Tag Archives: Long Island

Unexpected Visit

Trees at the back of sis’s home.

It had been a year since I last saw my sister. Son was coming to New York for two cases. I was hesitant in making up my mind about coming with him. Traveling is not my forte. Nola (daughter) made up my mind for me in leaving home. I watered my plants before we left. It isn’t that hot anymore, so there is no danger of any water deprivation for the plants. He dropped me last evening at her home in Long Island, NY. I get to spend two days with my sis, before going back to New Bedford.

I had two of my favorite veggie dishes made by sis. One was okra, and the other one bitter gourds. They were simply yummy. Son doesn’t like bitter gourds, so I avoid making it for myself. At long last I had my heart full of eating it.

Sis wanted us to eat outside on our second night. To that end she took us to Cheese Factory. I’ve never been before disappointed that much in life. I could only order a salad, whatever I looked at in the menu was either (non halal) chicken, or raw fish, or shrimp — foods I couldn’t eat in good conscience. I wish I had known it before, I would have opted out of going there.

The Guacamole, beans, cheese salad I ordered.



My second visit to Hartford,CT started on 21st of June. I came to spend Eid with daughter. Yesterday we celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr after our month long fasting of Ramadan. Son had arrived for a three day visit, while I will be staying till 18th of July. Daughter, and son-in-law are plotting together to extend it to August, or to some distant day in the future. 

The day began with the visit to the local mosque at eight in the morning. We said our Eid prayer, and then listened to the ensuing sermon. After that, breakfast was served. We collected grand daughter M1 from Bradley Airport, and then drove to Bridgeport to catch the ferry to Port Jefferson, New York.

Nola and family thought all the fun was spending time on the top deck. I couldn’t sit alone in the cabin, I had to unwillingly join them. They thoroughly enjoyed the terrifying gusts of wind, which I liked only for a space of few moments, and then hated for the rest of time.

Son-in-law took pictures. I was in two of them, and in one I look hideous enough where my short hair stand up in the wind, and eyes are shut close. Son in law gleefully showed it to me as one of his masterpieces though I would have liked it to be deleted. I like pretty photos where relatives in the future will look at them without seeing terrible mug shots.

My sister who lives in Long Island, NY had filled the huge island in her kitchen with trays of various food from one end to the other in preparation for our arrival. I had trouble deciding what to put on my plate.

Our return journey by road took longer hours to come back to Hartford.  Friends of son in law were waiting for us to join them for dinner. I think I had more food in one day than throughout the rest of the previous month. 



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Pequonnock River

Yesterday I took a ferry to Port Jefferson, New York. My daughter dropped me at Bridgeport. My sister lives in Medford, Long Island. It took one and a half hour to reach Bridgeport from Hartford, Connecticut. Going by ferry is a lot cheaper than traveling by air. It saves hours too spent at airports.

A month ago my cousin F who lives in New Jersey had invited me for a family get together. It was to be held on 2nd September. Her sister’s daughter Sehr who lives in London had recently got married, was visiting. This was an occasion to meet the newly married couple. The last I had seen Sehr together with her mom D was in 2011 in Pindi, where my late husband was being treated for cancer.

I had to wait for my sister to come and fetch me from Port Jefferson. It was a long wait compounded with the fact she couldn’t find me. I was at the other side of the building where the passengers disembark, and she was trying to find me where the passengers were boarding a ferry. 

She suggested that I should walk on the broad walk (sidewalk along the side of water). I walked the never ending broad walk. I wish I had taken pictures of the boats cramming the water like sardines in a tin. At that minute all thoughts of taking pictures were forgotten. The sun beat down mercilessly on me as I lugged my bulging carry on behind me. It was a long way to go. Anyone who has been there must be knowing how long it is. At the end there was no sis. 

Perspiring, I felt like a melting jellyfish. I waited for her in the scorching sun to find me. Still no sis. I had to walk the entire way back. Thankfully she was there at last. 

Brookhaven, NY.




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Not Decided

I wanted to go, and visit my sister in Long Island. It’s still four months short of two years since last I saw her. It’s so cold out there, which puts a damper on my longing to see her.

She is unwell at the moment. She is unlikely to feel glad at my coming. No doubt, if I mention a visit from me, she will brush away my excuses, or any assumptions I have.

Thinking of ice, and snow makes me glad that I am in Houston. I love snow for short duration. I will like it from far away.

At the moment here, it’s either cloudy, or it is constant rain. Last night my son, and I were going for a walk, when he looked out, and found it was raining. I had already put on my shoes. I took them off, and went upstairs to retrieve my umbrella. My son went on a quest to find an umbrella for himself.

This year four new umbrellas were bought. They are all missing. They have disappeared. The only one is mine, which I guard, that’s why it’s still with me. This morning I saved it from disappearing (for forever) when I remembered leaving it in the hallway to dry off, after coming back from the walk. I collided with my son (with my rush to get down) on the stairs, while he was coming up to say “Salam” to me in the morning.

So, I was the only person to venture out in the rain to walk, and my son went back to watching some old sitcoms of his childhood.


Study Abroad

If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?

Something Strange

Foremost is my daughter, who lives in Riyadh.  We spend one hour on telephone daily with each other. There is so much to share. I feel lost if I don’t talk to her.

Second comes my sister, who lives in Long Island. We talk almost daily with each other. When I was back in my home country I got more news from her about our relatives which I didn’t know, but she knew, while sitting in NY. Uncanny! Isn’t it?

Third one is my son. Although the truth is, I have to prod him with questions to elicit response. Through him I get a dose of daily news while we have our night walk.

Back home I had two people with home I had daily talks. One was my husband’s brother’s wife Shahida, and the other one was Shaheen, my cousin’s wife.

