Thursday, July 27, 2017

The kids

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

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

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


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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Down

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

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

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Swings

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 24, 2017

MRI


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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sad times

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hot hot hot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The city

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

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

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

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

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