Monthly Archives: October 2013



Last year at this time there were a lot of boarded-up homes around here, making it resemble a movie set for a haunted Halloween production. But it wasn’t a movie set…it was real.  The skies were dark.  The clouds were brewing.1026121323a_0001

Last year I would often take my dog Bella down to the end of the next block to walk around a mini-park and relax peacefully in a gazebo peering out over the calming waters of the Barnegat Bay.0711120833a

Last year I was nervous and stressed out, wondering where I would go when I evacuated…how I would pack up my pets and what I would do if when I returned, the place I called home was no more.

Last year the threat of Sandy hung heavy in the air.

This year there are no boarded-up homes. The sun is shining.  The weather is still warmish. The park where I took Bella?  Destroyed.  The gazebo? Gone…washed out to sea.  Some people have left that area…others are rebuilding.  Today I have a place to call home, and my pets lounge and snooze comfortably around me. So many others…not so much.sandy 2

I stopped by a Jersey shore town last weekend and took a ride down a street that led to the bay.  I caught my breath at what the area still looks like.  So many abandoned homes. Neighborhoods in ruin. Temporary trailer parks filled to capacity.  Homes boarded up.  It looked like, again, the movie set for a haunted Halloween production.  But it was real.  It sent chills down my spine to think that for so many people it’s still not over.  And although the sun is shining, it’s still dim and grim. It’s still a battleground.

As the anniversary date approaches of the hit of Sandy on the Jersey shore, I can’t help but to reflect on how different life was just a year ago at this time.  And how many changes have occurred since then…how many things have been destroyed, how many people are still suffering. It makes you sad and mad all at the same time.  I can’t imagine how the people in the flux of it all cope. But it is the bravery of these wounded warriors that I keep forefront in my remembrance of this horrible tragedy.  The tenacity in their persistence to rebuild.  To stay.  To not let this ugly event destroy them, even though so much of what they had was.  Their strength.  Their dexterity.  All the words in the vocabulary that mean tough and brave and admirable. That’s what these Jerseyans are.

They call Sandy a super storm, but she doesn’t deserve the adjective “super.” There was nothing “super” about it except the super mess it left in its wake.  Sandy just blows.

What is super?  The people of New Jersey…their super hearts, their super souls, their super “up yours” attitude that keeps them tough and strong in the face of adversity. That’s the definition of super. Thumbs up to these super heroes!



I am, with good reason, not all that anxious to get back into the dating game.  It’s been many moons since I’ve had a first date.  Most of the time I’m pretty content being alone, but there are times when solitaire leaves a lot to be desired.  Let’s just say that I’ve known lonely. Fact is, I haven’t really met anyone who sparks that little indescribable something that makes a heart go pitter pat.  Sometimes I feel like I’m at the end of my romance rope, and things like that are over for me.  It wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen.

But I have to admit that I hope, at times, that I would just naturally meet someone across a crowded room.  My daughters insist that only happens in the movies and not in the “real world.” I admit that I watch way too many romantic comedies involving Tom Hanks. So my girls kept pushing me to go on a dating website that will remain nameless.  I only reluctantly agreed because it was offering a cheap one-month special wherein I had nothing to lose.  What was I thinking?!?dating

At first there were a lot of over-seventy types trying to throw me a line.  I mean, I know old age is catching up with me, but I don’t want it crawling all over me, too! One of them was an Aristotle Onassis-type in gold sunglasses and jewelry sprawled across his very large boat/yacht in a very small swimsuit (gag) calling me Princessa. Another looked close to eighty with huge old-fashioned glasses and a ball cap inscribed with “FBI” sitting in a recliner in a rumpled shirt. Wow, hold me back!  But, mister, really, there’s a new invention called an iron…especially if you’re posing for a picture meant to attract the opposite sex!  Still another put a succession of photos up insisting that although he was 75, his friends said he looked 55 (not by these pictures, buddy) and that “everything” was in working order.  (Are you kidding me…I mean, seriously?!)  I guess to them I am considered the younger woman, which is flattering in a way, or pathetic in another, depending on the way you look at it, or maybe they’re just looking for a future caregiver in more ways than  one.  Maybe if I were attracted to someone around that age, it wouldn’t be an issue.  But really?!?

There were a couple of “age appropriate” gentlemen (term used lightly) who messaged me, but I just wasn’t that into them.  There was a flirty man who had his dog talk for him since I am animal lover, but when I messaged him back with my dog doing the talking, I never heard from him again.  Yes, it is all weird, trust me.  Recently, actually the day before this one-month special deal was ending, I finally had two men simultaneously email me whom I found interesting.  One was attractive in a sweet way, who had kind eyes and looked harmless.  The second was a hot dog posting 15 narcissistic pictures of himself in various poses along with his motor cycle and bike and wearing various outfits from swimsuits to Halloween costumes.  The latter I recognized as a local professional whom I’ve dealt with.  He didn’t seem to recognize me, which is good.  But his emails were quirky, and I couldn’t help but quirk back. Then, since he was also new on this website, he asked me how I was doing on it…meaning how’s the action?  Am I weird, or is that a stupid question to ask someone you might be interested in?  Heh, how’re you going here?  Is it full of action?  Do you think I can get some? (Ah, bye, bye, Birdie, on your not-so-hot motorcycle.)

