Letter From New York 01 02 15 A week ends in a New Year…

The day dawned drab and dreary here in Claverack, a grey day, the kind that made you want to roll over and bury your head in your pillow. Grabbing my teddy bear to my chest, I did just that, the boy in me not wanting to face the day. But not long later, I was up and had my morning coffee and had a good hour perusing the New York Times.

The news today was filled with yesterday’s passing of Mario Cuomo, father of the current Governor of New York and a former Governor of the State himself. He was a big man who filled the rooms he was in and flirted with running for the Presidency more than once.

When he was Governor, I was always aware of who he was even though I wasn’t living in New York then. He died, interestingly enough, only hours after his son, Andrew, was sworn in for his second term as Governor of the State of New York.

He was a staunch voice for the liberal side of the Democratic Party, often stymied in his plans for the State by the dire finances New York endured when he was first elected. He served three terms, went into the private practice of law after being defeated by George Pataki in his fourth attempt for the office, became wealthy and watched his children grow into politicians and newscasters. Chris Cuomo of CNN is another son.

The day did not stay grey and in the early afternoon, the wonderful golden light that blesses the Hudson Valley showed and transformed the landscape. The deer crossed my yard.

Earlier in the day, I went out and walked the circle upon which I live with my friend Lionel. A squirrel perched on a tree branch, so steady as to seem a statue. We noticed trees that had been uprooted by some wind event in the last two weeks, including a birch tree in his yard and an oak in his neighbors.

We live on a circle, Patroon Street, a scattering of a dozen houses on lots from one to four acres, broad and spacious with scatterings of trees and wild overgrowth. During the summers I cannot see my neighbors as my two acres is all woods except for the clearing where the cottage stands. On the east side of my property is the Claverack Creek and on the other side there are only wild woodlands. Behind the northern edge of my little universe is a long open field belonging to a farm. Once when traipsing across my “back forty” I encountered a cow that had wandered onto my land.

There has been much stability here since I moved here thirteen plus years ago. I am sure that to all of us who live here, Rosemary’s Cottage will always be Rosemary’s Cottage even though she has passed and it has been sold, gutted and is being rebuilt by a couple up from the city.

Tonight’s sky is tinged with pink. What’s that saying? Red sky at night, sailor’s delight? If true, we will have a gentle day tomorrow. I have loved being here this fall and winter, having time to notice the rhythms and pacing of my little world.

The New Year begins. I will have more to pay attention and will probably be spending more time in the city than I have but probably less than I was. It will be an interesting thing to see how the New Year plays out.

Every Friday, I have a conversation with two friends who live in California, whom I have known now for twenty plus years, Medora and Meryl. When I met Medora she was Vice President of Development for USA Network and Meryl was about to become the Chairwoman of the Television Academy.

We gather by phone on Friday to support each other in life. Each of us shares and each of us supports and it has been a blessing. We have been doing this since early in 2001 and it is one of the constants of my life.

When we were talking today, I was realizing how blessed I am to have this ongoing support group. Exactly how we started is now lost in the mists of time but it is a great joy for me to stop for half an hour each week and share the joys and tribulations of the past week with two people who have known me so long and so well.

The sun fades. The barren trees stand stark against the light. The deer are now coming back across the land. A week ends. All is well in Claverack.

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