Sunday, July 05, 2015


Still working away at that forever job, I got a fair amount of things packed.  Sent Anne Mary a thank you e-mail and got a phone call of acknowledgment in return.
My bed buyer, Katie S. and her partner, Erin, came at noon and were delighted with it.  They paid me and will be back Friday to pick it up.  I was interested to get Katie's card and find she's administrator of residential services for the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities in Edison.  They're a nice young couple and I'm glad they can use the bed.
At 4:00, I strolled the three doors down to the H.'s for the Fourth of July party.  As was true at their last Super Bowl party, I noticed that attendance has dwindled over the years. There used to be twenty-five or more people present; last night, besides the hosts, there were only eleven.
No matter, I had an okay time in a subdued way.  Food and drink were good, of course, and I was grateful there was no forced singing of anthems or (literal or symbolic) waving of flags.  The conversation, though, wasn't terribly stimulating and eventually turned to that most tiresome of topics, television programs, in this case, those on HGTV.
If I happen to run into Property Brothers (I don't plan ahead for T.V.), I'll watch it, mostly because of those eye-candy twins. However, I don't consider it--or any other program I can think of--a topic for discussion among grownups.  Seems to me T.V. is on a par with something like a hot bath--simply relaxation with little significance.  You don't discuss the temperature of the water or quality of the soap after you towel off, do you?
The party broke up about 8:00 and I was embraced and wished well by all. Hey, they're good people in the main and I'm glad I lived here as long as I did.  But now I'm chomping at the bit to start my new life and I'm not looking back.  

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A Breakfast and a Viewing

Anne Mary H., one of my more eccentric neighbors, took Susan and me to breakfast at Dockside, where she goes virtually every morning.  The experience was  pretty evenly balanced between pleasantly cordial and "get me outa here before I go nuts myself," but that's the usual with Miss H.
However, I was touched when Anne Mary presented me with a gift card to Trader Joe's, which has no store anywhere near here, but does, of course, in California.  That was truly thoughtful and may have made up for hearing about her brushes with death (they're constant) for the ninety-fifth time, plus evidence that she's unique in every way--every good and enviable way, that is.  
We parted and I ran errands until it was time for my hairdresser appointment.  Got color and a trim from Tracie.  I'm not crazy about her work, but there was no point in worrying about it, as I won't be going there again.  She wrote out my "formula," so I can give it the next hairdresser.
Went home and changed, then to the viewing for Lou G.  When he was well--not raddled with dementia, that is--he was a good guy. Maxwell's was packed and I greeted Josephine, the new widow, and chatted with a number of friends, many of whom expressed regret that I'm leaving.  As is often true at these gathering, the mood was more celebratory--in a subdued way--than somber, maybe because the attendees are relieved their numbers haven't been called yet.
Stopped at Pat's Automotive to see if he was actually interested buying my car.  I overlooked what I paid for it and he asked me to come back with a possible price.  Will do.
My friend called.  I told her it wasn't necessary for her to come today, but she will tomorrow and, of course, Monday when the movers are here.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Dark Day and the Romanovs

