Sunday, May 24, 2009

Floating Away

This weekend, we did something we've been talking about for at least two years. We bought a pair of kayaks. This was on the top of our "as soon as we move to Long Island" list, but it took us 21 months to get it done. While we bought two, we only came home with one as Aaron picked a color that was out of stock. So his will be delivered in a couple of weeks. That means that for now, any kayaking will be solo.

I've always spent a lot of time around water. I've logged countless hours in a canoe. But, my kayak experience is limited to a couple of occasions where we rented them for half a day or so. Where we live on Long Island, we are less than a mile from a harbor which opens up onto the sound in one direction, and an extensive wetlands in the other. So I don't have to travel far for a little kayak excursion.
We took the boat down to the harbor yesterday and each of us took a turn taking it out for about an hour and a half. The water safety instinct that has been ingrained in me said "out in a boat alone? Not a good idea..." But, I know that paddling alone is not uncommon, and true evaluation of the situation made it a no brainer. Lifejacket, close to shore, flat I agreed.

I may have a new passion. Since moving here, I have become so accustomed to being alone that I had no issue paddling off by myself. Company is not a necessity. And once I was out on the water, it was so still and beautiful, and interesting that the time flew by. I could glide by the edge of the grasses and get much closer to the egrets feeding along the shore. I'm going to have to practice stealth kayaking....I still spook them. I saw a heron take flight and an oyster catcher on the shore and a big horseshoe crab swam by. I paddled around a little island inhabited only by birds. It's protected for terns and plovers and I saw both. It's going to take me a little time to get up the nerve to take a camera out with me. And now I know why I hung on to my older model when I can be designated my boat equipment. I'm looking forward to exploring the shoreline from the water, getting another perspective. If anything will help me embrace living here...maybe, this is it.

This is a map of the harbor with the general route of my first outing inked in. There's still a lot to explore right in the back yard.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Playing Favorites

What I enjoy most about spring is watching my perennials reemerge. I welcome the return of color to the world and I like to see them thrive and fill with blooms as they get well established. I think of them as "mine" and when they come up, I feel reconnected with the earth. The sad part is that very few stay around as long as I would like, but as we move through the season, I have a series of favorites I look forward to.

Right now, one of my favorites is blooming full force. I absolutely LOVE columbine. They can be found in such a variety of colors and I love how they dangle at the end of slender stems. In PA, I primarily had purple columbines but here, I've been putting in more pink/red. They are exquisite and each day I go out to enjoy them. Like many spring flowers, the blooming season is too brief. I will miss them when they're gone.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009

Well, the blog every day thing was good for the week that it lasted. I am stretched to the limit to have anything to blog about. I don't seem able to just pour my heart out like I once did. So, I look at each day, and consider the "highlights" to evaluate their blog-worthiness and think....whatever. I've been posting more frequently in my photoblog. I guess I've felt like, if I can't say it in a picture it's probably not worth saying.

Actually, there have been a few things going on. Most notably, I spent last weekend in Pennsylvania at my neighbor's house. I went to a fantastic solo Hornsby performance with the woman who now owns my house (Hi Kate!) While I was in Allentown, I caught up with a couple of other friends and my old shrink (we can be friends now). Janet and I went out to an Amish farm to buy garden we did each spring when I was living there. It was an annual sojourn for us. This farm specializes in a wide variety of pepper plants and all kinds of heirloom tomatoes. Aaron wants a tomato garden this year, so I chose a few different types for him. I've been seeing various articles about growing tomatoes upside down from a hanging basket. So I also selected three types of heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes and I'm giving that a try this year. I'd really like to have yummy little tomatoes right outside the back door.

I helped Janet put out the weed cloth in her garden so she could get her plants in the ground. It felt so right to be working along side of her doing something we both have always enjoyed. I was thinking of working in my own garden across the street. It was alway such a big job for one person. I was enjoying working with her so much I couldn't help but think, why didn't we combine our efforts when I was across the street and share the labor and the produce? We both looked out for each other's gardens if one of us traveled over the summer. When I shared the thought with her, we both could only shake our heads at the now lost opportunity.

The entire weekend was sort of like being in a dream...or maybe more like coming out of a dream. Everything was so familiar and most of it was completely natural to me. I was driving the same car on the same roads....everything looks basically the same. But then I'd drive up my street and I couldn't turn left into the driveway and pull into the garage. Instead, I pulled up in front of Janet's house like I needed to make a quick stop before I going home. Then, I never went home.

Everywhere I went, I felt like it was my routine. But I had a nagging little voice in the back of my head saying "don't let yourself believe you're're not."

It might sound like torture, but it's not quite that bad. It is a mixed emotion experience. Some peace and some pain. I did feel more like myself than I ever do in NY. I'm still a fish out of water here.

I returned to NY on Sunday and my family reunited for a mother's day dinner. Arielle had gone to PA with me and Aaron took Joel and Adrienne out to Chicago to see his mom. They had a great time and she really LOVED having them there. This was the second time that he's done this...taken the kids to his mom on mother's day. I'm glad he does, she sees so little of them and it means a lot to her.

Monday, was again like being in a dream...or just waking up from one. I went about my life here and by now it's all fairly familiar, but this time, there was no comfort in that familiarity. I see my old life as if through a mist. I want this to be the dream...and to wake up and be home. But, this is the reality. The dream cannot exist.