2021 Life Logs, Day 254: Remembering

2021 Life Logs, Day 254: Remembering
Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Weather: Beautiful Day and Evening; High Temp 74, Low Temp 64 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I saw a sign today that said, “Never forget to remember.” It was in reference to 9/11, but it has haunted me all day. What does that mean? Of course, we always want to remember the loss of loved ones and celebrate their lives. We have fought wars for twenty years to make sure the world knows we won’t forget what happened on 9/11. But in the back of my mind, I wonder if that sign carried with it a bit of vindictiveness. I hope I’m just being cynical, and that it meant just what it said. But whatever, thinking about what happened in this country on 9/11, led me to thinking about what happened on January 6. On 9/11, the entire country united. A foreign adversary had attacked us. On January 6, citizens of our own country attacked our nation’s capital. What’s worse? Being attacked from outside or from within? For me it is the latter and in previous times, I would have assumed that everyone would feel the same way. But after January 6, an already divided nation became even more divided. I’m afraid I don’t see a way to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

I finally just had to clear my mind of all the thoughts of 9/11 and January 6 because, for me, September 11 has a more personal remembrance and I only wanted to be thinking happy thoughts. Mark died five years on this day and certainly never a day goes by that I don’t think of him. I could write a book about all the wonderful things that Mark meant to me. I guess, in fact, I am writing a book that includes those things.
But on this day each year, I invite Heather and family to go out to dinner with me in honor of Mark. Tonight, we went to The Chart Room at Kingman Marine. They have greatly expanded their outdoor seating during Covid, and we definitely wanted to eat outside, not inside. But so did what seemed like a couple of hundred other people. I got there around 5:20, but by the time I got a parking place it was a few minutes later. Then I had to walk from the end of the parking lot to the restaurant which took another bit of time. By the time I got our name on the list, the wait list was already long. I was told it would be an hour to an hour and a half wait. I then started walking back to my car to get my mask that I forgot to bring with me, and while doing that I sent a text to Heather explaining the situation. They were almost there and decided that we would go for it and wait. Lucky for us the wait was a lot shorter than we had been told and we got a great table under an outside tent. The service was very good and while waiting for our dinner to arrive, we got to watch a beautiful sunset. Everyone loved their choices for dinner from Sam’s prime rib to Jonah’s best ever grilled cheese to Ollie’s stuffed quahog and clam chowder. Then in honor of Mark, he who LOVED sweets, we just had to have dessert. Ollie was so taken with his mudslide that he looked like he was worshipping it.

As we walked to our cars after dinner, Sam decided we all needed to go to the beach on the way home to get our toes in the sand. I asked what beach and Heather said it had to be Falmouth Heights. Evidently the night after Mark died, they were driving home from my apartment on the harbor and stopped at Falmouth Heights Beach to look at the beautiful almost full moon. Heather shared that when they were looking up, four-year old Ollie said that he knew Granddad was still out there somewhere and that he would never forget us . . . and we would never forget him. So, yes, it did have to be Falmouth Heights Beach tonight. And just as we arrived, someone was shooting off fireworks. Tonight, it was a bright crescent moon that was up there. Not a full moon, but it was still beautiful. And it is always a good idea to end an evening by digging your toes in the sand.

2021 Life Logs, Day 253: Free and Easy Friday

2021 Life Logs, Day 253: Free and Easy Friday
Date: Friday, September 10, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High Temp 77, Low Temp 54 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What a luxury. I gave myself another free and easy day to do nothing but read. I got up and spent my first hour leisurely reading The NYT The Morning on my phone. I check it every day but usually read it in between activities. This morning I sat on the loveseat by my front window, enjoying the morning sun, and reading the news, taking the weekly news quiz, and working the crossword puzzle. I fixed breakfast, took a shower, took Shadow for a long walk, and then got back on that loveseat and read and read and read. I think I will finish the book before bedtime tonight.

