Sunday, June 30, 2013


I'm back in San Diego.  Sixty-eight degrees, 83% humidity and a lovely cool breeze coming through my window.  I'm keeping my shades open to amass as much "coolness" as I can before the sun breaks through.  Yesterday I took a walk to the Famosa Slough.  The clouds were heavy until about 9am.  Then, all of a sudden, there was a complete transformation and immediately, I felt the heat.  So this morning, I may be ahead of the game by letting all the cool breezes in.  We'll see.

The past three months on the East Coast was very enjoyable and very, very busy.  Starting on early April with a trip from New York to South Carolina to attend my eldest grandson's Marine Boot Camp graduation and culminating in June, with the next eldest grandson's graduation from Beacon High School, his party and an enjoyable East Coast family gathering the next day. Actually the last day of my visit was spend driving golf balls at the Fishkill Golf and Driving Range with my 16 year old grandson and almost 16 year old granddaughter.  We quit after two buckets because of the heat (97 degrees with very high humidity).  Even the teenagers were "wiped out."

One weekend, my daughters treated me to a facial at Buttermilk Spa in Milton NY.  The pool area has floor to ceiling windows that open out so you get the feeling of being outside....very relaxing.  After a healthy gourmet lunch by the pool, we sat on chaise lounge type chairs and just enjoyed the ambiance and lovely views.

From seeing a deer just walking across the lawns around 9:30am to being able to climb Mount Beacon and to seeing Bob the Cicada, it was an interesting visit.  It is not uncommon for deer to run through the suburban neighborhoods early in the morning, but at 9:30am?  The photo below was taken by my eldest daughter in La Grange. I was editing, I deleted two photos of the tree, not noticing the deer and wondering why she had taken a picture of the tree.   Too bad, they might have been great photos if I had a little more patience in examining them more closely.

With three daughters and the families in a 20 mile radius, I spread out my visits staying two to three weeks with each.  This enabled me to immerse myself in their everyday lives.  I was able to spend time with each child from the youngest (10 months) to the eldest (18).   I was so busy I didn't get to contact my friends until half-way through my stay.  Everyone was very gracious in making the time to see me.  I''ll most likely have more to write about this trip, but that's all for now.  Have a very "Blessed" day.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bob the Cicada

I was stuck in traffic on 9D on Friday due to a problem on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.  Cicadas were flying from tree to tree crossing the road in front of me.  Later, at my daughter's house about a mile away, one landed on a chair and moved to the table.

My son-in-law, a graduate of Paul Smith's College in New York, picked it up and let it rest on his hand.  He opined that the bug might be tired.  Then, he let my 12 year old granddaughter hold it.  She named him Bob.  After taking a rest, Bob flew off.
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Thursday, June 20, 2013


About ten days ago, I was driving north on 9D near Fishkill NY.   As I passed the Stonykill Farm, I heard this strange sound....similar to the sound made by a bicycle when a card is attached to the spokes of the wheel.  I asked my son-in-law, who is very knowledgeable about such things, if that was the sound of the Cicadas.  He said he didn't think it was.  The Cicada is a very ugly bug (about 1 to 2 inches in length) that lives in the ground.  There are different species, but this one is called the "periodical Cicada."  That is because it only surfaces once every seventeen years.  It looks for a mate.   The female deposits her eggs in a groove in a tree branch.  When the egg hatches, the tiny bug frees itself from the groove and falls to the ground.  It burrows in search of a food source and stays there approximately seventeen years.  Then, it starts the same cycle again.

About four days later, we were at St. Mary's Church in Fishkill, which is situated about two or three miles east of the farm.  When we got out of the car, my son-in-law heard the same sound (now louder) and commented that it was probably the Cicadas.  My granddaughter stated that it sounded like a car alarm.  A few days later, in Lagrangeville which is northeast of Beacon and Fishkill, you could hear the same sound, estimated to be 7Khz.  It reminded me of a sound you would hear in the Southeastern section of the country.  This past Saturday, I drove south on Route 9 into Cold Spring.  This area is more heavily forested.  The nose was very loud and occasionally a flying Cicada would hit the windshield or roof of the car.  Eerie....

I noticed after a few days that I just got used to the noise.  It must be like what a person who has tinnitus experiences.  In a few weeks, the noise will subside and life will go on.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Congratulations to the Post Office

Yesterday, I was at the Wappingers Falls NY Post Office to mail Father's Day cards.  A couple ahead of me on line was unfamiliar with sending a gift through the mail.  As they told this to the clerk, he explained Express Mail or Priority Mail and told them the price of each service.  Then, the clerk showed the couple how the box was reversible, that is, one side was to be used for Express Mail and the reverse side for Priority Mail.  I don't know how long they have been doing this, but what a great idea.  This one cost-saving change cut down the amount of boxes needed to provide to the public.  I hope the employee who suggested this was given a promotion.  We need more people who think like this in our Post Office.  Also, the clerk displayed the epitome of customer service.  In light of my  complaints about this organization, I am happy to share these positive notes.  In my opinion, this is evidence of the Post Office getting it right.  Congratulations.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Why Try?

One day this past week, I was driving on Route 9 through Fishkill NY when I noticed the license plate of a car in the left lane.  It was a New York plate with the words Why Try (I've changed the letters a little.)  Immediately, I felt pity for the owner of that car.  What a sad outlook on life.

This week, I was invited to different "Honors" nights for the Beacon, NY school children.  Rombout Middle School had their special night on Wednesday.  While I have not been able to ascertain the total class size of each level, the sixth and seventh grades seemed to have over 100 children each on either the Honor Roll (over 85% grade average), High Honors (over 90% grade average) or the Principal's Honor Roll (over 95% grade average).

On Thursday evening, the Senior Class Awards were held at Beacon High School.  There were 48 seniors listed as being on the Honor Roll (over 85% grade average), 42 students on the High Honor Roll (over 90%), and 15 seniors on the Principal's Honor Roll (over 95%).  Sixty-nine seniors were given scholarship awards.  My grandson was among these winners.  I know that he has been very diligent in pursuing both academic and athletic excellence.  In fact, the Principal announced that 68% of graduating seniors were involved in sports.  The total amount of graduating seniors is around 275.

I'm happy to see that these children, future adult citizens of these United States don't have a "Why Try" attitude.  Congratulations to these students,their supportive parents and their teachers.

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