Saturday, January 31, 2015

Slow down

I love the way everything has taken on a less frantic pace since the snow storm. It seems as though everyone had taken a deep breath and just made a decision to slow down. Well, most people anyway. There are always those few on the roads that cannot stand not to be going the speed limit - or more - anytime they're out driving. But generally, everything seems to be slower and more gentle these past few days.

If helps of course that there was no school for a few days. And that many people were stuck in their homes, not yet plowed out and not able to move far. It reminds me of when I was a child and winters were very calm and slow around here. I don't mind it really - its a nice change.

In fact, I'll be sorry when the usual pace returns and life begins to crank up. At this point the excuses are over and everyone needs to get back to work, to school, and to regular life. Sad, but its been a really nice little vacation from reality for just a few precious days.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Art

I am enjoying the artwork that is a secondary feature of any good snow storm. Because once the snow gets deep enough to cover everything in sight, a new world emerges from the winter landscape.

On my back deck I see a mound where a ball is buried beneath the white stuff. My chair and table vignette that I created by the back door for the winter looks as though its been covered in the white batting you use in quilts. And passing by other yards I wonder at what it is I'm looking at: undulating forms and obelisks of white. What hides beneath those interesting shapes? Suddenly the ordinary becomes extraordinary and I can't even put a name to some of the things I see.

Snow is the great equalizer. We are all suddenly at the mercy of nature when it is happening. And when all is said and done every tree, bush, toy and chair is all of the same cloth - and its white, white, white....

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Drifts

The wind really complicated things in this blizzard of ours. Because when you get upwards of 30 inches of snow, and then the wind blows it into drifts, what you have are mountains. And we have mountains.

Last night we ran down to Amagansett for a quick dinner. The roads were slushy and messy, but the most amazing thing was the mountains. Between the drifts and the piles left over from the plows, it wasn't easy to navigate. Pulling out of the parking lot meant trying to see over piles about 8 feet high. Walking down the sidewalk meant walking through a tunnel-storefronts on one side and 8 ft piles on the other. It was fun because there was no one around, but it was a good thing. There was no place to park on the street-piles of snow lined either side. It was a winter scene through and through, but not one we see often here on the East End.

This has been an interesting week. And it's not over yet. They're saying we may get a couple more inches tonight....

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blizzard

Well it doesn't seem like much of a blizzard - just a regular old fashioned snow storm! Overnight it blew plenty but no trees down and no power outages so far. I think there is about 15 inches of snow outside my house but the drifts are much higher. The back door is "drifted in" but we'll make an attempt to get out a bit later when it all starts to wind down.

We were lucky here - much like with Hurricane Sandy, we were spared the worst of the predictions. With no lines down and no power outages people can safely stay home and allow the crews to clear the roads.

It's winter in East Hampton and its beautiful out there. I am going to make hot chocolate and coffee cake and just enjoy the break from normal. Not a bad day...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rush

So the rush is on. We are supposed to get about two feet of snow tomorrow and the general public is in a panic.

I went to CVS yesterday and wondered why it was so busy. Then I saw that people were buying batteries by the dozen. How many batteries does one need to get through a storm?  I mean, why is it everyone runs to the grocery store? I understand a mother who wants to make sure she has enough milk for her kids, but why do older people run there like they're facing Armageddon? Yikes!

Well we may be home all day tomorrow. And perhaps some people will be snowed in for a few days. But I doubt anyone will be left to starve to death in their homes. But maybe I will run to IGA this morning for some popcorn....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weather

Well the weather yesterday was nothing to write home about. We had a little snow but most of it was washed away by day's end. Now we have a frozen mess of what was slush out there to work around today.

Today is a pretty day with nice cloudy skies, but Tuesday looks to be a bad one. At this point we have blizzard warnings and they are calling for 1 to 2 feet of snow. I don't mind too much but it will change my week since I probably won't be getting to work on Tuesday, which means I'll need to go in on Wednesday instead.

I'm watching it carefully.I don't like a lot of snow because I don't have decent boots and I don't like ice, which is the inevitable follow-up to a lot of snow. It melts, refreezes, melts, refreezes, and so it goes for a couple weeks. Oh well - it is winter! And it looks so pretty when it covers everything in sight...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snow

Thursday's snow was really gorgeous. It was my favorite kind of precipitation - bit fat flakes that took their sweet time falling to earth, just slowly coming to rest on things. It wasn't a lot of snow and all I had to do was turn on the windshield wipers to clear my window in the car, but it was pretty and I wished I lived on the water or in the woods to see it there. I can only imagine how pretty it was.

