Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Two weeks

Two weeks from today the local schools will be back in session. Wow that was a fast summer!

I'm not quite sure what to make of this year in terms of how quickly its passing. Last summer was honestly a blur to me. Perhaps that's part of it - I had a horrible year and I barely remember any of it. But then this summer seems to have gone by so quickly and I'm not sure if one has anything to do with the other.

I think perhaps time just moves more quickly as you get older. It reminds me of when you grab a huge pile of sand in your hand and its overflowing its so heavy. But if your fingers are not tightly closed together it quickly begins to disappear between the cracks and before you know it poof! Its gone. In the beginning you barely see it leaving but by the end those grains are flying out so quickly you barely have time to react. I think that's the way life is. I feel it quickly leaving now, flying out of my fingers so quickly with no chance to slow it all down. I can see the end, and the pile is long gone. Life is short and no one knows it better than someone my age!

Two weeks will be gone in a blink. And then I'll be bemoaning the passage of yet another holiday season. And so it goes, month to month, year to year, and I think I wish I'd had a mid-life crisis years ago and run away like some people do. Because now its too late. And my life is nearly over. And there's no time left for a do-over. Sigh...

Yikes. Way too morose and heavy for a lovely Wednesday morning! I hear the weather is going to be cooler this week! Now that's something to smile about!!! And a smile is a much better way to start a day. So I will!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Changes

I'm always fascinated by the way that change of any kind throws off the fine balance of life. Whether its illness, trauma, or simply not having your morning newspaper to read, when we are used to something one way it upsets the apple cart when that changes.

There have been many changes in my life this past year, mostly set off by one major one. When my husband and I parted ways it changed so many other things that my entire world was rocked, from my relationships to my children and other family members to the way I turn in for the night and how I take care of my house. Everything really changed. It reminds me of the science that informs us when a butterfly flaps its wings on this side of the world something is effected on the other. Its rather amazing really.

Yesterday I attended a ceremony marking the change at our local hospital which is now affiliated with a much larger one. Its good change, for the most part, and yet there is a great deal of concern among many people about how this will alter their worlds. Not only staff, but patients have voiced questions about how things will be different, and I'm reminded once again of how we are creatures who love things to be the same. We like the predictable and we value "sameness" in so many ways. Its a comfort zone for us, its what we know and what we understand.

What is it they say, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't"?  I think many people feel that way. And perhaps its true, but not necessarily. Sometimes we just need to sit back, take it all in, and adjust to a new normal.

Easier said than done... 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The run

Today is my eighth annual Ellen's Run. And its a celebration for me every year.

Eight years ago I had just completed treatment for breast cancer and when I as asked if I would work at Ellen's Run I gladly said yes. It's a fundraising 5K race that was began twenty-two years ago by the wonderful Julie Ratner in honor of her sister Ellen who died of the disease in her 40s. Of course I would help!

Not only did I help but I organized my first team. There were about 33 of us if I remember, and it wasn't an "official" team because I was such a novice I didn't realize you could register as a team! But we had matching t-shirts and did our part to raise money for the cause. I didn't yet have the energy to do the walk myself but I donned my pink wig and worked the registration tables and saw my team off at the starting line. 

Every year since they I've done the walk, winning the "largest team" award three times, but not doing a team the past two years. I found that it was such a hard job putting the team together, and I had started an event in East Hampton held in October to raise money for the same charities that was bringing in more than my team did in terms of dollars, that I determined to put my energy toward that instead of putting a team together. So this year, like last, I'll be walking with the Southampton Hospital Team instead.

Its a wonderful day, a great event, and although I don't like missing church, I've made it a priority to be there every year for eight years now. And hopefully I'll be able to be there for many, many more.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Rainy days and Mondays

The Carpenters were in my head all day yesterday. It began when the deluge started in the morning and stayed with me the rest of the day, an ear worm that I couldn't dislodge and made me even more depressed than I already was.

What is it about rain that makes us sad? I think its the combination of not wanting to go out in it and the fact that the sun is behind the clouds and its so dark out there. All day that gray sky made me feel lower than I have in while and I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep the day away, which sadly was not an option. 

I think being alone also factors in to the equation these days. Because there was a time when I didn't mind rainy days. With my kids at home it was a day to make forts out of blankets or bake cookies. When I had a partner here it was a day for binge watching some television show we hadn't had time to watch, and making popcorn to enjoy the screen time with. Yes, rainy days are definitely more fun when you have company. Alone they pretty much stink.

If I had my own studio I would use that time to create. But I don't, so instead I read or watch TV ... alone. And I think I suddenly realize the reason for my funk yesterday. It wasn't really the rain at all. It was the fact that the rain was reminding me that I was alone.

And being alone stinks.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sisters

I was reminded again this week how important our families are to us. My two sisters and I met for dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate one of their birthdays. And it was a refreshing time of peace.

There is safety in family. Even when you're not getting along or in some sort of disagreement, you are always pretty confident in the bond of love that exists. Its a bond that seems to outlive everything else, petty arguments, major family blow-ups, whatever. Oh I know there are families that are broken irreparably and that is sad, but for the most part we seem to be able to overlook each other's faults and come back to a place of peaceful coexistence if nothing else. There's something about our shared histories that makes for a pretty strong bond, even though we don't always remember things In exactly the same way! Family lore is just that sometimes, but it always takes on a bigger role when stories are re-told over the years, right?

My family has been a source of strength to me, but also, sometimes, a source of pain. During the most difficult times we don't always know what the other needs or wants or desires and sometimes we misstep. But always, I find, we have love at the core and that's what its all really about.


Next week another birthday to celebrate. And that's something to look forward to. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Counting days

I know this gets old, and I know I do it every year, but I truly am counting the days until August is over.

And just to be really annoying, Labor Day is late this year and it isn't even over when August is over. Sheesh!

Traffic is incredible this month and the frenetic nature of August is wearing on me. I think we're all so patient for such a long time that by now, we've had it. How much can we take in our quaint little town?

I can't get out of my driveway, I can't get a place to park anywhere close to work, I can't shop at the grocery store after 8am....the list goes on and on. And forget trying to head west after 2:00 in the afternoon! Or anytime for that matter!

Well we're officially half way through the month now and Labor Day is only two weekends away, so I guess we can survive it. These are the waning days of the season and soon enough we'll be wearing sweatshirts to sit at the beach, right? I don't mind that actually - I love the autumn! But for now its about surviving this summer . Yes, we can do it! The question is, can we do it all again next summer?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Perspectives

It's always amusing to me how different one's perspective is from time to time in life. 

When I was young I so looked forward to sending my kids off to their grandmothers' houses. I enjoyed the time to get things done and they always had fun with their grandmothers. 

