Saturday, February 28, 2015

Centered

There are times in our lives, at least in mine, when there is no question we are in the right place at the right time, doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. It doesn't happen all the time, and sometimes they are brief moments of clarity about our paths.

For myself, I find those moments don't happen often. They happened when I was a young mother having beautiful babies that I knew were going to be amazing adults. It happened when I was elected to public office in 2000. And it happens sometimes when I'm with my grandchildren.

I call it being properly centered. And for me, its very easy to be slightly off center. Not lost and not wrong, but just not...quite....there....

I want to be centered all the time. I love the feeling of being where I am supposed to be. But its not easy to accomplish. I'm hoping to get back there very soon...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Labs

I spend a lot of time in labs these past few years. Once you've been diagnosed with a serious physical issue, the visits to labs never seem to end, and just this week I go again to let some lovely lady (and they are always ladies, aren't they?) stick a needle into my arm multiple times to dig around inside hoping to find my elusive veins. I'm really so over it!

My veins have always been difficult to access. When we went to get our marriage license (remember when we used to be required to give blood to get those?) I thought my husband-to-be might pass out watching the lab technician trying to get blood out of me. He's become accustomed to it over the years, but I never have. I hate giving blood. Needles by themselves are fine, but the digging around once they are inside puts me over the edge.

Anyway, I have become a bit of an  advocate for myself, telling every technician that I encounter that I am difficult to access and they need to gt their best person to do the deed. I used to be too shy to make the request, but no more.

Of course the request has limited success anyway.For some people it seems to be an ego thing, or they look at it as a challenge. But I know better.

One the nurse in pre-op was smart enough to say "I'm going to let the anesthesiologist do this one!" and when that wonderful man got the needle in the right spot on the very first try I told him how good I thought he way. He smiled and said "Sometimes its better to be lucky that good".

Now those are words to live by right there....

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Giant snow

Yesterday morning I woke to a surprise. Although it shouldn't have been based on this winter. But snow had once again covered my windshield and all the walkways so it was time, once again, to do what in a normal winter I only need to do a few times but this winter seems like a weekly chore: clean off my car.

Out came the scraper, off came the ice. Out came the broom, walkways cleared. It was a very fine, light snow that was easily pushed aside and for that I was grateful!

But the nicest thing was this: when I left the house all the trees and structures were still covered with this new layer, but the wind was blowing a little and suddenly as I was sitting at the traffic light looking across at the sheep fold by my house, a breeze took new snow from all the branches and sent it flying through the air. It looked like giant snowflakes in action and the entire green was magic for a few wonderful seconds. I could have been in a Disney movie, it was so pretty! This was the magic of winter and I was enjoying it, forgetting the scraping and shoveling that preceded it.

There are magic moments in every day if we simply care to see them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

More sunshine

Despite the way everyone has been complaining about the weather this winter, we have had some beautiful, sunny days lately. The sun is always welcome and it is especially so in the winter.

The winter sun has a way of making the winter landscapes sparkle with beauty. The fields and the rooftops absolutely glitter in the light of it, and it bounces off every snowy surface, illuminating the world like a Christmas tree.

Sunshine lifts the spirits and brings us life. And it helps us smile on the coldest days. Right now it brings us hope. Because it reminds us that life is good. And every winter ushers in a spring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Differences

I'm always amused by the differences between people. And this weather is really highlighting those differences.

Social media is the perfect place to study people and their idiosyncrasies. They post their thoughts pretty freely with little regard as to how those thoughts might be perceived, I think. And I spend a lot of time wondering what they're trying to say. For instance, with this very harsh winter weather, there are many posts from people who live in warmer climates. They post the temperatures where they live, or talk about going swimming, or express their delight at living where they do. And I wonder who what's behind their posts. Are they saying "ha ha on you!" Or are they saying "if you were as smart as I am you would live where I do" or are they simply expressing the thought that for every cold temperature there is one that's hot and that's not always fun either? I certainly don't blame anyone for loving where they live-I happen to think I live in one of the great places on earth. But is it more than pride? I don't know. Sometimes it's very "in your face" and not nice at all. But none of it bothers me really, because I happen to love living here where the weather is cold right now and you couldn't pay me to live in Florida, or Texas, or any of the places where the air conditioning needs to be on in February.

