Coe Mansion and The Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, Long Island

What is it about a moving vehicle that encourages us to share confidences with total strangers? Or maybe it’s only true when the trip is a happy one, as the one I took yesterday via bus with a group of men and women over 60.    

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It was a warm, on & off drizzly day with sun for a bit in the PM, but it was good enough. We toured the inside of this truly gorgeous mansion (I’m not a historical room person but this had me from hello), climbing winding staircases while hearing about the Coe family’s adventures.

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Then we had a fabulous lunch nearby and returned for the PM tour of the gardens.  I love wild gardens – and these were that, plus some amazing trees with names I never knew, like all kind of weeping willow trees including cherry blossom ones (impressive even sans cherries) and so many species of hydrangeas, peonies and azaleas!

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But I digress. Because it was the woman I sat with (behind me at first, then by choice, next to me) whose lovely face and quiet voice I’ll remember just as well, and the excited chatter of the campers/seniors! We shared thoughts and stories about problems and solutions related to living arrangements, family, health, I don’t really remember the words so much as the pleasure telling a bit about who I am to a good listener and providing the same for her.

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That’s pretty much all I want to say except I almost didn’t go.  8AM????  My feet, my legs, my back, my laziness, my dislike of 90% of strangers I meet, my fear of fatigue on the walks, oy oy oy!!  Forget about it!  But…with a little encouragement, I climbed a narrow, winding staircases up to the balconies and 2nd floors … those rooms were so worth it!

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But of course, perfection is not to be had in this life.  On the bus ride home, cleverly put off until the very last 20 minutes, an announcement that someone had found a tick on her neck!  A groan followed, more low-voiced chatter, a little fear thrown in, but by the goodbyes, all was forgiven and the pleasure remained.

I know all about tick bites.  As a child, I pulled one off a doggie that then made a home in my neck and infect-ed me with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (which no one realized at the time) resulting in various kind of maladies related to aches and pains.

But I know the best thing is to climb into a very, very hot shower and soap good everywhere, plus shake the bejeezus out of your clothing and shoes.image

With all that, I wouldn’t have traded a month of Sundays in my city apt for this lovely outing with strangers … and a new friend.

WordPress Daily Prompt: infect

6 thoughts on “Coe Mansion and The Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, Long Island

  1. I love this post (I love all of them, but…you know…) the pictures are awesome, the thoughts from your heart, all so warming and fun to read!! Great job, and I’m glad you went on an adventure and remained tick free to tell about it!! You’re an inspiration to me, Ellen, Thank YOU!

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    1. I’m so lucky in having your appreciation, Shelley. I’m happy to be an inspiration for you or for anyone! That was the original intent of the blog, to speak up about the many aspects of aging. What I suspected and am finding out for certain is that I love writing it, and while I’m delighted when anyone reads my blog, I feel specially privileged to be read by two such warmhearted people as you and Denny. Your blogs, your presence in my life is really quite wonderful.

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      1. You’ve touched my life in so many ways, and I consider myself so lucky to have found your friendship across the blogosphere and the states between us. You give me hope every time I hear from you and when I read your words of wisdom! xx

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  2. Beautiful pics, lovely post, Ellen, and I’m so glad to hear you made some connections, however brief they may’ve been.

    I, too, hate ticks, which is a problem for someone who loves to hike & camp as much as I do. Dick’s Sporting Goods sells a product called Sawyer’s, a spray-on insect repellent used to treat clothes & gear prior to expeditions. The past two camping trips we’ve been on, we used it, and despite being in tick-infested areas, remained tick-free. I’d swear by it!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments … I’m smiling here! I’m so glad the tick spray is working for you and family/friends … you’re such an inveterate outdoor person. In case you don’t see my reply to Quaint Revival tonight, I’ll repeat that it’s a genuine privilege to read and be read by you and to have your warmhearted presence hanging around in my life!

      Liked by 1 person

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