Letter From New York 07 25 15 Thoughts on a Saturday afternoon…

It has been a resolutely beautiful day in Columbia County. I awoke late this morning, having been up late, cleaning up after a dinner party. Thursday night some friends were going to come for dinner and cancelled. I had food that would have rotted and so I called other friends and invited them for dinner Friday evening.

Serving a chilled avocado soup, followed by a salad, then a grilled chicken breast with sautéed heirloom carrots and potatoes, along with some dreadful sugar snap peas I managed to destroy, it was a dinner much enjoyed [except for the sugar snap peas]. Dessert was ice cream with chocolate sauce; it felt very summery and right.

I have always enjoyed having people for dinner and last night was a testament to that. It was mostly good food with great company, good wine and sparkling conversation. I went to sleep with a bit of a glow.

Awaking this morning, the sun was already fairly high in the sky but it was neither hot nor humid today. At this moment, I am sitting on my deck, looking over the creek, and thinking of how wonderful it is that I am in this spot.

The sun is now hidden behind clouds but it does not prevent the birds from singing or the frogs from leaping. This morning I found one on the side of the house; they are everywhere right now and I’m grateful.

Far away, I can hear traffic on 23, moving to and from the Massachusetts border. The green of the trees is luscious. All seems right in the world.

All, of course, is not right in the world. While it seems far away, it isn’t really. Events keep happening that keep shaping our world. Some of them are for the good and some for the bad. It is interesting to figure out which is which.

Obama was in Kenya today, homeland of his father, and spoke out for gay rights, which caused a very tense moment between him and the President of Kenya, Kenyatta. Kenyatta thought it was a non-issue and Obama did not. There has been a crackdown on gays in Kenya and it’s apparently not very pretty. Tomorrow Obama will meet with some of gay leaders in Kenya. Kenyatta is not happy.

But good for Obama! Yes, good for him.

Donald Trump’s campaign keeps trucking along. Right now he is mired in a bit of controversy as he has formed a group called “Veterans for Trump,” though some of the veterans named claim they have so idea how they got on the list. He is being accused of hiring actors to cheer for him. Gosh, it sounds a lot like ancient Roman politics.

He made a visit to Laredo, Texas and I was surprised in reading the reports from there how many agreed with him, including some of Hispanic origin. He is tapping into a vein of American discomfort and is doing well by it.

Duke, the Great Dane, whose family lives next door, just wandered onto my property. Two years ago he had been given two months to live by his vet. But he’s still here, seemingly having a good time. We’ve begun to think of him as indestructible. He just keeps going on…

The sun is setting, the green is fulsome; the creek glitters with the fading light. I find myself astonished at my luck in having this place to sit and write. A small plane flies overhead, flying south from Columbia County Airport. These are country sounds and moments.

I’ll be having more of them, suspecting that some time in the not too distant future I will be here full time. Sitting on the deck on day this week, I realized that I didn’t care that much about the life I’ve had though am interested in finding out what life I will have.

I’ve been here long enough to note the changes. Rosemary Schneider has passed away and her cottage torn down and rebuilt from the slab up. Harry Fonda has passed away and his wife is now in assisted care facility up near Albany and her daughter; new people live in their house. Lionel and Pierre bought their house across the street from long time residents I didn’t know well.

Time keeps changing things. I am treasuring this moment when time seems eternal. The creek reflects the light. The small plane flies south. I hear someone cutting their grass. It is a perfect evening on a summer night in Columbia County.

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