Christmas Coffee in Syosset, Lawn Guyland 2015

Yeah,…I want…
Lemmeget… .
Tell you what I want. Are ya’ listenin’??

Not a single please nor thank you.
Not. One.

And her daughter-in-puffy-jacket walked directly in front of me several times while carting coffee mugs to and fro, deciding a teacher gift. Not once did that 11- or 13-year-old child make eye contact or look around to see who else might be standing in line. Not once did she say, “excuse me” crossing in front of me, slicing the line back and forth, helping herself to whatever she needed. Not once did she think a moment about courtesy or personal space or etiquette.

And not once did her mother, watching the traipsing child, say a thing to her or make any behavior correction – for she was just as awful. Blowing around in entitlement and discourteous blabbering about price and discounts for more than one. Huffing and puffing having to wait, for godsake, online for freaking coffee, for chrissakes, with (and please excuse this – it is part of the entire observation and not finger-pointing or a smear) foreign car keys on a religious symbol keychain, a delicate and beautiful Hand of Fatima in the cleft of her throat.

My single, simple order (straight, black, in a cup) pulled me ahead at the pickup. Yet the daughter came crashing, literally, around the bend so forcefully as to careen into my left flank nearly knocking me off my feet, had I not been leaning on the counter.

No excuse me, no apology. Not a single acknowledgement. Just blustering on through. Her mother saw and said nothing.

I’ve never been to a crazy city like frenzied New Delhi or exotic Jaipur or mysterious Shanghai or scented and heady Ceylon. At this rate I may never have to venture off Long Island to be greeted with temperaments and customs so foreign to me, I feel on vacation at the coffee shop in Syosset. These women are white, local, tacky; not foreign or beautiful exotic “other” or anything other than just plain rude.

In the corner, an older couple haze and barked orders at their dervish grandchildren fetching (then dropping) scads of straws and napkins, everywhere. Barking louder for the clean up and admonishments of not paying attention. Again, no boundaries. We hear everything private in this family. Grandpa “has to make” so they cannot stay.

I feel so bland, vanilla. So boring, so swaddled in my happiness and good upbringing, a culture of culture and etiquette, with my oil burner and cut lawn, private thoughts and polite smile at behaviors I cannot fathom. Maybe a little wildlife is good? Not this sort, not the unruly and illmannered beasts of the suburbs. They’ll never take away my manners, no matter how deriguer you find them, and if my child ever is rude, you’ll let me know.



June 6, 2016. Journal entry.

Winding down work.  Most loose ends knotted.  House on the market; the agent’s sign hangs tall at the bottom corner of the lawn.

Mapped out my packing plan between now and moving day.  Scheduling dinner dates, drink gatherings, letmeseeyouoncemore times.
It will be weird not going to marching band rehearsals; weird not witnessing the steady subtle growth and transformation of willowy summer students into mature and bossy, confident swaggermeisters.  Even the mousiest of newbs finds their moxie in a few short weeks.  And, their music.  I am already missing that.
It will be strange not waking my teengirl.  Three times before she rockets, swearing, late to the shower or straight to the car, hair in a bun, scrambling for a bagel, barking for cash, a tornado to the driveway.  Though I’ve not done this since late January.  We had words and, frayed end of my parenting rope, I suggested she try her attitude and disrespect on her father and his wife, and she left the very next day.  She never returned.  The snark turned to venom and rage full hate.  The abrupt shift in our relationship remains a blow.

September could still feel odd, with no child of mine near or even wanting closeness.

Change…at the bottom of my purse, in small piles on the dresser, filling a squat pickle jar on the bookcase.
She graduates just under three weeks.  I am “banned” grom her life, and it is hard to breathe without a small hitch in my chest.
They say it will be fine.  But when.


Welcome Mat. May 26, 2015.

Someone to come home to.  What a novel idea.  

Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

Singlehood and I have been a haphazard pair going on 13 years next month.  Twice I seriously tried to cut bait and try a new, real, partner but neither of us were ready.  So, we have rabbleroused and raised my child, and found distractions like writing and helping when extra hands are needed, and insomnia, and maybe a few dark nights – home alone – of too much wine and not enough folly–only moderation of both are considered healthy distractions.
As my final train approaches my ‘home’ station on Long Island, I know the house will be quiet.  Empty…and for all the other times I wished for a moment of peace between agendas, I wish it were going to be boisterous or even just small “Hi there.”
Someone to come home to.

They should write a song.


Destination. May 26, 2015

Heading north this morning. I try not to say “heading home”; leaving here is leaving home, and so is leaving there.  

I come home to both places. 

A life not divided but widened by space and time, and the exciting horizon of possibilities for all of us.  

#charlottesville #amtrak #alwaysheadinghome

Bluegrass Sunday.

My first Dailey & Vincent concert.

During the long-distance part of the LDR, this event every March marked a later Sunday morning phone call, especially if The Guy ‘ran squad’ the night before.  We’d talk after the concert was over, late afternoon/early evening.  I’ve heard about it, never got to go.

Until today.

Only seven songs in and I know this will not be my last.  The wild rambling country classics, the touch of gospel honey; rusty, dented-heart ballads and oaky warm folk – all good soul food for this North Shore girl.  And, damn, I love the banjo and mandolin together…and the guy with the velvet gravel bass voice?  Yeah, his singing is mighty fine…mighty fine.

Here’s a link to the opener.

Dailey & Vincent, opening number

Here, a few random shots from the concert.  Can’t wait until next year!

Sidestep West

Goodnight, desert.

Goodnight, desert.

Between packing my NY home and moving to VA, I stopped in the desert. My sister, evertheyounger, turned 50 last week; we flew out to surprise her and visit a while.

Yes, she was utterly speechless and teary Saturday morning at The Egg and I (delicious breakfast, sweet staff, curious fellow diners). No, she never suspected a thing. Mission: Accomplished.