Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The end

So today is the end. The end of the month, the end of the season, the end of a record breaking year. The winter of 2015 will wine for the record books and most people are happy to see it end. I am not one of them.

I love the Spring. I look forward to this Spring - to sunny days, to beautiful flowers, to a planned trip - so much to look forward to. And yet, the winter was beautiful. And I shall miss it. I'm glad to have good things to look forward to. Because every end has a beginning. And tomorrow is the beginning of April, a really lovely month.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pizza

I remember back when I was a kid and pizza was a luxury item. Can you imagine?

My parents rarely had pizza when I was growing up. When they did, it was like a secret. Usually we were already in bed. I can remember smelling that heady aroma from up in my bedroom and longing for a taste. I'm not sure I even knew what it tasted like, but I know I wanted to know! On Sunday nights they had another couple over to watch "Maverick" on television, and they often had a pizza together. We were put to bed early. I can't blame them really because there were four of us kids, money was tight, and take-out of any kind was rare. Pizza was their treat for a long week of work and responsibilities.

But how different things are now pizza is so commonplace and so cheap comparatively that everyone has it on a regular basis. When our kids were little Thursday night was pizza night-my break from cooking for six. I imagine to my parents that seemed pretty decadent since we didn't have much money then either. But now, with at least four pizza places within a short drive, it's not quite the rarity that it was in the 1950s.

Pizza a luxury. Still makes me smile.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Perfect

Yesterday was a perfect snow day. It was beautiful to look at, it snowed all day with those pretty, fluffy snowflakes, and there was nothing to show for it when all was said and done. Because the warm weather we've had these past few weeks had pretty much melted everything that had been on the ground, and the surfaces were warm enough that everything falling melted immediately. So for a day of snowfall there was nothing to show. What could be better? No problem driving, doing errands, getting things done. But it was lovely to watch.

Now that Spring is officially here we can safely say we won't be buried in snow again this season. We may have snow, but it won't last long. that's the glory of Spring.

I'm ready enough for daffodils and hyacinths to make their debuts, but I still can enjoy the beauty of a perfect snow.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fluff

It's snowing out this morning and it's a beautiful snow-the kind I really love. The flakes are big and fluffy and lazily floating to the ground, looking so pretty. There's no fury or purpose in this snow-just coming softly down to earth, giving us a gift of nature's variety and glory in the process.

It's funny how people are. This pretty snow falling in late November would be greeted with "oohs" and "aahs" from everyone. Now, at the end of March, there is a lot of grumbling going on.

Not from me. I think it's so pretty and don't mind it at all. Oh, sometimes it's a little inconvenient, I'll admit that. But the wintry, snowy landscapes are among my favorites, and I enjoy the beauty of this weather. I don't begrudge the weather-what's the point of that? I watch the snow falling and say a little prayer of thanks that I'm lucky enough to be here to see it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mist

Yesterday was a gray and rainy day. I drove west to Hampton Bay mid-day and was fascinated with the way the gray, misty sky changed the landscape. The stark, bare winter trees looked even more pronounced against the gray sky, their craggy, twisted shapes standing vigil against the last days before they begin the Spring wake-up.

Distant vistas disappeared in the mist, water, fog, sky all running together from bottom to top in various shades of gray.

Driving home the fog was heavier and the driving trickier. I could not see far enough in front of me to drive with confidence, so it was a slower trip going home. Objects emerged out of the wall of white and I worked my way home cautiously. It was better as I got in to East Hampton but I was glad to be home.

Of course, I'm always glad to be home.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Numbers

I will soon be posting  a blog for the two thousand, five hundredth time. Which makes me realize I've been doing this for nearly eight years now. And that really brings home the whole concept of time flying.


When I think if the things that have happened in my life in the last eight years it boggles my mind. I lost my mother and my mother-in-law. I lost my dearest friend. I gained a daughter-in-law and four grandchildren. I battled cancer. I mean, these are major lifetime things we're talking about! No wonder middle-age is so stressful!

