Thursday, December 27, 2007

Post Christmas - on to Florida

Christmas was lovely, BUT, I have to be honest and say I felt tremendous relief when the day was over. I have no idea why the holiday makes me feel so stressed. I am surrounded by many I love and beside the man I love but I still had an underlying anxiety. Perhaps it is all the expectations which are put on me (I do this to myself!!) and others at this time but I just want to love my family and friends and give gifts when I am inspired not when I am required.

Christmas Eve I made a lovely dinner and shared it with LM and his friend, Bob. Christmas morning we shared a leisurely breakfast and looked back on Christmases past for LM with his beloved Lillian and then rejoiced in the new life we share and all the promise of each day to come.
Our first stop was to see LM's daughters and share gifts, then on to my son's in Sagamore Beach.
Our dinner, beautifully prepared by my daugher-in-law and son was delicious and it was heartwarming to see Dad enjoying his day, and we really enjoyed our time with baby, Samantha who is now 9 months and trying so hard to walk. The cats were quite taken aback by the baby toddling around and their reactions were pretty funny. Pictures of that to be posted soon!

LM received a Tom Tom navigation system for the car and it will be really useful on our trip to FL which launches Saturday morning at 5 am. We can hardly wait to be "on the road".
There will be many stops and visits with family as well as treasured time alone. I think we are both ready for renewal of our spirits and peace.
We will be in Naples FL for New Year's Eve. No resolutions, no time limits, just love to be shared with each other, family and friends.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Surprise

I arrived home tonight to find tiny lights shining through the window of my darkened house. This being the anniversary of Mum's birth and death, I had been in a reflective mood all day. LM called many times to be sure I was OK and work kept my mind fairly distracted. Also, there were some nice Christmas comments and gifts from clients to make the day even better.

When I saw this sweet little tree, I knew immediately that LM had been by to sprinkle more love on my life. He has made everyday (and night!) Christmas since we have been together. There is also another tree in my sitting room! How nice it feels to be the recipient of such thoughtfulness. LM had a busy day today but he found the time to come all the way over to my house and plan this little surprise for me. It made me cry tears of happiness.

I called Dad to see how he was faring on this day and he was a bit down but was doing his usual activities so hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day for him.

Worked on the recipe collection for the cookbook today and also put some thought into doing some Christmas baking. I will make trifle to take for Christmas Day dessert.

Being mired in terrible debt from the bills for my oral surgery, I had planned to just breeze right by Christmas but I guess I have no choice but to get in the spirit. How can I help it now that I am so loved and in love with such a wonderful man?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Joy and Peace

Tomorrow is my Mum's burthday and Thursday is the anniversary of her death. Last year marked five years since she left us and it was the hardest year to mark these dates. I cried for weeks and felt very bereft. This year it feels completely different. Most likely it is just a pattern of the grief process, but I think it is due in large part to the incredible love which fills my heart and soul right now. Each day, new aspects of this love unveil themselves and I have moments of wanting to cry because it feels so good, so right. I still have the feeling I want to call Mum to tell her about all this happiness I feel, to tell her how right she was that I would know when true love came along....I would "just know". Depsite the fact that I have had many, many serious relationships in my life, I NEVER knew anything like what I feel now with LM. Best of all, he feels the same way and lets me know that everyday in so many ways.

Chirstmas will be a lot happier this year. Dad is happy and doing relatively well healthwise right now. He continues to thrive at assisted living and takes part in lots of activities. We cannot believe he will be joining us for another beautiful Christmas at my son and daughter-in-law's house. Each of my children are in happy places, my beautiful 10 month old granddaughter and her parents will celebrate her first Christmas with us. My oldest daughter, Anne, is happily celebrating Christmas with her husband and two sons, at their second home on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. LM and his daughter, Kristi will be with my family on that day, too. What a fantastic feeling of love and family!

Knowing I will see my FL family when I visit FL with LM the first week in January is such a treat, too.