Now I'm the grandmother and I'm getting some of those kids today and I'm very excited about it!

I'm already planning the events of the day. This morning I have only the 8-year-old so we'll go off and do some fun things together. Perhaps we'll go out to breakfast, or at the very least grab a bagel and go sit at the beach. Closer to noon the younger crowd will be joining us and at that point we're here to stay so I see lunch together, baking cookies, and playing outside all on the agenda. Its supposed to be a beautiful day so we'll have a good time here at home. They always like to do puzzles and play games so those activities may well be part of the festivities too.

My perspective has changed for sure. Rather than being happy to leave them with someone else, I'm thrilled to have them left with me. Hopefully they feel the same way...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fleeting

It seems that, more and more these days, I suddenly look at the calendar (or in this case my blog) and realize that time has gotten away from me and suddenly I'm days late - with a bill payment, or a phone call., or a blog post. What is happening to time these days?

It is a fleeting thing, isn't it? It seems as though whenever you turn around a grandchild has grown a couple inches, or a plant that you just put in the ground is huge, or sadly, someone leaves this earth too soon. Time  is one of the great mysteries of life. It just goes on.

I sometimes feel as though an entire year of my life has been wasted - maybe even many years actually, but I try to remember that good things happened even during difficult times. But I honestly have so few memories of the past year that it really does seem to be lost to me. I suppose you could compare it to childbirth and say its a good things that the memories of that kind of pain diminishes over time, but the other memories, of special times with children and family memories are sad to lose.


I hope I have enough time on earth to make lots of new memories that will stay with me for years to come. That truly is the best way to erase the bad ones. I'm holding on to that idea.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Icons

We lost a couple music icons this past week and it's made me think about the effect that certain people have on the world and on the people of their generation.

I remember whenever Glenn Miller's Orchestra came on the radio or television my parents would stop what they were doing and listen. I understand it now. Because WWII was such a huge part of their lives, and that band was such a major player in the music of that era, that hearing them play must have brought a flood of memories to them. I'm not sure whether they were remembering combat, or blood drives, or wrapping bandages with the Red Cross, but their faces clearly reflected that they had been transported to a pivotal time in their lives simply by hearing the first few strains of a familiar tune.

I feel the same way this week as certain songs and voices have flooded the airwaves in response to the passing of two musical legends. 

And I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time

And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line

This words haunt me now. They mean more than they did fifty years ago - and they are quite profound. 

Each generation has its spokespersons. For mine it was Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Glen Campbell, among others. They spoke for us and they moved our hearts and they feed our spirits as only music can. And it makes me sad to say goodbye to any of them. It was a sad week for sure.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Another Saturday

Saturdays used to be my favorite days. Not anymore.

When I was younger they were days home from school. I could sleep late, and have fun with friends. They were the best days of the week!

When I grew up they still special days because my kids were home from school and we could have family time. I loved weekends but Sundays were about church, so Saturdays were the "free" day and having no schedule was always nice.

Saturdays are not so much fun anymore. With an empty house there is no one to enjoy all that free time yet. Oh, I'm sure many people love to be alone and have their "alone" time, but I'm not one of them. I'm a person who like to socialize, to have company, to just be with people. I am lonely when I'm alone. I'm not meant to be a solitary person. And I do my bet to fill my days with stuff - but Saturdays....well....they're empty days now.

So here we are at another Saturday. Its rainy so I can't go to the beach and be with family, its too busy out there to want to be on the roads to go shopping or whatever, and here I sit. Time for creative thinking! I'm going to start my book. I've been talking about writing a book for years. Maybe the time has come to do it.

Then again...I could clean up my office, which is what I really need to do....

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lessons

In attended a very intense workshop recently that dealt with a lot of introspection and self-analysis. I learned skills to help me figure out why I do and say the things I do, and how to correct behaviors that aren't healthy or productive. It's been a tough time since then as I over-think everything I say and try to adapt things I do. I'm not sure I'm young enough to still make myself a better person! LOL

Honestly I'm open to improvement. I was told at a pretty early age that I wasn't perfect so I've never had an over-
inflated opinion of myself. And I've always looked for ways to be a better person, both through spiritual work and simply by listening to others criticisms or suggestions. So its not completely new to me to work on myself. But this work is more intense and pointed than any more casual work I've done and I must say its hard. When you already have low self-esteem, it takes you even lower. Seeing yourself as others see you is very humbling. But humility is a good thing so I say bring it on.

I think this past year has been one of real destruction in terms of my sense of worth and I'm hoping that by improving myself I can begin to feel better about who I am and how I live my life. I'm not sure, but I hope so anyway. Because if we ever stop learning, ever fail to want to better ourselves, I think we're in trouble. We may as well check out of life at that point. And I'm not quite ready for that yet. And so the new chapter begins...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August

I say it every year, but August is the worst! 

Traffic is horrendous. Crowds are everywhere. Lines to buy groceries and lines to buy stamps. There is no small town here right now - this is crazy town.

I have always said if I could escape one month out of every year here, it wouldn't be February like most people - for me it would be August. I dream of a cabin on a lake in the mountains, with a screened-in porch and a little dock with a small boat tied up at the end. I  picture pine trees and crickets and peace and quiet, and never a need to go into town unless the quiet becomes overwhelming. I think of marshmallows over a fire pit and a warm down comforter to ward off the nighttime chill. THAT'S where I want to be in August!

Well that's the dream but the reality is I'm here. So I plan my trips through the village early and I drive around the outskirts as much as possible. No Montauk Highway if I can avoid it. And no grocery stores between 9am and 6pm either.

Its not easy to liver here in August, but its the sacrifice we make for the other eleven months of the year. And as of today, there are only three weeks left... 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bills

I'm sitting in my office with a desk full of bills to pay and its depressing me. When do the bills ever stop doing that?

I've always said that to me, a stress-free life would be one without bills that can't be paid. Not worrying every blessed month about how to pay bills would be heaven to me. But I imagine its nearly an impossible thing and not many people have that luxury.

When we were newly married we had to look at the bills every month and figure out who got paid that month. Sometimes we had to pay on a number of large bills, like car repairs or pharmacies, as much as we could every month until they were paid off. When money is tight, something like an unexpected brake job or child's medical costs can put a real strain on a budget. I remember paying a local mechanic $10 a month for a couple years. And when my husband had his heart attack we spent 5 years paying off the bill from the heart surgeon - $100 here, $50 there. It was a strain for sure!

Fortunately I'm not quite there at this point, but still I am sometimes late with a payment and that about kills me. I don't like being late with anything, no less money! But they do all get paid eventually.

