Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sunrise

Well sunrise is finally arriving earlier now. By 6:30 daylight is appearing and we're no longer in the grip of darkness. Days are getting longer and summer is coming.

Although April may indeed be "the cruelest month", it's also a
fun month. We're able to watch the earth and sun do their dance in the universe, lengthening our days and warming our air here in the northern states, bringing summer to our doorstep and waking nature all around us. I love watching flowers suddenly appear, trees begin to green up, and life in general return in every direction. The swans are swimming around Town Pond, awaking their yearly spring romance. No doubt the female will soon disappear, busy sitting on her nest down the road at Hook. I've noticed highway crews busy clearing debris at the Nature Trail, cleaning up the fallen trees and other brush that's accumulated over the winter. And the painting has also begun, with fences and houses brightening up before our eyes along the village lanes.

Construction is everywhere. Renovations, new homes, road repairs-it's all happening now, to be ready by Memorial Day as always. The utility companies are replacing lines and repairing boxes and the fallout from winter is slowly being erased. Spring is all about new life and it's evident in every direction.

April. Exciting, fun, and invigorating. It may be cruel, but I love it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

April

April begins on Friday. The weather today was sunny and warm, but by Sunday it may be below freezing again.

I think it was T.S. Elliot that said "April is the cruelest month". This is exactly what he meant. Spring has come, the flowers are beginning to appear, and after weeks of pleasantly warm weather, there is still the potential for snow. I remember one April when I was a child where we had significant snow in April. So yes, the cruelest month: the tease of sunny, warm days and the chance of freezing cold. It's like hanging a carrot in front of the horse and then pulling it away when it reaches out for it.

I like April because it's full of promise. We see the future as the buds begin to appear on the trees, the day's slowly lengthen, and optimism abounds. It may be cruel in its unpredictability, but sometimes the mysteries in life are the most fun. Change is good. There will be plenty of hot, humid, predictable summer days ahead. A little surprise now and then is just fine with me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Court

Today I've been summoned to town court for jury duty. Two weeks after that notice arrived, I received a similar summons for county court. How nice to be wanted...

I can't remember a time in my life when I've ever been wanted by more than one person for anything. So why is it that with the hundreds of thousands of residents in Suffolk County, I've been so desired? I think this whole jury duty thing is ridiculous. I am more than happy to do my civic duty as long as I can do it within a reasonable distance. But county court can mean driving ninety minutes to Islip. That seems as though cruel and unusual punishment to me. I've heard tell of others who were summoned to federal court in Brooklyn of all places! Really? With literally millions of people within an hour of Brooklyn, they call someone from here? Something is terribly wrong with that system.

Then again, why is it that I've been getting jury summonses for years but others I know have never been called, not once? It seems to me if everyone served once it would be fair. And with computers it should be easy to make sure that's the way it happens.

I'm thrilled to be going to town court this morning to do my service. Then I can send my county summons back to them with a "No thanks! I've already served!"

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday

Its a rainy Monday here with heavy rain early giving way to lighter sprinkles now, but plenty of standing water in low lying spots. Thankfully it held off until after the egg hunts were accomplished yesterday on Easter Sunday.

It was a hectic day yesterday but really nice. The family that was in town arrived after church for an egg hunt and Easter dinner, then, as sugar comas set in all around, we watched old home videos and napped all over the living room. The group didn't disperse until about 5:00 and we missed those who weren't with us, but it was in general a great holiday. Good food and lots of family time are exactly the right ingredients for a perfect holiday.

Today I'll admit to being tired, but glad to have seen another time spent with people I love. I always move on from those days feeling incredibly blessed.

I have no idea how many holidays I'll be around for. When you get to my age, and you've already faced major health issues, you take nothing for granted. Without being somber about it I fully recognize my vulnerability and the briefness of life. I'm the bridge now from the previous generation, gone now and only alive in my memory, to the next one. I feel that place of "between world" where we are totally present here in this one, but aware of the next. Life is full of uncertainties but there are some constants to hold on to, and yesterday was one of them. Love the people around you and hang on to them as best you can. And savor the moments.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday

HE IS RISEN!

