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  •     A friend sent an eBlast this week that offered a balm to the winter-weary soul. Using a service called Paperless Post, his email bore the subject line winter 2014, but its contents, the poem "in time of daffodils" by E.E. Cummings, heralded spring.
    In time of daffodils (who know
    the goal of living is to grow)
    forgetting why, remember how
    In time of lilacs who proclaim
    The aim of waking is to dream. . . .


  •     The surgeon general’s first report on how bad smoking is for the human body came out on Jan. 11, 1964. Fifty years later — perhaps in connection with the report’s anniversary? — CVS Caremark, the huge drugstore chain that has a branch in East Hampton, announced on Feb. 6 that it would no longer sell tobacco products. When I read the news I let out an audible hooray.

  •     Did you hear that 111.5 million people watched the Super Bowl on TV Sunday? This number may not be an eye-opener for sport fans — apparently, this was the fourth time in five years that the Super Bowl has set a record as the most-watched television event in United States history — but it was a stunner for me.

  •     It was 17 degrees that morning, so maybe the reason the conversation turned to warm water sailing was to put our minds over matter. I had been coiling a heavy orange extension cord, which was no longer needed near my desk, and announced rather smugly to a co-worker who happened to be standing nearby that I knew how to coil lines correctly because I had spent a lot of time on boats.

  •     About 20 years ago, when my husband and I were courting, we came across one of Dr. Dean Ornish’s  books, “Eat More, Weigh Less.” The word  “wellness” was not in the air at the time, but we were ready, and old enough, to give serious consideration to alternative ways of improving our health.

  •     On Sunday morning, I awoke to the sound of running water. Actually, I had noticed a soft flowing noise Saturday night, but decided I was imagining things. After all, a plumber had been to our house to fix the furnace and one of the toilets that very day, so surely nothing could be amiss with our pipes. By Sunday breakfast time, however, I realized I needed to investigate. Peering down the cellar steps, I saw a flood. I put on my cracked old boat boots, crept down, and found half the concrete cellar floor covered with water.

  •     Exactly how much of an affront is it if you meet an old acquaintance and think he or she is someone else?

        There I was in the supermarket, having braved the icy roads outside, searching for kitty litter. With my handknit Nova Scotia watch cap pulled way down, I probably wasn’t easily recognizable at that moment myself. But the other person didn’t make the mistake, I did. And, really, I should have instantly known the young woman I greeted in the produce aisle; I have known her since she was a child.

  •     Air travel is a conundrum, at once wonderful and terrible. It is wonderful to travel so far so quickly, but terrible to have to leap over all the hurdles it throws in your way.

  •     The conventional wisdom, as usual, is right: Being a grandparent really is wonderful.

        Almost nothing could have pleas­ed me more as the holidays came on than to see several of my grandchildren in performances. So far we have enjoyed two onstage, and two in make-believe shows at home. My husband and I have 12 grandchildren between us, but because they don’t all live nearby, we look forward to trips hither and yon for catching up.

  •     If federal sharpshooters show up here and pick off some deer, they won’t be acting on my behalf even though a resident deer family devoured the Christmas cactuses that were outside for the summer. The cactuses had gone out and in for years, flowering for Christmas, so I’m particularly aware of their loss this week. If I had known how hungry the deer were going to be, I might have been more watchful. Four small cactuses of the variety that blooms nearer Thanksgiving have taken their place, but they’re scanty substitutes.