Earlier in the year my book club read another book by the same author, Ivan Doig, The Last Bus to Wisdom. Doig is from Washington state and writes about life out West. The current book I am reading is called The Whistling Season. Like the first one, it is a refreshing look at life in earlier times. Nothing earth shattering; just a study of ordinary people living their lives, but so engaging. Much of this book takes place in a one room schoolhouse in Montana at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. If you want an easy and joyous read, I highly recommend it. And who doesn’t need a joyous read these days?

Tomorrow is September 11 and marks five years since Mark’s death. As we have done most years, I will take the Goldstones to dinner somewhere on the water to celebrate Mark’s life. We are going to try The Chartroom outside, but if it is too crowded, our back-up plan is to order sushi and eat here down by the dock.

2021 Life Logs, Day 252: More Buckets of Rain

2021 Life Logs, Day 252: More Buckets of Rain
Date: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Weather: Rainy Day; High Temp 73, Low Temp 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Recently when it rains, it really does pour. It rained on and off all morning and then around 1 pm the skies opened. The soil in my yard is sandy and in my three years here I have never seen sanding water during a rain. But I did today. I basically had to wade to the shed to get a shovel for my neighbor who needed to quickly dig trenches to let water escape the area around his house. It is still raining tonight, but not as hard as earlier in the afternoon. I’m hoping for some sunshine tomorrow.

One thing rainy days are good for is reading. Since my book club is next Tuesday and I just started the book, I read most of the day. I have never been one to curl up with a book on a rainy day, but it was quite enjoyable.

2021 Life Logs, Day 251: First Day of School 2021-22

2021 Life Logs, Day 251: First Day of School 2021-22
Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High Temp 76, Low Temp 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was the first day of the 2021-22 school year here in Falmouth. Sam off to 9th grade, Jonah in 7th, and Ollie in 4th. I baked after school treats and took them over at the end of the school day. Jonah got home first and reported that he had a good day. Then Ollie arrived and reported that he also had a good day. So far, so good. I then picked Sam up from soccer practice at 5 pm and he said the first day of high school was great, that he loved his geometry teacher, and the ankle he sprained last week has heeled and that he was able to play soccer without a wrap around his ankle. Three for three. Not bad. Hopefully their days were as good as they reported to me.

After I took Sam home from soccer practice, I went to Highfield Hall for a presentation on Creating a Climate for Change through Art and Science. Heather moderated the conversation between artist Joan Lederman and scientist Konrad Hughen from WHOI. It was so interesting to watch the connections being made in real time between Joan’s development as a potter using deep sea sediment and Konrad’s development as geochemist taking core samples from coral. Joan describes herself as an ‘earth citizen’ and after listening to their conversation, I think that describes both Joan and Konrad. And Heather did a fabulous job of helping us identify the art/science connections.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a rainy day. I hope to use the inside time to get some reading done for my book club meeting next week. I just got the book yesterday, so I need to do some fast reading.

2021 Life Logs, Day 250: Goldpebbles’ Guide to Falmouth Beaches

2021 Life Logs, Day 250: Goldpebbles’ Guide to Falmouth Beaches
Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High Temp 76, Low Temp 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a Cape Cod beautiful day with clear deep blue skies and lots of sunshine. It could not have been a more perfect day for Sam, Jonah, Ollie, and I to drive around to every public beach in Falmouth as our end of summer celebration. The Goldpebbles came up with a rating system from 0 to 10 based on sand quality, size of the beach area, and number of tourists among many other things. If you are not from Falmouth, this list will mean nothing to you. But for those of you in Falmouth, you might want to do your own rating of our beautiful beaches. Our list does not match Trip Advisor’s 5 Best Beaches in Falmouth List. Our #10 is their #1! Obviously, choice of beach is very personal. I will list our ratings at the end of this log if you are interested in our opinion on Falmouth’s beautiful beaches.

As we drove from Woods Hole back to Falmouth, we drove by Nobska Lighthouse where we stopped to enjoy the beautiful view. It is not a beach, but I could not drive by without stopping. We had to end our tour by 2:30 pm so we could get Sam home and ready for his 3 pm soccer practice, so we had to move on, but it was a fun stop.