HE IS RISEN INDEED!


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Preparations

Holidays are all about preparations. Without them we wouldn't get much of a holiday.

For me the prep starts about a week before Easter. I make some shopping trips for chocolate bunnies and other gift type things to fill the eggs for the hunt in the back yard. They are stored in my bedroom  out of the sun for safekeeping. And I try to keep my hands out of the bag.

During this past week much of the work was mental, thinking about a menu, creating a shopping list, getting out table linens,  baskets, etc. Then a trip to the grocery store is inevitable, grabbing all the ingredients needed and planning out the schedule for getting it all done. Plastic eggs need to be filled and organized so each child gets an equal number.

By Friday the real hands-on work commenced with the cooking of the first dishes to be used on Easter Sunday. Today the bulk of the cooking will be done and the table will be set. The big basket of candy will be arranged and the decorations set out, and the house will be ready.

This is the way typical holiday prep happens in my house because I'm a planner. I'm sure there are people who are more "last minute" people and they may do it all at the end, but that's not my style. I'll still be up early in the morning, putting the final touches on things and doing the last minute meal stuff, but we're off to church by 9:15 and won't be home again until 11:30 so with lunch planned for 1:00 there's on,y time then to throw the roast in the oven and wait for it to cook. With the egg hunt to enjoy in the meantime the schedule should be fine. Once the prep is over, it's all fun and games.

Until clean-up time of course.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday on the Christian calendar.

I've actually never understood the name because it is the saddest and most somber of all the days in Holy Week. I know there are people who don't even like to acknowledge (I can't use the term "celebrate" because that just seems bizarre) this day, because for them it's all about Easter Sunday. They only want to participate in the glorious Easter celebrations and enjoy the uplifting message of Easter Sunday.

For me, Easter cannot be fully celebrated without going through the process of Holy Week, and that, of course, includes Good Friday. Because the glory of Easter is only appreciated in the sorry of Good Friday. Therein lies the miracle, after all.

It's really not all about bunnies and eggs now, is it? For anyone who's lost loved ones and looks forward to seeing them again on the other side, it's about Good Friday, followed by Easter Sunday. It may be Friday, but Sunday's coming!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

End of March

We may have another week left of March, but it feels like April right now. Yesterday was a gorgeous day.

The morning walk was early-still dark when we left my house to take a hike around the village for the sake of cardiac health. We walked up the hill, down Newtown Lane, back to cut through the Reutershan parking lot and to the library, across Montauk Highway, back toward Main Street, up David's Lane, left onto Egypt and home in just under an hour. By the time we got back to my driveway the breeze had died down, the sun was up, and the day already looked promising.

In running my errands later in the morning I enjoyed a quick stop at the beach to check the surf and then a slow drive past Town Pond on James Lane to see how the swans were doing. The spirit of spring was evident there where the swans seem ready to start a new family.

When I finished my grocery shopping and other errands I headed home for lunch. I left the back door open and closed the screen door to let the fresh air in.  By that time I was wishing I'd worn a short -sleeved shirt because working around the house was getting uncomfortable. So I found some projects to do that allowed me to sit on the couch and watch some TV.

It was a day full of spring-of warm air, sea breezes, and the urge to accomplish. It was a good day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sweet quiet

I think early spring is especially wonderful out here on the East End. Because along with the sweet weather comes the sweet quiet.

I was parked on Main Street yesterday just south of the commercial core-across from the Presbyterian Church. I had run into the office of the Historical Society there and when I came out I was struck by the beauty of the day. It was chilly out but I had only a lightweight jacket on since I'm not much for heavy coats. The sky was a gorgeous blue and it felt every bit like spring.

