2022 Life Logs, Day 162: Reunion with My Shadow

2022 Life Logs, Day 162: Reunion with My Shadow
Date: Saturday, June 11, 2022
Weather: Sunny; High 76, Low 60 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Shadow might possibly be ill-behaved, but I sure was so happy to be reunited with him today. I really missed him, and I think he missed me. As soon as I arrived to pick him up, after jumping all over me, he got in the back seat of the car and somehow managed to shut the door behind him. It was obvious he was ready to head home.

I picked up Jonah on the way home so he could cut Shirley’s grass, and while he was doing that, I gathered sailing charts for the northeast. Next weekend Heather and Jed go to Maine for the the survey and sea trials for the sailboat they hope to own soon. If all goes well, the following weekend they will return for the closing and begin sail home. That will happen in stages over a couple of weekends. But sometime in July, there should be a new ‘Goldstone’ sailboat on a mooring in Marion.

2022 Life Logs, Day 161: Roberts Mountain to Richmond to Boston

2022 Life Logs, Day 161: Roberts Mountain to Richmond to Boston
Date: Friday, June 10, 2022
Weather: Another Sunny, Beautiful Day, Cooler; High 74, Low 55 degrees F
Location: Back Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This morning I drove Jo, Ziggy, and Coco to the airport in Richmond where they got on their Spirit flight to Fort Lauderdale and then on the San Juan. My flight to Boston was supposed to be at 2:30 pm, but there was yet another issue and I ended up on a 7:30 pm flight back to Boston. I dropped Jo, Z, and C off at the airport and drove back to downtown Richmond to check out the city. I drove by the capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, then down to the James River to see a section of the canal system that George Washington had hoped would become a continuous transportation system from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. That never materialized as rail transportation took the lead. I walked along the river and came to the Tredegar Iron Works, the biggest ironworks in the Confederacy during the Civil War and one of the main reasons Richmond became the capitol city. It is now the Civil War Museum. Then I headed back to the airport to take an afternoon nap in the rental van before returning it and heading home. I knew I would be driving home from Boston late at night and thought a nap was the best way to spend my afternoon.

The flight home was without drama with a fiery red sky as we landed in Boston at 9 pm. Nighttime road construction caused the drive to the Cape to take longer than usual, so I didn’t get home until midnight. But I was bright eyed and busy tailed after that two-hour afternoon nap. After a wonderful week in Virginia, it felt good to be home . . . but lonely. I look forward to picking up my Shadow tomorrow morning.

2022 Life Logs, Day 107: We Made It!

2022 Life Logs, Day 107: We Made It!
Date: Sunday, April 17, 2022
Weather: Sunny & Windy in Boston, Hot in PR; Cold in Boston, Warm in Puerto Rico
Location: At Home in an Airbnb in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Despite Heather’s bout with Covid and a delayed flight, we made it to Puerto Rico on this Easter Sunday. The timing of Heather’s Covid made the lead up to the trip a little nerve wracking, but miraculously she tested negative yesterday. We flew on Frontier Airlines which was also a little nerve wracking this morning. Just as we got on the road, Heather got an email saying the flight was delayed by two hours. We decided to keep going as the Frontier website continued to say the flight was on time. Then she got another email saying the flight was delayed by only an hour and twenty minutes. When we reached the airport, we parked the van in front of the terminal, left the kids in the van, and Heather, Jed, and I went in to check the luggage and check on the actual flight time. When we told the attendant we planned to leave the airport and come back later for the flight, she warned us that the time might change again. It could be earlier. It seemed no one really knew what time we would depart. We left anyway and took a walk on the East Boston side of the Harborwalk along the water. We parked on the street by a park with soccer fields and a playground and an on ramp to the Harborwalk. The boys wished they had brought a soccer ball but had to be content watching others play. We were literally blown away in East Boston as the wind was so strong and cold. So we quickly returned to the airport to park in the long term parking garage and take the shuttle bus to Terminal E. There was only one restaurant open, so we ate an early lunch and then boarded the flight that was delayed a little more than two hours. Watching the Goldpebbles listening to music with their variety of ear buds and headphones while waiting was quite the picture.

The weather in Puerto Rico was a bit different from the sunny, but chilly Easter morning in Boston. It was hot and sultry, the kind of weather I love. We picked up our bags and our rental van and headed to Rincon. It is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from San Juan to Rincon which seemed like forever after a four-and-a-half-hour plane ride. But it was all worth it when we got to Finca Maravilla and were greeted by Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco. There is nothing so wonderful than having the whole family together. The Easter bunny had left goodies for us and Justin brought the bunnies inside to give us a big Easter welcome. Then it was on to the Airbnb for a midnight swim in the pool. Wonderful beginning to our PR vacation.

2022 Life Logs, Day 51: Back to Editing, Editing

2022 Life Logs, Day 51: Back to Editing, Editing
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Cold, Windy; High 34, Low 20 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

In yesterday’s log, I totally forgot to mention that just as I finished getting my seed starting shelves in place, the feeling of spring vanished. I looked out the window and it was snowing. I took Shadow out for our second half mile walk of the day and by the time we got home, there was a covering of snow on the ground. The snow flurries had turned into a snow squall while we were walking, and it continued until we had about a half of an inch of snow. So much for thoughts of spring! The high today was 34, but with the wind it felt more like 20. Chilly.

