Wednesday, July 23, 2008


This is another shot of that incredible sunrise from the other day. One thing you can rely on is the sun coming up in the mornin'. Another thing you can rely on is me falling down and having chunks of flesh disappear into a place called Excruciating Pain.

Sometimes it takes a while to realize how much you appreciate Something or Someone because you're too busy running the marathon race called Life, which in my case today includes dealing with a sinking boat. Again. With a gangrenous finger which hurts when I breathe. Or think. I am sure salt water mixed with boat grease and tears will be wonderful for it. Just wonderful.

Before I take on the boat, however, I'd like to slow down for a minute and praise this place called Mathews.

It's beautiful.

It's peaceful.

It's a great place to raise children. In my opinion, it's the only place.

The pace of life is slower and more relaxed. My blood pressure goes down just as soon as I turn from Gloucester onto Route 14 on my ride home from work. Of course, when I arrive home and my trash is all over the yard and the boat is sinking, the b.p. goes right back up, but at least it lingers in the lower numbers for a spell beforehand.

It's a place where you not only know your neighbors, you haul their trash if they are unable to take it to the dump, preferably before the raccoons have their next raucous fraternity party. When you wake up in the morning and you see where the raccoons have left behind the equivalent of this amount of trash and scattered debris: Woodstock--it's time to assess who is actually living on this property and who is considered the pest.

If you have a surplus of vegetables from your garden, you share it. (I am the one you share it with because I can't grow anything except hair in unwanted places.)

If you can't afford something, you are extended credit with a handshake and a smile. Unless it's the gas station, in which case you need to take out a second mortgage.

It's a place where a friend who is absolutely exhausted from a long commute and a hard day's work offers to help you with a sinking boat, and sincerely means it. The boat is definitely sinking and I will be spending the better part of today alternating between crying and bailing. Crying is not particularly conducive to bailing a boat out, but it is a necessary part of the process, and an essential ingredient in most of my days.

This is why it's good for me to be in Mathews. If all the stuff that happens to me happened to me in a stressful suburb, well, let's just say that Chesapeake Bay Woman would change her name to Eastern State Hospital Resident for Life.

Mathews County is a place like none other, in spite of sinking boats, ant infestations, gangrenous fingers and partying raccoons.

It's home.


Grandma J said...

I want to live in Mathews. Do you really have to take your own trash to the dump?
Good luck with that boat sinking. Maybe you should go on-line and see if Billy Mays has anything to fix it.
1.highlight the word you want to open link.
2. click on the little green link icon.
3. paste or key in the url, click ok.

Mental P Mama said...

I would so be helping you with that boat if I were careful!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

This was beauiful.

You've articulated exactly why, despite hellacious winters, lobster lovers, fire flies that would rather be IN my house than outside, horrible taxes and ginormous winter heating bills, we will stay in Maine.

I can't think of anywhere else in the world I'd rather raise the Little Imp. It's home.

Even if we have to take our own trash to the dump too (most of the coastal communities have to)...AND pay $2 per bag!

I still love Maine. I may not have been born here, but I will die here.

TSannie said...

Seems we're all falling down lately. Glad to say my shin is finally healing, tho my foot is still killing me and I'd really like to amputate my little toe. How's your chin doing?

Your Mathews sounds like a little piece of paradise...outside the raccoons and sinking boat. Hey - nuthin's perfect!

Hope finger and boat are much better tomorrow.

tj said...

...Yeah, you're pulling double-duty if you're cryin' a-n-d bailing out a boat. Before long you're bailing out nothin' but tears and then you begin to cry even harder which equals more tears which equals more pails of water...(*sigh*) it's a vicious circle I'm tellin' ya... ;o)

...And I so want to visit where you live. I'm afraid if I visit I won't wanna leave! Maybe if Bossy goes on another expedition we all could hitch a ride with her to your

...Good luck with the boat, if I lived closer I'd come and help ya. And wishes for a painfree existence comin' your way! ;o)


Anonymous said...

