Monday, March 28, 2011

Life's a beach.......

Last weekend I took a ride to the beach. Yes, it was cold and windy but I just needed to breath the salt air. So off  I went ipod and down vest in hand. I stopped at the chocolatier on the way to see if they had any chocolate bunnies from antique molds , no luck. ( I am working on an Easter vignette !) I drove by my favorite fried clam place but did not pull in. What good was the walk going to do me if I ate fried foods? So on I went and pulled down the street with the beach lot on it. As I got closer I noticed the lot was packed with cars. I had to creep around looking for a spot and I am wondering what the heck is going. It is cold & windy and although the sun was out , it was definitely not a beach day. I walked down the path and saw that it was low tide, plenty of beach to hunt for treasures. A kite surfer flew by on the sand, no doubt a beginner trying to get his "sea-legs". As I got past the dunes, I saw all the people down by the water. Some in waders out in the water, some on the beach with rakes and buckets..what were they up to? Clamming? Yes, hen clamming !! They were digging up buckets full of those big, juicy clams. There were all kinds of people , men and women  with  kids and dogs. What fun ! I walked along , looking for treasures and listening to all the jabbering and laughing. Newbies asking others for advice,  dogs barking and chasing balls, kids running and collecting shells. I found a large peice of quartz and thought it would make a great paperweight. Unfortunately one of the dogs there thought it would make an even better ball to chase and was not going to leave me alone until I threw it . So no treasures, no luck finding sand dollars. I sat down for a bit and closed my eyes and took deep breaths and listened to all the wind-whipped voices. Almost felt like a summer day. (Almost, it was like 30 degrees with the wind) I stayed until my ears were numb and then headed for the car. There were plenty of people still walking from the lot with buckets and rakes, blankets and kids & dogs in tow. Headed for a fun afternoon at the beach and then home to make a hearty clam chowdah, no doubt. A just reward for braving the cold & wind. I headed home to settle in and have a nap..dreaming of a warm June day that is just around the corner.

Monday, March 21, 2011

!@#$%^*.....They say it's your birthday ........

Ok, so it is well known around these parts that I think my birthday is pretty special. In years past I think I have let anyone I talked to in the month of March  know just what day they should be calling to wish me well. I come by this feeling honestly, though,  because my father's BD was the day after mine and it also happened to fall on St Patty's Day, which is a special day all on it's own. So there was alot of hoopla on those couple of days. We always planned a double BD party for the Sunday before or after with two cakes, lots of family, wearing of the green , etc. So, I kind of got used to having a grand celebration with lots of attention and presents and cake. After my dad passed away, I just kept it going. I was so used to my birthday being a big deal that I assumed everyone else thought so ,too. So it came as a shock to me that this year I just didn't feel the same excitement. I was pretty sad about it, too. It was like losing a friend, to be honest. It has been so much fun over the years to make a big deal about my birthday and why not, it is a big day for me. I just think I have hit a wall with my age..I don't want to go any further really. I mean , I want to live a lot longer..I just feel like I want to stay right here..fifty- something. Life is good.
So on THE day first thing ,my sister L calls me to say stop by the store she has a card fo rme. So in I go and there are two of my sisters L & B, my nephew, my brother in law, my niece all wishing me a happy birthday. I started to feel a wee bit better. On the ride into work three of my grandchildren ,my son & daughter in law get on the phone to wish me a happy birthday and to hint of the fun planned later at their house. Starting to feel pretty good.
I get to work, climb the stairs and looked at all the goodies on my desk. There is a white mum in a pot dressed up like a leprechan,  a big package of green Peeps, a note explaining that S took off for  a meeting with the cake still in his truck (a cake that his daughters had made for  me) two nice handmade cards from S's daughters and a big , flattened box with happy birthday written on it with a hand drawn cake. Everyone in the plant had been informed of my special day and all stopped by my desk to say happy birthday throughout the day.
 During the day, the rest of my kids called, and my two other grandchildren , O & M, called. I got many mesages on Facebook from friends & family all over the country ( some of these were very funny) and a bunch of emails. Wow, cheered me right up !!
Right after work headed to my son T's house and what a great BBQ we had, complete with cake AND my daughter in law K had made my very favorite pie, got beautiful PRESENTS and some cute cards the kids made me !! We played pin the tail on the donkey and danced, too. After the party I headed for home feeling pretty warm & fuzzy.
But wait there is more.......This past Saturday, my daughter R came down to visit and we went out for a belated birthday lunch with a bunch more of my family (a dozen of us)  and more cards & presents, too.
So, I ended up having quite a birthday week after all. And you know, I still feel pretty good. If all my next hundred birthdays mean I get to be treated like Queen Bee for a day (or a week) , then bring on the birthdays !!!!

PS- I have finished On Folly Beach by Karen White. I thought it was a good story, not sure about the style of writing. I kept thinking I was reading a script for a B movie. So I am on the fence about recommending this one. Please stay tuned.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A few books and a good movie........

I have been a reading fool the last three weeks !! I have read three Elin Hilderbrand books. My friend M passed on a stack of four, one of which I had already read. It was almost like a challenge getting that many at once. Hildebrand writes what she knows , which is Nantucket Island... the romance, the twists of fate, the landscape or should I say seascape. So in this stack that I devoured was:
The Blue Bistro, Season of Love and Beach Club.  I love it when author intertwines when you read a good book and you wish it didn't have to end. Well, these Nantucket novels all have a familiarity that puts you in the middle of a community of people, and in every house on the island, there is a story. Anyway..I recommend all of the above by Elin Hilderbrand.
I also read Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. It was the story of two sisters growing up in China in the 40's and 50's and how their lives were brutally turned upside down when war broke out. I read about 1/2 to 2/3 of this book and then skimmed the rest. I started to lose interest (which doesn't happen to me very often). It just felt too much like See's other novel Snowflower and the Secret Fan. So if you liked See's first novel, you may like her second or you may feel like I did -that the style and susbstance were too similiar.
I picked up another Annie Proulx book called Close Range. (she wrote Shipping News, which I really liked)A book of short stories about life in Wyoming. They were really good short stories. One in particular called Brokeback Mountain. Yes, that movie that won awards was based on a short story. I had never seen the movie, and was I surprised to see that short story in her book. I am so glad I read it before seeing the movie. It was THE most powerful story I have ever read. When I read the last sentence, I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me, it was that good. Then I rented the movie and every line from the story is in the movie. Of course they had to embellish the home lives of these two cowboys so that the movie could go beyond 45 mins, but the two screen writers did a good job. One of the screenwriters was Larry McMurtry, who is one of my favorite writers. I HIGHLY recommend that you both read the story and see the movie, in that order . It was a powerful and poignant love story.
I am now almost halfway through Folly Beach by Karen White ( new author for me) , so I will be reviewing that in a week or two.

Spring is definitely in the air, so sooner than we think we will laying on the beach with a good book !! Peace.