Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cherry trees

I have a beautiful weeping cherry tree in my yard and it is at its best right now. It makes me smile every time I see it.

I often wish these beautiful ornamental trees and bushes would stay in bloom for the entire season, but I suppose if they did we would just take them for granted. After awhile I would walk by and barely notice it. But now, because it's so short-lived, I soak in the sight of it every chance I get. I stop, sometimes in my tracks, sometimes as I drive in the driveway, just to take a moment to appreciate the pink glory of it, so gracefully draping over the surrounding hedge and other landscaping. It's a wonderful, bright spot in the spring garden, welcoming us into the season with beautiful color and soft hanging limbs.

My mother loved cherry trees so it also reminds me of her every May, just in time for Mother's Day. I'd rather have her, but at least the memories come.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mown

Today we had our first mow of the season. I'm not sure it was necessary yet, but there was something comforting about hearing the mowers race around the yard. Because summer is fast-approaching.

We don't have a very big yard, but we've always mown it ourselves. (I use the Royal "we" here because I have never actually touched a mower. But as a household, we've always done our own maintenance.) I can't remember how many lawn mowers we've gone through but in 40 plus years there have been quite a few. In the last few years that my husband was mowing he made it into a two part job, doing the front one day and the rear the next. He always used a push mower because without a garage we don't have room for a ride-on mower. Then three years ago our daughter announced she was getting someone to do the lawn for us and we've been enjoying that luxury ever since.

So today, with two ride-on mowers racing around the front and back yards at the same time, it took less than ten minutes before it was done. And once again the truth has been realized: it's all about the tools. In so many ways...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wishes

My daughter took my grandson in to NYC today for a dance class and a show. Listening to their plans being made and carried out has made me reflect on some of the things I wish I could have done in my life. As with everyone else in the world, various things restrict what we can experience, accomplish, or make happen. Finances were always a consideration for us, as well as things like geographical restrictions and other things. Many were life choices and no one's fault, but regardless, not all the things we want to do or see, can be.

Here are some of the things I think about:
I wish I could have gone in and out of NYC and given my children (and myself) more experiences there.
I wish I could have immersed myself in art-with a studio and supplies, etc
I wish I could have given my children more life-experiences.
I wish I could have traveled more extensively.
I wish I could have done more for the charities I care deeply about.
I wish I could have been a more forceful person and accomplished more for the good of my community
I wish I had completed college.
I wish I could have been a better role model for my children.
I wish I could have been the kind of wife that engenders the devotion of a husband for
ever.
I wish I could have been a better Christian.
I wish I could have been more frugal and saved for our later years.

That's a partial list. There are always wishes that come to mind. But here's the thing. I don't really have regrets. I don't dwell on the things I didn't have or couldn't do. Because I've had a wonderful life. I have four amazing children, married to four great people, giving me ten fabulous grandchildren. And how could I do better than that? So there are things I wish I could have experienced, but in the grand scheme of things, life is just fine the way it is.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Expectations

I was struck by how our expectations color our opinions about things that happen to us every day.

Today I was following a crazy schedule and was going from one place to another on an hourly basis. From Southampton to East Hampton, I moved between venues getting things done. At one point I realized I would have about twenty minutes to grab something to eat and then get to my next place so I immediately came up with a plan. I would grab a sandwich and a cookie at my favorite take-out spot, drive to the beach to eat, and then go straight to my next stop.

As I left the place before my short break, I headed to the shop. As I turned into Newtown Lane I recognized immediately that my plan was not going to pan out. The pavers were at work along the entire length of the street. I wound around the cones, carefully following the directions motioned by the workers in charge of traffic control. As I approached the place I wanted to grab my sandwich I could see there was no place to park and the paving trucks would completely block me from parking anyplace nearby.

I sadly headed home to try to find a quick lunch but my mind was so set on that particular sandwich, I could already taste it. Nothing else was going to suffice. Sure enough, I saw nothing in the fridge or cupboards that appealed to me-nothing was going to fill the place I had already planned for that meal at the beach.

I shoved something in my mouth to stave off the hunger and left to head off to the next appointment. I thought about the sandwich that elusive sandwich the rest of the afternoon.