The ones who live in the Carolinas I do envy a little, because I like their temperate winters. But then again, in August you can have them.

Of course it truly is the differences that make the world work. I'm more than happy that everyone doesn't want to live here! So....viva la difference!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Messy

So we had mild weather yesterday. We had slush everywhere. The sidewalks and driveways looked as though a snow one truck had dropped its contents everywhere, with icy, runny stuff covering every surface.

Then last night the temperature dropped again.

And now the world is once again an icy mess. My back stoop, the driveway, the sidewalks-everything is a sheet of ice. There is danger lurking wherever you look!

This is the most dangerous of times for those of us who live here on the East End. We need to step carefully when we leave our homes lest we suffer the consequences of this danger: broken arms, legs, wrists, ankles-and serious head injuries. I may be a bit paranoid, but I rarely take my eyes off the ground when I'm walking out there.

But Spring is right around the corner.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wash

Today we're supposed to get a good washing. The rain is coming.

This has been one of the strangest weather patterns I can remember in a very long time. We've had cold winters, we've had sub-freezing temperatures, but this stretch of extreme cold and snow is pretty unprecedented. Records are being set everywhere in the country. Even Florida is feeling the chill.

The whole issue of global warming seems amusing right now. Not that I don't believe it's true - and there are people who don't - but it seems odd that the we're talking about it when the bay's are frozen over and Niagara Falls is covered with ice.

I know this pattern cannot last much longer. And of course Spring is right around the corner. But right now, this is an odd time. Today it will rain. Who would expect rain to be so welcome?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sleep

Back in November I was able to throw away the last empty bottle of prescription medication that I was given as part of my Cancer treatment. Once the surgery and chemo were over, the prescription became my regimen for the following five years. And that five years came to a blessed end.

One of the side effects of this particular medication was insomnia. It became a way of life for me. At least four nights out of every week would find me tossing and turning in bed, or simply giving in to it and watching tv downstairs under a blanket. It just was my "norm", the way I lived, and The way it had to be. 

But now, I am sleeping soundly for the first time in a very long time. And just as being sick and feeling terrible made me appreciate my good health, I have a new gratitude for the blessing of sleep. There is nothing quite like waking up after a good solid night of sleep. That feeling of renewal and well being is unexplainable. But I can pass along this thought though: If you sleep soundly throughout the night, be grateful. It's a small blessing that's easy to take for granted.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Temperatures

People are spending a lot of time complaining about the temperatures this winter. It's becoming not a bit of a boor, honestly, but more than that its had me thinking. Because for me, once the temperature crosses the "cold" category, it all feels the same to me.

Last week the thermometer jumped from 15 to 30, then down to 5 and 3, then back up to 20 -every day was different and every day was cold. But the only thing that made it feel really really cold to me was the wind. As long as the sun shone and the wind lay down, I was comfy and warm, well dressed for the cold. But then the wind whipped up, and even on one of the higher temperature days, it felt as though it was the coldest.

All things are relative, or so they say. I can appreciate that. But hopefully I won't even notice the Mercury hovering down in the lower ranges. Because if I'm busy enough, all I'll know is that it's winter...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Puddles

Yesterday I enjoyed seeing puddles everywhere.

These past few weeks the temperatures have been so low that very little melting has happened. We have piles of snow everywhere, still needing to climb over icy patches on walkways and roadways, and yesterday the sun was shining rightly and the temperature climbed up into the high 20s, which felt downright tropical in comparison.

As I drove down the road there were puddles along all the shoulders. At the end of my driveway there was a puddle where the melting now was running down my driveway. There were rivulets of water coming from my back walk and flowing into the driveway. Everywhere the sun was touching was slowly melting.

