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Monday, August 31, 2015

Snapshots from the Cape

It's 10:34 p.m. I have exactly 26 minutes until the Hot Chocolate Sparrow is locked up for the night. It's not the same to blog from the house on my tiny iPhone screen. So I told H. I was driving here to blog on my laptop. He was putting the Energizer Bunny to bed.

Today was a stop-and-drink-me-in Cape Cod day. Our friends Anne and Nikki drove up from Montclair for two nights at the motel up the road from us. We met here at the Sparrow for lunch, then spent a lazy afternoon at Great Pond. H., Nik and Punch swam and splashed a lot; H. took a long jog around the pond; Anne and I sat on beach chairs and chatted. Then we made a beeline to Mac's Seafood in Wellfleet before the sunset. And then, like a cherry on the ice cream sundae, we drove back to First Encounter Beach, on the bay side in Eastham, to look at the stars and watch the reddish moon rise.

I'm grateful to be here at the Sparrow just writing for love. Not writing, at the moment, about potato mashers or holiday sales or wallpaper patterns. I'm grateful for my paying work, but just as grateful when I have a chance to write freely.

I've noticed I'm older and quicker to tire. Of course. Punchy has her challenges, and sometimes I think, wow, at this age, H. and I could be on vacation by ourselves. And while that might feel odd and empty-nestish, it can be draining to have a young child. When Figgy was 8, I took more time to cleanse my face, apply mascara, wear jewelry. I looked forward to reading or telling her bedtime stories. But Punch--she favors H. and she is also a whirling dervish. By the time she's ready for bed, I'm past my bedtime. If H. is around, she prefers he do bedtime stories, and he does a good job of it, too. But I want to get back in there. I have some magic to share, too. With Figgy, we took turns.

The nature has been stunning. The gift of quiet ponds, curving coastline, little grocery stores, marshmallows on sale for the mandatory s'mores. The things that haven't changed since I was a girl: historic windmills, the Superette, Nauset Light. The home my parents built and my brother maintains, with its white lace curtains, red kitchen clock, lamps and tables from Dad's brother Aldo.

In the animal world: Today, Nikki spotted a baby cottontail bunny by the pond and then the girls found a dead sunfish, which they studied up close in Punch's beach pail. To sit on the sandy shore by Great Pond and hear Nikki and Punch squealing with laughter and splashing in the water=pure summer joy. I listen and I pray that they remember this feeling, that it fills their hearts and souls, that they can tap into the beauty and happiness later on in life. I pray the same for my Figgy, who was raised with days and days of these Cape Cod treasures.

If I'm fortunate enough to get a full-time job, I will have much less flexibility with vacation time. As a freelancer, I have been positively spoiled that way. I have loved taking Figgy or Punchy or both on trips to the Cape the minute I've spotted a school holiday, be it in November, December, February or April. But I trust I will find a way and figure it out.

Good night. It's 10:52. I think I better unplug, pack up, drive home on Route 6 East until I turn right at the Viking Shores Motor Inn. Pictures below.

Our friend Anne and her daughter Nikki in Wellfleet tonight.
Punch, H. and me. Punch and I went straight from Great Pond to Mac's Seafood.
Giant squeeze, age 8 and age 13.
Funny pose.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Great Vacation Reading

Reading is a big part of a relaxing vacay for me and H. I know, we sound old. But we love to crack our books open and get lost in them.

I want to blog but am at really good part of novel called Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. Plus tired/relaxed from biking to pond and back, finding heirloom apples on an old overgrown trail and going to Sunday Mass. Good night to you.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Eager to Read, So Doing Photo Post

View from Nauset Marsh Trail behind Salt Pond Visitor Center.

I took a field notebook with us so Punch and I could record what we saw: 5 swans, 27 small white butterflies, 1 sparrow--and 12 people.

I never tire of this sight.

Two fellows fishing.

Big white swan between the reeds.

Punch with field notebook.
A nice, easy walk.
Swans again.

Cape Refuge

Here for our family vacation, minus Figgy, who is working. Liked having H. drive--I fell asleep even before we hit the Tappan Zee Bridge. [Punchy was watching "Aquamarine" on his laptop, so was temporarily occupied.]

But our tempers were short today. Punch was defiant and a handful, and it was stressful to pack up every last grocery from our kitchen to save money up here--mustard, ketchup, PB, my homemade berry jam and on and on. Hard to fit all in car with Punchy's pink bike, dollies, etc.

So glad to be here now. Nine nights on the Cape! School starts Sept. 8. 

Good night.

1. After crashing on sugar again this morning, made a plan to pass it up on this vacay with a few exceptions: One iced Mocha Sparrow, ice cream two times. Might be hard but I'm too erratic with sugar rushes--and meaner, not sweeter. Have packed healthy snacks. Even had hummus and baby carrots for car ride.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Luxury Business Lounge

I took #66 bus in for Figgy doctor appointment--H. couldn't make it because he got booked near the last minute to work an event in North Brunswick, writing 60-Second Novels.

I'm in the waiting room, waiting my turn. What a nice business lounge--at 100 Park Avenue, between 40th and 41st streets, a block away from Grand Central Station. I always think of my Irish grandpa, Jim Mahon, when I approach GCS from this side of Park Ave. It's because Sis has told me a story, something about what Grandpa said as a new immigrant when he saw Grand Central. Have to ask her to remind me again.

A complimentary coffee machine brewed espresso for me to pour over ice in a white cup. A nice Dell desktop computer is mine for the using right now.

I was going to head home and work on Anthony's book in Montclair, but instead, I brought my laptop in and will walk over to the NY Public Library and write there for a while. Punchy is at her last day of Steve and Kate's Camp for the summer, and H. can get her by 6 p.m.

Tomorrow we leave for Cape Cod. And once I have finished Anthony's book--and I'm nearly there--I intend to start hunting for a full-time job [again, but this time with more gumption and determination]. I love the buzz, energy and sophistication of NYC. I love the coffee bars on every corner [originals, not just cookie-cutter Starbucks]. I love walking by lunch carts. I love seeing what people are wearing.

My turn.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Good Night, Summer Day

Nothing much to report, except a visit from Punchy's law guardian rep today and an effort to cook healthfully--veggies and shrimp in the wok with quinoa on the side. Punch liked it best out of all of us.

Hoping and praying, as always.

Good night to you.

  1. Private Benjamin. My therapist leads me to some pretty important insights, and I am grateful.
  2. Walked Sug.
  3. Enjoyed pretty moon, pointed out to me by little boy next door.