Sunday, April 30, 2017

Imitation

There are times when nature makes the perfect imitation of life and I saw that on Friday morning. 

It was a chilly, rainy morning when I woke to thunder at 5:30. "So much for my walk", I thought! But once I got dressed into my workout clothes and opened the back door I was delighted to see that although the ground was wet, it seemed as though there was no rain falling. So out I went.

About a third of the way into my walk the rain started again. It wasn't a pelting rain and it was light enough that I decided to complete the usual route rather than turn and head home. Once I arrived at my back door I was wet but not soaking and rather pleased with myself for getting that walk in.

And so it went for the first few hours of the day, until about 10:00 when BAM! the sun appeared. Suddenly it was bright and warm and what began as a dismal day was now quite lovely. And it struck me that my life has followed a similar path these past long months, as the storm clouds obscured the sun for what seemed like forever, only to have the light break through just when it seemed the day was going to end the same way it began.

Life is strange sometimes. And at others it follows a very logical path. Sadly we never know which direction its going! But then, that's what makes it interesting, right? And for the moment, I'm enjoying the warmth of the sun.   

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Turns

Life has certainly taken some strange turns for me lately and as much as I'd like to think I know what tomorrow holds, I certainly do not.

Its been awhile since I blogged much about my private life, assuming that people would much rather hear about my surroundings and all the things I love about East Hampton than the trips and turns of my existence on the earth. After all, we all have our burdens and difficulties and who wants to take on someone else's? But there are times when they are overwhelming in that we can only think about what's happening to us, and everything else - the beautiful weather, the spring flowers, whatever is happening in the world - simply takes a back seat to emotions and circumstances. And so life goes!

These past weeks and, actually months, have been wild ones for me. After struggling with so much turmoil in my life over the past ten months I thought I was settling down to a more simple and peaceful place. And I have. But at the same time there is much more to do before I ever feel at rest again. Because relationships, and families, and all that they entail, are complicated. We humans can be difficult to navigate!


Sometimes I wish my children were little again. I long for the days when they would curl up on my lap and listen to everything I said as though it were the smartest thing they'd ever heard. I wish I could kiss their boo boos away and make them smile again when they're in pain. Those were the easiest years in terms of making them content! They were happy with food, and a warm bed, and parents who would hug them and make them feel as though they were the best things in the world.

It was simple then. Now not so much. They are still the most important things in the world to me. But my hugs and reassurances don't go as far as they once did. Because they're adults now. And just like me, face reality in an adult world. 

But still... I wish I  had my own mother to sit with and cry with. Now that would be a true blessing. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Foggy mornings

Its not unusual at this time of the year to have the grassy field across from my house shrouded in fog. In the morning, when I look out my front windows, sometimes its like a veil of tulle has been dropped in front of them, like the scrims that they use in the theater to project on - sheer fabric that you can see through but also lays a layer of white over everything behind it.

On other days I can watch the fog roll in, creeping and swirling across the grass only a few feet above, looking more like a horror movie where everything is slowly enveloped in thick heavy white. But it never fills the air like the other kind, rather sitting just above the earth like a down comforter protecting it from the cold.

I love my front row seat to the fog here. The open field and my proximity to the ocean make it the perfect observation point. I see it in every form and always love the nature of it. Its fascinating and its always changing. And this time of the year its with us often here on the East End as the air above and the earth below begin to regulate their temperatures in the changing season.

As long as I don't need to navigate far I really do love the fog.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Books

I have become a bit of a bookworm these past ten months. I think I've read more books in the past year than I had in ten years before that. I never seemed to have time to read, and in this small house it was never easy to find a quiet spot to do it. I need quiet when I read. I need the television off and the house serene and I need to concentrate on what I'm reading. Being alone has provided me with more peace and quiet than I know what to do with.

So back in the summer I was reading books that were helping me through the difficult time I was facing. I read books about addiction, about sexual infidelity, about marriage, about anything that was remotely connected to my own life then. I found a lot of help in those books and they certainly assisted me in getting through some difficult days. For me, knowledge is powerful and understanding circumstances enables me to cope with them. Books give us that kind of power.

Now, and since the first of this year, my books have become more spiritual in nature. I've been reading about getting my life on track, about God's plans for us, and most importantly, how to center myself spiritually so I have the peace that only comes with that kind of place in my soul. I am a woman of faith and my faith is the center of my life. Only in the times I've allowed myself to lose sight of that center have I faltered. Now I'm back where I need to be, thanks to some of the books I've gotten into that have helped me find my way back. I was literally in the wilderness for months, flailing around, trying to find my way. Now I have my compass back and it makes all the difference. 