It will take weeks for all this snow to melt. Not as many weeks as it will take in Boston perhaps, but ti will be awhile in any case. So seeing even a little progress is heartening. I don't want to worry about getting from my car to the grocery store and its nice to have clear paths to get around those big white piles when necessary. Puddles are progress. And it's a good thing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sleep

 I find my emergency services work is becoming more and more difficult as I inch toward retirement age.

Two weeks in a row now I've gone a night with little or no sleep because of ambulance calls. And my body and mind are fuzzy and sluggish, and I remember longingly how easy it was back in the day to lose a night and bounce back fairly quickly. Now I feel as though I haven't yet recovered from last week's long night and now another on top of it. Wow - I'm a mess.


I suppose that's why people retire when they hit their mid-sixties. I can see the reason, believe me! I'm not a person who likes to be inactive though and can't imagine not being busy. But perhaps there are some things I just won't be able to manage forever. At least not for my lifetime. It makes me sad, but at the same time living long enough to experience anything at this point is a blessing so I shouldn't complain!

I know there are contemporaries of mine out there who are much worse off than I. People in heavily physical jobs who cannot work the way they used to, from carpenters to roofers to laborers. I'm not sure how they do that kind of work as they get older. But I also know that some people deal with things better than others too so maybe there are people out there who hardly feel their age.

Then again I really think there is a reason that God sends us children when we are young. Only youth can overcome things like lack of sleep and the physical demands of little ones. At least not for the long haul! Tonight I'm looking forward to a blessed night of uninterrupted sleep.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chill

This has surely bee the coldest winter in my recent memory. Not that that's saying much, since my "recent" memory seems to get shorter and shorter as my life gets longer and longer. But I really can't remember a year when it has been this cold for this long.

Oh I can remember bad snow years. One was 1994 when I thought winter would never end. But this kind of cold, with temperatures in the single digits for days and weeks on end, well I cannot remember anything like this before. But I know it happens here because I've been around long enough to hear tales of frozen bays and walks across the ice to Shelter Island. In my father's time those things happened and it seems they will again. After all, its weather and that can be as mysterious as anything, right?

I love curling up inside my house in front of the fireplace on these cold winter nights. Unfortunately I'm on ambulance duty tonight. I can only hope for a night at home in my house....

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunshine

No matter what kind of bad weather, a hurricane, a blizzard, or simply a wind storm like we had yesterday with white out conditions at times from the blowing snow, there is nothing quite as wonderful as the bright sunshine that follows the next day. And today its here.

The world is sparkling everywhere I look. The sun is bouncing off all this newly fallen snow and the day is as bright as an August scorcher - but not as hot and humid! It is amazing out there.

It's hard not t feel good when the sun is shining. I don't care how much snow fell, or how much wind blew, the world is beautiful when the sun is shining and it makes optimism an easy concept to grasp.
Something about every cloud having a silver lining, as my grandmother used to say.

They are calling for more snow tonight.We shall see what tomorrow brings. But whatever comes our way, as long as the sun shines the next day, it's all OK with me!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

White

It's a white world out there and I am not sad to see it. Not because I enjoy the snow and ice, although I do love the beautiful world that snow leaves behind, but because I was getting tired of the dirty piles of snow along the roadways. You realize how filthy cars are when you see what they leave behind in their wake.


This may be a stay-at-home day due to the weather, but we'll see how bad it is. Hopefully things will not be as dire as predicted, as is often the case out here on the end of the island. But we do seem to be in a pattern of weather that hits us worse than those west of us, but perhaps things will die down quickly here and we'll be left with a dusting.

Well, it is what it is and there is no point in complaining about the weather. As I always say, its one of those ways that God reminds us who is really in charge.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love

Today is Valentine's Day and it's the perfect time to tell people how much they mean to you. I have to say, the friends and neighbors I have here in East Hampton mean the world to me. My family will always be the most important thing in my life. And even my friends from afar, through Facebook and blogging, have a special pace in my heart because they make me feel cared for and supported i so many ways. When people take the time to tell you they are pulling for you when you go through tough times, it touches your heart.

