Tuesday, July 28, 2009


A woman from Congressman Delahunt's office called me yesterday morning about the flag. They don't own their building but she was going to speak to the owner about the flag. When we drove by in the early evening the flag was at half staff. I had told my dad about it and he told me an interesting little bit -- when someone dies at sea, the flag is flown at half mast, when it is on land it is at half staff. I am glad so many people flew flags in support of Nicholas Xiarhos and his family.

** Photo from Atomic Mods Club Freedom

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Marty told me about the young man from Yarmouthport killed in Afghanistan recently. USMC. It breaks my heart. That's how I ended up on the cape in the first place. My dad moved us here when he went to Vietnam. It was closer to family in case he didn't come back.

Back then no one here even knew what a Marine was -- it was a lonely place to live if you were a military kid used to bases and the unique bonds forged with other military families. When my dad returned from Vietnam, part of his job required him to let families know when their kin had died. We were stationed in Ohio at that time, during Kent State, Woodstock, protests and unrest across the country, scary times for a 9 year old. It felt like the world was falling apart.

I am glad it is not so lonely for military families here anymore. On our way back from the bike path this afternoon, the entire stretch of Route 28 in Yarmouth was full of yellow ribbons and flags on every telephone pole, as well as all the businesses' flags at half staff -- even the Irish and Greek flags. On our way into Hyannis the Hess gas station's flag was at half staff and in Aselton Park on the harbor it was at half staff. The only place it wasn't was at Congressman Delahunt's office. Hopefully, that will change, too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Few Pictures

We've been taking our cameras everywhere of late, but have taken very few pictures - not sure why that is. Here are a few though - a few of the many characters in Provincetown...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Stories

While we're caught up with Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and other celebrity deaths, the real heroes continue to die quietly. As long as we keep sharing our stories and their stories, their memories will remain in our hearts and souls while the front pages of tabloids tatter and fade. Sometimes, I find mere words inadequate to express deep sentiment but fortunately, there are others who have already said it and said it well so I share their words with you. The following is from an email my dad sent to me this morning, source unknown.

It got me googling "Darrell Shifty Powers," "Tuskegee Airmen," and "Fox Company." I love history and hope you enjoy learning about these heroes as much as I do. Actually, I never tire of hearing their stories. Daring, adventure, selflessness, and taking it all in stride as just part of doing their job.

Subject: A Real Hero ..

Darrell "Shifty" Powers
Easy Company
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Infantry
(Band of Brothers)

R.I.P. Shifty, and may God be good to you!!

Subject: Memorial Service: you're invited.

We're hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services. I want
a nationwide memorial service for Darrell "Shifty" Powers.

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy
Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st
Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the
History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10
episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know
who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble
reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the
right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle," the symbol of the 101st
Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or
if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I
thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how
many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so,
and was in until sometime in 1945 .. . . " at which point my heart

At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps
at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where
Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.

I told him "yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what
D-Day was." At that point he said "I also made a second jump into
Holland , into Arnhem ." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . .
and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France , and he said
"Yes. And it's real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are left,
and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in
my throat and I didn't know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in
Coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get
him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward,
I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd
take his in coach.
He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still
some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to make
an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And
mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade. No big event in Staples Center . No wall to wall
back to back 24x7 news coverage. No weeping fans on television. And
that's not right.

Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet
way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the

Rest in peace, Shifty.

Chuck Yeager, MajGen. [ret.]

For several days, there was a guessing game as to who had written the tribute to Powers. Chuck Yeager, the test pilot and retired general, emerged as a prime candidate, but spokespeople denied he had anything to do with it. The spotlight switched to Joseph Galloway, a columnist for McClatchy Newspapers who has written extensively about war and the military. But Galloway apparently was not the author.

The man who wrote the tribute, and who has called for an online tribute to Powers, turns out to have been Mark Pfeifer. He says he wrote the tribute July 7 and e-mailed it to a few friends and acquaintances, including members of Powers family in Dickinson County, Va. Pfeifer, who is retired from Dow Jones has told ABC News that he had no idea the e-mail would receive so much attention. On Thursday, he said, "Now thousands of people have been organized into a virtual memorial service for Shifty on July 20(this Monday), presumably all day. It will be on Twitter, Facebook, ad a host of other social networking sites."