Then I got in to the car. Imagine my delight as I looked into my rear view mirror and saw not another car in sight headed in my direction. I could see all the way back to the traffic light and no one was driving in either direction on the road. What a treat. No traffic in either direction, a simple pull out onto the road, and wonderful weather to boot. How often do we see that here in this resort town that sees the most amazing amount of traffic from May through September.

For these weeks coming up, just as it is in autumn, we have this place all to ourselves, peaceful and quiet, with the best weather of the year. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring sunshine

Today has been a beautiful spring day with bountiful sunshine and daffodils poking out all over town. The signs of spring are certainly here, if not the temperatures. It was barely above freezing early this morning, but warmed up to the high forties by afternoon. Within a few weeks we'll be out of the thirties for good and see many more days in the sixties where most of us love to see it. Spring is a glorious season.

I'm already noticing the things that need to be done around the yard, seeing things like dead leaves that have collected around the deck and hedges, and bushes that could use some pruning. There's something about this weather that draws our eyes to things outdoors where we used to hurry past everything, getting in and out of the car as quickly as possibly to avoid the cold. Now we slow down to breathe in the fresh, clean air and enjoy the warmth of the sun. We notice things now. We see the yard, the driveway, the house in fresh ways and pick up things with more discerning eyes.

Even driving around town wakes us up to the changing season, watching the highway crews working along the roadways and seeing the utility companies digging in various places to get their upgrades done between now and Memorial Day.

It's transition time on the East End. It's also renewal season, and I am feeling invigorated along with the rest of nature. It's a good feeling.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Last gasp

We woke to a winter scene outside on this Spring morning and it was a beautiful sight. Nice heavy wet snow covering everything but already starting to melt as night turns into day and temperatures climb. By tonight I suspect the cars will be clean again and there'll be few signs of winter's last gasp on the East End. I can already hear the melting snow coming dripping off the gutters and slipping from the roof.

There isn't much life expectancy in this storm but for now it's a beautiful remnant of the winter of 2016, which has been a totally enjoyable one, with a few quick storms that were as quickly gone and little ice to deal with in the aftermath. We never missed a special event or meeting and never had a problem getting around, but there was winter beauty to enjoy for those of us who love it. For now it seems that the heat will soon be off and the snow blower put away while we pull out the summer furniture and prep the lawn and hedges for a summer full of promise.

As winter gives way to spring and the world awakens from its slumber, we'll enjoy this little reminder that the calendar is only a piece of paper and we have little control over any of it. As it should be.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Too many

When you get to be my age you realize that life is full of way too many sad goodbyes.

When I was young I never had to say goodbye to any of the people I loved until high school when my grandfather died. And it was years later before lost another dear person to me. I know how blessed I've been.

When I was a bit older and my first good friends move away from The area it was heart wrenching. But then it began to become a regular thing in life. Every few years friends would move on to other places and we said our sad goodbyes.

Then our children started growing up and leaving. More goodbyes. And now it's one thing after another. Family members coming and going, dear friends and family members who die, it seems as though life is one goodbye after another.

I remember my grandmother who was in her seventies at the time, looking off wistfully in the distance saying "I'm just tired of people leaving". I didn't understand the full meaning of those words at the time, but now I do.

Getting older would be so much easier if you always had the people you love around you. But life just isn't that way....

Saturday, March 19, 2016

March 19

On this day, March 19th of the year 2009, I began my battle with cancer. That's the date I had my surgery, which was the first step in year-long fight to eradicate every cell that might be lurking in my body.

The first step is the surgery. Doctors go in and try to get everything they can out first. In my case it meant over twelve hours in surgery to first remove, and then reconstruct, my left breast. Thankfully I only remember the first couple hours of that long day.

The second step is chemotherapy, which means pumping seriously toxic poisons into your body in an attempt to kill off any cells which the doctor may have missed. That's a different process than the surgery, but equally difficult in a whole other way. It means months of debilitating fatigue and lovely side effects like hair loss and gastrointestinal issues. The third step was a five-year regimen of pills that act to suppress the hormones which can stimulate cancer cells. I can't say that all this was terrible, although I hope to never experience it again. Spiritually and emotionally it was a time of tremendous growth for me and I'm grateful for the way my priorities have been adjusted.

