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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Up Close and Personal

It is very rare that I go away from the house for the day, but winning a free pass to WCLZ's Studio Z performance of the Decemberists, the drive into the big city was worth it.
The concert was held in a tiny space that was able to accomodate about 40 people, many of them standing up.
Lead singer Colin Meloy's voice is wonderful and distinctive on their recordings. In person, it is magical. So often live performances aren't as good as the studio versions, but this was exquisite...

I was the old lady in the back with tears in her eyes.....

The heavens opened up on the way home, threatening until I got to Brunswick, and then a major downfall, nearly flooding the road. A fitting end to an affecting day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rain and Azaleas

Not much to say today, except appreciation for the bits of color and all that green, albeit in a soggy landscape. It sure beats snow!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Glamorous Mom

I remember that my mother liked to dress. For much of my younger childhood, we went to NYC regularly so that she wouldn't have to wear clothes that everyone else in Riverhead had. Unlike many moms of the time, she worked outside of the home, clearly loving it, first part time at the L.I. Cauliflower Association, and then full time at the Suffolk County National Bank. She grew up on a farm, without much money, and turned her Montgomery Ward envy into becoming a seamstress who sewed her own clothes, the better to be able to afford stylish duds.
Even as a young parent, here with my older and brother sister, she looks like she could have been in a Road to Somewhere movie
                                                         Pat, Dad, Frankie, Mom
Here she is with my dad and grandma, at my sister Pat's wedding, getting everybody dressed to the nines.
We always had difficulties, my being the late life surprise that she never forgave, but she also taught me how to sew, and  how to make something grand from nothing much. In spite of it all, she spent the last years of her life out in Berne with me. Thanks to the advancing Alzheimer's she never really understood what either of us was doing there. She continued to flirt with any available male til the very end of her life, a little over two years ago now.
I'm sure she's out there somewhere, playing cards with Dad and Uncle Flory, and giving my father a hard time about eating too much cake. RIP would never apply to my mother!
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

National Barrier Awareness Day

                                                  That's me with Johnny Walker Red.
A ways back, different glasses, different haircut, different range of disability now. Time marches on.
Well, hobbles on......
Anyone who has ever dealt with a disabling illness understands just how much the regular world does not get it. Memories such as:
Going to TNNA in Columbus OH, and realizing that the handicap door was WAY DOWN THERE, what felt like an extra city block just to get through the door. And then needing to get to the second floor with no signs for the elevators and having to take my walker up the escalator.Oh, that was pretty!
Similarly, at the Taj Mahal, in Atlantic City, unable to find an elevator, and finding myself needing to go up and down an obscene number of escalators just to get my baggage to my room at the Candy Show I attended with my daughter,
where I finally just let my loaded walker ride down by itself, spilling everything on the way down. I got help then! Not just a Gray Panther, but a Crippled Gray Panther! Yes, my claws were out that day!

I have, at times, had more patience- the handicap bathroom at work was through 3 different rooms and a long hallway. The time I rushed to get to it (people did claim that I could get around quicker with my walker than they did walking)- you know, the MS Incontinence Dance- only to find the door between me and it locked, because the muckymucks went home early that day. Part of me regrets not leaving a puddle there by the locked door.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 King James Version (KJV)

Disability has been a journey for me, an obligation to see things differently. Though I haven't ended up bedridden, as predicted by my neurologist, and can walk most days without my cane, the world will never look the same to me. There are barriers out there. I cannot pretend I don't see them.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

From Job's Lane to Target

I graduated from high school in 1971. Growing up in Riverhead, on the east
 end of Long Island, Southampton was a mere 20 miles away. Jobs Lane was my favorite place to window shop in my entire world back then, and Lilly Pulitzer was a biggie. There was a bus from Riverhead to Southampton's Main Street, and yes, there were days when I skipped school, just to window shop there. Part of the reason I like the show REVENGE so much is there are glimpses of Southampton town every so often (though those panoramic shots are NOT Southampton!) A lunch at Silva's with a fashion magazine was so much more interesting than school!
The 60s changed fashion forever. Screaming fights with my mother who wanted me to wear my sister's hand-me-down pleated plaid calf length skirts and round collared blouses with circle pins.
I don't think so!
The skirts were ripped apart and resewn and shortened til my father had fits.
Saks Fifth Avenue, Zoom, Paraphernalia. I'm embarassed to admit that I don't remember all of the names. It was definitely pre Ralph Lauren. Lilly Pulitzer was what the rich women wore, those prints totally recognizable. I was fascinated by the recognition factor.....
We didn't have cell phones back then, so there are no selfies of my hippy dippy self mugging it with friends and the statues outside the Parrish Art Museum.

 I was definitely a townie, but I sure could enjoy the Hamptons. My boyfriend at the time was from Southampton and he and his friends would drive down Jobs Lane taking turns mooning the horrified tourists from the back seat windows.
I live near a different part of the Atlantic Ocean now, but I can still get moved by a pair of Lilly Pulitzer flip flops! There's a Target up in Topsham- I may have to go check them out!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News  won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Today, having just finished it again, it wins my heart's prize.
I don't have photos of Newfoundland, where most of the story takes place, but after this past winter, I feel like I've experienced the isolation and wearing weather that surely Proulx's characters experienced. A while ago, I culled my book collection, and since my kindle was stolen in December, I have been working through the hard copies that I kept, for reasons often forgotten.
I've watched the movie made from it, and while I enjoyed it, it doesn't have any of the laugh-out-loud humor of the book. Because, after all, what can you do but laugh when Life blows you around like a sea wind?
Mixed with excerpts from The Ashley Book of Knots, the story of Quoyle is one of redemption, moving from lost soul with not a clue to understanding at least a bit about life, and love....

"On the stairs an image came to him. Was love then like a bag of assorted sweets passed around from which one might choose more than once? Some might sting the tongue, some invoke night perfume. Some had centers as bitter as gall, some blended honey and poison, some were quickly swallowed. And among the common bull's-eyes and peppermints a few rare ones; one or two with deadly needles at the heart, another that brought calm and gentle pleasure. Were his fingers closing on that one?"
from The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx

" I know not how I sink or swim" these days. No wings to fly, but where there's Life, there's Hope, right? I have to believe that Summer will come again.
Headline: Deadly Storm Takes House; Leaves Excellent View

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sand Mix

# 0972 of Red Heart's Creme de la Creme is actually called Sandy Print, but it made me get out of the house and go sit on the beach for a bit.
was the view from my driftwood log seat, Georgetown across the water.
It was a day for dogs, and people on the beach....
complete with motorized cars.
I was more interested in what the sea would tell me than in dealing with people or their pets, so I didn't stay too long,
but still grateful to be reminded by the great Atlantic that, even after this long, devastating Winter, the world consists of more than my work and the voices in my head.