2019 Life Logs, Day 140: Sam’s 6th Grade Band Concert

2019 Life Logs, Day 140: Sam’s 6th Grade Band Concert
Date: Monday, May 20, 2019
Weather: Mix of Sun and Clouds, Windy; High 68, Low 54 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I can’t believe my first-born grandchild is in sixth grade and will be in middle school next fall. But attending his 6th grade band concert tonight gave evidence that this is true.

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Sam plays percussion and was on cymbals for the first song and then on tone block and drums for the other songs. He is also a drummer for the jazz band that played next and he was the drummer for the first song, My Girl. I heard this song at the district-wide concert a couple of months ago, but hearing Sam drum for one of favorite songs ever is very special. One of Sam’s very best friends, Robert, is the other jazz band drummer, and he drummed for the second song. Then both of them sat back and air-drummed for the last song which was an improvisation for horns. A high school senior led the improv and then the students went with it. They were amazing. Sam’s good friend Sebastian is truly a gifted saxophone player. Wonderful to see such talent. Afterwards we went to Smitty’s to celebrate with Robert and his parents and brother. As we enter the last month of school, I think there is concert every week going forward. Jonah has a band concert next week, Ollie the next week, and then there is Jonah’s 4th grade graduation with 4th grade chorus concert. So you’ll be reading about more concerts as we move toward the end of the school year.

2019 Life Logs, Day 139: Soccer Sunday Morning

2019 Life Logs, Day 139: Soccer Sunday Morning
Date: Sunday, May 19, 2019
Weather: Sun Early, then Clouds and a Little Rain; High 64, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jonah had an 11 am soccer game today, but he had to be at the field an hour early for practice and a team photo. Sam spent the night with his friend Sebastian last night and Ollie and Jonah stayed up much later than usual as they, along with their babysitter, were invited next door to the Keefe’s for a sit around the ‘camp’ fire last night. They slept in and then Heather had to take off with Jonah to get him to the field while I went over to help Ollie get going. Ollie and I went to pick up Sam and made it to Jonah’s game just as it was starting. Jonah played a good game. His team lost today, but Jonah made the only goal of the game for his team, so he was at least happy about that. After the game, I took the boys home and fixed lunch for them while Heather went food shopping for the week. When she got home, I stayed on for part of the afternoon helping out with chores around the house. Mid-afternoon, I took off to go home for a late lunch and to make a trip to water plants for friends who are out of town. I wanted to get back to Heather’s to finish up some jobs there I had started, so I skipped going to the gym to ride the stationary bike. I had dinner at Heather’s and when I left tonight, most of the chores that needed to be done before the start of the week were completed. I really don’t know how single mothers survive, but as Heather pointed out, they simply would not be able to allow their kids to do all the things the Goldpebbles do. Some weeks it takes all three of us, Heather, Jed, and me, to cart kids from place to place. This week we are down to two of us, so I will be continuing to help out a bit each day . . . something I love doing.

2019 Life Logs, Day 138: Sonnay Fiddlers and Dinner with My Daughter

2019 Life Logs, Day 138: Sonnay Fiddlers and Dinner with My Daughter
Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019
Weather: Sunny with Cape Cod Blue Sky; High 68, Low 49 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What a fantastic day! This afternoon I went with Heather and boys to the Falmouth Cultural Festival where Ollie was playing violin with the Sonnay Fiddlers. Sonnay stands for ‘students of Nikki—not all young’ as the fiddlers range in age from Ollie’s age to some my age. Ollie started taking violin lessons from Nikki in January and today was his first public performance. It was informal as the group was playing onstage while people were visiting the booths from around the world, but each piece they played got applause which gave it a concert-like atmosphere. Ollie was the youngest of the group and I was very impressed with his stage presence. Sam and Jonah found friends, so after watching Ollie play with the group for a while, they went outside to kick a soccer ball around. After Ollie finished performing, Heather, Ollie, and I visited the booths from around the world and then went outside to check out the impromptu soccer-football game on the church lawn. The cultural festival was taking place in the community building of the downtown St. Barnabus Episcopal Church and when Ollie asked me to take a photo of him jumping in the air with Sam and Jonah playing with friends in the background, I saw such a beautiful view of downtown Falmouth through my camera lens. The white steeple of the Congregational Church across the Green, the stone spire of St. Barnabus in the foreground, and the beautiful blue sky.

We have had so few sunny, warm days this spring and today was one of them. So as soon as we returned home, Heather and I went into a work frenzy getting soil transported from the drive-way to her newly built deep beds. Brian from next door saw us transporting soil via wheelbarrow and volunteered to transport for us with his little mini-tractor and trailer. Hallelujah! We only had an hour to work before Heather was supposed to head to an evening event, so Brian’s help was just what was needed. Jed is out of town for the week, so Heather had decided to cash in on a free babysitter for the night, something she and Jed had won in waffle at a Woods Hole Oceanographic. The babysitter arrived before we finished doing the garden work, so we quickly finished up and I headed home. I was just settling in when I got a call from Heather. She had changed her mind about going out to the planned event and wanted to know if I would like to go out to dinner with her. Since it is a rare event that I get to spend alone time with my daughter, I jumped at the chance. We had a wonderful evening together. Dinner was fantastic, but the time to just be together and talk was even better. Life is good.

