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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sweatin' to the Down Dog

I went to a different yoga class today and it was about pushing boundaries. I was really sweating. No a.c. I stepped out briefly to get two nice cold cups of water./Tonight at the mall, to get my new rose gold iPhone 7, we hit the food court. I took some unhealthy detours. Tomorrow I want to start eating more healthfully again. Peaches and nectarines in the house. Good night.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Is It in You? A Letter to My Daughters

Dear Figgy [on the cusp of 22], and Punchy, age 10,

Is it in you? The love of Cape Cod? I have gone, on and off, but lately most definitely on, since I was four; my parents first went in 1951, on their honeymoon road trip from NYC to Maine, New Hampshire and Cape Cod. 

When our family rented a cottage in North Eastham, over on Windmill Lane near Great Pond, we left in our white Ford Falcon in the Saturday morning dark; that's how eager my parents were to get back there.

You two, you have been going forever. Figgy, I was pregnant when you first traveled to that sandy place; you and I swam in the sea on Coast Guard Beach. I had a maternity swimsuit, navy with white polka dots. You were due that August. 

Punchy, your first summer trip to the Cape was when you were about three or four months old. [Our fates were sealed, our prayers answered, that March when you were delivered to us, your foster family.] Aunt Moey held you there. You went early on to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. I pushed you in a stroller, Figgy at my side. We pointed out the turtles.

So, is it in you? That feeling deep in your soul when you see hot pink saltspray roses spilling out against wooden fences? When you stand at the top of the stairs at Nauset Light Beach and look down at the rolling blue sea? Do you study the dunes, eroding more and more with every fierce winter storm, and think about the parking lots and houses that once were? Do you know that both Nauset Light and Highland Light, those two historic lighthouses, have been carefully and lovingly moved back from the cliffs in my lifetime?

As a teenager, I dreamed of living in the privately owned keeper's house at Nauset Light, of being so close to all that I loved.

Does seeing a lighthouse stir something in your heart and mind? Is biking on the Rail Trail a gift when you see a baby bunny, Queen Anne's Lace or serene kettle ponds and lily pads?

Do you like the old-fashioned feeling of it all--the windmills, the names like Minister's Pond and Quail Cover Lane, the old cemeteries, the fudge in the square pans, the donuts and the clams? The closely edited collections of what vacationers need at the Eastham Superette and the Village Green General Store--things like marshmallows and Neosporin and postcards? 

Does the breeze transport you? Does the night sky stun you with its clarity? Do you notice the birdsong and the sandy soil? Do you want a clothesline so your beach towel can sway in the breeze?

Do you sleep with the windows open to feel that clean air? Do you notice wild berries on the shrubs when you walk a child or a dog? Do you still fear coyotes at night?

Have you wanted to escape your busy life and be at a place with a simple outdoor shower? With so many swimming choices--ocean, bay and pond?

Do you think of the Pilgrims? The Native Americans? The whaling captains? The people who walked those well-worn trails before you?

Do you count your blessings? Do you feel very rich because you may not have a lot of money but you have been given the gift of this sweeping beauty, this historical perspective, this fleeting place?

Do you remember how it felt to wear a cute, comfy terrycloth beach dress? Figgy's was aquamarine, from the Gap across from the Good Housekeeping offices, my workplace. Punch, yours is soft and white with lavender pompom fringe trim at the hemline; I got it at Over the Moon in Montclair. [You are a bit rambunctious. I have to use Spray 'n Wash to keep it clean.]

Do you recall your Dad having binoculars, to better see birds and galaxies? Do you remember that he wore an ocarina on a cord around his neck when he was on Cape Cod? He showed you both how to play it. Can you still feel the weight of a mini golf club in your hand at the Red Barn? Daddy/Danny loved playing that with you and tried to drag me along, too, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

Do you remember our beach campfires at Coast Guard and Marconi beaches with the Mernins? 

I hope you can conjure up the feeling of my hand cupping your shoulder to apply tropically or baby-scented sunscreen. That you can picture the seaweed and the seals on the beach. The white lifeguard chairs. The park rangers who give tours at the Cape Cod National Seashore, with their official uniforms and hats.

What about greenhead flies that love to bite salty skin after a swim? How about those signs about avoiding tick bites?

Do you love the marsh grass? The panoramic view from Fort Hill? The old apple trees behind the Penniman House?

Do your hearts sink a little when you cross the Sagamore Bridge to head home, leaving the Cape behind? Do they lift when you arrive on Route 6 East,  passing cranberry bogs along the way?

I want to know, is it in you?

I hope and pray it is. A love so sturdy and still for something so much bigger than us will stand you in good stead and keep you on course.  It will give you perspective and healing, poetry and prose, art and music. You will have it to tap into. You will have held the treasures, and perhaps even the secret of life. You will know that the universe is endless and glorious. You will be able to lift a sunken heart that has nearly drowned in worries or sadness about death or motherhood or love gone astray.

Now and always, that is what I wish for you. Beauty and strength and clear-minded thinking. 

I love you.

Love always,
Mommy/Alice







The Organic Cotton Dress I Love


It's from Maggie's Organics in Michigan and I bought it
at the Green Store in Belfast, Maine on our July trip. It looks like shorts here but that's
because the wind was blowing it.
I ordered this one with citron top and navy bottom.
When I signed up at website, I got a code for 10 percent off.
I loved this one in the Green Store --lavender is a good color for me--but could only afford
one at $68, so went with never-fail black.
This color combination is now sold out in my size on the Maggie's website.

Just wanted to share this, because I love it so much. It's comfortable, soft organic cotton with 5 percent spandex for forgiveness and stretch. It's a dress, and I live for dresses. I embrace wraps, and this has a wrap top. I washed it with Woolite on cold and hung it over the drying rack to dry. I wear it with a good necklace or earrings, nice shoes, flat shoes, on the bike trail, out to dinner or.....everywhere.....I think I'm falling in love with this company. One caveat: It may have taken a little bit for the spandex to kick in, if you know what I mean. The first time I wore it, a woman of a certain age, someone I know, made a comment about be careful bending over. But the dress really isn't too short, at least on me. I own it, and it owns me. One of the best dresses ever.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Catholic on Cape Cod: Feeding the Masses

I loved the homily at St. Joan of Arc Church in Orleans today. The priest said we all have trying times in life and at those times, God carries us. He said we might be sad, fearful. anxious or stressed because of death, illness, divorce, an addiction in the family, job loss, moving to a new location....I liked what he said. His words reached me and I'm grateful. So often, I'm daydreaming and the sermon is lost on me.//I did notice the beautiful sleeveless pink and white Lilly Pulitzer dress a lady near me was wearing. It had white lace trim. She accessorized with large, smooth  pearl pebble earrings, flat silver sandals and a straw Nantucket-basket style handbag. She carried it off seamlessly, and the colors looked great with her sleek black hair, neatly pinned up. Good nite. Want to write more but too tired. We leave Cape tomorrow, getting up 7:30 to clean house. Took lovely farewell dip in Great Pond today at 6:15 p.m. Xoxo Signing off from old Cape Cod,