So, first thing every morning I sit at my table, just as I saw my mother do for so many years, and I open my Bible, and whatever book it is that I'm working my way through at the moment. And I start my day the right way. Its my new life and I love it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The same

Today the rain continues and we are feeling a bit soggy around here. I know its great for the grass and the flowers, but too much rain can become more than a little tiresome. Not to mention I have to worry about flooding in my basement.

Last fall I needed to replace my two hot water heaters in the basement and when I did the plumber raised them a few inches for me. That's because when the floods come, and they do, I have no hot water. The pilot lights is easily extinguished by the water that creeps up the sides of the tanks. For an entire summer about eight years ago we had three pumps going 24/7 to keep the level down low enough to retain our pilot light and have hot water. Hopefully if the flood waters return again the problem will be solved, but I'm not sure. It remains to be seen at this point.

Well so far we're not at the danger point but two days of this steady rain certainly raises the red flag for me. Its been a very wet April and I'm hoping for a drier May. Because even a few inches may not be enough if this keeps up...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Done

OK I'm done with the April showers now. After this past weekend, and a prediction including rain for the next two days, I'm thinking its time to see the May flowers. Please.

Of course the rain certainly has had its benefits. My lawn is nice and green and the colorful foliage is everywhere. Soon we'll have azaleas to enjoy, followed by irises and other pretty things. Right now the tulips are lovely and the growth on my lilacs makes me look forward longingly to the days those beauties will be in bloom. Every year I look forward to that. My son-in-law is allergic to them and I think that must be a terrible thing as I can't think of a better scent to fill my house with. I bring them in by the bucketfuls.

Yes the world is wide awake now and the threat of snow or freezing temperatures is over, at least here on the East End. Its a beautiful time to be living here, and May is as beautiful as they come. There are so many good things to look forward to, and this month is especially sweet, before the hordes arrive to take up our parking spaces and clog our roads. 

I suppose its time to go into Village Hall and get my beach sticker for this year. Soon enough I'll be needing it. But not today. Today I'll be dancing among the raindrops, trying to stay dry....

Monday, April 24, 2017

Winding down

So April is winding down now - this is the last week of the month - and May is about to burst on the scene. Living in East Hampton we know that means the season is upon us.

Last week when I traveled to my volunteer morning at Southampton Hospital I knew it was here now. That was the first time I came over the hill to meet CR 39 and saw the traffic backed up to the traffic light, causing me to make the immediate decision to turn right at the light and wind mys way along the back roads through Water Mill. There is that first time every year when it hits me and I know my route is now changed for the duration of the season. It will be October now before I can once again easily traverse the highway without looking for ways to get around the mess of cars, trucks, and construction.

May is always a beautiful month here and I welcome the weather and the excitement of the coming months. It isn't with dread that I face the coming season, only with caution. After all, its been my life here for over sixty years now so its what I expect. With April comes traffic, with July comes tourists, etc, etc. Life on the East End, simple as that. But I do make adjustments to my way of thinking and to my efforts to get around town. There will be no more left turns onto Main Street, for instance, so that has to be figured in to the equation whenever I plan my route around the village. Small changes, different mind sets, all doable but just necessary.

May is coming whether we like it or not. And as I approach the one year anniversary of my new life I do so with the knowledge that I've survived. Now its time to thrive. And I will.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Family

I'm with family this weekend having traveled to PA with my son and granddaughter to see the high school musical my other granddaughter is in. So I'm in my happy place right now, surrounded by family and enjoying every minute of it.

My daughter recently moved to a new house so I'm enjoying her new guest room and beautiful wooded surroundings. My son drove down with me so having all that time with him was great - a rare thing to be one-on-one with an adult child for that many hours. And of course being with the grand children for any length of time is always a treat, so all in all this has been a special weekend for me. When you get to be my age, family is what makes life joyful. Its where we find out peace and our contentment and the place we feel most at home. I can see why my grandmother was always so delighted to see us enter her back door when we were young - I actually wish I'd understood it back then because I would have made an effort to do it more often. Actually there are so many things I wish I'd realized when I was young - too much of our wisdom comes too little and too late as far as I'm concerned! What a difference I could have made in the lives of my parents and grandparents had I only been more insightful back in the day! With age comes wisdom, I've always heard that, but somehow we think when we're forty we've already obtained it. Phish! Little did I know. Little do any of us know.

