Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Before and After

We interrupt all the focus on The Storm Called Sandy
to bring you a few pictures taken before the storm.

Remember that?  Life before the storm?

When the skies were blue and
people weren't stampeding to the grocery store 
talking about how this was going to be
  The Big One, Elizabeth! The Big One?

Before we started filling our tubs with bathwater
and cooking everything in sight
in anticipation of losing power--remember?

I barely do.

Guess what snuck up on us while we were so focused on The Storm Called Sandy:

  1. Halloween. Today!
  2. The month of November. Tomorrow!
  3. The Oyster Festival. This weekend!
  4. The half-marathon, also known as 13.1 miles of Sheer Torture. Next weekend!
  5. Thanksgiving.  As soon as I blink!

The Christmas trees are up in Wal-Mart.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Storm - Monday Evening Update

Queens Creek as of Saturday afternoon

Scroll to the bottom for Monday evening's update to this post.

Dock and boat house as of Saturday afternoon.  Nothing unusual here.

Queens Creek as of Sunday afternoon, inching its way into my yard.

Sunday morning the tide was well over the dock.

This is pretty standard whenever we get a good storm.

As of Sunday, the storm called Sandy has caused the standard high water levels and flooding associated with most major storms. The wind hasn't really been an issue thus far, however as of this moment it's picked up substantially. So far we've not lost current (aka power), but it's pretty safe to assume we will at some point. Residents in low lying areas of the county have been asked to evacuate.

(This makes me laugh just a little because the very definition of Mathews County is "low lying," barely above sea level. Relatively speaking, though, some areas are lower than others. Thankfully my house in Hudgins is on a patch of slightly higher ground. Even so, we never assume we're safe from high water. We just keep an eye on it.)

For now, we're fine. If you don't hear from me it's only because we have lost either internet or power or both.

I'll post more when I can.  In the mean time I hope everyone in the path of the storm stays safe.


Monday Evening Update:  


So, yes, my place of employment was open on Monday.  The kids stayed home from school and will be home Tuesday as well. This morning I waited until daylight to make the hour long commute in because of the possibility of standing water and tree limbs.  However, neither was an issue.

Although the winds whipped and the rain continued, I stayed at work until 4:00 p.m.  My commute home was entirely uneventful.  Since I was the only idiot who had to work Since most everyone else stayed home, the drive up the Route 17 corridor was the fastest ever.  There were so few cars on the road I wondered if I hadn't entered some parallel universe.  I think I only hit two red lights the entire ride.

When I arrived home, the tide was down, and I could see the dock.  Most importantly we haven't lost power (yet?). The wind is still blowing (very hard) and the rain is still coming down. It's not over yet and things can change, but so far so good, at least from my vantage point.

I am thinking of my friends up north and hoping everyone is safe.

Homecoming Parade

Mr. Gibbs  (driving) was a coach
and World Geography teacher
back when I was in high school.

The Homecoming parade was Friday.

Coach Greve

A scream on my part guaranteed eye contact from my son.



I want this car. Badly.



I thoroughly enjoyed Friday's Homecoming parade and my high school reunion.   

As I type this Saturday evening, the Storm Called Sandy is knocking on my door.  The wind has really picked up.  

I hope everyone impacted by Sandy stays safe.

Friday, October 26, 2012


The sign above stands outside of Mathews High School even though here it references Gloucester. The Class of 1492 1982's reunion is tonight at the football game.

Below is the part of the school that housed the gym when my father went to school there.  The old gym served as an auditorium when I went there. My son and daughter are there now, and that same space is the library; the auditorium is in the new Harry M. Ward addition. Mr. Ward was my principal, and his son is related to me on my mother's side.

Who here is bored confused already? (CBW put your hand down. Also, please stop yawning.)

Below is what's left of my varsity jacket.  Everything has held up pretty well over the years, but whatever material that is on the sleeves? It's sticky. And gross.

Below is what's left of my mother's very valiant attempts at getting all my patches and varsity pins on the jacket.  I had track pins, basketball pins, perhaps even a tennis pin, but most of them fell off long ago.

One spring I played tennis and ran track simultaneously which was sheer insanity. In track I was a high jumper and long jumper; ran the 110-yard low hurdles; 220- and 440-yard dashes; and sometimes the mile relay.

(Hello, Kids?  The whole metric thing hadn't been invented yet    had everyone confused hadn't really kicked in when I was in high school. We used hieroglyphics yards instead of meters. They do not run an event called the 110-yard low hurdles anymore, so "technically" it isn't possible for anyone to beat my record. As a ridiculously competitive person, it is important for me to be ridiculous make that known.)

Those dots on the M once held pins.

Meaningless Trivia: In 1982, I high jumped 5'6" and ran the 110-yard low hurdles in 15.1 seconds at the state meet. I remember hitting 14.9 seconds in another meet but Who here cares is still awake?

(CBW! Pick your head up off that keyboard this instant!)

Before I start writing pages of hot air mostly meaningless words about my high school track days, I will close with a few observations.

  • It's difficult to believe that 30 years have passed since graduating high school.
  • It's even more difficult to believe my son and daughter will graduate from this same school in the foreseeable future.
  • That so many of my classmates still live in Mathews or have moved back speaks volumes about this sleepy little speck on the map.
  • Completely unrelated, there is talk of The Perfect Storm brewing that could bring us some nasty weather in the next several days.

