2018 Life Logs, Day 343: Falmouth Christmas Parade

2018 Life Logs, Day 343: Falmouth Christmas Parade
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018
Weather: Cold and Sunny Day; High 35, Low 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a beautiful day for the Falmouth Christmas Parade, albeit a bit chilly. I delivered the ‘troops’—Sam and Jonah to march with the Falmouth Soccer Team and Heather and Ollie to march with Scout Pack 41—at 11:15 am. I drove on downtown to drop my folding chair and bag of blankets in front of the library and then continued on to find a parking spot. By the time I got back to the library lawn to set up by chair, it was 11:45 am. I then walked across the street to get a hot cup of coffee which took a very long time as everyone else had the same idea. But it wasn’t a problem as the parade that was supposed to begin at noon started out about 20 minutes late today. Not sure why, but I got a text from Heather at 12:20 saying they had just begun to see some movement. I think it was almost 12:40 before those of us on Main Street saw the bell ringer leading the parade. This parade has everything from Chinese dragons to beautiful horses to Scottish pipe bands, plus a variety of floats and bands. Late in the parade, I finally saw the Falmouth Soccer Club heading down the street. Sam was walking with the other players, but Jonah and his good friend Kaiden were behind the others actually playing soccer as they advanced down the street. I few minutes later, the Boy Scouts came into view. Heather and Ollie were marching with Pack 41 and Ollie was one of four or five Scouts pulling a wagon with a snowman on it. Ollie was by far the tiniest Scout pulling that wagon! The parade ended, as always, with Santa. After the parade, we headed to the beach to have a late lunch at the British Beer Company. When we got home, Heather and I decided it was time to decorate the outside of her house with some lights, so we hung some icicle lights from the gutter and decorated the small evergreen close to the house. I then headed home. At about 7 pm, I sat down to have a very tiny dinner as lunch was the main meal today. It was then that I noticed that Heather and boys had left their menorah here after last night’s dinner. I called to see if I should bring it over. Heather and the boys had already scrambled to make a menorah by drilling holes in a cherry board. They lit those eight candles, but Ollie was very sad not having their ‘real’ menorah for the last night of Hanukkah candle lighting. He was very appreciative when I showed up with the ‘real’ menorah and they lit it as well. It was a 16 candle night for the Goldstones!

Tonight I talked with my good friends Ed and Lynne Kirwin in Nyack, New York. Today was their 23rd wedding anniversary and Lynne sent me their wedding photo in a text. It is a beautiful picture of them. Ed and Lynne met in 1993 and soon after meeting decided to sail around the world. They left California in 1994 and ended their first cruising season in New Zealand. Lynne had sailed to New Zealand 20 years prior with her first husband and ended up getting citizenship and living there until she returned home in the 1990’s and met Ed. I had never heard the story of their New Zealand wedding until tonight. What a wonderful 23 years they have had together. Happy Anniversary, Ed and Lynne!

2018 Life Logs, Day 342: All About Christmas Trees

2018 Life Logs, Day 342: All About Christmas Trees
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day, But Cold; High 30, Low 15 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was all about Christmas trees. I went to get mine this morning and with the help of a new, very stable stand, I was able to get it up all by myself. Last year I struggled and Heather had to help me. But now I know it is really all about the stand. I have the lights and garland on the tree, but still have to put on the ornaments. I got a call from Justin from a beach in Puerto Rico. Justin and family were camping on the beach with friends. He sent me a photo and it looked delightful. So I sent a photo back to him to say hello to the tropical Handley-Hunt family.

I then went to Heather and Jed’s to watch as they decorated their tree. Sam was busy setting up his train under the tree while Heather, Jonah, and Ollie put on the ornaments. Jed was upstairs packing for his trip to England, but when he came downstairs to get something, he and Heather opened their ornament from me. In the late afternoon, Heather and boys took Jed to the bus station and then came to the cottage for an artichoke dinner. After dinner, we headed downtown for the lighting of the Falmouth Green. The ‘tree’ is just lights so it can be very tall and it looms high above the Green. There is always music and carol singing, playing on the train, visiting with Santa and his reindeer, and playing with friends. Tomorrow is the Christmas parade. I think I will be watching alone as Heather will be in the parade with Ollie and his Cub Scout Pack, Sam will be marching with his Scout Pack, and Jonah will be marching with the Falmouth Soccer Club. Let the holidays begin!

