Laughter in the Rain

Like so many summer days here in New England, our day started with sunshine and bright blue skies. But rather quickly, about 1 o’clock, the skies grew dark, the wind picked up and we had drenching rains. For about ten minutes! Then the sun shone and life was good.

I recalled growing up on Cape Cod. That type of weather was very common in the summer.

I remember being on the beach, with the sun shining, and all of a sudden a brief downpour would come. Tourists would be yelling and scrambling for their cars, grabbing their beach chairs and coolers, and I recall sitting there, in the rain, watching it all go by me.

I recall the song by Neil Sedaka, Laughter in the Rain, and thinking that this is how I felt, most of the time when caught in the summer rain. No worries, no cares. Just happiness in the warmth of the rain.

I wonder now, all these years later, why I lost that wonderful sense of adventure. When a summer rainstorm didn’t thrill me anymore? And I cannot recall.

All I know is, at sixty years old, I am so glad to have discovered summer rainstorms once again.

Oh, how I love the rainy days and the happy way I feel inside!

(Sorry Neil, I had to steal that wonderful phrase!)

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Coming Home

The best thing about going away on vacation is coming back home afterward. I’d been planning my trip to the beach for several months, and the day finally arrived and I managed my trip away with very little problems, save for a twisted ankle on the escalator in Atlanta.

My trip was so pleasant and restful and I cannot begin to tell you how much all that downtime did for me.

Eating fresh fish, cauliflower pizzas and watching action movies made the days pass so quickly, until I found myself on a plane, headed home, this morning.

It was a lovely day to fly, and I’d reserved window seats for both flights. I even got in half an hour early, which enabled me to catch the early bus back to New Hampshire!

There is something about flying to Boston Logan Airport. It’s my home airport. I know my way around and feel comfortable there.

And there was another special thing too. The Bus Driver is a great man, who I have ridden with previously.

Then I arrived at home, with my pups. All happy to see me! And of course, I was more than thrilled to see them!

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My time at the beach is proving to be amazingly refreshing. I do almost nothing that I don’t want to do and I sit quietly talking with my friend or watching a movie. I sleep soundly and barely wake until the morning has dawned. It’s been a while since I have done that.

It is hot here and very humid, so once again I have curls. I guess I cannot escape them.

We went to lunch yesterday to a cute Seafood Joint and we chummed around with some Pelicans and Cranes and Ibis.
20190608_144234They are quite the tourist draw and are used to people and very friendly. And, I swear they have all taken classes in posing for just the right tourist shot!

I am here for just a few more days before heading back home.

My Life, The Wonder Of It

There were so many special moments during our trip. There was a lot of talking, laughing and sharing. I looked at these three women, my sister, my daughter, and my cousin, and I realized how blessed we are to have each other. These are the women in my life that ground me, love me, and are there for me. Best of all, not only are we family, but we are friends!

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Look at your life, and ask yourself how many people in your life are you good around just being yourself, can joke with, and not worry about what the other person is thinking at that moment? You can just be your whacky self and find acceptance!

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We really enjoyed every moment, and no none of us gambled at all, although I kept seeing people walking around carrying flat screened TV’s only to learn they were holiday gifts for the High Rollers! Hmmm, perhaps there is a calling for me after all. Ha! I have never played cards well, and so I do not play. I did see an old-fashioned slot machine, and I was tempted but did not succumb.

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As Sunday ended and I climbed into my bed, I didn’t want to take off my Queen of the Day tiara, but I did, and although I am not wearing it now, in my mind I know it is still there!

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The next morning, we went to this great restaurant for breakfast. “Hash House A-Go-Go”! It was really fabulous, with country casual decor and an old fashioned diner-type menu.

20181119_091847I’d heard that their pancakes were amazing and decided to order the banana, brown sugar pancake. Mel got scrambled eggs and bacon, Janet got corned beef hash, and eggs and Amanda got eggs, and bacon. Mandy was good and ate her own food. Mel, Janet and I were all eating off each other’s plates. It’s been like that since the beginning of time, and so it goes! Take a look at this pancake!

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I have to tell you that this pancake was amazing! I love banana pancakes and this was like nothing I had ever had! It was so much better!

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As we were waiting I snapped this picture of Janet. She looked so beautiful and happy! Check out her pretty nails too!

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My beautiful sister with bunny ears! We love to joke around doing stuff like this!

Here is the view from our room at Mohegan Sun!

Yes, that white stuff is snow!

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Our time at Mohegan Sun ended all too soon. Melodie needed to get back to her life, just down the road in Connecticut, Mandy needed to get to work for a meeting, and Janet was assigned the task of driving me to Mandy’s house to get my car.

