Aug. 1, 2022

On the east side of the west branch near the state park.

The pizza had the following ingredients: a layer of freshly made pesto sauce, thin slices of eggplant sautéed in hot pepper oil, oyster mushrooms, onions, garlic, capers, Romano cheese and sun dried tomatoes. 



Crispy, fresh, local and delicious 

We used these velvety pink oyster mushrooms that we purchased from the grower at the Saturday farm market in Penn Yan. A living impressionist painting.

My daughter, Kara,  brightened up my day. She could not pass up the bargain of these three giant sunflowers for $1.25 at a local market.

My youngest and oldest are 25 years apart. They are so dear to me. This year we are planning a 75, 50, 25 birthday celebration 

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS!

August 1st, 2022

Good Morning Folks,

   I never wanted to live my life in black and white, nor did I want to live in Technicolor. Rather, I like to live my life as a impressionist painting, in nebulous pastels. And because of this I have often taken chances and gone out on a thin limb and even been misinterpreted. This past week, since I had started my workout program at the local community center, I felt that I had the regained the power to do anything I wanted. On Wednesday, I decided to take myself fishing in Branchport. I fished from the dock as usual, trudging out with all my equipment piled on my walker. However, at one point my bait bucket got loose from its tie and started drifting down the lake. I panicked and decided the only thing I could do was to get my old rowboat and venture out onto the open sea. While it was an enormous effort, I was successful in paddling out and retrieving my bucket. The next morning, sore, but with all the confidence in the world, I decided to take the boat out and go fishing. Now, I hadn’t used the boat in several years but I thought, this is the time that I can tour the lake, as it was fairly  calm. I rowed out a ways and then ventured to start the motor. It’s a newer 7.5 hp Mercury that my brother Tom generously gave me when we bought the place in Branchport. With a few pulls of the starter I was off speeding across to the opposite side of the lake where the water was a bit calmer. I fished for a while but truthfully nothing was biting. I then headed to the north end of the lake as things started to get a little choppy. The Finger Lakes are beautiful and calm but when a storm from the south comes up they can be very treacherous. At the north end I crossed over to the west side of the lake and ended up in a calm, little bay. I stopped the engine and fished for a while, again no luck. However, when I attempted to restart the boat, I flooded the motor. I had to row quite a ways to the marina where a young man generously help me get the boat started. In the meantime the weather took a turn with a big wind coming from the south. Knowing how things could get out of hand, I drove the boat back to our camp through very choppy waves. Then, after putting all of the equipment away and getting the boat settled on the shore and using my walker to bring all of the equipment back up to the trailer, I realized I had  strained myself. My back, legs and stomach muscles were burning with pain. I managed to take a shower because I was going to meet my daughter, Rose, in Canandaigua for lunch at 1:30. I finally got cleaned up and ready for my day and was sitting on the side porch watching the blue jays furiously attacking the feeder that Julie put out. It was still a beautiful sunshiny day and I decided to get a start on my trip to Canandaigua. I managed to get down off the porch with a little agony and was using a walker to go across the yard when all the sudden I felt a sprinkle of rain. Now the car was only about 40 yards away, but in that time the sky opened up and a torrent of water filled the air. I opened the car door and tried hurriedly to get in, but unfortunately took a great spill directly on my back. I laid there for about 10 minutes with the rain pouring down and filling the car with water. I honestly thought I had broken my back. My legs wouldn’t move and I was in extreme pain. After a bit of time I managed to drag my muddy carcass into the car and headed back to Penn Yan with feet barely working the pedals. Luckily, my daughter Grace was home and was able to help me get into the house. The next day we headed to the emergency department at the local Soldiers and Sailors Hospital. An x-ray was able to confirm that I had not fractured my spine but most likely had strained every last muscle and tendon in my midsection. I will have some follow up tests in the coming weeks at the Spine Center in Rochester. Of course my immediate fear was that my plans for the next months we’re going to be ruined. I’ve been boasting of a solo trip to Sicily and feared that all was lost. It’s kind of that pessimistic Sicilian spirit that I’m known for. Throwing one’s hands up in the air and saying all is lost. But then, in the true Sicilian spirit…. family came in to help and of course, to cook. My eldest daughter Kara stayed with me and we made the best pizza I ever had. The next day my daughter Grace and I prepared traditional style artichokes. When the going gets tough the tough get cooking! 
    Of course I have a steady rehabilitation ahead, but I am still going to plan on moving to Sicily for at least six weeks this fall. I have sent out an invitation to people but I’m sending it again. I am planning on renting an apartment and just living a normal life there for a few weeks, taking some courses in language, history and cooking. If you can manage to get over there I will show you a good time. I’m not going to house anybody, but I certainly will treat you to a nice Campari and soda and show you around. I’m thinking of leaving around the middle of October and staying for at least six weeks. Hopefully Julie will be in joining me for some of the time. It all looks like a very nice Monet if I say so myself!  I’m hoping to be in the store this week so stop by and I’ll tell you all about it.


All my best,

John



Keuka Lake, shortly after I got back to shore.