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  •    Okay, friends and relatives, it’s the end of September and another birthday is here. Mine. (Yes, I realize my hinting technique is not subtle.)
        What I want to do about it, or not do as the case may be, is, as usual, unresolved. I’m open to suggestions.

  •    I was thoroughly puzzled when my husband, Chris, came home one night recently carrying a gigantic bag full of lima beans. He launched into a story about how his father had brought home unshucked limas once a year, and how — in homage to a neighbor’s family name, Lyman — they jokingly called them “Lyman beans” around the dinner table.
        “So what?” I wanted to know.
        Did he and his siblings actually like them?

  •    Amid all the acrimonious and confusing debate about health care as election rhetoric rises to a fever pitch, one fact is indisputable:
        Medicaid “is the only safety net for millions of middle-class people whose needs for long-term care, at home or in a nursing home, outlast their resources.”

  •    On Friday morning as Labor Day weekend began, we were unfortunately — in Penn Station. Why had we done something so foolish, you may ask? We had a date in New York the night before and had somehow messed up the Jitney reservation for the trip back. By the time we called, all the morning buses were full, and so, anxious to get home as soon as possible, we decided to take the train.

  •    You’ve probably heard this complaint before; I’ve been irked by tote bags accumulating around the house for a long time.

  •    Transitions are difficult. It is still summer, but the Canada geese are back in the fields. I already find myself concerned that it will soon be too late to make the most of the season. Suppose, I say to myself, you were on vacation here for only the last two weeks of August: What would you make sure to do?

  •    Houses are just about all I’ve thought about this week, as we put the final touches on the second Home Book of the season. It will be a supplement to next week’s Star and distributed free to shops and gathering places.

  •    Did you know that all 400-some-odd members of the House of Representatives are up for election every two years? (Okay, the number is 435, not including the non-voting members who represent the United States territories and the District of Columbia.)
        I am willing to admit my own ignorance on this quite simple fact. Apparently I’m not alone: I’ve gotten consistent responses in the negative over the last few days, when I asked friends if they realized elections in the House aren’t staggered, as they are in the Senate.

  •    “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits.” If that musical ditty doesn’t immediately ring a bell, I’ll tell you it is, or perhaps more properly used to be, a familiar (and jocular) ending for songs, particularly in bluegrass. I hadn’t thought of it for years, but I couldn’t get it out of my head for a couple of days recently, after making an amusing bungle of an attempt to make a simple appointment to have my hair cut.

  •    From time to time, you get to meet extraordinary people, people whose lives have made others better. Such was the case last weekend when Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian women’s rights and peace activist, came to East Hampton to participate at Guild Hall in what is called the Hampton Institute, a two-day series of talks and panels on topics of national concern.