We are, as humans, so in need of each other. So on this Valentine's Day I extend to you all my warmest and most sincere thanks for being there. I hope everyone is as blessed as I am.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vacation

Today will be the start of the winter break at the local schools and many people are leaving on vacation. Not me. I prefer to travel when everyone else stays at home. It's so much easier that way.

So many people head south for this week in February that reservations have to be made many months in advance and plans are set in stone for a long, long time. I find that hard to do. In fact, in the past I've been disappointed when long-range plans had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We did it for our trip to Disney World with the family last October and the planning and coordination that went into that was mind-boggling. I was sure someone would miss it all due to illness or scheduling and the fact that everyone made it there and we all were healthy throughout the weekend was a bit of a miracle to me. I think perhaps it was divine intervention.

Well I am planning a trip overseas in May and I'm already nervous about what could possibly go wrong. It just isn't my usual form to plan so far in advance and I wonder if it will all happen. Perhaps it will go off like clockwork. One can only hope. And I don't want to be a pessimistic person. But I do worry.....

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Freeze

We are in an interesting weather pattern right now, with the deep freeze in effect over much of the United States. This weekend they are predicting the coldest temperatures yet. I actually feel sorry for people who are in the south for their winter vacations because even there they are struggling with very cold temperatures. Well, not what I would call cold, but certainly not the tropical numbers that people want to vacation in!

I simply come home at night and turn on the gas fireplace and curl up in a corner of my comfy sectional with a faux fur blanket. In the middle of the winter, when the thermostat is busy regulating the house and the wind is howling outside, its just the perfect place to be.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Walking

I finally broke down this week and bought some things to slip over my shoes for traction on the ice. This stuff is killing me!

Honestly you take your life into your hands every time you step outside. Until it melts the world is not a very safe place! The other night we went out with friends to dinner. We got into their SUV to drive to the restaurant, and the car had no running boards to climbing in was tough enough. But getting out was a real treat. I had to slide myself down over the seat toward the ground, hanging on for dear life to the inside of the door frame, and try to find solid ground to land on. Since my driveway is still about 5 inches think with ice, this was no small feat! I found the ground fine but being able to stand on it without sliding further out onto the solid surface was more difficult. I had to get my bearings and feel confident about letting go of the car, lest I end up in the nearby garden, now covered in a drift of snow. Not easy!

So I took some one's advice and bought something called "yaktrax" which are contraptions that you slide on over your shoes and they consist of a web of heavy elasticizes bands which are dotted with the circles of stretched-out metal springs, which are supposed to dig into the ice and stop you from falling. I hope they work. I'll advise later....

Monday, February 9, 2015

Growing up

I was thinking last week about how quickly my grand kids are growing up and suddenly had the thought that maybe it's about time I did as well.

There are things about each of us that we bring from our childhood that I don't think we ever let go of. Sometimes they're good things, but often bad: hurts, slights, prejudices, notions - all things we need to outgrow if we are ever to meet our full potential.

I've been doing a lot of retrospect these past few days and am trying to nail down the things I need to grow out of. Some are easy to pinpoint - others not so much. They become so much a part of who we are we sometimes forget where they came from and ignore the need to rid ourselves of them if we are ever to progress in life. I am making a list.

Of course recognizing and dealing with are two different things. But I think first comes the list. Then we'll think about the next step. Sometimes acknowledgement is the biggest step of all.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Rain?

Today is a toss-up weather wise and I wonder what it will bring. But in the meantime I've been enjoying the landscapes around the village that have been created by the snow and ice.

Home Sweet Home looks like a picture post card with snow on the bushes and icicles coming from the roof. The bays are frozen and full of ice in spots, although probably not safe to walk on. It is a frozen tundra and beautiful to see, just not fun to be in. It has been cold out there all week!

We are not used to this kind of weather here on the East End. Snow in these amounts are record-setting and difficult to deal with. We don't have the equipment or the man power to handle it and every municipality is struggling to get walkways cleared and sight lines safe again.

