Friday, July 26, 2013

Two for One Lunch Report

You know you better not go far when you walk out the office door and there are masses of bicyclists everywhere, rescue vehicles flying by and cars blocking roads.  I walked around the corner to where my car was parked along a side street, and dodging many more bikes, I barely made it to my car unscathed, put the key in the ignition and plugged in my phone.  Within seconds, there was a screech of metal on pavement and screams, and the accident scene was on the street right in front of my parked car.  Are you surprised I never left my parking spot?  That's just a glimpse of what it is like on a very cloudy/drizzly day at the peak of summer on Cape Cod. Too dangerous for me to drive.  The carnage was picked up, damage not too serious, and the riders were on their way again, albeit limping along a bit. WHEW...crazy day.  My lunch was to be short anyway, as I was leaving work early to pick up daughter, Sara, so she could have dinner with her Dad (my 1st husband).  Long trip but nice evening, and Samantha really loved seeing her Grampa.  Delicious baked scallops.
Anyway, back to the lunch (half ) my steamy car (88 degrees) with a view of a nearby school parking lot and several near accidents between cars and bikes, I shared a short catch-up with LM, and tried to take a few deep relaxing breaths before returning to the fray that has been my office this week.

LUNCH:  Cold baked salmon with celery, and sprouts
Lovely Washington State cherries and green grapes
A very tiny piece of lemon pound cake

So here we are at today, and the fray was even worse in the office, but I knew an hour was coming to me no matter what.  My car headed to the quietest place I could think of, playing Russian roulette as I drove through the rotary at the head of the village, amidst gridlocked traffic. Soon I was parked on the pier at Stage Harbor, all the boats - many fishing vessels, huge pleasure craft, were all facing to the northeast in a mid-tide.  The sky was really dark overhead and light around the horizon.  We'd had 18 hrs of very heavy rain overnight and into the morning.  Within the swirling fog, there were swallows swooping along the top of the water and then landing in the swaying green marsh grasses. I am sure they are finding lots of delectable treats. There was some action around the Harbormaster's office behind me, but fairly minimal.  Another woman pulled in next to me in a red van. I have seen her there before, and we nod. Most everyone knows you come there for solitude, although I have had times when people insist on prolonged chatting.  After a morning of constant phones and interaction, I need the quiet.   Soon enough, LM calls, and we have serious and distressing conversation regarding Kristi. We have some tough legal issues surrounding her future and I cannot say much more. It is very hard for my dear LM, and will require a lot of undue effort on his part. I listen and we say bye with a longing to just be together to offer strength.  
The water is lapping gently against the pilings under the pier, and the gulls are calling, my mind eases out and I am able to return to work with enough peace to get me through the afternoon, AND, it's FRIDAY!!

LUNCH:  Cold baked salmon with celery folded into an oat bran pita round
More cherries and grapes!

I always have my lunch at my desk at about 11:30 each day, as I am starving by that time, having eaten breakfast at 5:30 am. 

So tomorrow is my dear son' Jason's birthday, and we will fight the heavy traffic to go over to their house late afternoon. Jason requested that I make him one of his favorite meals.  I will put the recipe up and try to get some photos.  It is a shrimp and pasta dish. Little Teddy has informed me that his 30 sisters and 20 brothers will also be coming to the party so he wanted to be sure I bring enough food.  What an imagination he has. Evidently, these siblings live "up the street near the red schoolhouse, and have a playground"....LOL. He's a trip. I'll be starting off the day tomorrow by shopping for food and flowers at the farmers' market, then go to the fish market for shrimp.  FUN!

Sunday, LM and I have a day of rest and being together with Ms G, whom I understand has taken to sitting on the back of LM's chair and repeatedly hitting LM in the head with her tail. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday Lunch Report

Very hot here, 88 degrees at one point. The ocean surrounds us on 3 sides and right now the water temperature is very warm; we do not even cool off at night. My usual haunts for lunch are 3 places where I can be very close to the water but these days they are fairly crowded with beachgoers making the most of their vacations. Today it was high tide at noon and I managed to find a spot at Oyster Pond - closest to my office. Lovely view of a salt pond which is the culmination of a river running in off of Nantucket Sound. Right next to where I park is a lovely little memorial park with roses in full bloom. It is a nice place to sit on a non 85+ degree day.  There was a little breeze today and the air was filled with the sound of joyful children running back and forth in the water. The older ones were out further jumping repeatedly off the raft.  A number of kayakers came along and launched just in front of my car.  A French family with 3 teenagers was enjoying lunch at a park bench.  The lilt of their conversation so beautiful.  A very elderly woman sat in the car next to me, and I couldn't help but wonder why her family had left her in the car while they were on the beach. The heat was pretty extreme, although she did have all the windows down. The usual birds I see were no where around today.  Too kingfishers.

