Being without electricity has been interesting. Now at a nearby Starbucks shamelessly taking our turn to recharge cell and apple devices. Loving that the place is crowded with chatting friends and neighbors. Best of all, no one is wearing make up and no one is self concious about it. Frizzy hair in buns, baseball caps and barely disguised pajamas rule.

We love the ocean so much. The sounds, scent and power is magic. Today I've been drawn to YouTube videos of how the shores looked today in anticipation of Irene. Here is an interesting one - and I am going to research what that foam is...

Spinning too fast

HIP_336006556.990319 by lemonbubbles
I am not feeling like a happy lemon today. We are preparing for Hurricane Irene. Keep in mind that we live in New York but far enough away so that we are not in any real danger. Mr. Lemon did a fine job of moving the deck furniture and grill yesterday. We have plenty of water, candles and food on hand if the worst happens and we have no electricity for awhile. I trust him completely when he insists we have more than enough batteries. We have a handy dandy list with suggestions like filling the bathtub with water in case you need it to flush toilets. Hope we don't need that one. So this morning I woke up early to exercise and finished tucking my roses, herbs and plants out of the way to avoid being stripped of all leaves by the fierce winds we seem to get with big storms around here.
I am feeling out of sorts. Thinking about baking pumpkin bread before we are tossed into the unknown. As much as I longed for summer, I am really looking forward to Fall. Crisp apples and Halloween. Why do we always look forward to the next thing, the next season, the next event or the next milestone? Why is it so hard to stay in the present and not force the world to rush by so fast? Think I will meditate before the menfolk rise for the day. I need to find a way to look forward to a Hurricane. Sheesh.

Leave Negativity Behind

We recently made a day trip to a Native American Indian festival.
Within an hour Monkey realised we would not be purchasing him a real,
hand crafted arrow (They were really sharp!) and his interest level dropped
considerably. It was a fun afternoon yet the best part was this sign
posted at the entrance:

 Monkey thought this was unfair and worried about all the negative
people who don't know better and wouldn't get to visit the festival.
So sweet.

The ironic part was that the festival itself included an overall theme of suffering at the hands of the federal government. I know it happened and I cringe to call this out as having a poor attitude (Maybe that sounded negative. I swear I have Cherokee in my gene pool somewhere - does this give me a pass?).  I realise that people are still blaming the federal government for most everything - and I include myself as a sometime critic. Sadly, it's easier to complain about what "other" people are doing rather than to inject some positive energy into the mix.

This human trait applies to most areas of our life. Personally, I could find something wrong with just about anything. There. I said it. Or typed it. Unfortunately, I am not alone as most of us seem to have a default button stuck on negative. It's a personal choice to be a happy, positive person who looks for the benefits to any given situation. So - although I could have lived without seeing the Irish guy dressed in a loin cloth eating barbecue at a picnic table,  I just thought...good for you guy. You are willing to really put yourself out there and have a fun day playing dress up as an American Indian. He was a good example of what it means to live in the moment and not care about what other people are thinking. I think he must have read the sign.

Hermit Crabs

We visited a Connecticut beach last weekend and came home with an unexpected visitor - a Marine Hermit Crab. He had lots of cousins but they lucked out and got to stay behind. You can see how small they are in the picture above. Although against taking him/her from its natural habitat, I was outvoted. Nearly a week later and I am the only one still interested. Its the guilt - I need to keep him alive so that we can make the drive back to release him this coming weekend. It has to stay in sea water and so far I know that it is not groovy about anything other than tiny pieces of shrimp.

We are definitely not ready for a dog.

Keeping Time

I have come to detest clocks. It has gotten so bad that I even avoid wearing a watch if possible (I use my phone to tell time if needed). They are a constant reminder of what I have failed to accomplish - or what I must rush towards.

Time itself - I love. I can make a single minute drag into thirty simply by living in that moment. My most favorite example is on Sunday mornings when we are all snuggled into a pile like puppies and no one has suggested pancakes for breakfast yet.

