2017 Life Logs, Day 309: Son, Daughter, and Me

2017 Life Logs, Day 309: Son, Daughter, and Me
Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 62, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

My day was equally divided between a focus on my son and family in Puerto Rico, my daughter and family here on the Cape, and me. I’ll begin with Puerto Rico. A friend from high school sent me an email this evening alerting me to a segment on 60 Minutes focusing on Puerto Rico. I missed the segment, but then the same friend sent me a link to find it on the web. Thank you, Veronica. After that missed opportunity, I watched an Anthony Bourdain program on CNN about Puerto Rico. I had never heard of Anthony Bourdain until recently, but my sister gave me the tip to watch his program tonight focusing on Puerto Rico before Hurricane Maria. I felt that Bourdain’s take on Puerto Rico was right on target. It is a drop-dead beautiful island that has been compromised by its association with this country. It is part of this country, but I don’t think most Americans know that or even care. Bourdain’s program made clear that even before the hurricane, the future of Puerto Rico was in danger. But it also made clear that there are young people in Puerto Rico who are fully dedicated to making Puerto Rico survive. I put my son and daughter-in-law in this category and I will be eternally grateful that so many of you, my good friends and family members, have stepped forward to help me support the needs of this family that wants to stay in Puerto Rico. This support is so necessary while Justin and Jo are trying to find a way to exist, while at the same time trying to find ways to help rebuild their island in the post-Maria reality.

I invited Heather, Jed, and boys over for dinner tonight. Jed and Sam returned from their two-night Scout camp out this morning and tonight both showed the obvious signs of sleep deprivation that are inevitable after a Scout camp out. But despite that, we had a nice dinner together before they head into another busy, busy week.

And then there was the focus on me. I started my day going through the Powerpoint presentation I will make on Wednesday of this week. In doing this, I realized that I had totally forgotten to order a laser presentation remote that will allow me to control my computer without having to be right next to it. Alan Kanegsberg had shown me this little device when I was in New Hampshire almost a month ago. But somehow, I forgot to order it on Amazon. So this required a trip to Hyannis today. I’ll try things out in the morning and hope I have it all together.

2017 Life Logs, Day 308: Beautiful Full Moon

2017 Life Logs, Day 308: Beautiful Full Moon
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 53, Low 43 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Today was a quiet Saturday that ended with a dinner out with Heather, Ollie, and Jonah. Coming home from dinner in Woods Hole, we got to see tonight’s beautiful full moon. It was a delightful day and evening with no drama. And that has become a rare thing around here! Today was ten degrees cooler than yesterday, and it finally felt like fall. At midnight tonight the time changes, so that makes it official. We ‘fall back’ an hour and as a result sunset tomorrow will be at 4:32 pm. Definitely fall, even if there are still Monarch butterflies flitting about. The temperature today was also a reminder that fall is really here and winter is on the way. The high was only 53 degrees F and it felt chilly. Tomorrow will be a tad warmer and Monday the high should reach the upper 60’s. But after that, the forecast is for a week of repeats of today. It is time to start wearing fall clothes.

I went to the gym for my Saturday Zumba class, but no one was there. There was no sign or posted schedule, but before I left, I spotted the Zumba teacher. I haven’t been to class for the past couple of weeks, and she explained that the class time has been set back one hour. I missed today’s class, but will arrive on time next week. I headed home to change clothes and head over to Heather’s. But by the time I wrote a couple of emails and talked to Detta and Tom Porat on the phone, it was almost noon. I headed out, but when I arrived at the Goldstones, no one was home. I knew Heather was taking the boys to a birthday party, but I thought that was later in the afternoon. When I checked the calendar on my phone, I saw that it actually started at noon, so I took time to read the Falmouth Enterprise that comes out every Friday (and I am too cheap to subscribe to) and headed back home to work on a Voyage of Windbird presentation I am making on Wednesday. I returned to Heather’s mid-afternoon to hang out with Jonah and Ollie while Heather went for a run. Sam and Jed left yesterday after school for a two-night Scout camp outing. The boys don’t love going out to dinner, but Heather was able to talk Jonah and Ollie into going to the Captain Kidd in Woods Hole and they invited me to go along. We had a lovely dinner and drove home by the light of that full moon. Beautiful.

