Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Website News!

We've added a "News Center" to the website. Look for it in the column on the right side of every page. Here you will find links to the Sandwich editions of all the local newspapers (Cape Cod Times, the Sandwich Broadsider and the Sandwich Enterprise) and links to online Cape Cod news sites (Cape Cod Online, Cape Cod Today, Cape News Net and Cape Wide News). 

We have also added a Weather Center with live camera weather images from the Riverview School in East Sandwich.

Finally, we've added a new Sandwich Events Calendar which will also be featured on the new website for Sandwich's upcoming 375th Celebration: sandwich375.org. Planning for 375 events in the anniversary year of 2014 is underway!

--Don Bayley, Webmaster

Monday, April 22, 2013

Untitled Opus 1.1

HELLOOOO SANDWICHHHH! Hey this is my first piece of publicized literature! I’m so proud of myself. This qualifies as literature right? It’s a good thing they invented spell check. Funny thing about spell check is that it might not realize what it is I'm actually trying to say. For that matter I not always sure of what I trying to say. Just like an artist doesn't really know the title of his or her work until piece is finished, I sometimes don't know what I'm saying until the words come out. Does that mean I'm possessed? Anyhow I guess I'll name this first blog Untitled Opus 1.1. Now onto the real content and plugage. (hey spell check-you got a correction for the term Plugage? Yeah that’s right Plugage! You know when your trying to push, promote, entice, convince, sway, talk into, cram down a throat..Ya get it spell check? Guess not because you are drawing a blank on Plugage. Anyways, heres the Plug...Paint The Sound! Yeah thats right PTS. I have 2 Episodes on the Sandwich Community TV on demand website section. This show is a creation of mine that I am really going to try to commit to. I'd like to leave some musical legacy and it would be nice to have a music instruction video series to help people who are trying to teach themselves how to create music. I'm trying kids but I gotta tell ya, sometimes I find that I have forgotten more than I know. If time allows I'll get it right and get it together enough to explain the ins and outs of what you can play against what for people who want to learn basic improvising. Anyways, Episode one was recorded last year and I finally got around to recording Episode 2. This episode two gives a better description of what I'd like to do with this. At some point I'd like to have other players come in and have a little dialogue back and forth about what they did to learn music and let the guest get a chance to Paint The Sound for us. So if you are reading this and you think that you could help dear old Dan explain music theory to the masses by all means shoot me a note and you can come on down and Paint The Sound. Heres a link to my second Episode that shows a bit of what I'm plugaging about.