It was a dark, rainy, gloomy day--all in keeping with the mood I developed.
Started off by going over to tell Susan I wasn't going to walk because I wanted to rest my knee.  However, I didn't really rest it.
After listing my bed for sale on Craigslist, then Facebook (Tuckerton Flea Market), I talked to Betty a few times--she's having worse problems than I am--and called Marge to see if I could come over later to say goodbye.
Drove to the post office--by that time in drizzly rain--to mail off two more boxes to Ellen's.  I don't even remember what the hell was in them--probably nothing very useful.
From there, I drove to Pat's Automotive, as he was one of those who said he'd like to buy my car when I go. The place was open, lights on and so on, but I couldn't find anyone, so left.  Drove to Lowe's for more tape, the consignment shop to pick up what didn't sell, and to the recycle center to be told they don't take household cleaners.  I'll have to go to Manahawkin, but don't know where.
Back to Pat's and I still couldn't raise anybody, so I went home.
It was after 2:00 by then and I was hungry.  Had a message from somebody who wanted to buy my bed.  Called her back and told her I had to be paid first, so she'll bring the money on Saturday.
Doorbell rang when I was on the phone with my friend.  It was Crazy Bob and Barbara, who also wanted the bed.  Already sold, I said, and not feeling very neighborly, I didn't invite them in.  It was raining and I didn't want to mess up the house even more.
Went to see Marge and we had a stimulating visit.  She's terribly frail now, but seemed in good spirits.  As I told her, she's one of the few people with whom I can actually discuss topics like religion and nationalism without running into the stone wall of knee-jerk belief (Aline is the other, of course).  I like her husband, Fred, too. We embraced and smiled and I thanked them for being such good friends.  I know I'll never see them again and I wish it wasn't like that.
The other downer of the day came when Walter e-mailed me to the effect that the tenant's  move-in date was the 15th, not the 10th.  I had wanted the later date in the first place, but had understood it was the tenth, so arranged everything around the date.  I even got a plane ticket for the 12th.  Hey, I'll probably just let the house be idle for the extra days.  I was down in the dumps about it, but the hell with that, I'm just going to follow my original plan.
Got the lease agreement, and forwarded to my financial advisers; I haven't looked at it yet.
Literary Note:  For years, I've been fascinated with the doomed Romanovs.  Am listening to a joint bio of the four daughters and have been watching documentaries about the family on YouTube. In the past, I've read a lot about that era; always thought Kerensky was a fascinating man.  Hey, what if he had prevailed and Lenin (even more fascinating) and the Bolsheviks hadn't? And suppose the Czar and his ilk had been a tad less positive they were the centers of the universe?  And imagine the peasants had been allowed lives slightly more exalted than those of their pigs?  Would the revolution have occurred?  Possibly, but I think it would have been different in significant ways.        

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Lots More

Picked up Aline and we went to breakfast at Dockside, then of course, to view the water.  This will be the last time in a long, long while I'll see her, but we've already vowed that she'll visit me in California, probably next summer.
My friend, back from New Mexico, came at noon, and we worked all day.  Sort, pack, throw away.  Sort, pack, throw away. Sort...
The garage had me worried, but we whittled that problem down considerably.  Along with other items, we loaded my beautiful and cherished Christmas collection into her SUV, and she'll drop them at a thrift store.  Boy, did that cause a pang.  But I just had too, too much and had to relinquish.
We continued on, my friend tackling the kitchen and I my closet.  I decided to separated clothes into three areas:  The things I hung in the portable wardrobe, which I won't see until August; those I'll send ahead to Ellen's, so I'll have them when I get there; and those I'll take with me on the plane.  That was a job.
We worked until after 4:00, by which point, I was exhausted and my friend was just warming up.  She left, but will be back on Sunday and, of course, Monday, which is THE DAY the movers come.
They'll move all but my king-sized bed, which I'm not taking.  I listed it on Craigslist and hope I get a buyer.  Also looked up airline tickets; after talking to Ellen, I think I'll go on Saturday, the 11th or Sunday, 12.
Took my 1940's magazines--mostly Life--to the clubhouse and put on sign on them:  "Take one and stop back in time--FREE, compliments of (my name)."  Ran into a few friends and chatted a bit.
Oh, yes, they're generally pleasant, agreeable people and I'll miss some of them a bit, but mildly.  My life here is drawing down and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