One other thing I have found is: if a woman’s name is Shahida, she is likely to be friends with me. I have at least five women friends having the same name. Isn’t this strange?


Daily Prompt: Circle of Five

A writer once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If this is true, which five people would you like to spend your time with?

My Sister

Daily Prompt: Delayed Contact
How would you get along with your sibling(s), parent(s), or any other person you’ve known for a long time — if you only met them for the first time today?

I have the best of relationships with my siblings: my elder brother, and my younger sister. Life is too short for regrets to have later on. We have always remained friendly with each other, and I hope (to the end of my days), we remain the same.

My sister is soft spoken. When you meet her for the first time, you are bowled over by her appearance, and the way she talks. People are enchanted when they meet her for the first time.

If it’s her home, she will try to make you feel comfortable with her caring attitude.

The first time I went shopping with her to some outlets in Long Island NY, I was amazed at total strangers talking, and laughing with her. One reason is that she is totally at ease wherever she is, at all times.

She comes across as a fun person to be with, or maybe it’s her smiling face, or maybe I am biased cause I am her sister.


Till We were Lost

Daily Prompt: Wrong Turns
When was the last time you got lost? Was it an enjoyable experience, or a stressful one? Tell us all about it.

There are zero chances of getting lost, if you are using Garmin, or Tom Tom. There is still a chance of your going a longer route if you use them, but you can be sure of reaching the correct destination.

There was a time when my son S never used them. He relied on maps.

My husband and I were with Nola (our daughter). She was living in Charlottesville at that time. My sister wanted us to come and stay with her for a while. I promised her that once we spent some time with S in Houston, we will take a flight to New York.

S (along with his family) came by road to take us with him back to Houston. Meanwhile my husband decided to cut short our visit of four months, and take a flight back home.

Knowing my sister would be terribly upset if I reneged on my promise to visit her, I phoned her whether we could come earlier for two days only. I also let her know that S and family will be along with us.

We left Charlottesville early one morning, to drive the 500+ miles to my sister’s home. It was tiring, and the frequent stops for restrooms, and eating stretched the journey more.

Driving through the evening rush hour of New York City cost us an hour. We finally crossed over to Long Island. It was 7pm by the time we got nearer to my sister’s home.

S had been driving the whole day. He was tired and cankterous. My husband and the kids badly needed to go to the restrooms. Alas! There wasn’t any in sight.

S had taken a wrong turn nearer my sister’s home. We were lost, and wandering around. S phoned for directions, and we finally made it after 45 minutes.

The minutes we were searching, were torturous. When I saw my sister at the front door, I was simply glad that our journey was over.


Till We Were Lost

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

Daily Prompt: Living Art
One day, your favorite piece of art — a famous painting or sculpture, the graffiti next door — comes to life. What happens next?


My first visit to US was in Dec 1992. In Jan 93, I visited my sister, who lives in Long Island, New York. She took me to the Outlet Malls. In those days, I used to be crazy at buying things for my home.

One of those were, two sets of coasters. Each set had six coasters. All of them had Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings on them.

While I parted with quite a number of things (after my husband’s death), I still have those coasters. On one of them is Van Gogh’s famous painting of a vase with Sunflowers in it.

I was expecting some guests for dinner. After getting every thing ready, I made myself presentable. I came to check upon the Pulao (rice), which was cooking on low heat.

I saw a vase with Sunflowers in it on the table. I was perplexed, and kept wondering, from where it had come. I felt that I had seen it before. I had totally forgotten the coaster, which had the painting on it.

The guests came. They did ask me, “how come I was having Sunflowers in winter”. I made some excuse, or the other, which I don’t remember.

After the guests went away, I did the cleanup, and went to bed.

Next morning I checked, the vase with the flowers had gone.

(Part true, part fiction)

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers


Before the schools opened, we went to an Outlet Mall on Tax Free Day. My daughter in law wanted new shoes, clothes for the children. We started a bit late. When we reached there it was full of people milling around. The sun was sweltering hot, and I was already regretting on coming along. Earlier I had done my shopping while visiting Newark, New York, Long Island and New Jersey.

I tagged my son and daughter in law while they bought the needful. I love shoes and sandals and never tire of getting new ones. It is a standing joke my children need to spout and say, “Mama by now you must be having more shoes than Imelda Marcos?”
” Not yet,” my reply.
Or they sarcastically remark, ” Have you broken the record yet?”

I was lucky that day and got two lovely sandals at throw away prices. 😊. The ones I bought were, at Macy’s, for eighty five dollars or so, plus they were tax exempted. Later on I kept sitting in a shoes shop while my grandsons were getting their shoes. My son and d in law went off to make their own purchases.

Bored and waiting I glanced at other people in the store. Two of them got my attention, because they sat next to me. One was a mother with her teenage son. The mother kept on making her son try different ones, never satisfied. I imagined myself in her place. She looked harried and there were worry lines on her face. I wondered where her husband was? Whether she was by herself bringing up her son? How lonely must be life for her and how tiring?

The second person sitting next to me was a girl, probably in her early twenties. She wore a mini, off shoulders dress. It was a sort of skin fitting one. Idly I wondered how she got into it. She was wearing very high heels and I kept thinking the heels must be killing her. She kept getting up and tried different ones. I imagined myself in her place and thanked my lucky stars I was not her. Wearing the type of dress she wore, which showed all her curves, if I was wearing one like that I would have sunk right through the floor. There was no boyfriend or parents with her. She was all by herself. 😞

I tried to imagine what life must be for her. A lonely life. There were no girls with her either. She must have come on her own.

Finally my family completed their shopping and had we had lunch at a place famed for it’s Middle East cooking.

Along the way. Photo by Sheen.