Thursday, May 29, 2008

Seren's First Trip to Long Island

Growing up, Long Island NY was a sort of "home base" for my family. My mom's best friend from college, Jane, lives in Watermill, NY. The family was (and is) very generous- opening up their home to us in the summer. In exchange for their generosity, my parents would offer to paint the house, work on the pool, etc. I have many memories of lobster dinners, playing in the wild dunes, making forts on the beach, eating Oreos on the back deck and watching baby rabbits appear at the end of the summer. It was awesome!

And being that Jane was my mom's best friend, we would see them throughout the year and during the summer. And so Jane became "Aunt Jane" to my brother and I. And Jane's mom became a third grandmom to me, "Aunt Gwen". Both of these women fully adopted us growing up- sending us cards on our birthdays, celebrating during high school graduations, and generally treating us like family. Jane has two children- both of the kids were older than my brother, John and I. Amy is about three years older and I thought she walked on water. Oh! I loved Amy. She wore makeup and had the best clothes. I still distinctly remember sharing a bedroom with her and thinking that I had really arrived in terms of being cool. Amy is now married and expecting her first. Her brother is married too and has a little son named Mason. We all have aged. And my mom and Jane are still close friends.

And so it was that Seren, Grammy and I made a trip to Long Island two weeks ago. As a child, the 4 hours car ride was ETERNITY! And being that we didn't have air conditioning, my brother and I would simply pass out from the humidity of those summer days spent driving to Watermill. This time the ride was a lot shorter but tiring it is own right as I was keeping Seren entertained.

Seren had a BLAST there. Our stay was too short- just over 24 hours. But seeing old friends really boosted my spirits. The Long Island area is a funny mix of people and lifestyles. The Hamptons are right out of the movies. And over the years, we have seen our share of the rich and famous. Peter Jennings, the Beach Boys, etc. The homes are monstrosities! And no one lives in them as they are "summer homes". However, there are also locals who farm potatoes and corn and dig for clams. So it is a fun mix. Jane has a farm that her family owns, right behind her house. The farm has chickens, peacocks, a pony, two goats, four ducks and some odd looking cows. In short? It was a toddler's paradise.

Seren got to feed a pony. Mason, Jane's grandson, showed her the ropes. They are both two years old and it was a riot to see them feeding the pony. We taught Seren how to hold her hand flat so that Pilgrim the pony could eat from her hand. She shrieked with sheer joy at the experience! And the tractor? Awesome!

Being there with my mom- at a place where I have been coming for years and years- was very special. When I lived in California, I missed Aunt Gwen's funeral and mourned the opportunity to say goodbye to such an amazing woman. Being there this spring, I still felt her spirit. I said goodbye to her again standing on the beach.

It makes me so happy to live close to my parents so that my daughter can experience some of what made my childhood such a happy one. Thanks to Grammy and Jane for such a special time!

1 comment:

Laura S said...

Looks like you had a good time visiting friends lately as well! Glad we got a chance to talk last night.