Archive for August, 2012



While the summer is still here, and memories of our vacation time on Kezar Lake, Maine are still (fairly) fresh in my mind, I want to post about it. But – this time I want to go into much more depth about the history of our “camp”, my childhood experiences there before I mention how we spent our time in camp this year.

There is something very special and “lasting” about vacation memories made as a child. They are the kind of recollections that create new “brain wrinkles”, so to speak, which are so strong that they become part of one’s soul. It’s so special, that I’m struggling now to find the right words to describe how it feels! Our time at Kezar Lake may only have been for two weeks a year, but the memories have taken over a lot more space in my heart than the actual time spent there. The views from the dock on Kezar are seared in my memory. I can “see” them always – without a photograph….

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Our camp, consisting of two rustic cabins located on the north end of Kezar Lake, used to belong to my grandfather, then to my parents. Now, camp is owned by my three siblings and I. The South Cabin, with it’s 2 bedrooms upstairs and living area downstairs, including screened in porch, is our main living space. The North Cabin is used mainly as bedrooms – including the living room area downstairs. It also has the same configuration of bedrooms upstairs and porch, but with a third bedroom located off the living area downstairs. When we were kids, we slept on army cots out on the porch “under the stars” and to the sound of the loons. The kitchen was never set up as such, and only has an old wood stove which I suspect was there when my grandfather purchased camp, and hasn’t been used in many years.

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1. South Cabin – where the living happens
2. North Cabin – a place to sleep

When we were children, the chemical toilets in both cabins were “yucky”. One must remember, however that this was CAMP, and “part of the experience”, or so I told myself ~. The waste had to be manually lifted and dumped in a pit which was dug first thing at the beginning of each summer – not a pleasant job. In the mid 1990’s my mom finally installed flush toilet facilities in both cabins, as well as hot running water, which we pump up from the lake. However, that is just for bathing and use in the toilets. For drinking and cooking, we have (and have always had) running spring water in both cabins. We have a personal stake in making sure that Kezar Lake remains a pristine, clear lake, because of how we use lake water! I’m grateful to Mom for making these changes, which weren’t simple to implement, as town codes had to be followed and approval had to be given to ensure the lake water would not be harmed.

With the exception only one summer (right after my youngest sister was born), our family went to “Maine” each summer during my father’s two week vacation. It was a 10 hour trip back then – and our car was crammed full – with the family and often a friend or two and everyone’s luggage, making it double the fun! My grandfather was usually in camp, as well, as it belonged to him at that time. It was he who called the shots as to how our daily life would be “in camp”. He told us when to get up – and when to go to bed, when to eat, when to swim, when to do chores, when to shop for groceries, when to rest. Our time in camp was amazingly structured, almost military style, but not so rigid that it was unbearable. However, I admit that I have no desire to recreate that kind of regimen anymore!

We had an old army bell which still hangs outside of the South Cabin which he’d ring when it was time to get up (about 8 a.m) – and again when it was breakfast time (about 8:30 a.m.). For a few years, my brother, who played the trumpet (and bugle), would play both Revile in the morning and Taps at sunset. My grandfather would raise the flag each morning before we sat down for breakfast, and take it down at sunset. At breakfast my grandfather had morning devotions with numerous Bible readings, and would ask each of us to read them. It was a good 15 or 20 minutes long – (or so it seemed) – too long I thought. It was was frustrating, as we “watched our orange juice get warm”. After breakfast came chores – – dishes had to be done, and Grandpa always wanted more kindling (for fires in the fireplace). This was was our job, and we’d spend about an hour or so looking for dead twigs in the woods, which would find their way into a fire in the fireplace on a cold morning. Finally at about 11 a.m. (and no earlier for sure!) we finally were allowed to get in our bathing suits, hang out on the dock and swim. I love my memories of the black inner tubes we played on. We’d bunch them in half, shove them between our legs, jump in the lake, and ride on them like horses! Kezar Lake was where I learned to swim, and the “rite of passage” was swimming across the lake, with my father along side in the boat. At about noon my mom would leave the dock to make lunch, and the rest of us had to be ready (and dressed – no one came to the table in bathing suits) by about 1 p.m. for lunch. Yes – the bell was rung again when lunch was ready! Following lunch was “rest hour”, no matter what our age. We didn’t have to sleep, and could read or play solitaire, but we could not talk. After our rest we often had free time, and sometimes we got a chance for another swim. However, on many days groceries had to be purchased at the North Lovell store. Most times we drove there, but sometimes on really nice days we’d take the motor boat to the town landing, then walk to the store, pulling a little red wagon to carry the groceries back to the boat. That was always fun. Dinner was about 6 or 6:30 and that bell was rung for that, too. Following dinner – and after the dishes were washed – we’d spend our evenings playing cards or reading before going to the “other cabin” to bed.

