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November 2007 Archives

November 4, 2007

A Wonderful Birthday!

Tomorrow, November 5th, is my actual birthday but John, the kids and I celebrated last night. I have to say, a the risk of sounding incredibly schmaltzy, nothing makes me happier than having my family around me. I know how fortunate I am to have children who want to come home and a wonderful husband who plans a party well!

We had great fun and lots of laughs. In fact, just trying to get a nice photo of the girls was a wee bit difficult.....

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Clearly it was necessary to get Chrissy into the picture to get the girls to behave!

It was great having Pat and Chrissy here for the weekend.

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Heather and Chrissy.

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Heather gives Pat and Chrissy an engagement present.

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There was a little bridesmaid talk.

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George looks on.

Now, I have these dogs......

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There's Lady who lives up to her name.

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Then there is Tucker. I'm not sure if this was taken before or after he ate the Boursin cheese we had for our hors d'oeuvres.

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Trying to get back into our good graces by licking the coffee table did not work.

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The McCurdy women

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Not sure what was going on here with the glasses (not Chrissy's), but Chrissy looks cute with or without them.

The camera somehow got onto the wrong setting for this next photo but had to include it for the "ghostly" Dave!

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Julie and Dave

The evening ended with fireworks and sparklers outside and then the BC/Florida State game. After turning the clocks back it was off to bed.

This morning dawned crisp, blue and bright. It is always sad to arrive home after dropping Pat and Chrissy off at the train station but it is a glorious day. I look forward to cleaning up the garden outside, planting my peonies and hearing how Patrick's good freind, Phil, does in the New York City Marathon.

November 7, 2007

Voting 2007

Well, I voted.

I have to say it was a different experience this year, giving me some pause for thought.

First I had to make my way past the candidates at the front door. What's with that? In previous years I don't remember that last minute pressure...Are they staring me down, willing me to vote for them? Do they know who I am? Do they dislike my party affiliation? On the way out... will they know I didn't vote for them? Do I make eye contact, smile, dash for my car in the rain? Too much pressure (and prehaps a little too much paranoia).

After passing the dvd player in the hall informing voters how to use the new machines (new machines? Is Killingworth going the way of Florida?), I made my way inside the school cafeteria, only to notice my usual routine for check in was not to be. The check in tables were all switched around. (I thought this was way too much change, requiring too much thinking for 6:30 in the morning.) Scanning the tables, I found O-Z (for my road) and the familiar face of Florence Broach smiling and saying good morning. In spite of knowing who I am, out came the license and and I stated my "full" name when she asked for it. Hmmmmm...would that be my name with my real middle name or my name with my maiden name (and by the way, where does that mean my middle name went?) or maybe even my name with my middle and maiden name? I got through that with going with the maiden name as the "new" middle name. I was then handed the red folder with the ballot....what? a paper ballot? I have to write? Where are the familiar, ancient grey machines? "Gone!" was the answer.

I took my ballot to the four-person station with the partions to keep my neighbor from smirking at my choices and began to fill in the bubbles. Oh, God.....the dreaded bubbles. Now I know how my kids feel with their standardidized tests. More paranoia ensues..."What if I go over the lines or don't completely fill in the bubble? Can I use an X?" Well, at least I didn't have to go through the second-guessing procedure that plagued me on every multiple choice test I ever took in school..."Should the answer be C? The last two answers were C, so there can't be three Cs in a row...but maybe there is another C.... just to fool me." (You can imagine how I did on my SATs and, no, don't ask.)

What did cross my mind as I made my decisions was, "What if I wanted to change my vote?" I certainly couldn't do that with the special, black, felt-tip marker that was provided to fill in those bubbles. And, as I glanced at the ballot, I wonder why there was so much white space. Where were the names? Usually there were many more people involved. What had happened to the desire to serve in this community? There were far too many categories where I was required to "choose any two" (or three) and where only two (or three) people were running. Well, that's sort of a done deal, isn't it? Granted...many of the names on the ballot have been there for years, and I mean years. Don't take that the wrong way....these are wonderful people who have served this town long and well. I voted for them again but still wondered where were the others who had moved here and loved this town? Is the feeling of volunteerism and giving back diminishing?

I walked over to our new, 21st century optical scan machine, inserted my ballot and it was immediately spat out. Oh, God....more pressure- "Were my hands were too wet as I voted?"; "Perhaps the machine doesn't like my answers"; or "I must have done something wrong." As I tried again (and was successful in getting the machine to swallow my results), I realized I missed the old, familiar click of the metal levers as I chose my candidates; I missed "unclicking" my vote if I decided to give someone else an opportunity; I missed the clash of the main lever as I hauled it over to one side to cement my decisions. You really had to put some effort into getting that lever over and that effort always made me feel as though my vote stood for something, was important, and made a difference.

