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....

Monday, June 19, 2017

Clouds

These past few days, and for the foreseeable future I believe, we are dealing with clouds. Lots of them. The skies are rarely blue lately, rather being covered in gray or white and occasionally gifting us with mist or showers. It hasn't been fun.

I think we had enough rain in April and May to last for awhile and was looking forward to bluer skies and better, warmer days ahead. If this is a pattern to remain throughout the summer I'll be disappointed for sure. I'm still hopeful things will improve, but it seems as though we're in a pattern of overcast days and I seriously worry about what the next months will bring.

Well what will be will be as they say. They also say there's nothing we can do about the weather, and that's certainly true. So I suppose there's no point in complaining about it. Somehow it makes one feel better verbalizing the disappointment though, doesn't it?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fathers

Today is Father's Day and it brings with it a bundle of mixed feelings for me.

I didn't have a great relationship with my own father. I think I was a disappointment to him. He never seemed to be happy with me and never showed any affection toward me so it wasn't an easy relationship. I loved him, but not with the intense emotion that most people have for their fathers, that was clear to me. I envied my friends when I was growing up because they all seemed to adore their own dads and those feelings were clearly reciprocated, and that was something I didn't have.

When I married, one of the most important things I looked for in a husband was someone who would be a great father to my children. I wanted for my own kids what I didn't have: a father to play catch with in the back yard, a father who wanted to be there for all their events and special moments, a dad who adored them and returned their love in equal measure. And I found someone who I knew would do and be all those things. He was a great dad.

When one of my kids had a sporting event, he would find the way to take off work and be there. When we had teacher conferences, he was there. When I needed help with transportation to various events because we had four kids and they were often going in different directions, he was willing and able to help. We talked early in our relationship about how family was more important than work and he always chose his children over his job. And I loved that about him.


When I discovered last year that his life was not quite what I thought it was, that he wasn't exactly the person I thought I knew, I was shaken to the core, just as were my children. This wasn't the man we thought we'd known all these years. As with all of us, he had feet of clay, and in this case it was devastating. Sadly, it eclipsed much of the good he had done as a father and my kids have understandably changed in their feelings toward him. And that makes me sad. Because whatever he did in his life, he was exactly what I wanted when I married him: a great father. So today I honor him and thank him for being the kind of dad I wish I'd had all those years ago when I was young. And even as an adult. Because I could have used someone like that in my life. Especially during years like this one.... 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Peonies

I'm incredibly jealous of all the Facebook posts of peonies this week. Apparently they are blooming in every
body's gardens except mine.

I've been attempting to grow peonies for years now and I think I've give it the last try. They are one of my favorite flowers, with their huge, lush blossoms that can singly fill a small vase and are spectacular in a bunch. I love peonies! Sadly they are among the most expensive cut flowers to buy so I can't simply feed my desire with a trip to the florist every time I have a case of peony envy.

I've planted quite a  few of them over the years, and none of them have appeared again once they went into the ground. I would read everything I could about how to plant them, and where they like to be, and how much sun they should get, all to no avail. The last time I planted I bought five of them, all from a highly recommended dealer, and I put them all in different places around the yard, thinking perhaps I just hadn't found the perfect spot yet. It took a couple years, but lo and behold about three years ago one actually appeared in front of the house and has given me blossoms every year since, and seeming to slowly grow larger every time it came up. But then this year - nothing.

I have no idea whether the deer are decimating them or whether they just tire of my inattention and inexperience with them, because I have never claimed to be much of a gardener after all. But regardless of the reason, I have no peony bush this year and I give up trying. I think I just need to be happy with my lilacs and irises because the peonies don't seem to like me very much. I know I'm not the most doting caregiver, but honestly - I would love them, that's for sure! What more could they possibly want? From now on I'll just need to be content with photos...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Ideal

The weather has returned to the ideal temperatures and blue skies we expect this early in June and I'm enjoying it much more than I did the earlier part of this week when it was so hot.

June is quickly passing already and I fear the summer is going to do the same. With my daughter's family arriving today I'm already thinking about how the days will fly and soon she'll be gone again. Funny how it works that way - the time is never long enough when we're with people we love, is it? So we savor the moments we have and wish they could last, knowing they don't but wishing they would. Its a dilemma of epic proportions for sure.