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The Bell that told us when to do what!

There was only a few times when this schedule was changed. After breakfast on Sunday morning, we’d change into our good clothes for the worship service at the Center Lovell church at 11 a.m. That was the only day when I didn’t care if it rained. To sit inside the (usually hot) church building with the sun shining through the windows meant that we were losing precious time on the dock swimming. At least we got a brief chance for a swim after church and before a slightly later lunch.

About once (or twice) a summer we would also change our schedule if we took a day hike or climbed a mountain: Baldface, Chocorua, Speckled, Blueberry Mt. Then there were short climbs up Sabbatus Mountain where we’d take a picnic dinner, watch the sunset from the top, then climb down.

Rainy days were actually fun in camp. They were lazy as we’d read, play cards or board games (my favorite was “Clue”) to the sound of the rain on the roof. Sometimes we chose those days to go into Norway, Maine to do laundry and have lunch out. It was relaxing – and especially relaxing to go to sleep to the rain sounds at night. However, if it went on for more than two days, we’d all get antsy.

These childhood memories are what make the lure so strong to continue the traditions there each summer. Things are different now, as Grandpa is not around to invoke his regimen. For that I admit I’m glad. We linger over morning coffee on the dock now. No one is there to tell us we can’t eat a meal in our bathing suit! The bell doesn’t ring anymore, nor does anyone play Taps and Revile. Before dinner we have cocktails on the dock (or porch), something Grandpa wouldn’t have allowed. And – meals are when we want them – not at specific times. As I’d mentioned, The family has made improvements to the cabins in the form of flush toilets, running hot water, as well as replacement of those old army cots – to name just a few things. But – the basic mood and ambiance of camp and the surrounding area remains mostly unchanged. The North Lovell store has been closed for many years, forcing us to travel a little further for groceries, but the store building remains as a landmark. We eat out a lot more now, as a few more restaurants have opened up nearby.

Next post I’ll mention some of the specifics of this years time on Kezar.

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The next few entries will be about our trip to Maine — to Kezar Lake, Maine to be precise — from July 18-28. As a child, *this* was our “vacation place”. Many memories and traditions were made here. And, like all strong childhood memories, they are lasting and special.   For me there was this mystique and “sacredness” created about our Kezar Lake vacations.  But – before I go into them, the trip up — “the journey” — is also part of the “destination”. It’s not simply a means to an end, but part of the entire experience, and deserves it’s own entry.

Our trip is unusual because we take a ferry to get there. Instead of driving the 100 miles of Long Island before heading north to New England, we take the Orient Point (Long Island) / New London (Connecticut) ferry. We made reservations on the 9 a.m. ferry, the “John H”, on July 18th for the hour and a half trip to New London. Orient Point is a little more than an hour away from home, so our 7 a.m. exit time gave  us ample time to be at the ferry slip 1/2 hour early as they suggest. The ferry ride is scenic with a variety of lighthouses, as well as interesting activities on the Thames River in Connecticut to photograph. It’s a relaxing ride – and it cuts down on the actual drive to Maine to only (about) 5 hours (from New London). The “John H” is the largest of the Cross Sound ferries, and is the most luxurious, in my opinion. We spend our time on the ferry having breakfast and photographing anything of interest….

The weather for our ride was clear, but the ozone was thick rendering it very hazy. I took some photographs which made it appear that it was foggy! Here’s a snapshot in photographs of our ferry ride….

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1. Orient Point Light
2. Block Island Light

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1. The Ledges Light – close to Connecticut
2. I do NOT know what this lighthouse is! Anyone who knows, please let me know!

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Both these photos are of the New London Lighthouse, located on the edge of the Thames river as you’re coming in from the Sound

We Passed by other ferries. this one is “The Mary Ellen”, which had just left New London, headed for Orient Point:

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And, then there were other boats…

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As we came into Thames River, we encountered a sailing regatta of some kind…

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Inside the ferry:

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1. I love this lighted sign – located in the bar area of “The John H” – the ferry on which we were traveling.
2. Passengers seated at tables…
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Welcome to New London – nearing the ferry slip

And … with that, about 10:20 a.m., we exited the ferry for the rest of our drive to Maine…

‘Round home


After returning to Long Island from Hilton Head, we had less than a week before heading to Maine for our annual vacation there. It was hot – and most of my photos were taken inside. With all the travel, bird seed had run out of our feeders, and I decided not to refill until we returned from Maine. I think it was during this time when I found myself beginning to go into a funk, and my 365 photo project began to unravel. I was both looking forward to our trip to Maine, yet dreading the process of getting there — the packing, the meal planning, settling in in camp, etc.

