Becoming Brynna

We pull into the parking lot of the Old Saybrook train station. "Oh no!" I moan, looking at the full lot. "We'll never find a parking spot." Rosemary reminds me that when we first got together, I used to visualize parking spaces for her. She is right. Why have I become so pessimistic in my old age? I try my old visualization skills. It works! As we round the last corner, a parking space appears. ... [Click on TItle to read more]

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Alpha Prime and Me

I hate the Newark Airport. Well, I kind of hate all airports. Airports are places designed, I am convinced, to remind me of my obsolescence.  We stop for breakfast at a restaurant on the way to our gate. I hesitate. The last time I ate in this restaurant, I left in tears because of what I saw as the dehumanization of society. There aren’t many options for better eating. We go in and sit down. After getting some help submitting our breakfast requests on the IPad, we face each other across the table. But all I can see of Rosemary is the top of her head. The IPad on which we place our orders flashes ads, opportunities for reading different papers, watching trailers for movies, playing games, and ordering more food. It is too distracting for me, and I try to shut it off, but all I can get is a screen that shows my own eyes staring back at me. I peer around the screen to see Rosemary. “What did you order?” I ask, since I can not see her plate. [Click on title to read the rest of the post.]

Cancer Redux

Rosemary’s cancer has recurred and is in her lymph nodes. We learned of the diagnosis on our second day of vacation in Maine. We returned immediately to the city for three weeks of doctor appointments, tests, and--even more stressful—waiting for test results. We cry, we laugh, we hold each other, we anguish at what lies ahead. She did everything right the first time; this is not fair. With each test result, we exult or sink into despair. With each doctor’s visit, we hope for a plan, a strategy as to how our lives will proceed for the next year. But the oncologist needs more data, more MRIs, ultrasounds, and biopsies. We wait. We wait. [Click on title to read the rest of the post.]

Turkeys and Loons

I'm awakened by the sound of a rowboat, hitting against the dock. I try to make sense of it, but I am not sure where I am. Our rowboat is up on dry land; it rarely goes in the water. It came with the house, aluminum, upside down, locked to a tree. Dan used it once when he came to visit. Dan is a tall man and the kayaks we have are more easily used by shorter people. He found the oars in the basement, turned it over, and took the rowboat out. We had never had it in the water and I wasn't sure if it really floated. Maybe there were holes in it. Once he got it out on the water, he looked like he belonged in it–a rugged lobsterman, rowing out to his traps.[Click on title to read full post.]

Vacationing as Brynna

For much of my early adult life–twenty years or more–vacation meant leaving the crazy-busy work world and driving seven hours north to a three-acre island on Moosehead Lake in Northern Maine, where we cooked meals over an open campfire, survived without electricity, carried drinking water, swam nude, and– since it was the days before cell phones–lost track of the outside world. [To continue reading, click on the title.]

Summer in the City

The saxophone player isn’t there today. He usually comes around this time in the afternoon. When he plays, I can hear the music in our apartment, although the corner on which he stands is seven stories down, half a block away, and across the street, in front of the bank. Whenever I hear his notes, I run down and put a few dollars in his case. [Click on title to read the full post.]

Paddles and Pens

When I take the car out of the garage, I see our kayaks, canoe, and paddles hanging neatly on the walls. Because of my difficulties with RA (rheumatoid arthritis), it is not likely that I will again be able to get into or out of the kayaks. Last summer, when I managed (with difficulty) to get into the kayak, I couldn’t get out. I had to have someone tip the kayak over near the beach, so that I could roll out into the knee-deep water and crawl to the shore to find something to lean on in order to pull myself to my feet. Pretty inelegant! I could do that on our own, private beach, but, now that we no longer have our house in Maine, I would be forced to enact this lovely procedure on a public beach, and that just isn’t going to happen. [Click on the title to read the rest of the post.}

Downsizing: Seeing the World with New Eyes

When the doctor took the patch off my left eye, I was flummoxed. The world I encountered was not the one I usually see upon opening my eyes; this new world was dazzling, intense, lustrous. My eyes were still dilated and my vision cloudy from the surgery. Nevertheless, the difference between the vision in my two eyes was spectacular. I spent the next several days, covering first one eye and then the other, trying to make sense of the bright reality of the left eye compared to the duller, yellow-green world of the right eye, the world I had been living in for some time. [Click on title to read the whole post.]

Victory Garden

It is dark and I am working by the spotlight that shines out over our back yard. It is raining lightly and I am down on my knees, digging in the dirt with my bare hands, throwing the pieces of glass that I dig out of the soil into the plastic bucket at the end of the row, so I can plant the last of the lettuce. Shannon and John are inside, waiting to start dinner. I know I should go in, but I want to wrest every last possible moment out of my gardening time. [To read the full post, click on the title.]

Palimpsest

I recognize them all immediately of course, but it has been some time since we have been together, Evie's funeral eleven years ago, a couple of reunions over the years. I have seen Barbara only once since she left for the West Coast, after the group ended, sometime in the eighties. (To read the rest of the post, click on title)

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