My lovely niece, Laura, sent out an e-mail to all the family today to request recipes and she is putting together a family cookbook to be published next year. This is such a wonderful tribute to Mum as many of my best recipes came from my years learning in Mum's kitchen. She was an extraordinary and adventurous cook and she loved good food. Thus, most of the family are wonderful cooks and especially my brothers!
There seems to be a peace which comes with all this joy and I am so very grateful.
And to add a comment from MS. Graysea....she is certainly happy to have such a loving new man in her life....LM even comes to visit and play with her while I am at work...he is really smitten!! JOY!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Saved by Surgery

The onslaught of treats, gift baskets, etc is in full swing at the office! The fact that I can not eat much is saving me from the usual 5 lb gain during this time...we get some seriously good stuff daily but all of it is passing right by me this year. Ahhhhhhh.

The infection appears to be thrush/candida set up by the fact that I have been on such huge doses of anti-biotics off and on for the last 1.5 years....first during and after my knee replacement and then prepping each time for dental procedures, then when I had pneumonia in September. It really got to me this week as my mouth is burning and in pain. There appears to be a bit of relief with the use of Nystatin rinse. I have also begun taking B12 and a natural supplement. This is all making me very tired and off my game.

Have only one Christmas event this weekend which will find us in Provincetown on Saturday to visit old friends. We hope to walk in the town afterwards to see the Christmas lights but we are expecting a major nor'easter storm so the walk may be pre-empted.

Time to sleep. A purry Ms. Graysea awaits me.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Road Trips and Such

My recovery from the surgery in my mouth had been going quite well until last week when I began to have severe burning and pain in my entire mouth. Suffered it out over the weekend as we had a full schedule of parties and other holiday-related events, but by this morning, I had to call the doctor. He is not sure what is happening....there are several theories and we have begun a treatment of rinsing which may attack several of the suspected issues. Meanwhile, work is a challenge as I need to talk so much and my mouth is also painfully dry. I will also begin eliminating certain foods from my diet which can cause further irritation. It is very possble that the huge amounts of anti-biotics which I have had to take over the last year and a half have upset the balance in my body and set up a highly acidic environment allowing bad bacteria to flourish and kill off the good. Time will tell but I am most anxious to be well before the holiday AND the long-awaited trip which Lou and I are taking to FL. There has been prolonged stress with worrying about Dad, pneumonia 2 months ago, surgery and also the stress related to all of a sudden being thrust into this beautiful exciting love which has encompassed my life. It is a major change, albeit delightful, thrilling and so cherished!

We leave on Dec 29 and will be driving a lovely new BMW convertible to Naples, FL for a dear friend of LM's. We will stop to visit my brother in Baltimore on the way down. Once we get to Naples we will have time to rest at the beach and enjoy some warmth. On the return trip we will rent a nice car and make a lot of stops to visit friends and family, including my daughter and former schoolmates of LM's. We are looking forward to a fun-filled time as we both love being on the road and it will be our first long road-trip together.

Last weekend's parties were great....the first was my office party and it was quite enjoyable....I am often uneasy in those situations, even though I work with the nicest people in the world. This time was different with LM by my side. Saturday night was a party with people I used to work with and where I met LM. Fun to see everyone and they are still having a field day with the fact that we are now a couple. So many years have passed since we first met and became friends.

Last night we took LM's daughter, Kristi to the Festival of Lights at Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. She just loved it and we enjoyed the walk on what turned out to be a pleasant winter evening to be outside. Fun to hold both their hands and be in the center of so much love. I am a very fortunate woman!
On to recovery.

So the challenge is to get better right now, prepare for the holiday and try to keep it low key and stressless.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks for Family

We really were not intending to celebrate Thanksgiving today, as my brother, Sam, and his family, above, are hosting a huge family "Thanksgiving" party at their house next week when many of my dear siblings and other family will be home after many years. Sam and I are the only siblings who have remained in MA where we grew up. Jobs and marriages have taken the others far away but we remain in very close contact and love each other very much, so having 5 of us together next week will be amazing! There will also be my children and their cousins together after many, many years.