All that said, it is now seven years since that frightening day back in 2009. I sometimes think that this was the day I really grew up. It's easy for me to see why a diagnosis like cancer can lead to people making major life changes, like divorce or relocation. For me it was more about becoming mentally tougher and more independent, but spiritually stronger and more dependent. I'm not sure that even makes sense, but it's the truth.

And anniversaries serve to remind us of the things that are important.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

More

After yesterday's blog about St. Patrick's Day I was amused to see numerous posts on Facebook this morning from mothers frustrate about how
much hoopla accompanies the holiday these days. Apparently things have changed even more since my kids were young and they simply wanted to wear green on March 17th. Today they have leprechaun visits and parties and it's taken on the same ridiculous importance as Halloween.

So I was thinking about this and wondering why suddenly these minor "holidays" (that aren't really holidays) have become so major. And I have a theory. When I was young the schools made a big deal about the religious holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah and Easter were celebrated with hand work and music. But it seems that as we've become a more secular society, our schools are not able to get very excited about these holidays. So in order to fill that gap for our kids and have fun celebrations in school, society has taken these minor days and promoted them to major holidays. I think it's sad.

If St. Patrick's Day has the same weight as Christmas, we've definitely lost something. I mean, not everyone is Irish and yet all the kids are expected to get excited about March 17th. What's the difference?

It's all lost on me. I have no problem with the idea of a child learning about the religious holidays of other religions and ethnic groups. I think we had it in much better perspective a few years ago. Well maybe fifty...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

St. Patrick

I've never been a big "St. Patrick's Day" person. I have no Irish ancestry and when I was growing up it wasn't a huge deal so it just never was very exciting to me. My only brush with the holiday was playing in the high school band at the parade in Montauk. It wasn't a great experience because it was a cold, windy day and we wore uniforms that were skirts-rather short back in the late 1960s- and I remember absolutely freezing. It was not much fun.
I've never been back to the parade in Montauk.

Over the years since then the holiday has taken on a life that I never would have imagined forty years ago. Some people go all out with green clothing and make-up and buy green bagels and shamrock shakes and all sorts of holiday craziness. Mostly it seems to me to be an excuse to drink in excess and cause all sorts of chaos. At least that's the way it looks to me. Of course since I avoid the places where such things could be happening, I only speak from second hand knowledge. But this is what I think.

Tomorrow we are once again at St. Patrick's Day. I have no intention of wearing green, or celebrating in any way. And Sunday there will be a parade in Montauk. And no, I won't be going. Call me a killjoy, but I just don't get it.

Besides, Easter is only a week away. And that's something I can celebrate.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Savings

I'm not sure what the "savings" is in daylight savings time, but let me just go on the record as saying I'm not a fan.

I've been yawning all week. The fact that I had to drag myself out of bed at 6am in the pitch dark when my body wanted to stay right where it was is only one of the things I dislike about it. I'm one of those people who wake with the sunlight and I've had no problem getting up and dressed at the same hour for weeks now as the sun came streaming into my bedroom window. Now, in this black morning, I'll need to get into my car and drive to Southampton, feeling every bit like it's still the dead of winter. I think we've taken two steps forward and then one step back.

Honestly I don't know why we can't just let nature take its course and stop messing with the clock. It's simply confusing. And as an early riser it's just not my favorite thing. Oh if only I could make all the rules...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Children

I am so enjoying the grandparent experience.

I think the reason we grandparents are so in love with the experience is twofold. First, we have the opportunity to "parent" again, hopefully being better at it the second time than we were the first. And second, we are less busy and stressed at this point in our lives and that allows us to learn more easily from the children we are with. And they have so much to teach us.

My grandchildren are all amazing. Each one, just like all children everywhere, is full of promise. Each has talents waiting to burst out of them. And what fun it is to watch them explore the world and people around them. I am struck by their lack of self-consciousness, and the high level of their self confidence. They think they can conquer the world. They don't care what they look like, or sing like, or dance like-they simply love everything and everyone and their innocence is glorious.