Today we're supposed to get some kind of storm but even yesterday they still weren't sure whether it would be snow, rain, or a mixture of both. Even the most sophisticated computer models can only guess at the future weather and as good as they are, we never know for sure out here on the East End exactly what will happen.

I'm on ambulance duty tonight so I'm pulling for rain. Or at the very least that it be over before I go to bed. I don't enjoy ambulance duty at this time of the year. Too cold and with no garage too labor intensive just getting out of my driveway on stormy nights. I'm crossing my fingers for this one, and hopefully in the next 8 weeks I'll get by without being on duty another stormy night. But pretty, fat, lazy snowflakes like we had on Thursday are welcome anytime.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Landscapes

I always enjoy the winter landscapes. hey are hauntingly beautiful, especially in the early morning and late afternoon when the light is faded and bare trees dress the horizon with their scraggly forms and black branches.

I love winter. I know that goes against the norm and most people are longing for summer. And its not my favorite season because autumn and spring are certainly ahead of it when it comes to my affections. But I enjoy all the seasons for different reasons and this one, this winter season, is special because of the landscapes, the solitude, and the way we bundle up against the cold air. I love layering on the scarves and hats, coats and sweaters. I love sitting in front of the fire drinking hot chocolate or eating comfort food. I love the way our homes become our refuges from the weather and we snuggle in when it snows, barely caring what goes on outside our windows as long as its warm and comfy inside.

These may be the dark days, but they are beautiful too.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

History

One of my favorite Facebook pages is one where people who grew up in East Hampton post memories, photos, and ask questions about people and places. I've learned so much about how different my friends' and neighbors'  memories are from mine.Here we were, growing up within a mile of each other, and their lives were remarkably foreign to me.

I grew up in the village. We didn't picnic in the woods or ride sleighs on frozen Three Mile Harbor. We never had clam bakes on the bay or collected whelks for stew. Our activities largely centered on the ocean and our back yard, as well as church picnics and community events. I think those who lived in the outer parts of the town learned to create their own community and made their own fun while ours was often easier to attain. It was almost a "city mouse - country mouse" type of dichotomy.

Then there were the village dwellers who rented their homes in the summer and spent their warm days in their "camps" on the harbor or Gardner's Bay. We weren't lucky enough to have that experience and I regret that. It truly had to be the best of both worlds, summer on the water and winter in the village. What a dream that would have been for any kid growing up in East Hampton!

I enjoy seeing the photos they post and hearing the stories of East Hampton when life was simpler and there were still undeveloped acres of woods and places to access the water. It was truly a magic time to be alive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Precip

We really have not had any significant snow yet on the East End. We had a dusting once, and we may have another tonight, but nothing to write home about.

This weekend they are watching a system coming our way that could change all that. Typical of the weather here, it's hard to predict whether it will be rain or snow. We seem to always have the line of demarcation hovering over us and never know exactly what will happen. In this case it could be rain, but it could be snow, and we'll know soon enough.

Saturday we will have more of the same, again not sure whether snow or rain. Being that I'm on ambulance duty Saturday night I'm pulling for rain. I hate having to clean snow off my car at 3 in the morning.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

TBB

Yesterday was another stellar day here on the East End and a nice day for a holiday. The village was cray busy all weekend and I think the stores must be pleased because shoppers were out in full force.

We also celebrated our youngest grandchild's birthday yesterday. His actual birthday is today, but with the kids off school and his parents off work it seemed like a good time to get everyone together.

This child is a sweet one, with a wonderful temperament and quiet disposition. His father was similarly wired as a baby but made up for it years later. I wonder if this little guy will prove to be an equally challenging teenager.

He was named after my husband so most everyone calls him "Teddy" but that's confusing to me since its what I call the older version, sand I am still trying to find the right moniker for him. Various things have been floated, some of which do not meet with his paraents' approval, but so far nothing has stuck with me. Since his middle name is "Booker" I thought that might be a good start, but that hasn't fit the bill either.

Perhaps by this time next year I'll have settled on something. But in the meantime on this special day I wish Theodore Booker Borsack a very happy birthday and the wish for many, many, many more....

Monday, January 19, 2015

MLK

May we all remember - on this day and everyday - that we all have dreams. And everyone deserves the same opportunities to realize their dreams. Pray for a world without prejudice and without any of the things that divide us. Pray for peace.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday

Today is the second day of our three day weekend but today the weather will not be so nice. They're calling for heavy rain and I predict the movie theater will be crowded with all the weekend visitors looking for a place to spend their Sunday afternoon. We'll be here at home as two of the grandchildren will be here all day. We'll do church this morning and maybe lunch at a restaurant but then we'll be home with them, looking for a good movie to watch and making popcorn to snack on.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday

It is really cold here today. Beautiful! But cold.

