Thursday, May 28, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

This was the scene of my Memorial Day celebrations.
The back deck, the back yard and Queens Creek.

Memorial Day weekend was nothing short of fabulous.  Friday night, blog friends Lauren from Nashville and Meg from Maryland arrived to kick things off. By Saturday night, Middle Sister, Baby Sis and blog friend Angie were added to the mix. Sunday I had a cookout, and my local friends showed up with their families for a day of fun, sun, eating, swimming and drinking boat rides.

Meg, in her festive, leopard-print muumuu, enjoys a mimosa Saturday morning.

Angie contemplates another mimosa the meaning of life.

Lauren always livens up any conversation. 

We even accounted for other blog friends who could not join us.  

Me and Lauren

Me and Meg

Me and my mother

Me and Angie
(This might be the most pictures of me in the history of this blog.)

There was kayaking.
Here, Chesapeake Bay Son and his friend Kelly head up the creek--with paddles.

There was grilling.

There was eating.

There was corn hole.

There were Gator rides.

There were boat rides.

In short, it was one of the best weekends I've had in a while. I took a couple of days off of work to make the wonderfulness (it's a word) last even longer. Although all my out of town guests returned to their homes, Middle Sister is here for another week or so to keep me company. Tomorrow I return begrudgingly to work but with fond memories of good times with good people.

Really, really good.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


My favorite weekend of the year is finally here, and the forecast includes friends, family, food and hopefully lots of sunshine.

By Saturday evening both of my sisters and several blog friends will be here, and on Sunday a few of my friends from high school will come by for a cookout.

Son will be working most of the weekend, Daughter will be basking in the temporary freedom from school, homework and track meets, and I will be making sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing:  laughing, relaxing and enjoying themselves.

Happy Memorial Day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Aaron's Beach

After spending most of Saturday doing physical labor entailing shovels, rakes, weeds, rose bushes, hedge clippers and mulch spreading, I declared Sunday a Do Nothing Day and spent the afternoon lounging on Aaron's Beach.

Although you can't tell in these pictures, the beach was the most crowded I've seen in a long time.

"Crowded" defined in Mathews terms means more than two other people were on the beach.  Normally I come here and don't see a soul.  And that's just fine by me.

I chose a desolate spot right under those trees off in the distance.

Just one hour of solitude listening to nothing but the water gently lapping the shore was all it took to rejuvenate me.

After my beach therapy, I met Chesapeake Bay Daughter for lunch, returned home for a nap and then awoke to what felt like a gall bladder attack.  Frantically searching the internet for home remedies, I choked down some apple cider vinegar, took a hot bath, and then, just as I'd convinced myself a hospital trip would be imminent, it all went away.   Crisis averted.  Thankfully. But it will be a long time before I eat a hamburger and french fries again, I can tell you that.


Saturday night's gathering at Williams Wharf was the other bright spot in the weekend.  There was music, dancing, wine, good food and good company. A near-perfect evening.

Alas, it's all over now.  Next on the list is to get through another work week and prepare for Memorial Day weekend, when good friends will descend and help me laugh my way through the unofficial start of summer.

I can't wait.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Here are more shots of an old house on the property known as Clifton, which is just across the creek from me.

I'm not sure if that's a ghost in the lower left hand corner or a reminder that I should clean my camera lens.  I'm going with ghost.  More exciting.

This week has been hectic and slightly stressful between work, which is getting busier and busier each minute that passes, and the work that's needed around the house.  Daughter is busy studying for tests and running in track meets.  The end of the school year is in sight for her, which is good for both of us.

The next couple of weekends promise to be good ones, though.  This weekend's Tour de Chesapeake means bicyclists will be descending on the county, and Saturday night's Party at the Wharf combines all of my favorite things: live music, seafood from Merroir and the great outdoors. I've not looked at the weather forecast, but hopefully it will be nice.

Memorial Day weekend a few friends will be in town and, weather permitting, I'll have a cookout.

Regardless of the forecast for either weekend, I'm going to relax and have fun.