Wouldn't it be great if we could manipulate time? The things we don't enjoy we could speed up through, like the commercials on our recorded TV shows. And the things we love we could slow down and make last so much longer. What a wonderful thing that would be!

Well we can't, so I'm just going to enjoy this time while I have it. And I may not find as much opportunity to blog in the next month or so. We shall see!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Exciting day

This is an exciting day for me. Every year this is a day I look forward to. Its not the same date every year, but this day has come pretty regularly, every June, for quite some time now.

Today my daughter and her children arrive from Pennsylvania for an extended visit. They'll  be in my house for a couple weeks and then in their own for the month of July. And, as it does every year, August will come far too quickly and these weeks will become yet another memory of a summer with my grandchildren.

I'm very fortunate that she has the freedom to come for this nice long visit every year because it gives me a wonderful, easy "vacation" from my normal life and brings me lots of quality time with my daughter and grandchildren. Not every parent/grandparent has this privilege and I know that. And I savor this time every year knowing that.  Because not only is it a great, intense visit with them, but I get to see more of my other children and grandchildren during this time because they all want to be together while they can. And that makes it great for me as well.

I love that my children like each other, and I love that my grandchildren look forward to their time together too. Its a special blessing to have a family that wants to be together. Its not always the case. So starting today, I will be spending as much time as I can with them all (my own life schedule does actually still go on, unfortunately!) and drinking in every moment if it all. And every year I wonder if it will be my last. Because you never know about these things! And that's a good realization to have, because it causes us to never take a moment for granted.

And I don't.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What a world

As I type this, I'm also listening to the news reporting on the shooting in Virginia where the Republican congressmen were practicing baseball. And I think "what a world".

I am reminded of similar days when I was here in this house watching history unfold before me. I remember the Challenger disaster. I remember John Lennon's death. I remember President Reagan being shot. And I remember the Gabby Giffords shooting. And I still shake my head that there are such terrible people in the world who would decide to take things into their own hands and attempt to take lives. Who do they think they are?

Fortunately none of the victims today are in danger of dying. Apparently this shooter wasn't very skilled. But hearing that one of the congressmen had his eight-year-old son with him and how the others protected him in the dugout during the melee, well, its just awful.

This on the heels of my ambulance call at 3:00 this morning where a woman was attached by her husband while she slept in her bed. And thinking about her small children standing in their kitchen listening as she described the horror to the police. Will they be forever scarred?

What a world indeed. I feel fortunate t o live in a place where this is not the norm and shakes us to our core. I'm fully aware of the fact that there are other places in this world where this kind of violence is a normal every day occurrence. And I'm taking today to focus my prayers on them.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Suitcases

I was sitting at my desk in my home office over the weekend and I saw two people walking past my house with suitcases. They were the rolling ones that everybody owns now - carry-on size and easy to maneuver - and I wondered where they were heading. The house next to us for all the years we've lived here rented rooms every summer so that would not have been a surprising sight up until this past year, but that property recently changed hands and I don't believe there is anyone living there at this moment. So it begs the question - where are they headed?

Its very possible that someone further down the road also rents rooms. Or perhaps they've rented an entire house for a week, who knows? But I wouldn't have been surprised if they had come back to knock at my door. It's been a pretty common occurrence all these years as the house numbers do not make any sense (the house to my left is #12, mine is #16, and the house to my right is #28) and people often are lost. I was watching for signs of them but they didn't reappear.

The season is certainly upon us now that the weather has perked up and people are happy to come enjoy the sun and the sand. We can't really blame them, even if it is inconvenient for those of us who have to give up some of our space when they do. This really is a little bit of heaven right here, so we need to share...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Wonderful

Yesterday afternoon I was listening to the New York news and the weather people were talking about how hot it was in the city. It couldn't have been more perfect here on the East End. In fact, the weatherman was giving out temperatures around the region and when I got to Montauk he added "thanks to some natural air conditioning..." and I smiled. It was perfection out here.

That "natural air conditioning" was in full force all day. There was a wonderful breeze and the sun was bright and the sky was blue...heavenly. As someone at church in the morning said to me "That's why they pay so much money to come out here to escape!" So true.

Today they are promising some humidity. One of my least favorite words.  Hopefully the breeze stays and the humidity won't be as oppressive as it can in August. It remains to be seen.

