they to ever want to build one near East Hampton it would take up the better part of a farm field.  And I'm not sure the price is worth the trade-off. But it is indeed. a super store!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Peeps

One of the things I love most about this time of the year is the appearance in the stores of jack-o-lantern peeps. Yes, that's right, peeps.

I have loved those little sugar-coated marshmallow confections since I was a child and every year I anticipated two times when I know I could once again enjoy them: Halloween and Easter. At Easter there were cute little chick peeps, bright yellow and totally delicious. Then I would wait patiently for Halloween when the big jack-o-lantern peeps would appear, all orange and black and  totally yummy. I think the long wait and the anticipation build-up was part of the attraction because the first time I saw either of those things in the grocery store shelf was a special day for me.

Things have changed in the peep world for sure. Now those chicks come in so many colors its hard to keep track of the all, and they can also be found in the shape of bunnies at that time of the year. They also make an appearance shaped as Christmas trees as soon as Thanksgiving is over. And in addition to those cute little pumpkins, there are ghosts to be had in peep form.

Someone none of them ever taste as good to me as those little yellow chicks and those orange jack-o-lanterns. And every year I wait patiently for then to arrive. I bought my first little box of peeps for Halloween this week. It's been a very good week....

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shopping

I love shopping in Pennsylvania. Of course, shopping anywhere is probably better than on the East End of Long Island where we live, but Pennsylvania has special charm.

Years ago I did quite a bit of shopping through catalogs. There were no stores way out on the island that carried my shoe size or my dress size or things for my kids. We didn't have a Macy's or an A&S where I could shop for the family. We had to drive over an hour to get to a mall or plaza with shopping opportunities. So I used catalogs. Of course that's improved by the Tanger Outlet Center in Riverhead now and we can shop closer to home, but for charming, fun little shops full of things I can afford for my house or myself, Pennsylvania is great.

My daughter lives about 40 minutes from Lancaster, which is, of course, the outlet shopping center of the universe! Well, at least the northeast. And I can find plenty of places to shop there for clothes or toys or furnishings for my home. But in addition to that this area of Pennsylvania is chocked full of cute little non-corporate shops that I love to browse around in. I can always find something I want or need, and almost always come home with some treasures found in these little places. Oh the joys of living where rents are cheap and land is plentiful!

This has been a fun week of exploring and shopping. I'll be going home with birthday gifts, a bridal shower gift, a wedding gift, and perhaps even some Christmas presents. And just maybe, a little something for me as well....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mental weather

The weather this time of the year makes me feel a bit mentally unbalanced. One day its chilly and I'm in a sweater and socks. The next its 80 degrees and I'm pulling out the linen pants and shirts. September is such a crazy weather month!

Just last weekend it was gloriously cool and comfortable. I love the temperature in then 60s - up to 72 or so - and I like to throw on a light jacket of sweater to ward off the chill. But then earlier this week it was too hot for jeans again and I was miserable in long sleeves. Since I was going to PA for the week to stay with my daughter's family I had to pack as though I were going to another climate somewhere because I had no idea what I would need! I threw in some linen, some cotton, and some sweaters and sweatshirts too. I'm not quite ready for flannel shirts but the time is coming.

I'm actually happy once the change is complete and I can store the summer clothes away for awhile. It's the constant change - and never knowing how to dress when I leave the house early in the morning - that makes me crazy. And a little mentally unstable. Soon, I tell myself. Soon....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9-11

It's really amazing to think that its been so many years since the devastation of 9-11. I've recounted my memories of that day before so there's no need to repeat those, but now I can just simply be amazed at the time that's passed since that awful day. Life goes on and none to slowly at that.

I drove over the Verrazano Narrow's Bridge last Sunday on my way to my daughter's in PA and, as always, I looked back over my shoulder to look at the place where the twin towers stood. It's been a sad reminder to see that empty space there and think back on that time when our innocence was lost to terrorists right here so close to where we sleep and eat every day of our lives. But this time when I looked back I saw the brand new tower that's standing in that place. I've seen photos and I've seen it in process over the years, but now to see it in person, complete with spire on the top - well it was a sight for sore eyes. It made me proud to be of a people who will not allow a day like that to knock us out. To be part of a people who say whatever you throw at us, we will stand back up again and be ready for the next volley. Because we believe in the ideals of freedom and we will not allow anyone to take that belief away from us.

It was a good thing to see that tower on this, the week we remember what was there, and the price paid for that freedom. The Freedom Tower - a perfect name.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Deluge

Last week we had a major deluge when the rains came down so hard and so fast the drain systems could not keep up with it. It was really something!

I happened to be at work in Sag Harbor when it really started coming down hard. And a few hours later I had to head back to East Hampton in the results of all that rain. Roads were flooded everywhere. Traffic was crawling in spots, and in others some reckless drivers were flying into the water willy nilly and making it difficult for everyone else as the wakes they caused washed over the rest of us. Annoying and dangerous.