It saddens me to know that somewhere along the line, and sadly it doesn't take long, someone will make them suddenly feel less sure of themselves. And perhaps make them question their abilities. And for sure someone will steal some of their joy by displaying the unseemly side of human nature in their presence. They'll learn to be skeptical, to know self-doubt, and experience fear. They won't be quite so innocent for long. Because that happens to all of us.

But I'm learning to dance with abandon and sing with glee and just simply enjoy every minute of life. It's easy when I'm with them. Because they don't judge. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be so?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Birthdays and such

I was making a birthday cake today and was reminded of how when I was young I thought nobody had a birthday in March besides me. No one in my extended family at least. And now, all these years later, we have four of them. Yet another example of the way that life changes with age. It seems as though so many things change as the years go by.perspective is just one of them.

Things that I thought were so important years ago seem minor now. At the same time, things that I barely gave a thought to then are now so much more important to me.

I appreciate the wisdom and perspective of age. I just wish it didn't have to come with the accompanying aches and pains....

Friday, March 11, 2016

Old friends

Today I reconnected with an old friend. What a special pleasure that was.

This friend was someone I went to high school with. We liked each other then, we're not romantically involved, but had many like interests (like music) and had similar ethical standards. He was a good guy.

We lost contact with each other after high school, seeing each other only briefly at a class reunion years ago. But then I recently found him on Facebook. What a great tool that is for finding old friends! So when he found himself coming to town to visit family, he contacted me and asked if we could get together. This afternoon he popped in for an hour or so and it was like old times. We caught up on our lives and our families, discovered that we haven't changed all that much, and realized if we lived closer, we would still be friends.

The best thing about old friends is that we will be forever young in each other's minds.  In our memories we are still eighteen years old, and even seeing the reality of our older selves doesn't change the way we think and see each other in our minds. A
nd that's a nice thing.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

So, so, sew

It's been a long time since I did a major sewing project. I mean, a very long time. Until today.

When my kids were small I made lots of clothes for them. I made dresses, overalls, even a boys suit once. My girls often had matching outfits and it was really the only way I could put them into cute things. We had very little money so the only nice things came as gifts from grandparents. But I could buy a nice fabric remnant off the clearance table at Hildreth's and with some hand smocking, or embroidery, or even trim salvaged from an old dress of mine, I could create some cute things, and that's what I did. Most days when my kids took naps, or were at school, I would be at the sewing machine working on something for the, for myself, or for a new baby gift for a soon-to-arrive niece or nephew. Between sewing, needlework, and knitting, I managed to give nice gifts at bargain prices, but filled with love.

Anyway, that was the past. It's been years since I pulled my sewing machine out for anything other than a quick repair job. So I surprised myself recently when I got the urge to make something, but quickly settled on a dress for my Six-year-old granddaughter. I went shopping for all the materials, spent some weeks making a pretty smocked insert for the bodice, and finally, today, I sat at my machine.

Six hours later my back aches, my shoulders hurt, and the dress is about 3/4 finished. I think. My skills are a bit rusty and my choice of patterns is challenging, to say the least. But I think I may be able to get it done soon. I need another few hours of concentrated time and just maybe, I'll have an acceptable product.

Thankfully, girls her age are not terribly discerning. She will most likely not be aware of the mistakes....

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Evening

Its 5:30
pm and there is no sign of night yet. It's barely showing signs of dusk. The world is rather amazing, isn't it? It was only a few weeks ago when it was black outside an hour before this. And next week, after daylight savings time, it will be 8:00 before night falls.

I have mixed feelings about it. I'm sitting here thinking I should be doing something rather than curling up on the sofa, resigned for the night. Yet here I am with my feet up watching TV, settled in and yawning. There's just something about daylight that makes me feel lazy if I'm not busy. It's the same issue that gets me out of bed at the crack of dawn.