Today my goal is to get most of them pain and to come up with a plan on those that aren't. With a tax bill sitting here I know what I need to do first. And then, I'll take it as it comes. Life can be a challenge in so many ways, not the least of which is, for most of us,
paying the bills! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Home


After a few days of traveling I'm grateful to be home in my peaceful, happy place. 

I'm always amazed at how I relax as soon as I step back in my door after a trip. Its not only an emotional things, its a physical thing. I could feel myself relax and settle in and just knew all the stress was leaving my body as I came through my back door. I had to immediately re-enter my world, knowing the dryer was broken and I had to call the repairman first thing in the morning, and there was a pile of laundry to do, and I had no clean clothes...but still...I began to feel like like everything was OK. I was home.

Travel is fun - an adventure - but the real joy of travel is the return. Because home is truly where our hearts are - in every broken knob and every loose handle, every comfortable pillow and every box of tissues that are just within reach when I need them. This is my space. And I'm grateful for it.

And I'm not leaving it anytime soon. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Summer travel

Summer travel is not fun.

I guess that's why when you live in the northeast, people tend to stay home in the summer and travel in the winter. Because its hot out there right now!

Everything seems more difficult in the extreme heat, from carrying suitcases to renting a car. And with air travel being as unpleasant as it is now, I can't say I enjoy the procedure. Gone are the days of comfortable seats, served meals, and nice lounges at the airports. Air travel has become more like a cattle call than a special event - its something we have to endure in order to get where we want to be. I much prefer a long car trip to a short plane ride, but it is what it is and sometimes we just need to bite the bullet and get onto a plane.

So here's my rant for this trip: Why do they charge you for checking your bag when they could save time (and money - not to mention aggravation) by charging for carry-on bags in order to urge folks to use the checking system? I'm so tired of all the time wasted waiting for people to stuff those overhead bins to capacity, making everyone in line wait for them not to mention endangering everyone in close range as they wrestle those bags out later often coming close to conking someone on the head. I seem to remember a day when those overhead bins were reserved for coats and briefcases, hats, and sweaters. Gone are those days! Good luck finding a space to stow anything in one of those overhead compartments anymore. I would estimate it takes an extra fifteen minutes loading and unloading because of those suitcases - how what would that savings amount to in scheduling flights?

OK - rant over for now. By Monday I may have more. But right now I'm just praying for decent weather and no waits on the hot tarmac....

Friday, August 4, 2017

Hammock time

We were certainly blessed with some beautiful weather this past weekend, despite the overcast skies on Saturday. Sunday was one of the most spectacular days I can remember in a very long time.

There are a few days every year that you just wish you could bottle up and save for pull out when you really need them, like for a wedding or other very special event, or just because you need to spirit lift. Sunday was one of those days. I went to church, spent time at the pool with my children and grandchildren, and lay in my hammock reading a book until it was beginning to get dark. It was a picture-perfect day and made me think, even if only for a moment, that life would someday be happy and beautiful for me again. I haven't felt that way much this past year so it was a nice change.

I think if I could have that day again, knowing ahead of time how beautiful it would be, I would begin it by watching the sunrise over the water at Montauk Point by the lighthouse. Then breakfast in Montauk, working my way along the stretch to Amagansett and perhaps for a walk along the bay side. Lunch someplace outside would be nice, maybe in Sag Harbor along Main Street, followed by a walk along the street and out to Long Wharf. I think I would work my way west a little more and end in Hampton Bays for dinner at one of their outdoor restaurants on the ocean. I would save my cocktail for home, coming back to East Hampton and walking to The Palm for a cocktail before wandering home for a good night's sleep after a very long day. But what a day it would have been.

My dream life. Happy and beautiful again, maybe....
 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hydrangeas

Has there ever been a better year for hydrangeas on the East End of Long Island? I don't think so! At least not in my memory!

This has been an amazing month with the hydrangea bushes in full bloom. After a few years of paltry offerings and few blossoms, this year the hydrangea bushes have outdone themselves with full,m fat blooms, completely covering each specimen from the lace caps to the pee gees and everything in between. I've seen more variation in colors, from the deepest purples and pinks to the beautiful blues, and more variety of types, than ever before, and all of them are spectacular.

Hydrangeas have always flourished here on the east end, and I remember my mother taking cutting
s from my grandfather's bush many years ago where it now grows by her back door. I'm sure the folks who live in that house have no idea the bush's pedigree, but when I look at it I see my grandfather in his gardening clothes, lovingly pruning his bushes and beloved begonias that he planted surrounding his house just down the road from me.  Just as my lilacs will always be "my mother's lilacs" because I took shoots from her bushes to plant here, that hydrangea I can see from my driveway by my mother's back door will always be "Grandpa's" bush. Its out memories that keep us content in our later years, isn't it?

Well this truly has been a banner year for our hydrangeas and I don't know why (no doubt some connection to spring rainfall or winter cold, as these things always are) but I'm enjoying it very much. They are one of my favorite flowers and to me, they always will say "home".

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Travel

Today is travel day for me and I'm a bit apprehensive about it. I'm not much of a summer traveler, preferring to stay at home and never leave my house during these crazy busy months of the year. I suppose that's the resort mentality I've grown up with, but nevertheless, I rarely leave East Hampton and I never fly in the summer.

I hope to change that pattern soon though. I hope by net summer I'll be doing a regular August trip of some sort. I've always wanted to see more of the country and it seems as though this is the time of year to do it. I love to drive the Pacific Highway, for instance, and explore the badlands of North Dakota. I wold also enjoy more exploration of New England and the western states. So perhaps I'll find more travel in the summer as these years pass. We'll see.

For now at least, I worry about the travel time to Kennedy airport, the heat and humidity of my destination, and the long delays that seem to be a regular part of air travel in the heart of the summer. We'll see how it goes. I'm not expecting smooth sailing. But I will be relieved to get where I'm going in one piece.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New day

Today is a new and exciting day for East End residents as the Southampton Hospital officially merges with Stony Brook University Medicine. Its been a long time coming, and its a welcome culmination to a drawn-out process.

This change will be a good thing for everyone who lives out here at the end of the earth. (So it seems when we need help, right?) With the era of telemedicine and the new availability of all sorts of specialists in their system, our little community hospital is going to become a formidable partner in the health system out here on the South Fork, for sure. 

We have always been very fortunate here to have generous benefactors who have kept our hospital healthy and up-to-date in terms of facility and equipment, and we are also blessed to be a place that people want to live, including doctors who have the same issues of affordable housing that all of us do. But many are willing to make the sacrifice to live here and enjoy the beauty all around us. But now we are stepping into a totally new era of availability in terms of what we will have access to here on the East End. And I'm grateful for that.

Congratulations to the administration of Southampton Hospital for their hard work to get us to this place, and to the residents of the East End who will be the real recipients of the gift. Its a very good day.