Its so interesting the way something as important and essential as rain can become something so destructive and dangerous. All things in moderation, as the Bible tells us. So much wisdom in those words! Words to live by, indeed!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall clean-up

It is fall clean-up time for sure. The lawns , the patios, the inside of the houses - everything needs to have the spider webs swept out and the weeds pulled, the dead wood cleaned out, and dust collected. Dead branches need to be pruned back and growth trimmed. In a few short weeks the patio furniture will be piled up and covered with tarps and for another season, we move inside the house.

It's this time of year that makes me feel the need to clean the house more than spring does. I think its knowing that we're living within these walls for the next eight months makes me want them to be clean and bright and "liveable". I want the bathrooms scrubbed and the bedrooms dusted and all the screens and windows sparkling. This is the dream.

The reality is I never have time to get it all done so I'll do the most essential things and hope to get those closets cleaned out and that junk room emptied before the dead of winter.

Last spring we cleaned out our attic and it was a huge burden off my back. It needed badly to be done for many years and now it feels liberating to have it finished. I want to have that same feeling about the other horrible areas of my house now. It gives me impetus but it is also overwhelming. I miss having children around - that built-in work force that came in so handy for so many years! Often it was a game for them and tackling these kind of cleaning jobs was fun. Not anymore.

It's fall cleaning time. Yet again. I'm going to try....

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Road

Today I'm riding along with my daughter as she returns to PA after our family wedding yesterday. I never look forward to the trip, but I am excited about seeing the kids again after many weeks apart.

I also look forward to hours in the car with my daughter because I find the car a perfect place to have conversation. It used to be a wonderful thing when my husband and I traveled because we would talk about the future, about our dreams, about all the things young people talk about. Now, after all these years, I'm lucky if I can get him to talk about anything. More likely he's listening to some awful talk radio show and I'm trying to escape in my mind, knitting away and thinking about all the things I wish we could talk about. It's not fun doing road trips with him anymore. Thus, I'm looking forward to this trip - a nice change of pace for me.

I also find that in general, women are better at conversation than men. We tend to talk more about important things and less about the surface things that men discuss. We care about relationships. They talk about sports. We discuss family and issues surrounding our lives. They talk about work and sports. It's not the same thing. I think talking about anything important makes them nervous, I don't know, but its a frustrating thing especially as we get older and have no one else around to talk to. When the kids were home I always had someone to talk to about the things that mattered to me! They may not have cared, but they listened! LOL

So off we go today leaving the spouse behind to hold down the fort here at home for a week without me. I look forward to the break and I look forward to the time with the kids. A little vacation from life...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Housework

I really hate housework. Have I mentioned that before? Maybe a few times. But I really do.

I'm convinced that I was born into the wrong family. I was meant to be born into a family that could afford help around the house. I think someone whose job it was to keep my house neat and clean would be the greatest gift of all. In fact, were I to win the lottery, the first thing I would do is hire someone to come in everyday and pick up, neaten things, and keep every surface shiny and clean. Because I do enjoy a nice clean living environment - I just don't like the work that goes into creating one. And its not even about enjoying it - its also about time. I just don't have the time to keep things as clean and neat as I want them to be. And over a period, things deteriorate at a startling pace and as they deteriorate, I become less and less likely to tackle them. It's such a vicious cycle!

So the real answer is household help. Now how exactly do I manage to get that?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weddings

This weekend one of my niece's is getting married. It's especially fun because its happening here, locally, so no travel is involved, and I'm looking forward to a fun time.

I was thinking the other day about how events like weddings take on such a different meaning as we get older. When we were young it was all about the party and the celebration. Now its more about family and friends.

It seems that the older we get the more we value time with the people we love. Its not that we didn't enjoy it before, but somehow that time becomes more precious and we savor the moments when family gathers. We love watching them interact - cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc - and we don't want to miss a minute of it.

So this weekend will be all about enjoying the moment. Making memories. Enjoying life. And that's just the way it should be.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Renting

This is the third summer that we've been landlords in the summer and its given me a new appreciation for all the people here who do this year in and year out for a long time. It's a pain in the neck!

Here's what we experienced with one of our renters this year: They wanted to rent the house for Labor Day weekend - Thursday through Monday. Fine - it was open so we were happy to have someone there. We negotiated a price, and they were insistent that it be all-inclusive and without a security deposit, which my real estate friends tell me is crazy. But since it was the last weekend of the summer and things had been going so well I figured why not. The day before they were to arrive they sent an email: would it be OK if they came in late the night before? Well technically that's another night, right, so they should be charged for another night. But....no one was there so the place was clean and I said fine. They must have thought I was a real pushover.

