Friday morning I took a spin down Knight Woods road and was compelled by the morning light to photograph this house. When I got out of the car, a most unexpected and sudden thing happened for a chilly, spring Mathews morning: mosquitoes descended like
Out of nowhere they came, with a vengeance. Relentless they were. Bigger than buzzards.
Speaking of old houses but not necessarily of winged monkeys or buzzards, the other day I alluded to a story involving the Chesapeake Bay Children, me, the law and a stroke. I've been meaning to relay this story for a while but never seem to have time to
Once upon a recent Sunday, I forced the Chesapeake Bay Children to ride with me to Bethel Beach. The weather was warm and the sunlight was perfect for photographs.
On our way they tolerated a few stops here and there for the occasional photo of dead houses barely
But they're accustomed to these sorts of pit stops. Usually they roll their eyes and say something like, "Oh no, Mom. Again?"
On the way to Bethel, I told them about a shack in the middle of the woods on the left as you approach the beach. I described a grass-covered access off the paved road which would allow us to pull in under cover of dense pine trees and vegetation which hides everything, up to and including the shack I wanted to photograph.
Here's how that conversation went:
Chesapeake Bay Mother: "Oh, yeah. I want to show y'all this beautiful old shack in the woods here. All I have to do is pull right in here and it's right over there." (I gesture randomly towards an area that appears to be nothing but
CB Children: "Oh no, Mom. Again?"
CB Mother: "It's OK. It's right over there."
CB Son, demonstrating sound judgment: "Mom, no. I don't think so."
CB Mother: "I've done this before, it's fine. We're down here in the middle of nowhere, the car is hidden, and the shack is right over there (gesturing towards nothing but dense vegetation, poison ivy, and briars). The lighting is perfect. This will only take a minute, and I'd really like you all to see it."
CB Children: Cut glances at each other and make a pact never to go anywhere with their mother again.
CB Mother: Parks the car under thick brush and pine trees. Leads the children a few steps towards the shack, which is hidden in a very dense
All of a sudden, Chesapeake Bay Mother
CB Mother, without the benefit of even seeing the shack, much less sharing it with her children: " OK, let's go back to the car, kids. I hear a car approaching."
CB Son: "Oh no."
CB Daughter: "Oh, brother, not this."
CB Mother, thinking to herself but not daring to utter the words out loud: "
Then, just as she and her children were hurdling brush piles to get back to the car, right there, screeching on brakes in front of us, was a Mathews County deputy who had descended with the swiftness and ferocity of
He was looking right at us. It's not like there was any other reason for him to stop. Deputies don't stop for fiddler crabs, and they don't stop for horseflies, sea gulls, herons or hard crabs. Those would have been the only other living beings there that day on this very remote, desolate road going into Bethel Beach.
CB Mother, with beads of sweat on her forehead and a new appreciation for
CB Daughter, with the line of the day: "The truth is always best."
CB Mother, noting to self: This child has more sense than her mother, and this is
Chesapeake Bay Woman trotted nervously with her camera held high so the law enforcement official could see. Her darling, level-headed children were trotting in lockstep behind her. She had every intention of walking up to the law enforcement officer and telling him everything because the only logical explanation was
But then, all of a sudden, the last possible thing imaginable happened. He took off! Just like that. He didn't even say hello. (I'm not complaining, it was just a little unusual.)
Yes indeed. Without even asking what we were doing, he left, but not after studying the whole scene carefully. He must have taken one look at a
Then Chesapeake Bay Woman, realizing