Thursday, November 13, 2008


I shot this from Gwynn's Island earlier this week.

Warning: This photo may be hazardous to your eyesight. Wear protective eye gear prior to glancing at it. It's very, very orange.

As I keep saying, I just push the button that is always set to "auto" and hope for the best. Sometimes The Best ends up causing damage to the retinas. And the corneas. And the pupils. And if I could remember any other parts of the eye, I'd list them here.

Growing up, I became accustomed to hearing words and phrases that were not part of mainstream language. For example, my favorite grandmother from Gloucester always called the refrigerator an icebox. My mother always called it an icebox. I always called it an icebox. At least until I went away to college, and people looked at me like I was crazy. Then I went back to calling it a refrigerator. Peer pressure.

Now that I'm back here in Mathews again, where most everyone is quirky and a tad eccentric, I've reverted to calling it the icebox. My children sometimes reach for the freezer when I tell them to get something out of the icebox, but I'll have them trained before too long.

Probably right around the time they go away to college.

Whenever I'd go to my grandmother's house after school, she'd ask, "Have you studied your lessons?" This was asking if I'd done my homework. Before bed, she'd ask if I'd "cleaned" my teeth, instead of "brushed" them.

Many is the night I've hollered upstairs to my own children and, laughing under my breath, told them to hurry up and clean their teeth before bed.

Oh, how I love to hear their reaction.

I'll continue tomorrow with a few more expressions from days gone by.

Right now I have to make sure Chesapeake Bay Children have studied their lessons and cleaned their teeth. Then I'm going to the icebox to get a steak to put on these eyeballs of mine.

I think I've blinded myself with my own photograph.


Bear Naked said...

For some strange reason this immediately came to my mind.

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

- William Blake (1757-1827)

I always clean my teeth but I don't have an icebox only a fridge.

Bear((( )))
ps: the word verification is quistion.
I have a quistion for you.
tee hee
How's the weather in Mathews today?

Icey said...

My father called it an icebox too. One more bond between us.

Also, I am a few days behind but I believe you forgot another fine Urbanna Oyster Festival Memory. This was after college and for some reason one of our guy friends who we will call "Andy" decided to join us for the road trip. As with any roadtrip, the details are sketchy but I do recall CB Middle Sis getting attacked by a girl who thought CBMS had leared at or flirted with or inappropriately strutted by her boyfriend (all entirely possible). Naturally a girl fight ensued and CBW joined the fray in her defense. I for one would never pick a fight with a CBW family member!

I believe that was also the trip when CB Mother announced she wanted to adopt a chinese boy and teach him to play basketball.

I don't think Andy has ever been back ...

Anonymous said...

Well, Mom and I went to Mary Washington College to visit my little sister, Ann Cary and take her to lunch. We ordered, and the waitress asked what "sides" my mom wanted. My mom replied, "I'll take butterbeans and snaps." The waitress looked at her like she had two heads!! I had to interpret: "She'll have lima beans and green beans." We laugh about that all the time. And I have an icebox, too.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

BN - Thank are so good at matching up poems with pictures. Mental Pause M. is too. And the answer to your quistion is, it's overcast, probably going to rain and mild, maybe in upper 50's to lower 60's. Beautiful poem.

Icey - Yes, we have so many bonds. Your father was a smart man. BTW - I found some old pictures you may want, a couple of him. Right around the time of Finnish Friend's first wedding. Also, I do recall Andy making that road trip with us. (Why does the word "burro" or "donkey" pop immediately to mind?) And the background on why CB Mother made that statement was she wanted to adopt an Asian boy so he wouldn't turn into a bubba--not that there is ANYTHING wrong with a bubba but at the time she seemed to have issues with one of them, probably one of my father's friends who was usurping all his time away from things he should have been tending to on the homefront. That was her "logic" behind the statement.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Anonymous: My mother calls them butterbeans too.

belladella said...

Found you via Big Hair. I have to say hello to another one of my fellow VA bloggers. I call it an icebox too. And I am proud to know where the expression actually came from. Come on over and visit me at BellaDella anytime!

Mental P Mama said...

We called it icebox or frigidaire. And Butterbeans are the best. Daryl is coming with me when we set the date;)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Belladella - Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for stopping by.

MPM - GOOD! BHE and I are definitely in talks about getting something organized. (It's scary using the word "organized" and anything associated with me in the same sentence.) We'd love to have Daryl and any one else you wish to bring.

