Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sounds

A friend posted the other day about taking his grandchild to the playground and I was reminded of an amusing thing that happened to us last year.

We have neighbors who only come out for the month of August and they rent rooms in the large farmhouse that they inherited a couple years ago. It had been run as a rooming house for many years by their aunt and before that here mother as it is an old nineteenth century home with many small bedrooms and both ladies were widowed, taking in guests to help pay the bills. Well this couple who owns it now live in Europe and since they only come out in August the do nothing to the property until late July when a crew comes in to trim the long stretches of hedges along with cleaning up the trees, flower beds, and other general areas around the large considerable grounds. All of this takes a good couple days and is aggravating to us as it is much more of a job to do all this at once after it has become overgrown than it would be to keep it trimmed and looking nice beginning in the spring. For an entire weekend we listen to hedge trimmers and lawnmowers and weed whackers non-stop just under our open windows. It is impossible to spend any time outside during these weekends.

Well, one weekend two years ago some of this racket was taking place when we were trying to eat on our deck so it was late in the afternoon, well after the noise ordinance for landscaping came into effect, and we could not even have a conversation. When the homeowners had arrived a week or so later and had been in residence a few weeks my daughter happened to be outside when the neighbor was close to the property line and said hello. They had a pleasant conversation and she, not wanting to complain but gently let him know what was happening to our peaceful weekends in July, mentioned the noise from a few weekends ago and he shrugged and said something about it being one of the "sounds of the summer" and in fact one of their guests had complained about the noise of the "children playing" in our yard.

I'm not sure if that was a defensive comment or not but really? Comparing children playing in the yard to gas powered awn equipment? I don't even know what to say to that!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wandering

One of the joys of summer is the ability to wander around at night. Last night we went to dinner in Sag Harbor with some of the family. Afterward we wandered down the street for frozen yogurt and then wandered back to the car at our leisure. No speedy run from building to car in the freezing cold and no careful avoiding of ice or snow banks.

I don't mind the winter and I'm not a big fan of summer, except that I love to be able to wander in these nice warm, long and bright days of July and august. The kids can stay up later, we can enjoy the sunshine into the night hours, and it's just fun to meander around the various village streets.

Life is different in the various seasons and I guess that's what I like most about the summer - its a nice change.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesdays

Tuesdays are one of my busiest days. I am out of bed with the sun and out of the house by 7 and don't stop for the rest of the day.

First I head to the hospital in Southampton where I volunteer as an "Ambassador" for two hours a week. I walk a lot there - one time I wore a pedometer and clocked in nearly 3 miles - and usually work up a good sweat before I leave. I enjoy this volunteer time because it reminds me of how grateful I am not to be a patient at the moment!

When I leave the hospital I make a quick drive through McDonald's where I pick up a large diet coke to go with the lunch I packed at home and from there I head to Sag Harbor to work at the Old Whalers' Church there. Once there I sort the mail, work on putting together the new bulletin, and do some general office work. I am there until 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Once home I sort my own mail, maybe pay some bills or do some cleaning, and hopefully take a break for my tired legs while I do it. Tonight I have my monthly ambulance meeting so I need to grab my down time while I can.

Tuesdays are busy days and every week I get into bed at night very tired, and very grateful to have busy days...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thunder

This morning I was awakened abut 5:15 by a loud clap of thunder and the storm continued for a short time, clearly audible even over the noise of the bedroom air conditioner. It was a reminder of nature's fury.

The day is crisp and sunny now thought, and the air has that heavy feel that comes after the storm. The sky is blue and a bit cloudy, as the storm continues to push off to the west. And it feels clean outside. The time right after a storm is always special.

I am sitting in my living room with five of my ten grandchildren, listening to them play together and counting my blessings. The storm has passed, I am surrounded by my blessings, and all is right with the world. It just doesn't get any better. And these are moments to cherish. Which I do...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Early hours

We are early risers in our house. I wasn't always that way - when we were first married I had no problem staying in bed until 10am on my days off - but years of having to be up early for jobs and getting children ready for school have had their effect and now I find it pretty impossible to stay in bed once the sun comes up. These days if I stay in bed until 7 that constitutes "sleeping in".

But here's what I love about the early hours of the day:

The air is cool and comfortable in the summer. Oh there are rare days when the humidity is so high that walking out of the air conditioned bedroom feels like entering a sauna, but those are not the norm. On most mornings the air is crisp and sitting on the couch reading the paper is a pleasure.

It's also wonderfully quiet early in the morning. Traffic on weekends is almost non-existent, which is a rarity where we live. The traffic noise I listen too all day doesn't really start until about 8am on weekdays and 9am on weekends and it is a lovely respite.

There are no crowds early in the day. I can run to the grocery store, the bagel store, the dump - any place open for business is blessedly still and easy to maneuver with no crowds and generally happy people behind the counters.

Best of all, there is a special beauty in the early morning hours. The sky is especially blue, the light stunning as it peeks through the tops of trees and around buildings, and it casts a special glow, announcing the gift that I've been given: another day of life.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The fair

Today is LVIS Fair day in East Hamptonn and it is one of the great traditions here that I love participating in.


The LVIS - Ladies Village Improvement Society - was formed over 100 years ago to work on the issue of dusty streets. The ladies raised money to buy a water cart to wet the dirt down and keep the dust down, and the rest is history.  Over the years the generations of ladies have take care of our trees,

Friday, July 25, 2014

The city

Every time I go into "the city", which of course means Manhattan, I feel like such a country mouse.

Wednesday I spent the day there courtesy of my daughter who bought tickets to go see The Lion King with her kids (along with my niece and her kids). We had such a great day, despite the heat and humidity and my aching legs yesterday! But it never fails to make me feel insignificant in the world, and a little lost in that metropolis. Times Square is overwhelming with the numbers of people and crazy sights to see. Everything from "naked" cowboys to ladies dressed like princesses in purple sequins and tiaras - we saw it all.

The feeling of being small and unimportant cannot help but follow you, and yet there are also moments of personal connectiveness that make you happy to be human, like the theater manager holding on to the iPod left behind and returning it with a smile to a frantic twelve-year-old, or the waiter in the restaurant who was so attentive and kind. There is a touch of human kindness wherever we go, even in a city of millions.

I never feel competent in the city. I don't even try using the subway, although looking for a cab at rush hour made me which I had the guts to learn it. And I love that the best of everything i just within reach, like the amazing cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery.

Most of the fun was being with family, or course, but there is always adventure to be had in "the city".