Monday, July 31, 2017

31st

Today, July 31st, is the date my parents married way back in 1948. And I always think about them on this day.

I heard the story many times. They met in college and married when my dad graduated (he was a year behind Mom because of WWII and she taught school for a year while he finished up) Dad was from East Hampton but Mom was from Buffalo, so they were to be married in the big Baptist Church there where my grandmother was the organist. At this moment I am wracking my brain trying to remember the name of the church - I knew it for so many years and suddenly can't seem to come up with it. It no longer exists, but should be part of the story! Perhaps by the end of the blog it will come to me.

Anyway, my father's family made the long trek upstate, which is 1948 was not an easy one. My uncles and aunt were in the wedding, along with some of my parents' friends from college. I've seen the photos and it looked to be a lovely wedding party. The one thing that they talked about more than any other though was the heat. Apparently despite the fact that the wedding took place at 7:00 in the evening, it was brutally hot and humid, in the days long before air conditioned churches. Mom told me once that at one point the minister pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to my father because he was sweating so badly. Imagine being in a white dinner jacket with cummerbund and bow tie in that heat! Apparently they were also worried about people passing out.


Photos in the wedding album show the reception in the church hall and the happy couple leaving in their traveling clothes amid a shower of rice, her in her dark suit and huge white orchid corsage and him in his blue double-breasted number, both of them looking handsome and full of the hope and expectations of their age and the event. They had a simple honeymoon in a cabin someplace in upstate.

I remember the story and I replay it in my mind every year in honor of my parents and the optimism and love they shared at that moment, on that day, so many years ago. Life hits us all pretty hard with reality soon enough, but that was a magic day for them and so for me its a wonderful memory, even though I wasn't there.

Oh, and yes, it was the Prospect Avenue Baptist Church. If I ever get to Buffalo again I'm going to search it out and see what's there now. Because its really where my story, such as it is, began.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Window boxes

I have been struggling for years now with my window boxes. I wish I could find an answer for them.

We added window boxes to the front of our house quite a few years ago now. With white shutters and trim and a brown shingled house, window boxes seemed to be just the right touch to add a little color and interest to our otherwise neutral exterior (other than the front door, which I seem to change every few years. Its been red, yellow, blue, and now, green.) But nothing we plant in those boxes seems to be the right formula.

I think the problem is that the lower boxes get more sun and the upper boxes get more shade. One of the upstairs boxes is completely in shadow as its under a rather large Japanese maple tree. So what do you plant that tolerates both shade and full sun well? We've tried geraniums, impatiens, coleus, ivy - all sorts of different things, none of which look great in all the boxes. This year my lower boxes are thriving and full and look beautiful and lush but the ones upstairs are scraggly and limp and simply look horrible. 

Now I imagine that they all have different needs in terms of watering and assume perhaps the ones upstairs need either more or less than they are getting. But since I have to water them from the bedrooms (through the screens in the windows) I can't stick my fingers into the soil and see if its too wet or too dry. So I go with an every-other-day schedule. But it doesn't seem to be working.

I wish I were a more educated person when it comes to flowers. I long for beautiful, full, colorful window boxes to make my house look lovely all summer long. My mother had a wonderful green thumb and if she was still around I might have some help in this area. But I'm on my own. And not doing too well.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Fair

There's a saying here in East Hampton that it never rains on the LVIS Fair. I remember more than a few times that it did indeed rain, but today looks like it might be the perfect day for a record setting income. Right now its very overcast, its cool, its not a beach day, and although the rain is threatening, I don't think it will be anything other than a shower here or there. Nothing to keep people away from the fair, and in fact, enough to make attendance pretty great. After all, they aren't going to be flocking to the beach, and there isn't all that much else to do around here on a day like today.

The LVIS (Ladies Village Improvement Society) is a venerable group of women here in town who began over 100 years ago in an effort to get the dust down on the village streets. They banded together to buy a water wagon that would sprinkling the streets every day and keep them wet enough to make the usual dust storms unlikely. It was a good effort and apparently they decided there were other things they could do to improve life here in our already pretty lovely town. Today they tend to some public greens, plant and care for trees, and look after many of our beautiful spaces among other things. And every year a good deal of their support comes from the proceeds of this, their annual fair.

Since I was old enough I have worked at the fair, although I'm not a member of the LVIS. (When I finally had time in my life to devote to volunteer work I weighed several options for my energy and when it came down to the LVIS and the East Hampton Historical Society, I chose the latter simply because the former seemed to be doing just fine without me, but I knew the historical society could use my help!) As a child I worked behind the scenes at the fishing booth, attaching prizes to the fishing lines of younger children who were looking for something special to pull out of the "pond". As I got older I always donated a layer cake or pie to the baked goods booth. I've even been in charge of a booth myself. But in the past twenty years I've been stationed upstairs, our of sight for the most part, counting money and enjoying the often much appreciated air conditioning. And that's where I'm headed today.

So the bottom line is, I don't much care what the weather is outside for this event, because I'm usually not effected by it. But I do want the organization to make as much money as they can today and I'm thrilled that it looks to be an absolutely great day for the fair.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The kids

My grandchildren are one of the great joys of my life, and this summer was an especially fun one. I spent more time at the beach than in past years and enjoyed watching them play in the surf or building sand castles. There's great freedom for kids at the beach and their joy there is infectious.

The great thing about being a grandparent is that you really get to sit back and enjoy each stage of childhood. Without all the stress that goes along with child rearing, you can simply sit on the sidelines and watch. In my case I have them from the ages of 15 all the way down to age 3 so there's a great range of all things to enjoy.

I remember back to when my oldest went off the college. It was a sobering year for us, realizing we had one that was ready to leave the nest and knowing we weren't ready to let her go. Also realizing that we were getting along in years and time was passing us by too quickly.  I was happy to have an eight-year-old still at home because we could go from watching a college concert, to a high school show, to a middle school event, and finally to an elementary school activity. And getting to go back to the elementary school made me feel as though perhaps I wasn't quite done with parenthood yet, and I liked that. Because being a parent was what I enjoyed most about life.


Sadly those years are past for me now, but watching the grand kids grow beings back so many memories and and seeing their joy in the simple things helps keep me focused on the things that are important in life. I hope to be around long enough to see a great-grandchild or two, and be able to start the cycle all over again.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Down

Today is one of the saddest days of my year - my daughter's family is heading home after their nice long stay here. I'll be a bit depressed all day and working on keeping myself busy.

I trust the weather will cooperate. Yesterday was one chilly, wet day - so much like the fall that I was walking around with a zip-up fleece all day in my house. It was a very odd time for the end of July!