So now I want to go back and begin reading my posts through these past eight years and see what reflections I had on some of those life-changing moments. It might be interesting to see if my thoughts changed over those years and through those trials and celebrations. If my posts are a reflection of life, they'll be all over the place.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Walking

It's been awhile since I exercised regularly. Mostly my own fault, because I don't like doing it alone. I also can easily let it go if there's no accountability. Same with my eating. I seem to do best with motivation and accountability.

Of course motivation often comes with desire in life, so if I enjoy doing something-if it's fun, or fulfilling, or satisfying in some way-I manage to get the job done. But one of my great faults is that if I don't enjoy something, it's easy to not do it. Diet and exercise are perfect examples. I hate them both. Therefore I have no problem not doing them.

So finally, I have found another walking partner. And I have started exercising again. I admit it feels good. I mean I hate it, but I'm glad I'm doing it.

Next up, get the diet in line. I'm going to try to cut added sugar and fat out of my routine. Not an easy task, but it's a goal.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

See saw

T
he weather this month makes me dizzy. It's been a real see saw of temperatures with sunny, warm days followed by snow and frigid air. This week the bottom has fallen out again and I pulled a scarf off the shelf when I had to go out yesterday. It was cold out there!

March has always been a month of fluctuation and guesswork. I have to check the weather channel every morning to know how to dress before I leave the house.

But, this is the last week full of March and in no time at all April will be here. April, the month of daffodils and bird song, green grass and no coats. April is a bit magical as it lulls us into the rebirth of  the earth-the glorious beauty of spring.

I look forward to April. But we still need to get through the last seven days of March now...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Missing

It's been one year now since my oldest and dearest friend left this earth. The sharpness of the pain has lessened, but the ache and sadness never will.

I've learned that losing such a dear friend has been very much like losing a parent. There's an emptiness that will never be filled. Because there were shared memories and experiences that no one else will ever know. Your histories are so intertwined that it seems a piece of your past has suddenly disappeared - poof! - and no one else will ever know you the way that person did.

We came of age together. We shared feelings and dreams and moved from young, stupid girls to wives and mothers, all along the way learning from each other how to do it better. We grew up together, helping each other navigate the tricky world of adulthood. We were always there for each other.

A hole that will always be unfilled.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wintry blast

Friday night we ventured out into the snow to meet friends for dinner. The four of us have not been able to sit and eat together in a couple years as circumstances have prevented us for various reasons. But I've missed their company and I was determined to keep this date despite the winter storm.

By the time we headed out to meet them at the appointed hour there was a nice coating of snow on the ground-probably two or three inches-and it was coming down steadily. The restaurant was warm and cozy and we settled in for a nice meal and a chance to catch up on each others' lives.

Two hours later we had talked about our families and what we'd been up to over this past year, and left with full stomachs and equally full hearts. Old friends are valuable commodities, not to be let go easily. It was good to reconnect.

Walking out into the night was a special late-winter treat. The snow had covered everything with a perfect layer of white and it was a sparkling wonderland. Some snow seems as though it's infused with glitter and this was one of those. Everywhere the light struck it, from the streetlights to the headlights, it glistened like diamonds. It was beautiful.

Once home we sat in front of the fireplace and I savored what is likely to be one of the last gasps of this winter.  I loved it.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring?

So it is officially Spring. And I love seeing a new season upon us. Especially Spring because it's one of my favorites.

Today I had planed to get outside and look for the signs. The weather is supposed to be great but a new layer of snow landed last night so I don't think it's going to happen now. Soon I hope to catch sight of a crocus poking through the ground. That would be nice! Our landscaping has taken a real hit in this brutal winter and we need to take stock. We planted a number of new bushes and most of them didn't survive. It's a big hit for us financially because putting them in was a stretch for us and having to replace them will really be difficult. It will mean some other projects won't get done.

