Time To Say Goodbye


This is the last post to A New Hampshire Journal. March 4 we packed the RV and followed our movers south towards a new home on eastern Long Island, NY – not so much “new” to us, as we spent 17 years there before retiring in 2012 and moving north, first to ME and then to the NH Lakes region. It has been great, but we are ready for something easier – a retirement community on Long Island. So with thanks and great memories of our NH “lakeside home,” we bid you farewell! Maybe there will be a new “Island blog” in the future. But here it’s almost Spring already, and leaving the NH snows was not too hard!

Fall Flies By

September flew by, and Summer turned to Fall – very quickly!

If you have lived long near the ocean, where the water buffers the falling temperature and extends mild weather from September though November, it’s a shock to live inland and discover how rapidly it gets cold! Our first brush with chilly air – the kind that makes you say “no more beach days” – came in the second week of August. Of course there have been warm days since then; it reached 80deg in the last week of September. But now we are in the upper 30s overnight, some sheltered areas have had their first frost, and the daytime highs are in the mid-50s. The temperature and the dew-point have dropped 15-20 degrees in a few weeks.

But the rewards of living in the north country are well known.  Glorious Fall colors! With an abundance of maples, beeches and sumac, we are treated to wonderful displays of yellow, gold and scarlet in the trees.DSC_0061  And there are misty mornings on the lakes! DSC_0060

The local farm stands are full of pumpkins, corn, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and squashes. The winery is recruiting volunteers to pick grapes. We are enjoying “the best weeks of the year” around here, and we love our view across the lake.

A wedding in late September gave us another excuse to return to Long Island. It was like going to Florida – warm, humid, green, with people in shorts going to the beach! But we love to keep up with our NY friends. They excelled themselves once again; every day there was a lunch or dinner gathering, or both! Pot-lucks, dinners, lunches, the wedding reception, an afternoon at a local winery – after 5 days we were filled, happy and tired! DSC_0024 We visited a horse-rescue farm, and launched a balloon over LI Sound in memory of a dear friend. IMG_0025 - Version 2   We topped off the visit with a trip into Brooklyn to see our older son and his new apartment.

Now we sense that here, Fall will rapidly change into Winter. At church, our choir director was handing out Advent anthems! In a few weeks the lake will freeze and we will have our first snow. So the RV has been winterized, today the furnace will be cleaned, and deck furniture, canoes and kayak will be have to be stored before the storms blow in off the lake. Where summers are warm and winters cold, Fall is a time of rapid change!

Oh  yes, I am starting a part-time job later this week, and will be leaving home at 5:30am! I will need wool socks and long-johns very soon!





A Feast of Friendship

Marian and I celebrated our 49th Wedding Anniversary ten days ago. When I asked her where she would like to go to celebrate, she said “Long Island.” It’s almost a year since we left the island, and much as we love our new home in the New Hampshire Lakes Region, we left many friends behind on Long Island. 18 years in one place (the longest I have lived anywhere) will do that to you, especially if you are as deeply involved in people’s lives as a pastor and wife are. So we went back for a few days, staying with our good friends Loretta and Neil in their lovely and spacious home (with pool!).

We had a feast of friendship! Thursday evening was dinner with six friends at our favorite restaurant – Desmond’s at the East Wind Hotel. We ate and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company for hours. On Friday morning Loretta invited the seven members of Marian’s “Yada-Yada Sisters” sharing and prayer group to meet around her dining table, followed by a typically-Loretta lunch. Friday evening was pizza with another old friend.

Saturday dawned sunny and warm, and seven of us set off in two cars for a winery tour on the North Fork. Picnic lunch was at Laurel Lakes winery, where over a hundred people were enjoying a perfect late summer day at picnic tables surrounding the tasting bar on the edge of the vineyard. DSC_0054

Then we moved on to Castello di Borghese Vineyard, where our old friend Marguerite was singing that day. Did we surprise her! DSC_0059 DSC_0057

The final stop of the afternoon was Macari Vineyards in Cutchogue, where we met up with Diane’s son and daughter-in-law, and Kris’s daughter.  DSC_0064

We returned to Loretta and Neil’s tired and happy, enjoyed a light supper, and retired early to bed! Sunday morning we took our hosts to the local Lutheran church where Marian and I worshipped for many months before we left LI. The afternoon was perfect for a swim! DSC_0037

Monday morning we packed and headed for Orient Point and the ferry back to CT, and a peaceful drive home to NH. What a happy four days! Thank God for good friends made over 16 years on LI. Our lives are bound together by ties of love and faith, and by the many deep experiences we shared – weddings, funerals, serious illnesses and surgeries. We will always be friends who are at ease with one another and can pick up conversations where we left off months before. We may now be separated by miles, but our hearts will never be.