Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Letter "F"

I took this a long time ago as I was leaving commenter Breezeway's property on Gwynn's Island. (In Chesapeake Bay Woman terms, a "long time ago" is anything farther back than a couple of days, because after a while it all blends into one great big blur of a memory, and after it has been stored in the blurry zone it moves to a Data Black Hole, never to be retrieved again.) I liked the silhouette of the tree even though there isn't a whole lot of light in the picture.

Speaking of a long time ago, and of vague memories of facts and details, I turn now to an assignment I was given long before I ran my story-writing contest. That contest allowed me to take a brief blogging vacation during which I did nothing but eat bon bons and twirl my hair. Mark my words, y'all are going to be begging me for another contest here soon. You just wait and see.

Once upon a time, probably several weeks ago, give or take a year, Val from Monkeys on the Roof asked me to participate in a fun little assignment to take a letter of the alphabet and come up with 10 words (beginning with that letter) that are important to me.

Before I go any further, I want to say that Val really does have monkeys on her roof sometimes, and wild boars running around her yard, and elephants running around the village--seriously. But more than that, Val is a very gifted writer, and I am very grateful to have her visit here every so often. The fact that someone with her writing skills--who lives in a place so far away--would be interested in a place like Mathews is mind-boggling to me. Please take some time to check out her blog, you won't be disappointed. Tell her Red Rover, Red Rover, Chesapeake Bay Woman finally completed her assignment and sent you right over.


I was assigned the letter "F" which is really not an easy letter to work with, especially when one is trying to maintain a PG-13 rating on a blog. Nevertheless, here goes.....

1. Food
Just kidding. Sort of. Of course food is important to us all because we need it to survive, but I take thinking about food to a whole new level. I'm always wondering what my next meal will be. I love eating--food is another art form--and wish I could do more of it without gaining weight. Alas, ever since turning 40 I have to closely monitor my intake, but rest assured I'm always thinking about it....

2. Fried Chicken
See? I can't get off the topic. But I'm serious. Fried chicken is very important to me, and I'm not talking about your run-of-the-mill, fast food chicken. My Gloucester grandmother used to take a whole chicken, cut it up, soak it in salt water for hours, season it just perfectly, slather it in flour and fry it up in Crisco in an iron skillet. Her entire house was filled with the heady aroma of perfectly fried chicken, an aroma so thick it seeped into your pores. Oh, how I long for some of her fried chicken. Alas, nobody really takes the time to fry chicken the right way anymore. After all it takes an entire day to do it properly. (You can bet your sweet bippy Chesapeake Bay Woman not only lacks the patience to fry up chicken the old fashioned way, she cannot locate her fire extinguisher that would be deemed essential should she, high temperatures and grease ever come into close proximity.)

3. Family
Yes, family. You cannot choose your family members, but they're yours no matter what, and they're important no matter how crazy they make you. Or how crazy they are. I know many people who have tattered-and-torn relationships with family members for one reason or another. I always encourage them to re-establish contact and be the one who extends the olive branch. If they choose not to accept it, at least you have offered. In the end, family, friends and our loved ones are all that really matters. Well, that and a platter of hot, fried chicken.

4. Friends
See above, only the difference is you can choose your friends. Living in Mathews afforded us an opportunity to make life-long friends. I run into people in the grocery store I went to kindergarten with, and it's a great feeling. I think it's important to surround yourself with friends who are low maintenance, don't require anything in return, and who make you laugh. And laugh some more. If my letter were "l," laughter would be at the top of the list, but friends who make you laugh are even better. (Of course you can laugh at family members, too, but sometimes you want to keep that laughter to yourself. Or, you can do what I do and post their stories on the internet for all the world to see. For instance.)

5. Fun
Along the same vein as laughing with friends and making fun of family, having fun is essential. Basically, I live for having fun, and it's important that we try to make every aspect of our life fun, otherwise there's nothing left to do except start crying at how mundane it all can be. For example, are you drowning in clutter and dirty laundry? Don't let it bother you. Just forget about it and watch some television. Have fun! Dishes piled high in the kitchen sink? Play on the internet all day long--go ahead and enjoy yourself! Dreading a day full of meaningless chores and errands? Punt all those horrible tasks and take a nap.

