Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Before and After

At some point before Christmas, I drove to Williams Wharf, parked the car and went for a four-mile run.

Afterwards, I took a few pictures of the old railway, which is always so photogenic.

The pictures below were taken the Friday after Christmas, when Middle Sister and I drove to Williams Wharf for some post-feeding-frenzy exercise.

Much to my surprise, the old railway was gone.

There is a major construction project underway, and part of that construction included the destruction of the railway.

For more information on Williams Wharf that contains a picture of the original railway, click here.

For more information on the new construction project, click here.

If you're sad to see the old railway go, click here for a post I wrote back in 2011 bemoaning the loss of the old boathouse.  There are more pictures of the railway, too.

Happy New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas came and went with a bang at the Chesapeake Bay Family household--a bang that included me backing into Son's car first thing Christmas Eve on my way to the bank to deal with my debit card which had been compromised.  Aside from that and a major cut in my toe due to a splintering Pyrex dish hitting my kitchen's tile floor right in the middle of the most stressful part of dinner preparations, it was all fun and merriment!

The End

Now that the ugly parts are out of the way, let's try to tell this Chesapeake Bay Christmas tale again.

Christmas was magical this year because for the first time in a while Son, Daughter, Parents, Middle Sis and Baby Sis were all in attendance at Christmas Eve dinner--which is also my mother's birthday dinner. Typically we are missing one or the other, and with Son being off at college, it was all the more special having everyone together under the same roof.

(He's doing just fine since his recent surgery, good as new.)

Because I had to work Monday and Tuesday and then had to deal with a compromised debit card Christmas Eve morning (never mind having to tell Son about the nice new dent in the side of his vehicle), I didn't have a lot of time to focus on getting the house ready, but somehow it all came together at the last minute.

Son made this snowman out of a sock for me at least a decade ago.  

Mr. Snowman seems to come to life with the mood lighting.  I think he's trying to dance here.
He might have a case of arthritis in the neck, though.  

Dinner consisted of prime rib (which I practically got for free since I won a $50 gift certificate from Best Value--thanks, Best Value!), salmon (courtesy of my parents), shrimp, smashed potatoes (Middle Sis), macaroni and cheese (Middle Sis), twice baked acorn squash, broccolini, mushrooms, rolls (CB Mother), sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and a partridge in a pear tree (all cookies made by CB Mother).

(I made up the partridge part. Although I do have a pear tree in my yard, and for all I know there was one sitting in it.)

Daughter and Baby Sis

Parents and Middle Sis

Son, Parents, Middle Sis, Daughter

Please note the Santa cap and reindeer antlers on the parental units.
Also if Baby Sister's eyes are closed, don't say anything.  She'll never notice.
I don't even think she reads this blog.

We ate, drank, laughed, talked, told Son and Daughter how much we all love them, and had a grand time.

I love this wacky family.

I hope you enjoyed some down time with friends and/or family.

Welcome to the last few days of 2014.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bethel Beach

These were taken yesterday afternoon from Bethel Beach on one of the first Do Nothing days I've had in years months weeks.

So much has happened over the past week, and there's still so much to do in anticipation of Christmas and my mother's birthday dinner which is Christmas Eve.  My son's surgery was successful--but also stressful.  The important thing is it's behind us, and he's doing well.  Mercifully, Daughter has a two-week break from school and basketball. The past two weeks have been grueling for us all, between the games and her normal school work. The Waverly Lane Christmas Party was Saturday night at the property known as Clifton--which all of Waverly Lane belonged to back in the 1700s. It was good to spend time with our neighbors we so seldom talk to thanks to our rush-rush lives.

Today I return to my demanding commute and work.  Although Christmas is days away, I still haven't done much of anything for my children's Christmas presents and feel horrible about that. I also still need to buy a new car but have had neither the time nor the energy to spend on that utterly ridiculous arduous process.

In other words, things are as they always were:  chaotic.

I hope all is well in your world.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Confession Number One:  I can't stop thinking about how beautiful Daughter looked on her way to Saturday night's Holly Ball with her date, Jack V.  I don't care how many times I stare at these pictures, I am in awe.  She's beautiful, she's smart, she's funny and she can sink a shot from half court when it counts.  I just adore her and feel so incredibly fortunate and privileged to be her mother.

Confession Number Two: Saturday was the Mathews Christmas parade.  For the first time in I don't know how many years, I didn't go.  On purpose.  I napped instead.  I have no regrets.  There, that's off my chest.  I feel better now.

Confession Number Three:  After work today, I will race to Richmond to retrieve Son, who is returning home for Christmas break.  He will undergo surgery Tuesday in Norfolk to remove bars placed into his chest two years ago.  (Click here and here  for posts written around the time of that first surgery.) Because of all this, I will (probably) miss two of Daughter's basketball games, only because I've not figured out how to clone myself to be two places simultaneously.  I hate missing Daughter's games.  I might not feel any remorse for napping instead of attending the Christmas parade, but I do feel remorse at the prospect of missing one of her basketball games.

