Our Visit in the Village

Early in the morning we left David sleeping in the motel and walked by the water in Stony Brook. This was where I exercised for more than 20 years.


Walking friend Tom was waiting for us. Because of the fierce wind, he hopped in our car for the show and tell session. He had a vase he’d bought at auction, along with an old book that included a picture of it. I won’t include the details now, but the book discussed the artist in depth. Tom handed us a small gadget, and we correctly guessed it was a nutcracker. He then pointed out the design that could be traced back to Italy. Lastly, he showed us two spoons that were made of melted coins. They had a high silver content, and now the spoons are getting more rare because people are melting them for the valuable silver. I remembere122115 Tom's spoons from melted coins.JPGd my brother and I had three spoons each that were purported to be the same type. I was eager to pull out mine to see if they were similar. They will differ in one respect – Tom’s were beautifully polished. As he was leaving, Tom presented the spoons to us as a Christmas present!

We chatted with Dave whom we’ve known for years. He asked especially about our son $ who is a kindred spirit. Both love to hike and camp out.

Our grandsons had been to a model train display in the village, and Tom also recommended it. I have a lighter appreciation for trains than John and David, but it was fun to watch the trains puff around the track.

121915 David John train show


Perpetual Goodbyes

We had a marvelous weekend in Stony Brook, and now it’s time to say goodbye again. John went for bagels to take back to NC while I visited with Tom and Dennis. We couldn’t help noticing two halves of a shrink wrapped building in the parking lot near the beach. When Tom asked Dennis about it, Dennis had the scoop. They were waiting for the crane that would lift it onto the foundation where an older house had burned last year. Dennis, with his daily visit to the firehouse, always knows what is going on. If his arm had been resting on the open window of his truck, I could have put two fingers on his wrist and felt the pulse of the village there.

072815 Assembling equipment near the beach

Our Jeep was in the parking lot when Tom and I walked back. I thought there was a cat under the vehicle, but when it moved, I saw it was John’s feet. He was stowing the bagels in plastic bags. Bandit a072815 Antique egg beaternd Bravo hopped in Tom’s car, and we had show and tell. Tom always has some antique with an interesting story. Today he had a brass gizmo for making bullets, an egg beater, and a mystery gadget. I never thought to take a picture of that, but I should have. The object was made of metal – a short handle with a mesh of metal links attached. Tom explained it was the forerunner of a Brillo pad. People used it to scour the bottoms of big cooking pans. Tom said the egg beater was a gift, one that I’m thrilled to have. We’ll display it somewhere in the kitchen.

Tom let John hold his massive Sargent catalog for the current exhibit at the Met. My nose began to twitch as he flipped through the pages. I could smell the strong odor of onion and garlic. How embarrassing! Tom might need to fumigate the book now that it has been infused with the essence of everything bagels. Sorry about that, Tom.

072815 JC Tom

We took another shot of the activity in the village before hurrying back to the motel. John needed to drive out to the train park for something. If trains were like drugs, he would be going for a fix.

072815 Foundation for modular house

I took a quick photo of the Hercules pavilion and will include a peaceful scene from Setauket harbor. I’m happy that we can visit the shoreline and that I don’t have to choose between mountains and sea.

072815 Hercules    072515 Setauket harbor

Sea Level

We were truly at sea level this morning, walking by the marina where I walked for 20 years. It was very exciting, because there were rumbles of thunder at the beginning and end of the hour’s walk. Despite the threat, we were not rained on.

It was such a disappointment that we missed Tom. Dennis told us he was looking for us, but we missed him by a hair. We caught up on Dennis’ news, and Dave pulled in. I loved seeing them again, my anchors by the water. They, Nancy, and Tom were the pleasures of my morning for about five years. Now Nancy and I have moved away. I asked John to touch the railing for Nancy. He was happy to do that for her, but his face reflected his I-don’t-like-my-picture-taken attitude. Be understanding, because that is a common pose for everyone who ever lived with me.

072715 JC touching rail for Nancy

Things in the village were mostly the same. One house was sold, and another is on the market. Extensive landscaping was in progress at another house, marked by raw earth and newly exposed plants. If you return often enough, you’d keep up with the changes.

I did notice one thing I would never have paid attention to before. Near the millpond were two shoots just encroaching on the sidewalk. Something about the vine made me stop. Golly! It was wisteria! I loved the wisteria along there on both sides of the road, but that was before I was responsible for curbing it. Knowing from my constant battle in NC, the wine can be vicious. I wouldn’t be surprised if it grew under the roadway. I stepped away quickly before the shoots could entangle my ankles.

Avalon Park was the same except for a new stone wall just across from the gristmill. That will be handy for tourists. I might have tried it out, but John was waiting for me. We went to the end of my old route before I suggested he go at his 3 mph rate back to the car where he could listen to his beloved NY radio stations. He knows his rate because of cardiac rehab. I suspect I walk at 2 mph, since I walk about two miles in an hour.

072715 New stone wall at millpond      072715 New wall at millpond

I stopped at the millstream to say hello to a black crowned night heron standing on one leg, perhaps one I used to greet all the time.  There is a stick over the rock on the left that enters the water just above the bird’s head.  It’s obvious I could use lessons from photography 101.

072715 Black crowned night heron

Friends in the Village

Tom was walking around the parking lot when I arrived. We had a verbal-only show and tell. His friend, the picker, found three items for him yesterday – a 150 year old cradle in perfect condition, a wine bottle opener that had silver on the antler handle, and a cast iron plant holder. I wondered what he’d use the cradle for, and he said it’s the coming thing to use it for a magazine holder. Who knew?

Actually, Tom used another term for the antler corkscrew. I understood what he was talking about because of the way his hand was shaped and the way he turned it slightly as he spoke. He called it a screw pull. I made him repeat it so that I could memorize the words. When you look back on a pun, you realize the best ones pop out, unbidden. That’s what happened with the screw pull. With almost no direction from me, I heard my voice say, “You have no scruples using it, I guess.”

We walked all the way to the bathhouse, and I touched the railing with both hands, one for me and one for Nancy who now lives in St. Louis/Chicago. Dennis talked about his 90+ dad who was put in a nursing home Friday and is having a difficult time adjusting.

Dave drew up with a flourish at the marina. Tom said, “You don’t stop for me!”

Dave began to say he sees Tom all the time, but he jumped in to play the one up-man-ship game. He said, “I ran out of gas. Coasted here.”

Fast thinking, Dave.

Glancing into Dave’s car, Tom asked, “Did you clean out your car, Dave?”

“Naw,” Dave replied. “Must have gone around a curve too fast.”

I asked, “How would you clean it out? Open the windows and speed around corners?”

Dave replied, “I’d clean it the same way I clean my house. Open the doors and use a blower.”

I do miss the daily repartee of these fellows.050415 Moon

Last night Nate commented on the full moon dressed in salmon or pink. It was more white this morning, both times magnified near the horizon. It’s always special to have moon set and sun rise within minutes of each other.

I did almost my whole walk, going to the traffic light and into Avalon on the way back. The most insistent bird song came from red-winged blackbirds, very active in the reeds near Hercules. For old time’s sake, I listened to the singing stones and took yet another photo.

050415 Singing stones and selfie shadow