Author Archives: Leigh Porter Cutrone


th.jpegIt is so interesting to walk the beach on a beautiful sunny Spring morning.

It is a study of human behavior to be sure.  A great place for people watching.  Can’t help it.  That’s me. A studier of behavior.

This morning my husband and I walked along the shoreline to the Pier about a mile from our Condo. We have to watch the tides and only venture out for our walk when it is quite low.

This time of year there are mostly people who fall into the “Senior Class” genre as schools are in session and there are no vaca days.

Most people are walking two by two.  However, every once in a while there is an exerciser walking very quickly and swinging their arms while connected to earphones. I imagine they are listening to their kind of music.  It is definitely a motivator as I once ran to music that got me going too!

Most of us are meandering and just enjoying the smell of the ocean and maybe seeing a dolphin every so often.  I’m not sure the exercise is the reason for the walks or during our walks we just happen to get some exercise.  But, then, who cares?

There are some shell enthusiasts who very well may get a sore neck peering downward in hopes of finding that perfect shell.  Not many of those along our shoreline in Myrtle Beach.  I’m unsure why we have so little of the beautiful whole shells here.  There must be a reason but I don’t feel like researching it.  We only have a few different types of shells and even less are whole specimens.  But these searching souls keep at it and go home with a nice bag full of samples.  These people are very patient and driven in their endeavors.

We used to be like that.  But, in our case, we always searched for shark teeth.  You know those tiny, shiny, black shark teeth? We have been told that those Great White sharks have left behind a few of their rather large teeth that have slipped up onto the sand.  Never have found one of those!  I suppose we are no longer driven this way.

There are those folks who have a hefty cup of Starbucks coffee in their hand enjoying that first cup of necessary morning java while strolling. These people are not walking very fast since that coffee would spill and they walk with a larger group…more than just a spouse.  My imagination takes hold as I picture them out the night before probably partying at a local bar and grill.  Hmmmm.  I wonder where they went?

The dog walkers.  We had a dog when we first owned our little Condo.  Coach didn’t like the Condo much.  The idea of being on the 7th floor didn’t sit well with him.  He wasn’t comfortable sleeping anywhere and he hated the elevator ride necessary for his morning and night-time walks.  He would hug the wall down the corridor and cower in the elevator.  Poor thing.

These dog walkers I see on the beach have dogs that don’t seem to have a bit of trouble with anything beach.  They play in the water or play fetch and go up and down the elevator with no cowering!  Dogs have their likes and dislikes, too, I suppose. Since having a dog here was a poor experience for us, I love to watch other dogs walking along with their owners.  Most are well-trained and won’t say, “hello” to me either.  So sad.  No dog fix for me.

There are the sun worshippers with their chairs and blankets already plopped down facing the ocean and trying to get a bit of sun on their white February bodies.  We definitely used to be these people too.  I think the melanoma on my face which I recently had dug out has given me pause to ever sit on the beach again.  I have to say I will forever miss the warm sun on my face and how it, alone, will completely relax me.

Ahhhhhhhhh the beach, the ocean and a warm sunny day.   There really is nothing better on most days.  I get lost in my thoughts on my walks.  Even when I am hand in hand with my husband, my mind drifts to other things.  It is a time to breathe in the salt air and just to watch the shell people, the Starbuckers, the dog families and the sun lovers.

These retirement years can yield the best of all worlds!


*BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA, 1914, Harry Carroll and Harold Atteridge.





SEX.  YES SEX!  I have hesitated to write about sex for fear of embarrassing my children but alas here I am writing about S E X.

I read with interest that STDs are on the rise in the Senior Class crowd.  I know.  My reaction is the same…..SAY WHAT?  REALLY? NOOOOOOOO, CAN’T BE TRUE!

According to the Center for Disease Control, among our senior citizen population, especially in ‘homes’,  sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spreading like wildfire. “BETWEEN 2010 AND 2014 among adults 65 and over:  Chlamydia infections increased by about 52 percent.  Syphilis infections rose by about 65 percent.”*

Why the trend?  Sex enhancing drugs for men and hormones for women (that may be the long or the short of it).  As a spouse may sadly become a single again and find themselves in the over 70 age group, they are having more sex.  No one thinks they should wear condoms and so it goes.  STDs rise and no one is the wiser.*

Apparently, Medicare offers free screenings of STDs but Medicare recipients scoff at the notion that they may pick something up!*

But what about couples who are still married happily and together and haven’t reached the age when ‘homes’ are necessary.  They have not yet gone back into the ‘single, swinging group.’  Are we who are part of the happily married, retired or soon to be retired group still having sex?

Yes and No.  I am going to guess that some couples are and some couples are not.  Some have desire and others don’t.  Sorry…..but I haven’t done an in-depth study.

Sex is very personal, of course, but it is part of who we are.  Sex was and always will be important.  It’s not everything of course.  All I’m saying is that those Seniors who are now in Senior homes may know something we don’t!  Congratulations to them.  They better, however, get to a Doctor.

My husband wants me to say that this blog is NOT a story about us.  Understood.


*(Paula Derrow, Seniors, Sex and STD’s, BERKELEY WELLNESS, Univ. of California)

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I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time.

This was my home so long ago and yet it was just yesterday when I reached my 21st birthday here.  A milestone.

Someone asked me how I knew our home in Loveladies on Long Beach Island was available to rent.  For the life of me I just can’t remember. But learn I did that ‘our’ house was available to rent during the summers and into the Fall.

As it turns out here we are and just in time.  Our house from long ago is up for sale.