Sometimes it's best not to think ahead too much, lest we set ourselves up for disappointment. If I hadn't, a tuna sandwich would have been just fine.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Kids

It was a typical Monday here-babysitting day-with one exception. Instead of the usual three kids (a 2-year-old and 3-year-old twins), there were 4, because it's a school holiday week and our 6-year-old granddaughter also needed a place to go. Interestingly enough, having one more here actually made for an easier day.

The dynamics of a family, or multiple children/people together, have always fascinated me. Each new child added to a group means multiple new relationships, as each seperate child forms a new relationship with the new addition, whether we're talking about a new sibling or a new member of a class or other group. So the dynamics can become complicated rather quickly. In this case however, it truly did simplify matters. Because the new addition, being quite a bit older than the others, became a leader, an authority figure if you will, that the younger ones were more than happy to follow. She organized them into various types of play, becoming "teacher and students", or "mother and babies" or even "kittens and owner".  The young ones were more than happy to play their roles. Not once did the younger ones ask me to do the usual Monday things, like doing puzzles with them, giving them crayons and coloring books, or playing a game with them. They were incredibly content to play among themselves, happy to have someone who would come up with things for them to do and more than glad to simply follow the leader.

I enjoyed the break from the usually demanding Monday activities. And I was fascinated by the change in the dynamic relationships all around. We humans are truly interesting creatures, aren't we?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Firsts

Today was our first Sunday afternoon out on the back deck.

It's been a great week. It's been sunny and warm, but there was still a nip in the air every day. But today the sun was bright and warm and we were able to sit out on the deck for lunch. It was really a perfect day for me. It was chilly enough to need my flannel shirt on, but warm enough to enjoy the bright sunshine and watch the kids play out in the yard. A quick inspection of the play set revealed a few rotting boards so the rope climb and ladder were removed and the swings were put to good use. Adults sat and socialized while kids made use of the yard, all green and fresh in the afternoon light.

It was a taste of the best of summer. It was a glimpse of good times to come. And to me, it was a reminder that at any time, life can change. And we need to savor every moment of it. Especially picture perfect ones like this very special day.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Chores


It was a rainy morning when we got out of bed and there were blessedly no meetings or events on our calendar so we got ourselves together at a leisurely pace and set about doing some projects. For me it was wrapping some Christmas gifts. I've done some shopping over the past few months and the boxes were beginning to accumulate so I needed to get things organized. I wrapped ten gifts, write them down in the file so is remember what I had, and then get them up in the attic, not to see the light again until December 24th. I still have plenty of shopping to do-thus it is with a large family-but today I took a little chunk out of that duty.

My husband, on the other hand, chose the kitchen for his work room. He had recently ordered four wooden benches for the back yard to go with the yard sale table we found for extra seating when the whole family is here. They came knocked down and had to be assembled, so one at a time he opened the flat boxes and put them together. They're nice looking and were reasonably priced, and we were both pleased with the finished product.

By late morning the rain had subsided and we were able to get the benches outside and hit the road for some errands. We're going out locally with friends for dinner so this afternoon I baked a cake for tomorrow's lunch with family and stretched out on the couch for a bit of  relaxation. It's been a nice day, really. Saturday's are often hectic and full for us so this was a pleasant change from the norm. Sometimes it's nice to just have a day to play catch-up, and this was one of those.

Chores need to be done. But relaxation is also good for the soul.

Friday, April 22, 2016

And more

As I sit here I feel like a virtual prisoner in my house while the driveway continues to be worked on. The machines are busy delivering and moving around stone and dirt, and the voices of those working full the air despite the closed Windows which are (hopefully) keeping out the dust. My car is over in the neighbor's parking area and going anywhere means working my way around the work area, across  their yard, and over to the other drive. Not a huge walk but dodging tree limbs and traipsing through dirt and gravel make it a bit of an ordeal. My shoes dragged lots of stuff in with them when I made the effort to go and come earlier today. In short, it's a mess.

Our driveway is not all that big. It's only the length of the house and the house is not far off the street, so I find myself wondering what it must be like when folks redo their very long driveways leading to their grand homes in other areas of the village. This project is taking at least two days, perhaps three, so I imagine other people being under construction with their driveways for over a week.

We've never built a house and I'm not sure I'd want to. As exciting it might be to have all new building materials and fresh appliances, not to mention being able to design the space of my dreams, the trade off of dealing with construction is not worth it.

