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  •     The letters to the editor in The East Hampton Star, to me, are the icing on the cake. I was about to say they are the spice in the stew, but stewing is not only a method of getting a batch of foods together and cooking them, but also means fretting or fussing . . . and maybe making a fuss isn’t quite what some letter writers need to be further encouraged to do.

  •     When Edith Windsor, the gay-rights advocate who pursued a case against the federal Defense of Marriage Act all the way to the United States Supreme Court — and won — was (along with her attorney, Roberta A. Kaplan) honored last week with a Trailblazers of Democracy award, it was almost a local story. At least, I like to think of it that way.

  •     Ever since the 2004 presidential election, when I went to Florida to try to help legitimate voters avoid being turned away from the polls, it feels like every progressive organization in the country has had me on its radar. Perhaps one gave another its database; I certainly haven’t been signing up myself.

  •     We were gathered on a backyard deck. The light was failing and a chill was coming on. We had been asked to share something we had written, preferably poetry, with a small group of friends, a “read-in,” if you will. There were only a few poets among us, however. After listening to several short and sassy poems, we were treated to an unfinished memoir that the group agreed was a novel waiting to happen. Then, a United States District Court judge and law professor took out a manuscript and read what might be called a playlet. It went like this:

  •    Bach & Forth, an ensemble of four instrumentalists and a soprano, will open its second season here at 7 p.m. Saturday at the East Hampton Presbyterian Church. The members of the quintet are Trudy Craney, a soprano who has a house in Springs, Thomas Bohlert, the music director of the church, organ and piano, Linda DiMartino Wetherill, flute, Rebecca Perea, cello, and Terry Keevil, oboe.

  •    One of my granddaughters had some sushi in hand when she arrived at my house after school the other day. The other granddaughter checked out the freezer and asked me to make her chicken fingers another day.

  •    It took a lot of self-convincing to get me out to pick beach plums by myself last weekend. I had been hearing how plentiful they were at Maidstone Park for about two weeks, but I was reluctant to go out alone, I guess, because berry-picking has, for me, always been a communal activity. (Beach plums fit into the berrying category, right?)

  •    When The New York Times reported last week, on the front page, that a major lobbying effort was being made to reinstate a proposed cut in payments to dialysis centers, and that 205 members of Congress had asked that the cut be eliminated, my attention was riveted. Ev Rattray, the editor and publisher of this newspaper and my husband, who died more than 32 years ago, was a dialysis patient in the last years of his life, after cancer claimed both his kidneys. That was a long time ago.

  •    The difference between my husband and me, at least since he retired, may be boiled down (ahem) to the way we share kitchen duties. We both like to cook, but for themost part I load the dishwasher and do all the picking up and putting away. He provides the elbow grease, washing the pots — and, okay, the wine glasses.

  •    My youngest grandchild, who is 31/2, has discovered that grandma has, perhaps, not the most adorable feet.
        I was sitting around barefoot the other day when Ellis pointed at a rather gnarled and red bump on one of the toes (recently operated on) on my right foot. “Grandma?” he asked. “What’s that?” I answered him cheerfully, but without thinking too carefully about what I was saying: “Well, dear, that bump is a corn.”