2021 Life Logs, Day 293: Bath Day for Shadow

2021 Life Logs, Day 293: Bath Day for Shadow
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High Temp 71, Low Temp 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As planned, I spent a great deal of my day bathing and grooming Shadow. He doesn’t look like he does when he comes home from Pampered Paws, but he is clean. With a little more brushing, he will look just fine, and I will have saved the $80 to $90 the groomer charges. So I’ll call that a productive day.

Tomorrow morning, I am off to Truro on the Outer Cape to see the seals at High Head Beach. Two other women from the Newcomers Singles Group are going with me. I don’t know them, but I look forward to having company on this trip. The weather forecast is encouraging. Sunshine and a high temperature on 70 degrees like today. Tomorrow evening I am having an informal dinner with Bruce and Jane Wooden. Jane has knee replacement surgery on Tuesday and tomorrow evening is my last chance to see her to wish her luck.

Then on Friday morning, Shadow and I head to New Hampshire for an overnight stay. I’m hoping there are still colorful leaves on the trees there, but I might be too late. We never really get a very colorful fall here, but this year even the oak tree leaves are not turning brown. They are still a bright green.

Lastly, I just heard Senator Angus King, a long time Independent from Maine and a politician I have always respected, say something that literally brought tears to my eyes. He said he see our democracy in its most fragile state since 1860. Lots of people have been saying that for months and I believe that is true, but it really hit hard to him say this. He feels we have to do something to protect voting rights as the Republications are not even willing to discuss it. I really don’t know what each of us can do, but I know we all have to wake up, face the dire truth of the situation, and find a way to do something.

2021 Life Logs, Day 292: Car Oil Change, School Early Release, Laundry, Soccer

2021 Life Logs, Day 292: Car Oil Change, School Early Release, Laundry, Soccer
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Weather: Another Cool and Beautiful Day; High Temp 59, Low Temp 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day was all over the place today. I started by taking my car in for an oil change. I used to go to the drive-thru at Jiffy Lube. Now I go to Sullivan Tire for most of my car maintenance, but it means I have to go and wait about an hour to get an oil change. That done, it was home to walk with Shadow and then back to town to pick Ollie up. It was an Early Release Day for all students, but only Ollie needs to be picked up. He wanted to play on the playground for half an hour, so I sat in the sun and read while he played. Once I took him home, I put a laundry load in the washer and then made sure all three boys had lunch. Peter Baranowski gave me a container of his homemade clam chowder yesterday for Ollie. Ollie loves chowder and says the best he has ever had was at Legal Sea Foods in Boston, with chowder from the Fisherman’s View here on the Cape a very close second. But Peter’s chowder got a 10 out of 10 from Ollie. Yummy!

Jed came home to get Ollie and take him to a 2 pm dentist appointment in Woods Hole. Heather got home just before they left, and we went over the schedule for the rest of the afternoon. I took Sam to the high school at 2:30 to meet with teammates before a 4 pm soccer game. He has been out most of the season with an ankle injury. Then last Friday he wrenched his knee on the same leg as the weak ankle. Ouch. But he was able to practice yesterday and really hoped to play some in today’s game. Heather and Jed had to go to a parent-teacher conference at Ollie’s school and then I suggested that they both go to Sam’s game. I would take Jonah to his soccer practice at the Cape Cod Academy which is about 30 minutes away. This meant that I would not get home until after 7 pm, so I switched the laundry and went home to play ball with Shadow before taking Jonah to practice. The day was a lot of back and forth for me, but that is life with three active boys. Sam only got to play for 9 minutes, not as much time as he would have liked, but it was great that Heather, Jed, and Ollie were there to support him. While Jonah was at soccer practice, I went to get pizza for him to eat on the way home. We got home just in time for him to get ready to go with the whole family to a Scout Court of Honor. I took a deep breath, gathered my laundry, and headed home.

It was a good day, but I am looking forward to a quieter day tomorrow. It is bath day for Shadow which basically takes all day. I shampoo him, let him dry a little, take him for a long walk (hopefully in the sunshine) to dry out, and then I spend the rest of the day, a little at a time, brushing out his coat. I am taking him to New Hampshire to visit with friends this weekend and I want him to look his best. Unfortunately, the dog groomer couldn’t fit him in, so I’ll do what I can.