So even though we have the other party coming up next week, we could not leave Dad alone at his assisted living home on a day that he always prized to celebrate family. We shared a nice dinner (well, I could not eat much because my mouth is still healing) and then I took Dad for a ride to his beloved Nantasket Beach. He enjoyed seeing the high surf today and it was quite sunny and warm.

LM is having a great time in NJ and we have been on the phone frequently today. I miss him beyond belief. It is just so nice to have someone like him to love and to feel the love returned.
I feel so so grateful!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Oh, Oh!

I am in the not so good graces of Ms Graysea. Last night I went out into the cold front hall to say goodnight to LM, she followed me, I didn't know it, and she got trapped there all night as I came back into the house without noticing her presence....At 6am I heard the plaintive screaming. Really unhappy little friend. Ah, the life of a cat is not always easy. She has been curled up in her comfiest spots today. I am sure it feels good after 7 hours on a cold tile floor!

LM is in New Jersey tonight. He will be there until Saturday and it is a weird feeling to be apart. We both were feeling sad about being so far away over out favorite holiday but way before we began dating, LM made a promise to be in NJ for Thanksgiving, and he is a man of his word. I almost feel a bit disoriented without him but, at the same time, I have a deep feeling of contentment and of being loved. He never leaves me wondering about how much our love means to him.
My mouth is continuing to heal but eating is out of the question. Talking becomes easier each day and I know things will improve when the stitches are removed late next week. I will miss out on Thanksgiving dinner but I will still enjoy the company of my Dad, my brother, his wife and son. We will all eat at the assisted living residence of Dad. So many wonderful things to give thanks for!!

I am not being very productive with my knitting or beading these days but life and love are just in the way. I am sure I will settle back in. Too much fun to pass up right now. Those pasttimes sustained me in all the years alone.

Today is my daughter, Sara's birthday....43! She and the baby have been sick this week and hopefully they are on the mend to be well for our big family gathering on Dec 1.

Monday, November 19, 2007

On the Other Side

Four days post surgery and I am amazed at how well things went. Lou was with me every step of the way and brought me home to his loving arms and held me as I slept off the anesthesia. The pain has been surprisingly minimal and the new teeth feel like they will settle in nicely once the incisions are healed. I cannot eat right now so am depending on liquids for sustenance. Hunger is a ferocious thing!! I was able to return to work today, and, although very tired, I was able to talk well enough to do my job and be around all my dear friends.
It will be tough to by-pass all the wonderful tastes of Thanksgiving but there are other times. The holidays are bringing on some sadness......for Lou his first year without Lillian, for Dad the anniversary of Mum's birthday and passing.
Time to sleep and reflect on the gratitude I have for Lou's love which got me through the weekend, for granddaughter Samantha having her first two teeth and being such a sweet natured child, and for having Dad with us to celebrate another year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shifting Focus from the Inevitable

Today I am trying to distract myself from the fact that I will have surgery tomorrow....trying to keep my focus on the loving man who will be by my side and bring me home, on the family party which will soon reunite many of my loved ones at a belated Thanksgiving gathering on Dec 1, on the fact that this is most likely the LAST surgery to repair the disastrous side effects of radiation 12 years ago. I will have a rebuilt jaw and new teeth when I am done. This cannot possibly be worse than the first procedure which re-built my sinuses and top jaw a few years back.
It still has my stomach in an uproar and I cannot wait for it to be over. Today I am enjoying some foods which I can chew as I will be on liquids for an unknown length of time.
I am sure Ms. G will take good care of me as well.
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 9, 2007