We are in the deepest part of winter now, halfway through January and looking at another two months before the weather will break. But today was the kind of day I love, with lots of sun and beautiful blue skies.

The streets are busy here in Bonac, as is always the case on holiday weekends even in January. I ventured into the commercial area only once, to run into Ralph Lauren Kids for a birthday gift for my grandson, and was able to grab a spot in the 15 minute zone. Parking was at a premium.

I love shopping in the local fancy stores when the sales are on because the bargains are amazing.  I can buy things at Target prices but with the high quality of the expensive things. I found a couple really nice piece for him at 75% off and that puts them right in my comfort zone.

I went in to shop with only a sweater and gloves on and it was really hard making the walk to and from the car. But I hate being in stores all bundled up and getting warm while waiting for  help. So I went underdresssed, but it was fine. I walked quickly to and from the car! And came home with beautifully boxed and wrapped gifts for a bargain. It was a beautiful day!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Issues

There is something about the winter that brings out major issues around town. It seems as though every winter there is something that gets people riled up, whether it be tall electrical poles or the deer population, and it all comes to a hear in the winter.

I am thinking perhaps people are too busy during other parts of the year to give much thought to other things. Spring clean-up, summer social schedules, fall clean-up - they keep us so busy for all those months you know? But in the long, dark months of the winter we have time to mull things over. We have time to write letters and make phone calls and we have time to think about things like the noisy truck in our neighbor's driveway that starts up at 6am every work morning, or the way the helicopters disrupted our meals during the summer. And we have time to register our objections.

People think this is the slow time of the year. But really its not. Because everyone has time to get involved in the winter.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sun and ice

I love these sunny days when there is ice on the pond and the sky is bright.

Winter does not bother me as long as the sun is shining. The world looks gorgeous in the winter sun. Ice sparkles everywhere and the sky is a pretty blue. Everything looks pretty no matter what the temperature and spirits remain high.

I don't mind the occasional gray day - after all it is winter. I especially don't mind them when I can curl up by the fire and knit to my heart's content. But the sunshine is what makes the winter bearable.

Today is one of those days. It's lighting up my house with its bright afternoon beams as the sun sinks slowly into the horizon. I'm not sure what tomorrow holds, but today is a beautiful winter day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Social?

I am interested in the name "social media".

I have lately come to the conclusion that there are many problems with trying to communicate through email, facebook, blogging, etc. It doesn't have to be this way, but the problem is people have traded face-to-face communication with computer or cell communication, and its not the same. M children, for instance, will send me texts and then wonder why  don't know what's going on. How do they know I got the message when I don't always even have my phone with me? I don't know about other people, but sometimes I like to just jump in my car with nothing to hang on to, so why would I want to be carrying a ell phone? And sometimes it needs to be charged. And it is not my primary form of communication!

And facebook - well - yet another example of  a poor way to send messages, especially invitations! I can't even begin to tell you how annoying tat is because every time I need to check details I have to find a computer and look it up rather than go to y fridge and check the invite hanging there by a handy little kitchen magnet.

But worst of all is the use of any of these forms of communication for important things that can be rife with misinterpretation. No one can read sarcasm or vocal inflection into the written word and there is so much opportunity for mistaken interpretation.More anti-social than anything in my book.
I am really hungry for simple phone calls.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Photoshop

I wish I were better at printing out and displaying photos.

It seems as though it is much simpler to do photos than it used to be, and yet I don't seem able to manage it. Somehow it was simpler to drop off my film at the photo shop and, wait the week for them to be developed, and then bring them home to discover what I had.

Now it seems more complicate because I have to upload them from the phone or camera into the computer, then to a site to have them developed. Then the arduous task of looking through the many, many shots to choose what is worth developing, because we take far more now than we ever used to, knowing we don't have to pay for anything we don't want to. (Remember getting an entire roll of film back only to discover they prints are all black?) Somehow it takes more time and work to do all that than it used to take to just let the store do it.

Sometimes technology, as wonderful as it i, can really get in the way. Give me an old fashioned phone any day. Sometimes all I really want to do is make a simple phone call.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January

It seems as though we are nearly half way into January and I can barely believe Christmas is over. The holidays flew quickly by and now it seems as though the winter is going to do the same.


It amazes me how quickly time is passing now that I'm my age. Here it is my later years, when I would expect time to slow down a little as I no longer have small children to keep me busy and my time is more my own. But it hasn't happened that way. I'm as busy as I ever have been, my life is full, and I love all the things I do, but sometimes I wonder if my schedule is making time move so quickly by. I want to slow it all down a little. Not to the point of being boring, but to where I can sit back a little more often and watch the world go by.