2021 Life Logs, Day 291: Beautiful Weather

2021 Life Logs, Day 291: Beautiful Weather
Date: Monday, October 18, 2021
Weather: Cool, Windy, and Beautiful; High Temp 58, Low Temp 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

“Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day.” Those famous Rogers and Hammerstein lyrics are from the musical Oklahoma in a song about a beautiful summer day. But those words keep looping through my head day after day this fall on Cape Cod. We have had some rainy days, some stormy days, and some cloudy and dreary days, but overall, it has been warm and beautiful. At least that is the way I see it. Today’s high was only in the 50’s and it was windy. But in the sunshine, it felt great. I had an early morning dental cleaning and then came home and took Shadow for a lovely, long walk. I forced myself to come inside and start the editing process on the book chapters I have already written about The Voyage of Windbird. I was enjoying that, but the sunshine finally got to me. I headed outside with my sunglasses, my book, a cup of tea, and Shadow. I also took the Chuck It and a tennis ball to play with Shadow. We sat down by the water playing ball and during Shadow’s ‘rest periods’, I read. Somebody has to do it. Right? Might as well be me. I spent my early evening doing some house cleaning and cooking and that brings me to the end of another beautiful day on Cape Cod.

2021 Life Logs, Day 290: Trip to the Cape Cod Museum of History

2021 Life Logs, Day 290: Trip to the Cape Cod Museum of History
Date: Sunday, October 17, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High Temp 66, Low Temp 52 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The trip to the Cape Cod Museum of History this morning felt more like a trip through history, specifically the history of the Goldpebbles. Ollie was the only Goldpebble with us today as Sam and Jonah were walking the three miles out of Sandy Neck where they camped this weekend. Time marches on, but as Heather, Jed, Ollie, and I walked the museum trail out to the beach, a flood of memories went through my head. I first took Sam and Jonah to the Museum of History in the summer of 2013. Sam was six and Jonah was four. Ollie was only one and didn’t come with us that summer. But Heather and Jed took the boys that fall and Heather took a photo of Ollie sitting in the dune grass. She could not resist taking the same picture today. She posted those photos on Facebook and simply said, “Time flies.” It was the summer of 2014 when Mark and I started taking all three boys and I spent part of this evening looking through photos of our trips to the museum over the years. I loved the one of the three boys crossing the marsh in 2014. They were such tiny little explorers.

We usually plan trips to walk the trail out to the beach from the museum at low tide. That wasn’t possible today and it was high tide. We expected it to look different, but we were a little surprised when we got the marsh, and the walkway was underwater. Heather, Jed, and Ollie all had on long pants, but they rolled them up. Thankfully, I wore my trusty Columbia capris that can easily be pushed up. With pants rolled or pushed up, we took our shoes off and headed across. Ollie got a piggyback ride part of the way and from his higher perch, he spotted two beautiful Great Blue Herons. The marsh looked very much like fall with yellowing marsh grass and pickleweed that has turned red. We took a new-to-us trail that follows Paine’s Creek and when we emerged from the Upland Forest there was a staircase leading down to the dunes and beach. Once on the beach, I was amazed at how different it looks at high tide. No mud flats were to be seen. There was just a narrow beach backed by dunes and lots of seagulls that Ollie delighted in chasing.

I did not take Shadow with me today. A Concord Yacht Club friend whose brother lives in the area sent me an email letting me know that the museum does not allow dogs on the trail. She pointed out that there is a trail from a nearby park that connects to the museum trail. I could have taken Shadow and done that trail. Thanks, Gretchen. I will definitely try that next time. But since Ollie and I decided to stay and tour the museum, I was glad I didn’t have the dog with me today. Heather and Jed had to go pick up Jonah and Sam while Ollie and I enjoyed our favorite things in the museum. Ollie loves getting in the shark cage and looking wide eyed. We watched the honeybees in their glass case hive and then we went downstairs to the aquarium. We have always loved the Clearnose Skate that seems to be watching us. And today a pufferfish took an interest in us as well. Neither of us remembered seeing the humpback whale skull. Impressive. And it always fun to check out the moon jelly tank and the huge lobsters. We ended our adventure in the gift shop and then stopped to have clam chowder on the way home. Perfect day.