Dan Bell

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jury Duty

            Turning eighteen is a huge right of passage in our country. After many years spent as children, young adults and mere teenagers we are finally considered adults. Our opinion is not only respected but matters as we gain the right to vote. While I myself love to vote and look forward to it as much as I look forward to Halloween or Christmas, sadly I find myself in a minority of young people who actually exercise their right to.
            While voting may in fact be a choice, turning eighteen also makes you eligible to serve on a jury and for that you have no choice. Knowing the sad truth about voting turnout it shouldn’t have surprised me to find that again I am one of the minority as I actually looked forward to the day I would receive my jury summons.  
After my 18th birthday came and went, my 19th, 20th, 21st and so on, I began to fear that in the lottery of jury summons my name would never come up. I just wanted it too bad. All around me my peers received their summons and complained about it while I was hoping my day would come. It finally showed up in this, my 26th year. Of course it would figure that I was summoned to appear two days after my due date with my daughter so I had to request to postpone my duty. Thankfully it wasn’t for too long, and I was summoned to appear last Thursday, September 6th.
            Wednesday night was like the night before the first day of school. I stood in front of my closet debating what outfit I should wear. I wanted to look professional, but age appropriate, I wanted to appear worthy of service, but not to eager, I wanted to look the part of a knowledgeable and smart juror. I put a lot of thought in to it.
I am a geek.
            I had anticipated this day for eight years and wanted not only to appear as eligible to serve, but should they select a jury to actually sit on a case, I wanted to be one of those selected. I’m not sure when the first time was that I saw “12 Angry Men,” or the first time I played “Clue” or saw my first episode of “Law and Order,” but solving cases by hearing testimonies and examining evidence has always been extremely appealing to me.
            In high school I took a course in “Street Law” in which I studied a number of cases that went before the Supreme Court, big ones like Miranda v. Arizona, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade. I studied each of these cases thoroughly and then had to write a paper either supporting the courts ruling or appealing it by supporting my argument with laws and rights I had learned about during the course. What was fascinating about this was how split the class could become on issues and what evidence was gathered to support the various opinions. Crafting my paper and then debating with the rest of the class until the majority could reach a decision was exhausting at times but always interesting and exciting and was by far, my favorite class in school.
            Just like my first day of school I arrived at the Barnstable District Court House early and eager to go the morning I was to serve. I was checked in through security and then found a place on the bench with the other potential jurors. Instructions were given to us by an officer on how we were to check in with her and how our juror cards would be distributed, and just like school, some people listen and follow directions, and then some don’t.
The officer asked us to please form a line at the sign and when one person came out, the next would go in and so on. I stood and went to the sign as instructed and then I had two men cut me in line. These two walked right by me and started their own line, a tributary off the main river, and while I usually shrug something like that off, I had to speak up.
How many times a week or a month do you get cut off by someone on the highway?  We’ve all been there, in the right lane heading for the exit ramp when some yo-ho comes flying up and darts right in front of you, rather then merging in line behind you to exit. Most of the time, although irritated, and rightly so, I slough it off without so much as a gesture of my hands or a toot of my horn. But sometimes, sometimes, when it feels dangerously close, or I have been waiting my turn in the middle of the summer on Route 6 on Cape Cod on bridge approach for more than an hour and someone on a motorcycle just whizzes on by, that’s when the hands fly and the horn honks.
 Standing in line for an event I have waited eight years for, and then having two people waltz around me as if I hadn’t even been standing there, merited a say-so. So loudly, unapologetically, I say to no one in particular, “I’m sure glad I follow directions.” It had the effect I was looking for as the older gentleman turned and at least acknowledged the line that had already formed behind me.
He did not however find his rightful place in said line.
At my turn I checked in with the officer and then became juror number nine. From there I was asked to go sit in the courtroom and await further instructions. About twelve people were seated before me and the first thing I noticed was that everyone had found a seat in a separate row from each other, and in a few cases where there were two people in a row they had each sat on an end as far as possible from each other. I couldn’t decide if I found it more odd or amusing as I found a row and sat in the middle of it. The nerve!
While sitting there waiting for the rest of the potential jurors to enter I let my eyes wander around the courtroom and here is what I observed; most people were disinterested and sat gazing out the window. One man did try and chat up some of the rest of us by asking what number we were and then saying how that was a good one, don’t you think? He was dressed in a blue silk shirt and had ignored the top two buttons altogether. He had salt and pepper hair that had been combed through by his fingers only I am sure and all I could read all over him was sleazy, as awful as that may be. He reminded me of the used car salesman Wormwood, in Roald Dahl’s “Matilda.”
 The benches we were seated on were much like church pews but were treated with as much respect as desks in a high school. Names of accused were carved with the word FREE in front of them, names of jury servers I guess were also carved in the benches, and many expletives-those I have never understood. Are we to feel riled up after reading a naughty word or two and feel empowered to buck the system? Are we to understand the annoyance of the person who sat there before us and sympathize with that feeling?
 After I read about as much as I could take I stole a glance upwards and what I saw surprised me. In the center of the ceiling where an ornate chandelier might be in other courtrooms was an ugly underbelly of cod.  I assume cod for being on Cape Cod, but honestly; I don’t know my fish very well. It was suspended right smack dab in the center of the ceiling facing the judge but from its height and position I wonder if what the judge sees is a cod, or if all he ever sees is a giant, ugly, gaping maugh.
I was slightly appalled by the cod and no one else seemed to even notice him hanging up there. Why was there a cod suspended from a ceiling rather than a chandelier? Had the designers of the building considered a chandelier first and then thought maybe a cod to represent the peninsula on which we live would have a homier feel? Could the designer have at least considered making the cod an interesting chandelier instead? What would a cod look like with light poring out of its orifices anyway?