The best part of the end of our trip was the ride from the Casino up to Mandy’s Office, where the three of us were able to rehash all that had gone on.

Then after we dropped off Mandy, Janet and I were able to chit chat about things that were happening and talked about Thanksgiving, which will be spent at Mandy’s House.

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My three lovelies!  How lucky I am!

 

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Being Kidnapped

On Sunday, November 18th, I was instructed to arrive at Mandy’s House at 8:30 AM. I was also instructed to pack some dressy clothes for the evening and a bathing suit.

Odd combination, I thought, and a few weeks back when a friend of Mandy’s asked if I was doing anything special for my sixtieth Birthday, I mentioned the instructions.

“Oh, it sounds like a trip to the Wolf Cub Lodge”,  and so I thought we would go and play in the indoor water parks with the children.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at Mandy’s at exactly 8:29 AM and found her loading the car and telling the kids goodbye. I kissed Savannah and high fived Quinn and off we drove.

We drove down the highway and she said she had to stop at her office. I was excited to see where she works, even though it was Sunday. We pulled into the parking lot and there was exactly one car on the whole lot. And as we drew closer out popped my cousin, Janet!

Amanda’s car came to a stop and I jumped out and ran to hug my much-loved cousin!

She grabbed her case, and tossed it into Mandy’s car and off we went. I was chattering to Janet and not paying attention, but I remember thinking that we were heading into Boston for some interesting overnight there.

I talked and talked, because that’s what I do and the next time I looked at the road, we were in Worcester, MA! Absolutely the opposite direction from Boston.

I watched a little more thinking we were going to a Deli I love in Connecticut! However, we passed on by.

Then I saw a sign for Mohegan Sun. I knew that was a giant Native American Casino, and I was a little confused because I don’t gamble.

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We pulled up to the Valet and unloaded the car, and slowly walked into the Lobby. I stood looking around at all the crowded splendor and then I saw her. My sister, Melodie! Waiting for us, for me! How lucky am I?

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We immediately hit the Spa, as our room wasn’t ready yet, and I was stripped down, put in a soft robe with a crown, a Magic Wand, s shot glass proclaiming my 60-ness, and a button announcing to all, it was my 60th Birthday!

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First up for me was an hour long full body massage! Oh my goodness! Having never had a full body massage before, I felt it was amazing, and so relaxing! Time seemed to stand still and then it was over!

Next up was my mani/pedi. I enjoy those, and picked out a pink sparkly polish!

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After that was a very late lunch and finally, our room was ready and we went upstairs to settle in. We had a suite of rooms with two bedrooms, a living room, and two baths. I could get used to this!

I showered and did my hair and lamented at the difficulty of doing your hair when wearing a tiara. I wonder if the Queen and Princess Kate have special hair stylists to help them? I sort of decided that I would just have to make do.

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I wore my tiara to dinner and my button too.  People smiled at me and wished me a Happy Birthday, and a few times they were kind and told me I didn’t look 60 at all. Yes, true kindness!

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We had dinner at Bobby Flays and they had the most amazing food! We all enjoyed our meals but agreed that my stuffed eggs were better than Bobby’s.

20181118_193406Bobby Flays Stuffed Egg.

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After dinner, we went to this fantastic Bar for a drink and to enjoy the atmosphere. It was an amazing place.

 

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It was so much fun and such a cool view!

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This was all beamed onto the ceiling, but it was so realistic!

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My darling daughter, Amanda and me. How can I ever explain to you what a special woman my daughter is? She planned all of this, never let on and surprised me in every way. She loves me unconditionally and embraces my wackiness! I am so lucky, and she is such a blessing!

Tomorrow I will let you know what happened after the cocktails, but this is all for tonight!

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The Sandwich Fair – 2018

Yesterday my friend Karin and I went to the Sandwich Fair. Each year over the Columbus Day holiday weekend, this Country Fair is held. People put their best pies, cakes, cookies, jellies, jams, and loaves of bread into a contest to see who is the best Chef, and the kids in the 4-H program bring their livestock to be judged.

4-H is a global network of youth organizations whose mission is “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development”.

I spoke to many people who brought their animals to the event. But this one teenager captured my heart. As I was walking by her was lying down in the hay with his Bull (Cow).

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The Bull kept snuggling the boys neck and the boy would stroke his neck and cuddle with him. I asked how big the Bull was? The young man told me, quite proudly, that the Bull weighs 2500 pounds! That is one big Bull!

But, here was this enormous creature, who was loving and kind with his teenager. Such a beautiful picture!

Here is another Bull Cow. I thought that he also was quite handsome.

