Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Farewell to Chapter Three

As I sit here in Manila listening to the heavy rain of Tropical Storm Jolina, it’s hard to believe that a week ago I was in Southampton. My last week there was busy – so I’m glad I got as much done to pack, write and otherwise get ready the week before. The owners of the house (my sister and brother-in-law) came for the weekend. On Saturday, we watched the British Open, played Rummikub, hiked in the Nature Conservancy’s land on Shelter Island (this time I wore insect repellent, so was able to venture farther in) and saw “The Hangover” – I might not have chosen that movie as my last one to see for a while, but for its genre, it was not bad, much as I might hate to admit that!

On Sunday, we again watched the British Open, marveling at how close Tom Watson came to making history – and then feeling depressed when he didn’t. Mike Tirico said something to the effect that we might feel as if we were watching with someone we used to be watching with – somehow I came into baseball fandom on my own (my father claimed he saw me reading box scores in second grade so I would have something to talk to boys about) but our love of watching golf came from our father. Here’s to you both of you (Tom Watson and my father!).

Elisa was going to come up Sunday night for a day but decided it was too long a trip for too short a time, so instead we scheduled a long phone call, and I accompanied myself on a walk on the beach, a bike ride, and a stroll through the village. Rain (first since June? Then again, it rained 23 days in June) meant no beach walk or bike ride on Tuesday, but I did swim – and then I took the jitney into New York. I wasn’t sure I’d go back into the city again before I left. I had a chance to see my friend Alison, who I hadn’t seen yet – the past few times I walked in the park I wondered why I wasn’t walking with Alison, and we finally had that chance.

Rose got to New York last week – Rose! She was going to come out to the Hamptons for a few days but circumstances intervened. I was able to see her though – she and the friend she came to New York with and I went to lunch and then to the Asia Society – I was interested in what sort of Philippine art there might be. I didn’t see any in the exhibit (we didn’t get through the whole museum), but I did see some capiz-shell items in the gift shop, and already they have grown on me! So good to see Rose, though our time was way too brief.

The reason I went to New York was so that I could drive my sister and nieces out to the Hamptons – the girls were back from camp and didn’t have appointments, and my brother-in-law had to work. It was a long drive – the jitney doesn’t seem as long, but that may be because someone else is doing the driving! It was probably good though – I may dream of living there, but it was good to see the reality of how far it is, with traffic.

Good to spend the last few days with family (joined by my brother-in-law on the weekend, a friend of my sister’s and her daughter for dinner one day, the niece of my aunt and her family another morning, and the friend of my niece’s and her mother for a sleepover – more people than I saw in three months there!). I did a lot of errands (usually with Valerie), played games (with both her and Sabrina), and heard about Mark Buerhle’s perfect game! Be still my heart! He pitched a no-hitter while I was in Morocco, too.

On Saturday, my sister and I did the Wounded Warrior Walk in Sag Harbor. The Wounded Warrior Project is pretty impressive – you can go to to find out more. This walk was in honor of a Marine from Sag Harbor. He was in Iraq for less than a month when a suicide bomber came around. He shot and killed the driver of the truck, saving the lives of 50 people, but the bomb went off and he was killed. He was 19. Wounded warriors came to do the ride (it was a ride, too), as did fellow Marines from his platoon. The mom (who we met while walking) talked about another family up in Cape Cod, who decided to organize a bike ride up there leaving at the exact same time. They learned the day before the ride that their own son had been killed the day before that. How sad. But it made me even happier to be doing my part – the walk (for which I raised money – and will still accept donations) and, the next day, the Peace Corps.