I live in a "stressful suburb," but my blood pressure goes down when I turn onto my wooded street, with homes occupied by the most fantastic folks on the planet. At least to us they are. We don't have your scenery, though. But.... we are with in 5 miles of two Targets and a handful of Starbucks?!?!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

gj-Yes, we take our trash to the dump. After we put it in the bags for the second time when the racoons are done rummaging through it.

mpm - I need all the help I can get. The guest room and some chardonnay await if you can make the drive down.

auds- I love Maine too. Went there a long time ago and thought the coastal areas resembled Mathews a lot.

tsa-Glad you're on the mend. My chin is better, but the finger needs attention. No time for that with sinking boats and all.

tj - Exactly. I can't cry and bail at the same time, so I am going to have to focus on the crying and let someone else help me with the bailing. I wonder what Little Sis is up to and when her next day off is.....

sinaff - You're lucky. Our closest Target is about 35-40 miles away, and it is not the most pleasant after you get out of Gloucester County.

I'm done bailing for the day. Now it is back to Mt. ClothesMore, the highest peak in North America.

Anonymous said...


I had to chime in and second your assessment of dear old Mathews... I, too, am a native and I love it, and nowhere else is home.

When I used to drive home from college (in the mountains) I would roll down the windows at Stinkytown and if the wind was blowing the right way, you could smell the marsh instead of the mill.... ahhhh marsh mud at low tide! the smell of home!

I very much enjoy your humor, writing style, photography and the virtual tour of the county. I've read your archives and I will look forward to new posts. I found you by accident when searching for the Donks website.

I think I know your identity, so it's only fair to give you a clue who I am: I grew up across the street from MHS and played ball with Little Sis, I was two years behind her in school.

I would love to move back home before my kids start school. We live in a suburban neighborhood near Richmond now.

I was beginning to think I was a little crazy for wanting to move back out in the middle of nowhere, but your blog has made me think perhaps I'm just quirky and eccentric -- not crazy -- just quirky and eccentric (yeah, that's the ticket!).

Anyway, thanks for creating this fabulous, funny blog and good luck with the bailing! (and the ants)

Say hello to Little Sis for me!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Hey, Anonymous Mathews Native Living in Richmond - Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I hope that you will continue to contribute because, as you probably know, my "facts" are not always correct, and it helps to have other people (besides my sisters) correct me.

Nobody is crazy here, we're all quirky and eccentric. Well, there may be one or two crazies, but they can't help it.

I highly recommend coming back here to live. It was a great place to grow up and it's a great place to grow old.

Thank you for reading and please come back often.


Bear Naked said...

Well you and that photo have convinced me.
I want to live in Mathews too.
Do you accept middle aged Canadian boomers?

Bear((( )))

Karen Deborah said...

PROPERTY magazines, have you got any? You so make me laugh I love you.
Soak the finger, epsom salts, if it's really that bad go to the doc and get antibiotics. People get hospitalized for infected digits like that. Then you can get REALLY sick.
Sorry about the boat.

Anonymous said...

By the way - all of what I said before is not at all to say that I wouldn't be tempted to move to a place like Mathews. I myself grew up in a sparsely-populated area, so I "get" it. The year I left rural PA and moved into the heart of DC, we had friends who lived out in the country near Chestertown MD, and boy did we love going to visit them.

For now, though, I do remain happily fixed in the land of weekly curbside pickup of our commingled recyclables and trash. :-)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

bn - Yes. Come on down. We accept everyone just as long as you are willing to accept all the Eccentrics who call this place home. And a few Crazies. But all are harmless.

kd - We do have them, and I am sure there's plenty you could find on-line as well. Little Sister has a real estate license, so let me know if you need any help.

sinaff - I'd love to hear more about your PA days, aside from the pickled eggs. You should tell some of those stories over at your place, I am sure there are many good ones to tell.

Diane @ Stoney Creek said...

CBW - you need a bilge pump - automatic bilge pump. No more bailing. Love your blog. No really - love your blog.

foolery said...

Put the garbage into the sinking boat. When the raccoons show up it'll be a show-down, and one (or two) of your three problems will solve itself.

THIS is why I should run for president -- I'm an IDEA PERSON. And karen deborah has the right idea -- get thee to an MD in a jiffee, ladee!


-- Foolery