But so far so good. June is shaping up to be a nice month. And when we get those perfect days, like yesterday, I'll gladly take them.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Saturdays

Yesterday was a rare empty day for me, other than a quick baby-sitting job in the late morning. So my day was relaxing and uneventful for a change.

It began by climbing out of bed at 6:30 and dressing in jeans and a flannel shirt. It was supposed to get warm but mornings are still pretty cool this time of the year. I gathered up my recyclable things and headed to the dump a few minutes after seven to get that duty over before the normal weekend hordes arrive. I separated my glass and tin things, my magazines from my newspapers, and tossed one bag of non-recyclables into the various bins provided. In less than five minutes I was back on Springs Fireplace Road heading home. Then I collected the laundry and started my first load in the washing machine, made my usual bowl of cereal, and sat to read the paper.

By 9am the laundry was folded and my house was pretty clean, so I decided to take a little time to go enjoy the beach. It was still chilly enough to stay in my present wardrobe so I grabbed a book to read, threw my beach chair into the back of my car, and drove the mile or so down Egypt Lane to the empty expanse of sand that we all love here on the East End. Much to my surprise I found familiar faces there - my son and his family has already planted themselves on the sand close to the water, so I asked if I could join them.

I course I have no idea whether they liked that idea or not. They were too polite not to say "Of course!", but perhaps they were looking forward to that private family time. I decided I wouldn't stay long lest it be an imposition, but it was nice to spend some time with them and the kids. I didn't get any reading done, but the hour I spent there made my whole day a lot better than it would have been.

A small blessing - with big rewards.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Open

Today I have a rare page on my calendar. Its completely blank. 

Well that's a slight exaggeration - I do have a ribbon-cutting ceremony to attend at 6:00 tonight in Southampton. But other than that there is nothing....NOTHING on the page. And I'm not sure how I feel about that.

This represents one of the worst things about being a single person. Because it would be fun to have a day like this if I had someone to spend it with. We could take a drive, or do a project, or even have a day of binge watching some televisions show we haven't seen (although with good weather a day outside would be best). But somehow, none of that is as much fun when you're on your own. 

I can hear some of you saying "That sounds like heaven to me!" but therein lies a difference among people. I am not, by nature, a solitary person. I don't enjoy being alone. I like having another person around to talk to, laugh with, share ideas with - whatever. My times of solitude are often sad ones because I long for another person to be in the room.

I know that's not for everybody. I have family members who love being lone. In fact, they rarely entertain and have no interest in a busy social life. That's not me. I love entertaining, I love going out, and I love being with people. I like meeting new ones and I love being with old friends. Although I am shy so going out alone is not so much for for me. I like to be in the company of at least one person I know!

So - I don't know what today will bring, but I think I need to find some way to entertain myself. I'll let you know how I make out!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Music

I've been listening to a CD in my car this week that has me enchanted. Its not because the artists are particularly good, although they are fine. Its not because of the orchestrations or the voices. Its because of the messages. Which leads me to think about music and the effect it has on our lives.

It seems as though music is always there for us, doesn't it? There's the song that reminds me of my first crush because it was popular then and the Beach Boys were young and cute and it all worked together to make a music memory for me at the tender age of 13. Then there's the song that was playing when I was driving to the doctor for tests to determine what my cancer was and how it was going to be treated. Whenever I hear it now my stomach is instantly in knots again. And of course the song that was sung at my wedding when I walked down the aisle, all full of hope and love.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Yes!

How wonderful was it to see the sun appear yesterday afternoon? I found myself actually feeling more upbeat and energized, and by last evening, as the shadows were beginning to inch across the field across the street, I found myself still at my desktop computer working on things that I've needed to get done for weeks now. I simply needed the sunshine to inspire me and suddenly I was able to accomplish it all. Its a wonderful thing!

More good weather is promised for us in the near future so I'm expecting to get plenty done as there is much on my plate. The time has come for making strawberry jam, and cleaning my house, and planting flowers, and planning ahead....yes, I need to get busy now. The clouds have lifted and the world is brighter. No excuses.