2017 Life Logs, Day 307: Never a Dull Moment

2017 Life Logs, Day 307: Never a Dull Moment
Date: Friday, November 3, 2017
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 68, Low 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It seems like there is never a dull moment these days. Just when I thought that there is not much more that I can do right now about Justin and Jo’s situation in Puerto Rico, new information comes along requiring new research on additional projects. Since I had no electricity or internet at my apartment today, I headed to Heather and Jed’s to ‘borrow’ theirs. Just as I was getting set up to write some catch-up emails, I got a phone call. The young man on the line said he was calling in response to my need for internet from Enterprise. Since I have been dealing with having no internet at my apartment, I thought he was calling about that. So, I assured him I hadn’t called for information. But he persisted, saying he was sure I had made multiple calls and internet inquiries. Then it dawned on me that he was the person I had been try trying to contact about satellite internet for Justin in Puerto Rico. I first researched the possibilities five weeks ago and got nowhere. I kept trying and made no progress. Two weeks ago, I found a new phone number and tried that, but still no response. Justin and I decided this was futile and I gave up on the search. But the call today was the person I had last tried to contact over two weeks ago. When I got no response, I finally gave up. But here he was on the phone today. His name is Luis is he has just returned to the US mainland from Puerto Rico. He is in Houston for a week and is catching up on those phone messages he couldn’t respond to from Puerto Rico. There are all kinds of stories associated with this contact, but I’ll just say here that it is possible to get satellite internet installed for Justin and Jo at their home almost immediately. And it is affordable. But they have to have the power to run the satellite up-load, down-load module. Since the solar power set-up won’t be installed until sometime in December, that delays the time when Justin could get back to work. So Luis got me in contact with a Supervisor who might be able to get a generator for us to buy and then resell once the solar is installed. And then there is George who is in Puerto Rico to install satellite internet systems for Walgreens. Justin has been in contact with him to offer him a place to stay exchange for a satellite system. Luis knows of George as Luis’s company is supplying the satellite dishes. It is all intertwined and now we just have to figure out who is who and how to get things done as soon as possible. Luis is in Houston until next Saturday, so at least I will be able to contact him as we unravel the best way to do this.

While all of this was going on, power and internet were restored to The Studio. At least it is returned until Monday when the work continues to properly restore the whole system. The lines are all still laying on the ground, so when they are put back on a pole on Monday, we could easily lose all again. But progress is being made.

Tonight I attended a Friday night Newcomers Mix and Mingle affair. I was dreading going to this, but after I got there, I found it to be great fun. I met lots of interesting people and will do this again next month. It is cooling down tonight and the high tomorrow will only be in the 50’s. So, a chilly day. But things warm up again on Sunday. I’m loving this warmer than usual fall, but the fact that the increasing temperatures are probably attributed to climate change is quite alarming.

I’ll end with a tribute to my dad. He was born on this day in 1903 amd died at age of 70 in 1973. I always think of him on this day. He was an old-fashioned, tough father, and I so wish I had been given more years to get to know him as a friend. Happy 114th birthday to Hayes Winfred Martin.

2017 Life Logs, Day 306: The Bad with the Good

2017 Life Logs, Day 306: The Bad with the Good
Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 66, Low 53 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

The good for today is that just now Justin called to say that things are going along okay. I hadn’t heard from him since Monday, and nothing has changed, but they are hanging in there. Packages continue to arrive, but unfortunately two people at the local post office left and haven’t been replaced. So it now takes twice as long as before to wait in line to get packages.

The “happy, happy” that happened here yesterday with getting internet back, went pear-shaped today. The ‘bad’ for today happened early this afternoon. A bucket truck was heading down Falmouth Heights Road not seeing that the wires from the pole on one side of the street to the other are a little lower than they were before the storm. He snagged one of the wires and brought three poles down. I heard a loud noise when it happened, but didn’t know what it was. There are three poles on the property of The Studio. The one on the road is maintained by the power company, but the other two poles that snapped are the responsibility of the owner to replace. One of those poles stands just outside my kitchen window. Or at least it did stand there. Right now the whole pole is on the ground and wires are everywhere. I talked to the owner on the phone, but he has no idea when or how the poles will be replaced. So, until then, we have no electricity and no internet or cable. When I returned from an afternoon bike ride, the power company was already shoring up the pole on the street, but that only serves the people that live in the house out front. Now the rest of us here at The Studio have to figure out how to live without electricity for a few days. I have only two little solar lights, so I am headed out now to buy a lantern. Thankfully it is not the middle of the winter and we don’t need heat.