We have so many projects on the list this year. The trim needs painting outside, a picture window needs replacing, two attic windows need replacing, the front porch needs painting.....and so it goes. Something won't get done if the bushes end up being pulled. It must be nice not to always have to make choices about what gets fixed that needs fixing!

I know there are people who don't need to make those lists of priorities. They simply hand someone the list of things to do and poof! They get done. It doesn't happen that way for most of us though, so I know everyone can identify. Which thing is going to completely break down first? Which thing needs to be done before someone gets hurt? What can we live with the way it is for another year...or two?

Well, what will be will be. When I look at the old movies we just had put on DVDs it reminds me of the days we had no landscaping at all. And everything needed fixing or painting. So keeping things in perspective I'll walk around the yard today making my list and then put it in order of priority. And then take a moment to thank God I can even make a list.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Icy

Today they're predicting slushy, icy snow. But, as always, we are right on that line of demarcation between snow, rain, and slushy mess, so who knows what the day will bring.

If there's one thing I've learned about living here on the East End, it's that the weather is not very predictable. It has something to do with the fact that we're surrounded by water and what happens to our north, south, east or west really can be totally different than what happens here. It can be snowing in New York City and raining here. Or it can snow here and rain 50 miles west of here. There's just no telling what will happen, so I watch the weather reports with a healthy dose of cynicism.

So, today will unfold as it does. I will not plan around snow, but if it does, well so be it. Spring may be here but that hasn't stopped the snow before, so we shall see!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Temperatures

The air is now in that frustrati
ng process of warming ad cooling, warming nad cooling - we see it every spring and fall as the earth moved into a new cycle of season and can't uite decide where it wants to be. This week it was nice and mild. Then yesterday the temperature dropped again and it seems we're in the cold for a few days. So it will be for the next month I would suspect.

May is when the mild air will be here to stay. I like the temperatures in May and am looking forward to it. My favorite time is when its warm during the day and chilly at night. I like layers. So spring and fall are my time of year.

They say we may get some wet snow tomorrow. Well if they do it will be short lived.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Women

I love the fact that television -or the people that run television - seem to think it would be a great idea for women to have more power in this country. This year is especially rich with powerful women, from Presidents to Secretaries of State to lawyers and candidates for all types of political office.

The problem is it's pure fantasy.

Oh to be sure, there are a number of powerful women in this country. But they are few and far between. I've watched over the years as women continue to support their men running for office despite the fact that the women themselves were probably the better candidates. Elizabeth Dole is the perfect example.

I look forward to the day when there is a woman occupying the White House. Not the family quarters only, but the actual Oval Office. But looking at the numbers of women that occupy both the House and the Senate, I think today's television representation is far more fiction than reality. Then again, I suppose that's what television is all about, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Movies

My husband and I are completely incompatible when it comes to movies. In fact, we're incompatible in any number of ways actually. Even television is something we don't agree on often, which is why when we do find something we both like it seems worthy of a celebration. But movies are of particular interest to me because they seem interminable when not enjoyable.

I love a good romantic comedy. He loves a good war movie. He likes goofy comedy. I like good drama. On an occasion when we can find something we both enjoy, it's worthy of a dinner out someplace. Because otherwise we simply tolerate each other's choices.

On those rare occasions when we go to the movie theater it's only because we know we'll both enjoy the show. No one will need to get up and take a break, or find something more interesting to do while the other one enjoys the film.

Must be a marriage made in heaven...

Monday, March 16, 2015

"Unknown caller"

Well I've finally done it. I've begun to screen my phone calls.

Oh I know I'm way behind the times. My children have been doing it for years. And it has always bothered me because it seems rude somehow. But I give up. I simply can no longer deal with all the sales calls, the surveys, and the automated calls from politicians, all interrupting my peace at all times of the day and night. Enough already!

