Friday, May 30, 2008

Wonderful Afternoon

Yesterday was one of those almost perfect late spring days; clear sky and very moderate temperature. Add to that the opportunity to have lunch with an old friend and it was almost perfect. My friend Kathleen has been in Washington, D.C. this past week attending intensive meetings and workshops. The only opportunity to see each other presented itself in the form of lunch yesterday. I welcomed the opportunity to get away for a little while but mostly to see and talk with my friend.

Kathleen and I have known each other since we were 18 and just starting college. It has not been one of the friendships where we were joined at the hip but instead one of those where we see each other or correspond on an intermittent basis. But when the occasion presents itself it is almost like no time has passed between us. What a treasure it is to have those jewels in our lives. Needless to say, we caught up on our own happenings, politics and just stuff. We also had a very good lunch. She had to get back to her sessions and I needed to get back to Delaware. Two wonderful hours made for a great day.

Kathleen and Gary will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary next week. Here's wishing them the very best and thanking them for being some of the bright points in our lives. We love you guys.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Geoff

Today is my son-in-law's birthday. Geoff is a great guy and we are glad he is part of our family.

It was so good to have him and Erica here this past weekend.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, enjoy your busy month as much as you can.

Great Weekend

This past weekend was excellent. The weather could not have been better. It was very mild and sunny, perfect for the annual Horseshoe Crab/Shorebird Festival. We spent Saturday afternoon with the Milton Lions Club. The above photo is of the Clipper Express making rounds of the park. It is such a great project. For 25¢ per person (child, adult, dog) you can ride the train as it makes three circuits around the park. The train ran 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and had over 800 riders. The club also runs the trains for the Wednesday evening concerts in the park starting the Wednesday following Memorial Day through Labor Day. At the festival the club also sold fresh lemonade and funnel cakes.

The festival was well attended and there were some fun activities including the dunk tank, a mushroom and plant walk, nature exhibition, cruise on the Broadkill River, art displays and projects, food concessions and several other activities.

Dunk Tank

Good Things to be Found

Clouds Making an Appearance

There were more events for the weekend including an "Improv in the Park" by the Delaware Comedy Theater. This was held Sunday evening as was a very enjoyable event. The sun was shining brightly, the entertainment was good.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Advanced EMT

My niece Melissa is amazing and I am so proud of her. Melissa just passed her national test for Advanced EMT. She volunteers as an EMT in the town where she lives. She is training as a surgery tech at the hospital where she works. Besides studying and training for both she is a wife and the mother of three young and active children. Melissa took some time finding her calling but once she did, she pursued it with "a vengeance." She has found her niche in nursing and medical care. So much so that she plans on entering nursing school in the fall.

Wife, mother, EMT, nurse – Superstar in my eyes. You go girl!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Visitors and Visiting a New Place (for us)

Friday was as my last post says a gray and rainy day. But, it was a also a bright day for us because Bill's nephew and family from San Francisco came to visit for a couple of days as part of their east coast vacation. It really was good to see them. they had suggested earlier that on Saturday we travel to Assateague Island and spend the afternoon there. To be honest, I had thought about it before and for some reason put it out of my mind because I thought it was much further than it is from where we are. It is just under forty miles and is a very easy trip.

Jonathan enjoying the marsh foam and skipping seashell pieces over the water.

Assateague Island is a barrier island just off of the Maryland/Virginia coast line. It has two entrances from the mainland but you cannot travel by car from end to end. For this trip we only went to the Maryland end of the island. The island is known to many for Misty of Chincoteague. Yes we went to see the ponies that have made the island so famous. We saw a group of the Maryland herd. Misty was of the Virginia herd. We also saw lots of birds and plants that make up National Seashore there.

Some of the ponies we saw on our trip.

Other wildlife and some plant life. Mark was really surprised by the cactus.

After spending time watching ponies we went to the ocean side of the island. This is literally across the road. It was a cool day and there had been storms earlier and more would follow in the next day so the water was churning.

