Everybody loves a mountain, especially if they can drive up to the summit instead of climbing. The most popular and highest mountain in the south of France is called Mount Aigoual, standing a little over five thousand feet, which has two excellent roads leading to the top. Our little Fiat 500 just made it, and we were rewarded with a spectacular panorama.
There's something magnetic about the sea. A third of all Americans choose to live on or near the coast, even though there are vast empty spaces with plenty of parking out in the middle of the country. We are especially lucky on Long Island. Because the island is just a narrow finger of sand, getting narrower with every storm, we are never far from a beach, just as we are never far from a pizza.
When I need to find my way around in this complicated world my navigation system, which has always served me well, consists of a collection of tattered maps and street guides, some of them dating back to the 1960s, and a small pocket compass that points randomly in all directions.
In the midst of the endless summer we finally have the time to spend doing the things we really love. Or at least we have the time if nobody steals it from us. The theft of time has become almost as much of an epidemic as the theft of smart phones. I don’t have a smart phone, so that’s not something I need to worry about. But I do have a small and diminishing amount of time, which I would rather not lose, and the world seems full of people who want to snatch it away.
My father and uncles all loved a good joke, or even a bad one. But I can’t tell jokes, or even remember them, which has been a lifelong source of frustration. A friend of mine who was a born raconteur could keep a whole dinner table in an uproar of laughter for hours with his stories, and I would sit there thinking I must remember that one, I must remember that one. Now I can’t remember any of them, except for a few that are too politically incorrect to repeat.