On the way to completing a birthday dinner for a dear friend last evening, I managed to end up in the ER!! Thanks to a box of plastic wrap and its very sharp serated edge (the box began to drop from my hands and in the process of catching it, I slammed it hard onto the counter with the sharp edge exposed to my left hand). I turned the dinner party into what looked like a massacre with copious, seemingly unstoppable bloodshed . My dear calm LM sped me off to the local fire station where they stemmed the bloodshed and recommended that I get to the ER for stitches. Amidst terrible hard pain, I was held in the arms of LM's sweet love and comfort while a physician's assistant in training ably sewed up the large, deep gash in my hand. The pain kept intensifying and the powerful Vicodin they handed me at the ER became mandatory if I were to get any sleep. WELL, that I did! LM lovingly tucked me in to bed, cleaned up the entire kitchen and quietly went home. I finally woke up 17 hrs later and it has taken me 7 more hours to feel halfway normal. The hand is throbbing at a dull roar and I think I will survive but I know one thing for sure - I will never use the plastic wrap without remembering Bob's birthday celebration!! At least we got to enjoy the dinner and yummy apple pie before the massacre!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sisters et al

My talented and inspiring sister-in-law spun the pictured yarn and made these beautiful sox. To see more of what she is creating, visit
I have 3 wonderful sisters and 3 fantastic sisters-in-law. Each, in their own way, have inspired me to create and grow. I really feel they are my best friends and I am so very grateful.
Life is returning to normal here after hurricane Noel dealt us a heavy blow last weekend. We were without power for 24 hrs, lots of tree damage, wires down, flooding and beach erosion. Two houses were destroyed on the outer beach. The winds were very frightening at times. LM was with me and we managed to get to my boss's house to tend to his dogs....I house sit for them each Fall weekend as their son is starting quarterback at Yale and they travel to the games (so far undefeated....GO YALE!!) Saturday evening was the worst and we sat in the darkened house waiting for the gusts to ease out.Finally after many hours it became still. WHEW. LM and I have both lived through very severe hurricanes in the 50's and 60's here in coastal New England so we knew the potential. It was sort of fun but then having no heat got old very fast!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time at Last

T.I.M.E. = This I must experience.
A valuable lesson in my life. A myriad of life experiences later, I find it really is now time for me to savor, embrace and humbly recognize that I am truly loved in so many ways and that I am worthy of that love. For so long I felt I was not, I did my best to repel love in many ways. I guess I needed to wait to be loved by the right man. He has arrived!! Speaking of time, 2 months or more have passed since I last wrote, mostly taken up by falling in love and savoring every second.
I have known LM for 15 years. We have been friends all that TIME, respecting and caring about each other and our respective children. We saw each other every Monday night at my previous job (where he still teaches). There was always a spark, always caring and sharing; there was even teasing by my co-workers who sensed how he felt about me. No line was ever crossed, but there were warm smiles aways and a big hug when I retired.
In the first year after I retired (only from that job, as I moved on to a wonderful new career in the world of architecture), LM called me to say he would like to take me to dinner to thank me for all the help during our work relationship. It never happened and I thought about him often. When I was informed, 3 years later, that his longtime partner, Lillian, died of breast cancer, I was heartsick for him and wrote him a card to say just that. Within a week or so he called me to thank me for the card and we did make a time to have dinner. LM arrived with flowers and a warm hug. The chemistry between us was VERY strong that evening. We shared a long evening, a lovely dinner, a lot of talking about our lives, still we did not discuss feelings for each other. When he asked if we could get together again I said no and that he needed TIME to heal and grieve his loss.
I thought a lot about the chemistry I felt that night but knew LM really needed TIME...thus, many months passed, I dealt with some family issues, worked on my health, ended a brief relationship which was making me feel guilty, unhappy, less than a woman and just not right.