So my lazy days are coming. I know I'll be sitting outside soon, but still feeling lazy for burning daylight. I know my ancestors would not have been unproductive as long as the sun was visible. They couldn't afford that. I think we're not so far removed from the days when electricity was not yet available and no one wasted natural light. Summer meant long working hours and winter meant long nights of family time. I rather like the winter for that.

But...there is the sound of the birds early in the morning as compensation. And of course the long summer weekends when no one needs to be tucked in early. Now that's something to look forward to...

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Honey

Remember the old saying "You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar"? The reality of that bit of sage advice has been made so real to me in the sixteen years I've been in public office.

In this age of Facebook, blogging, Twitter, and all sorts of social media, it has become apparent to me how many people fail to heed that bit of wisdom.

It's amazing to me really. I mean, it seems to be pretty basic stuff. When you are nice to somebody and make friends with them, it certainly is much more likely that the person will listen carefully to you, want to work with you, and possibly be swayed by your opinion, isn't it? On the other hand, saying nasty things about them would seem to be a pretty sure way to lose any influence they might have had on you, right? Am I the only one who sees this?

I've had to develop a pretty thick skin being in public office all these years. But still, when I receive a letter, an email, or read a posting on social media that calls me an idiot, a dope, or implies that I'm untrustworthy or untruthful, it hurts. (And I have seen all those) Because I'm really none of those things, and because I've tried very hard to live a life of integrity. But to be completely honest I will say I also tend not to listen to much else that person might say. After all, clearly they are willing to throw accusations around without basis, so how trustworthy are they? They certainly aren't nice people. And how likely am I to pay much attention to anything else they have to say? As someone in office it's my job to take the jabs and still be responsive to all my constituents. But those who use a little kindness are much easier to help.

Well, honey seems to be in short supply these days. And so does common sense and decency.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Celebrations

It was a full weekend of celebrations here as both me and my six-year-old granddaughter had birthdays. With her mother away on a school trip, it was especially important to make her day memorable, lest she be sad about the important missing person in the equation. So we worked hard to make it a special time.

Friday, which was her actual birthday, found me up early baking cupcakes for her kindergarten class. It's been many years now since I did a birthday at school-but I do have plenty of experience in that area! I made what she requested,vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting, all from scratch, with the frosting piped onion big swirls and topped with large crystal sanding sugar. They looked great and I knew she'd be pleased.

At 2:15 I headed to the school with cupcakes,yellow paper plates, juice boxes, and paper napkins with daffodils all over them in two carriers. My granddaughter was excited to see me, and her friends excited to see the cupcakes.

I brought her home with me after a quick stop at the toy store for a birthday treat and we waited together for her father to get home from work. Then we  all went out for dinner to celebrate our special days.

Saturday the entire family came in the afternoon to complete the celebration with gifts n birthday cake and then she spent the night with us, drifting off to sleep with a new stuffed bunny in her
 arms.

I think she enjoyed her weekend of celebrations. I know I did!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sunny Saturday

Well it's a beautiful, sunny Saturday here in East Hampton and were it not quite so chilly out it would look for all the world like Spring. With one other exception: melting snow is pouring off the roof and it almost looks as though it's raining when you look through some windows.

The feel of Spring is here, even though we have weeks of winter left. Or maybe it's a mindset, knowing we're close. It's hard to know where the feeling comes from, but today at least it seems like a sunny Spring Saturday. Soon enough we'll be using these Saturday's to get work done in the yard and the annual clean up will begin.

But today we're happily in the house, preparing for a family gathering later this afternoon. We have birthdays to celebrate and candles to blow out and we love any excuse to get everyone together. By the time they arrive, from the way things are looking now, there won't be even a trace of yesterday's snow left on the ground. And that's quite alright with me.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Birthdays

Today is the eighth birthday I've celebrated since I heard the words "It's malignant" from the radiologist.

Life changes forever when you hear those words. Suddenly everything is different. You see the world differently, you see your family differently, you see life differently. And birthdays take on a whole new meaning.