I must say the flowers are gorgeous right now through! We've had some rain and some sun and everything is beautifully in bloom. And for the first time in quite a few years now I've had blossoms on my yellow day lilies. I'm not suite sure what that means.


I planted these lilies about ten years ago and they were so lovely for the first four years. They border my walkway to the back door and always made me smile. But about 4 years ago the deer discovered them and ever since they've been total no-shows. For whatever reason I went out this year and, although many former buds had clearly been chewed off, there were some fresh ones that looked promising. I immediately hit them with my deer spray and lo and behold, I've had at least half a dozen bloom. I'm thrilled because I thought it was a lost cause but now have hope that perhaps I will again see those day lilies flourish. Perhaps the deer have found better feeding grounds, or maybe the herd has thinned out - I have no idea the reason. But for this year at least, I'm grateful. And optimistic even for next.

No doubt the hot and humid weather we had less than four days ago is going to return. After all, we still have all of August to get through. But we've also had a taste of autumn and in four short weeks it will be September. My how time - and life - goes by. We need to enjoy it as it passes, gathering our lilies while we may. 

I am missing my kids today. But so grateful for their visit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Swings

Talk about swings in the weather! One day I'm dying in the heat and humidity and today I need to go find a sweater! Yikes!

The cloud cover today is making for a dismal day anyway, but this cool temperature is annoying. I don't mind comfortable numbers but this is downright chilly. I'm sitting here typing and shivering and I need to go grab a sweatshirt out of the closet before I continue....

Now that's I've made myself more comfortable I can say this reminds me of late September. And I noticed this morning that it was much darker at 5:30 than it has been, which means the days are getting noticeably shorter already.  How can it still be July?

I think this summer is flying by with the speed of my life these days - it does seem that once you get over the hill, like me, you begin to pick up speed. I have no idea how many years I have left on the earth but if this year is any indication they'll be zipping by like the scenery in a fast-moving train. There ear so many moments when I just want to freeze everything and be ale to enjoy it a little longer, but such is the nature of life. Time passes and that which is wasted is never to be reclaimed. I feel a bit as though this past year has been wasted and I resent that, I have to admit. Of course its been a learning experience, but it hasn't been fun, and I can't even remember much of it. And that makes me angry. Life is too precious to waste and throwing any of it away is not my desire. I wish I could get this year back, or return to an earlier time and do things differently leading up to it, but what's passed is passed and its gone forever now.

Rather like this weather - one moment we can be happily going along with life, enjoying our moments and treasuring them all, and the next it all disappears. I can only hope for better days ahead.

Monday, July 24, 2017

MRI


Today is "Annual MRI Day" for me. Because once you enter cancer world, you never get out.

Every year, as a cancer survivor (of course we're never really a cancer survivor until we die of something else! LOL) I have to have an MRI. I hate this test. Its long, its loud, and its uncomfortable. And worst of all, they meed to get an IV in me, which in my case can be torture before the actual test even begins.

Anyway, I need to do this every year, and this is the day.

But I think even worst than the test itself is the inevitable return to the unknown. Because we are forced to consider the "what ifs". 

After eight years I really don't think about cancer all that much. Not like the early years where it was never far from my mind. But now, its only the doctor's visits, or the annual tests, that bring it to mind. And that comes along with the fears and concerns that always accompany the thought of cancer. Its such an insidious thing. And in this case, today is one of those days. 

So I'll soon head over to the hospital where I'll undergo an hour of uncomfortable, unpleasant procedure, and then I'll relax a bit until I get the all clear signal from the doctor's office in a couple of days.  Cancer world. Many of us live there. Those who don't have no idea...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sad times

I'm already missing my oldest grandchild who left this morning to return to Pennsylvania. Her mother and siblings are still here for another day or two, but her leaving has left me with that empty feeling I get every year when they leave after their summer break here. My heart already hurts.

I sometimes wish we could return to the days when families tended to stay in the same place and you would always be surrounded by the people you loved. For so many years my ancestors were in East Hampton and it was a rare member of the family that left: My one great uncle, my aunt who went off to college and never returned. But other than those exception, my people were here. And I often wish it was still that way.

I think the world changed when we began sending our children off to college - or war - and they began to see the world as a bigger place than just their hometowns. New adventures opened up to them, and the world became a more exciting place. I get it. I just don't like it.

Of course I knew when I sent my children off the college they might now all return. And I know how lucky I am that three of them did come back to East Hampton and are raising their children here. Trust me - I know it. But that does not make me miss my daughter and her family any less. It breaks my heart every time I have to hug them goodbye and send them on their way.

So today is a sad day. But its also one of joy as this granddaughter - as are all my grandchildren - is growing into an accomplished young adult who needs to get back to her life and the wonderful things ahead of her. I'm so proud of them all. But I still want to keep them close. And that is the difficulty of life. Letting go and holding close. That's the dilemma we all face, don't we?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hot hot hot

We've had a couple hot days here on the east end but today was a bit less humid than yesterday, and that made me happy. I don't appreciate the humidity. I may have mentioned that a time or two before.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit better yet, but as I type this blog, not moving anything other than my fingers, the sweat is dripping off my face. And its 7:00 at night. This is not fun.

I know I could get relief by going down to the beach, but I'm tired. And alone. And I don't want to go anywhere.

I know what I'll do though. Within the hour I'll head upstairs to my one room of comfort: my bedroom. Its the one place the a/c has been cranking and it will be my respite from this hot weather.

If I could have a vacation house anywhere, it would not be someplace in Florida for the winter, or even somewhere in the Carolinas. It would be a nice, cool mountain cabin on a lake someplace in Maine or Vermont, where the air is drier and the temperatures are friendlier. I'm not sure exactly where that might be - I may even need to go as far north as Nova Scotia. But I'm sure this place exists somewhere. Of course I'll never be able to afford such a vacation home - if I could I would escape the madness here every August and sit on my screened-in porch, looking over the private dock with the little boat tied up for me to take out anytime I please. But its one of those nice dreams and something I think about when I'm dripping wet in July or August.

I think it would be cheaper to install central air. Now that's something to think about.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The city

Yesterday I had an appointment in the city. It required an early morning Jitney in (7:00) and one home right afterward (1:30) and those hours in there were brutal.

Walking to the appointment from the Jitney wasn't too bad. It was only 10am so the sun was hot but not brutally so. Three blocks over and then 5 long blocks up and then, gratefully, into the air conditioning.

But coming out of that lovely building at noon the heat was pretty heavy. The decision was made to grab a cab. It was cooler, but took twice as long as walking would have. There was time for a quick lunch and then, home.

The best part of the trip was stepping off that Jitney on Main Street at 4:00. The temperature drop was significant and the breeze that meet me was delightful. It certainly made me appreciate why they all come out in droves every weekend all summer long.