I spent my day editing and tonight I am watching the Olympics Closing Ceremony. Who couldn’t love the winter jackets of the Italians and the face that Nathan Chen is using a real camera to take photos of the ceremony instead of his phone camera. I have enjoyed watching all of the events, too many favorites to list. I must admit, however, that my favorite winter Olympic sport throughout my lifetime, figure skating, has changed. My grandsons have had a little influence over my new favorite, snowboarding. And then here have been the commercials. I had never heard of a Toyota Tundra before these Olympics and I loved the Toyota “Start Your Impossible” ads. Then there was the VISA ad with hordes of people coming down a slope in every sort of manner with the words, “When more of us play, more of us win.” And the Salesforce ad with Matthew McConaughey saying, “It’s not time to escape. It’s time to engage.” Whether you agree with the tone of that ad, I think we can all agree on those words. Now it’s time to get ready for the Paralympic Games starting in two weeks.

I’ll close with the words of the IOC head Thomas Bach addressing the athletes at the closing ceremonies: “We were deeply touched how you were wishing and cheering for your competitors to achieve their best as well. You not only respected each other. You supported each other. You embraced each other, even if your countries are divided by conflict. You overcame these divisions demonstrating that in this Olympic community we are all equal—regardless of what we look like, where we come from, or what we believe in. This unifying power of the Olympic Games is stronger than the forces that want to divide us—you give peace a chance. May the political leaders around the world be inspired by your example of solidarity and peace.”

2022 Life Logs, Day 38: Tires

2022 Life Logs, Day 38: Tires
Date: Monday, February 7, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Intermittent Rain; High Temp 45, Low Temp 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yep. Its warming up and that means rain for a couple of days. Then it looks like a string of warmer days until Valentine’s Day when the daytime high will be below freezing. I guess we’ll have to get our warmth on that special day by thinking of all the people we love. But, then, who cares about the weather? Obviously, I do.

Yesterday I managed to totally do in the tire that picked up a nail last week. Yesterday when I turned into the parking area for the local barbeque place, Wicked and Wood, I turned too soon and hit the curb rather hard. I didn’t think anything about it until I was almost home and realized the car was definitely listing to the right front. By the time I got into my driveway to check the problem, my front passenger side tire was once again totally flat. I figured the jolt of going over the curb must have jogged loose the fix for last week’s flat. I found out this morning, however, that the tire actually had a cut in the sidewall. A new one has been ordered and will be here Wednesday or Thursday. For some reason, I bought tire insurance when I bought the four new tires in September. I had never done that before, but I sure am glad I did. The new tire will only cost me $18. Good deal.

I spent most of my morning at Sullivan Tire waiting for a diagnosis on the tire and my afternoon walking with Shadow, finishing my fourth jigsaw puzzle of 2022, and enjoying an impromptu afternoon visit by friend Christina Brodie. Christina has been my first reader and technical editor for the Voyage of Windbird, but I had not let her know that I was writing again. Her husband Warren had a cross country skiing fall early in January and has been in a full leg cast since. Plus, they had pipes freeze in a room over their garage that resulted in water damage on the three floors of their house a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t think she needed to be bothered with editing. But when she found out I was writing again, she was anxious to read once again. Warren has another month of immobility except when with a physical therapist and repairs on the house can’t begin quite yet. So, she has time. I so appreciate her invaluable input and am so glad to have her back on board.

My fourth Dowdle puzzle of 2022 was The Statue of Liberty. The puzzles I have been working on are fairly easy, 500-piece puzzles. They are not as challenging as the 1,000 piece puzzles my daughter Heather works on, but they are fun to work and I learn new things with each puzzle. I have done two focused on Italy, Cinque Terre and Florence, one focused on Norway’s Olstinden Peak, and now one focused on a historical rendition of the Statue of Liberty as seen from Battery Park. The puzzle information sheet informed me that Lady Liberty weighs 225 tons or 450,000 pounds and wears a shoe size 879. Liberty Island was originally named Bedloe’s Island and Frederic-Auguste Bartoldi was the artist who designed her. He is included in the scene, as well as other important New Yorkers like William Maxwell Evarts, chairman for the American Committee for the statue, and Joseph Pulitzer, the newspaper magnet who raised crucial funds for the pedestal’s construction. Today I started on another Dowdle that I bought at Costco when I was there last. It is a scene from Prague. I really enjoy taking breaks from my writing to work on the puzzles for a bit.

On Monday afternoons, I take Ollie and Jonah to their music lessons and then drop Ollie off at his Cub Scout meeting place. Tomorrow is a school Early Release Day, so I will pick Ollie up at 12:30. Jonah and Sam get out of school earlier, so Ollie and I will stop to pick them up at home and then come to my house for an afternoon of Olympic Games watching. Tomorrow morning I have a one-on-one computer tutoring session at the Senior Center and then an online book club meeting before picking up the boys. Looks like it will be another day when I don’t get any writing done. Hopefully Wednesday.