I'm looking forward to the Homecoming parade, the football game, the reunion, and the possibility of a good storm, whether perfect or imperfect.

Thanks for suffering through this reading.

Have a wonderful weekend.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Three Things

Welcome to Thursday, the day of the week where I share three thoughts or things or ideas or worries or accomplishments or whatever.  And then I encourage you to do the same.

Let's begin.

1.  Today is the 10K charity run at my work.  I'm helping run it, and I'm also running in it. So help me.

2.  Then it will be Friday, the day of my 30th high school reunion.

3.  If I survive 1 and 2, I'll be happy.

4.  (Because 3 is just a suggestion, and even if it were a hard and fast rule, I'd feel obligated to push the envelope.)  Last night I had to attend a winter sports meeting with my daughter at the very same high school I left 30 months years ago.  Evidently I need to visit the eye doctor.  As we were walking down the halls towards the meeting in the cafeteria, I saw a sign that said Athletic Disaster.  It was the Athletic Director's office.

5. This reminds me, the other morning on my way to work in the pitch black at ODark:30, I got all the way to Cobbs Creek before realizing I'd forgotten to put in my contact lenses, which I need to see anything at a distance.  Normally I can't see well driving at night even with the contacts, but this particular morning the signs were blurrier than usual.  Thankfully I caught it before I got much further down the road.

6.  Everything except #1 above indicates I'm getting old.  However, I'd like it noted for the record that I'm going down with a fight and would like to circle back to #1.  I'm running 6+ miles today, daggone it.  And I'm signed up for a half-marathon in a few weeks.

And I hope I live to tell about it.

Now it's your turn.  Three (or more) things.  Whatever is on your mind.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tin Can Alley II

Here are more jetties from Tin Can Alley. Almost all of these One or two of these may have been taken when my feet were planted outside the boundaries of the public beach and oh so briefly in the sands that make up private property. But it was just for a split second. Or two.


I went to high school with the new sheriff in town, so hopefully he'll overlook this slight infraction. To be specific, I actually went to the Prom with him. He was a junior and I was a sophomore. If memory serves, and it may not, he wore a powder blue tuxedo. When I was a freshman, I went to the Prom with someone else who also ran for sheriff.

I'm not sure what any of this means, but one possible extrapolation is that anyone interested in running for Mathews County sheriff should have "Went to the Prom with CBW" on their application.

Sometimes I wonder just exactly what part of my deteriorating brain words like extrapolation are pulled from. Probably the very same section that authorizes and condones a reference to sheriffs, deputies and Prom dates when I clearly started off talking about jetties on Gwynns Island.

Maybe I'm just getting all nostalgic for Friday's 30-year class reunion.

(Or maybe I can't stay focused on one topic to save my life.)

Either way, this word association exercise blog post is now ending.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tin Can Alley, Part One

Over on Gwynn's Island at the end of a road that appears to drop off into the Chesapeake Bay is a tiny square of public beach fondly referred to as Tin Can Alley.

Tin Can Alley is the few grains of sand from where
I'm standing to that first jetty.  Beyond that is private property.

Click here and here for previous posts on Tin Can Alley, one of which (the second link) includes the story of when my grandmother took us swimming here.  After a sweltering hot, humid day filled with scalding sand, eagle-sized, biting flies, stinging nettles, and nothing to eat or drink, she "lost" the car keys.  Good times.

Stay tuned for several hundred more photos of the jetties at Tin Can Alley.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Busy Week

Last Thursday, a beautiful fall day, I drove down to Aaron's Beach and took a few pictures.  (The actual beach and the bay are behind me; this is facing west.) The normally lush, green swamp marsh grass is now autumnal in color.

This may mark the first time in my life I've used the word autumnal.  If you repeat it a few times, it starts to sound weird, sort of like someone is trying to say something else but can't because they've just come from the dentist and they're still loaded up with Novocaine. Or they have a severe speech impediment.

Or something.

Anyway, the colors were autumnal. Also, I hate dentists. And I did not intend this to be a free association sort of blog post, but it looks like that horse is already out of the gate.

The weekend here was equally gorgeous.  Saturday I ran seven slow miles down the quiet back roads that pass near this and Bethel Beach. It was a great day to be outside.  That evening I attended a birthday party (I'll try to post a few photos later in the week) and had my first taste of roasted oysters this year. I assure you it won't be my last.

This week will be busier than usual here.  At work I am helping to manage a 10K/5K run for charity--and I'm also running in it with a bet that I will beat The Big Boss.  Friday is my 30th high school reunion and the Mathews Homecoming parade and football game. (Both Son and Daughter will be in the parade.) Middle Sister flies in for a visit on Friday.  Baby Sister will join us at some point.

In between is the normal flurry of activity that is my life which includes long commutes, keeping squalor, spiders and crickets at bay, scratching pets, ridiculously expensive flea medications that don't work, the logistics of who needs to be where and when, preparing for the half-marathon that's breathing down my neck, and hopefully once and for all taking the three Hefty bags of empty plastic water bottles to the recycling bin at the dump.  I've only been carrying them around in the back of my car for three months, remembering to go to the dump--and driving all the way there--the one and only day it was closed: Wednesday.

In other words, the usual stuff.

Anything exciting going on with you?