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1. On the day we arrived home from Hilton Head, I noticed there had been quite a bit of growth from INSIDE the front yard hedge – – some thistle weed. This photo was taken prior to the flower’s bloom, but I’ll have photos of that later. Thistle is not something you want to nurture, as it can choke other plants. Yet, I find it so pretty. The entire plant is full of thorns, but the flower, itself is soft – and perfect for bees, butterflies and even goldfinches to eat from it. I asked Ray to leave it there – at least until the flower bloomed so I could get a photo of that before it was cut out.
2. This is a night light lamp which was given to me as a gift by my parents when I was a teenager. Earlier, I had fallen in love with a very heavy lead crystal night light which was my mom’s that had once belonged to her mom (my grandmother). She knew I loved it, so this was what she gave me – knowing I’d like the soft light that would come from the body of the porcelain Siamese Cat!

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1. More photos of Misty and Felix
2. Photos of Shadow (above) and Phantom (below) who were our litter mate duo prior to Misty and Felix, hung in the front entryway. Phantom died November 29, 2006 from an inner ear tumor, and Shadow died on December 1, 2010 from kidney failure. I still miss them a lot… They were such good kitties. You can see another photo of them together on the right column of this blog.

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1. Interesting pillow purchased from Coldwater Creek
2. This is a Moravian Star, which was given to me on my 50th birthday from Ray and my mom. It is very special, and there is a light bulb inside, so when lit, it has a stained glass affect. When I took this photo, the light was not lit, but the daylight from the window where it is hanging was shining through it. I learned to love Moravian stars because our son went to Moravian College, located in Bethlehem, PA. These special Stars are commonly hung in Moravian homes at Christmas time.

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It was the day before we left for Maine, and Ray was packing his suitcase while I was out doing errands. Little Misty – seeing the suitcase on the bed – wiggled into an outside pocket of the suitcase and posed for a picture which Ray took with my camera. It’s as if she is saying … “Don’t go! Don’t leave me! Take me with you!”. Made me sad, as it’s always hard to leave my kitties when we go away, even though I know they are well cared for by our pet sitter.

Next post(s): Kezar Lake Maine!


After the 4th of July, it was time to pack for a quick trip to Hilton Head to pick up Ray’s 2003 t-bird, which was still down there, and needed to come back to New York to be inspected. On July 6th we drove south together to accomplish this task. This would not be a long trip, and definitely was not considered a “vacation”. We planned only to spend two days there to rest up before returning north again, with Ray driving the t-bird and me driving our Ford Edge. Of course I took the time to take some photos while we were there…

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1. Front Yard – Hilton Head Island
2. Sego Palm branch
3. Sego Palm

We didn’t do all that much during the two days there in order to rest for our return trip. The weather was hot — triple digit hot — so we limited our outside activities unless absolutely necessary. However, I connected with my friend, Kim – and we took a sunset photo walk on a beach up in Sea Pines the night before we left. It was hot and humid – even at that hour of the day, but the breeze was stiff which tempered the heat.

However, I ran into an interesting problem when I tried to take photos. The temperature and humidity difference between the air conditioned house and car and the hot sticky beach was great and my camera’s lens totally fogged up – – so much so that when it was at it’s worst, there was no way the camera would auto focus on anything. When I looked through the camera, it was like looking through my own foggy eye glasses when there is a change in temperature from cold to warm, so I understood what was going on. It’s not as if this was the first time this has happened to me with a camera, either. However, it seemed to take an unusually long time for the lens to finally right itself. Kim wasn’t having issues, and was taking photos, which worried me some. I didn’t know if I should intervene and clean it – but my instinct told me not to mess with that inner lens – especially on a windy, sandy beach where sand particles could get inside. Thankfully, right before the sunset, it finally cleared out – – just in time!

Here are pictures as taken through the foggy lens once it would auto focus:

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1. The first picture my camera took with foggy lens of sea debris
2. Oddly beautiful — eerie – facing into the sun.

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1. Professional photographers often use the beach as a backdrop for formal family photos, and this family is organizing for their picture. I think the choice of turquoise is nice contrast to the color of the sand.
2. The water is “liquid gold”!

The Sunset
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Sunset – far away and close up

If you wish to see any of my photos larger, click on them to see them in Flickr.


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I know I’m late in posting this, but one of the highlights of summer for me is the 4th of July Parade in our town. It’s a good parade, and very traditional with lots of floats, bands, community organizations, fire departments, military groups, veterans, and, of course, local politicians who want to be “seen”. My husband is on the “CVO” (Combined Veterans Organization) parade committee, and is involved in putting the parade together. This means I go alone, and am free to travel up and down the streets with my camera looking for good photos ops.