And...after all...there's no place like home!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Must

Today they're promising a return of the dreaded "H"word that I dread every summer: humidity. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be oppressive but then it will lift somewhat for the weekend. Ugg!

Well my house has actually taken on its annual musty smell so the humidity is not surprising. Now that I have a wall unit air conditioner in my bedroom I have a little "comfort zone" when the humidity hits, but it also allows me to notice when that particular odor returns. I walked out of my little cocoon yesterday and as soon as I walked out of my comfy, cool bedroom, it hit me with a familiarity that comes from so many years with no a/c in the house at all. It is a distinctive, heavy smell that can also signal things like mildew and mold, and I am keenly aware of it. By the end of July my whole house carries it, from the upholstered furniture to the window treatments, and I know the air is heavy with moisture. Soon I'll be able to feel it too, on the arms of my sofa, and the seat of my favorite chair. It's a "summer by the sea" smell, where the cool ocean breezes bring in the moist, humid air and insinuates it throughout our open doors and windows.

There's something to be said for central air conditioning, no doubt about it.  But honestly, there's something very nostalgic about the musty smell of my summer house too.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Time check

My life seems to be moving along more quickly these days and I feel the pressure of trying to fit everything in to the waning years. Is this normal? I guess so. I suppose this is where mid-life crisis comes from. Of course I'm beyond mid-life - at least I don't think many people live to be 130 year-old they?

I think perhaps part of my feeling of loss is that this past year has been a waste. Many months I can barely remember and those that I can were not enjoyable. Trauma has a way of stealing time from us, time that becomes more precious as life draws to an end. I resent losing an entire year from my life because there are things I could have accomplished in that time had I been capable. I want to travel and I want to experience more of what's available, but sometimes we're just paralyzed by the events that surround us.

I'm hoping that this coming year will be better and by this time net year perhaps I'll have some good memories to cherish from the months to come. I don't want to waste the time I have left, but sometimes finances, as well as other circumstances, keep us trapped in place. I want to see my way out of that situation and be able to fully live whatever time I have left. That's my hope at least.
Life is fleeting, that's for sure. For so may years we don't give it a thought, feeling as though there's plenty of time left to do the things we want to do. To be at this point in my life with so many regrets is hard, but still...I don't want to waste any more on the wrong people or things.

Oh to be able to see the future. Sometimes that would be a very nice option....

Monday, July 17, 2017

Beachy

Yesterday was certainly what you would call a "beachy" day. It couldn't have been nicer beach weather. Sunny, with a few pretty clouds (just to make the sky more gorgeous), and still the great sand bar making Wiborg's so accessible to bathers of all ages.

Summer always goes by quickly for me, especially the month of July when my daughter and grandchildren are here from Pennsylvania. Its such a treat for me to see them as often as I do when they're here in town for this extended period, and when they leave its always heart-wrenching. I wish they lived here, but they have a wonderful life where they are and I certainly don't begrudge them that. But I miss them terribly the rest of the year. Its not an easy trip for me to visit with them and those visits are not as frequent as I'd like them to be. Such is life and I accept it as it is, but still, these long visits make the absence that much tougher when it comes.

And so, when those perfect days come, I'm learning to take full advantage of them. Time at the beach with my kids and grand kids, even if I'm more of an observer than a participant, are special. I've taken every opportunity this year to join them when they go.

July days, "beachy" and lazy, are what make life divine. And when I need to retreat from the beach, the hammock is always waiting. Its a good life. Despite all the complications and difficulties of this past year, I'm happy to be here to enjoy it.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Half

July is half over this week. Half over. I'm trying to let that sink in.

This has been a challenge of a month for me. Being the one year anniversary of the time my life fell into shambles has triggered so many sad and difficult memories that I've spent a lot of time alone and melancholy. I don't like to be with others when I'm hurting because I don't want to be morose or depressed and make others feel the same. If I can't be a positive contributor to the party I don't want to be there. So I've spend lots of time alone with my thoughts.

Of course the flip side of that is that being with others can distract us from our sadness and allow us to focus on other things. So its all about balance and making a judgment call. When I feel well enough to go out and mingle its good for me. But when I don't think I can handle the crowd I stay away. I'm constantly weighing my emotional stability when making decisions about what I'm going to do. And that's burdensome in and of itself. So July has been a difficult month and I;m not sorry to see it moving along. However, I don't see that changing with a new month because, just like the death of a loved one, the kind of trauma I've been through will continue to haunt me throughout this year of "firsts", I know that. July is only the beginning.

I liken it to death because that's truly what it was and I know from past experience that its a long process to recover from. I think the problem with "anniversaries" is that just when you feel you've begun to make great progress in your recovery, those anniversaries keep coming around. Knowing they'll get better with time doesn't really help all that much when you're in the midst of the pain.

So I'm not sad to see July go by. But I'm not really relieved either, because I know its not over. Anniversaries can be joyful experiences. But they can also be painful ones.

Fortunately this is a busy time of the year, and East Hampton has never been prettier than it is right now. So while I may have my ups and downs emotionally, all I need to do is drive down to the beach and sit awhile to feel the peace wash back over me. And that is a real blessing...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wet chill

Another wet and chilly day here but after so many nice ones I suppose its to be expected. We can't have perfection all the time now can we?

Last night we had a family get-together here at my house and quite a few of the extended family were able to make it, which was really nice. We don't get to see each other often during the summer as we suspend out Sunday lunches until after Labor Day. So it was a good opportunity to catch up a little. Seeing the kids, who grow too fast, and knowing how they've changed since our last time together was sobering.  Children remind us of the passage of time. And remind us not to waste it as it's so fleeting.

It was a wet, chilly night but we were able to sit outside with the help of towels and sweatshirts, and it was good to reconnect. As I cleaned up after everyone had left I thought about how lucky I am to have so much family around. It truly is a blessing. Even making a trip to the dump this morning with three large bags of garbage from the festivities didn't effect my appreciation for the gift.

There are many things to be thankful for in life and family has got to be at the top of my list. Without my family I may not have survived this past year. They certainly make the hard times more tolerable. And the good ones more fun. And that's something to celebrate.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Absence

So its been awhile since I last blogged. That's because its been awhile since I've had my desktop computer up and running.

I can do most things on my phone these days - they are amazing, our phones, aren't they? But there are a few things I just need my desktop for. IO need it for blogging, I need it for word processing and doing any kind of serious typing work, and I need it for my banking. Oh I know I can check on my bank balance on my phone, but I find any work like that very laborious on that tiny little screen. So I don't. And thus my absence in more ways than one.

So the first thing I'm going to do is blog today and the second is pay some bills. Hopefully none are too overdue. 