There's a fine line between being busy and being active. I want to be active but I don't want to be so busy I can't enjoy my life. How do I find the perfect balance? I haven't quite figured that out... yet,

But I am really working on it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Town Pond

When I heard that they were skating on Town Pond I must say my heart did a little flip flop. I wasn't surprised, because the temperature has been below freezing for nearly a week now, but I hadn't passed to see it so I hadn't thought about the possibility. Skating on Town Pond is magic.

I seems to me that skating is one of natures gifts for living in a cold climate. When I read diaries from East Hampton history there are many references to sleigh rides and skating parties during the long winter months. In some ways it seems as though they actually had more fun in the winter than in the summer. The had sleighing parties and dances and they had no problem having fun even in the coldest months of the year. So when I see skating on Town Pond I am transported back to another era in time and I can imagine my ancestors skating on that pond just as I had when I was young.

We are in for a few more days of very cold weather so I imagine Town Pond is going to be busy. I will be driving by as often as possible.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Brrrrr

The entire country has been in a deep these past few days and I must say I haven't minded. I know many people hate the cold but I honestly don't. I'd rather put on the layers to warm up as opposed to dealing with the heat that is impossible to escape. But I do not like the wind.

Night before last the wind was howling outside out windows. It was noisy and it sounded pretty hard to get away from, so I was thankfully ensconced in my cozy home and did not venture out into it at all.

By yesterday morning it was still a bit windy but the temperature had risen as well and I bundled up for heading out. But the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day and I honestly didn't care. Once I was at work the snow started to fall and it looked quite beautiful from my office windows. It's January and the weather reflects that fact.

East Hampton is beautiful in the winter. Many of the Christmas lights are still up and they reflect off the bright white precipitation when it gathers on the ground. And every little saltbox house and split rail fence looks like something from the past and I expect to see people walking around in top hats or bonnets and big wool.capes.

It must have been difficult to survive the winters in East Hampton 200 years ago, although diaries from that era refer to sleigh rides and dances that make me think they certainly knew how to feed both body and soul in the coldest months.

I would love to go back and visit sometime.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Aging

One of the saddest and most difficult thing about aging is watching our contemporaries suffer from the physical and mental effects it has n us. This week we learned of a classmate who's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and another with cancer. And that is hard to hear.

I also lost my dearest friend this year to cancer and my son-i-law lost his father. It seems as though we are pretty vulnerable once we hit middle age and it not only scares us, it saddens us. Because I think most of us would rather be gone ourselves than be the only one left. The spouse, the friend, the sister or brother - losing them brings us one step closer to being alone.

Of course we have younger family members, whether children or nieces and nephews, but its not the same. Once our contemporaries are all gone we are alone in our world of memories and history. It's a sad place to be.

Well - none of us know the time or day we'll leave this earth, and I'm grateful for the extension I've been granted. As long as I'm healthy and active, and not alone, I'm very glad to be here,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Snow

There was actually a little snow on the ground when I got up yesterday morning. Not much, just a dusting, but it looked pretty.

The real shock was the cold. I don't mind cold when I can dress for it, and there was no wind, so it was OK. But what I don't like it when we have to go into store and get heated up n all those clothes. I had to go to the grocery store and as I stood in line waiting to check out I began to get warmer and warmer and before long I was puling off the hat, then the scarf, unbuttoning the jacket, etc - trying not to work up a sweat just standing there. I really don't like that aspect of dressing for the winter weather. It's like walking into a frigidly cold air-conditioned building in the summer when you're dressed in short sleeves and cotton and a little damp from the walk, only to feel as though you're standing in a walk-in refrigerator waiting for hypothermia to set in. Not fun!

Well winter is here for the next three months at least so we need to adjust to it all. Layers are always the key and I'm getting into the mindset now. It ma be cold outside but inside its cozy and the fireplace is delightful. Not to mention dinner with friends in a cozy restaurant while the wind howls outside. Winter has its delights and I appreciate them all!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stuart Scott

I never watch ESPN. I mean, I may be occasionally passing though the channels and stop to see something being reported, but this week I learned who he was as his untimely death was announced. And I was saddened by the loss of this extraordinary man.

He was a skilled broadcaster for sure. I watched many clips of his work in the many tributes that have been on TV since he died. But what struck me as his great strength was the quality of his character. The speech that he gave when accepting an award this past June was incredible. He talked about how we beat cancer by the way we live our lives and the quality of the life we live. And that's how we defeat cancer at the end of the day. 

We're all going to die. We know that. But he's completely accurate when he says that the way we live our life is what will live on beyond us, not how we died or why we died.

