Things to be jealous about


Here is the mussel dinner.

I told M about it and she was quite jealous, being in Ohio where there are no mussels at all. She says she’s been eating pizza type things. But, perhaps as recompense, she got into all the classes she needed, including painting. So that is great news indeed.

News from my mother — the furnace pump blew out in the hurricane, and the spray killed the grass and the flowers and the holly leaves, but other than a few screen doors that went flying, there’s really no damage. The house really howls in high winds — I am quite jealous that I wasn’t there. But in recompense I am here, and so is N with two friends, and it’s been great to see them. They’ve been off exploring (a coastal adventure! an urban adventure! I’ve been reading the Swallows and Amazons books, and perhaps that has colored how I’ve seen what they’ve been up to), with a lot of eating, which one can do quite well around here.

And there you have it. Now I’m going to get my haircut. You can all be jealous about that, but I really need it — it’s been a year since it was last cut. Really. It’s not pretty.

Back at work


So. Back at work, which looks nothing like this picture, by the way. The furniture is in and the students are back.

All this coming and going is a little disorienting. It’s also disorienting to have N around and M back at school. Nice, though. N and her friend from school drove out to the beach on Saturday and brought back oysters, which were mostly consumed, and mussels, which they cooked for dinner last night. Hard to complain about that!

Anyway. Now we’re home for a while.

Ho hum ho hum.

Home again


So — we’re home again, having flown to Pittsburgh, driven to Ohio, driven back to Pittsburgh and then flown home, all in the space of 4 days.

N stayed home, and friends flew in from the east to hang out with her — she’s off at the moment with one of them to go see the elk and the Pacific.

M is settled. She has a really nice room this year, and her classes seem good, assuming she can get the one she really really needs.

We saw K’s cousin A, who’s a graduate student at a nearby college. (He helped M compose an email to get into the class she really really needs, and then helped interpret the professor’s response.) We saw Jeanne and her family (now 3, rather than 4). We saw K’s brother’s family. K’s brother lives in a house on the edge of a park with a lovely living room with windows all around and lots of things to read — quite pleasant. K’s mother has settled in to her new arrangement — it’s a tiny apartment in an assisted living place. Parts of it she views as an affront– that they call her to ask why she didn’t come to lunch, that they supervise her medicines — but other parts are good — mainly that they feed her three times a day, I think.

Anyway, I’m home, now.

It’s odd. I’ve been so busy and now, with K at work, and N off at the beach, I’m at loose ends. There’s a boat I want to look at, but I have no car.

There’s plenty to do around here, of course.

It’s odd to be quiet.




Madness has broken out. Strangely, life with four people is more complicated than life with two, or even three.

In any case, 3 of us are about to depart for points east.

There’s not a lot of sleep involved, but things are definitely more exciting.

(By the way, Jim spent the night outside, which is unprecedented. He is an elderly cat!)

What’s new


Not those sea anenomes, which M and I saw at the museum before we took off for distant parts over a month ago .

Today I am keeping a close eye on the world clock. It is now 10:00 pm in the part of the world where N and M are. I told my colleague E how much energy I was expending hoping quietly that they will have figured out a way to get from where they are (quite remote) to where they need to be (a big city, quite far away). Yes, she said, and that’s nothing compared to the amount of energy you’re going to need to keep that plane in the air. And since there are two planes, it’s going to be double.

Anyway, with any luck by this time tomorrow one of them will be nearly home and the other will be twiddling her thumbs at the airport, but at least on this continent.

I can’t wait to see them.

Slow going


It seems that the rhythm at my job picks up about now. School is about to start. People are still vacationing and taking kids to school, but I think the fact that school is about to start means that even if you are vacationing, you are doing it despite what’s going on at work.

But the rhythm of the world in general is at cross purposes. It’s August. Sure fall is coming, but it’s still August, and especially here, where it’s now finally warming up. The time is right for some excellent recreation followed by reading on the couch and eating outside with pie and ice cream for dessert.

Not for the compiling of statistics and thoughts of the year ahead.

No, no, no.

A sailboat

I think this happens every summer. I come back from the sailing paradise that is the town my mother lives in and I think — but there is water here! I should be able to sail here, too!