2022 Life Logs, Day 29: Raging Blizzard

2022 Life Logs, Day 29: Raging Blizzard
Date: Saturday, January 29, 2022
Weather: Winds 20-50, Snow 1-2 feet; High Temp 33, Low Temp 10 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Shadow and I got up at 8 am to a very white, windy world. I went out for a romp in the snow with him first thing but couldn’t stay outside for more than 15 minutes. We walked down to the dock and was surprised at how high the tide was. The lower dock was higher than the upper dock. Shadow, he who loves snow, evidently doesn’t love the wind blowing the snow sideways as he wanted back inside as well. Once inside, I turned on the weather channel to see what was happening elsewhere. But not for long. At 8:45 am the power went out just for a few seconds at about the same time the wind really started powering up. The wind kept howling all morning and the snow kept falling and blowing sideways. I didn’t realize how loud the wind was until 1:30 pm when it seemed to instantly calm down while I was eating lunch. One minute the wind was howling, the next it was almost eerily quiet. It was probably still blowing 25 to 35, but that was better than 40 something!

I got power back, lost it again, got it back, and finally lost it for good. It is still off, so I am sitting in the dark except for the light of a little battery-powered lantern. I have been using my propane-powered Mr. Heater all day and it was able to keep the whole cottage temp at 68 F where I normally have the thermostat set. But during the afternoon, I was fully immersed in writing when the heater ran out of fuel and shut off. By the time I noticed, the inside temp had dropped to 64 and it is still there. I will leave the heater on until I go to bed. Then it goes off until morning. I will be warm enough for the night, but it could be quite cold by morning. It is getting down to 11 or 12 degrees F tonight and is forecast to be in the low 20’s tomorrow. Sure hope the power comes back on sooner rather than later.

So I don’t have heat or lights, but both should return when the power is restored. Others are having more serious challenges. Heather and Jed have power coming to the house, but the fluctuations in power yesterday damaged something in the ciricuit board and the electricity in the house is spotty—in some rooms but not others. The mother board in their furnace was also blown out. They are using space heaters in some rooms which keeps them barely warm but not freezing. They were able to get an electrician to come tonight to check things and the furnace folks are coming tomorrow. If parts are available, hopefully they will be back up and running by tomorrow night. But if parts have to be ordered, who knows? As I said to Heather, that is a real pain, but frozen pipes would be worse. I just got an update from them telling me they actually got an electrician to come tonight. At least they have lights and so far, no frozen pipes. Friends Bruce and Jane Wooden are also being challenged to the max with no electricity and a heating system they are trying to keep going with their gasoline generator. The Woodins, the Goldstones, and myself join the masses of others that are struggling to stay warm.

I wanted warm soup for lunch today, but assumed that since I had no power, I couldn’t use my gas stove. For some reason, I thought that the electronically controlled pilot lights couldn’t be lit with a match. That is true for the oven, but when I was talking to Justin this afternoon he told me that a match would do the trick on the stove top burners. He was right, but I had already used a little butane stove Mark and I bought in Thailand to heat the soup for lunch. I have thought about throwing that away many times but was not sure how to get rid of the whole bag of butane cannisters. So, it stayed tucked away in the basement, along with too many other things. I was reminded today of what a good little one-burner stove it is. Glad I didn’t throw that one away!

Shadow and I had two romps in the snow this afternoon, but the last one, just before dark, ended on a scary note. We walked out to the street which has been plowed so the snow was not very deep. But back in the yards, mine and Shirley’s, I measured anywhere from one foot to two feet of snow, not to mention the much deeper drifts in places. Shadow frolicked and seemed to be having fun in the deep snow, but my gloves were wet and my fingers were freezing. We headed back to the house. He was right beside me, I thought, then all of a sudden he was just gone. I called and called and he didn’t come. I went in to get dry gloves and then went back out to start the hunt. It was then that I saw his little black head hiding behind a bush. He had found a place with very little snow and I guess he had decided that was where he was going to stay. He willingly followed me inside, but by this time it was dark and he obviously doesn’t like that either. I turned on a little battery-powered lantern, but that didn’t help. He just stood beside me and wouldn’t move. It took a while, but I finally got him to lay on his favorite blanket on the sofa. I hope the deep snow and darkness have not permanently traumatized him!

I won’t be able to send this log tonight since I don’t have power or internet. I will send tomorrow and include some photos I took today. I love the photo of my living room window and want to share that. Since mid-morning, I have not been able to see out of it nor the front storm door that is all glass. They are plastered with snow and ice. I feel like I am looking at the world from inside a snow globe that someone just shook really hard. And by this evening, the entire front of the cottage is totally plastered with snow. It is going to take a while to dig out of this one. It is beautiful, but I will be glad if this is the last big snow for Cape Cod this winter. This one is going to stay with us for a few days as it is not going to warm up enough to melt anything until later next week. That will give everyone plenty of time to enjoy the snow. Then I’ll start to think spring. I know that is premature, but I can dream.