There's a commercial on television with a scene of a family birthday party. The tag line is "
The American Cancer Society: sponsor of birthdays". I can't tell you how many times I've watched that commercial and thought about all the people I owe my birthdays to. So many doctors, medical technicians of all sorts, lab workers, friends, family-a village, because that's what it takes.


So on this, a birthday I once wondered if I would ever see, I thank them all.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Photos

I've seen some amazing photos of East Hampton posted on Facebook lately. I'm not sure what it is about this time of the year, but it is producing some wonderful pictures.

One day this past week I took some myself, and I think it was the color of the sky that grabbed my attention. It was such an intense blue, with not a cloud in sight-very striking for a winter day.

But the landscapes are also beautiful in their starkness and simplicity. Without the leaves on the trees or the bright green grass, with no heavy hedges hiding the houses, it seems as though the world has opened up to us, and we see things we don't in the months of floral fullness. We can peek through the branches and the sky is bigger than ever. Buildings stand out more clearly without the softening effect of full landscaping. And we enjoy the openness of the yards and fields.

Even the ocean has been providing some spectacular scenery, often wild and foamy and always very beautiful.

Winter is a special time here on the East End, and although Edie Beale bemoaned spending "another winter in a summer town" in the musical "Gray Gardens", I personally love it here right now. It's quiet, it's peaceful, it's slow, and it's beautiful. It's community.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesdays

Wednesday's are fast becoming my favorite days.

The only day of the week that I generally have free is Wednesday. There is one Wednesday a month when I have a meeting in Southampton, but generally speaking, Wednesday's are pretty open for me-even more so than my weekends. Today for instance, I was up early and at the grocery store at 7. Then I spent a couple hours at the computer in my home office, catching up on bills and other clerical stuff. Then I was able to take two hours out of my day to answer an ambulance call. Once home from that I grabbed some lunch and then baked a birthday cake for my granddaughter to put in the freezer for Saturday. By the time that was done I was able to sit and enjoy catching up on a television show I had recorded, and now I'm relaxing before dinner. It's been a nice, easy day, but one in which I was able to accomplish some important things. There was no stress and no schedule and I love that.

I need a completely empty Wednesday to work on a sewing project for my granddaughter and since I have that meeting next week, I'm thinking it will be the following one.

I really like my Wednesdays....

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 1st

We've had some beautiful days recently here on the East End and today was one of them.

I left the house without a coat as it was chilly, but not freezing outside at 7am and I knew it would only get warmer.when I got back into town after my volunteer shift at the hospital, I was struck by the beautiful sky and winter landscapes, and decided to take advantage. I went to a local deli and picked up a sandwich and drink and headed first to Main Beach. Clearly I wasn't the only one with the same thought and had to find a space between two other cars in the upper parking lot. Others were there enjoying their own lunches while some folks walked the sand. I spent time there eating and just enjoying the beauty of the surf.

It was so nice out I decided to explore a few of my other favorite winter landscapes and drove over to the other parking lot to check out Hook Pond. There were some type of water fowl swimming in a group but they were too far away to identify.  They looked like some type of black duck - loon like but not as low in the water.

Then I headed back up Ocean Avenue, bearing right onto James Lane. I checked out the swans at Town Pond and then pulled into the driveway at the Gardiner Cottage and mill. From there I could see down the house lot nearly to Hook Pond. With the cottage on one side and the mill on the other, I could almost imagine life before all the auto traffic and noise of modern day life.

After a few minutes I turned back on to James Lane, passing the church, Home Sweet Home, and Mulford Farm before taking a right onto Dunemere. I love driving through the golf course. I decided to take Highway Behind the Pond ( such a strange name for a small country road) and pulled off to check out Hook Pond from the other side now. Again there were ducks swimming along, oblivious to the fact that it's still winter.

It was a short drive from there home but it seemed like returning from a holiday. I had escaped for an hour or so and it felt really good.