2018 Life Logs, Day 341: Happy Birthday to Jed (1 day early)

2018 Life Logs, Day 341: Happy Birthday to Jed (1 day early)
Date: Friday, December 7, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 40, Low 18 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jed’s birthday is tomorrow but he leaves mid-afternoon to fly to England for 5 days, so we celebrated this evening. For dinner Heather made a version of classic North African shakshuka (eggs baked in tomato-pepper sauce). Tonight’s version, a New York Times recipe, substituted an onion-garlic-Swiss chard sauté for the tomato mix and then nested eggs in the mixture, steam-poaching them. This was topped with avocado, parsley, and goat cheese and it was very yummy. The boys were going to have none of this, so they had scrambled eggs with the various toppings. After dinner, Jed opened his presents. His first gift was a new folding chair to take to sports events. And while sitting in that, he opened his Yeti pajamas, a mittened-snow scraper which Jonah was very enthusiastic about, new LL Bean slippers, and a New England Revolutions Holiday Package. The Revs area a Boston-based professional soccer team and Jed gets to take 4 people to six different games during the Rev season. The package came with a toboggan and winter scarf, so he was dressed for the season while opening his presents. Happy birthday, Jed!

My day consisted of shopping—Christmas shopping, food shopping, and shopping for a new Christmas tree base. It was sunny today which made 40 degrees feel just a bit warmer, but tonight the thermometer dips to 17 degrees F. Freezing!

2018 Life Logs, Day 340: Potpourri of Activities

2018 Life Logs, Day 340: Potpourri of Activities
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 42, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Usually my Thursday mornings begin with a class at the gym, but today I avoided exercise to give my knee a rest. I’m still not sure what I did to cause the relapse, but it is truly like going all the way back to the injury on Halloween night. I put the knee brace on today and that helped. With it on, I can walk, even up and down stairs, just slowly. So I will follow the PT exercises I was given when I first fell and work up from there. But at least I am walking!

My day was filled with a potpourri of activities. The high temp today got into the 40’s so it seemed the perfect day to do a little garden clean-up. This should have been done weeks ago, but somehow there was never time. I worked on the deep beds in front of the cottage and then went to Heather’s to do some garden clean-up there. I had to go there anyway as I needed to wash my pajamas to get ready for tonight’s Pajama Storytime at Highfield Hall. Yes, you really do wear your pajamas! Heather had a meeting and could not go, so I volunteered to take Ollie and Jonah. Jonah didn’t want to go without a Heather or Jed and Jed was planning to stay home with Sam. But at the last minute, we worked out a way for Jed and Jonah to go. It was a fun evening and we came home inspired to read more holiday stories and to practice singing all of the verses of Mr. Grinch—very cute. The boys are planning to sing this as part of a Christmas Eve concert for family.

2018 Life Logs, Day 339: Craft Fair and Falmouth Forum

2018 Life Logs, Day 339: Craft Fair and Falmouth Forum
Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 35, Low 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I bragged about my knee in last night’s log as I truly thought it was completely recovered from my fall. But not so. I woke up this morning barely able to walk. I guess I pushed it too hard on the stationary bike yesterday. I was just doing what the PT recommended, but obviously my knee wasn’t ready for it. So back to the drawing board on that issue. I hobble along just fine, just very slowly.

I spent the morning and early afternoon at home and then mid-afternoon left to do a series of chores. I delivered more bags of leaves to West Falmouth to be composted. I drove into town to go to the grocery store, return a book, and pick up pizza for dinner for the Goldstones. Then I headed to Heather and Jed’s. Heather was on 4-7 pm fund raising duty, so Jed and I were going to take the boys to the East Falmouth Craft Fair. Jonah had to be there at 5:45 pm, so we ate salad and pizza and headed to the school. Jonah had sold 14 candles during the day when students and teachers visited the fair, so he was excited about that. He and his buddy Kayden had adjoining booths for the second year and it was fun to watch them hawk their wares. Jed and I took turns hanging out with Ollie and then I left a few minutes before the fair ended to drive to Woods Hole to attend the Falmouth Forum. Parking was a bear as tonight’s presentation was obviously of interest to way more people than me! Nantucket author, Nathanial Philbrick, was speaking about his new book, In the Hurricane’s Eye. I am an avid Philbrick fan and have been reading this book for weeks. It is Philbrick’s account of the genius of George Washington in his role as commanding general in the last phase of the American Revolution that was basically fought between England and France. It was a delight to hear Philbrick tell the story tonight.