I couldn't linger on my curiosity over the cod for too long because the officer came in with  a video on the court process and what was expected of us, the potential fair and impartial jury shortly thereafter. Unfortunately there were no cases that needed jurors taking place at the Supreme Court House so a member of security escorted us over to the District Court House. Walking over there struck me as sort-of funny as well because automatically everyone filed into a single file line and followed the security officer. It was so quiet on our walk over, people gazing ominously ahead, it was almost as if we had resolved ourselves to our fate as we were marching to the gas chambers. I couldn’t believe the sad sack of people I got lumped in with and how unpleasant everything seemed to be for them.
Once at the District Court we got showed to the jury waiting area, nothing more than a glorified break-room. At this point there was nothing left to do but read. I sat at a table with my John Saul book and a man sat down across from me with a science journal of some sort. After 20 minutes or so with his head in his hands the man began to lightly snore. A few others took notice and smiled or chuckled a little, and out of fear that someone might assume it was me making that noise, I put my book down and made it a point to glance all around the room so that everyone could see just how awake I was. So far this was the most interesting thing to occur that morning.
At about a quarter to eleven a cop came in and asked who really wanted to serve on a jury that day. I would have never have found the nerve to put my hand up anyway, (such a nerd!), but I could tell by his tone that this was a joke and so he proceeded to say after finding no hands in the air that we weren’t needed anyway. Thanks to us being there four cases settled and that would never have happened without us. And while relief swept over the faces of my comrades while the officer dismissed us forth and told us to use our good conscience to decide what it was we would do with the rest of our day, I sadly packed up my book and left for the day.
I always imagined my juror service differently. I romanticized it I guess you could say. I thought I would have to answer questions and allow lawyers to size me up and then maybe I might be selected to serve on a case. I pictured filing into our secret chambers and having a hearty debate over the facts presented and the laws that apply to the case. I saw myself proudly sitting in the box with eleven others as our verdict was read. I hope someday I will get the experience I had such high hopes for.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Little Miss gets all My Time

