Fire Island Weekend


We spent a long weekend in The Pines, opening our beach house for the season. The new roof (courtesy of “Sandy”) guaranteed that the house remained dry and free of the sort of pressure leaks that happen when snow accumulates on an aging flat roof. In keeping with an ancient and honorable custom, all the workmen showed up on Opening Day to do the chores they had been promising to do for the last six months. There is a “Downton Abbey” side to The Pines, and we are plainly at the mercy of the ghillies that run the place! Here is our house, in prime season a few years ago:


We also have a rental property, which thankfully is fully rented for this season and which opened officially last weekend. There is also a “Mapp and Lucia” aspect to The Pines, and we are very thankful that the rental market here seems to be quite strong this year, a big improvement over last year when the remnants of storm damage made some potential renters hesitant to commit. I spent hours assembling a new gas grill for the rental house and brought them a new Cuisinart, as I am very conscious of the need to keep my tenants happy and keep the house in perfect condition. Being a member of the landed gentry carries with it certain duties and obligations.

Meanwhile, at our place, I’ve been cleaning and preparing the deck planters for the exuberant flora that will arrive in two weeks. Our deck is a fully enclosed compound, so the exuberant fauna (a.k.a deer) cannot munch on the exuberant flora. With all this I still managed to get in a few hours of sunbathing and cook some delicious meals; it’s too early in the Season for one of my famous candlelight suppers. Today has been absolutely beautiful and warm, with bright blue skies and full sunshine.

We are also adding to our collection of paintings by a noted Brazilian artist who haunts the Hippie Market in Rio. Walter Lima is a deaf artist who paints genre scenes of Brazilian life. Our latest acquisition, snagged by my good friend Rick on his recent visit to Rio, is a street scene from Bahia:


I mounted it on a stretcher and have ordered the frame. We also began to hang some charming prints and watercolors we got from the estate of a very dear friend who used to be our next-door neighbor here. During breaks in all our chores we took in episodes of – what else – “House Hunters.” We only have The Television here on the Island, so summer is when we begin to catch up on all the things everyone else is sick and tired of watching. Next: new episodes of American Nose Pickers. What a treat!




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