Grandma J said...

The term icebox was used in our family too. We actually had an icebox at a cottage at Hampton Beach, NH. I also remember when Ralph bough Alice a new icebox on the Honeymooners. I think they only had a one room apartment, but at least they had an icebox.

nativedevil said...

The first few times I went home from college, I mentioned upon my return to school that, "I didn't do much, just went up to the courthouse a few times". Finally, my girlfriend asked me what I had done wrong, that I had to keep going to the courthouse? Later, when she came to spend the weekend at my parent's, she made the comment that she had never seen anywhere so dark at night before. She grew up in the city, and always had streetlights.

Big Hair Envy said...

Why is it that, when you post these words and expressions that others find amusing, I try to figure out WHY they're funny? Doesn't EVERYONE know what lessons, butterbeans, snaps and iceboxes are??? DUH!

Bwahahahahaha! Keep 'em comin'!

kaffy said...

Love the picture! My retinas are okay so far. Did you lie on yor belly rolling in the sheep burrs to get the shot?
My grandmother called the sofa a "davenport". "Get your butt off the davenport and fetch me a drink from the icebox." Make it a double.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Native Devil - They now have a Welcome to Mathews Committee (or something similar, seriously) that debriefs newcomers on the lingo and mannerisms of us natives, and they talk about the whole Courthouse thing. It's so funny to hear newcomers use the term with confidence. But they do. We're converting them one by one....

BHE - I'm sure you have many to add to the list. The only reason I talk about these words is the fact that my very own children look at me like I have five eyeballs when I say stuff that to me is routine, such as, "Hep yaseff" instead of "Help yourself" (the former being exactly how my grandmother pronounced it). One of my proudest days was when I heard my son tell my daughter to hep herseff to something.

Kaffy - How are you my friend? A davenport sounds exotic, mystical even. Or else it sounds like a fancy name for a body part. For example: "I think I got a few burs in my davenport when I took this picture the other night."

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Oh, and GJ - Yes, Ralph and Alice DID have an icebox in their apartment. I loved the honeymooners.

Annie said...

Umm...I think I might come from your mother's era...I always clean my teeth...hope that doesn't set you off laughing all over the place...

I wish someone would explain why it is so funny to be cleaning your teeth instead of brushing yr teeth...I think maybe my brain is getting a tad slow...


Anonymous said...

Talk about stuff you said and thought it was "Normal" but learned otherwise when you went to college: Where I'm from in PA, people will say this: My lawn needs raked. Not My lawn needs to be raked, or my lawn needs raking, but MY LAWN NEEDS RAKED. They write like that in the weekly newspaper up there, too.

It was a nice boy from Long Island who laughed out loud at me when I commented that "My hair needs cut." He was quick to correct me. I just never knew.

I think "icebox" is more of a throwback to the days when that's literally what it was - because my grandparents' generation called it that.

Or it could just be that it's a little quirky down there in Mathews.

The Girl Next Door said...

and some of my neighbors called it an icebox.

And are you fixin' to do stuff, too??

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie...your brain is not slow. I'm sure many people still say these things. My point (that I rarely make clear when I write..or talk) is that one generation ago these words and phrases were part of our mainstream here (at least locally), and with my generation things have changed to the point where saying them is a rarity. They have all but died out, except not in my house where my kids are learning what their great grandmother used to say. I expect by the time they have children, these sayings will be all but forgotten.

Soup - I have indeed heard someone say their hair needs cut. What's in that drinking water up there in Pennsylvania? (Just kidding.) Yes, the term does come from when it was an actual ice box but don't dismiss the fact that we are really quirky here.

Girl Next Door - I have friends who are always fixin' to do stuff but I'm usually just fixin' to avoid doing stuff.....

Life with Kaishon said...

I seriously love this picture. It might be my most favorite yet. Maybe...

icebox is a cool thing to say. you are so cool i can't stand it!

Kagey said...

I still use supper, although I left snaps behind in college. Now people just think a snap is a pick up move that Elle Woods introduced. A whirlwind of emotions swept over me as I read your blogs for the first time tonight. Your pictures could be from my own grandparent's home. And you still have quite the way with words. I didn't realize how much I've missed you. This "toolie" doesn't stand a chance keeping up on this blog, but I'll enjoy reading it.