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September 2007 Archives

September 13, 2007

Carrying on a Tradition

Taking advantage of a day off from school (Rosh Hoshanah), I decided to head into New York to personally make arrangements for Patrick and Chrissy's engagement party. I was looking forward to meeting with my contact at the New York Yacht Club and afterwards having lunch with Patrick. Wanting to make my trip into the city a relaxing and restful one, I decided to take the train, hopping on the Shoreline East in Clinton.

Will I ever do anything in a restful manner? Typically, I left a few things until the last moment, including ironing my linen skirt. Naturally there was a spot smack dab in the middle of the front. Took care of that. Next decision - what top to wear. I knew the temperature would get up to 76 degrees but the thermometer outside was just hovering above 50. Hmmm...what to wear that was stylish and not too bulky to carry around New York. I solved that problem with a Pashmina I got while visiting Heather in Stockholm in 2001. Perfect. Warm, not too frumpy looking and light.

OK - into the car at 7:35 for a 15 minute ride to the train station, leaving me 15 minutes to wait for my train. Perfect. That is until the elderly woman in the silver Camry pulled out in front of me and obeyed the speed limit down Route 81. As we approached the local Dunkin Donuts, I willed her with all my might to take a left and get a cup of coffee. What was I thinking? She was of the age where she either had decided only to take right turns or she was too smart to drink a cup of coffee and drive at the same time (she probably saves a lot of money by making it at home anyway). Well, I was lucky because another 2 miles down the road she did take that right. Once again the road belonged to me (and the string of cars behind me). By now the anxiety level had risen just a tad but I was still OK. I had in fact left a 15 minute window; I couldn't have lost more than three or four minutes. Then I took the wrong turn at Route 1.

Having been to the Clinton railroad station only once (and at night) to pick up Patrick, my usually good sense of direction completely failed me. I realized it quickly (when there was no train station to be seen), turned around, headed east and saw the station. Phew....pulled in and parked the car...7:55...10 minutes til the train. I walked liesurely up the platform only to discover there was no place to buy tickets. A gentleman assured me I could buy one on the train. Well, that was fine except I had been planning to purchase my tickets with my credit card and had very little cash with me (anxiety level was getting a little higher.) There was no time to get to the nearest ATM. Fortunately I discovered I had enough money to get a ticket to New Haven where, I now realized, I'd have to dash down the stairs, through the tunnel, up the stairs and into Union Station, stand in line, get my ticket and reverse the process....all in ten minutes. The gentleman assured me I'd have time.

When I purchased my ticket to New Haven from the conductor, I thought I'd confirm with him I would indeed be able to pull this off before the train pulled out of the station. He took my money, assured me I would and walked off, probably wondering what kind of nut travels to New York City with only $10 in her wallet.

Now this is where the good part starts....As the conductor continued down the aisle, the woman in the seat behind me tapped my on the shoulder and said, "You'll never make it. I'd be happy to give you a twenty if you write me a check." Before I could help it, my jaw dropped and I said,"You would?" I realized how ridiculous I must have looked and before my expression of complete astonishment changed her mind, I accepted her offer and said, "Thank you!" I really don't know why I was so taken aback at this act of kindness. There still are lots of decent, trusting people in this world and all around us. So, check for cash was exchanged and it turned out my savior lived minutes in Chester and on the same road as my vet.

As I relaxed back into my seat and pulled out my reading material, I was thinking that clearly, on this crystal clear, sky-blue day (the kind of pre-fall day my father loved), someone was watching out for me. And so I traveled the train to the city, really and truly relaxed and happy, and anticipating my lunch with Patrick where I planned to present him with the wedding ring his grandfather presented to his grandmother 68 years ago. Whether it fits, can can hold up for another 60 years, or even goes with the ring Pat gave Chrissy will be for them to determine.

There's a lot of love connected to that beautiful, little band of diamonds and right now it's right where it should be...in Patrick's pocket.

And now, having finished this blog entry and headed of to bed, I swear I can hear my dad in his impish way saying, "Kathy, you are such a sap!"

September 18, 2007

Skip the Curriculum

There are some days at school you just can't prepare for and today was one of them. While introducing the spelling books to the third grarders, one student looked out the window and said, "There's a hawk on the ground!" Well, you know what happens after such an announcement....the entire class runs over to the window and whatever you were talking about is completely forgotten.

Sure enough, there on the lawn next to the gym was a hawk. I grabbed my camera (which is always with me), told the kids to watch from the window, and went out to get a photo. Before I got there, other students had spotted it and in their excitment had rushed closer to get a look and scared the hawk off the ground to its new perch on the corner of the library.



I took some photos and then motioned to the kids to quietly come outside so they could share in the joy of watching this wonderful bird. Without a word, they filed out of the room and joined me and we watched this bird of prey watch us. When I tried to get a closer photo after about 5 minutes, s/he decided s/he had been patient enough and flew to the corner of our third grade building.

On top of third grade

just visible at the corner of the building behind the kids.

As more kids came out of their classrooms and spotted the hawk, s/he flew in short flights further away until finally hiding from view in a tree. After our 20 minute break, we returned to the classroom and our spelling books.

Years from now will these kids remember what a closed syllable is? Probably not. Will they remember the day they stood outside in the warm, fall sunshine and traded stares with a wild hawk? I hope so.

September 22, 2007

Two Months Later

Who would have thought that two months later the hand would look the same?

July 15

September 22

A simple slip on some river rocks in Idaho resulted in a broken arm in July. Unfortunately my local clinic told me I had only sprained it so I walked around for four weeks until a hand doctor informed me differently. It was too late for a cast at that point. Then more bad luck as a week later the thumb tendon ruptured from rubbing back and forth over the break or mendng scar tissue. I could no longer lift my thmb and I quickly learned how valuable that digit is. Yep, it was the old lesson of "You don't realize how important something is until you lose it."

Yesterday I had surgery to replace the damaged tendon and voila!... back to bulky bandages.

An unfortnate series of events, yes, but when I think and look back at the photos of our trip...it was worth it.



About September 2007

This page contains all entries posted to KathyMcCurdy.com in September 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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