As we were leaving the island Kelly mentioned that she was a little disappointed that we had not been able to a close up view of any of the horses. Just as we got to the bridge there were two horses beside the road and we were able to get a closer view.

I hope that this is close enough. The horse seems to be enjoying the forage and not me.

The day was topped off by Rebecca becoming a foster parent to a pinto named "Rosie." What could be better than a little girl with a "coast to coast" grin"?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Rainy Day on Delmarva

It has been raining almost constantly for several hours now. At least the wind is not blowing now and the rain is very much needed.

When we moved to Delaware I was taken aback by signs near ponds and lakes that say "Turtle Crossing." Never in my life had seen such a thing let alone a turtle crossing the road except for the giant tortoise that stopped traffic in Orlando when we were there many years ago. Last summer I saw some turtles on snags in one of the coves of the nearby pond but they were quite far away. This year has been different. We have seen turtles on the roadside and actually diving in the ponds. The other day when I got my latest photos of the local heron, I was amused by the turtles near the pond's shore. I call this shot "Mr. Tur-tell." It brightens the rather dark and wet day.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


The winter and now into mid-spring have been very reflective times for me.

The Uncles

My uncle Raymond (my mother's brother-in-law) died in January. What I remember most about him was his grin and twinkle in his eye. He was such a quiet man who possessed a great love for family and country. In March the Burley, Idaho American Legion Post was renamed the Lyle R. Morton Burley American Legion Post 17. This is a rare honor and one that reflects his many years of service and dedication. He was a member of that post for 62 years and remained dedicated to the organization steadfastly that whole time. The renaming of the post is an honor well deserved.

Another member of the American Legion and also a family member passed away earlier this week. My Uncle Bill (my mother's brother) was my favorite uncle. He was a such a character. He had red hair and a redhead's complexion. He worked for the railroad and reminded me of a character set in a Saturday Evening Post cover -- broad grin, red hair, hands on hips and cigar in mouth. He was a tease extraordinaire. I am sure that is where my brother's teasing talents originated. I can remember from the time I was very young until I became an adult he would always call me "Long John." As it happens, I was quite tall until junior high when all the rest of the kids caught up with me and left me to be a shorty. He would sing some unrecognizable song about "Long John" and never being kissed because he knew that it would surely get me to react. He was a very kind man who took care of my grandmother for so many years. He loved to hunt and fish and he loved the Idaho dessert. He loved his sisters and his nieces and nephews. I miss my Uncle Bill but I know he is in a much better place now.

The friends

A little over two weeks ago one of our dear friends passed away. Terry was a wonderful man whose life centered around his family. He provided the best support. I remember thinking when our daughter was very young that if we could do as well and Terry and his wife had done as parents then we would have done a terrific job ourselves. He was dedicated to his wife and to his two children. He had a life long love affair with the Oregon Coast. It was there, in his home overlooking the Pacific Ocean, that he died peacefully with family around him. He was a wonderful friend.

Then this past month we have had two friends become gravely ill with rare medical complications. Thankfully, both are recovering slowly, but recovering. We are so grateful.

Yesterday when I was saw the heron in his quiet cove I thought about my family and friends and was thankful for those moments of quiet when I can think about them outside of the other frenzies of life. The quiet allows me to take stock and be grateful that all have been and are part of my life.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Facing the Sea

As one who is drawn to those things representative of real and strong women, I was most taken by the above when we visited Provincetown last month. The photos for this are placed on Cabral Pier or "Fisherman's Wharf" in Provincetown. The collective piece is called "They Also Faced the Sea." It represents the generations of Portuguese woman who have been the family and community strength as their men were at sea. Rightfully so, the Norma Holt photos in collaboration with Ewa Nogiec, have been hanging on th walls of an old fish packing plant on the pier since 2003.

What at beautiful reminder of the character and strength of our mothers and sisters whether or not they were Portuguese. That character and strength to "face the sea" or the "mountain" or the "plains" is their legacy for us to cherish and bequeath to our sons and daughters.