2018 Life Logs, Day 338: It Takes a Village

2018 Life Logs, Day 338: It Takes a Village
Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 45, Low 23 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today’s high temperature was the same as last night’s low, and the nighttime temps over the next week are not going to get above freezing. A definite sign that winter is near. And today was the first of a string of crazy days happening over the next week. My morning was nice and calm and I went to the gym to use a stationary bike to exercise my knee. Today is the first day that my knee has really felt improved since my Halloween night fall, so that is good news. It was Early Release Day for Falmouth schools, so I picked Jonah up at 12:40. Sam rides the bus home from his school and Ollie was spending the afternoon with a friend whose mother is a teacher at the school. When I picked Jonah up, I asked him if Ollie just went with Raylan to his mother’s classroom and he said no. Jonah explained that Mrs. Carl had to stay at school for teacher in-service and that Ollie and Raylan were taking the bus home and would probably be with Raylan’s dad. Actually, it was Raylan’s grandmother who was babysitting. So one grandmother one this end and another on the other end. It takes a village.

When Jonah and I got home, we worked on finalizing his craft projects for the school Arts & Crafts Fair tomorrow night. The third and fourth grade students participate in this as an economics lesson and each child donates half their profits to a charity. Last year they chose to give the profits to Jonah’s cousins in Puerto Rico to help rebuild their farm, Finca Maravilla, after Hurricane Maria. This year the profits will be going to California for wild fire relief. Participating in the Art & Craft Fair is a great learning experience for the kids, but getting those crafts done at this busy time of year is always a push. Jonah finished his last few colorful votive candles and then made glitter pine cone decorations. We only had an hour to work on this as he had a 2 pm walk in the woods with the Cub Scouts. Jed came home to do the walk with him and then Heather came home for a couple of hours before she had to leave to go to New Bedford (across the bridge) for the evening. Well, actually she had to leave early to pick up farm-fresh milk for the small group of friends in Falmouth who share this pick-up duty. It is at least a 45-minute drive to the farm to get the milk once a week which is quite a commitment. But since the farm was on Heather’s way to New Bedford this evening, she was the pick-up person this week. Another instance of ‘it takes a village’. When Heather got home, I was going to slip out and take more bags of leaves to be recycled. But Heather and I got into a conversation about Christmas and before I knew it, it was time for me to take Sam to Woods Hole for drum lessons and time for Heather to head to New Bedford. I really enjoyed sitting in an outer room and listening to Sam’s drum lesson and meeting his instructor. And Sam and I had a great conversation on the way home where he announced to me that when he grows up he plans to live in a converted school bus or some other type of travel home. He finds that ironic since he wants to be an architect and design homes. It was dark when we got home and Jed and Jonah were in the front yard playing soccer. When Sam and I got out of the car, Jed said, “You don’t have Ollie?” No. Jed forgot that he and Jonah were supposed to pick Ollie up on their way home from the hike. So I high-tailed it to Raylan’s house. It was 5 o’clock by this time, but Ollie and Raylan were still having a great time and no one minded that we hadn’t picked Ollie up earlier. We thanked Raylan’s grandmother and then went home to help Jonah finish up the last glitter pine cones while Jed got dinner ready. Since we were doing the glitter craft on the dining room table, what is usually Taco Tuesday turned into ‘glittery’ Taco Tuesday. It was glitter off the table, tacos on. We had to rush as Tuesday night is Scout night for Sam and he was being picked up 6:30 pm. Whew! Even with our electronically synched calendars, keeping up with myself and the Goldstones is quite a feat!