Well I'm only here for one more day so I'm going to enjoy these moments with the special people in my life. I've been truly blessed with each of them and I'll never take any of it for granted. Ever.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Confusion

Yes its that time of the year again. The weather is so confusing I never know how to dress when I get up in the morning. Even watching the news and weather first thing leaves me puzzled because I can't always tell from the posted temperature just how comfortable I'll be. It was fairly warm the other morning but because it was raining I was still chilly when I failed to dress in enough layers. The house held on to that chill all morning and the sun never broke through to make it comfortable enough. With the heat turned off I'm at the mercy of the weather and my wardrobe is not helping.

For a few more weeks at least it will be a guessing game, trying to predict how warm or cold it will be throughout the day. Once the sun appears it warms up nicely, although a twenty degree shift from one day to another is not unheard of.  This is the way of our shoulder seasons, both spring and fall, moving from one wardrobe to another and not sure which direction to go. I always know in the winter I'm wearing a sweater. In the summer the linen is never wrong. But now, in April, anything goes.

Well I do love these two seasons of change so I don't mind it too much. I'm always ready with a light jacket or sweater to throw on if need be. But I do think it would be nice to have a simple method of knowing when I climb out of bed early in the morning exactly now to prepare for the day. These are days of wonder, never with exact answers, and so it will be. Just another imitation of my life right now in general. I may not know what tomorrow holds but I can find a way to simply enjoy today.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Scheduling

My life has fallen into a pretty regular weekly pattern which makes me feel a little old because I remember my mother having the same type of schedule when she was older. I think its largely because with no kids around life becomes more regular, or more predictable, as there are fewer special events to work around. No play practice, or sports, or after school activities for instance. Piano lessons, dentist's appointments, and extra school work don't factor in to my own schedule so I can pretty much know from week to week how things will go. Surprises are unusual and for the most part I know exactly what I'll be doing every Tuesday morning at 9am for instance.

Wednesday morning is grocery shopping day. It used to be that I'd stop at odd times of the day and week, whenever I saw an empty parking space, for instance, as I passed by the IGA near my house. But now that I get a discount on "senior" day, I try to only go on Wednesdays. Its worth it to hang on to my shopping needs until then to save on my total bill.

I always go to the dump on Saturdays to do the recycled stuff so if I need to go in between times I do it Mondays and Thursdays. That way I never have any garbage sitting for long in my house waiting for that fateful trip to the recycling center. 

Tuesday morning I volunteer at the hospital so that's always the same, and Thursdays and Fridays are the days I often have meetings for my village work. Saturdays are also for house work and entertaining and Sundays for church, so there you have it - my week in review! Of course there is plenty of fill-in around all those things, like meeting a friend for lunch, or running to K-Mart for something or other. And the occasional trip to Riverhead thrown in.

I think I feel a trip to Lowes coming on soon because my outdoor pots really need planting. Its a little early yet, but in another few weeks for sure....

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cherry blossoms

One of my favorite trees is the cherry. Because no matter which one it is (and I have a couple different types within eyesight of my house) they are stunning at this time of the year. From my home office window I can see the weeping pink cherry in my yard, a white one across the green, 

and the kwansan cherry that my mother planted so many years ago. They're all gorgeous right now.

I will admit to a special fondness for the pink varieties, although all the flowering trees are beautiful. My crab apple  is beginning to show signs of life but its not out yet, and the apple trees are similarly just beginning to perk up. They also are a lovely display.

Spring is awash with beauty every year and my only regret is its so short-lived. One week and most trees have lost their flowers, the pink cherries turning the ground into a puddle of bright pink petals surrounding the base. I don't like the way they get dragged into the house on so many shoe souls, but I love the look of them from a distance. Its that pop of color in the waking world that really stirs my soul. Life is returning to the earth, and we all get a front row seat. It doesn't get any better than that.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Seasonal

Sometimes the change of seasons makes me very philosophical. I am definitely feeling that way right now.

I suppose this has to do with my life and all the changes I've experienced over the past almost one year now. It began in the heat of the summer, when I was shocked at the revelation that my marriage was about to dissolve. How could that be? After all those years of loyalty and love? Impossible! Why?

By the fall I had fallen into despair at my new reality and by the time the winter hit I was in the depths of it completely. I had a hard time moving from one day to the next, always keeping a good face on for the public to see but inwardly feeling as though my life was over and all that had to happen now was the funeral. 

