Friday, February 28, 2014


Yesterday I drove a Meals on Wheels route that
took me hither, thither and yon--and also down Pine Hall Road.

This desolate beauty stands in the middle of a field on a dirt lane
I drove down frequently in my younger years.

It was fun to go fast because the tires kicked up dust.

(In case I've not mentioned it lately, options for entertainment in Mathews County
were--and still are--on the sparse side. So we invented our own fun.)

(Sometimes that fun included driving a little faster than recommended 
down dirt lanes solely for the dust effect.)


This particular Meals on Wheels route was a new one for me. I delivered to 15 people over a span of about as many miles. Of those, two were women I could have sat and talked to for hours. One greeted me at the door in her bathrobe. She wasted no time telling me how grateful she was to be warm and alive and how spring was just around the corner. The sparkle in her eye was contagious.

The other, who suffers from a Parskinsons-like tremor in one hand--asked if I would help zip up her fleece vest (over her shirt, for warmth in an otherwise toasty living room), which she'd been attempting all morning long. She was particularly grateful that a female was delivering today, "because if a man showed up, I couldn't ask him." Hours of frustration trying to zip a simple zipper. Compounded by the worry of whether a male or female would show up with lunch. I can't even imagine.

When I asked if there was anything else I could do for her as long as I was there, we both had a good laugh when she said, "Scrub my kitchen floor!"

An elderly woman living alone spending the entirety of her morning attempting to zip up her own vest really puts things into perspective when you see it with your own eyes.

A bathrobe-clad woman trapped indoors talking about how grateful she is just to be alive and how hopeful she is for spring makes you stop complaining about anything.

Meals on Wheels is a gift to this community, to both the people receiving and the people delivering.


Have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Three Things

If it's Thursday--and it seems to be, once again--then it's time to share three things, three thoughts, three of whatever happens to be dancing around the cobwebs neurotransmitters in the ballroom that is your brain.

I'll go first.

1.  I think the opening sentence of this blog post is proof enough that I'm exhausted, but not nearly as exhausted as the Mathews High School girls' basketball team, which traveled to Petersburg last night for a tough loss which seals the end of the season for us.  Although that particular game was pretty much a whipping, they certainly ended farther along than anyone originally thought based on how the season kicked off.  (Not so great.)  I'm extremely proud of them all--and their coaches.

2.  The boys' team, on the other hand, beat Franklin the other night to advance in regional play. Friday night they play (I think it's Surry?) Surry at Lancaster.  Daughter and her friends and I and my friends are all going. (That last sentence is so bad that I'm leaving it just as it is, as proof of how tired I am.)

3.  Mathews didn't win the top spot in the coolest small town contest run by Budget Travel (Berlin, Maryland, did), but we made the top five.  Click here and here for more.  Also, if anyone from Berlin, Maryland, would like to trade houses for a long weekend, please let me know.  Mathews is indeed cool, but I sure could use a vacation away from home and wouldn't mind checking out uncharted territory, which Berlin represents.

4.  (Because three is just a suggestion.)  The house pictured here lives along East River Road somewhere in between Cardinal and Bohannon.

5.  (See above.)  Today I'm doing a Meals on Wheels route down Haven Beach, filling in for the regular driver.  I'm particularly excited because I've never done the Haven route before, so this means new people to meet (and help) and potentially new places to photograph legally!.  Stay tuned.

That's it from me.  Now it's your turn to share three or five things.  Whatever you want.  Anything at all.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Community Store

Today we continue with the theme of  Places I Visited On My Drive Down Mobjack.

This senescent structure sits at an intersection in the middle of a neighborhood 
of many houses no doubt filled with people simultaneously tending to their lives
while keeping a close eye on the wild-haired woman hanging 
out her car window taking pictures on such a cold day.

There are many old gas stations/stores like this sprinkled throughout the county.

If I ever get a break from life and a chance to catch my breath,
I'll have to go around and take all their portraits. 

But, as best as I can tell, I won't get any sort of break
until the summer of 2016
for months to come.