My husband brought to my attention the other night that I hadn’t written a blog in a while and I immediately felt defensive, “well,” I said to him, “I did just have a baby, and I’m working, and when I’m not caring for Audrey or working I have two little boys and summer is coming to an end.” He acknowledged all my points and truly hadn’t meant anything pointed by it, just an observation which left the little voice inside my head asking the same question, “well, why haven’t you?”
Every “spare moment” I find I try to fill with my family. Lucas with his two missing front teeth on the verge of first grade, who has learned to read, it feels like over night, who showers on his own, and offers to help me out with chores. Noah, who just turned four and is asserting his opinions and has begun separating himself from his older brother and who has really grown into his own little person this summer. Audrey, who is already six-weeks old and more than two inches and three pounds bigger than she was just six short weeks ago.  I try to fill every moment with them, not to mention I’m still a wife who has a husband who needs me, I’m a sister, a daughter and a friend. Time isn’t stalling for me and so I am desperately trying to keep up with it.
With all that being said I took a minute to think why I do feel defensive about not writing and the answer is because it is such an important part of my life, documenting these fleeting moments that I know I will never get back.  While I was pregnant with Audrey I was writing daily. Mostly I was writing updates on how I was feeling, what things surprised me, what someone said to me, and the like. When she came along that all came to a grinding halt. The mornings were my quiet time, my me-myself-and-I time where I would sit and write, well needless to say, my newborn doesn’t know or care about my own personal me-myself-and-I time, it all belongs to her now. Mornings at the kitchen table, my cup of coffee a notebook and a pen, with the sun gradually rising and warming the day, filling me and the kitchen up with its light have been traded in for an extra 15 minutes on the couch snuggling with my baby.
Make no mistakes, I give up my time gladly for her.
The trick I realize is to create new me-myself-and-I time during my day. Note how I don’t use the term “find time” that I do not believe is possible, at least not for me. Like finding an extra 20 I didn’t know I had in my wallet and then spending it immediately, found time is spent getting a load of laundry going, or cleaning the dishes before heading out the door. If I don’t create time, it isn’t there for me to use.
 Creating time during the day to write a few lines, no specific time yet, just some time while Audrey naps, is an effort to right my ship now that I have spent six weeks off course. Perhaps that isn’t being fair to myself to say off course. I do share photos and a few words here and there on Facebook as a means of keeping up.  What I should spend time saying is that my days are never the same and each one is spent adapting to another new day.  This inconsistency is something I work at each day as I try to establish a new routine with Audrey and get us on some sort of predictable schedule.
Where I once woke up at five and enjoyed coffee and quiet, these days I typically wake up sometime between two and four every morning. Audrey’s hungry sometimes; sometimes I think she just wants to be squeezed. It only takes a few grunts from the crib and then she has me. I scoop her up and whisk her away to the living room. The thing with our split apartment is that the lowest floor is where the boys room is and the upper floor is where Audrey, the hubby and I sleep so that leaves the middle ground, the kitchen and living room as Audrey’s, and my own, midnight sanctuary.
I creep down the stairs with her to the couch where I inevitably spend the rest of the early morning hours sleeping with Audrey. Every book I have ever stumbled upon with newborn advice, Internet articles included, say, “You MUST NOT co-sleep!” There are stats on accidentally squishing baby because you can forget she is there or suffocating her and other terrifying stories for those inclined enough to read all the instructions.  Me on the other hand, I have always been the type who looks at the pictures on the page and wings it from there disregarding the written words all together. So while there is of course merit to the dangers associated with co-sleeping I know they are not meant for me, I am no amateur.
I’m not a skier but I do watch movies and talk to people who ski and when a slope is exceedingly difficult, a double black diamond, or a super mega rigid cliff with bone breaking boulders below as I picture this name to indicate, advanced skiers can note the sign and then proceed with caution.
Danger! Experts only. Obstacles below. Knowing the dangers associated and knowing your own skill level is essential in skiing. Knowing your baby and what works for you is paramount in the first few months of her life.
The double black diamond of baby sleep varies from baby to baby. Lucas required advanced swaddling techniques and white noise, Noah was a don’t-you-dare-put-me-down-without-a-full-tummy type sleeper, and my little miss is a cuddle me to sleep type.
Every morning I make my way down to the couch with my sweet pea and she sleeps on my chest, or cradled in my arms, or along my side while I hug her as protectively, safely and lovingly, as I know how- warnings be damned! And you know what? We sleep.
Now the books may technically say in writing that baby needs to sleep in her own bed and to know this is where sleep happens (lest she be spoiled!) and the picture next to these words may show a happy resting baby, but the words and pictures do not always coincide.  So what am I to do? I follow the pictures and disregard the written word. 
A happy sleeping baby as advertised in those books, is one that sleeps with her mama for now.
And so Audrey sleeps tucked in with me on the couch. I don’t usually sleep for long stints, or all that well for that matter. I usually have knots in my back and neck by the time the clock reads five a.m. but she looks just like the happy baby in the pictures I have seen. She wakes up happy, relaxed, cute and cuddly. And despite my discomfort or the fact that I spend many afternoons yawning my way through my work, she is worth every sleepless minute; the sleepless minutes don’t last long after all.
So while I work on my new routines, making that time for me-myself-and-I and my writing, I plan on enjoying the little creature who doesn’t work very hard to keep me from it, not too hard at all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Audrey Elizabeth has arrived!

I said I wanted to try a natural birth this time after having epidurals with both of my boys, and although I changed my mind as soon as we got to the hospital, this little girl had other plans.
She arrived Saturday, July 7th at 12:26 p.m. weighing in at 7lbs 13.9 oz, and measuring 19 1/2" and is the sweetest little thing!

 I woke up that morning at four am and was wide awake and starving. I ate and then at 4:22 I started having regular contractions that were averaging seven minutes apart. At eight am with the contractions still coming on strong I woke up my husband and had him prepare. He took the older boys to my parents house and by ten I was having contractions that made me cry and were coming irregularly but averaging six minutes apart. I called the doc/office and said I was going to L&D because this was my third and I knew this was it even though they weren't the magical five minutes apart.

The doctor was skeptical to allow me to go and said she would call so it was obvious to me when we got to the hospital that they thought they would be sending me home, my room wasn't ready, it was being mopped and no sheets were on the bed or anything. This was 10:15 am and I finally got to be hooked up on the machines in a room at 10:30, and the nurse noted my contractions were averaging three minutes apart. The doc on that day came in and checked me and I was 4.5cm dilated. I was already in a lot of pain with my contractions coming so close together that I was requesting an epidural. They told me I could have one after I had at least one IV bag and blood work done.