I do love the month of May.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Beginning and End

My Mother's Day started with Daughter delivering a poster-size dose of happiness that she painted herself.

Along for the ride was a balloon full of love.

Daughter is a child of few, carefully chosen words, so when she says something, she really means it.

She also went to the effort of framing some family pictures, which sounds easy but actually isn't when you live in Mathews.  Creation of this gift required a trip to Gloucester's Walmart, which is 15 miles one way from our house and approximately 2-3 hours of a person's life they'll never get back, when you take into consideration standing in line at the photo thingamajig.

I confess that I cried when she gave me this.

Son, who just finished up his first year at University of Virginia, called from the center of Tropical Storm Ana.  He's spending a few days in Myrtle Beach with friends before returning home for the summer.  I went to retrieve his stuff last Friday, and we had lunch together.  His Mother's Day present to me is he survived an entire year of college and earned A's and B's.  I'm very, very proud of him.

Baby Sis arrived early afternoon, and the Mother's Day festivities continued next door with our parents.  My father's offering for the occasion was a batch of his world-famous (if they aren't world-famous they ought to be) fried oysters and shrimp.  My mother made a world-class salad, mashed potatoes, asparagus and several desserts, and I grilled some salmon.  We ate and ate and ate and ate and then we ate some more very well.

(Yes, it's Mother's Day, and the mothers were cooking.  We don't focus on the details, we focus on the food.)

Just when I thought the Mother's Day festivities were winding down, my across-the-creek neighbor Ann called to say she was having a gathering and wondered if I might like to join in on the fun.

Would I?

Jon and Ann live at the house/property known as Clifton, which is rich in history here in Mathews. The property my family lives on once belonged to Clifton.  Any opportunity I've ever had to go over there has not disappointed.  Jon and Ann, South Africans in the sailing business over in Deltaville, know how to throw a party, and their friends are always the most interesting and fascinating people.

This time was no different.

I met sailors from Austria.  I met sailors from Michigan/Connecticut/Irvington.  I met for the second time a lovely sailing couple who now live on Queens Creek, my creek, just up the way from me.  We share ownership of the Queens Creek eagle.  Technically the eagle lives on their property, but he wades and ponders life down my end of the creek.  He's a much-admired eagle, this one of ours.

Anyway, the party at Jon and Ann's house, which took place outdoors in their back yard gazing right into the inside of my boathouse which clearly needs to be cleaned out Miller's Cove on Queens Creek, was filled with delightful conversation and exceptionally interesting people, some of which I now can visit since they're only a kayak ride away!

(Dear Queens Creek Neighbors Who Co-Own the Eagle, please stop in for a visit the next time you're out boating. Memorial Day weekend I'll be spending lots of time in my back yard, please drop by.)

Below are some pictures I took over at Clifton. Jon and Ann's house sits comfortably on the creek just behind the house below, which you pass as you go down their driveway.  I didn't take pictures of their gorgeous house, but I have admired this one for a long time.  I'll share a few more photos of this house later in the week.

All in all, it was a great Mother's Day.  

From start to finish.

Friday, May 8, 2015


Wednesday evening, this eagle and I gazed out over Queens Creek as the sun was going down for the day.  He sat silently for a while, collecting his thoughts, before retreating further up the creek for the night.   From the comfort of my deck chair, I watched him fly away before finally surrendering myself and turning in.

May is such a wonderful month around here.  Everything is turning lush and green, and the days are warm but not necessarily oppressive with humidity--yet.  The insects are plentiful, but they haven't worn me down--yet.  (For the moment, we won't talk about ants, against which I'm waging a full-on war in my kitchen, nor will we speak of wasps, who insist on taking up residence in my deck umbrella.  Also, if I see just one more stink bug--inside my house--I may voluntarily check in to Eastern State Hospital.) And the fiddler crabs are out but not holding parties in my garage making their way up into the yard--yet.

In short, life--which these days includes winding down on the deck at the end of the day-- is pretty good.