I'm crossing my fingers that they're done today. But we shall see.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Construction

I'm very happy we haven't had to live with any construction around her house for a very long time. At least nothing of any consequence. For many years we seemed to always be in a construction zone, tearing down walls, changing out windows, adding on - it was many, many years of making this old house secure and comfortable for at least our lifetimes.

Today however, I feel as though I'm in a construction zone again. Not quite a house issue, but after what I'm guessing is about thirty years, we are re-doing the driveway. It's a major project involving regrading, filling, oiling, putting stone down, and it has all the earmarks of a construction zone around here. There are orange cones in the road, heavy-duty trucks parked alongside the road, and lots and lots of noise. Oh, the noise!

This is supposed to be a two day project, but tomorrow they're calling for rain so I'm not sure how that may extend things. The machines are noisy, the men yell to each other, and the driveway is all torn up.

It's a lot like being in a construction zone.....

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Popping

That's really the only word for it: popping. Every day the trees are a little brighter, a little pinker, a little more brilliant. Buds are opening up almost before our eyes as the branches that were bare on,y a few weeks ago have turned a pretty spring green and now the most delicate light pink, slowly opening to reveal a deeper, more vibrant pink inside. It really is a daily show that I love watching. One day the tree looks barely pink, the next there are spots of deeper color, then suddenly it's ablaze with it.

The transformation for winter to spring is by far the most impressive. Those dead looking trees and brown bushes just come to life and suddenly, life abounds. It's amazing and more impressive every year.

Perhaps it's the lessons we learn in life that make us appreciate everything more. I know I'm not the only person who feels as though a near-death experience changed the way my eyes view things. Colors are brighter, the fresh air sweeter, and a child's laugh even more musical and life-affirming than ever before. It's inky when we nearly lose things that we truly see them. And spring is a perfect example. I can barely contain my thrill when I see a cherry tree in bloom. Who knew? I wonder if God feels the same joy when he/she watches it all happen every year.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bigger

Darkness arrives later and later these days and that's a nice thing when the weather is nice. And it certainly has been.

I drove through Wainscott this morning-one of my favorite places. Since I was off the usual route through that charming little hamlet I saw things I hadn't been aware of and was surprised at the building that's taken place there. Lots of tear downs have occurred, or rebuilds, or maybe they're major renovations with huge additions-sometimes it's hard to tell the difference because it all looks new and it's all much larger. 

Which made me think. It seems as though nobody is happy with a cottage or a modest split level anymore. It's all about bigger, higher, deeper, whatever. Everyone wants a full basement with rec room, laundry, fitness center, and theater. Main floors must have multiple living rooms, huge kitchens, dining rooms, mud rooms, playrooms...what the heck? Does no one want to spend time in close proximity to their family members anymore? I mean, I'll admit that there are times I wish we had at least one more room in my house. I dream of a den, or library, where I could curl up with a good book, or work on an art project, where it's quiet and peaceful. I don't want to always hear the television. And sometimes it is nice to just be alone with my thoughts. 

But I honestly have no desire for a huge home with so many rooms. I like having company but I don't need so much living space that you'd never run into them. Call me old fashioned but I like small, cozy rooms - and a little togetherness. 

I know this is a whole different world out here in lalaland, but there do seem to be a lot of people who think bigger is definitely better. I just don't happen to be one of them.

Monday, April 18, 2016

String

We seem to be having a nice string of spring days right now and I can honestly see the change in everyone's demeanor as I go from place to place. There are more smiles and a general uplifted spirit everywhere as I go from church to store to Little League game, following my usual routine. Rain doesn't generally bother me too much but clearly it effects others' spirits and right now everyone is remarking on the beautiful weather. It makes an amazing difference in the way people seem to be.

Spring is especially invigorating I think because it's all about new life and everyone loves to see the trees bursting with buds and color appearing in every direction. I noticed buds on my weeping cherry this morning's my, and the flowering plum my parents planted in their yard 50 years ago is really looking gorgeous with its covering of white blossoms. It's a huge tree now and the it looks like lace, it's most beautiful appearance of the year.