I don't know how long my interent access is gong to last here because I don't know what the problem has been. I am a total technophobe and really don't understand much about the internet. So I rely on others to help in that area, and that's not easy. Thus the long absence.

Well I'll hope for the best. Because I have had a few experiences in the past couple weeks worth relaying. So maybe in the next few days I'll get the chance to do that. After all, this is July, and East Hampton is a hot bed of activity right now. Nothing like summer in a resort community for lots of good material. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Holiday week

The holiday this year is a bit different with it falling on a Tuesday. I imagine some people took today off to make it a nice long weekend, but others are working which has cut down on the crowds a bit today. Traffic along Main Street was already heavy when we were out walking at six this morning, but I expect it won't be as heavy as it was over the weekend. We shall see!

Today looks to be a perfect beach day for anyone so inclined, and tomorrow is also going to be a nice one. I have some cooking to do in the morning but other than that, and a trip to the farm stand for corn, I expect I may be going to the beach with the family as well. We have a traditional cook-out late in the day so it will be a nice holiday all around. Good weather always helps and so far the humidity has been tolerable which makes me happy!

East Hampton always looks beautiful for this holiday and this year exceptionally so. It's been a particularly rainy few months and everything is still nice and green - my potted plants are gorgeous. By the end of August with all the heat they won't be as nice as this so I'm enjoying it all now while I can.

I do love this holiday. The non-religious ones are always especially nice because we all celebrate together and this one, despite the level of divide in this country politically, is one we as Americans can all meet with a smile. Its about who we are. And about what we want to be. And hopefully, the direction we're always headed.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2nd

It's always hard to believe another month has slipped by and this is no exception, but it clearly is July 4th weekend here in East Hampton. There's no getting around it really. The grocery store was packed yesterday when I needed to make an emergency trip for something I forgot earlier. I thought I was so smart getting there at 7am when it was quiet, but having to return at noon was a nightmare!

The dump was not as quiet as it usually is at 7:00 and I was shocked to see so many care there when I pulled it. I can only imagine that they opened the gate early because I was there right at 7 and there were at least 10 cars already unloading.

The weather was pretty dull with overcast skies and a stiff breeze. Even though the storms didn't touch down here, you could feel them in the air and knew that Connecticut and maybe even the north shore were getting pounded. It was pleasant enough to lie in my hammock for awhile, curling up to close my eyes for an afternoon rest, but I doubt the beach had many visitors.

Our wet weather has certainly made for some stunning growth around town this year and I don't think I've ever seen the hydrangeas quite so lovely.

I think the coming week promises better days than yesterday - hopefully today will be one of them - but I honestly haven't minded the weather so far. At least the heat and humidity have not been oppressive and for that, I'm very grateful!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Yesterday

Yesterday completely got away from me. I mean completely. Isn't it amazing how one thing can throw off your entire day?

I had a meeting with someone who was late. Late by over thirty minutes. Then, the meeting that was supposed to last about half an hour lasted two and a half hours. Seriously. 

So my day, as I planned it out, was gone.

So I wonder how it is we allow ourselves to be thrown by such things as a busted schedule? At least I do and I'm sure I'm not the only one, although I'm equally sure that there are many people out there that rarely care about schedules. I've known some of them actually.

But why can't I "go with the flow" just a little more easily? I know I'm a slave to my calendar and sometimes I envy those who just fly by the seat of their pants. But that's not me and I know I wouldn't be happy that way. I follow the schedule. I do what's on the calendar. And I enjoy structure.


I guess that's the key here. I need structure in my life. Perhaps its not all that great all the time, but for the most part, and for most of the time, its what I need and what makes me happy. And that's the truth.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Photos

Yesterday I uncovered a bunch of old photographs that set me off on a real nostalgia trip. They were taken back in the 1960s - a lifetime ago for me - and carried many memories on their shiny surfaces.

As I shuffled through them I couldn't help but think about myself as the person I was then: Insecure, frightened, overwhelmed, totally unsure of myself and my place in the world. And yet there was something I can look back on now and be melancholy about. Because that girl was young and full of promise, with a pretty pure outlook on the world. 

It wasn't an easy time in history, the 1960s, but I was in high school and the future was all ahead of me. When I think back on those times now I wonder about the choices I made and how my life would have been different had I been wiser, or more confident, or possibly stronger than I was. 

Of course life is full of crossroads, and the sign we follow often means a direction that might have been better taken is the one left behind. Looking thought those photos, of my father (who would have been in his forties at the time) outside the brand new bank in Montauk that he was instrumental in opening, or of myself in front of my house back then, only a few dozen feet from where I sit today to type on my computer, or of my sisters with their boyfriends, or school friends on some adventure with me...well...in some ways it seems like yesterday and yet when I look in the mirror, or try to stand up when I've been sitting too long, I know it was a very long time ago. And the fact of the matter is we can't undo the choices we make when we're young can we? We may alter our course now and again, but what's done is done and our lives are set before we're barely able to fend for ourselves. It reminds me of the Haiku I wrote back in high school. Now it seems a bit prophetic:

Life is a puzzle
It takes a lifetime to solve
The answer comes too late 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Watering

So far this summer I haven't had to worry a whole lot about watering my plants at all. I have quite a few pots full of flowers, and my window boxes in the front of the house, and by August I'm always needing to keep up the watering, but right now, with the wet weather we've been having, I've barely had to water at all. It seems as though every other night or day it rains and the plants are all flourishing.

I've set a schedule for planting - every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I have a watering can on the stairs to remind me to do it. But its been sitting idle for weeks now. Just before dawn yesterday it poured, so no watering needed to be done. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Its been nice to see green grass everywhere and not have to worry about watering my potted plants, but too much water can be a bed thing. Let's hope that doesn't happen.


Monday, June 26, 2017

Big sky

There's a big sky out there this morning and its as blue as you'll ever see at any time of the year. Its a beautiful hue and there isn't a cloud to be seen at the moment. It's quite a beautiful day here on the East End of Long Island.

I've always wanted to visit Montana because of its slogan: "Big Sky Country". I think because it has wide open spaces the sky is clearly visible and takes up much of the horizon, as opposed to ours where trees and buildings obstruct the view. Just from the photos and film footage I've seen it really must be spectacular to be there. I remember the scenery in the movie "The Horse Whisperer" that was filmed there - it was quite breathtaking for sure. Imagine being able to see for miles and watch as storm clouds march towards you from a long distance away. I think Montana certainly earned its nickname.