Like clockwork, every day at 12:20 my phone rings and it is my dearest LM. We catch up on what transpired in our mornings and he always wants an activity report from my vantage point. Sometimes my son will call in this precious hour. Not today, as he had called me earlier at work to fill me in on a serious work-related accident he had last night and the subsequent trip to the ER for 30 stitches in his head.  He was very lucky there were people around.  He is home and resting. It will heal but leave a nasty scar.
The last half hour or so of my break is spent meditating, often just deeply breathing in the scent and sounds of the sea.  It seems the best form of renewal I've found. The workdays are very frenetic right now and in my breath I can feel my mind calm and thoughts become less jumbled.

I'll take you on some other lunch time journeys with me in the days to come. I've often thought about recording these times as some really funny, and interesting sights and sounds occur from time to time.

Keep cool.....

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sultry Sunset Adventures

We've been havin' a heat wave here!  Feeling so grateful for the AC yet it does tend to make one gasp for real air after such long periods. Last evening we headed out in the car, yet again in AC, and drove to West Dennis beach just before sunset. The night before we had been there and walked along the waterline with waves crashing against us, and came home sandblasted from the wind.   (Walking in heavy surf is sure a good way to exfoliate your feet, mine are just gleaming today.) We weren't sure how it would be last night, but it did seem the hot wind had subsided a bit.  We parked, and began to walk down the long boulevard/parking area toward the place it ends at Bass River.  The walk was perfect, just the right amount of breeze, many sea birds to watch and very few people.  When we reached the river, a lovely bench awaited us, and we sat silently watching the sunset turn our world pink, as the osprey fished while the sea grass sang as it swayed.  When we turned from the bench to begin the walk back, we found our way completely pink and moonlit. On one side of the road there is a dense area of scrub pine, so with eyes closed we stood still and listened to their distinct song in that lovely evening moment. We had a delightful fantasy about bringing a tent to their arms and spending the night within the pines. 
After returning home, we eagerly checked on line to see if the promised thunder storms would roll through to bring an end to the heat....nothing....the Cape is not to have relief. The radar did show a large cell moving to the northside so we stepped outside to watch. At this point we were already for bed, but after seeing some flashes of lightning and hearing the thunder we were quickly dressed and back in the car to head to a northside harbor, hoping to watch a storm move across Cape Cod Bay.....not to weak flash and that was it, but as we turned to go we saw the dark sky fill with fireworks as some locals were setting some off on the beach. We ended up with a manufactured show but it was fun and so unexpected.

Finally back home to bed.....even MS G seems out of sorts from the heat.  Hope it is cooling down where you are. I leave you with some more Cape Cod hydrangea beauty!

 Lace Cap

Possibly an oak leaf-type.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Backtracking Vacation, cont.

After our lovely last evening in Waterloo with the sisters, we were up and on the road early (May 27) and headed east across Ontario to bring Anne to catch her flight back to Florida, and, begin the rest of our vacation with a trip back to the 1000 Islands area of Canada and New York. It was a lovely sunny day and we drove toward the sunrise in the massive early morning traffic leading to the city of Toronto. A nervousness in my soul shook me as the time got closer and closer to saying good-bye, once again, to my lovely first born. It happened all too quickly, and soon the departure area was in sight and long hugs were shared before having to speed away and back in to the hectic city traffic.  We could not wait to be off the highway and soon enough were back on the lovely secondary roads of Prince Edward County, Ontario  to retrace our ride through the "path of lilacs" that had lead us toward the sisters.  We once again stopped in Wellington for a delicious breakfast at the Tall Poppy, before setting off to catch a series of ferry rides to take us to Clayton, NY, and the Wooden Boat Inn.  We'd stayed there last Fall on an earlier trip to visit Margaret, and it made the perfect stopping point from which to launch our trip into the spectacular Adirondack Mountains the next morning. It seems when we are out on the road like this that we cannot breathe in enough of our surroundings, new adventures, and each happy.
Along the Prince Edward County roads we encountered this bridge approach and had a few laughs as to where it actually would take us. Sure looked like a bridge to nowhere. Pardon the dirty car windshield. It was a "buggy" trip.

Here we go.......
Our view turned out to be a lovely Lake Ontario inlet.
All too soon, we were saying good-bye to Prince Edward County, to its lovely farms, vineyards and lilacs we hope to see another day. That area seems to transport us back in time and seem very magical. We'd also love to go back and visit some of the many beautiful wineries. Each time we've been there the timing has been time, Prince Edward.
Here we are driving on to the ferry at Kingston, Ontario to take us to Wolfe Island, where we'll next take Horne's Ferry to Cape Vincent, NY.

After a short drive over remote Wolfe Island and its fascinating wind farms and village, we are in line for our return to the US.
Efficiently parked on the tiny Horne's Ferry, we head across the St. Lawrence River. Calm today compared to our trip last October which had us dipping up and down on huge waves.