Anyway, it is going to be another busy, eventful week here.

I hope yours is great.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Work, basketball and extremely long days covering hundreds of miles have consumed most of my time this past week. Although they haven't won every time, the Mathews varsity girls are playing a darn fine game of basketball these days.

(Of course, I'm just a little bit biased.)

The girls play at Northumberland tonight, and next week there are three more games before the Christmas break.

Although I'm enjoying the season thus far, I'm looking forward to the break.

Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Moon II

This view of the side of the old Moon post office--especially all the lines--caught my eye.  There are horizontal lines, vertical lines, diagonal lines and the haphazard lines of the trees and their branches.

(I suppose most of the branches don't form lines, exactly, but that's just a technicality. It wouldn't be the first time I've made up my own rules about what's what on this blog.)

There's simultaneously everything and nothing to report from my world.  Just the standard too much going on and not enough time to accomplish everything.

I will mention, though, since I've not reported it here yet (only on Facebook), that at last Friday night's basketball game in Lancaster my daughter sunk a three-pointer hurled from half-court right at the buzzer at half time to catapult Mathews to a lead going into the locker room.  We ended up winning the game in what was most definitely a team achievement.  But I keep replaying that shot over and over in my head, because it was so perfect.

The girls have a 2-1 record and take on Gloucester and Northumberland this week.

We're enjoying basketball season, but it's a grueling schedule, even if you're "only" a spectator. *

* I take my spectating responsibilities very seriously. Someone recently commented on my vertical leaping abilities in the stands while cheering.  This was, of course, after Daughter's half-court shot that I cannot stop talking about and probably will not until the day I die--which I hope is no time soon, for the record.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Moon, VA

This is the old Moon post office located in the hustle and bustle of downtown Moon, Virginia.  (Don't blink, however, or you'll miss it entirely--the post office and the hustle and bustle and anything resembling a downtown.)

I pass through here routinely, usually on my way to one of the public beaches or to go for a run.

Because of the unique name, the post office received many requests for postmarks in July 1969, when we landed on the moon.  (My great-grandfather, by the way, never believed the whole man on the moon story; he was convinced it was a Hollywood stunt.)

In any case, I am fond of this old building and the unique name.

Click here for a 2012 post about Moon that contains comments with theories on how the name was chosen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


This was Queens Creek on Thanksgiving evening, as seen from my parents' deck next door. Gwynn's Island and the Islander are in the middle, farthest away.

Although I took advantage of the Thanksgiving break to sleep all day, every day rest up, a mere two days back to commuting and work have negated it all.  Not only is there plenty more work and commuting to do this week, but Daughter has basketball games--one at home on Thursday after work and another at Lancaster Friday night.

I'm awaiting delivery of a new refrigerator this week.  I'm still researching new cars.  (For the record, CBW lacks time and patience and despises shopping for just about everything except vacations.  The prospect of purchasing a car by herself is especially daunting. Can't the Car Fairy just make a practical, fuel-efficient car magically appear in the driveway, already financed and ready to go? No haggling and no loan applications? Is that really asking too much?)   Personal property taxes are due.  Spring tuition will soon be due for Son.  Daughter takes SATs on Saturday.  Son has surgery December 16th.  Last but not least, I've done absolutely zero Christmas shopping, unless you count the soon-to-be-delivered icebox a Christmas present to myself--and I don't.

I think it's time to start playing the lottery.

Let me know if you can recommend some lucky numbers.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Aside from the fact that Middle Sister wasn't able to join us and Baby Sis got a speeding ticket on the way, Thanksgiving was just about perfect.  It was absolutely wonderful having Son back home again.  He's loving college life and it seems to be agreeing with him.

Son, Daughter and Speedy Gonzalez, aka Baby Sister

My mother made a feast fit for royalty that included turkey, salmon (for recently-turned- vegetarian-but-will-still-eat-seafood Daughter), kale salad, collard greens, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn pudding, and I'm sorry.  I simply must stop now before I race next door and raid my parents' refrigerator for leftovers.

(Which I've done the past two nights.)

She outdid herself with her artistic presentation.

A turkey!

After a wonderful dinner, we sat around and talked. Then we went next door to my house and did what everyone does on Thanksgiving:  we played music.  Daughter was on the drums, I was on the electric piano, and Baby Sis spent the entire night trying to tune an electric guitar.   So, correction: we attempted to play music.  Still, it was fun.

Later that night, Baby Sis and I enjoyed some wine were so full of energy, we put on some music and danced in my kitchen.  Two people who can finish half marathons and feel reasonably well were left wondering how kitchen dancing could produce such aches and pains.  It happens, I guess.  We can get pretty enthusiastic with our dance moves, evidently.

Anyway, it's back to UVA for Son, back to school for Daughter and back to work for me tomorrow.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.