We may not have that kind of sky here, but it is nevertheless beautiful when its clear and blue and sunny out there. And today is one of those days. I think a trip to the ocean may be in order to fully appreciate it.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beachin'

Well the weather so far has been nice for the beach (when it hasn't been raining that is) because the temperatures have been pleasant and there's been no humidity. But then yesterday was not so great. In the morning we had a huge downpour - the remnants of the tropical storm that went through Louisiana earlier this week. I mean, it poured...but it didn't last long and by 11:00 the sun was out and it was lovely outside.

We ventured to the beach. It was nice at home, but the wind was wild at the ocean. We only lasted about fifteen minutes before we left because we were getting pelted with sand that hurt our bare arms and legs. 

Last night was beautiful though and tomorrow is supposed to be nice as well. I'm not sure I'll have time for the beach, but maybe. It seems I need to get some beach time in now because once the humidity arrives, I'm done. That takes all the energy out of me and I can imagine myself lying in the hammock rather than schlepping down on the hot sand. We shall see how it all plays out.

Well, I'll take my opportunities as they come. The hammock isn't so bad, is it?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Schedules

I suddenly find myself falling into a new pattern with my blogging. I'm here in the late afternoon just now remembering to write something, and its been that way all week for the most part.

Its funny how quickly we can fall out of, or form habits. For months or years I can be writing the night before and scheduling my latest blog to post the next morning. Then for whatever reason I develop the habit of writing first thing in the morning and so I blog the same day and have it posted nice and early. And suddenly here I am posting so late in the day this week that I am barely remembering to write at all. I suppose its simply a matter of being busy, but it is sometimes disconcerting at my age to find yourself in a new pattern after a long time in an old one. I wonder why I'm suddenly forgetting things.

Of course nothing seems to be forever anymore - if I've learned nothing else this year I have learned that! So no doubt this change will not last long either. I'll soon be back to my early morning routine and posting about the previous day's adventures or the coming one's plans. Part of my problem is this terribly busy time of the year, and that's not going to change anytime soon. So be it. There are plenty of things to come and that's fine with me. Whenever I get around to writing about them, I'll tell you all the details.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sleeping


This has been the most perfect sleeping weather in a long time. I love good sleeping weather.

My only issue this time of the year is the breeze when it kicks up. Because I have casement windows in my bedroom, the entire window opens. That means the window shades get blown about by a good stiff wind and that causes problems. If I had double-hung windows I would open the bottom half and leave the shades half way closed so the wind wouldn't bother them. But in my case I can't do that, which is a problem. If the wind blows the shades the shades knock over my lamp, or if its only a light breeze, it causes the shades to keep hitting against the window frame, making a banging noise that can drive you crazy when you're trying to go to sleep. 

So...that means I have to open the window shades all the way, gathering them at the top of the windows where they won't bang around, but letting in all the light first thing in the morning. Oh these "first world" problems! I know - I'm lucky to have window shades...and windows for that matter. I shouldn't complain.

And I'm not really complaining, because despite the small inconvenience involve, I love, love, love being able to sleep so well, in such perfect temperatures with the blanket pulled right up to my chin. I'm enjoying it every night and happy not to have to use my air conditioner quite yet. And I hope it lasts a few more weeks at least...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Maidstone

I was very lucky tonight to end what was a perfectly beautiful day with dinner at the Maidstone Club. I'm always happy to spend an hour or two in that beautiful setting and it seemed the ideal end to a lovely day.

The weather today was the bet it could be. There was no humidity but it as warm and pleasant. I spend the first few hours of my day running errands and doing some business, then joined some family members at the beach. I stayed about two hours and left before the sun did too much damage, only finding a small area of a light burn on one leg and one arm. (I guess I wasn't as far under that umbrella as I thought I was!)

Once I got home it was too beautiful to resist outside so I resisted the urge to do some necessary cleaning around my house and instead took the local paper and went outside to climb into the hammock. First I moved it to the perfect position, half in the shade to shield my eyes from the bright sun but half in full sunshine to keep warm. I read the paper, took off my glasses, and turned to the side to drift off to sleep, promptly rolling the hammock and ending up on the ground.


Its hard when something is that funny and there's no one around to laugh with, but I was relieved that there was nobody within any distance with a cell phone filming because it would have ended up on YouTube or Facebook or both. I enjoyed the joke in any case and was able to climb back in, find a better balance, and settled in to nap.

Of course that didn't actually happen because I had to get out and get dressed to go out in no time at all. No matter, it was a wonderful day of relaxation and appreciation for the place I live and the gift of a glorious day.

I attended a government event at the Club for cocktails and dinner and it seemed the perfect way to watch the day end. I'm willing to be tit will be some time before I see another day quite as perfect as this one was. So I'm going to enjoy the memory. 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NYC

I'm heading in to the city this morning on the 7:05am Jitney. (Don't you love the way New Yorkers always refer to it as "the city" as though thee was no other?)

Its always an adventure going in to the city. In a case like this its exhausting simply because its for the purpose of an appointment which means a long drive in, a quick stay, and a long drive back out again. In a case like this the walk to and from the appointment is the most important part of the day, lest the muscles completely atrophy from lack of use, stuck in that seat on the bus for six hours.

The Jitney has been a wonderful addition to life here on the East End and I'm grateful for it. I like train travel and generally speaking would prefer that to a bus, but in the case of the LIRR that doesn't stand. The crazy schedule, the long travel time, and the changing trains all make it a rather poor choice when it comes to going and coming from NYC. If there were a better option, I'd take it in a minute, if nothing else than for the freedom to get up and move around on the long trip. But there isn't, so the Jitney it is. Fortunately the buses are luxurious and the drivers generally skilled and its a nice option for those of us way out here at the end of the world.

So - off I go now, to head to metropolis and get things done. I'll be very happy to get back home tonight to cool, calm East Hampton and my own nice bed. A long day is always best followed by a good night's sleep...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

More

And here we are again, back in this pattern of overcast and rainy days. Yuck.

I'm not minding the temperature mind you! I like it cook at night for sleeping and pleasant enough during the day for a sweater or at the very least, long sleeves! But I am missing the blue skies that are normally bountiful in June. I'm hoping they appear soon, But I know how these weather patterns do stick around, sometimes for a whole season. I hope not, but....

So what to do with this weather?

Yesterday I went to the bay with my daughter and her kids and sat near the water for an hour or so. It was pleasant enough despite the gray skies, but I was wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt. Not exactly beach weather. Like I said, I prefer this actually to the hot and humid days to come, but it could have been a little nice had the sun been out.

I actually bought bathing suits this year. With my significant weight loss I decided to go all out and invest in a couple new suits so I can enjoy the beach and pool with my grandchildren this year. But so far, no good. Perhaps in another couple weeks I'll be complaining about being too hot. But so far, no chance. Maybe tomorrow the sun will finally make an appearance. I know its there somewhere....