But there is beauty in the winter and I don't miss it. I love the stark beauty of the cemeteries with their gray stones sticking up through the white snow. I love the ice on the harbor and the way it makes the water look so serene where water meets icy build up. And there is beauty in the bare trees, dusted with a shadow of white or dripping with frozen run off. It's not to be cursed but enjoyed for what it is: God's hand at work.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Skating

The whole village is like a skating rink.

The rain that we always get following our unusual snowfalls makes for a sheet of ice everywhere you look. Across from my house on the green it looks as though it were a skating pond and I'm tempted to try it out. Not that I can skate - I never could really - but I'd like to see if it would work!

Sadly its a treacherous thing to venture out into this kind of world. Getting to my car means holding tightly to whatever I can reach because the ground beneath me is as slick as can be. I worry about falling and take all precautions to prevent it - and I worry about the elderly and frail who have a more difficult time getting around on a good day.

The temperature today should help a bit but then we drop into the freezing zone again. I can only hope this too shall pass!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Melt

Today the melting began.

Oh it was melting before, when the rain was making a slushy mess out of things. But today the sun was shining brightly and trails of water crept out onto the nice dry roads, and I saw the gravel of my driveway for the first time in days. A week actually.

We still have a long way to go. The snow is piled high everywhere and my driveway is barely wide enough to get into between the plowed up white stuff. I keep backing into the pile at the end of my driveway whenever I try to back around and go out raving forward. It's a wonder I haven't lost the license plate yet!

Tomorrow that are calling for more snow. And snow showers are predicted for more than a few days in the next week. As long as it's only enough to cover the black and brown areas I don't really mind. After all, it is winter!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February

February is the shortest month of the year and that never makes me sad. Because as much as I enjoy the quiet months, February seems the most dull to me. I'm not sure why because we have a number of things on the calendar to keep us busy, but somehow it just seems like the equal to the dog days of summer. We are ready to have them over.

When I was in school we had two holidays in February - the 12th (Lincoln's birthday) and the 22nd (Washington's birthday) but those two occasions were combined sometime in the 1960s if memory serves me right, and now we have "President's Day" And the schools have made full use of that, turning it into a week long break in the midst of this dull month. Well that makes the kids happy, but it doesn't do much for the rest of us. Work continues for the rest of the world in February, with the exception of one long weekend. But soon enough, it will be over.

Because February soon becomes March, and then we are celebrating Easter, and suddenly the crocuses are out once again. Life continues to move along and February will soon be yet another memory.

And its all moving entirely too fast....

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dripping

We are into the dripping now. Dripping from the snow banks, dripping from my car, dripping from m my roof - and occasionally the sound of a big chunk of stuff falling onto the back deck. Yesterday we listened to the sounds of melting snow all afternoon as we did projects around the house or sat and watched tv on our day off. And a trip to the grocery stsore showed lots of melting snow rolling down into the drains that dot the curbside. Today it looks like rain all day so the melt will continue. At least for now.

I'll be happy to get rid of some of the dirty layers of snow. Today is babysitting day for me so I have no need to venture outside at all. And I'm more than happy to stay inside my warm cozy home while the melting continues out there. Of course ice is always a distinct possibility as well, but we'll deal with that when and if.

Melt on I say! Melt on!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Yuck

So now the yuck factor has set in. All the snow along the roadsides is dirty, dirty, dirty! I hate the ugly black snow that's covered with dirt from the road. Ugh!

Tonight we may get more snow, which will nicely cover the dirty stuff, but also add to the mess. I'm not sure whether to hope for a few inches or pay that it heads north of us! Won't matter I suppose - what will be will be. I don't mind the snow but ice is another issue so the sooner this stuff melts off and leaves the better on that front.

Tomorrow may bring more mess, but best just worry about today. What is it the Bible says? Don't worry about tomorrow because it may never come? True that! Today is here - I think I'll make the most of it. And tomorrow we'll deal with tomorrow.