When I got home, I ended the day by finally canning the marinara sauce I made from the San Marzano tomatoes from my garden. Last week I canned 4 pints from 5.5 pounds. This week I got 10 pints from 11 pounds, a little better. But every pint is precious this year. I usually buy about 100 pounds of organic sauce tomatoes from Carrie at Peach Tree Farm in Falmouth but this year she has none. Tomorrow I need to do some research to see if I can buy more somewhere. I can this sauce for Heather and family as they go through a pint per week during the year—14 down and 42 to go.

Tomorrow is first day of school. All three boys are going to new schools. Sam is going to high school, Jonah is going to middle school, and Ollie is off to a new neighborhood elementary school. Here’s hoping they all have a good first day of school.

Now for the Goldpebbles’ Guide to Falmouth Beaches . . .

Menauhant Beach on Nantucket Sound #1–Our adopted home base with a huge beach area divided in half by a channel leading into huge Bourne Pond, lots of parking, a sand bar, and a beautiful view across to Martha’s Vineyard. The only negative was sand quality.

Wood Neck Beach and Little Sippewissett Marsh on Buzzards Bay #2—This was a tough decision for the boys and for me. We all LOVE Wood Neck, so it vacillated between #1 and #2. As we left there, Sam stopped to reflect on just how good it made him feel just being at Wood Neck. The boys love the ocean side at low tide when you have to walk out very far over sand flats to get to the ocean. It is beautiful. They love the lazy river that flows from the marsh into the ocean as the tide goes out. And the marsh offers hours of exploration. Sam is right. This is a very special spot on Planet Earth.

Quissett Beach in Quissett Harbor off Buzzards Bay #3—A walk to The Knob, paths through the woods with great climbing trees, a rocky part of the beach perfect for building rock cairns, very little beach but dogs are allow on a leash, a view of one of the most quintessential harbors in New England, and former summer home of Windbird.

Chapoquoit Beach on Buzzards Bay and Chapoquoit Marsh on West Falmouth Harbor #4—t beach is known as “Chappy” and has become smaller and smaller over the past few years. It is long and narrow and soccer players love to go there after prime beach time to kick soccer balls. Across the street is the Chapoquoit Marsh which is alive with armies of fiddler crabs and a view of beautiful West Falmouth Harbor. The boys ran through the marsh today like wild deer. We haven’t been to the marsh there for three or four years, so it was wonderful to get reacquainted.

Stony Beach in Woods Hole on Buzzards Bay #5—Along time favorite of the Goldpebbles from the days when they attended the Woods Hole Preschool and when Windbird spent two summers in Eel Pond. Stony beach is small and stony until you get a few feet out into the water. It is mostly populated by families with Woods Hole connections. The two jetties offer great opportunities for crabbing and at low tide there is sandbar that kids love to swim out to. There is also a big rock out in the water that older kids climb and jump off. And it is a short walk into the village.

Surf Drive Beach on Nantucket Sounds #6—The boys discovered this beach after moving to Grasmere Drive. It is just over 2 miles to this beach. We sometimes meet Heather and Jed there for a quick dip at the end of a busy day so the boys have labeled it the “Quick Dip Beach”.

Bristol Beach on Nantucket Sound #7—Big beach close to town. The negative is that it is populated by tourists that rent homes in the area for the summer, but it is less crowded than adjacent Falmouth Heights Beach.

Falmouth Heights Beach on Nantucket Sound #8—Less than 2 miles from Grasmere Drive and a beautiful beach, BUT too many tourists for the Goldpebbles.

Megansett Beach in Megansett Harbor off Buzzards Bay #9—Small beach that doesn’t have anything to lure you there unless you live close by. It does have a great pier that older kids jump off of at high tide and has lots of critters to explore that live under the pier.

Old Silver Beach on Buzzards Bay #10—Best sand of any of the Falmouth beaches, but just too crowded to suit the Goldpebbles.