We have been here for two weeks and so many memories have been revisited. The smell of the Bay, the sights of the boats heading North, perhaps, to fish, or just to tour around Barnegat Bay.  Sailboats fluttering their wings as the seagulls glide by.  The water gently hitting the bulkhead as it lulls us to sleep each night.  The sky as blue as only a New Jersey shore sky can be in the Fall.  The stop lights all flashing yellow with the summer crowds no longer.  We used to say that LBI rose over two feet each year with them gone.  It was a happy time!

I am thankful for the visions of my family, especially of my Mother and Father, as they come back to me as if I am looking at a movie of my life.  My father sitting in the bar having a drink.  My mother in the kitchen preparing dinner.  My Aunt and Uncle waving to us as they come closer from across the Bay ready to moor their boat outside our house.  Clam bakes, the houseboat rocking outside, my sister catching crabs in her traps hanging into the Bay from the bulkhead.  The family parties that never seemed to end.

My 21st birthday dinner at the table in the same spot as this table.  The precious gift my Father presented me and my surprise when I saw friends driving up the Lane for my birthday party.  A wonderful surprise and a wonderful memory.

Christmas here with the tree beautifully decorated which could be seen by boaters.  Holiday cheer on the water.

Memories are beautiful and memories are good for the soul.  We need to remember from whence we come.  Memories are not all happy but my memories of this house are awe inspiring as I look across the Bay and watch this sunset.  I see my family everywhere here.  Memories that I thought I had forgotten.

My parents are still with me as we enjoy this house that my Father built so long ago.  I realize I appreciate the beauty and the calmness the Bay has always brought to me more today than yesterday.  Somehow I feel closer to my parents within its walls.  I have gone back in time.

I fear this house will be torn down for a new and improved version of a bayfront house.  If I return to Long Beach Island this house will truly be just a memory.  The realization makes me sad.  For now I am thankful I am here.  I am thankful for all the memories that are freshened in my heart.

Thanks Dad.  I see what you saw all those years ago.








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Unknown-4.jpegUnsure why it is but I have a newfound love of trains.

My children still tell me that one of their best vacation memories was the trip we took on the Crescent from Atlanta to New York City so many years ago.

The sleeping quarters were cramped to be sure but we never hesitated to laugh over it…then and now.

Living in downtown Woodstock, Georgia, the train tracks were just about in our building’s front entrance. I came to just love when a train would slowly crawl down the tracks.

When I was lucky enough to be relaxing in the park-like atmosphere across the street and a train would blow its whistle, my spirits would rise and excitement grew.

I was like a child.  More to the point I became like my grandchildren when they, too, saw a train.  Eyes would light up and a broad smile would appear as they pointed to the train!  It was the highlight of their day.  Maybe, just mine.

The barricades would come down as if shouting “STOP” and “BEWARE”.  Bells would ring.  Be careful all train lovers.  Relax, enjoy, watch and listen.

Whistles would whistle and the conductor would look ahead but once in a great while he would do a bit of a wave to the children who congregated near the barricade.  The climax of the experience to be sure since every child would believe that the conductor waves a special hello to them only.  Most certainly the children believed this and, perhaps, many adults as well.

Today, the day after Irma sauntered through the Atlanta area, I hear train after train moving through Woodstock.  Whistle after whistle.  Six so far.  They were backed up I suspect in Atlanta and must make up for lost time.  The trains and their conductors rested yesterday due to weather conditions.

Exciting day and I wish my Grandchildren could be here listening with me.  I find I am the lucky one since we live close to the tracks.  There is no ‘wrong side of the tracks’ for me.  The closer the better.

For now, I will enjoy.  “I hear the train a coming’ round the bend…”*  Here comes another train!

I hear that sweet sounding whistle.



*FOLSOM PRISON BLUES by Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash

The Crescent on the Amtrak line runs from Penn Station in New York City to New Orleans making about 33 stops across 13 States with daily departures both ways.  Relax…it takes about 30 hours in total.  I highly recommend the journey from Atlanta to New York City.

Train travel in Europe is customary.  It is sad to think that in the U.S. it is not.  Amtrak has been close to closing down many of their routes.  In fact, the budget proposal is worrisome.  Many routes may be eliminated making cross country passenger rail a thing of the past.





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16.jpgHere we are in the middle of ‘our’ lake gently rocking back and forth.

The wakes from the ever increasing number of boats and jet skis gently rock our boat thoroughly relaxing us. Kayaks swim by.

People are hurrying now to position themselves and find the best possible spot on the water.

It’s a beautiful day. The sky is all clear for the big event which has already begun. A bite has been taken out of the sun but it burns brightly nevertheless.

Over 100 years ago a complete eclipse took place (or so I have been told) over North America. I do remember seeing a partial eclipse but for the life of me I can’t remember when or where I was living. I just remember glancing at the sun and worrying about my eyesight for weeks after.

I have to say the lake isn’t as crowded as I thought it might be. There are several tents set up along the shoreline for eclipse parties. We haven’t been invited.

This lake is hardly ever crowded even on the ‘big’ weekends. July 4 is the big holiday here. It used to be that boats would all meet mid lake and bounce around watching the fireworks. It was fun and more alcoholic beverages involved than I would like to admit. NOT us you understand but generally speaking!

We are ready for the totality of the eclipse….food, water, beer, chips and salsa. What else could we want? We have our books and reading glasses. We have our noodles ready to ride. Oh and most important our certified, eye saving, British Standards Institute certified and meeting the ISO 12312-2-2015 requirements. Praying all this means my eyes are safe and I won’t go blind.

Happy Eclipse Day Everybody!! Should have brought our Moon Pies, mixed Tequilla Sunrises, Blue Moon beer, Blue Moon cocktail, Cherry Moons, Harvest Moons, Moon River cocktail, Moonshine, etc. Darn!! Will have to put more time into planning the food and drink aspect next time!




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