I haven't gotten to the point where I never answer my phone though. It's tiresome to me to always have to leave messages when I know the people are home. Instead I listen for the phone number and as long as it's a "631"  I pick it up whether I recognize it or not. As long as it's someone locally looking for me I don't mind answering even if they're strangers. But any other area code gets ignored.

And it makes me a bit sad truthfully. Because I remember the days when no phone calls were frivolous or annoying. Any call that came into your house was important, and none should never ignored. I wish we could go back to that simpler time.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday

Sundays are one of my favorite days. The combination of worship and family is irresistible for me.

It's been the same for many years now. Not when I was young. When I was young we did go to church. But then it was usually a hodge lodge of afternoon activities. Sometimes we went out on the small sailboat my father bought and restored. Others it was a Sunday drive to Montauk, or North Haven. And occasionally we got together with another family for a picnic.

But when we all grew up and had families of our own my mother began a tradition of family lunch after morning church, and that lasted over thirty years, right up until the year she died.

My brothers and sisters and I carry on that tradition because we've come to appreciate what a gift it is. Sometimes it's difficult and life pulls us in different directions,but we work at always coming back to it because we don't want to lose it.

At the end of the day Sunday represents the greatest gift my mother gave us-knowing what the priorities need to be for a balanced and happy life. Because when all is said and done it really is all about God and family.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Voices

The greatest blessing I found in going through my old family movies was the sound of the voices. Hearing my young children with their tiny childish voices was such fun. But even better than that was hearing my parents, and the other relatives who have left us.

It reminded me of one of my favorite scenes in the movie "Peggy Sue Got Married", when the main character (Peggy Sue) has traveled back in time to when she was a teenager and she grabs the ringing telephone in her parent's kitchen. The voice on the other end says "Hi Peggy Sue!" And the look on her face says it all. She leans against the wall with tears in her eyes and says "Grandma?". It was a voice she hadn't heard in many years. And It gets to me every time.

I would love to hear my grandparents' voices again. But at least I can hear my mother's voice talking lovingly to my children, my father joking with other family members, and my mother-in-law laughing. She had the best laugh.

My children have a real gift here in these old movies. And so do I.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Emergent

East Hampton is emerging from the icebox this week. With so many days of temperatures in the 40s, we are seeing sidewalks and yards that have been buried for weeks now, and the world is beginning to look different in every direction.

I don't think we're done with snow yet. I predict at least one more snow event before the winter's done with us - if not more. But no matter because the deep, long freeze is over and anything that comes down now won't last long.

Of course there are huge piles of snow in parking lots and places like the end of our driveway where the plows left them when clearing our roads. We may still see remnants of those in May! It will take a long time to get those melted. Probably not quite that long, but I imagine it will be awhile.

We are seeing the end of the long winter and the promise of Spring is making itself known.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chaos

I've grown to appreciate chaos in my life.

It wasn't always that way. I used to like nothing but order and having everything in its place. But a couple of things changed that for me. First, I married someone who didn't have much concept of "order", and second, I had four children.

Now I've had friends who were neat freaks and liked order and somehow managed to maintain it in their lives despite similar circumstances to mine. But I just don't have the patience or the temperament for it. I had to choose between chaos and being a nice person. So I chose the latter.

Now that I have grandchildren I'm especially happy to have made that transition. Because the more children in a small space the more chaos ensues. And I can deal with it...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rivers

By yesterday afternoon, there were small rivers of water running down the streets from melting snow. I can see places on the ground that I haven't seen since sometime in January. The season is changing.

I write a lot about how much I love the changing seasons, but I can't help myself. There's something so amazing about how they mark the march of time, physically displaying as day becomes month and month moves into season - I just love feeling the change in such an organic way. I can see it, hear it, sense it....there's no denying when Spring is coming. Or Fall, or a Winter, etc. we always know.