At work, time moves like lightening, leaving me longing for one more hour to get just one more thing accomplished, one more person to touch base with. I am grateful for this feeling because it makes the work day and week fly by.

I remember always wishing to be older...when I was younger. Now I feel just right. As if these are the best years. The ones I furiously try to lock down in the memory banks so that I can pull them out like treasured baubles when I am 90 and these days have passed like water over sand. And so I pledge to enjoy each second. To linger on the details of each treasured moment and each painful lesson. It's all about keeping time - even if we never truly own it.

Boys versus Girls

I have a friend with three lovely, interesting little girls. They are holy terrors at times ( aka missing a nap or upset with one another) but they more than make up for it with their sweet and lively dispositions. With that said, I am very happy with my only son - although a recent incident has me questioning the long term effects of a testosterone imbalanced household.

Earlier this week my sleepy child crawled into our bed and blinked at me as I was preparing for work and he waited for me to turn on his favorite morning television program. Pausing in my tracks, I stood at the foot of the bed and mouthed "I love you", replete with gestures and goofy smile. My son smiled back and nodded his acknowledgment of the message before silently mouthing the following words: "Find Sponge Bob".

I burst out laughing and he joined in. "Mommy, I love your laugh." he tells me.

He may not like to shop with me (and I am pretty sure we will never get our nails done together) but he still manages to say the right thing even when it is not how I expect it.

Friendships at Starbucks

This week marks the sad and tragic end of two valued relationships. Not to the hereafter – my favorite baristas just decided to quit their jobs with Starbucks.
Teresa and Carol (not their real names) both started working for my local Starbucks six years ago. We first met when I came in with my newborn, looking for a quiet place I could be out of the house without committing to crowds or to conversations I was too exhausted to hold up. They admired him in hushed whispers and gave me space and light conversation with a decaf latte - exactly what I needed in that moment.

Fast forward to the first day of Kindergarten. I had left Monkey happily exploring the world without the slightest concern that I was not part of it. Very little clinging or gratifying declarations that he could never leave my side. The turncoat sauntered in eagerly and even encouraged me to “just go Mommy” when I took too long to take my leave. I was perfectly calm as I drove to Starbucks to wait to pick him up. I was perfectly calm as I stood in line for my turn at the counter. Then Teresa recognized me and asked how Monkey’s first day of Kindergarten had gone. I burst into tears.

Not that ladylike welling of tears that trickle gracefully down one’s cheeks in the movies. No. In front of about 20 people, I burst into the sobs of a mad woman, replete with runny nose and ugly facial expressions. Horrified and unable to control my reaction, I covered my face with both hands and wondered how to navigate the displays of Tazo tea and coffee cups in a lunatic dash to the front door.

Instead, I was smothered in hugs from Teresa, Carol and even a couple of strangers. It was shocking and yet I accepted the comfort in a way that my more formal personality would not usually have found comfortable. They got me water and told me stories about their own children’s first day of Kindergarten. They had strangers sharing the same. They made me a cinnamon dolce latte with skim milk and made me less embarrassed at my social gaffe. They were warm and supportive and exactly what I needed in that moment.

There have been hundreds of other moments. The mornings when the lack of caffeine prevents me from making a coherent order. Those are the mornings when all I have to do is nod at a recommendation and nothing else is required of me accept payment. For all the world, they made my local Starbucks into a version of Sam’s bar in the TV show, Cheers. They knew everyone by first name and, though we didn’t always know each other, we all knew a lot about Teresa and Carol from stories they would share about their own families and lives. Our favorite baristas connected us as a community in a way that brick and mortar cannot –they were the friends of a friend that magically create a network of friendly acquaintances.

I’ve come to realize that I have enjoyed a wonderful, low maintenance (no compromising on how we spend our time together or expectations of how long), high yielding (I always get great coffee!) friendships with these women. My two favorite baristas will be missed. All I can hope for is that we will run into each other from time to time. I know that when it happens I’ll be sure to invite them for a cup of coffee. My treat.