I remember when my father had that tree planted. It was barely more than a twig then, probably about 5 feet in height and a skinny little thing. It must have been a big purchase for them at a time when money was tight because they worked hard to keep it safe, securing it with wire after a hurricane nearly took it over about year three. But it stayed strong and is a sturdy specimen now, albeit still leaning to the right a little. The hurricane changed its shape but didn't defeat it and it remains a testament to my parents-and the tree's- determination. I love seeing it in bloom.

These beautiful days are welcome now as we have plenty to do and never enough hours in the day to do them. And a nice string of spring days is the perfect solution.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Stunner

Another stunner here weather-wise and a wonderful day to be in beautiful East Hampton.

Sunday's are great days for being out and about at this time of the year. I remember so well the Sunday's of my youth when it was about church and family. We all went to church, came home to a nice meal, and because there wasn't much else to do (with blue laws in full effect and the stores shuttered and dark), a nice, long Sunday drive. Sometimes it meant a heading east to Montauk to see the lighthouse. Of maybe to Sag Harbor to look at the boats at Long Wharf. Sometimes we even sat in the car by the fence at the airport to watch the little planes come and go because Sunday was a day for the local pilots to get out and enjoy their hobby too. There were only small planes in those days-no jets or helicopters. And they were fun to see land, some with student pilots doing "touch and goes" for practice.

Life was simpler then and The East End a wonderful place to experience it. There was a feeling of optimism in this country in the 1950s, post WWII and pre Vietnam. It was a time of plenty and a time of contentment and this place here was full of both. We loved our Sunday drives, despite being squeezed into the bench seats of a station wagon, my youngest sister between my parents in the front and the other three of us jockeying for position in the back. We visited friends, we saw the beauty all around us, and we were a family. No wonder people remember the 1950s with such nostalgia. It really was a magical time.

And on this stunner of a Sunday I'll be remembering those times all day...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Today

Now THIS is what I call a beautiful spring day!

It was pretty chilly when I woke up this morning. The cool air at night has made sleeping such a treat. I think I sleep the best during the spring and fall, with windows opened and plenty of cool air coming into my bedroom. I stay cozy under my comforter and dream lovely dreams.

By noon it was perfectly comfortable with the temperature hovering in the sisters somewhere-warm enough to not need a sweater but cool enough to need long sleeves. The sun was shining and being directly in it felt glorious. In my book, perfect weather.

By late tonight it will be cold again and I'll gladly pull those covers up under my chin. But in another month the days will be warmer and I'll be missing this level of perfection in the air. I will hold on to the memory of this perfect day. With snow behind us and humidity ahead of us, this one will be a memory for sure.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Taxes

We all complain a lot about taxes in this country. Since today is "tax day", it seems appropriate to look at taxes and wonder whether or not the anger and frustration is fair.

I've spent some time in Norway, one of the Scandinavian countries, and I must say, I found it a wonderful place to be. It certainly does not consider itself a socialist country, but it certainly has some strongly socialistic programs, like free education and  free health care. I can't say I'm not envious, because I am. I think it's great that any young person who is capable can have the opportunity to continue their education. I have children who are still paying of college loans and the youngest graduated nearly ten years ago. Having him saddled with thousands of dollars in debt seems unfair.

And seeing what a disaster the Affordable Care Act has been, I long for a single payer health insurance for all citizens, like Medicare or Medicaid. Why is that so difficult? In this, the most progressive, wealthiest country in the world there are people who cannot afford their prescription medications. We should be ashamed of that. I am.

I don't resent paying taxes. I appreciate our military and our infrastructure. I don't enjoy paying taxes that are wasted on silly studies and $100 hammers. So it's a necessary evil, but one I don't mind, unless....

Today we all pay our taxes. Love them or hate them, they are a really sure thing.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring?

Yesterday was a near perfect day for me. It was sunny and warm, but cool enough to need a sweater and not warm enough to to break a sweat, and the sky was a beautiful hue of blue. I had many errands to do and no meetings to attend so I spent the morning grocery shopping, getting signatures on a petition, checking mail, and various other things around the village. The traffic was light, there was construction going on along the roadsides, and there were even mowers out trimming up the grass on some of the village greens. It was totally "spring" in every way, from Main Beach to Cedar Street, and a really wonderful day.

But I said "near-perfect" for a reason. I was shocked to go out at 7am to find my windshield covered with ice. Really?