One group I always love is the Revolutionary War re-enactment militia. And — of course they shoot the cannon – while all the little children hold their ears, and bury their heads in their mother’s arms: (click any photo to see it larger in Flickr)

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Other military groups:

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1. World War II Vets – ride in various cars and floats
2. Korean War Vets
3. Vietnam Vets

A few bands:

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A few of the community floats and parade entries. There were many more, but this is just a sampling:

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1. Little League
2. Mason’s
3. Long Island East Ski Club. My husband and I were members of this group for a long time when we were younger (and our knees were better…) and took a few wonderful skiing trips out west…
4. Human Resources of the Hamptons
5. Lions Club
6. Kiwanis Club

And – then there are the fire departments….!

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Southampton Fire Department’s antique fire trucks

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1. Long line of fire trucks from North Sea Fire Department
2. The junior fire fighters

In my opinion (and only my opinion) the only negative of this parade – – and many parades, for that matter – – are the more politically motivated parade entries. Each year there are one or two, and I see them – at least in this atmosphere – as unnecessarily divisive. Parades are there to bring people together. Political statements divide. Or – at least that is the way things are in the present climate. Such was the affect of this year’s main political entry – the Suffolk County 9-12 Project – The Tea Party. It was one of the largest entries – many banners, marchers, a few decorated cars… I could not deny that it was impressive!

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In previous years there were entries from the “other side of the aisle” – which I didn’t like either, so it’s not about the Tea Party group, per se. Can we not put aside political divisiveness for one day and join together in what we DO share — the celebration of our nation’s birth. Since the parade there has been some contentious discourse in the “letters to the editor” of our local paper about an alleged ugly, unkind bumper sticker on the side of one of the cars. I didn’t see it, but I cannot deny that it could have been there – like on the other side of the car from where I could see. But – whatever the case, the ultimate result is divisiveness among us.

After the parade is over, I head for the Veteran’s Memorial Hall to meet up with my husband who is there after his work is done with the parade. we have some refreshments – usually hot dogs, chips and cake – before we go on home.

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1. The judges stand at the end of the parade
2. Sag Harbor Community Band plays a few patriotic selections after the parade is over
3. Veterans Memorial Hall
4. Across the street from Vets Hall is the World War I Memorial Park where both the Memorial Day and Veterans Day services are held.

When my hubby first began working on this parade, I didn’t like being left alone to watch it. In the early years, I didn’t always attend, as I’d always thought a parade is a social event, enjoyed by families and friends together. But – it didn’t take long for me to pick myself up and just … go. Once the photography bug hit me, it gave me another focus while I watched the festivities. I also found it was fun to be a free spirit at a parade. As I walk up and down the streets looking for photos, I always stop to chat with people I know along the way.

I think this is what I like about parades – – the joining of together of a community to commemorate a particular holiday or event. And, in the process the community (and friends and family) bond(s), as it also celebrates itself.


It’s been so long, I don’t even know where to begin, or whether I should just pack in this blog, and give up.

In short – my 365 project has – basically – gone down the tubes. I took all kinds of photos each day when Maine on vacation, but have gone into a funk once I arrived home. Not sure of the reason for this, but lack of interest, motivation, and drive plagues me. In short – days are going by and I’m allowing that to happen without any input from me to shape those days. In truth, this often happens during the summer, as I don’t much like the heat and humidity of the season. I hide inside away from it. However, it’s also likely a mini depression — maybe like a reverse “SAD” — that seems to hit me this time of year. I know I’ll find my way out. I always do, but I need to do it soon! Invigorating this blog may be one way… The advent of fall, cooler weather, and the gorgeous, colorful foliage on trees will be the most helpful way!

Prior to this abrupt end to daily picture taking, I’d force myself to find … *something* … to photograph each day, but the desire to do that disappeared. Besides that, I haven’t posted any photos since July 3. It’s over a month since then. I have photos from our town’s 4th of July parade, from our quick trip to Hilton Head, our trip to Maine, and a few taken in between these events.

I’m not sure where to take this blog now, but, as I type these words, I *am* committed for it to go somewhere.

Maybe it’s best not to bother to number the photos and give up the strict adherence to the project. Maybe the best solution is to simply share photos when I take them, and use them as a springboard for sharing my thoughts and the events of my life. I would like to commit again in another year to the 365 project – but I am under no illusions that it’s easy for me to get bogged down with it.

I think that’s it! Sometimes writing my way to a solution really works for me!

And – with that I’ll work towards an entry or two (or more!) — coming up soon.

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