But then as winter came to a close and spring began to show its face, new hope dawned. Call it the seasons of the soul perhaps. New hope was springing up as new life was emerging. It came in the form of a spiritual awakening, and then the confidence that nothing was happening to me that wasn't in God's control. I realized that my new independence was making me stronger and tougher than I'd ever been, and it wasn't such a bad idea to learn how to make it alone in the world. After all, I've got skills and abilities and I'm not a stupid person. Why should I depend so heavily on another person anyway? I was beginning to come out of my hole with the hope that I can and will be OK, whatever the future holds.

Now that spring is completely here I'm feeling more optimistic and looking forward to the next chapter in my life. I've no idea where its taking me and I don't really care. Because I feel confident in the fact that I've grown stronger and smarter and no one will ever again be able to fool me  into thinking they care more about me than they do anything else. Somehow I thought that just because I was giving my all, it was coming right back to me! Silly me! I'll never make that mistake again. The only person I can count on is myself and that's the way it will be from here on out.

My year of pain and heartache and self-discover is nearly over now and I'm happy to see it come to an end. Not because I think its over, because I'm not sure those things can ever be completely over. But because I'm ready for anything now. I'm my own person. Not some body's wife, or mother, or daughter - I'm just myself. And I only have myself to please. I'm not worrying about anybody else at this point. Its time for me now. So look out world - here I come!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bills

Paying bills has become more of a challenge now that I'm single. I know I'm not the first person to deal with this, and I am certainly not the last, but I'm still figuring all this single life out and paying the bills is only one of the many challenges.

I used to pay most of the bills so I'm not a complete neophyte on this area, but there have been some surprises. For instance, my husband used to pay certain bills and therefore when they began arriving I was shocked by them. I had no idea how much car insurance was, for instance! And then there is the issue of paying taxes, another thing I haven't done on my own for over forty years. That has been another learning curve for me and I'm dealing for the first time with estimated payments and other little details I was able to ignore for so long in my adult life. It must be nice to have a staff to handle such mundane things as this!

Bills in general are easy enough to pay as long as there's money in the bank to pay them with. But there are times now, just as there were in my earlier days, when there isn't quite enough to go around. So then its a balancing act trying to figure out what and how much to pay. I've been sending payments to certain people when I can and they've been graciously waiting complete payment, understanding that things like new hot water heaters and cesspool pumping are don't necessarily fit into a very tight budget. Thankfully its a small town and people are generous about such things.

But here's the thing about bill paying: it never ends! Its seems as though I just finish sending out a batch of payments and suddenly the new ones start pouring in. Those utilities want to be paid every month, can you imagine? And so do the credit card companies! Shocking!

I'm beginning to feel as though I have a good handle on things now, almost a year into my new single state. The first few months, I think, I was in shock really, and I
don't even have much memory of paying my bills then. But these past few are finally beginning to create a new reality for me and I'm feeling more independent and in control than I had in a very long time. Sometimes its nice to give control over to somebody else, but as far as the bills go, I need to know when they were paid and how much was paid and exactly what I was paying for. And I do. Now. Its a whole new world for me.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Sunday

Well yesterday was certainly a picture
perfect Easter Sunday if I've ever seen one. It was sunny and warm and beautiful and fit the occasion as if scripted by a screen writer for a motion picture. It was one for the books for sure.

I was up early and began the day by making lists as is my habit when I have lots to do. Then I started tackling said list, beginning with the table setting and food prep. Once I had everything ready for the oven and all the dishes organized I set out to ready the back yard for the egg hunt planned for the kids. First the youngest  - all easy to see and quick to lay out. Then the more challenging ones for the older children who needed more of a challenge. I tried my best to think like a ten-year-old and put some in places like under the grill cover and hidden in tree branches. Hard enough for a challenge but not impossible to find since I might have to help otherwise.

With the egg hunt completed I set went back into the house for my morning scripture reading and completed the lenten series I had started way back when. Now I was mentally prepared for the worship service to come. (I woke too late for the sunrise service but still had plenty of time before I had to arrive for the regular one.)

After breakfast I watched a little television, then finished getting ready for church, put the food in the slow oven, and headed out the door.

Church was wonderful as it always is on holidays. There is a distinctly different flavor of things on holidays because there are so many visitors. We seem to be on our best behavior, and don't get to see our usual friends because of the crowd, but its always nice to welcome new people in to fill the pews which are rarely crowded. The music was great, the flowers gorgeous, and the sun shining as we walked out the door made for a wonderful morning of worship.

Once home preparations went in to high swing once again as I readied the house and finished the last-minute food prep. By the time the family arrived I was in good shape and simply enjoyed the rest of the day with the people I love.

By the time everyone left I was happily on the couch with my feet up, thinking how  blessed I was to be living this life. All in all a very nice day.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

HAPPY EASTER

                                       HE IS RISEN!