All kinds of things, some not so good.  Drove the hundred-mile round trip to the farm and got lots of veggies in the barn. Attempted to pick string beans, but the paths between rows were precarious and I stopped.  Dropped off her portion to my friend's house (she was still in New Mexico until last night) and drove home to try to get somebody to move the furniture I'm giving and selling Betty. No luck, plus my moving company called to say they have only the 8th--Monday!--and the 11th open.  The latter is out, so it'll have to be in just a few more days.  That also means I'll have to tell Susan the luncheon she and my other friends had planned for me for Monday can't happen--at least not on that day.
To complicate matters further, I have to pick up my unsold stuff from the consignment shop on Thursday, have a hair appointment and must go to a viewing on Friday, and the fourth of July party at Ray and Barbara's is on Saturday.
More complications:  My knee still isn't right, although it seems somewhat better than yesterday.  I hope it improves.
Met Betty and her friends for early dinner at Carabba's near Boscov's to celebrate Helen Crawford's birthday.  It was pleasant enough; I've known these ladies for a while and many came to my performances, for which I was always pleased.
Ellen called and we discussed the happy fact that gorgeous granddaughter Vivian is coming to visit her for two weeks this month.  Her dad will fly over from Singapore with her, then drive her to Ventura from LAX.  I'm thrilled about this, as it will be great fun to be with both, plus Greg.
The big snag and heavy worry is that Betty hasn't found anyone to move the dining room set and sofa.  We're both trying and I'm frantic about it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Last LBI Day

Fine, fun day.  Picked up my pal, Aline, at the bus stop by Dynasty, as she had stayed over in Manhattan.  She suggested we eat at Ichiban (or something) Chinese, and I acquiesced.
Actually, I'm not crazy about the place, as it's a buffet. The food is excellent--a terrific variety with yummy and fresh selections.  The problem is in the setup itself, combined with my ever-so-slovenly sense of how much is enough.  I invariably overeat; if I don't, I tend to have an aggrieved feeling that I'm not getting my money's worth. Stupid, but there you are.
However, I didn't go too far overboard and it was enjoyable, of course.  Aline asked if we could stop at Wal-Mart after and sure, why not.  (She's leaving tomorrow for an almost month-long trip to Provincetown and Boston.)
Drove to Long Beach Island for the last time, I think.  Even though it was Monday, summer was in high swing and LBI was packed. Went down to the southern tip--Holgate, our favorite place. We sat and viewed the sparkling water and crashing waves, staying for more than an hour.
I reflected that soon, "my" ocean will be the one in the west.  But oh, no, never.  The Pacific will become my changeling child, but I'll love the Atlantic Ocean until the day I die.
Went to drop Aline off about 5:00 and we discovered she didn't have her key and her sister was out.  We looked under plants and so on, but no luck.  Finally, I took her home and she enjoyed some videos of the Terrific Tokyo Almost Two Tot, with peach mango iced tea and cheese crackers.  She insisted I take her home a bit after 7:00, saying she'd happily sit on the porch and read.  I did so and she called a short time later to say her sister had come home and all was well. I'll see her again for breakfast tomorrow, so good, good, good.
Susan called to say she and a group of other friends wanted to take me to lunch at the Old Causeway on Monday, the fifth, and would that be all right?  Damn straight it would, and I'm looking forward to it.
Only recent dark item is the fact that my left knee started bothering me. Don't know why and I'm hoping if I ignore it, it will go away.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Birthdays and Busyness

Yesterday was my older son's birthday and also my older great-grandson's, who became a teenager for the first time--wow!
Working my fingers to the bone, I packed a lot of the paperwork from the study.  Finally completely cleared the guest room closet and put stuff from there in the car to take to the thrift store.  Drove to Manahawkin to pick up this 'n' that at B.J.'s and Bed, Bath & Beyond.  
Brother Jim called and I was so glad to talk to him.  He and Therese are settling in to an extent, but it's still hard for him to adjust.  I think he's lonely.  I wish I had time to visit him before I go.  My big brother--if anyone wants to know what a good and decent man looks like, travel to Arlington, Virginia.
Talked to Betty, Ellen, and my friend.  E. left for home after their reunion and was calling from Arizona.  Friend is still in New Mexico, but will be back soon.
I'm getting nervous about timing now.  I have to get my plane ticket and I need to see that signed contract so I can be absolutely sure.   I'm antsy about getting the things that will be Betty's out of the house, too.  Well, I guess it will all come together eventually...