2021 Life Logs, Day 289: Ollie’s Soccer Game; Planning Afternoon

2021 Life Logs, Day 289: Ollie’s Soccer Game; Planning Afternoon
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High Temp 73, Low Temp 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Life moves so fast that there are times when you need to take a day to step back, look ahead, and do a little planning. So, after Ollie’s soccer game this morning, I spent the rest of the day thinking and planning. Justin called last night, and we talked for a long time about their upcoming visit here for Thanksgiving and our planned visit to Puerto Rico during school vacation week next April. Since both visits involve me, Justin and family, and Heather and family, planning for food, lodging, and activities can get a little complicated. What are we going to eat? Where are we going to stay? What are we going to do? I figure if I start coming up with ideas now and share them, that will give everyone else a chance to give feedback so I can tweek the plans. But in order to come up with plans, I first have to ‘survey’ everyone and get some idea of their expectations. I worked mostly on food today. Jo and Ziggy both avoid gluten and dairy, but there are a few exceptions made on special occasions. Jo sent me guidelines for that today. Jed has certain food allergies, Heather is trying to eat a mostly vegetarian diet, and Sam really only eats meat. I avoid gluten and dairy in general, but I don’t have the severe reactions that Jo and Ziggy have. You get the picture. Planning three meals a day for six days that meet everyone’s needs is a little tricky. Since it has been over two years since we have seen each other, we certainly don’t want to spend our time together wrangling over what we are going to eat! That needs to be done ahead of time. Heather has been working on this as well and she and Jed have ordered the turkey for Thanksgiving. Everyone will eat turkey, some more than others, but at one decision has been made. We will have turkey for Thanksgiving. I got a good start on planning today and will continue in the coming weeks. We have time, but somehow, I feel like Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. And ready or not, I can’t wait! Two years (because of Covid) is too long.

Soccer at Ollie’s age level is so much fun to watch because the kids are having so much fun. The kids are rotated around constantly so they are playing different positions, so there are no superstars in any one position. But Ollie is enjoying being goalie so much that his coach let him be in that position for most of the game today. He was obviously very proud of that fact because at the end of the game he came over to me to ask if I noticed that he got to play goalie for most of the game. I assured him that I noticed, and he grinned from ear to ear. I am going to be out of town next Friday and Saturday and will miss his game, but soccer continues on into November so there will be more games to enjoy before the season ends.

2021 Life Logs, Day 288: Long Walk, Then Running Errands in Town

2021 Life Logs, Day 288: Long Walk, Then Running Errands in Town
Date: Friday, October 15, 2021
Weather: Cloudy and Cooler; High Temp 65, Low Temp 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This morning I went for a long walk with friend Kate Eldred. We walked from the Shining Sea Bike Path parking lot on Old Dock Road in West Falmouth to Chapaquoit Beach. That was the first mile. Then we walked the paths through the marsh, which is also a bird sanctuary, crossed the road to Chapaquoit Beach, walked up and down the beach, and then walked the mile back to our cars. The sun broke through near the end of our walk and we had to shed our jackets. It was a great walk that Shadow thoroughly enjoyed Kate and I talked and talked. It was almost 1 pm when I got home, and I spent the next hour and a half recovering while having lunch. Unfortunately, that burst of sunshine was short-lived and it was a cloudy afternoon. But since I was running errands in town, I guess it didn’t matter that there was no sunshine.

I stopped by Heather and Jed’s while running errands. They were getting ready to take Jonah and Sam to Sandy Neck on the north shore of the Cape for a weekend of Scout camping and then have dinner at Fisherman’s View on the canal. I will go to Ollie’s soccer game at 9 am tomorrow morning and then on Sunday morning, Heather, Ollie, and I (and maybe Jed if he can change his plans) will go for a morning walk up on the north shore at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster before picking up Sam and Jonah at Sandy Neck around noon. The walk through the marsh and wooded areas between the museum and the beach is delightful. I’m looking forward to that. Unfortunately, I don’t think dogs are allowed so Shadow will have to stay at home.