2019 Life Logs, Day 137: Dinner and Movie with the Goldpebbles

2019 Life Logs, Day 137: Dinner and Movie with the Goldpebbles
Date: Friday, May 17, 2019
Weather: Overcast with a Few Sprinkles; High 65, Low 51 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day was spent dealing with paperwork and making related phone calls. What I thought would take an hour took six hours! But at least I did get the job done. By the time I finished, it was late afternoon and I needed to head to the gym to ride the stationary bike. Before leaving, I spent some time on the phone talking with friend Karen Baranowski who has been at her son’s home babysitting her four grandchildren all week. She and Peter are home for 36 hours and then they head back to stay with the kids until her son and his wife return from a get-away on Tuesday. While I was talking to her, I heard my phone beeping with another incoming call. When we hung up, I checked to see who had called and it said it was Heather. When I called, Ollie answered the phone and explained that he was the who had called to invite me over dinner and to watch a Harry Potter movie. I whole-heartedly accepted the invitation but explained that I had to go to the gym first to do my stint on the stationary bike. When I arrived for dinner, I was given my Mother’s Day present which was a bat house. Heather got one, Jed’s mother got one, and I got one. Bats pollinate plants, they cut down on mosquitoes and other bugs, and flying bat poop is a good thing! Who knew! It is big enough that I will need help hanging it on a tree, but I am happy to welcome bats. I then gave each of the boys a small gift from their Great Aunt Patsy. She chose some small items that belonged to Joe to send to the boys. Ollie got a rechargeable flashlight, Jonah a small flip light to examine treasures, and Sam got drawing calipers to add to his draftsmen supplies. We ate dinner while watching the third Harry Potter movie and afterwards Ollie went straight to the kitchen to write a thank you note to Aunt Patsy. He was supposed to be brushing his teeth, so when he gave me the thank you note to send to her, he apologized that it wasn’t his best writing as he was in a bit of a hurry. But he got that thank you note written, and it looked like neat handwriting to me! Tomorrow there are no soccer games, but Ollie has a his first violin concert. So that is how we will spend our afternoon.

2019 Life Logs, Day 136: Super Coral Reefs

2019 Life Logs, Day 136: Super Coral Reefs
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 68, Low 48 degrees F
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The highlight of my day was watching Heather moderate a panel discussion following a viewing from the film, Super Reefs: The Future of Corals.

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When I found out about the event, I tried to register, but it was already ‘sold out’. This was an event sponsored by Woods Hole Oceanographic in conjunction with the Woods Hole Film Festival. It was free, but you had to pre-register. Thankfully, the panel discussion following the film viewing was live streamed on Facebook. I watched that way and even took a few photos of my computer screen to document the event. The panel of experts were all excellent and Heather did a fantastic job of moderating the discussion. I know I am prejudiced, but she is really good! One of the panelists was so passionate that it brought me to tears. Super reefs are coral reefs that are able to survive the warming of ocean waters caused by global warming. Some of these super reefs can breed resilient larvae that can reseed other reefs. The most passionate of the panel members is a Woods Hole researcher who has dedicated her life’s work to try and save the earth’s coral reefs by identifying and studying super reefs. In answering a question from the audience, she stated that 80 some percent of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is dead as a result of a huge spike in temperatures in 2015 to 2017. Breaks my heart when I think about this, but it was good to hear the panelists look to the future with things that can be done to try and minimize destruction as we move forward. The film was made to bring attention this issue and I hope I’ll be able to see the full film this summer during the Woods Hole Film Festival.

Otherwise, today was spent settling in after the trip to Tennessee. I went to the gym to ride the stationary bike, went to the grocery store to restock my refrigerator, did a quick laundry, stopped at the post office to pick up my mail, and then came home to fix dinner. For whatever reason, the trip to Tennessee was not good for my knee. It is warm to the touch and a bit swollen, obviously inflamed. But riding the stationary bike at the gym helped loosen it up a bit. I’ll start icing it again, and if that, plus a few days of consistent exercise doesn’t solve the problem, I’ll make an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon’s assistant. But I’m hoping that by getting back into my exercise and walking routines, things will improve.

2019 Life Logs, Day 135: From TN to NY to MA

2019 Life Logs, Day 135: From TN to NY to MA
Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 58, Low 47 degrees F
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

In total, it took almost twelve hours, but I am back home tonight. It is actually only a three-and-a-half-hour flight direct, but I used American Airline Advantage miles to book and it didn’t allow for direct flights. So, I had a stopover in Washington, DC, on my way to Tennessee last week and a stop at LaGuardia in New York on my way home today. At least all flights were on time today and things went smoothly. It just made for a very long day. I landed in Boston at 3:20, caught the 3:35 bus to the Cape Cod Park and Ride, and arrived there just after 6 pm. I decided to stop at a favorite Cambodian restaurant that was on the way home for dinner and by the time I was home and unpacked it was 8 pm. Everything here looks almost like I left it. The fish aquarium water cleared a bit while I was gone, which is a good thing, but my tomato plant leaves have continued to yellow. Not sure if it is too much or too little water, but hopefully I can nurse them back to green. It always feels good to get home, but I’m so glad I went to spend some time with my sister.