Monday, January 18, 2010

Removing Ghosts From a Home

It happens sometimes... you think that your house might actually be haunted. What to do next?

This article will give you a few tips to start the removal process.

Remember, don't do anything dangerous or hurtful. When in doubt, contact an expert.

Good luck!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dune Road Book Review

Dune Road by Jane Green
Fiction, 2009
ISBN 978-0-670-02086-7

SPOILER ALERT: While I do not give away the specifics of the end of the book, I do address the manner in which this book ends. I will place the “spoiler alert” phrase prior to the actual spoiler incident, so you may read as far as you like.

So far, I have enjoyed all of Jane Green’s books tremendously. The author is originally from London but now lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, both places I am familiar with and love.

Dune Road is set in the fictional town of Highfield, recognizable to anyone who has lived on the Gold Coast as an amalgamation of all that is Westport/Fairfield/Darien. The main character, Kit Hargrove, has recently undergone a divorce from an extremely suitable yet never present Wall Street worker. Kit is finding her way through life as her own person instead of as a wife or mother, and her friends and new neighbors are there for support and comradeship in this new phase of life. Kit’s story is interwoven with that of her friends, including the neighbor, Edie, who provides nurturing and grandmotherly advice; friend Charlie, whose life is being torn apart by the recent financial crisis; writer Robert McClore with a mysterious past and friend Tracy with an even more mysterious past. Also thrown into the mix are Kit’s children, mother and a mysterious stranger from her mother’s past.

Jane Green’s strength is in creating characters that we like and believe, characters that we would like to someday meet for a cup of coffee. She doesn’t shy away from presenting the ridiculousness of certain lifestyles, the ‘mommy competitions’ and inherent snobbery of a particular social strata. She also does not spend too much time dwelling on these particular snobberies, they simply become a part of the story as her characters try to avoid these pitfalls.

SPOILER ALERT – Okay, here’s the truth. The thing I loved most about this novel was the way it ended. Everything tied neatly at the conclusion with a very happy ending. The good guys earned their rewards and the bad guys were all chased away. Mysteries were solved, friendships remained intact. Far from sappy, as I read this I thought it was the right way to end. We all need a break from the world of terrorism, torture, killing and mayhem, and Dune Road is the perfect book for an escape.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grief Interrupted

I was the luckiest little girl in the world. From a very early age, my parents told me the story of how they came to get me. They said that they wanted a little girl very badly, so they went to the baby store, walked down aisles and aisles of babies until they found the perfect one: me. It was a wonderful story to tell a child who was adopted how very much she was loved and wanted. I grew up in a family with a mother and father who gave everything they could, and then some.

But what of the birth parents, the people who gave me away? I met my birth parents, Susan and Pat, when I was twenty years old and found two people who were loving, caring and accepting of a young girl seeking the answers to all life’s questions. Susan was young when she gave birth to me, and realized that I might have a different and possibly better life with another set of parents. It seems to me the ultimate in parental love, the giving away of your child so they may have a finer existence.

My mother and father, the people who raised me, have both passed away. My mother died in February of 2006 and my father died in April of 2009. My birth parents are much younger than the parents that raised me. I had expected to have plenty of time with Sue and Pat, and had even looked forward to the possibility of them moving south for retirement.

This is what I did not know: lung cancer can be asymptomatic. By the time Pat discovered he had lung cancer it had progressed to his bones and various parts of his body. It was around Thanksgiving when the doctors told him he had cancer and it was already in stage IV. Pat Green died Christmas eve, December 24, 2009.

I went to Connecticut to visit Pat in December to say goodbye and see Susan. As he sat on his couch, racked with a pain so brutal he could hardly breathe, he turned to me and said, “You know, I’m a pretty lucky guy. I’ve got all this, a house, a family, people who care. There’s lots of people out there that have it much worse than me.”
In the midst of suffering, Pat saw optimism. He was that kind of guy. He was perhaps the kindest person I have ever known and had an ability to make everyone feel special. I loved him, and I know he loved me.

My husband, son and I went to Pat’s funeral in Connecticut this week. Worried about my six year old son, I asked him how he was feeling on the day of the wake. He looked out the window at the snow and said, “It’s good, bad and sad. I got to go sledding, but Poppa Pat is dead.”

Good, bad and sad. My son got it exactly right. In the midst of our grief we are interrupted by life.

Goodbye, Poppa Pat.