Well done, Mr. Pfeifer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hosiery Update

We’ve been slowly adding new inventory to our site. Sometimes you really need to look to find things. We’ve added some b.ella and Nouvella lines (knee high and above-the-knee), and of course we’re always adding new Berkshire and Cette styles. You can check them out here:


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 'Hood

I sit here on my porch this morning and write all this, listening to the birds tweet, trill, chirp, chatter and sing amongst the buzz of machinery, lawnmowers, roaring motorcycles and cars, droning planes, wailing boats, soulful trains and the shouts of living on the edge of the 'hood in a struggling downtown. I try to feel blessed that in my neighborhood, I can see the world -- Jamaicans, Indians, Brazilians, Mexicans, Wampanoags, Eastern Europeans, WASPs and rednecks.

We are all just trying to make our own version of hay while the sun shines. And for the moment it is beautiful and strangely peaceful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stop and Smell the Privet

Today was a hectic day but on my way in the door from errands I inhaled the soft, sweet scent of the privet jungle that is our front "hedge." I've been noticing it on walks lately and it is soothing aromatherapy. It may not be the beloved honeysuckle of my Southern childhood, but it's a good stand-in. While it may not be roses, do stop and smell the privet sometime. It'll make you smile.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Farm City

My latest book is another memoir called Farm City, The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. I am loving it so far. I fantasize about growing our own food here and raising chickens. Our neighbor Paul does it down the street. Granted, he doesn't have chickens (yet) -- I brought him a stash of empty egg cartons the other morning to inspire him -- he just laughed. He does fish and clam though.

The chickens will probably be up to me and like Novella, I want my first batch to be full grown as I would be overwhelmed with baby chicks. Marty and I imagine Hyannis to be the Cape Cod version of Novella's corner of Oakland. Chi-Chi places around us but here in the downtown of Hyannis, we are home to the peninsula's homeless, economically challenged and more. It's one of the more diverse areas on the cape -- if you want to see something besides white, khaki and alligators, come to Hyannis. And keep an ear out for my chickens.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cape Cod Gray

Have you ever heard of the color, Cape Cod gray? It's the color shingles weather to on the old houses, the color folks paint their shutters, the color of the day again today. We've had some glorious weather the past few days and then last night the gloom descended. I can sit out on the porch which is light and lovely and makes the gray bearable.

In between porch sitting, I've been going domestic -- baking soda bread, dying clothes, mending an earring and a dress, hulling and freezing berries I bought from our neighbor at the farmer's market this morning. We stopped by his house on our bike ride yesterday morning to ask about strawberries and were going to go back down in the afternoon when he'd picked them. They are probably some of the last of the season, and I want to have plenty stored away for winter.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How (Not) to Say No

I finally sit down to write and Joe is barking to come in. I was hoping to enjoy my salty oat and cup of tea in peace. Sometimes Joe forgets that he wants to come in (he’s 15 years old and thinks he’s two) but not this time. He struts slowly into the house, and I watch his hips swaying like he’s a miniature lion. He thinks he’s king. His lip curls as he follows his nose out onto the porch where I sit with my tea and cookie, the cookie well hidden next to me. If he spies me eating it, he will sit and beg. I don’t give him sweets but that doesn’t mean I am good at saying no to him. I’m not good at saying no period. Gotta work on it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hailstones and Halibut Bones

Well, we didn't have the halibut bones today but we did have the hailstones. Big ones, pinging at the windows. Between the ferocious thunder and lightening. Now it's relatively calm and there's almost a glow to the world (or perhaps it's just the ceiling light). Don't think we'll we heading off to the Plymouth Farmer's Market today after all. It's a good day to catch up on reading, drink lots of tea, maybe bake cookies (no, mustn't do that, there's still pie left). Back to the books and tea. Still thinking about those cookies. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weekend Wishes

Woohoo! Only one more day until our "weekend" starts. Even though Brabarella is a 24/7 business, we still consider our weekend as starting on Thursdays around 3p when Marty finishes with his day job. This weekend being a holiday weekend, he's taking an extra day off and we're going to lots of farmer's markets, to a new bikepath in Falmouth, to New Bedford's Summerfest and most likely to some fireworks.

So what are my weekend wishes? Good weather (natch!) and good health. Happy July!