2021 Life Logs, Day 331: Trip to the Outer Cape

2021 Life Logs, Day 331: Trip to the Outer Cape
Date: Saturday, November 27, 2021
Weather: Mix of Sun and Clouds, WINDY; High Temp 41, Low Temp 29 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

A trip to the Outer Cape today felt like a polar exploration. Well, it was not quite that cold, but with the wind chill it felt like it was below freezing all day. The wind was blowing a good 20 mph from the west, strong enough to keep the sand swirling around our feet. Despite the cold, our trip to High Head Beach to see the seals was well worth it.

Our first destination was High Head Beach in North Truro. We parked and then hiked the half mile to the beach. We were somewhat protected from the wind by the dunes and the sun shining, so all was well. We made the ascent up the dune and when the view of the turbulent ocean came into sight, it was really breathtakingly beautiful. When we got down to the beach, however, the wind was wicked. We walked down the beach to see the grey seals and despite the cold, we just kept walking. We let Shadow off his leash and frolicked and ran for more than hour. We observed the seals, but he totally ignored them. That was a good thing. As we walked, we found the remains of one very lobster and large clam and crab shells. The remains of seal dinner? At one point, Sam picked up a black plastic lid for a 5-gallon bucket. When he went to put it down, he decided to give it a spin to watch it roll on its edge. It did, but it didn’t stop. The wind was blowing so hard that as fast as Sam could run, the lid could spin down the beach faster. When he did catch it to lay it flat, it would take off again with Sam and Shadow running after it. It was quite a show. When we turned around to walk back, however, it was a show of a different kind. The wind was blowing so hard into our faces, that some put on their Covid masks for protection. Others turned around and walked backwards. Despite the wicked wind, I think most everyone really enjoyed the adventure. Near the end, Coco was unhappy with the cold, but she kept her complaints low-key. Despite the cold, I think she still enjoyed it, but when Auntie Heather mentioned driving into Provincetown to get hot chocolate, her eyes lit up.

We drove to P-town and got coffee, tea, and hot chocolate at The Wired Puppy. Great name. We walked through town, some us still with our cups in hand for the warmth. As we were walking through Provincetown, Justin noted that I had left out one kind of beach when describing the types of beaches found in the various areas of Cape Cod. I had listed the rocky and pebbly beaches of the Upper Cape, the beaches adjacent to the marshy areas of the Mid-Cape, and the dunes of the Outer Cape. I had left out tropical beaches!

As we left Provincetown, we drove to ‘lands end’ to see the Pilgrims’ First Landing Park before heading home to have our favorite family dinner—sushi. It was a great way to end a great day.

2021 Life Logs, Day 330: Fabulous Fun Friday Family Feast

2021 Life Logs, Day 330: Fabulous Fun Friday Family Feast
Date: Friday, November 26, 2021
Weather: Overcast, Rainy, Windy; High Temp 47, Low Temp 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This afternoon my family had what the grandkids called a fabulous, fun, Friday family feast in lieu of having a Thanksgiving meal yesterday. For us, this was our day of giving thanks and feasting. All ten of us made contributions to the dinner and all ten of us enjoyed it. Of course, we all ate too much, but that is the definition of a feast. Right? Heather and Jed provided the turkey and Jed was in charge of the bird. I stayed home until mid-afternoon preparing the mashed potatoes, stuffing, a green bean and mushroom casserole, and pumpkin pies. I made Mark’s traditional cranberry salad earlier this week. Ziggy helped Jo make a pecan and an apple pie, while Heather prepared Brussels sprouts hash, mashed squash, gravy, and chocolate pudding for the kids who are not pie eaters. Justin helped the kids use my juicer to make apple cranberry juice and helped Jo with the grain free stuffing. Jonah was in charge of making ‘acorns’ from chocolate kisses and mini-Nilla Wafers with the help of his cousins. And Sam sharpened the knife for carving the turkey. Despite the fact that we absolutely had too much food, we enjoyed every bit of it. One of the very special things about the dinner happened as an impromptu event. Just as we all sat down, there was impromptu symphony of sounds coming from everyone running their index finger around the rim of their wine glasses filled with the cranapple juice the kids had made earlier in the afternoon. It was a beautiful moment.

There was only one little disaster. For months, Ollie has been anxiously waiting to enjoy a turkey leg. He had barely started eating it when Shadow stole it off his plate. Ollie was devastated and I felt terrible. All those frustrations I have had over the past few months with myself for not being able to train this dog properly came rushing down on me. He is certainly not ready for prime time, so I carted him home after dinner and then returned for dessert. But other than that incident, it was a fabulous feast.

It was rainy, windy, and cold today and tomorrow will be even colder. But we are going to brave the cold and head to the Outer Cape to see the seals and walk in the white cedar swamp. When we return, we are having sushi from Homeport Sushi for dinner. No cooking. Hurray!

