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.




Busy Days

We spent last weekend on Long Island, staying with good friends. The main aim was to be part of a wedding on Sunday 6/7. But we also fitted in a dinner at our favorite restaurant with 6 friends, a lunch by our host for 6 other friends, a barbecue with 3 friends… after all that we needed a day of rest! While I visited two other friends, Marian rested, and later that day we attended the rehearsal dinner/BBQ for the wedding party. Sunday morning we took our host friends to the church we attended before leaving LI, and in the afternoon were part of the lovely wedding of a beautiful young woman we had known since she was a teenager. What a joy, on a perfect summer afternoon in June!

Back on Monday to our now “real world” in NH, we were awoken today by heavy equipment in our front yard as our septic system remediation began! Now we have an expensive large hole where our front lawn was. Tomorrow new leach-field chambers will be installed, and by Friday it will all be be graded and re-seeded! We made a trip to Concord to purchase a new stairlift that will take Marian to the second floor of our home, after she has managed a month of laborious stair-climbing. She is delighted, and only sorry that it will take another week for the lift to be installed!

Meanwhile more boxes have been emptied, and the (back) lawn needs mowing again. We expect our first guests this weekend, and have been working to make the walk-out basement level and its “spare room” ready. Today’s investment was in a dehumidifier! We are delighted to have guests coming, which will next week include our older son and his woman-partner coming up from Brooklyn. A little more shopping for extra storage units has allowed Marian to get her sewing area on the second floor ready for use.


Hanging flower baskets now adorn the deck. We have had a couple of 80deg days, and soon it will be the “official” start of summer, which in this area seems to be on schedule with the weather (unlike Long Island, where Memorial Day really does seem to start the summer!) A busy week or so, but much accomplished, and a real feeling of being “at home” has crept into our lives.

We are very grateful.