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I am actually a great lover of all farm animals. I look forward to going to these Fairs and to Zoos as well, so I can see them.

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Here is another young man with his team, getting ready for the “Log Pull”. He was so proud of his team.

They also had “Horse Pulls”, where teams of horses pull cement blocks. Not just any cement blocks, but very heavy cement slabs.

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I stood patting the soft nose of this magnificent creature. I enjoyed every moment and so did Karin.

We went into the area where they had Floral Arrangements, and there was a straw and flower arrangement depicting a horse and his saddle.

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The next photo was taken as we walked across a small footbridge. The leaves are just starting to change, and the stream was flowing along so beautifully.

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Yes, I met another new friend, this handsome young goat! I have always enjoyed goats.

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And lastly, I saw these weird goats with no ears. At first glance, I thought that the goat might have had an ear chewed off, but it turns out this is an actual breed of a goat! It’s called an American LaMancha Goat, that was first bred in California, by Faye Frey, in the early 1940’s.

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The Fair was a wonderful success and a great time for us, and those that attended. The weather yesterday was perfect and we were able to enjoy the event without becoming overheated. I also saw many local friends and their children and grandchildren. This is part of the joy and fun of a local Country Fair!

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Fort Monroe

Saturday found us up early, off to breakfast with Jim and Geraldine and then we got in the car and headed to Fort Monroe, VA. Many years ago, when Jim and Gerry were first married, Jim was stationed there. So our trip to the converted Fort Monroe was a walk down memory lane for them.

Back in the early 1960’s Fort Monrow was still an Army installation. Now it is a National Monument. There is so much history there, so I will share this Wiki-Link so those interested can go and read about its illustrious history. Here are some pictures I took.

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For many, many years, Fort Monroe was an important part of America’s defenses. During the Civil War, the Island jail contained Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

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Jefferson Davis’s cell.

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All of this added to the strife after The Civil War, but in the end, Jefferson Davis lived to be a very old man, well into his 80’s and free of all charges. It somehow doesn’t seem right, for all the blood that was shed, and the young lives lost in the Civil War.

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Me with Jack at Fort Monroe.

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Geraldine and Jim!

The day was absolutely perfect. Low humidity and warm temperatures. The best day of our entire stay. I’m so glad we spent most of it outside.

It’s late on Saturday now and I need to post this and pack the laptop. This really has been a great trip.

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Otters, Caribous, and Beavers, Oh My!

Friday our group went to Ft. Eustis, and the US Army Transportation Museum. It was a wonderful place and we saw so much.

Fort Eustis is a United States Army installation near Newport News, Virginia. In 2010, it was combined with nearby Langley Air Force Base to form Joint Base Langley–Eustis. The post is the home to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, and also home to the U.S. Army Aviation Logistics School.

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We had a full tour of the Army Base, and then we were brought tot he Officers Club for lunch. It was a beautiful building, so nicely appointed and we enjoyed a nice lunch.

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After lunch, we went to the area where the Army Helicopters and planes were kept for display. Then guys got to see their much loved and cherished fixed wing, Otters, Caribous, Beavers and U8D Seminole (Commonly known as a Twin Beech). Jack flew all but the Seminole. Below are photos of some of the planes.

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The Beaver

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The Beaver Aircraft & my friend, Betty.

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The Otter.

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A short blurb on the Otter Aircraft.

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The Men who flew and worked on the Caribou Aircraft.

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It was wonderful to see the aircraft that my husband flew during his Army days. All the men and women on the tour smiled broadly while visiting these old friends.

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Our day ended by going out with our friends to a Crab Shack for dinner. It was so good! We enjoyed this meal, but most important we enjoyed spending the time with Jim and Geraldine.

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Norfolk & The Chesapeake

On Thursday we all met for breakfast before boarding buses and going to the McArthur Museum. Douglas McArthur was one of our great military leaders during WW II and the Korean War. His steady leadership saved many lives and encouraged peace.

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The tomb of Douglas McArthur and his wife Jean.

After that, we cruised the Chesapeake Bay to look at the ships both active duty and retired of the USA. There were also many shipyards that dry-dock ships for renovation.

There was a lovely meal served as we cruised and thankfully we had no rain despite the gray skies. And wow was it humid and hot!

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These are ships that are now in permanent dockage.

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This huge ship was in dry dock to be retrofitted and cleaned and painted.

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In the evening we had a Buffet Welcome Dinner and after our show was a wonderful man who sang Frank Sinatra Songs. He was really great and we all sang and enjoyed his performance.

Tomorrow is another busy day with a trip to Fort Eustace. Pictures and information to follow. We’re having a really great time and seeing old friends is always so much fun and so special!