The other kind-faced guy seemed warm and welcoming and innocent.  “Oh, why not?”  I decided after he had emailed me a few times, and I hadn’t answered.  I finally sent him a brief “getting to know you” email.  The next morning I got an email from him,  “Heh, thanks for the phone call.  Sorry I missed you, but I was outside working on my house, so please call me again and leave your number, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Ah, excuse me, but  I didn’t call you,  and you didn’t give me your number, not that I wanted it, knucklehead. You should try to keep your women straight, OK?!  I didn’t actually use those words, but when I sent him an “Oops” email that I wasn’t the one who called he wrote back, “I guess it was just wishful thinking that it would be you :).”  (Yes, he actually did put a smiley face at the end of the sentence.  Mr. Smooth, right?) Watch out for those innocent-looking ones…

Maybe I’m just plain gun shy, but I decided to delete the account.  I’m content, for now, to just keep looking across a crowded room.

P.S.  Sorry for the overuse of air quotes…it’s better than expletives :).



In the wee small hours of the morning…when the whole wide world is fast asleep…


My favorite place…

That’s the time I like to sit out on the deck, breathing deeply and taking in the quiet and the still of the new1006130707 day rising.  I look upon the water; it is as smooth as glass with nary a ripple. The surrounding homes are dark…everyone seems to be in slumber.  The sun has not yet begun to rise and the moon has yet to say good night. The hazy fog is thick and damp as it hangs heavily in the air. It’s just me in the quiet with only the chirping of a few crickets. It’s my favorite time of day. That’s the time I think about things or try not to think about things.  I sip on a hot cup of coffee in my favorite mug, and as the steamy nectar warms me, I realize that for this moment in time, all is right in the world.  I’m full of hope and wonder what good things the day has in store for me.  I pray for those I love and ask God’s blessings on them.  “Please guide them and keep them safe,” I whisper.  I mention my worries and ask for advice. I read my daily devotionals and try to find the message and meanings and inspiration for my life.  I read a few lines from the Good Book. Sometimes something unique will come to mind…direction…an answer…or just plain silence to figure it out on my own.

Soon the dawn is breaking in brilliant hues of pink and blue. The dazzling rays of the sun pierce the darkness and cast warmth upon my skin. The moon fades in the distance, bowing to the new day.  My cup is empty; my books are closed.  I am ready for today.




According to Wikipedia, an Indian summer is a heat wave that occurs in the autumn.  It refers to a period of above-normal temperatures (70 degrees), accompanied by dry and hazy conditions, usually after there has been a killing frost.  The North American Indians – native Americans – depended upon periods of fine, quiet, sunny weather at this time of year to complete their harvest to see them through the winter. Thus, the name.

We in the Northeast section of the United States happen to be in the middle of a gorgeous Indian summer right now. These are perfect beach days with comfortably warm temperatures and sunny blue skies, not that I’ve had time to go to the beach. As the massive flocks of birds fly overhead as if they were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, heading for the South for winter, they seem to pause to rest on our electrical lines.  Maybe they’re a little confused about whether to come or go since the weather is beautifully comfortable right here, right now.  And although I enjoy all things autumn including chilly sweater days, apples and pumpkin picking for pies and the return to hardy meals of soup, chili and stews, I have to say that I’m enjoying this last burst of summer before the cold sets in.

The Birds!

The Birds!

As kids, my Mom used to have us looking forward to the warm days of Indian Summer as if it were a magical happening like a blue moon or eclipse.  Why?  I’m not really sure.  But she had us anticipating this enchanting time of year as if it were Christmas.  “I wonder when Indian summer will come?” she used to say. “We won’t put the summer clothes away quite yet because Indian summer is coming soon.” On and on she went. And as we trudged off to school in our heavy sweaters, we knew that the special unseasonably warm days were coming when we’d be able to wear our shorts and summer clothes for one more brief time. Sort of like a last hurrah.  Looking back I guess it was kind of weird.

Eventually the chill of autumn and then winter will return. But I still look forward to Indian summer like a kid, and now that it’s happening, I can’t help but think of my Mom and how much she loved it. I’ll never be sure of why and for what reason she loved it so much since she’s been gone for quiet some time. But in any case, it’s a warm reminder of her.

My Mom

My Mom