The regional basketball game has been moved to Wednesday night at Appomatox Regional Governor's School, which means lots of driving will be involved. That's OK. Luckily I've had lots of practice working long days and driving miles and miles into the night. It's all worth it.  Somehow.

But I would like to state for the record, however, that even though I have a whole third season of sports to get through with Daughter's soccer, and even though Son will be graduating this year, Lord knows I cannot wait for school to be out and for there to be some sort of a break and/or vacation to look forward to.

For now, though, I'll just have to be content with the occasional outing to take pictures--in this case of a quaint little store in a quiet little neighborhood that appears to be extremely tolerant of strange people strangers.

Monday, February 24, 2014


This lovely house lives on the way to Mobjack in a part of the county known as Cardinal.

Several friends of mine from high school lived in or near Cardinal,
so I passed by this house more than a few times back in the day.

Back then I didn't have time to stop and admire this house though.

Speaking of high school, Saturday I traveled to Charles City with Alda and Catherine, two classmates of mine, to watch the Mathews High School girls and boys basketball teams play in the conference championship games.

The girls put up a very strong fight but lost to Charles City by only! four points.  Although I thought we were done for the season, Daughter informed me that because we came in second we advance to the regional games. Tuesday night we play again.

The boys, however, won their game by one bucket in the last second of the game.  The last minute of that game was some of the most exciting basketball I've seen in a while.  

Other than basketball, the only other newsworthy topic is the weather, which reached the low 70s yesterday.  I spent most of the day picking up and burning sticks and pine cones--in shorts.  Although picking up pine cones doesn't sound very exciting--because trust me it isn't--just being outdoors inhaling fresh air, feeling the cool breeze and sunshine on the skin, and hearing the song birds and the frogs off in the distance was enough to make me happy content.

So there you have it, all the sordid details of my wild weekend.


Welcome to the last week of February.

March can't get here soon enough for me.

Friday, February 21, 2014


I took these on my way to Mobjack this past Monday, which was the last federal holiday falling on a Monday until Memorial Day, and exactly three days prior to the day that  the MATHEWS GIRLS BASKETBALL DEFEATED WEST POINT ensuring their advancement to the next  district whatever! game on Saturday night in Charles City.

These were also taken exactly three days prior to my daughter, a sophomore, making all-district, second team.

Last but not least, these were all taken prior to my noticing that daffodils are beginning to not just sprout but bloom in random spots around the county.

And for all these things, I am eternally grateful.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Three Things

Welcome to yet another Thursday, the day of the week dedicated to the sharing of three thoughts.  This isn't to say that my two readers anyone reading couldn't leave three thoughts any other day of the week.  It's just important to make sure we do so at least once a week.  It stretches us  and reveals to the world the inner workings of our bizarre brains and forces us to write even when we'd really rather be hibernating.  For example.

Let's begin.

1.  Yesterday morning I jogged up and down Williams Wharf Road, and, thanks to the cold weather,  I started off with a scarf, a headband for my ears, and two layers of shirts.  One length of the road is one mile, and I did four.  By mile two the ear-covering headband, gloves, scarf and outer layer of shirt had been removed.

2.  That's because things warmed up quickly yesterday the higher the sun rose.  By the afternoon it was SEVENTY TWO beeyooteeful degrees.  And sunny!  Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, I worked on my back yard, picking up pine cones and sticks and more pine cones and more sticks and so many pine cones and too many stinkin' sticks until even Mother Nature had to call a time out.  When a gust of wind blew the wheel barrow holding a load of how many stupid sticks and prickly pine cones can there be! over sideways, I took that as a signal that I was working way too hard and should instead at least stop for a bit to acknowledge and appreciate the glory of a 70-degree day in February.  So I did.  Gladly.