I’m sending this early as I am going out this evening. I’ll have to let you know about the play I am going to see tonight in tomorrow night’s log. And hopefully I’ll have a positive update on restoration of power and internet here. When I start to complain, I just have to take a deep breath and think about all of the people of Puerto Rico who have been without water, electricity, and any means of communication for over six weeks now. So hard and almost unbelievable.

2017 Life Logs, Day 305: Happy November 1

2017 Life Logs, Day 305: Happy November 1
Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 59, Low 53 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

The beginning of November was a happy day here. Comcast came to my neighbor’s apartment a few hours earlier than expected, and we were finally able to convince someone to look at the wiring coming from the street—not in our individual apartments. By early afternoon, my neighbor and myself both had cable TV and internet back up and running. During the morning, I kept making up excuses to go out and check on the progress of the work on the lines, and on one of those little trips, I went to get the mail. The only mail was a card from a colleague and friend from New Hampshire. When I opened the envelop and saw that it was a hugely generous gift for Justin and Jo, it brought tears of joy. With this gift, there is now enough money to buy a new refrigerator which will allow the solar power system we have purchased to work much more efficiently. This plus the restored internet made for a double happy November 1 experience.

Mid-afternoon, I joined the Newcomers Movie and Dining Out group for a late afternoon movie. Most everyone was going to see ‘Olivia & Abdul’, but since I had already seen that, I went to ‘Only the Brave’. I hadn’t really read anything about the movie and was pleasantly surprised. It is based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots in Arizona in 2013. These guys are forest fire fighters, and the movie highlights the struggles in their personal lives, as well as their struggles as members of this elite group. As the story plays out, it gives you a renewed and deep appreciation for what they do. After the movies, whichever one you chose to attend, all of the participating Newcomers met at the British Beer Company for dinner to take advantage of the two-for-one pizza night. I paired up with Jane Woodin and we had a very nice evening. So, another happy experience to add to November 1. It was a triple-play day.

2017 Life Logs, Day 304: Happy Halloween

2017 Life Logs, Day 304: Happy Halloween
Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Weather: Sunny, Still Windy; High 61, Low 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Happy Halloween! I just got home from Heather and Jed’s where, dressed as witch, I handed out treats and kept the fog machine in the front yard going via remote control. As soon as I heard a someone coming, I would hit the button to make fog that drifted through a strobe light. “Very cool” was the comment I heard from many trick-or-treaters. Tonight Sam dressed as his soccer hero, Messi, and Ollie and Jonah were the Kratt brothers, Chris and Martin, from their favorite nature-based television program, Wild Kratts. It was a fun Halloween evening with the Goldstones.

I started my day with a walk to Starbucks for coffee with Jane Woodin, combining exercise with pleasure. Bruce and Jane just returned from a three-week vacation in Europe. They spent a week in London, a week in Paris, and a week on a river cruise on the Seine. They had a wonderful time and Jane summed it up by saying that it was the trip of a lifetime. She especially loved Paris—beautiful city, lovely people, wonderful food. Sounds like a great combination. When I got home, I entered a two-hour battle with Comcast, the only cable and internet provider here on the Cape. The problem was that they insisted that I no longer had an outage, when it was very obvious that I did. And not just me. I know my next door neighbor was having the same battle with them. But since their workmen reported that they had fixed things here, when in reality they had not, we now have to wait another day or two to get our connection back. I am using my phone as an internet hotspot tonight to post this log, but it sure will be nice when things are back up and running. I feel so guilty complaining when I think of what Justin and Jo are going through, but it is because of them that I want my connection back. Now that communications are a little better, I sometimes get a call from Justin. But other times, he contacts me through Skype messaging on the computer. And I need internet for that. But then other people here are still without electricity. The remnants of tropical storm Phillipe that hit us on Sunday night into Monday morning wrecked a lot of havoc in New England and many are still without power.

I got a text from my good friend Detta Porat this afternoon. Matthew, her son, lives in Greenwich Village in New York City and rides his bike to work on the bike path where another awful attack on innocent people happened this afternoon. Thankfully, Matthew was still at work. I’m reading Ken Follett’s new book, A Column of Fire, which takes place in England in 1558. Mary Tudor is the queen of England, but in last night’s reading, it became clear that she is expected to die soon. There is a fierce debate about who should succeed her, Mary Stuart or Elizabeth Tutor. Those who favor Elizabeth do so because they know she will stop the burning at the stake of Protestants for their beliefs. In 1558, many people were wondering when the slaughter of people based on their religious beliefs would end. And now, almost 460 years later, we are still asking the same question. Such a sad commentary on the progress of civilization, or rather, the lack thereof.