As I sat at my computer last night looking out the front windows across to the field I admired the bright green grass and the beautiful light reaching across the lawn, poking through the trees and hitting the undersides of the leaves on my red maple as it dipped lower into the sky. It would have been a perfect, peaceful scene were it not for the traffic building in front of the house. But it was a hint of things to come. Now that the rain has stopped and the sun is out, the hammock is beckoning in the back yard where its quiet and warm and I can forget about the rest of the world. This weekend I think I'll be enjoying myself right there, under a tree, grateful that for a few days at least, sunshine has returned to Bonac, and we are all glad. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Promises

So the weather folks are promising that by the weekend we could be in the 80s temperature-wise. With yesterday's temperature never getting above the 50s I think it may kill us all! A thirty degree swing in a few days? Good grief! I can already imagine the panic. What to wear!? I'm still in sweaters! Now I'm going to need linen! 

This has been a spring like no others here in the northeast and I'm expecting its not over yet. It may be 80 on Saturday but will it stay? Who knows? I do know this: I need to sort through my summer things and try to figure out what I have to wear to an event Saturday night if its that's hot out! Because I'm really not prepared.

Weather out here at the end of this very long island is always unlike anywhere else, we know. But this year has broken records, literally. So we'll see how the summer unfolds. And right now I'm trying to dry out enough to think about outdoor dining and baseball games. At the moment that's still a stretch.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

arks

Seriously, I'm thinking about building an ark.

So far there is no flood in my basement so I'm hesitant to complain, but honestly, enough is enough with this rain! We had such a tease this past weekend with the beautiful sunny weather, and now, back to gray skies and rain, rain, rain. I'm ready for the rain to be gone.

I'm thinking an ark might not be a bad idea. I mean, why not have a little insurance, right? If I built a boat in the back yard, maybe not big enough to hold all those animals but enough for my family to travel on, what's the worst that could happen? We'd have to find a place to moor it and use it in the harbor this summer? I wonder how long it would take me to make.  As any good NCIS fan knows, Gibbs has built more than one beautiful boat in his basement, and I don't even care what mine would look like. It could be ugly as far as I'm concerned.

I'm grateful there hasn't been any sign of water in my basement yet, but if this weather doesn't take a turn soon, its inevitable that I will. I'm not sure I could handle that. Seriously, I've been hit with just about everything this year from an unfaithful husband to replacing hot water heaters and washing machines, so what else can karma possibly throw at me? A flood in the basement! There 'ya go!

I'm hopeful that isn't in the cards for me, and life in general has been looking up, so I'm just going to keep the faith and say the sun will come out....soon....

Monday, June 5, 2017

Messes

My home office continues to perplex me on a daily basis. I simply cannot seem to keep it neat and clean.

Now I would never hold myself up as a great, neatly organized person. I tend to let clutter accumulate until I can't stand it and that motivates me to get clean up and de-clutter things. But nowhere is this more of a problem than my office. I think its because its in a space that's separated from the rest of the house, i.e. unseen most of the time. Its a sun porch off the living room so no one has to walk through it on their way to anyplace else. Its a destination. So...when something suddenly needs a place to go, and there is no place for it, that room seems the logical space to stow it. Its like to repository for lost things, the "lost and found" division of my house if you will. For instance: I have multiple half-completed knitting projects. Where should I store them? I know at some point I'll get around to each of these bags of yarn and needles so I don't want to throw them out, but it could be years, literally, before they're used up and gone. I'll stick them in my office. No one will see them there. So that's an example of the thought process that evolves around all the things sitting on the floor, or in the cabinets, or on my desk out there in my office.

The only time it bothers me is when I am out there. So here I am at my computer desk, blogging, and being bothered by the papers on my desk, the files left out, and all this stuff all over the place. If I turn around, its there. If I look to the side, its there. In fact, I have to climb over some things to get from my desk to the door. I am really pathetic. (Just to clarify though, this photo is not my house! I'm not quite this bad!)

That said, I've seen worse. As an ambulance volunteer I've been in thousands of homes over the past 27 years, and I know that mine is not even than high on the scale of cluttered. I've been in homes where there are paths to bedrooms, lined on either side with piles of newspapers and magazines. I've been in home where the smell could knock you out if you weren't otherwise so occupied with a patient. And I've been in hoarders homes that were difficult to navigate from door to couch or bedroom. So I know I'm not that bad. But right now, sitting at this desk, I really wish I had the ambition to start cleaning up out here....