I don't mind a little cold air, I really don't I like the cold nights and warm days. I don't even mind a little snow in the winter. But I do NOT like scraping ice off my windshield. Having never lived in a home that included a garage I am certainly not spoiled in this area. And I don't mind pushing snow off the car. But ice on the windshield is where I draw the line. During the winter I use a cover that keeps the windshield clear and protects the wipers from ice, which was the death of my wipers every year before I started using it. But now if I suspect my windshield is at risk, the cover comes out.

It never occurred to me to pull out that cover last night. I thought we were beyond the icy windshield issue for this year.

It's a small gripe on such a nice day. In fact I shouldn't even mention it. But I'm just still a bit rattled by the memory of getting into the car this morning ready to drive to the grocery store, only to look at a white window covered with ice. I grabbed the scraper from its place on the driver's side door, climbed back out and cleaned off the Windows, both front and back. Then I turned on the defroster and went back in the house for a few minutes, returning to find a nice clean windshield like I would expect on a beautiful April day.

A near-perfect April day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Desert

People are truly funny. In some ways, they're impossible to please. Take the weather, for instance.

I woke up this morning to the news that we should expect rain all day. "Great" thought I, "the grass and flowers need some rain!"

Then I got to the hospital for my volunteer time. By then the rain was coming down pretty steadily. And every person who came in the door complained about the rain. "Well it's a great day for ducks" said one. "Yuck" said another. "What a messy day" and "Oh, this is miserable" were common complaints. I was taken aback really. Because I've been to the desert. I don't want to live there.

Honestly Arizona is beautiful. It's a wonderful place to visit and has many great features. But it's beige. All the time. I would get very tired of beige as a full time menu. I don't think I would be happy without a dose of green grass, blue hydrangeas, and pink peonies every year. But those don't happen without rain. Unless you want to live in a green house.

No, thank you very much, I'll gladly take some rain in exchange for not living in a desert environment. Because rain is the thing that brings color to the world. And I love color...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Weather

Watching the weather reports on TV is always a little depressing.

As I listen to the newscasters this morning they are announcing that the "rain will push out about noon" and the afternoon is going to be sunny and warm. Then I actually watch the screen and see a different story altogether. As the radar shows the rain passing overhead and the clock indicates timing, it may be noon in NYC, but by the time it finally leaves eastern Long Island the clock reads 5:00. Big difference! So much for nice sunshine this afternoon...and so much for the "local" weather report.

Of course there are times when I don't mind the difference, like when the temperature shows as 85 degrees and I know here it will be a good ten degrees less than that. But in terms of the radar, one surely needs to watch the weather report because simply listening to it simply won't tell you the story.

And today at least, that means rain all the day long...

Monday, April 11, 2016

URI

The simple upper respiratory infection, better no own as the common cold, is one of those things we all need to deal with. Everyone gets them and everyone tends to soldier on when they're inflicted. But some are anything but common and there are certainly easier ones to deal with. On a scale of one to ten, they come in every number.

I'm not sure where to put this one on the scale-it's certainly isn't the worst one I've ever had but it likewise is not the easiest. In fact it's one of those unique ones that defies the logic we normally can assign to this regular malady we all face.

I'm a pretty healthy person when it comes to things like URIs. I wash my hands a lot and try to be aware of people and things around me. My limited midi all training helps and I know how easily infections are passed from one person to another. But this one still caught me and it started with a sore throat a week ago.

Initially I tagged it as a strep throat. It had the classic symptoms of sore areas at the rear of my throat, pain on swallowing, but no congestion. I was using Tylenol to help me sleep at night all week, keeping my regular schedule going despite the desire to lay around under a blanket, just hoping it would pass. But then this weekend the congestion hit.

Now I'm staying close to the tissue box and resisting the urge to climb back into bed. And wondering if this will ever go away. After one week, according to conventional wisdom, I should be feeling much better, definitely on the other side of this thing. But today it doesn't feel that way.

Let's hope tomorrow is a better day...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Maybe

Sundays are "maybe" days. Other than church in the morning, they present an afternoon and evening full of hours not spoken for and anything goes. So what shall I do with this Sunday?

Maybe I'll work on my knitting. I have two sweaters in process, and I need to get them done. Not sure I'm in the mood to knit today.

Maybe I'll get in the car and go shopping. I always like browsing around K Mart and T J Maxx. I could do that but its hard to do it without spending money and I really don't want to spend money. Maybe not today.