I wish I had known Stuart Scott


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Blank pages

So the house is cleaned, the holidays are over, and my calendar is full of blank pages. I love that!

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't have any obligations. It means that I haven't taken the time yet to fill in the blanks. I need to rite in all my regularly scheduled meetings which are monthly or weekly, and I need to take out y appointment cards and write those all in. And then there are the birthdays and other special dates to remember. Well, you get the idea. I love to think of the calendar as being empty, but in reality its not - it just hasn't been written down yet.

The freedom that those empty pages represent is not real life, but there is something about seeing them that makes me feel fresh and new and as though I'm starting all over, filling in my days with the things of life. Which I am. But its not "routine" yet. Its a new year - a new beginning!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Image

I've always had a love/hate relationship with my body. From the time can remember, back to about 5th grade, I've struggled with my weight and always felt like the fat girl in my class. At the same time I loved thee fact that I could sing, that I had nice hair, and everyone always complimented me on my eyes when I was young, so there were things I liked. But the negatives always outweighed the positives.

When I got married and started having children I learned to appreciate my body in a whole new way. I made a baby! Not only did a child grow within this body, but I could nourish it after it was born and keep it healthy. I had four uncomplicated pregnancies and nursed those babies through their first years. Amazing!

Then in 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer. In that year I learned to love my body in a whole new way. Because I learned about the battle within and how it was fought not only with surgery and chemotherapy, but with my own body's system. How can you not be in awe of that?

For the past years I haven't concentrated enough on my body and it good health. I think I fell into the "If I'm going to die of cancer why not enjoy what is left and eat what I want?" way of thinking. But now, six years after my cancer year, I think maybe I'm going to beat it and now I want to take better care of myself. I want to feel good in my 80s if  get there. I want to save my knees (which are already not doing well and I know less weight  on then will help!) and I want my cholesterol to come down and keep my heart healthier.

Yes, there are image issues in my life. But at this age, where image in not quite as important as it used to be, I think its time to concentrate more on health and less on image. Its not about what I look like anymore its about how I feel. And that is actually a relief.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Routine

Now that I've adjusted to the quiet of the house, I'm beginning to take stock of the year ahead and make some decisions about my priorities.

Soon I will be leaving a part time job which I've had for about 18 months now. Not because I don't like it but because I really have been stretched pretty thin doing it. It has affected my ability to answer ambulance calls, to take CME classes, to do many of the things I used to do and it has caused me some stress trying to get everything done.

Change of life issues are never easy as we are all creatures of habit. I look forward to having more free time but I dread the loss of income and the joy I got from contributing to someone on some level. I have always enjoyed the jobs I've done, feeling as though I was helping someone and sharing my abilities in some constructive way. So leaving every job has always been sad to me.

But I am ready to start a new year with new priorities, including a concentration on my health. Its time to get serious about that I think. Here's to 2015 and all the good that can come from it.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Games

I love it when my daughter's kids are here because they love playing games. Not the electronic, video game type games, but old fashioned board games like Sorry and Monopoly. And I love playing them too.

This is one of those areas where I think I was sold a bill of goods when I married my husband. He came from a big gaming family and I expected him to have the same fun playing them with me as he did with his family. But there seemed to be some sort of bait-and-switch thing going because he does not want to play games with me. He is addicted to the television in the same way many people are addicted to their video games, and I am left to knit or play on my laptop while he watched yet another show I really don't care about seeing.  So these times when I'm with the kids, I love having a good night of board games.

Maybe if we found another couple to play cards with it would help. But so far that hasn't happened. Years ago, when our kids were living at home and we weren't able to go out in the evenings much, we did have card games here with friends. But it hasn't happened in years. Maybe its time to rethink that habit. I wonder who plays pinochle out there....

Friday, January 2, 2015

Quiet

The house is incredibly quiet.

Not long ago my daughter pulled her car out of the driveway with her three kids and the family dog inside. It is the end of 10 days of fun here at our house. Fun, and craziness. It is a bit like a cyclone when they are here, with toys and clothes everyplace you look and the floors barely visible for days. If there aren't shoes or legos covering it up, there are bodies stretched out on it. It's crazy, and its wonderful.

There is life here when they arae visiting. And its not just because they are in the house. It's because the house is full of energy not only from them but from the rest of the family that tends to settle here when they are in residence. Yesterday they began arriving at 10am and by the time the last of them had left at 7:00 we had run the dishwasher five times. It was noisy, it was loud, and it was wonderful.

Now the house is quiet again. I have plenty to keep me busy

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015



Wishing you a blessed year in 2015
one free of unpleasant surprises and full of joy!