Near and Far

I feel like I have not been home. I traveled far to South Carolina and saw my grandkids at the end of August, raced our catboat in the Catboat Rendezvous nearby (which took a lot of attention and time, but was so much fun), juggled appointments, and prepared to spend a week at Watch Hill Fire Island National Seashore. Watch Hill is the nearest faraway place.  

Matt and I rented a beach house just behind the dunes. September and October are quiet and comfortable here. The mosquitoes are not as bad this time of year and it is prime for surf fishing. It would be nice to catch a fresh striped bass or bluefish for supper. 

We began the week with dear old friends; three couples. The men were freshman roommates at the University of Buffalo. No matter how much time elapsed between our meetups, Matt, Dave, Hank, and Kevin pick up right where they left off. I have known these guys since 1975. Over the years, wives were added to the gang. We all get along so well, like we were meant to be forever friends. 

The Boys 1990
The Boys 2022

It has been three years since our last gathering. During the interim, each couple has lost a parent or two, adjusted to body changes and needs, and begun tackling the empty nests and retirement challenges. We were so ready for a vacation together.

Fire Island is not accessible by car. Matt and I own a motorboat, but it is small and not safe to load up and ride across the Great South Bay on rough and windy days. Instead, we piled everything we needed (and didn’t need) onto the ferry last Sunday.

For five days, the weather was glorious. We swam in the ocean, clammed in the bay (Cathy cooked up delish chowder), and walked the beach and boardwalks. We filled the days with good food, new and old stories, and lots of laughs—but no fish. 

When everyone, but me, left on Thursday, the remnants of Hurricane Fiona barreled nearby. My friends and husband caught the outbound ferry before the deluge. Just as the rain and wind hit, three of my Zoom writer pals arrived. They traveled from upstate New York, braved the bridges and expressway, boarded the ferry and discovered the beauty of Fire Island. Two of them have never been here. 

Our Writers’ Beach Retreat began. I went on a mountain retreat with these ladies last year. It was lovely and refreshing. This year, I offered to share my muse—the ocean shore, where the salt air, the crash of the surf to sand, and the wind carving the shoreline stirs poetry and imagery. The weather was not as glorious as the previous few days, but it did not matter. We found our quiet spots, wrote, took walks, wrote some more, and shared our efforts over food and wine. 

I will go home tomorrow—Sunday. Laundry, grocery shopping, and apologizing to Hershey the cat, will take up the next few days. Looking forward to it. 

Have a good week, Everyone. Make it Funtastic!

Great BIG Thanks and appreciation go out to Natalie the Explorer who keeps the Weekend Coffee Share percolating.

Enjoy ❤️.   Like 👍.  Share 😊. 

Work for Peace

You have a voice

Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

12 thoughts

  1. Sounds like a great get together and a good writers’ retreat. I have never been to Fire Island, but I’m sure I’d love it (Nantucket is one of my favorite places…) I was on the Cape when Fiona raced by, but it wasn’t too bad – some torrential ran and a lot of lightning. Strong winds, but nothing like if the storm hit us!


    1. I had great week. Wind howled but as you know from coast living, it was mild compared to the past tropical storms and hurricanes. Thanks for reading

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was great! Every writer should have an opportunity to go somewhere with other writers, talk shop, and , you know, write.


  2. Wow Antoinette,
    What a great idea! I’d love a get away like this.
    I have access to several suitable venues, but lack the writer friends.
    I need to fix this. . .
    Hey – when the schedule allows, I’d love to have you read and react to my newest story.
    It’s about a 8-10 minute read but it’s nudging me closer to taking the publish-plunge.
    Which, of course brings you to mind every time I feel this happening.
    A reader I respect tells me there is likely a book to grow from this short story.
    If you’re up for a wilder ride than my normal work, please give it a try and set me straight.
    Thanks for a great coffee share today.


  3. Hi, Antoinette – What a wonderful place to have a gathering of lifelong friends and a writers’ retreat. I totally get feeling like you have not been home for ages. Richard and I are now awaiting for the ferry home after being away for five weeks straight (2 of those weeks away were unplanned). As wonderful as travel is, nothing calls as sweetly as home!


  4. Antoinette, Thank you for your weekend coffee share. I’m glad you had a wonderful time with lifelong friends and writers’ retreat. I got home yesterday from a trip to Eastern Canada and am catching up today. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I believe true friends are being able to pick up where you left off no matter how much time has passed. I was thinking about the shows that are centered around a core group of friends that seem inseparable during adulthood like “Friends” and “How I Met Your Mother.” They may be fun shows to watch, but I feel that it’s an unrealistic portrayal of friendship — they somehow are able to meet at the same place all the time despite demanding jobs and/or raising children.

    Liked by 1 person

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