Our view from the ferry as we leave Wolfe Island....looking south toward Lake Ontario.

After a short wait at customs we were back in NY and drove north to Clayton where we would spend the night. It was such a lovely afternoon, so after an early dinner (I finally had the lake perch dinner I'd been dreaming about) at the delightfully "step back in time" 1000 Islands Inn (they say they are  the original home of 1000 Island dressing), we walked across the street to a nice park where we could walk along the banks of the river.
Below is a view from our dinner table.

Loved the colorful Adirondack chairs lined up to enjoy the sunset and evening breezes. 

LM was fascinated by this huge anchor that had been pulled from the Seaway many years ago. 

Back to the wooden Boat Inn to reminisce about the sisters' reunion and our lovely day of travel, and savor the heavenly feeling of having 4 days alone ahead of us......

This is such a sweet, quiet, clean and accommodating place to visit.
A nice spot to enjoy a summer evening. 

Alas, just one night in Clayton. Leaving town and on our way to breakfast the next morning, we were in front of this very interesting cross between a motorcycle and little car.
After a great breakfast at "The Rondette" in Clayton, we were on our way east into the Adirondacks and the anticipation built as we explored the remote back roads leading us into the heart of the Adirondacks.  We drove through miles and miles of Mennonite farms.

The farms were lush and green, and we saw signs for quilts!
We came across this young Mennonite farmer using 6 very sturdy plow horses to work his fields. Quite a site.
This town felt like we were in the 50's. 

Many more trip pictures to come......

We've been having a long heat wave here, and are looking forward to a front that will bring us cool dry air on Saturday evening. It is so unusual on Cape Cod to run the AC for more than a day or so at a time, but the humidity and temperatures not dipping at night have had mine running for more than 2 weeks.  Over at Chez LM and Ms G, they have a new AC unit which has made a huge difference in their very old and damp house.  Now we all sleep peacefully and comfortably when we are together on weekends.
Our life has settled into a peaceful and easy time right now. With Kristi still away, we've had quiet weekends with trips to the Farmers Market, evenings at the beach - here's my usual view of my fisherman -

....and the view from behind us.....we have also been bird watching (a pair of beautiful osprey as they fish for their babies), and cooking simple meals. Kristi's future is in transition right now and I will write more about it once we are sure what will happen. Her mother's estate remains to be settled, and there is a lot of careful consideration to be made.
Meanwhile, from rose and hydrangea cloaked Chatham

 I wish you love and peace and cool clear summer days.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Last Evening with the Sisters et al

Maybe it is because I never wanted the sisters' reunion to end, maybe it is because I just wanted to sit with each of the sisters and nieces alone and talk about what is important to them and where their lives are.  Those opportunities are so rare.  So I have been procrastinating about finishing up the post about this trip of a lifetime. I give you the last evening in was a lovely sunny day, even quite cool, and we were thrilled to find this beautiful table awaiting us when we arrived for dinner at The Kitchen at Bauer Lofts in uptown Waterloo.
It was a quiet night there and we delighted in having a lovely location right where we could see into the amazing kitchen, complete with a huge wood fired oven.  The trays of beautiful fresh herbs and other goodies within the chefs' grasp, assured us our meals would be sigh worthy.
First up was the drink order and behold here my lovely huge Mason jar or white sangria.

Bebo offering a toast with her dark local beer.
Matt and Emmy toasting the table as well.

Ellie and Dad, Jerry, had fun choosing just the perfect pizza. Jerry LOVES pizza.
Margaret, our very generous hostess, and my favorite date, on loan for the evening.

Mother and daughter, properly placed in front of the wine cellar! Notice we both chose the sangria

Beauty.....Anne and Eleanor.

Margaret and I opted for the shortribs and they were perfection sitting on some Yukon gold mashed potatoes, some parsnip puree and an delicious assortment of crisp fresh vegetables.

Anne chose the roasted chicken and it, too, was perfection.

A shared dessert of pear gingerbread, homemade ice cream and some butterscotch flavored brittle. We never finished it all, but the sweet ending coincided with the sweetness of all being together and celebrating the love we share!

We were soon back at Margaret's for our final good-bye, as LM, Anne and I would leave early in the morning in order to drop Anne at the Toronto Airport for her return flight to Florida.

We had to catch these last two photos, Eleanor sitting in what was our paternal Nana's chair.  I am so happy to know it is with Margaret, Nana's namesake, and I know our Nana would love the fact that the chair is now upholstered with leopard print velvet fabric.

And, last but not least by any means, Anne had the thrill of sitting in her Nana's favorite chair. The arms are so worn from where my Mum always had her arms. 
We were given the treasure of being loved by some incredibly wonderful women. One of the most joyous moments of the trip was when we all listened to Margaret read letters written by our mother in her early years.
Good-byes were said, tears, shed, and we were off to bed..........the story continues as LM and I shared another 6 days of bliss on the road home.
Love to all!