Anne Notations

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday afternoon roundup

I got a little derailed from my Blessings posts, but will resume. Meanwhile, I have been:

1) Vacationing. Two weeks' worth, here at home. The first week we had amazing weather, mostly sunny and clear but not too hot. I got a good tan (I know; tans are bad), slept late some days, decompressed from the spring crunch at work, and finished reading some books. I did find it weird and lonely to be home for two weeks without Michael. Even when we don't go away on vacation, we usually do some fun day-trips together. Next year.

2) Driving. On Wednesday I drove about an hour to Mystic, CT, to meet Internet friends Di and Don, from Ontario, who were visiting her mother in Connecticut. It was our first face-to-face meetup but, as I said to them over lunch, we've "known" each other for so long online, I really didn't feel any strangeness at all. They are lovely folks and I was so happy we could get together.

The latter is especially true because we all suffer from variants of anxiety disorder. Ten years ago, such a get-together would have been impossible or at least highly fraught. Last week Di bravely pushed through her crippling agoraphobia to come to CT and see her family. Ten years ago I would not have been driving on any highway whatsoever; it was one of the chief phobias caused by my panic disorder.

I used to creep along at 55 mph, max, due to my highway phobia.

So it is certainly a blessing that I drove, alone, on 95 South to Mystic, just as I can now drive to Boston and back, as I did for several concerts this past year. I took photos to document my drive this time, given the occasion – a mini-convention of people who battle anxiety!

3) Reading: Just read and enjoyed two novels by Dani Shapiro recommended by fellow bookworm Cheryl; am finishing Terrorist by John Updike, and took four more books out of the library this morning. Time to read is pure joy.

4) Gardening: The sugar-snap pea harvest is dwindling to an end, and the first several cherry-sized orange tomatoes ripened this week – sweet as sugar. Thanks to the rainiest July on record here, the gardens are lush and towering. Heavy rains break the stems of my roses frequently, but I just cut the blossoms and bring them inside for the kitchen counter.

5) Taking photographs. There have been so many splendid evening skies – not necessarily sunsets, although a few of those, too. Impressive cloud formations... stark contrasts of white against black or steel gray ... clouds reflected on the surface of the waves.

6) Riding my bike! Short rides around the area are all I can manage right now, but it feels great to glide along and see the sights from a bike seat.

7) Cooking. I made gazpacho yesterday, and we can smell the rich aroma of a Browned-Butter Banana-Chocolate Bundt Cake in the oven at the moment. I stumbled upon a great food blog, Bunny's Warm Oven, and copied a bunch of recipes from it. Lime-cilantro chicken is in our near future, too.

8. Eating: fresh cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, blueberries in abundance. This is the best time of year for my favorite fruits.

9. Worrying about my Aunt Jo, who has cancer and just fell and broke a leg. My brother and I had planned to visit her yesterday, but her fall put the kibosh on that trip for now. She is our last close relative in that generation. My maternal grandfather's cousin (second cousin, I think: my mom's generation) just died out in Colorado last month. My grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and other deceased relatives live so vividly in my memories and dreams, I sometimes feel as if I can feel or hear them. Whether it's an actual presence of their [soul/energy/plug in your own term] or just the imparted glow of memory, I am strengthened by knowing they love me.

10. Being invited to dinner with friends tonight at a swanky country club. Not something we get to do often! Time to get out of the shorts and tank and sneakers and into something feminine for a change.

I loved watching this little girl doing a happy dance/prance on the rocks at the beach. Click on the photo to see it larger:


  • Sounds like a great time. I had to do a double take on that photo of the Mystic freeway sign, and the Honda CRV that was ahead of you--that's my car! Well, it's the same make, model, color (and probably year) as my car. And we were just in Mystic last weekend with my bio-dad. Synchronicity. Strange thing. Enjoy your last day of vacay.

    By Anonymous Katherine Hinds, at Sun Jul 26, 08:40:00 AM EDT  

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