                               HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!

             The hope of the world when we truly need it most....

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Busy times

This has been a busy week for me - as it has been for everyone I suppose - but for me its been downright crazy. Every day this week I wrote out a schedule. Wednesday, for instance, looked like this:

     Walk 5:45am
     Grocery shop 7am
     Baby sit 7:30 - 11:15am
     Meeting in Southampton noon
     King Kullen - pork roast
     Make cake filling
     Make applesauce
     Start filling Easter eggs
     Art studio 5:30

Every day was like that, bouncing from one thing to another with little time in between for anything else. In fact I found the newspaper in the driveway when I finally got home Wednesday night at 8 and it had been run over by my car a few dozen times during the day. I don't remember if I got to read it or not - I think I went right to bed.

I addition to the preparations for Easter Sunday celebrations there was church to attend, because after all, if we lose sight of what it is we're preparing for we kind of lose the point now, don't we? So Thursday night and Friday night I attended services for Holy Week.

Easter and Christmas are both like this for me, but somehow Christmas seems to be more fun because simply there are more parties connected with it. That means I get to just go have fun some of the time and don't always need to do all the work myself. Plus, its stretched out for a whole month, not concentrated into one week like Easter is. So Christmas is a bit different in that respect. Easter is quick and a little crazy in its burst of energy, coinciding with the arrival of warm weather and the need to get outside and start working on other things.   

Well, the week is nearly over now and once the gang goes home tomorrow night it will be very, very quiet in my house, and I'll have nothing to worry about but the clean up. And I'll wish I was busier again. Life!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Church

I'm always truly blessed by the comfort I find in routine. I'm a person who thrives on the known and the things I can count on. Nothing much throws me off as much as some trauma that changes everything and makes life confusing and unpredictable. So I find a lot of comfort in church.

There is much to be said about church in terms of its mission, its presence, its failures. But there is also much to be said in its favor. It provides us with a place to worship together, with like-minded people, in a community where there should be love and support and a whole lot of teaching and direction. It sometimes fails and it often falls short, but all in all, its a place I chose to go when life hits me hardest. Its the place of comfort and it feels like home.

Easter week is an especially wonderful time to spend at church. I find comfort in the ceremonies, in the routines, in the regular schedule of Holy Thursday followed by Good Friday followed by Easter Sunday. Its steady in its teaching, the same scriptures we read together every year and the familiar story we love. Church is my centering place.

Of course church would be meaningless without God, but He is always there when I look for him. It doesn't matter the denomination or the structure - He always meets me. And in fact I suppose I bring Him with me. Because I have him with me at home as well.

But there's just something special about a church. And this week I'm taking full advantage.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holidays

This weekend is a big holiday for Christians and I always look forward to a beautiful weather stretch, which we usually have. However, this year looks like possible rain on Sunday so I'm not too happy about that.

There's something very important about sunshine on Easter morning. First of all, if one wants to attend the sunrise service at the beach it really is important as the meaning of that sunrise over the ocean takes on special significance as we ponder the story of the resurrection.

Secondly there is something about the sun that makes us reflect on the reality of renewal and rebirth at this time every year, at least when you live here in the northeast where we've been slowly climbing out of our sleepy winter season.

And of course there is the colorful delight of the children dressed in their Easter finery, all brightened by the light of the sun as they run from the church doors after worship. Its a sight I never tire of. The combination of color, sunshine, and all that enthusiasm (albeit perhaps a result of too much sugar consumption earlier in the morning) is really unbeatable. So the thought of rain is a bit depressing.

Of course the weather doesn't change the story, does it? And the story is one of hope, of transformation, of forgiveness, and love. And that never, ever gets old. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Twins

I'm entertaining a couple little girls this morning. My four-year-old granddaughters are here while their parents work because this week school is closed so they have no morning child care.

I continue to be fascinated by the whole "twin" thing. Now that they're four their personalities are fully formed and they are as different as day and night: one is shy, the other outgoing; one is loud, one is quiet; one is moody, one is pretty much never so. Of course, they are fraternal twins so differences are to be expected as they are no more similar than other siblings would be, but seeing them both at exactly the same age and growing up in exactly the same circumstances, makes it a more interesting comparison. Of course all the children in any kindergarten class are vastly different from one another, but then they are raised by different people, live in different homes, have different life experiences with different siblings and different surroundings - but here we have two with exactly the same set of circumstances, and observing them grow is fascinating to me.

