Winter greetings from the Captain Freeman Inn…..brrrrr!
What a winter we have had! Thankfully we have fared OK at the Freeman and have cuddled inside with our wonderful new owner’s quarters including three wonderful gas fireplaces. They have made a huge difference in our comfort this year. P’Town seems to have suffered the worst this year with over 60 homes have severe water damage when water came rolling down Commercial Street during a high tide storm. We have had several guests stay with us that were dealing with burst pipes in their summer homes. What I have learned through this year is the importance of having someone check your home daily when the temps get low. Running water from a burst pipe in your home that goes unattended can literally destroy your home.
Byron and I have been busy with some fun projects at the inn. This year I have been amazed at the transformation in the decor. Each room is looking sooooo good. I use to say that Harwich was my favorite room but lately I’m having a hard time deciding. Byron also figured out a clever way to reglaze all of our beautiful original windows using a steam box….it’s a work in progress!
Winter always gives us time to read, and January was filled with new reads for Donna- some fun, some interesting, some educational and some just OK. Below is a summary:
Getting the practical first- Byron and I are both getting to the age when we are starting to think about when we should use our Social Security benefits and how to sign Byron up for Medicare next April and Donna 2 years later. (Yup- Byron is turning 65 next June and Donna not far behind.) We found both of these books to be very helpful in guiding some of our decisions. They were written in 2015 & 21016 so some of the information was already outdated. What we did learn- there was an old trick that we kept hearing about and the Budget Act of 2015 closed that loophole- Darn! Before that time you could could collect full spousal benefits between full retirement age and age 70 rather then waiting until age 70. With closing the loophole the retirement system actually became much easier to understand. The big question- do you collect early and receive less or collect later and receive more. We did the math and with our current plan to retire in 5-6 years have decided to collect mine at 67 1/2 and Byron’s at 70. It’s important to know that the Social Security Administration will only answer questions and not give you the best advise for your situation. It’s best to research your own situation or hire someone to help you make this important life decision. You can apply for these benefits on-line and you should start the process 2 months before the designated birthdate.
For the Medicare coverage, my main take from the book is to wait 6 months before you turn 65. Do your research about the current programs (it’s changing all the time) and the supplemental insurance you will need for the 20% not covered and then apply on-line 2 months before you turn 65.
We are not experts but wanted to share what we have learned recently.
I took the plunge and asked Santa for a Paper White Kindle E-Reader. I had tried one in the past before they were refined and found it very hard to read. This new White Kindle is amazing. Light, easy to read and to organize. I love it- although I still like to read a regular book now and then. It just felt like the right ecological decision to make as I felt like even with sharing all of our reads in our shared library many eventually land up in the recycle bin. The only problem I had was ordering my books for the reader on Amazon Prime and it would always go to Byron’s reader since he was the primary name on the account. Now I browse what I want on Amazon and then order it directly on my Kindle.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan Oh my goodness- this book was an incredible read- both sad and uplifting. The author Mark Sullivan, learned of this story and decided to research the details so that the complete story could be put together. It is a combination of biographical and fiction to piece together the life of Pino Lella. It is also going to be a motion picture which I am sure will be popular and nominated for awards.
The story takes place in Italy, two years before the American Occupation. Pino Lella was a young man with not a worry in the world. His family made high end leather goods in Milan and were well off. Everything changed when the Nazis started invading the country. His parents sent him to a monastery near Lake Como where little did they know the priest was helping Jews escape over the mountain and cliffs to Switzerland. With his climbing and skiing experience as a child, Pino starting helping many Jews escape Some of the climbing scenes gave me a real shot of adrenaline- so much so I had a hard time sleeping some nights.
Many of the scenes are shocking and brutal. Not to give away too much of the plot, I think this book is important to read. There are many scenes of heroism and bravery- giving us all hope for a peaceful world.
Provence 1970 is a glimpse into the past when Julia Child was just making a name for herself. The story follows the fun travels of MFK Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard in the south of France. The book shows their human sides and is both inspiring and fun and chronicles the privileged life of these food lovers that actually shaped many of our contemporary food today. Highly recommend to all those foodies out there.
When we were home in the Berkshires delivering Christmas cookies to my family and friends, we visited Flo, who is a long time friend of my mother. She has always inspired me- during this visit it was clear she was having a hard time getting around but she told us about the dinner she was making for herself and the next door neighbor. She is in her 90’s and knew all the details of our family. As we were visiting she was so excited about the two books shown above, written by Sherryl Woods. I just smiled seeing the joy in her eyes over the stories she had just read. It made me aware of the importance of reading – all ages. It’s what keeps our spirits up when times get tough or when we need to get whisked away in a love story.
Willow Brook Road was a wonderful love story about a woman who was just rejected by the man of her dreams who comes home to be with her family. Of course there is a guy who is also struggling being a new parent to his sister’s son who just passed. A fun light hearted read.
I also loved Angel Mine that was a story that took place in Wyoming no less! The main character was a single actress mom that goes searching for the child’s dad. Both were definitely girly reads that were perfect for this inn keeper needing something to let her mind rest after the busy holidays.
I loved this book and was so tickled when I saw it in the Brewster Store when visiting there with our grandsons at Christmas. It’s written by the owner of the Brewster General Store, George Boyd. It’s filled wit pictures of postcards that gives us a very clear glimpse of what Brewster was like in the 1800’s . There even was a picture of a 1908 postcard that shows a far view of the Freeman.
We are keeping this book in the parlor for all to enjoy and the Brewster Store also has copies for sale.
All in all a great January read!
Consider a trip to Cape Cod to enjoy our 2 night dinner package. It’s been very popular this winter and a great way to get away from every day life and to enjoy a refreshing beach walk, a comfy bed, a warm fireplace and a delious meal with your sweetie. We are always understanding if you need to cancel with inclemental weather with no fees and do not charge your credit card until you arrive.