Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Then and Now (for Nora)

Our firstborn Nora came home for a visit to see family and friends and to hunt for her first car (of the used variety) with her Dad. Much was accomplished (they found the perfect vehicle!) including voluminous socializing with friends while she was here.

One of the perks (replete with all the emotional fodder) of my picture taking over the years is the visual diary the many images create. Twenty years ago we moved to our home in Sleepy Hollow and Nora was 2 years old at the time. Leaving last Sunday, en route to the airport, I snapped a photo in a familiar locale that brought back a singular memory of her. The ability of images to communicate across time fascinates and humbles me simultaneously.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Signs of a Seasonal Shift (in Sleepy Hollow)

There's a new set of sounds in our back yard and looking down I see the first acorns of autumn cached in a fallen sprig of leaves. Framing it through the lens I'm serenaded by the rhythm of their small shapes thumping on the ground and bouncing off the pavement and the house.

The light is decidedly different as the flowers glow against their green backgrounds. Autumn is in the air.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Scott Brothers take a Seat in Tarrytown

Like many enthusiasts in the pursuit of home improvement, it's hard not to be a fan of the charming
and multi-talented Scott Brothers (Drew and Jonathan) whose various enterprises for HGTV have made them household names. They are currently filming in our area and yesterday they hosted a meet and greet where they answered questions fielded from a crowd of fans, first subjecting those chosen few to a silly task to create camera worthy content.

Despite the high temperatures and lack of shade, there was a sizable gathering, all excited to be in their prescence. They kissed babies, hugged excited ladies, and made fun of themselves and each other. A true spectacle of spontaneous entertaintainment in our own backyard. I would imagine a talk show is in their future if not in the works already.

(as an aside, I had the unique fortune to ride a Metronorth train with Jonathan a few months back-click here to read it!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hollow Fatigued

I'm sure this happens to everyone with a yen for change- when you feel like one more trip to town on the all too familiar roads, encountering individuals along the way you don't necessarily like, can induce a desire to be.....someplace else. I'm not unique in dreaming, and while I love my house, my garden and the trees that shelter from sun and stormy weather,  I'm not immune to craving change. And change is in the wind. If not today, then someday, and hopefully of my choosing.

How to Keep Cool (where sleep is concerned)

Living without air conditioning means keeping our cool on a hot summer night can be a challenge. Even though our bedrooms have ceiling fans and our house has plenty of windows, when bed time rolls around and it's super steamy, it helps to partake of a quick rinse in a cold shower, and after toweling off, a generous splash of something refreshing like 4711. (And if you are so inclined, keep the bottle in the refrigerator. Sensory bliss!!)

Crisp sheets, the lightest of summer blankets and a glass of ice cold water assist the sleep deprived. But when the mercury refuses to fall, I have been known to succumb to my "personal fan." Placed strategically next to my side of the bed, its breezes cool my face and lowers my personal temp.

The weatherman is predicting another heat wave and having all my tools deployed means a lot more comfort for this often harried wife and mom. So far, no one has appropriated this most personal of effects (something that's been known to happen around here) and I appreciate either the respect or the lack of need. It's good to know what helps to get you through the night...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Dog Days of Summer

August has a unique flavor. Cool in the mornings, steamy in the afternoons. A lot of skimpy attire as the sun crests in the sky. Add in the pleasure of lounging in rooms made comfortable by furnishings and pretty places to rest your eye. Sometimes I'm even allowed to observe with my camera- after the appropriate permission has been secured.

No matter what month in the year, I am constantly navigating the complicated waters of family life. Hope you are faring better than me.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Small Visitor

Lots of things enter a house. People. pets, mail, food, newspapers, shopping bags et al. Mostly you welcome each arrival and if not, there's always the recycling bin, the garbage pail or the pile of discards to donate. It's no wonder that we accumulate so much stuff with all forms of media dedicated to the singular goal of making our surroundings better along with the requisite cleaning products meant to improve our lives in hopes of a sanitized world. So when a daddy long legs appears in the kitchen, I take pleasure in this miniature guest who brings a gentle piece of nature (and chaos) into our home.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Friday Night at the (Beach) Club

Once upon a time, when our offspring were little and needed adult supervision, we would gather during the summer months at our local beach club on the Hudson. The kids would swim and paddle around or dig in the sand and the adults would hang out nearby with drinks and snacks along with the obligatory pizzas delivered at some point for dinner.

Things began to change when our kids became teenagers and had other commitments, or didn't want to come, or were away at camp and the weekly gatherings ended. While we often crossed paths around town, we rarely socialized anymore.

Our neighbor Matt reached out earlier this week to assemble some folks for a gathering tonight and the weather cooperated beautifully.  It felt like old times to see one another again.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sadness Squared

Sometimes it feels like a bad movie that will never end. My talented husband has not had a job in well over a year- and the stress of him not working is doing me in by degrees. There is a lot of silence, a lot of things unsaid. I unravel, a little at a time while trying to maintain that things are okay when they aren't. Support comes in tiny gestures, everyone mired in their own difficulties. We have carried on our masquerade with great finesse- we manage to appear fine and by third world standards, we live majestically. Still, watching an able bodied man not go to work, not have a clue how to proceed makes my insides clench as I try to keep things going forward, steady my gaze and hold back my tears. This is the weirdest time for me. Shame descends and I am baffled. Time to dig deep and try harder. I have no idea what else to do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Love of the Four-Legged Kind

When slumber fails me and tossing and turning only induces more mental gymnastics than I can bear, it's easy to succumb to The New York Times online. A few choice essays yields a rich field of insight and information and the readers' comments afford the chance to consider diverse points of view.

Last might proved to be like many others and so I wandered in cyberspace and settled on an article about the powerful bond between pets and their owners. As someone who did not grow up with pets (or as my father so aptly put it- "Five kids are animals enough."), I did not understand the pull of that kind of connection. Most of the time, it feels like my husband loves our dog Comet way more than he loves us and the feeling is decidedly mutual. I'm probably going to be less popular with the millions of pet owners all over the world, and I've seen the happiness, comfort and companionship that being with a pet can provide, especially for a child. But the look of love so easily bestowed upon our dog by my spouse is a rare occurence beyond that special relationship. If only he saw what I see- perhaps he would understand and distribute his affections as freely to the two legged members of his family!