Of course I've always been fascinated with biology. In fact, I was so taken by it in high school that I once considered science as a career choice. But then I hit chemistry and that all changed. Looking back I wish I had more experience myself at that poi t to be able to see the possibilities if I had continued on that path. But sadly, bad guidance counselors and inexperience on our part make for many bad choices when we are still teens, doesn't it?

Well anyway, these girls are a joy to me, as all my grandchildren are, but with them there is a special fascination. I watch, and I learn, and I love every minute of it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Greening

The grass is greening up nicely now and everywhere are signs of spring. Just as it should be on Easter week!

I never like it when Easter is in March. Somehow the whole theme of renewal and resurrection and rebirth seems to fit April much better than March, and right now, with everything looking beautiful and the grass green and the bulbs popping in every direction, well, it just feels like Easter.

I've heard how the exact date of Easter is determined and I know it has to do with astrological occurrences, like the moon's phases, but it makes no sense to me in any case. Why not just make it the second Sunday of April for all time? I mean its all symbolic anyway, right? If we can decide that Christ was born on December 25th I think we should be able to declare his resurrection took place the second Sunday of April, shouldn't we? Why not?


I think its time for a movement. The second or third Sundays seems perfect to me - not too early when its still cold and bleak outside - not too late when May is upon us and we have other things to do. Yes, its should be mid-April. 

If only I could run the world.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sunshine

Its another beautiful sunny day here in East Hampton and everything seems right in the world. Nothing like a little solar power to brighten every body's mood, right?

I managed to get so much done over the weekend in terms of spring clean-up that I feel pretty good about everything accomplished. Today I finally started thinking about Easter and making menus and planning shopping trips. And I also continued the work of cleaning up.

I went to the shed to evaluate. It certainly needs some work done. I won't be able to put the snow blower away until its cleaned out so that's my next project. Its on my list for next week.

I pulled the screen doors out and a few windows too, because I have to take them all to the hardware store for re-screening. Then I walked around the house to observe the ones that are part of the newer window systems and found 2 that needed replacing. They both look as though they were attacked by squirrels or something, I don't know, but I'm sure when the first hot day hits and I want to open windows I need to have them up so I had to figure out how to get them out of the windows they were part of. These windows are ground floor, but I had a heck of a time trying to 1. figure out how they work and 2. get them out without breaking something. It took me about 15 minutes to extricate them both and they went in the stack by my back door. Now next week I'll have to borrow my son's truck to take them to Newtown Lane for fixing. Hopefully it doesn't cost me as much as new ones would. 

And so the sunshine continues to inspire us to get up off our rear ends, get outside into the warmth, and make our homes and yards look pretty. I am inspired but I'm also tired. And condos look better all the time.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Debris

Well I had good intentions about completing my yard clean-up yesterday, but it didn't happen. I had two huge piles by 10am, one at the end of the driveway for pick up, the other at the end of the house where I'd dragged it from the side yard. It was nasty, dirty work with old bottles full of water, beer cans that broke open spraying me with beer, wet leaves filling every conceivable space, and golf balls. There were golf balls everywhere. 

I wanted to complete the task but with other things on my agenda that pile at the back of the house stayed there for the time being. My hope is that this afternoon I'll get out there to drag all those pieces over the the end of the driveway and then the job will pretty much be over. But I'm not sure it will be. That redwood table is a bear - heavy and awkward - and for some reason there's a pile of old rotted firewood that's going to be difficult to manage as it crumbles - and its wet....well, you get the picture.

Again, my life in illustration. I have all this debris to clean-out of my mind and I know it will be better when I'm done, but sometimes things have to be done in small chunks, as we are able to deal with them. I'm OK with that, although I'm anxious to finish, I know all in good time the task will be complete. And when it is, both my mental health, and my life, are going to be so much better for it. Thankfully I have God helping me with both, giving me the physical strength I need to pull those heavy objects around for disposal, and the mental ability to sort through the detritus and figure out exactly what needs to go and what should actually should stay. I'm getting there slowly but surely. And it feels really good.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Break

Its only 8:35 but I already need a break.

Since 7 this morning, I've been to the dump, filled my car with gasoline, and been cleaning up the back yard. And now I need a break.

The yard is a mess. I had no idea there was so much crap around the side of the house - its a place I have not traditionally ventured, preferring instead to let my husband do most of the outside work around here. But I should have made more of an effort before to check over there because now I have a huge, physically challenging job to do, carting heavy objects, discarded aluminum cans (seriously?), old toys, and general debris from one side of the house to the other so it can be picked up for disposal in the very near future. My heart is racing with the demands I've just put on it and I think by the time I'm done I'll be another few pounds down. But right now I need a break. I need to calm my heart rate down and rest my already weary muscles, and I need to let my mind wrap itself around the implications of the job.