As it turned out, my vote did stand for something (even though it was not cast with my usual clanging determination.)

In this small community, on November 6, 2007, the Selectman's office was determined by only 27 votes. More important, the incumbent received only 18% of the vote - a result of the town's overwhelming message that it wanted a non-arrogant individual who could be respectful of other town officers (in spite of their party affiliation), and who would work with others as a member of a cohesive group to support the best wishes of the majority and the town.

Yes, a lot of pause for thought. And perhaps the most powerful?.....thinking about and giving thanks to that small group of Pilgrims and their Mayflower Compact (the basis for our "majority rules" system and the foundation of our Constitution) which allows us to participate in this thoughtful process every few years. It's a great system.

November 10, 2007

Daylight Savings

I love the mornings when we go to Daylight Savings time. Instead of leaving for work in the dark, I now have this.......

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My boarders

I miss Aggie....a lot. I keep an eye out for horses on the internet and during the summer looked at a few and I wonder if I'll find another like her.

November 17, 2007

GRAND DAME

This past week, a great lady passed away. John's aunt and god-mother, his mother's older sister, Martha O'Hagan O'Sullivan, died in her sleep at age 95. Her final birthday was just three weeks ago.

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Aunt Martha was an incredible person and I'll do my best to describe her. She was an out-going woman, bursting with life and enthusiasm and a wonderful sense of humor. She was proud of her Irish heritage. She was passionate about things and had her own interests and strong opinions. She was a walking cyclone; when something needed to get down, she got organized and did it. She was tough when she needed to be and she was strong. She was loving - she took great care of her seven children and countless students she taught over the years. She was loyal and unwaverligly faithful to her religion. She was positive and saw the good in people. And she liked and was interested in people. When you spoke to her, you had her full attention.

Mostly, Aunt Martha loved a good party.

Aunt Martha was larger than life and when someone like that leaves us, we feel overwhelming sadness. We cannot believe they are gone forever. All that energy, influence and strength surely can't just end. And so we look for (and almost expect) there to be signs from them after they are gone - will they come to us in a dream, be that shooting star over Cape Cod on an August night, or the whisper of a breeze on our faces? We beg for these signs but they seldom happen. And that, too, is overwhelmingly sad.

But sometimes things do happen; we just don't recognize them at the time.

Three or four weeks ago, hearing that Aunt Matha's health was declining, Heather went to visit her. When she got home from her visit, she retrieved Baba's rosary given to her years before and put it next to her bed. Since then, Heather said, she had tried a few times to recite the rosary but each time fell asleep before she finished.

Wednesday of this week, Heather went to bed at 10:30, and feeling the need to try again, took the beads in her hands. This time she was successful in completing her prayers. She put down the beads and went to sleep. She would learn the following day that Aunt Martha died sometime after 10:00 p.m.

There are some who will say this was pure coincidence, and that's OK. It's possible. But it's also possible that something or someone else was, and is, at work here.

Upon hearing her story, John said to Heather, "Baba put her rosary in your hands," and he also reminded Heather of the appropriateness of her prayer, especially the final line...

"Hail Mary full of of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Good job, Baba and Heather.

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Sisters Barbara and Martha, together once again

November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

We were a small group this year, down 14 to 5, but that didn't dampen our enthusiasm for food and fun.

What a glorious day it was, topping out in the low 60s and not a drop of rain (as the weathermen had predicted). We headed out to the lawn with Heather's delicous hors d'ouevres and our Bloody Marys, to play boules.

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A confident Heather and Patrick take on Chrissy and Dad

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Dad shows off his bocci style

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Chrissy is next

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She even tries to "help" the opposition

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But Pat sticks to his own game plan.

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The group under the Japanese Maple

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Then it was on to the food: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, peas and parsnips....parsnips? The chickens loved them.

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Heather helps herself to cranberry relish.

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Tryptophan starts to kick in...

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And then comes down like a sledge hammer...

We couldn't handle pumpkin pie after our meal, so we decided to wait. We waited til 8:00! Even then, it was hard to find room.

It was a fun day and Pat and Chrissy decided to leave Friday morning on the train so we were able to extend their visit (not sure we could have made the waddle to the station in the evening anyway!).


November 28, 2007

Fall Sunrise

Sometimes it pays to get up early.

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About November 2007

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

October 2007 is the previous archive.

December 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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