We get our first phone call on Friday. One of their kids had failed to keep the shower curtain inside the tub and now water was coming through the ceiling in the living room. We were gracious, kids will be kids etc, and told them to just clean up as best they could. Then Saturday the next email came: the pool heater which had been working fine was no longer working. Could we do something? We had the pool guy stop and he said he couldn't fix it. About 5 messages later we agreed to try to get someone else in to look at it and indeed we did, but couldn't find anyone. It's Labor Day weekend! Sunday they were still asking to get the heater fixed. Mind you the pool reading was 82 degrees Saturday according to the pool guy. Too cold for them! They need it fixed. They planned to stay through the next day (since when is check-out time not noon?) so they needed it warmer! Oy vey.

We ran into neighbors of the property Sunday evening and they mentioned that the renters were certainly enjoying the pool! They'd been in it all weekend and all day Sunday - apparently making a lot of noise! Hummmm.....guess the temperature wasn't all that bad now was it?

Renters. Phooey!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September song

I always feel like singing when September rolls around - it is, I think, my favorite month. It's in close competition with December and May, but since we're here now, it's winning.

I am already enjoying the easy left hand turns in the village and the ease of shopping at CVS. And in another week, when all the kids are in school, it's really going to be wonderful around here. Streets will be quiet and  stores will be empty. Weather will be warm and comfortable and humidity should be tolerable. Yes, September is a great time of the year to be in East Hampton.

I'm using this time for a little catch-up too because the summer has been incredibly stressful and busy this year. I want to get things together at my house - cleaning out some spaces that are badly in need and sorting through the things that have collected over this very busy time. Fall cleaning is much more evident in my life than spring cleaning ever has been. I will be looking through my calendar to plan out the next three months so my Christmas shopping is complete and the holidays are simple. And once I get my mind organized and settled I can enjoy these coming weeks of perfection.

My September song won't be melancholy or bluesy - it will be about joy - because that's what September is for me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life again

Or, life back to normal again. If there is such a thing as normal. I sometimes wonder. I mean, maybe "normal" is really "abnormal", right? Maybe "normal" means there is no consistency at all!

So life has been crazy for a few weeks. It seems as though we have these periods where things are calm and simple and then for a few weeks everything is going at hyper-speed, hard to even take it all in. But...like I said...maybe that's normal! Maybe that's just my life - I don't really know. But I do know I need a break.

I envy people who have vacations to look forward to. I love it when I am at a meeting and the date of the next meeting is announced and someone immediately announces "I'll be in vacation that week so I won't be able to attend." How lucky are they anyway? An excuse not to do anything, really, because you're "away". Or if not "away" then at least pretending to be.

I know there are people who have what they call "staycations" where they take a week off but stay at home and do nothing but relax. We could never do that here. There are simply too many tasks needing to be done and too many job to handle to actually sit in the midst of them and ignore them. No, time off around my house means doing projects, not resting. In fact, I'm not sure we even know how to rest.

Well, for whatever its worth, life is about to get back to "normal" around these parts and I welcome that. I would welcome a vacation even more.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

I wish Labor Day still meant what it is supposed to mean: all those who labor are allowed to rest! When did it happen that stores stayed open and people need to go out and "do" things?

What can't we have a day when all stores are closed, including drug stores and grocery store, and everyone gets to stay home and enjoy a day with their families? Is that asked too much? I seem to remember that it wasn't all that long ago when everything was closed on Sundays, and guess what? We managed! We planned around it. We bought our groceries at different times. We coped! What's wrong with us now?

Well - whatever the reason I suppose there is no going back. I'm sorry for all those who have to work and wish you could all stay home. I wish you had toe day off! And for me - I'm staying put, right here in my house, where its quiet and calm and all the traffic is heading west only a few dozen feet from my. It's a great feeling.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fireworks

Last night we went to the fireworks at Main Beach. They used to be held July 4th but since the endangered piping plovers have taken over they are now held on Labor Day weekend, when the birds have fledged. I like it on Labor Day weekend.

Many people complain about the move because July 4th is the proper time for a celebration. but as someone who has lived here forever and who endures the summer every year, celebrating Labor Day seems so much more appropriate to me anyway. So I'm happy to celebrate now - we are getting our town back to enjoy in this, the most fabulous time of the year. September - hooray!

So off we went to Main Beach to watch the fireworks with the family. For us that means packing the eight adults and six children into three cars and parading up Main Street to Ocean Avenue. We'll unload the cars, climb the stairs, and wait with the rest of East Hampton for the first rocket to be fired. And when it is, I'm instantly ten years old again, lying on a blanket on Main Beach, watching the fireworks with all of East Hampton, listening to Tony Cangiolosi "oooh" and "aaah" as each one rises to the sky and then explodes into a shower of light. How he would love the fancy ones they have today!

There are some things about East Hampton that are timeless.