As you can see, I've only shared five of the ten "f" words which are important to me and yet have used the same amount of text as Tolstoy in War and Peace. Therefore, the remaining five words will come tomorrow.

Right now, I'm going to pick up dirty clothes, do some laundry, clean up the kitchen, and tend to starving animals. Or not.

In other words, I'm going to have some fun.


mmm said...

"F" words... mmmm... Fatigued. F.A.T.I.G.U.E.D. Me thinks the blogger community is fatigued.

Val said...

Fabulous and Fantastic! well done. i agree with all yours - love the family and friends one and love to live for fun too!!! thanks for the kind words about my blog - and i bounce them right back at you :-) you ALWAYS make me smile. that fried chicken sounds good...i'm off to the fridge then...

Grandma J said...

It sounds like you have your grandmother's chicken recipe down pat...which means you will probably want to teach all the blogfest attendees how to make it. A cooking lessons. Or maybe just directions to the local KFC.
I can't wait to hear the next installment of Fs.

foolery said...

Make sure tomorrow you include "fotografia," which is at least close to the Spanish word for "takes a lot of gorgeous pictures of Mathews County," es verdad?

Because you do.

And please do not come after me with a grammar stick.



mom x 2 said...

I just love to come vist here... you always make me laugh. You are so "F'unny!! My grandmother and my mother used to make homemade fried chicken. My grandmother has long since passed away, but Mom is still around, even though we have not had fried chicken since..... "F"orever ago :) I'll have to speak to her about that! Thanks for the smiles!

Annie said...

..reminds me that someone gave me a letter..and I couldn't think of anything at the time..must go put my thinking cap have motivated me to have some FUN!

I ahve been at the family's place and minding grandchildren..what more fun could i wish for?

I go home this morning..very sad!


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

MMM - It's just been a slow day all the way around. Here, the gloomy weather + fatigue = the desire to hibernate.

Val - Thank you for visiting, and thanks for giving me the assignment. It's always wonderful to hear from you.

Grandma J. - I'll get Chesapeake Bay Mother to fry us up a batch for the Blog Fest, and maybe she'll do a cooking demo while she's at it. Warning! Many, many beads of sweat will drop from her forehead, and a few foul words will be dropped from her mouth. (She is a wonderful cook, but has a very lively vocabulary when stressed...)

Foolery - Muchisimas gracias, La palabra es "fotografia" - correcto, es verdad. Yo tengo hambre. Tienes pollo frito?

OK, folks. It's been a loooooooong day and it's not over yet. Have a great evening.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Mom x 2 - thanks for your kind words. I have you down as a "YES" for the Blog Fest. Can't wait. I don't know too many people who still make fried chicken the old way, it's a dying art form. (Bcause it takes so long to do right, is my theory.)

Annie - Enjoy the grandchildren while you can. I'm assuming you're not visiting the arm of the family in the U.S.? Cuz if you are, come on down for a visit.

phyl said...

very interesting! CBW, will you be assigning letters to your followers to post on their blogs?

phyl said...

PS - really "bratin" for my word verification???? Have you been talking to my friends and family

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Phyl, I hadn't planned on assigning, but if you're interested, for you I'd have to select the letter "T" because it's the first letter of the last name of the lady you wrote about in the contest you co-won. (How's that for the world's longest sentence?)

kaffy said...

How 'bout them FFFiddler crabs, mi amiga.

Angela said...

I guess I`m late on this one, but must say how I adore your Spanish and everything! Mathews must surely have some water, growing such wonderful writers and entertainers as you all seem to be. But you`re the most. Can I also give you a prize? A golden star? Or an invitation to a chicken, cooked the old way? (Next week they`ll sell old-fashioned iron frying pans at our local store, to replace my teflon-don`t-overheat-me-one!!) Oh, and I agree with you about Val! And her with you!