I could go on in detail for paragraphs about how long this took, how the nurse aggravated me to no end as I told her I was in extreme pain and needed relief immediately and how all she said was "I know," and that "it will be at least a half hour before my blood work is done and then I could get the epidural." That half hour actually took one hour while I labored in extreme pain and could hardly breathe. I was doing everything I could think to do to relieve the pain, chewing ice chips, walking, bouncing, crunching, etc, but nothing was helping. I was crying and begging my husband to get me drugs anything to help me get through the contractions, he felt so horrible and miserable as he tried to help me and calm me. It was 11:30 and I was panting at this point when finally the anesthesiologist came in the room.

From 11:30 to 12 she attempted to give me an epidural. She couldn't get the spot and had to keep pausing waiting for me to be in-between a contraction to try again. At this point they were lasting at least 90 seconds and were only a minute to two apart so this was becoming a last ditch effort. I was barely keeping it together as I was asked to stay still while she was trying to do it. I  was struggling to breathe, shaking and panting and just wanted the pain to end. Finally the epidural was in but I wasn't feeling relief. I was then told it would take at least 15 minutes to really kick in. I didn't have 15 min.
It was now a little after 12 and the pain was bad enough that I was baring down with the contractions because I felt pressure and just wanted to move things along. The nurse paged the doc in quickly to check and I was 9.5cm with my water yet to break. The doctor told me to keep at it and that she would break my water and we could have this baby.  It was about 12:15 p.m. when she broke my water and with that I was 10cm and pushing.

Five or six good pushes and she was here, 12:26 p.m. As soon as she was delivered I felt so much better and was able to have her on my chest immediately. The epidural never had a chance to take effect so they removed it after she was delivered leaving me with a bruise and sore back and some numbness in my legs.

Audrey scored 9's on both her Apgars, passed her hearing test and is just wonderful all around. We came home Monday and she has been nursing well and sleeping well and not to jinx myself with this, has been a very calm and relaxed baby with no fuss.

Although I would have given anything to have some drug intervention, I am happy that I didn't and got to experience the whole thing naturally. It was very difficult for me but I am proud to say I got through it.

The boys are loving their new sister and we are all getting along great. It feels as though she has always been with us. Thank you all for the good wishes, I am looking forward to showing her off to everyone really soon!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Morning The Tooth Fairy Almost Didn’t Come…

Lucas lost one of his front teeth Wednesday night, with a little help from his dad.

At dinner he was complaining about it hurting to chew with the wiggling front tooth and after noting just how wiggly it truly was, Steve suggested that he just pull it out for Lucas and be done with it. It took several minutes to convince Lucas that not only would it not hurt, but that the tooth fairy would still come even though we “cheated” and pulled it out instead of waiting for it simply to come out in our food. 

I felt much like an awkward nurse speaking with a child promising that the shot doesn’t hurt and there will be rewards! when all is said and done.  He was so hysterical and crying so much about us wanting to yank the tooth out that I came very close to making a pinky-oath to Lucas that the tooth fairy didn’t care how she came by his teeth as long as they were hers in the end. I reminded him of the tooth he either ate or lost in a crumb at North Station in Boston one fateful morning and how the tooth fairy had still known and come, so really she would be more than fine with a tooth that had a little help being removed.

With that he was convinced and then allowed Steve to twist and pull it out. What we didn’t prepare him for was the possibility of a little blood. Now I don’t know if this is an age thing or something particular to my son, but scraped knees and bloody boo-boos are a serious cause for concern for him. I wish I were kidding when I write that he freaks out over a little blood and genuinely fears that his life’s blood may bleed out from him while we insist it is no big deal. I’m always conflicted between laughing and mopping up his tears as I assure him that a little blood was ok and expected even, and that it would stop soon. Trough tear sodden eyes I can see him searching my face for any sign of a lie, satisfied when he can find none (and thankfully no trace of a smile either) he settles down and begins to check out the cool specimen that was previously his big tooth.

The rest of the evening goes well. We eat and prepare for baseball and Steve and I giggle at the funny speech pattern Lucas seems to have developed from that one lost tooth.