2021 Life Logs, Day 329: A Day of Mourning

2021 Life Logs, Day 329: A Day of Mourning
Date: Thursday, November 25, 2021
Weather: Beautiful Day, Warmer Than Yesterday; High Temp 54, Low Temp 43 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Instead of observing the traditional Thanksgiving Day, the Goldstones, the Handley-Hunts, and I spent our day in Plymouth standing in solidarity with the indigenous people of Massachusetts who hold a Day of Mourning on this day. This Day of Mourning was first declared in 1970. I read one account where a modern day Wampanoag man said, “Thanksgiving is the one day where everyone in America bows their head and gives thanks for everything they took from us.” It is hard to argue with that statement. When you start by acknowledging that the Pilgrims settled, certainly uninvited, on the land that had been inhabited the Wampanoag Tribe for more than 12,000 years, it is easy to understand why they have declared this a National Day of Mourning.
My family will have a ‘feast’ tomorrow and reflect on those things for which we are grateful. But I doubt that any of us will ever again celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving feast on Thanksgiving Day. There is a lot to process from today’s experience, but it certainly set us all on a new path of investigation into the true history of this country.

2021 Life Logs, Day 328: A Fun Family Walk

2021 Life Logs, Day 328: A Fun Family Walk
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Weather: Sunny and Cold; High Temp 42, Low Temp 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What a delightful day. First thing this morning, Justin and I headed to Plymouth to visit Plimoth Violin. Justin’s violin of many years was in dire need of repairs, so he brought it with him, and I found Hollis, the owner of Plimoth Violin who said he could repair it while Justin is here. Hollis makes and repairs violins and Justin had a good time trying out different violins. In the end, he decided he wanted his old one repaired, so we left it and will pick it up on Tuesday on our way to the airport in Boston. Being in Plymouth gave Justin and I chance to check out the venue for the Day of Mourning for the indigenous people of Massachusetts that we will be attending tomorrow. No turkey for us until Friday. But if you are observing ‘Turkey’ Day, I hope you enjoy friends, family, and food.

By the time we returned to Family Central, that would be Heather and Jed’s, it was time for a lunch of soup and salad and quesadillas for kids. Coco and I then went to pick up Shadow for a late afternoon family walk. We met the rest of the gang at Peterson Farm and walked the ridge, successfully found a geocache which was a little journal in which Ollie and Coco wrote notes. We returned to our cars just as the sun was going down. We then did a hurry up drive through Woods Hole and out to Nobska Lighthouse where we crossed the road and climbed down the rocks to the water’s edge. The sunset was nice, not spectacular, but still beautiful and we enjoyed every minute of light as we walked on the boulders along the shoreline to finally climb back up a steep incline taking us back to the lighthouse. I had Sam assisting me from the front and Justin from the back in order to climb that steep hill, but I made it. The walk though Beebee Woods and views on the walk along the water gave us all a renewed appreciation of the beauty of Cape Cod.

I just tucked Coco into bed and Shadow is keeping watch over her. She decided she wanted to do an overnight at Oma’s. When we got to the cottage, we went down to the basement and played table shuffleboard and got a doll and a couple of stuffed friends to bring upstairs with us. Then we started a new puzzle and read together until lights out. It is so special to spend some quiet time with my only granddaughter. There’s not a lot of quiet time with the four grandsons, but they seem to be having a wonderful, wild time together.

2021 Life Logs, Day 327: They’re Here

2021 Life Logs, Day 327: They’re Here
Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny, Windy, Cold; High Temp 39, Low Temp 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Right now it is 29 degrees outside, but WeatherUnderground says it feels like 18 degrees F. That is because of the wind. And it is freezing out there. Not the best weather for Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco’s arrival. But the important thing is that they are here. Their flight was about an hour late and there was a medical emergency aboard that was a little unsettling. However, considering the delays and issues some people are having, this seemed like an easy flight. When I saw them walking toward the van, I couldn’t believe the wash of emotion that came over me. I had meant to get an arrival photo, but I completely forgot about that when I saw them. I just jumped out of the van and started hugging. I hope we never have to be apart this long ever again.

When we got to Heather and Jed’s, the kids took off to do their thing. Before long, Ziggy, Jonah, and Ollie had bonded as a group.

The oldest, Sam, and the youngest and only girl, Coco, went their own ways. Hopefully Ollie, just a few months older than Coco, will spend more time with Coco tomorrow. But tonight, it was a guy thing. I’m going to have to think of some special things to do with Coco. But right now, I had better get to bed as we have an early start tomorrow. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful family and I want to have plenty of energy to have fun with them every minute that we are together.

2021 Life Logs, Day 326: Under the 24-Hour Mark

2021 Life Logs, Day 326: Under the 24-Hour Mark
Date: Monday, November 22, 2021
Weather: Rainy Day, Getting Colder; High Temp 57, Low Temp 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The low last night was 55. Tonight, it is forecast to be 32. And just in time for Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco’s arrival, the low tomorrow night is supposed to be the coldest night we have had this fall at 27 degrees F. That is freezing for sure, and it is going to be quite a shock coming from the warmth of Puerto Rico. But cold or not and ready or not, I can’t wait to have my whole family together. At this point, the Jet Blue flight from San Juan should arrive in Boston at 6:08 pm. But that has changed a few times recently, so I will wait until take-off to be sure. In any case, I’m leaving here around 2 pm as I have to make a stop on the way and fight rush hour traffic. I’d rather be early than late. In less than 24 hours I am looking forward to a great big group hug.