08/13/14 7:00am
Last year's Polish Wedding at the Polish Town Fair and Festival in Riverhead. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Last year’s Polish Wedding at the Polish Town Fair and Festival in Riverhead. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

August weekends in Riverhead aren’t just about days at the beach, wineries and farmstands. There’s one weekend each year here that’s all about heritage … and having fun.

The 40th annual Polish Town Fair and Polka Festival comes to Riverhead’s Polish Town this Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16-17.

View the details on northforker.com

05/30/14 2:06pm
Peter Van de Wetering in an undated photo. (Credit: Van de Wetering family)

Peter Van de Wetering in an undated photo. (Credit: Van de Wetering family)

Longtime Riverhead resident and owner of Van de Wetering greenhouses Peter Van de Wetering died May 28 at his home.

He was 82.

Mr. Van de Wetering, the  oldest of eight children, was born July 6, 1931, in Naaldwijk, Netherlands, to Catherine (Van Went) and Anton Van de Wetering. (more…)

08/10/13 10:00am

The first time I wrote an obituary was Feb. 27, 2012. It was for my mother-in-law, who had died the day before. She was a wonderful person whose life was cut short by a terrible disease. It was the hardest piece I’ve ever written.

My husband’s family designated me as the writer at the funeral home, mostly because I worked at the local paper. I had never written anything using Associated Press style, and was a distraught family member. Did I include how much she loved her husband? Did I include how much she loved her sons and her grandsons? Do I mention how much she loved all of us — even those who came by luck and not by blood?

LAURA HUBER

Each time I read the obituary, I cried. I cried when I called my coworker. I kept saying, “We thought we had more time.”

This was about a year before it became my job to write obituaries for this newspaper. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Closer,” you’ve heard Jude Law’s character discuss his job as an obituary writer, stoically, in a British accent, and then discuss the euphemisms they use to reflect alternative lifestyles.

When people find out I write obituaries, they ask me if it’s depressing. I usually tell them I balance it out with weddings and births, but that’s not true. I see many, many more obituaries than I do weddings or births, thanks to social media.

But I don’t really find obituaries depressing. They’ve taught me some important lessons about my own life, and given me some healthy advice, which I will now pass along.

Write your own obituary now

I have met with best friends, life partners and grieving family members. Some know every intimate details about the life of the person they’re telling me about. Some don’t know much at all. Each of us has a different part of our life story.

For me, my parents have the beginning piece; my husband, family and friends can fill in; and my children and, hopefully grandchildren, will have the later chapters.

Each person would tell a very different story. Nobody will tell my story the way I want it. They’ll all be grieving. They’ll be trying to remember the meals I made, the hugs I gave them and the way I made them laugh. They don’t need a stranger asking them what my mother’s maiden name was.

If I write it now, they can celebrate, remember, cry and fill in the new details. I’ll update it from time to time, put it in a place where everyone can find it, and won’t have to worry about anyone spelling Catrow with a K.

Live a life worth writing about

I’ve written and read about people who sailed around the world, served in wars, taught children to read or took care of their grandchildren.

Whatever you do, do it with passion and love. Don’t care if anyone else thinks you’re crazy. If you love to write, start a blog. If you love music, play it loudly. If you love car racing, get on the track. You are more than the desk you sit behind or the children you birthed. Live passionately, at least a little bit, every day. Love what you do and who you are.

Have empathy for the grieving

Everyone grieves differently. When I talk to a woman who can’t find her purse because her son just died, I listen. When I speak with a woman who is angry with the coroner’s office, I listen. Sometimes, I get off the phone, I take a deep breath, wipe my eyes and move on to the next obituary. I have to.

My heart breaks for these people, and their loss. Each one of the living has a story and a connection, the same way each obituary tells a story.

Live each day as if it’s your last

I’ve written obituaries for infants, teenagers, people my age, people in their 90s. Each day is a gift, and the next one may not be there. However you live, live life as though it may not be there the next day.

Take time to hug your children and tell them you love them. Don’t hold grudges with family or friends. Hug your parents, even when they drive you crazy. Someday, they won’t be here.

After I hang up the phone with families, I hope that I have helped each person in a small way. I’m just a tiny piece of the puzzle, but I’m really lucky to learn about so many different lives and people.

We all have stories, and I’m privileged to tell them.

Ms. Huber is an editorial assistant with Times/Review Newsgroup. She can be reached at lhuber@timesreview.com or 631-298-3200, ext. 250.

08/24/12 1:59pm

 

Summer’s almost over, but the good thing is that the weather is supposed to be amazing this weekend. Here are some fun things you can do this weekend with friends and family … or even by yourself.

Friday night is music night. There are live music events happening at Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport, the Peconic Riverfront in Riverhead and Mitchell Park.

Have scrap metal lying around? Drop off your aluminum, steel, iron, tin, copper or brass at Our Redeemer Luthern Church on Saturday. Help the youth group raise money for the 2013 LCMS National Youth Gathering. Call 631-379-0228 for pickup information.

For Sale: A little bit of everything. Saturday morning you can check out the “Churchyard Show” at Old Steeple in Aquebogue, a barn sale hosted by the Southold Presbyterian Women’s Group on Wells Ave in Southold, or the Old Town Arts & Crafts Guild’s book and bake sale in Cutchogue. Time it right and you can enjoy all three.

Fun for the whole family: Movies on the Beach at South Jamesport Beach. Watch “Dolphin Tale” at 7:30 p.m. and stay for “Goonies” at 9:45. Bring chairs and blankets, and a picnic dinner.

Sail aboard the schooner “SoundWaters” all weekend. Leave Mitchell Park Marina at either 2 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Children must be over age 6 to participate.

On Shelter Island: Don’t miss the Farmers Market at the Shelter Island Historical Society. Live music and fresh produce. Spend the morning there and then head over to Southampton for a book signing and dessert with Tate’s Bake Shop owner Kathleen King.

The famous Pindar Sunflowers are ready for the picking. Visit Pindar for a nice glass of wine on their back porch and pay $1.00 for each stem you pick.

Check Times Review events page for more events at the vineyards and other local hotspots. If you’re a subscriber, take a look at our new e-paper. Just find our e-paper icon at the top of the page. If you’re not a subscriber, email epaper@timesreview.com and start your subscription today.

Comment below if you have any questions or want to reach out to Main Road Red. You can also reach me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. Have a great weekend.