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Bills

Paying bills has become one of the most stressful things in my life this past year. Like I said in a previous post, I feel as though I've taken a giant step backwards in my life and every month I need to face that reality again. It stinks.

Much of my time, when I sit at my desk to pay my bills, is spent thinking about what I can do without. I've already cancelled three magazine subscriptions and lowered my cable bill by deleting some service, but still I need to find ways to live more frugally, and that's hard. I don't live a lavish lifestyle by any means, and occasional luxuries are hard to give up. I look at the bill from the florist and wonder if I need to stop buying geraniums to fill my outdoor pots. This may be the last summer I indulge in that pleasure.

Then I realize I don't really have to have flood insurance on my house. I know I live in a flood zone and I know with sea level rise my chances of getting flooded have increased significantly, but after all, it hasn't happened yet, and I'm not required to have it, so perhaps that's something I'll let go. That particular bill is not due until early July so I have a few weeks to think about it.

Then there's still my cable bill. I know there are other options out there that could save me money, but it means losing some of the things I most enjoy about my television - local coverage on local channels. I hate to do that because honestly, its what I watch the most. But...maybe its time.

I can't give up my utilities, although some people would say a land line is now a luxury since I have a cell. I think I'd give up the cell first to tell you the truth. I hate the bad reception on cell phones, not to mention the dead spots that haunt me when I'm driving down the road. So if I were to have to choose, the cell would go for sure. Its purely luxury.

Heat, electric, water - well I'd be hard pressed to let them go. So here I am still pondering: what else can I give up? I'm beginning to appreciate why folks move into condos.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Women

Yesterday I was excited to participate in the dedication of a new historical marker on Main Street in East Hampton. It's been erected in honor of May Groot Manson, who was a leader in the suffrage movement, and since this year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, it has been placed in front of what was her home at 117 Main Street.

The discussion around the new marker centered on a number of things, but mostly on her and what she meant to the movement. She actually organized a march down Main Street that will be recreated in August, and I'm excited about the opportunity to participate. 

One of the areas of conversation centered around the fact that it was the society ladies that really got the movement off the ground. May was a part-time resident here, her other home being in New York City of course. It was her encouragement that prompted many other well-heeled ladies to join the movement, bringing prestige and notice to the fight, just as people with well-known names today can bring attention to their own causes. Thus it has always been!

Someone questioned why it was that society women were the ones who brought the nations leaders to the table and who brought the notice necessary for the movement to be successful. It wasn't difficult for me to imagine. I thought about my great-grandmother who was no doubt down here on Accabonac Road washing clothes, cleaning the house, taking care of children, cooking food, mending socks, etc, etc. Did she have time for things like marches and rallies and protests? I don't think so. But the ladies of leisure, who had other people to do those tasks for them, certainly did have the time for them. And they were smart, talented women who needed a way to channel their energy. Surely they had more of it than did the local ladies of East Hampton who no doubt went to bed exhausted every night.

Someone (a man) once made the comment to me that because of the way women were oppressed for so long and not allowed to be entrepreneurs or CEOs, there was "hundreds of years of wasted brain-power" and he wondered if we wouldn't have cured cancer by now had things been different. Interesting question. And interesting to study history and see just how women were able to make a difference in the world despite their limited freedoms. Inspirational ladies for sure.

Friday, June 2, 2017

June

Well I had no internet yesterday. I have no idea why - it seems as though every once in awhile my internet just goes away and eventually comes back. I checked all my cables and my modem and all that stuff but couldn't see anything wrong so I ignored it for the day. And now, today, its back again. One of the mysteries of modern life I guess.

So what did I do instead of wasting time on the internet? I wish I could give you a list of things. But with cell phones we're aren't without it for long now are we? I left my house at 9am and didn't return until 7pm and throughout the day I simply checked my emails on my cell phone, never out of touch and only missing the chance to blog when I was at home. I wouldn't attempt that task on anything but a desktop - I need a full-sized computer for this kind of thing!

And - I missed the chance to rejoice in the first day of June, which is one of my favorite months. No June tunes, or June poems, or June anything to talk about today, because the 1st day has passed and now its over. June is here and its beautiful.

Only in June is the grass this green, the flowers this bright, and the skies this blue. Its a lovely time of the year. And today is a wonderful day. June.