Some of the most challenging work is still ahead of me. There's the old heavy redwood table that needs to be dragged, or turned end-over-end from one place to another because I can't possibly move it easily on my own. There's the heavy canvas awnings we salvaged last spring from a construction job, thinking we could possibly use them but they didn't work out but couldn't so now they need to be similarly dragged across the lawn and added to the growing pile. There are broken flower pots, old toddler swings, and lots of odds and ends I can't even recognize any longer - all of which are going to the dump soon. It is years of accumulation. And it makes me sad thinking about it.


Sad because it sort of represents my life. But at the same time liberating because as I drag each thing across the yard, with tremendous effort and all my strength, I'm thinking about how this job actually does mirror my life. After many years accumulating junk, I'm finally beginning to see the lawn again. I'm actually feeling freer and cleaner and less weighed down than I have in a very, very long time.

So as I head back outside in a few minutes to complete my task, rested and ready to begin again, I'm going to do it with a new sense of accomplishment. I'm going to think of it as the cleansing needed both physically and mentally in my life right now. God has truly begun a good work in me. But its up to me, with His help, to complete it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Water

Wow - we've had a lot of rain lately! Talk about water everywhere - there's standing water in many places and even the air feels damp from the rain coming in again this afternoon. I guess they aren't kidding when they talk about April showers!

Well I'm going to enjoy those May flowers. In fact, the ones out there now are pretty nice too. On my walk this morning I decided to head down Huntting Lane (the first time venturing down a side road since the daylight has returned in the mornings - been sticking to the well-lit main roads with good sidewalks since late last fall) and was delighted to find a whole mass of mini-daffodils and crocuses someone had planted across the road in front of their house. It was the area that is sometimes dug up by cars that pull off the road where there is no sidewalk, and it was a welcome sight.

Soon the tulips will be out, then the irises - the bulbs are going to be beautiful this year with all this rain. I'm told it won't be a great year for hydrangeas due to the winter we had, but hopefully all this wet weather will be a boon for many other species. It has to have some up side because its been miserable for everything else, right?

Well the April showers will soon pass and by this time next week the month will be half over. But better things are coming soon and we can endure these wet, chilly days. Summer is a few short months away...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Newport

Quite a few years ago now  (10? 11?) I spent a weekend in Newport Rhode Island to attend the wedding of the daughter of good friends. It was a whirlwind of a weekend with dinners and weddings and I remember feeling sad that there wasn't more time to explore the city which was charming for sure. So this week I traveled back to see it again and was just as enchanted as I was the first time.

I arrived Monday late day but took advantage of the time to take a quick walk around the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. Its not a big city and its easy to walk from one end of the Main Street to the other. It reminds me very much of Sag Harbor and Greenport, only larger. It fronts the harbor which is full of boats large and small, some beautiful, huge yachts, and is also a quaint, historic community. Walking along the harbor front made me think o years gone by and I thought it must have been quite the bustling place in the years 1800.

Tuesday a major squall arrived and it was so nasty it was impossible to leave the hotel. The wind and rain were heavy and it was cold, so even with the raincoat I had it was simply too unpleasant to venture out. Fortunately the hotel was lovely and I was able to read and think and spend time with myself with no distractions, a much needed respite from my usual life.

Yesterday was the last day there so after a leisurely breakfast it was time to climb into the car and explore the island a little more. It was delightful to discover that just one black off the main drag was a wonderful stretch of historic homes and lovely shops, as similar to walking down the street in Williamsburg as you can get I think. It was so lovely and I wished there was time to stop and walk. Instead it was a drive along Bellevue where the amazing Newport mansions sit. No time to go into any of them, darn! Caught sight of the f
amous cliff walk, stopped at a park to take a couple photos of the surf crashing along the rocky shoreline. Then back to the bridge and out of Newport for this trip.

Mostly I left knowing I needed to return. Next time, the mansions, and the older part of the city, and lots of historic places will be on the agenda. And hopefully better weather. I'm enchanted with Newport. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ferry

I'll be traveling on the Cross Sound Ferry today from Connecticut to Orient Point and every time I do that I remember the early years of that ferry service. At least they were my early years - not sure about theirs.