Maybe I'll go get a snack and drive to the beach to just enjoy the scenery. After all., its a gorgeous day out there with deep blue sky and sun shine galore. A bit chilly, but more to mu liking that this past weekend has been. Its a good day to go watch the ocean. Or the bay. Or even just drive around and see what's happening around town in this, the early days of spring. After all - I don't need a snack I need to lose weight, not gain it.

Maybe I'll read a book. Its been a long time since I got into a good book and I really should do that. Maybe next week.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll go curl up on the couch and take a nap. After all, its been a busy weekend up until now, and two nights in a row I went to bed later than usual, so I am dragging a little. My other half is watching a golf tournament. Nothing exciting there for me. But the couch is comfy and I wouldn't mind closing my eyes for a few minutes.

I could get to go on an ambulance call if one comes along soon. Maybe I'll do that.

Oh, the possibilities are endless. I like "maybe" days.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Westward

Today I had fun shopping with two of my girls. I know that some people assume since three of my children live in East Hampton I must do things like this all the time, but with everyone working and raising families, it truly is a rarity.

We left East Hampton right after the kids were all dropped at school, heading toward Riverhead. We shopped at Target and Costco and then turned back toward home. In Hampton Bays we made a quick detour to Macy's where both the girls picked up some things. Then we stopped for lunch in Southampton, enjoying some good food and conversation for an hour at a local pub. Then Pier 1 was calling and I picked up some candles for the outdoor nights to come this summer.

It was a real treat for me and, although I only bought a handful of things (mostly at the dollar rack at Target-my favorite place!) I had a thoroughly delightful day just hanging with my girls. I wish all four of them could have joined us. But I'll take what I can get.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Showers

"Though April showers may come your way....they bring the flowers that bloom in May..." So my mother used to sing to us every April. And so it goes!

More rain today but I know how great this rain is for the bushes and bulbs that are working hard right now to emerge with new life. I so look forward to the azaleas and lilacs. The daffodils are out in force now and there are punches of color everywhere. There is a mass of daffodils in front of the library on Main Street, and I passed a yard full of them in Wainscott on Tuesday. They are such an eye catching pleasure at the end of a colorless winter and I find myself watching for glimpses of yellow when're I'm out and around. I have some minis in my yard, along with a few clumps of larger varieties, and they make me smile whenever I come or go.

They are the true harbingers of spring and begin to prepare us for the jolt of color to come. Rain, that annoying blessing we have with us in abundance this week, is part of the plan, watering the earth and urging the beauty to burst forth from beneath the ground. It's one of the miracles of life and we welcome it here. Because April showers, well, you know the rest....

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tricky

Mother Nature fooled me this morning. I saw the sun shining and the blue sky and went out to the grocery store without a coat on. I had a nice sip-up cable sweater, and thought that would be sufficient. But it wasn't. I've been trying to get rid of the chill ever since. I'm literally shaking and and I've been home for a good while now. Oh April...you are a puzzle!

I'm happy for sweater weather. I prefer not to backtrack to the depths of winter though.

I hope for some warm days ahead and I long for no more gloves and heavy coats. Not that I mind them when the time is right, but now is not the time. I want the temperature to be in the 60's now - warm enough for light coverings, and open windows, but cook enough not to have to sweat. Is that asking so much?

Maybe so. I don't know. But I'm ready for something else now. Time for spring...

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

28 degrees

Well winter stuck it's cold head back in the door today, just to remind us that it's only April.

When I climbed into the car at 7 this morning the thermostat on the dashboard read 28 degrees. It was the first time I needed a winter coat and gloves in weeks.once the temperature reaches the forties I rarely wear a heavy coat. But today, I did.

This afternoon I left my coat at a friend's house when I left to go home. Because by then the temperature had climbed nicely and it didn't even occur to me to put a coat on. So I turned around as soon as I got home and ran back to retrieve the coat, lest I not miss it and forget where it was.

It looks as though this week will be a roller coaster ride of winter, spring, winter, spring. And so it goes in this, the crazy month of April on the East End of beautiful Long Island. Every roller coaster eventually slows to a stop though and in a few short weeks now it should officially be sweater season.  And I love it here during sweater season.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Thomas

I'm sitting here watching "Thomas the Train" with my grandchildren and wishing Thomas had been around when my two boys were young. I love the lessons and morals of this show. Not surprising since it wS written by a minister, but still,a ray of light in the sometimes dark world of children's television.