We may well get more snow before the Spring is firmly established, but at least now we'll know the cover of white will be short-lived. The warmer temperatures are here now, if not for good, at least sporadically. It's coming now. And we're all glad.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mothering

Today is my son's birthday. I was thirty years old when he was born and he was the third of my four children. Yesterday I watched his two-year-old twins while their parents worked. And the combination of all these things made me think a lot yesterday about motherhood.

They tell you when you are young that motherhood changes your life. What they don't tell you is that it alters your life in such a drastic and incredible way that nothing - nothing about your life is ever the same again. To say it changes your life is such a gross understatement that it's laughable. I mean, starting a new career changes your life. Becoming a mother sends your life into a completely alternate universe that you will never return from. Because everything about your life changes-your emotions, your priorities, your concerns, your goals, your wishes and desires.....everything changes. Forever.

When I was walking down the aisle at the church to meet my groom at the altar, I could never have imagined that in the not-too-distant future I would no longer care about my own aspirations or desires. I had no idea that there would be many people in my life some day that I would gladly give my life for, being four children, their spouses, and ten grandchildren. I would do anything for them. And if I ever had to make a choice between their well being and mine, there would be no contest.

So motherhood has changed me. And it sent my life on a trajectory I could never have foreseen. And I'm so glad.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Warming

So we are supposed to begin warming up this week. And the time changed yesterday. So things are all pointing toward the end of winter for another year. And as much as I love spring, I bemoan the end of yet another season, which to me marks the passing of time. And time is becoming more and more precious to me.

It's funny how we humans take things for granted until they become precious commodities. When we face losing something, that thing suddenly becomes very valuable and we no longer pass it by without a thought. Time is like that. When we're young we don't appreciate how quickly it goes by and just don't treasure every moment of it along the way. Now -looking back - I wish I had spent more time memorizing the scent of my newborn babies and less time worrying about being judged for the way I dressed them, or disciplined them. I remember worrying about whether my little girls' hair was combed carefully enough because my grandmother made so many comments about how messy other children's hair looked. Why did I care? What a waste of energy! But those are the things I regret now-being way too preoccupied with the unimportant things. I wish I'd had then the benefit of perspective I have now. But such is life.

Time is quickly going. Spring is fast approaching. And another year is soon gone...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Time

We lost an hour last night. Every Spring it kills me, that one little hour. And tonight I will surely be dragging!

It's such a strange concept, this daylight savings time. I should do some research on it because I wonder what the whole thing is about. Why was it ever started and what is it supposed to accomplish? I honestly don't get the whole purpose of it and even more so can't believe we still bother with it.

Well now the light will be here a little longer every day and our days will seem to last forever. I will no longer be able to sleep in on Saturdays until 7 because once the daylight creeps into my window, I'll be wide awake and ready for the day. The long sleepy winter is coming to an end. I know some folks welcome that. But I am already missing it.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Winter break

Today  has been a gorgeous day. The sun is bright and the world is beautiful.

This week, I think, is going to be the real "winter break". From what it looks like we are going to have a nice week of above-freezing temperatures so we may actually see some ground again by this time next week. It's been many weeks since we've seen grass or dirt and I am looking forward to it. Mostly I'm excited about the prospect of regaining some space in my driveway, on roads, and in parking lots everywhere.

Of course some of these piles are so high we'll be seeing snow until June I would imagine. Well, maybe April anyway. But losing any of it will be an improvement, and I'll take it. Spring is coming.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Nostalgia

I spent today walking down Memory Lane. For my birthday my husband had all our old videos put onto DVD's and since I was recovering from my medical procedure and confined to the house, I took advantage of the time and watched them all, carefully writing down what was on each of the seven disks and labeling them: Josh's 8th birthday, Tyler's 5th birthday, Amanda's wedding, etc, etc. it was along process but left me with tears of nostalgia mingled with smiles of memories lost and found. It was great.