I decided to just go on being single, taking good care of myself, my family and finding joy in my everyday life.....I was feeling on top of my game, and WOW, the phone rang and LM was on the other end. It was TIME for a date !!!! Within 3 days we were on that date and it was the most magical night I have ever known. Since that first date, I have been enveloped in the arms of a love I have NEVER known. It is filled with caring, respect, and passion, and there is no agenda except to care about each other and to love each other each day. OFTEN we speak with awe about how long it took us, complete with many interesting side trips, to get where we are now, but it has been a sweet wait, simmering within, perhaps more in him than in me, as I just never thought I could be worthy of someone like him. A girl can dream, though and sometimes those dreams come true. LM makes me feel special, thought about, and loved everyday in so many ways. He is a very positive thinker, remembers what is important to me, what I am doing, if I need something, caring about my family and his, and best of all, he is spontaneously romantic and very open with his thoughts and feelings. We are spending hours and hours talking and really getting to know each other.

TIME will tell where this journey will lead but right now each day is a miracle, we both feel so alive, so in love and know our TIME is here. We talk a lot about how nice it is to have this deep love now at ages 64 and 70, as we don't have a lot of other life issues to contend with, we have TIME to focus, savor and care for one another without pressures. It feels so right.
Of course, all those who have known us both through the years are so so happy and giving us "I told you so's"...very sweet. MMMMMMMMMM!!
Happiness reigns!!
PS. Ms. Graysea adores LM and he adores her....I often catch him down at her level talking sweet talk to her and patting her gently!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The past month has brought a lot of change; with that has come growth, grief and gratitude.
The farm and house where I grew up has been sold. The day the legal work was processed was really hard and there was a lot of comforting to do with siblings who are far away and with my Dad for whom this is a major passage in life. He cried and kept saying, "Mum should have lived to share in this, she should have been part of the decision". Once again, after nearly 5 years, he was grieving her loss along with that of the land where they began their marriage and where she died, where all of us very fortunate children grew and were loved like no others. We are all starting to recover and are comforted by the fact that the land will be developed into a beautiful new street and it will be called Morse Farm Estates. The street will be Barred Rock Lane (after the type of chickens my Dad raised).

More grief came in the form of death...a very beloved co-worker died on July 23. The entire company is still in mourning, as well as all of our clients. There were several well-attended memorial services and the entire town extended their arms to his widow and son. I had to do most of the phone calls to clients and others who truly loved "our Bobby" and it was new tears each time. People are still coming in to the office on business and are bowled over by the news, many reduced to tears and I must relate the story of his quick passing again. Gratitude comes from this tragic loss to make me cherish each day, to be true to myself, to love and do whatever I can for those around me.

Growth came in the form of realizing that my current relationship, barely 7 months old, was just not working. I was feeling very annoyed and guilty all the time. it seemed I could never give enough, never fill the needs of this person. I feel it was growth on my part to let him be free to seek a partner who can give him what he wants. He was good to me in many ways and I wish him all the happiness in the world. There are those around me who not get involved with anyone ever again, but my spirit will not allow that. It has been a few weeks and my heart feels light again. There was tremendous stress trying to be someone I wasn't, someone that someone else wanted me to be.
I have decided that it is best to let love come to me this time, not to actively search as I have in the past, trying to be a chameleon for someone. A very special friend of 15 years may just be that person....MMMMMMMM! A bolt out of the blue 5 days ago.

I am grateful for my bouyant spirit, the love around me and all the beauty in which I live. Had a great visit with my dear SIL from Baltimore and we had an awesome time at an Arlo Guthrie/Richie Havens concert. Life is good.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Beaches and Breaches