Back in the late 1970s we made regular trips to Massacusetts to visit family there. We had a little girl in 1975 and had little money to spare so in the beginning to drove around because it was cheaper. But then the gas crisis hit and suddenly it was cheaper to take the ferry than it was to use up so much gasoline, so we began doing it. It was so much more convenient not to have to make that drive through Westchester and Connecticut and we loved that, but the accommodations were less than idea. 

There were three boats in the fleet then: two small ones and one old mine sweeper from WWII. The small boats were so small you had to back off of them when you arrived and there was only one small cabin without enough seats if the weather was bad and you couldn't sit outside. Not terribly convenient with a two-year-old in tow. The old mine sweeper was the preferred boat but by today's standards that was pretty small as well. At least it had adequate seating inside.

The terminal was not much better. There was a tiny little shack of a terminal on both shores, with one small bathroom. I'll never forget having to use it so badly when I was eight months pregnant with my second baby that I had no choice but to enter the horrible little thing. It smelled badly and didn't seem all that clean but I had no choice. Imagine my chagrin when I flushed the toilet and, though no fault of mine, began to overflow-right across the small floor and out into the area where the attendant sat. It was a horror story for sure.

So today, with the lovely terminals full of public rest rooms and the huge boat that will bring me back to Long Island, I will simply sit back and enjoy the trip. Sometimes progress is a very good thing. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rain

I'm hoping it doesn't rain today. I have plans that involve a lot of walking around outdoors and I really would be disappointed if I don't get to do any of them!

Sometimes the weather gets in the way of our lives and we have to remind ourselves that for every reason we want a certain type of weather, somebody else wants the opposite. The bride wants sun but the farmer needs rain. In every case there is good need for whatever the weather happens to be and that is just as legitimate as my own needs, I know. So what will be will be.


But I'm still hoping for no rain. I don't need the sun, but I don't want the rain.

I find that rain and wind are the most annoying of all weather systems. After all, you can cancel everything and stay at home for snow storm, but nobody would accept the excuse of rain for not getting your work done. And wind, well that's just annoying on so many levels. It makes it hard to do just about anything and can wreak havoc in every direction. And getting wet is just plain uncomfortable in most of the  year. Hopefully today with the temperature in the 50s it won't be too bad it it does happen, but even that temperature isn't too comfortable when you're soaked to the bone.

No, today I really just want the rain to stay away. It can rain all around me if it wants to. But I'd prefer it not rain on me. At least not today...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weather

So the weather has been pretty bi-polar lately, with rain and wind visiting often and the thermometer up and down from winter to summer temperatures every other day it seems. I'm not sure Mother Nature has a good handle on exactly what time of the year it is, but March was a crazy month and I'm hoping for better in April.

April can be a beautiful month but can also so cruel. It teases us with warm days and new flowers but then slams us down with a snow shower or wind that bites right through our clothes. Its an odd month, the bridge between winter and summer, but still, sometimes it can beguile us with its beauty and the promise of new birth.


I like April and I welcome the change. I think we're ready for warmth and sunshine about now so hopefully April comes through for us. I'm sort of counting on it.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Home

I've been on the road for a few days now and coming home felt really good. As quiet and lonely as this house seems some times, it's my personal space and I love it. I've been here for almost forty years now and made it my own and I feel more at home here than anywhere so getting back here is a comfort to my soul.

Yesterday was about unpacking and doing laundry. I drove in the driveway about 1:00 after leaving Pennsylvania at 8, and I was weary and travel worn. My arms ached from being so tense as I navigated around NYC and JFK airport. By the time I got here I was more than ready to get my things out of the car and just veg for the rest of the day. It was great to see friends from away and family too, but it was also great to get home in one piece, safe and sound after a couple tough driving days. My heart is in many places, but my home is here, in East Hampton, on this road where my ancestors planted themselves two hundred years ago and declared it theirs. It still is and their spirit lives on in their descendants, still living and loving this place.

So, today I'm in my place of contentment and peace. And I feel God's presence with me now more than ever. It's a welcome feeling. It's good to be home.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fools

April 1st today and a new month begins. I've always been a fond of April and I think most people - at least those who live in colder climes - feel that way. Its the beginning of the slow re-awakening of the world outside our doors.


April showers are famous for bringing May flowers and that's fine too. I don't mind the rain when its not 35 degrees outside and a nice spring rain can be refreshing and renewing in a special way. I love the flowers the rain brings and its all part of the circle of life so as long as things are in balance (no heavy spring rains that cause the kind of flooding in my basement like we had eight or ten years ago now) I'm good to go. Because April is a great month and I won't let a little rain dampen my spirits!

So April is here and we're embarking on yet another season.  Just as it should be. Life goes on and the circle continues...