Category Archives: Cranberry Blogs – Life in New England

Stories about where I live and what I like about New England


The last time, and I mean the last time, I went flea marketing with my husband was a nightmare. He wanted coffee and I wanted to look at the toys and dolls. I told him I would take a quick look at the collectibles and be right back. 

I suppose I lingered a little too long:

I guess he really did need some java!


“IT” … and ‘her’

Stephen King’s stories are set in New England. He lives securely in Bangor, Maine behind a ghoulish spidery cast iron gate. We reside in the daddy-long-legs open woods of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, last night I was also fenced in. I sat at the very center of a packed movie house for the release of IT. 

To say my husband is a Stephen King fan is a huge understatement. Richie has been a member of his book club for over 30 years and the volumes are meticulously maintained in Richie’s ‘King cave’. Richie also archives the related DVD’s in our living room. When winter comes and the roads are closed off, he exercies his sense of humor by rewatching The Shining.  Richie’s movies, bookshelves and chef knives, must remain untouched, like the penguin in Misery. Our long-loved family pets are even buried on the hilltop behind our house; their tiny headstones include chiseled names and the spot is referred to as Pet Sematary.

I share this background to make a point about our theatre seat selection. It wasn’t to see Jack and Wendy, or Annie and Paul or Louis and Rachel.  Poor Danny. Poor Sheriff Richard. Poor Gage. We sped down the the highway to be the first to arrive at our 7:00 viewing. We ensured we were first to walk-in and selected the middle chairs, in the center row, to watch a psychotic  clown. Poor Georgie. Poor me.

The theatre filled in around us while we focused on trivia and popcorn. The noise quieted to hushed tones and candy wrappings when the previews started. Just after the first scene, the woman behind me sneezed twice, without a hankie. It was the one night I decided to put my long hair in a bun. The film was both in front of me and on my neck. 

I mentally tried to brush it off. Physically, without a napkin or tissue, I couldn’t wipe it away. Psychologically, knowing Pennywise would get me if I tried to walk out alone, I didn’t dare move.

Beverly’s terrifying bathroom scene brought an exploding sink at the exact moment two more rounds of nasal fluid hit my bare neck. Surround sound has nothing on spray-a-vision.   I could have shit my pants and taken a shower in that red bathroom. 

My combination of fear and anger set off dopamine in my brain and I finally thought enough to slink down in my chair. 

At this point, I was as contorted as Pennywise coming out of the closet. 

I couldn’t leave. It was Stephen King. I didn’t want to complain. Richie had been waiting months to see this movie. I stayed and became my own horror show.

I went through the roof when fake Georgie transformed at the well.  When Pennywise showed his teeth, sneezes five and six flew across the top of my head. The insides, and outside, of my body was completely terrorized.  

Pennywise killing in the sewer system was fictional horror at its best but still didn’t compare to the terrorizing moisture I tolerated as a human tissue. The Maine events were set due North but I know my health is going South. 

Sneeze Photo credit: Wonderopolis

Not A Rookie

Brimfield Antique Flea Market has everything you could want and decorative pieces you cannot even imagine.  The food is New England fare and the dealers are out of this world. This regional melting pot is a famous place to interact with the shop owners and artists, listen to their expertise and hone your bargaining skills.

“How much are your little wooden people?” is a standard inquiry. 

“$2 each.” the weather-worn dealer  responds when he sees you referring to the shoebox of peeps he has displayed from house clean outs, auction lots and probably even the sewers where IT lives. 

Since you already have all the clowns, you select three other unique characters.

Returning to pay the man holding a billfold that State Street would want to manage, you hand him a $5 bill. 

“Miss”, as he speaks more slowly, “Three times $2 is $6.”

“Actually, I figured $2 each or three for $5 was a better deal.”

My sunny disposition on an overcast day, prompts an honest “that’ll work too” as he adds my Abe to the till and tells me to have a good day.

Damn right. 

I’m no rookie. 

My offer was fair. Besides, those toys were all I wanted and the girl was sweeter than I could imagine. My other dollar went towards spicy sausage with peppahs and onions fare.


The skies opened up with one loud boom and our cat zoomed to the bathroom in a flash.  He pawed open a cabinet and scurried under the sink. I understood his behavior, knew where he’d be positioned and checked on him. 

In a few minutes, I’ll open the door again, and like Randy’s Mom in  A Christmas Story, hand him a taste of milk until he’s ready to come out.


I live in New England and literally “look up” every day. It’s my way to embrace calm, practice my faith and perform a reality check about what’s truly important. Today I noticed the leaves are already starting to color.  Autumn reality is upon us;  the change of season will renew our faith in nature and ready us for the winter calm. 

I almost hate to break it to my fellow New Englanders though. Look up. Literally.


It’s the middle of the night in New England but I am at the Daytona 500. My menopausal self awakens and discovers my body in our overheated bed. It’s no longer warm from our laps around the track. Instead I am flush red, and there’s a pit crew in my head, taking the blankets on and off as fast as they can. The flurry of activity finally helps me cool down and get back on track to sleep. 

I am dreaming of the finish line although there are hundreds of laps ahead.  I want this race to end, so I can earn the trophy back.