chapter lx

Archive for October 2010

Pumpkin patch

Hello again – all of you who have been checking, here’s the latest. I’ll tell you what often stops me from posting is getting the photos from the camera to the computer – silly, just one more step. But, here are some beautiful shots of autumn on the South Shore. It is very red this year. I don’t know what makes the difference in colour. You’d think all the years I have lived in deciduous forests that it would be some kind of intuitive knowledge, but hmmm. More heat, more rain, drier???

And then there are the pumpkins, and asters. And heavy, grey layered skies, even on a nice day, the sky is autumn. It has turned cool all of a sudden, too. Risk of frost tonight! But wonderful sunny days. I got three loads of laundry done this weekend, hung out  and dried in no time.


Fall colours



More red


But here is the biggest, best news. I have a job! I am working at the Women’s Centre in town, close to home, lots of variety, decent pay and benefits. It is filling in for now, but I feel pretty sure that it will become permanent by the end of the month. Better  yet, it is a venue I can offer the non-violence program, and women’s spirituality. I do like small group work, and both programs are worthwhile. I would also like to find a parenting program that I could facilitate. I have felt strongly for a long time that one answer to prison over-crowding is parenting classes – give parents the tools they need, skills that can be taught and learned. The staff is very agreeable to having these additions to the programs offered there.


SS Europa coming into Lunenburg Harbour


It’s funny how it works. I still need time working in the US to pay into Social Security to be fully vested – two quarters is all I need, but the difference to me at age 66 will be significant enough to do it. So I thought maybe I should winter in the US this year, get it over with. But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to leave here yet. I haven’t been here long enough to leave and come back – why would I come back? No job, scrambling all over again to establish something, give up the apartment? I have a front porch and water view at a great rate, why would I give it up? Anyway, finally decided to stick it out here, even though the summer job was over. Worst case – I would collect EI until something else came up, or I could get something going from home. Anyway, almost as soon as I made that decision, I got the phone call from the women’s centre, asking if I was available. So, a lesson I learned before, put both feet on the path.


Red, red, red


Let me tell you about Frenchy’s. One of the all-time great thrift shops, and remember that I am a thrift store junkie. I know the best in Cleveland, San Francisco, East Bay, Hastings Highlands, Toronto. Frenchy’s is up there – one drawback, most things are not hung, but in table/bins like Honest Ed’s. The good points, though, are that everything is a fixed price whether new or used, designer or junky, and that there is a fabulous mix of new and used, designer and junk. So, I went to see about a winter coat, and found a Calvin Klein long cashmere coat, for $11. I am so excited, I almost can’t wait for the cold weather.

I remembered the last time I bought a cashmere coat. It was the first Christmas that we spent without Clark. I knew that it would never be the same, so why not do something different for that Christmas? Joan was working in advertising in New York then, and one of her customers was a little boutique hotel in mid-town Manhattan, just behind MOMA. She was able to get us a comp suite for the week between Christmas and New Year, so the kids and I flew into New York on Christmas. We got to the hotel – gosh, I should remember the name, they were so kind and it was charming – we got to our room, on the top floor, an entire suite, two bedrooms, living room, kitchen, two or three bathrooms, carpeting you could lose your toes in, draperies floor to ceiling. Just as we were putting our bags down, getting coats off, there was a knock at the door. It was a basket of fruit, as though we were visiting diplomats. Well, we did New York that week; the Rockettes at Radio City, MOMA, Met, walked everywhere, FAO Schwartz, Rockefeller Center, the Christmas tree, skating, windows all done for the holidays. And we shopped. The bargains after Christmas were worth the airfare down there. I bought a yellow cashmere coat, long, patch pockets, wrap style, shawl collar, fabulous coat that was marked down to $600 or something. I do know it’s probably the most I ever paid for a piece of clothing, but it was wonderful and warm. I bought a red felt hat to wear with it. One day I was walking down the street in Toronto, and heard a little boy say to his mom, “Is that Superlady?” Lemon yellow, so not drab.

Thanksgiving tomorrow. So much to be grateful for. I am blessed – we are all blessed.


Side of the road asters