Now I have all these great things to look at anytime I'm feeling sad, knowing they'll bring back the joy of a house full of kids, and noise, and activity....and I'll in turn be more appreciative of the peace and quiet along with the comfort of memories.

Now I have the best of both worlds.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Inconvenience

OK so today's snow is an inconvenience. I have a rule about complaining about the weather - I don't do it. I can't get myself worked up over things  can't control and I hate to complain about things that aren't really important in the grand scheme of things.....but today I am not happy about the snow.

I have to get to the hospital for a procedure that I just want to get over with. I don't want to cancel and put it off for another time, I want to get it done and behind me. And I have to drive in this awful weather to do so. I shouldn't say that I have to do it because my husband is doing he driving Which makes it worse because someone else is put at risk too. Oh the stress of it all!

We will make the treacherous trip to Southampton because we need to. But it will be stressful and slow, But sometimes life throws us some curve balls and we need to know how to field them. So we will.

But it is an inconvenience.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

63

I have made it to year 63. This is monumental in my mind. Because when I was celebrating my 57th birthday I wondered if I would make it to 58. And here I am. I have nothing to complain about.

When I was young birthdays were all about gifts. I wondered what I would get and loved the process of opening every gift. I still enjoy that process, but now I think more about the blessings I have than the gifts I will get. Because I can't imagine having more than I already do. I have been blessed with an amazing family, both the original one and the one I created. Both have provided me with the love and support I needed to enjoy life to the fullest. Any shortcomings were mine, not theirs.

So now as I embark on the next year, I remind myself of the things I determined back when I turned 58, and also keep the thought that every day could be my last in the forefront of my mind. ( Because it could, now as it always has.) So what are the things I learned that I need to always remember? That I don't want to waste whatever time I have doing anything that isn't pleasing to God. That time with the people I love is the more important time I have. That nothing is as important as my family and friends. And that every day has special gifts and I don't ever want to complain about any of the small and unimportant things in life, like the weather.  Every day is a gift.. And today is a reminder of all those things.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Like a lion

So March has certainly entered like a lion this year, which begs the question "Will she go out like a lamb?"

I seem to think we might be in for weeks more of winter. How many years are as cold and snowy as this one and what are the odds it will drag far into Spring? Wouldn't be ironic to have snow on the ground at Easter this year? It wouldn't surprise me.

I am hoping for sun and warmth for Easter Sunday though. Because nothing screams Easter like a beautiful sunny Sunday. Sunrise service, Easter egg hunts, baskets of goodies and new colorful clothing-it all begs for the perfect Spring day weather-wise. So that's what I'm hoping for.

But not expecting it.

Monday, March 2, 2015

More

More snow overnight last night. Well actually it started yesterday afternoon-a beautiful light snow that was fun to watch from the warmth and comfort of my living room couch.

But now, in the light of anew day, it's going to be a mess. The snow blower may be needed, and the shovels, of course. But this is March now, and I would guess that there shouldn't be too many more of these snows in our future. At least between now and the Spring. We have had snow in April before, and if ever there was a year to see that, it would be this one. So we'll see.

But regardless of what this month brings, we know warmer weather is soon to arrive. It can't come soon enough for some folks, but I'm in no great hurry. Life goes by quickly enough. No need to wish it away any faster as far as I am concerned.

March is aptly named - a verb as well as a noun - because change is afoot. Things are moving along. Time "March"es on. Hopefully not too quickly...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March

March is here! I actually like March.

I imagine most people are excited about March this year because it's going to usher us into Spring. This has been a difficult winter for so many people, and the thought of seeing the end of it has got to be exhilarating.

For me March has always been a great month because it's my birthday month. And now I celebrate not only my own birthday, but those of my son, my daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter. So there are many reasons to celebrate in March. In addition, the weather will get warmer, the flora will begin waking up, daylight will continue to expand our days, and we prepare to celebrate Easter, one of the most glorious days on the Christian calendar.

Yes, March is here. It's a very good day!