Monday, June 30, 2014


These were taken Saturday from Carters Creek over on the Northern Neck on what I would call a rather impromptu pontoon boat ride.

The fact that I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in a spontaneous pontoon boat ride is not something I take for granted.  

It was a wonderful surprise and a beautiful day.

And now it's Monday.  (Insert the sound of someone ripping the needle off a record.)

By Friday, July 4th will be upon us.

If we blink more than twice, it might be time to pull out the dreaded Christmas tree.

I'm not going to blink.

I love summer.

Friday, June 27, 2014


The old Foster's Department store, currently known as the Halcyon Building, recently received a very unique makeover.

This refreshing burst of color and sparkle was designed by two art students at Mathews High School.

Our "downtown" has been rather lackluster for many years.  We don't handle change very well, as a rule.

Personally, I am thrilled with this piece of art.

Up close, it gets even more exciting.  The mural is made up of thousands of pieces of broken tile, glass and other objects--including oyster shells.

Even better is that it's not just one-dimensional.  Some pieces jut off the side of the building.

I think it's stunning.  

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


A hungry heron stands poised in the marsh.

A hungry heron notices someone way off in the distance behind him.

A hungry heron stubbornly refuses to go back to his hunting even though the camera
is very far away; things only appear close here thanks to the zoom.

The hungry heron's stubbornness wins, and CBW puts her camera away.

The herons here lately have been waking me up at all hours of the night, as have the resident fox and the Canada geese.  I can count on hearing from them anywhere from midnight to 4:30.

No need for an alarm, every bird in the 23076 zip code is rising and steadily calling and chatting away between 5 and 5:30 a.m. now.

Anyone who thinks it's peaceful and quiet in Mathews has never tried to sleep with the windows open (or closed for that matter) on a summer night.

I'm not complaining though.

Well, maybe I am a little.  I just want one night of uninterrupted sleep.

It just might be time to invest in a cave, I really think that's the only place I'm going to get a full night's sleep a fan for some background white noise.

Monday, June 23, 2014


This elegant egret spent Saturday afternoon in the mud of the marsh off Winter Harbor.

I caught him contemplating the meaning of life on one of my breaks from playing games with my friend Glenda's girls on the nearby beach.

The weather started off iffy but later was sunny and unseasonably cool considering we're well into the month of June, usually heavy with humidity.

Saturday was spent on this wonderful beach.  Sunday I caught up on chores and ended up watching the USA-Portugal World Cup match.  After however many years of cheering on my daughter in soccer, I still don't know the rules find it hard to go from Wide Open to Zero on the spectator speedometer that summertime brings.

So World Cup has helped fill a void--says the person who hates watching sports on TV, even though she clutches a cowbell on the sidelines in real life.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the World Cup.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Emmett H.

This is the Emmett H, a gorgeous boat that lives at Winter Harbor.

I took these a couple weekends ago from the beach where my friends Glenda and Billy took me.

This has been a long week at work--it is busy season there, so the days are long and all the issues are urgent. Just as the school calendar to which I'm chained winds down, my job gets busier.  At least it doesn't happen at the same time, I guess I can be grateful for that.

Anyway, after another long day, that in addition to the usual madness included an EMG* for some nagging nerve pain, I was thrilled to get a message from Billy asking if I wanted to join them for another day out on the boat on Saturday.

Oh, yes.  Yes, I do.

Aside from a jog, Saturday's boat excursion is the only thing on my weekend's horizon.

And that's just fine with me.

I hope your weekend is wonderful.


*P.S. If a doctor ever suggests that you need an EMG to determine the cause of otherwise unexplained nerve pain, be sure to explain to the doctor that all of a sudden a miracle has occurred, and there is no more nerve pain and you do not need an EMG. Even if that's a blatant lie. Getting shocked for thirty minutes straight and then spending another thirty minutes having needles plunged directly into those same nerves should be against the law.  That's the last time I'm doing that. I still love my doctor though, she just wanted to be sure nothing awful was wrong. And I also appreciate the poor person who had to give me the EMG, who clearly has more patience than any other human being alive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


This sailboat pulled up into Queens Creek one recent evening for an overnight stay.

Aside from a sunset cruise on a catamaran in Grand Cayman around 1990, 
I can't say I've ever been out on a sailboat any bigger than a sunfish.  

Click here for a description of a sunfish sailboat, if you're unfamiliar with them.

Here's to smooth sailing through the rest of this week.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Graduation 2014

Saturday, after what seemed like only a year from first dropping him off at preschool, my son Sam graduated from Mathews High School.

When the first of only two grandchildren in the Vogel family graduates, we make sure to celebrate appropriately.  Middle Sis flew in from Georgia, and Baby Sis came from Richmond.

Middle Sis

My mother is the only one of our immediate family who did not graduate from
Mathews High School; she went to Gloucester High.
 Mathews was originally part of Gloucester.
  So that's close enough.

My mother was there in the hospital room when Sam was born.  As a toddler, he'd happily go from our Northern Virginia house to Mathews with her when she'd come to pick him up for a weekend.
There was no such thing as separation anxiety for him, particularly where Nanny was concerned. 

There might be one person in this bunch who is starting to feel some separation anxiety.
But she's also very happy.

L to R, representing MHS classes of 1984, 2014, 1982 and 1988.

Emily Brown, who I want to adopt as my own, was co-valedictorian.
Her father informed me they weren't ready to give her up for adoption just yet.
But I still keep asking.  

When Sam was born, there were complications involving oxygen deprivation that caused the nurses to whisk him away immediately.  When the pediatrician finally stopped by to give me an update, which didn't sound particularly great, I asked, "Will there be any long-term effects?"
"We can't know for sure," was her very somber response.
This is Reason 4,562 that I am grateful he successfully made it to this day.

Two Mr. Sandersons:  The one on the left coached my mother and me when we played on the Cobbs Creek softball team in the summer league back in the 1980s.  The Mr. Sanderson on the right, his son, was one of Sam's Governor's School teachers.  They are both great men.

The Mathews High School Class of 1982 was well represented.  Here are my classmates Catherine Miller Owens, whose niece Amanda Miller graduated, and Lucy Ellen Smith, who was there to support a graduate whose parents couldn't be there.  I love these girls.
(Middle and Baby Sis hover in the background, pondering the meaning of life.)

My Two Sams
Sam Vogel graduated from Mathews High in 1958.

If only her parents would let me adopt her, I could call this a family photo.
Emily has a very bright future ahead and will attend University of California, Berkeley.

After graduation came the celebratory dinner that included grilled tuna, marinated flank steak,
 a CB Mother-made salad, kale, baked potatoes and, of course, champagne.
Middle Sis also made her world-famous macaroni and cheese.
(If the American Legion Hall can claim to have world-famous breakfasts, I'm sure I can use that descriptor for her macaroni and cheese. Regardless, if it isn't world-famous yet, it should be.)

The ingredients list for the recipe of my emotions, now that graduation is over, is complex.

I am grateful, honored, proud, relieved, humbled, privileged, happy, sad, scared, exhausted--lots of things.
Most of all, I am grateful.

I don't take anything for granted and am extremely grateful we all made it to this point.

Next stop, college.