Cape Cod is a fragile flexed arm of land; my town, Chatham is on the tip of the elbow, jutting into the beautiful North Atlantic Ocean.
We are prone to the beatings of storms called nor’easters which in a matter of hours can change our entire shoreline. There is a beautiful barrier beach (North Beach) along our coast which serves as a buffer from these storms and is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore (a project of John F Kennedy which saved this vast area of beautiful dunes, beaches, and forests from ever being developed and to be enjoyed by everyone). There are some camps or cottages there, accessed by 4-wheel drive and treasured by their owners. On April 22 the barrier beach was breached by huge surf and in a matter of hours a large protective dune was gone, creating an island of what remains of the beach….there are about 10 camps now on the island and the only access is by small boat from the mainland.
The power of the ocean never ceases to amaze me.
At this point, a few weeks later, it looks like the breach will not close. This now leaves many homes and beaches very vulnerable to erosion and loss. This is the process of living on these constantly shifting sands.
It reminds me of life, mine especially, when, at any given moment we can become so vulnerable, and so threatened by something (someone) whom (that) we love, leaving us an island. Then we seek daily solace in (the ocean). It happened to me several years ago. Still not sure I will ever recover, but like beautiful Cape Cod we adapt, go on and the shock lessens. Every day, I go to look at my beloved ocean; there is new perspective as I watch the breach in North Beach. Life is beautiful!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

New Beginnings - Happy Easter

First....a word from Ms. Graysea to say she is fine shape now that she exercises everyday with her very own personal trainer! She drags that wire toy to me when I get on the bike and INSISTS that I play with her. She also brings it to me when I am trying to sleep.

Now on to my March miracles!

March has been a month of miracles in our baby Samantha (3 weeks old), and her Mom, Sara (my middle daughter) and her Dad, Richie. Samantha came into the world on March 1 after a fairly easy delivery. I had the honor of being there that day and we were all deliriously happy. Samantha is Richie's first child and he has just been awesome in preparing for the arrival and helping Sara to have a very healthy pregnancy despite many health challenges.

We were all ready to welcome Samantha home from the hospital on Sat, March 3, but that was all rudely interrupted by a major health crisis for Sara. At 6 am still at the hospital and nursing the baby, Sara had a major grand mal seizure and heart failure. For 4 long days, Sara was on life support and it was unknown what the outcome would be for her. She was med-flighted from Cape Cod Hospital to Boston where more intensive cardiac care was available and a large contingent of family waited out those days in suspended disbelief....waited and waited. Finally on the 5th day Sara came off life support and was able to speak with us and be told what happened. After a joyous few hours, Sara retreated into a near catatonic state and we all were returned to an abject state of fear but dear Richie somewhere found the faith to tell us all that she would be OK. Her brain just overwhelmed. Even the Dr's did not know, but Richie sat by Sara's side, held her hand and assured her that we all loved her and it was OK to rest. In an agonizingly slow manner, Sara came back to us and then in several days we were able to bring the baby to Boston, with the help of my son's incredibly loving wife, Alison. When Sara was able to hold Samantha we were all overcome. Such joy! Within a few more days, Sara was home and on her way to recovery and fully involved in motherhood again after what seemed an eternity.

This event brought Sara's two other children, long estranged from her, back to us all again and it is indeed a miracle. Sara's Dad, and wife came from FL and I was so so comforted by all the love around me....they are dear friends. My beloved co-worker, Nancy took over loving Ms. Graysea each day and giving her ample amounts of Whiskas Temptations..I am so blessed to work with such great people.
After Sara came home, daughter, Anne, came from FL to be with us for a week and that was such a joy and comfort, too.
We are all so relieved.....Easter will be more joyous than usual this year!
Cape Cod is still in winter but are beginning to bloom here and there....snowdrops and crocuses so far. A beautiful walk in a conservation area last weekend yielded an evening grosbeak and a butterfly which followed the entire 3 miles!
Gotta run, Ms. G is eating a plastic bag again....she really needs Plastic Bag Eaters Anonymous!!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Good Morning From Ms. Graysea

"I am waiting for my treats, and if I look cute enough, I know she will open the package."
Ms. G gets me with the power of positive thinking and actions EVERY time. If I was only as smart as she is, my life would be even more amazing.