The baseball game goes well and is sweetened further by ice cream cones at the end. By the time the night is over and kids are in bed it is 8:30.  It takes time for the kids to settle in and actually go to sleep so Steve and I head to our own room to watch some TV.

Before heading up to bed I remember to lay a five dollar bill (my fairy is generous) on Steve’s desk to be deposited under Lucas’ pillow in exchange for his first big front tooth loss. What I don’t remember to do however is to tell Steve that I have done this. Pregnancy has an odd affect on what I do and don’t remember these days.

Needless to say I pass out long before the kids do I suppose and forget to remind Steve about his fairy duties. He too forgets and goes to bed.

Fast forward to 5:22 a.m. I awake in a panic. I remember the money and the tooth and everything all at once, a sudden rush of heat and memory to my brain. I imagine this to feel similar to a lighting strike, heart racing, head pounding and all. In an instant I'm jumping out of bed, with pounding head, a hot face and not nearly enough speed in my limbs to get me down those stairs.

And then I hear it. The first foot steps come up the stairs.

I close my eyes and hope beyond measure that it is Noah and that Lucas is still asleep. It is Noah so I take my opportunity and scoop up the money, carefully concealing it from Noah, and sneak down the stairs hoping to find a sleeping Lucas. No such luck.

There he is sitting up with a look on his face that I can’t quite read. I am first fearful that it is sheer disappointment but as I study more carefully it seems to be more confusion. Confusion I can work with, disappointment would break me.

I needn’t say anything because I know he will. I’m not kept waiting long.

“Mommy, I don’t think the tooth fairy came.”

I decide the best way to play out this scenario is to be confused about it myself. “What makes you say that Lucas?”

“I found my pillow and the tooth is still in it.”

“Hm,” I say. Thinking quickly on my feet is a gift that I am grateful for at this moment as I follow that with, “I bet she couldn’t come because you woke up too early.”

“No I didn’t. It isn’t night time anymore.”


“Well, does anyone really know when the tooth fairy comes,” I ask him.

He answers my question with one of his own, “maybe she is on vacation?”

I know I am about to lose him if I don’t think of something better and faster, I mean what kind of tooth fairy only takes a vacation on your dime? I can imagine the other kids at school telling him that it never happened to them and then he would be really upset. So I say to him, “maybe we all think she comes at night, but really she comes early in the morning while we are still asleep.”

He seems to be thinking this over and I see there is still a way to salvage this whole thing. I quickly add, “yeah, I bet that’s it, you know, because Daddy is up late at night. I bet the tooth fairy tried to come to our house at night and couldn’t because Daddy was still awake and she likes her privacy and can’t let anyone see her. So, she probably visits us in the morning.”

I then draw his attention to the clock and show him it isn’t even six yet and that he shouldn’t be up and that must explain her absence. I can see this register on face and just know he is about to suggest going back to sleep until she comes, but that could only end in disaster at this point so I head him off at the pass.

“Let’s go get breakfast,” I say to him. “After your breakfast you can watch cartoons while I take a shower, and maybe while we are all busy doing something, maybe she will come. But we can’t peak! If we do, then she really won’t come.”

Thankfully he agrees to this and I manage to trade tooth for cash while he is eating at the table and I am grabbing a towel from the bathroom.

After dressing and heading down the stairs I find him waiting for me in the living room.

“Can we check now Mommy,” he asks me in such a pleading way. His voice sounded made up of equal parts hope and fear.  He may have asked if we could check to see but what he was really asking me was what if she hadn’t come?

I tell him yes we can go check and say it with lots of gusto. I don’t want this poor kid to agonize any further. I myself feel terrible for what I have brought on him thus far.

He runs down stairs and finds the pillow and with a great big smile shouts, “SHE CAME!”

Feeling like the sun has come out after days of rain I ask him, “what did you get?”

He chirps a dollar!, but unfolds it to find it is five dollars, and then he is won back over. Grinning happily and exclaiming that he now had enough money for a new game he scrambles up the stairs to watch more cartoons.

I thank my lucky stars that the tooth fairy, despite her fogginess, was able to pull through and keep the magic alive, hopefully for many more teeth to come.