I was talking about this with some friends. They actually had a sailboat a few years ago. According to them, it is hard to sail a small boat here. The winds are strong, there are strange currents, and the water is cold and dirty.

Still, I am determined.

I want a boat that is small enough that I can carry it on the roof of my my car. That means about 10′, I think. And not tippy, and not a wet boat. And not too heavy. And with a centerboard or daggerboard so I can sail it up onto the beach. I do not want to have to wear a wetsuit.

I think this Spindrift might be my boat, actually. It’s light and sails well and can even nest so that I could fit it inside my car. Perfect. The trouble is, I’d have to build it first. Hmmm.

This little Pennant is kind of sweet. There’s a kind of affordable one listed on Cragslist, but the guy is kind of jerking me around and it looks a little stubby. But it would do, if I could find a cheap one.

This little Navigator looks beautiful, but is probably too expensive for me. It’s nice, though, isn’t it?

Here is the boat of my dreams, but I could not carry it on my car, nor do I have $25,000 floating around.

I could go sail these beautiful boats, maybe. That would be fun.

Anyway. There you have it.

I wonder how hard it would be to build a boat?

Having never built anything in my life, not even a birdhouse or a tie rack.




Feels odd to be hanging around. I’ve changed the sheets and done the laundry, watered the garden and cut some flowers. Done some shopping. K and I even went out for lunch. Here’s what’s up.

  • The rug that went off to get mended has come back and it is really beautiful. It really is beautiful, but it’s also familiar. It reminds me of when I was little and also of when the kids were little. It keeps surprising me, too, when I catch sight of it. (K does not like it. It offends his sensibilities that it doesn’t cover the whole floor, and some furniture — gasp — is half on and half off. Hmmm.)
  • I’d take a picture of it, but I can’t because the camera is on another continent. This is really bothering me. I also wanted to take a picture of the man who was eating his lunch on the median strip, leaning up against the sign that said “No sitting on median.” Ha.
  • K is planning all kinds of ways to check up on the girls, including calling the place where they are working to ask if they are okay, but telling whoever answers the phone not to tell the girls that he called. (I wondered what would happen if they themselves answer the phone, which seems at least possible.) Anyway, I am glad for once that it is not me who’s being the crazy stalker parent.
  • I’m reading Ian Fleming’s From Russia with Love, which is interesting as a sort of time capsule of 1958. I’m having trouble finishing it, though, because I sense that things are about to go badly. But here’s an interesting quote. It’s the opinion of the Head of the Intelligence Department of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The Americans have the biggest and richest service among our enemies. Technically, in such matters as radio and weapons and equipment, they are the best. But they have no understanding for the work. They get enthusiastic about some Balkan spy who says he has a secret army in the Ukraine. They load him with money with which to buy boots for this army. Of course he goes at once to Paris and spends the money on women. Americans try to do everything with money. Good spies will not work for money alone — only bad ones, of which the Americans have several divisions.


  • And here’s another thing I read, from the Dower House, that I liked a lot. Molly, the heroine, has gone for a job interview with a writer. He needs her to do some secretarial things. When she arrives at his house he’s just in the middle of reading Vanity Fair to his wife, and they ask her to wait, apologizing. Molly answers,

    ‘I love to be read to, and you were at my favorite part.’
    . . . Mr Latham looked inquiringly at Molly.
    ‘When Becky goes to Sir Pitt Crawley’s as a governess.’
    ‘And why do you think that is?’
    ‘Because I’m entirely on her side. Later, you don’t like her.’
    ‘Yes, the novel without a hero also lacks an adequate heroine.’

    I think she’s right, actually. I haven’t read Vanity Fair for 30 years, but I think it does matter that there’s a point at which you really do like Becky Sharpe. Later, as Molly says, you don’t like her.

Okay. That’s all for today.



Despite what you might think, this is a picture of some oystercatchers. Can you see them there, at the bottom? (I did not take this picture.)

They’re apparently a species that’s returning to Massachusetts. Here’s an article. Interestingly, the birds above are probably the very same birds mentioned in the article, given their, uh, geographic proximity.

I continue to miss summer.

No further news . . .