Letter From Claverack

8 November 2017 03:07PM

It is a grey and sullen day, seated in the United Red Carpet Club in Minneapolis’ airport, sipping a cappuccino, waiting to fly back home after a short visit to kith and kin. It has been primarily grey and sullen here since my arrival…

26 October 2017 07:14PM

As I begin writing this letter, I am in New York City, at Birch, a coffee house just east of 5th Avenue on 27th, waiting for a friend and a colleague. There are some things he wants to chat over with me and then…

21 October 2017 05:34PM

Last Saturday night was one of the most magical nights ever at the Cottage. Six friends from the train community came over for dinner and it entirely worked. The food was good, the menu seemed to please everyone, the wine pairings were appreciated,…

12 October 2017 12:36PM

Monday, I sent out a blog inspired by Mother Eileen’s sermon at Christ Church on Sunday and forwarded her a copy as she is not on my list.  She wrote back the following day and jokingly suggested I might preach this Sunday, which led me…

9 October 2017 07:13PM

There are times when even the quiet beauty of the cottage is not enough to soothe the soul; this has been one of those times. Since the shootings in Las Vegas, I have found little solace in anything, except, perhaps, sleep.

Sunday, Mother Eileen captured…

3 October 2017 05:05PM

It’s a day of exquisite autumnal beauty and I am squirreled up on the deck, dressed warmly as there is a chill in the air but I want to be here, surrounded by the peace of this setting, this day, because out in the world,…

18 September 2017 09:51AM

Last night, there were insects buzzing around me as I typed out on the deck, following a warm summer like day, wearing shorts all day, even to church. How scandalized the good Sisters would have been at my temerity to do so sacrilegious a…

6 September 2017 02:15PM

Today, earlier, as I sat sipping morning coffee, two huge geese came crashing through a tree fallen across the creek, landing hard, splashing as they hit creek water. It was startling. Geese, once so abundant on my creek, have been rare these last…

29 August 2017 03:25PM

There are days we take to catch up and today was one of them for me. Once it had warmed enough [and yes, we are reaching that part of the year], I went out to the deck and set up shop, sipping my morning…

27 August 2017 09:32AM

To comfortably sit out on the deck this evening, I had to go inside and put on long slacks and pull on a sweatshirt as there is a chill in the early evening air. That done, I’m comfortable.

The cottage is interestingly quiet; no music…

15 August 2017 02:39PM

Staring out my brother’s kitchen, the day is beautiful after a series of grey and gloomy ones. After prevaricating for days, I have finally determined I will return home on Friday and am now looking forward to returning to the comforts of the cottage.…

9 August 2017 01:50PM

As I begin this, I am rolling through the lush green country of eastern Virginia; we will cross shortly into West Virginia and then begin moving leisurely north through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and then to Chicago for I am on Train #29, the Capitol Limited…

28 July 2017 01:46PM

A gray, foggy morning yielded to a fairly sunny, rather cool afternoon; whenever the sun slipped behind a cloud I was tempted to come into the house from my perch on the deck while the cleaning crew spiffed the house.

Now, with cottage clean, I am…

24 July 2017 05:37PM

Slosh of waves,
Sea silence.

Warning buoy bell.

Men silent
While waves thrush, 
A moment of sea respect.

Born to 
Island life;
Friend who chose it, 
Man boy who lives by it.

And me, 
The dilettante.

Neither born to nor
Choosing it,
Sailing through, 

22 July 2017 06:05PM

It is Saturday afternoon; I am sitting where I have been sitting every afternoon since arriving on Martha’s Vineyard, on the veranda of my friends’ home, gazing out at the harbor, listening to the sound of boats motoring. There is almost no wind and…

20 July 2017 06:33PM

Edgartown harbor shimmers below me; boats bob at anchor on a quiet, very warm afternoon on Martha’s Vineyard – the warmest day I have experienced in the half dozen or so summers I have visited the island. Seated in the shade, with a soft…

14 July 2017 10:47AM

It’s Bastille Day today and that is also the anniversary of the opening of the Red Dot Restaurant and Bar. Happy 19th Anniversary!

Today, I woke to the drumbeat of rain upon the roof, another grey day in a summer of grey. Last night,…

8 July 2017 09:00PM

Tornado Weather

The sky yellow with
Whipping wind, dust stinging my face.

We called this tornado weather
Back home.

When I was young,
Sat an evening
On the steps of the house
I then called home.

The sky like this.

The ruby lipped neighbor,
Our local harlot,
Drew deeply on her cigarette, looked up and…

7 July 2017 08:40PM

As I begin writing, it is twilight at the cottage. The day began damp and grey, changing mid-day to blue and lovely. Sitting on the deck, the torches burn to ward off mosquitoes and to give a sense of atmosphere. It is…

4 July 2017 06:17PM

My nephew preparing to play backgammon with me…

It is as idyllic as it can be here at the cottage. On an achingly clear day, the sun shines brightly through the green leaves of the trees. A bee buzzes somewhere, the creek is so…

28 June 2017 06:55PM

Yesterday, I determined I would go down to the city to attend the Producer’s Guild Annual Meeting. This morning, walking out of the studio after my program, I made an abrupt determination that I was not going. It is just too beautiful a…

20 June 2017 06:53PM

It is the evening of June 19th; Father’s Day is beginning to fade as is Pride Weekend in Hudson.

An on again, off again rain falls and an hour or two ago the sky was nighttime dark. Cosseted in the cottage, a martini by my…

12 June 2017 10:14AM

It is delightfully quiet as I sit on the deck, the fierce heat of the day receding and all the noise of the city left behind. About four o’clock, I returned to Columbia County from four days in the city, a delightful time, packed…

5 June 2017 11:07AM

The pearl grey of twilight is settling on the Hudson Valley and I’m playing the Joan Baez station from Amazon Prime Music in the background, wrapped in the warmth of a fleece pullover as the day has been infused with a chill closer to October…

1 June 2017 10:57AM

Thunderstorms pummeled the Hudson Valley last night. This morning is as sweet a morning as one might wish.

The sky is a color of blue for which I cannot find a word; sweet, clear, refreshed from the rain. The sharp green of the trees…


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