Posts Tagged ‘new england’

I am at my mom’s house in New England. Got a bit of snow this morning. Didn’t last too long and there was not much accumulation.

But it still needed shovelling. Like it always does around these parts.

So I strapped on dem duck boots, gloves and cleared the cars. Then I did the driveway, sidewalk and stairs. I did the neighbor’s sidewalk and then went to the other elderly neighbor’s house and did her driveway, sidewalk and stairs.

By the time I was finished I had more than seven thousand steps on the old Fitbit!

Cleaning the snow around the cars reminded me of a sad story I read last year.

A father in the Northeast was shovelling the family car out of the driveway while his wife and two little children, escaping the bitter cold, waited inside the running automobile.

They soon died of carbon monoxide poisoning while he was just outside shovelling.

The tailpipe was clogged with the snow and it forced the carbon monoxide into the car.

What a terrible, terrible tragedy. The father was paralyzed with the shock of it. Who wouldn’t be?

Stay safe this winter.  If you are living in a snowy region remember to check that the exhaust pipe is clear. Also to keep furnace vents in the home clear of snow.






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This past summer I was driving to my friend’s home in Rhode Island with my two daughters. It’s a lovely area near the beaches. Tree lined roads winding by horses grazing, babbling brooks and placid ponds. Gorgeous old, clapboard homes on green acres dot the landscape.

My eldest, who is twenty five, says, “This area is so beautiful. Not like the usual creepy New England towns.”

I exclaim, “What?? Creepy like how? A van with no windows is creepy. But not New England!”

Later on, while we are soaking up the sun on a fabulous beach, same daughter proceeds to tell my friend that ever since she was a little kid I’ve told her probably every single ghost story or mystery that took place in our part of New England.

Okay, when you put it like that. I sound like a monster.

It’s true. I might have pointed out a haunted house or two.

The Westport house where folks claimed a ghost resided.  One of the occupants fell asleep in a rocking chair and woke up with a haircut.

I probably mentioned the ghost of the red-headed hitchhiker on Interstate 195.

Most likely gave the background of the childhood rhyme about Lizzie Borden. I did take my youngest (seventeen at the time) to Lizzie’s house last year where the gruesome crimes took place.

I may have pointed out the lovely house that sits at the bottom of Metacomet golf course in my home town. Shared that murders were never a thing while I was growing up but a few years before I was born an elderly widow had been murdered in that very home during a robbery.

Could have mentioned the still unsolved mystery of the “New Bedford Highway Killer.” Eleven prostitutes went missing. Nine were found strangled and dumped in the woods. And that it was very possible a local attorney was the killer and actually indicted at one time. He moved to Florida in 1988 and there were no more murders on that stretch of highway since then.

Yes, I might have shared a story or two.

Dear Norah,

I’m very sorry and hope that you realize it’s not New England that’s creepy. Stuff happens everywhere.

It’s just your Mom who is creepy.

Hope I didn’t do too much damage. I’m just thankful that I spent a lot of quality, non-creepy time with you when you were young.

I absolutely loved cuddling up with you at bedtime every evening while reading you many, many wonderful fairy tales. As you peacefully drifted off to sleep.

Like Snow White and her killer stepmother. The orphaned Bambi who yearns for his murdered mother. Three little pigs trying to protect themselves from the wolf who wants to destroy their home. Hansel and Gretel’s great escape from the witch who attempted to burn them alive in an oven. And so many others.

I pray that, in some small way, it makes up for the ghost stories.









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As I said in my previous post today is my “little” brother’s 50th birthday. He’s my little brother but he hasn’t been little since he was a youngster. He’s about six feet two or three inches tall and I am five feet one and a half inches tall. My older brother is about six feet.

I often wondered how it would have played out if they got my height and I got theirs.

Luckily for them (and me) they took after Dad’s side and I was the exact height of my mother.

When we are together we laugh like hyenas.

Anyway, this younger brother is the sensitive one. Wouldn’t hurt a fly (not that the other one would!) but he is sensitive to all. Ultra-sensitive if you ask me. And he’s married to a New Yorker so bless him.

Two summers ago we went to Patriot Place. If you are a New Englander I don’t need to explain. But for those of you who are not I will explain.

It’s the area where the New England Patriots play football in Massachusetts. Not soccer. But American football. In the South it’s a religion. In the North it’s a close second to religion.

Patriot Place encompasses the stadium, museum, a shopping area, restaurants and even a cranberry bog. It’s very nice.

So we (my brother and his family) had a lovely time hiking the small area around the bog. It was a perfect day.

We went to a restaurant. I made the mistake (in my brother’s eyes) of asking for an extra menu and also telling the waitress ( a local girl) that she just had to take the hike-it was in her own backyard!

I told him he was being ultra-sensitive. I am a kind person. It wasn’t like I was yelling at her. I was trying to enlighten. It’s what I do.

Anyway, I thought about it later (power of suggestion and all that) and really wondered if I had been brow-beating the poor girl.

He takes the kids to the museum and his wife and I stay at the restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine. So fun. Nothing against him.

I see the waitress who served us and beckoned her.

I said, “Hey, my brother thought I was a little hard on you about the hike thing? I’m really sorry if I came off harsh in any way.”

She exclaimed, “No way! Didn’t take it like that at all!”

Sometimes I think he wasn’t even raised in New England where people put it all out there.

So I then said, “Let’s take a photo of us!”

Freak him right out.

We took a picture of me, my sister-in-law and the waitress and sent it to my brother. Glasses of wine raised.

He got such a kick out of it. Texted back, “You are so crazy and that is why I love you.”

We laughed about it for ages.

Happy birthday, little brother. I will always, always, always love you.







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I’ll admit it. The beautiful photos that my friends and family are posting this time of year are sort of making me homesick.

I miss the changing of the leaves.

I miss wearing sweaters. I miss wearing boots.

I once tried wearing a sweater here in Malaysia. It was an evening gathering by the pool area in our community. I’m not crazy (all of the time) so I wasn’t going to go full on heavy wool sweater. But I had donned a nice, light cotton, button down cardigan that I thought I could handle.

Ten minutes into the occasion and I was sweating bullets.

I said to my friends, “I’ll be right back!”

And I ran home to change into some sleeveless, cotton thingy. It was that bad.

I tried.

Some people can handle the humidity here. I am not one of them. I guess it’s my DNA. My ancestors hail from a temperate climate and I was born in an area that experiences seasonal changes.

I’m seeing beautiful photos of changing leaves, football games and family gatherings.

And I miss it.

My visits are usually during the summer. And sometimes Christmas.

So I miss out on those absolute perfect days and chilly evenings of Autumn. All the apple picking and Halloween/Thanksgiving activities.

I get that these same people will be complaining and posting photos of the long winters.

And I also miss that.

It is interesting to live in a climate that is predictable. But not interesting enough that I want to spend my entire life here.

So, if you are currently experiencing the changing of the seasons, appreciate every moment.

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