Oh there were some good shows when my kids were little. Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, and Sesame Street were the stand outs. But many of the shows today are a bit whacky in my view-with super heroes and weird teen live-cast dramas among the offerings. There are certainly more shows aimed at the younger kids than ever before, but not all are of the quality I like to see. And those on commercial,stations are so polluted with advertising that often ruins whatever lesson might have been taught.

But back to Thomas the Train! Both boys and girls seem to love the adventures of the trains on the island of Sodor, but with few shows that don't include princesses and tiaras, it's a very nice option for the boys these days. Thomas has the heart and spirit of a ten-year-old, and I think all little boys must identify. Long live Thomas the Train.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Wind

This morning there was snow on the ground when we woke up. The wind was whipping trees and the noise was significant as a little winter blast reminded us that we weren't quite out of the woods yet in terms of cold weather.

April is....April. Warm one day and cold the next. Showers often, snow possible, but lots of sunny days as well, all reminding us of our lack of control over such things as the weather.

We are ready for summer though. The leaves have been raked up, the yard cleaned of debris and twigs, and the flower beds are ready for whatever we decide to add to them. We have the outdoor furniture uncovered and the screens on the back door, ready for the warm days that will soon be the norm.

East Hampton is waking up from the winter slumber and feeling the anxiousness that accompanies "the season" out here in "summer play land". We know the onslaught is soon to arrive, but at this moment it's a wonderful time to live in this beautiful place. With warm days soon here for good we can take this next two months to enjoy it all to ourselves. The crowds will arrive soon enough, but right now it's all ours and we'll enjoy every minute of it.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Rainy blues

It seems as though April is roaring in like a lion after March's lamb of a departure. Oh the mysteries of weather, especially in the spring!

The rain today is making for lots of inside work here at our house. So far the ziti has been put together for tomorrow, the sofa has been cleaned, the carpets rolled up and floors cleaned, one dump run, some labels put onto the new bins that are organizing all the junk over the washer and dryer, and let's see...oh yes! The bedding was changed in our room. Not a bad morning's work considering it's not even eleven yet.

The problem is what to do with the rest of the day. If it were up to me we'd go to a museum, or play board games, but my husband would have none of that. The television will be on by noon and won't go off until we leave for dinner at friends' later. Sometimes I truly hate that thing. It could be a factor in divorce proceedings were I so inclined!

These are the times I miss both my mother and my best friend. Having Mom next door meant I always had someone to sit and talk to without going far from home. And I could always call my friend and see if she wanted to go someplace to browse, like Bridgehampton Commons. They were my two go-to people when I was bored or lonely, and now they're both gone. My life has changed dramatically since losing them-more than anyone else realizes, I'm sure. They were my confidantes, my support system, my company. I've been lonely without them but, well, life goes on. And life in general is good, with lots of people to love and plenty to keep me busy. It's just that, well, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with myself on rainy Saturdays when the work is done...

Friday, April 1, 2016

Tests

Since having cancer, and since becoming "older", I have become fairly accustomed to the constant barrage of medical tests. Between regular check ups with the oncologist, regular physician, and various other specialists, I go regularly to the eye doctor (overdue for that one) and the dentist. So tests are part of the deal.

What I will never get used to is the waiting.

Next week I will see my regular doctor for an annual exam. That means a blood test today so the results will be in her hand when I go. And going for blood work is always trying. It seems that no matter what lab I decide to visit, there will be a long wait time. The last time I went to the lab here in East Hampton the wait was about an hour. That's because the lab opens at 7:30 and since most of us are fasting we want to get in and out as quickly and as early as possible. I got to the lab at 7:15 and there was already a line of about twenty people.

This morning I decided to wait it out at home. It's now 8:15 and I think I'll head over now. There will no doubt still be a line, but hopefully it won't be quite as long as it would have been had I gone an hour ago. Of course, I've been waiting anyway, but at least I'm home where I can do other things while I wait.

I don't enjoy waiting. It's not that I'm all that impatient, but it seems such a waste of time. And in life, time is short. Who wants to waste it sitting in line?