3.  Daughter's basketball team plays at 6:00 p.m. tonight at West Point for the conference (formerly known as a district, and why they have to change the rules on us old folks is beyond me because it's still basically a district) tournament. The last time we played West Point on their turf, we beat them in overtime.  My sincere hope is tonight we beat them swiftly with no need for overtime.  The team has the capability, that is not even a question.  What they sometimes lack, however, is a substantial dose of mental fortitude and pure desire to completely annihilate crush their opponent.  In case I've not said this here before, I am a firm believer that all success in sports and, perhaps, life is a certain percent (fill in whatever number you want, it doesn't matter) skill and 150% positive sheer attitude of  annihilation determination.  They have to visualize success and sincerely, passionately believe it is theirs in order to achieve it. No doubts, no questions, no negative thoughts, no what ifs.

Now it's your turn to share. Whatever you want, in whatever quantity you want.

And let's win this conference district tournament, Mathews! Please! Thank you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Yesterday, after enjoying a leisurely morning of not having to rush anywhere,
I went to the grocery store, and then, on a whim, decided to drive to Mobjack.

I needed some new photos; I am tired of going to the same places.

Mobjack is out of the way for me.  I only make it down here three or four times a year.

Yesterday's bright sunshine made it a worthwhile visit.

If it were warmer, that bench would be very inviting.

But it is still very, very cold.  Way too cold to sit on a waterfront bench.

Good news about this seemingly never ending, depressing state of cold is in sight, however.

Last night I attended the high school's spring sports meeting, where they herd parents and students into the cafeteria to talk about concussions and forms and schedules and how schedules will definitely change and how your student must attend school in order to play and other informative details relating to the next round of sports.  Then they herd you into a smaller room specific to your spring sport--in our case that is soccer.

So, in spite of the fact that winter and basketball season are ongoing--with a game Thursday at West Point and at Charles City on Saturday--and in spite of the fact that there will be no rest for the weary in between basketball and soccer, the good news is SOMEBODY SAID THE WORD SPRING!

Monday, February 17, 2014

This Old House

This old house lives at the corner of Routes 682 and 643 as you head toward Haven Beach. I've been taking its portrait for years now and really admire it.

Over the weekend I took Commenter LLC's advice from a few days ago and looked into the site Abandoned America:

 "The site "abandoned america" has photos of countryside structures but also will feature old churches, schools, factories, defunct cemeteries and urban decay: ."

I "liked" them on Facebook and have been mesmerized by the photos ever since.  They're really incredible.

Anyway, many thanks to LLC for turning me on to that site, it's nice to know I am not alone in my love for and admiration of old, decaying structures.  They're absolutely beautiful.

Thankfully there are plenty of old, abandoned structures to choose from around here in Mathews.


In completely unrelated news, today is the last Monday holiday until Memorial Day.  On the one hand that's depressing, because May seems like it's so many months away.  On the other hand, Memorial Day!  It's somewhere out there just waiting to make an appearance on the calendar!

Let me be the first to say that I simply cannot wait.

Bring it.


p.s. I'd also like to share my new favorite song and video (click here), which my blog friend Laurie brought to my attention over the weekend.  This may be the one and only thing that pulls me through the month of doldrums otherwise known as February.  This may also be my new theme song.

(Not sure what my old theme song was, that's a question for another day.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Piankatank River

Here are a few glimpses of the Piankatank River

as seen from the end of Godfrey Bay Road near Hallieford.

It's a small beach, but it's open to the public.

It isn't hard to figure out where it begins and ends though.  
The signs are bold and brazen.
The message is abundantly clear.

Another thing that's abundantly clear--to me, anyway--is how grateful I am for this, a long weekend courtesy of Monday's federal holiday.

Daughter now has the sickness Son recently recovered from. Thank goodness she has no basketball until next week.  I'm lethargic not feeling great, but that's not unusual for this time of year.  Hopefully there is a 40-degree, sunny day just waiting to spring forth somewhere in the near future, so I can get out and do some jogging, which always makes things better. I'd really love a 60-degree day but when 20 is the new normal, 40 starts to sound pretty darn good.

This sentence post has exceeded the allotted number of numbers and therefore must come to a swift end.

I hope your weekend is warm and wonderful.