Lots going on!

10 December, 2011    Lots going on!

As usual, I look at my blog and say my goodness, it’s been so long since my last entry. Stuff piles up. I have so much fun writing these entries I’d love to do it all the time. But they’d get thin and boring. To me, anyway.

The last entry was November 27, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I’ve been busy since then, mainly of course with trips to Pony Pasture with the dogs and a couple of times to the railroad tracks with Clark. But Evelyn and I also had a great trip to the Eastern Shore of Virginia last weekend. My first time there since I did a hundred mile bicycle ride called “Between the Waters” back in 2001.

Sometimes – normally – when I write a blog post I know where to begin. I have a subject I’m excited about and I begin writing and the post flows from there and it’s easy. A dog thing or a river thing or a train thing or work or racing or hiking or whatever. This post is an accumulation; most of my blog post titles are nondescript but “Lots going on!” is generic even by my standards.

The subject currently speaking to me most was my trip to Virginia’s Eastern Shore last weekend with Evelyn. Evelyn lived there for over ten years. We were graciously hosted by her friends Chris and Shannon at their lovely home in Onancock. They don’t live precisely in Onancock. They’re in the country a few miles outside. Their house backs up to the water. This is the view from their backyard:


These buffleheads were out there looking cheerful. I’ve seen buffleheads a time or two in sleet or cold rain and they frown a little but otherwise buffleheads appear cheerful:

I'm sure this isn't silly, but it looks silly to me

We drove out there and back across the Lucius J. Kellam Jr. Bridge – Tunnel, a.k.a. the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. 23 miles long, just amazing. Unfortunately we drove out in the dark and came home in the dark so I was unable to get any decent pictures. Next trip.

My inspiration for blog posts – when it doesn’t come from my friends – comes from pictures I take. I don’t feel able to take decent pictures unless I “know” a subject or feel comfortable there or have spent some time with it. I took my camera to the Shore with me, but I hardly took it out. I occasionally take pictures of subjects I am unfamiliar with but the pictures are invariably of poor quality. Maybe next time we go to the Shore I’ll take more pictures.

At one point we went to an old building (there were lots of old buildings) where there was a craft sale in one section and children of various ages practicing a performance of The Nutcracker in another. This sign caught my eye. It’s great they have a group called “Level 4 Party Kids.” I never learned what the Level 3 or Level 5 Party Kids needed. Silver slippers with blue straps or something. Or even cowboy boots or Teva’s with candy cane socks, how would I know? The possibilities are limitless. I just like the concept of “Level 4 Party Kids”:

There are varying levels of Party Kids

Another highlight of the trip was a visit to a friend of Evelyn’s at a place she was once employed. It’s called Turner Sculpture and it’s in Onley, VA, perhaps 45 miles north from the southern tip of the Eastern Shore. Evelyn spent some time visiting with Dr. Turner. I was able to look at the three books he’s written, and at a lot of his sculpture. Dr. Turner does a great deal of wildlife sculpture. One of his glamorous models was actually born there. Her name is Bobbi and she has matured into this timeless beauty, seen here investigating my shoe:

Bobbi. I have met engaging companion animals but she tops them all.

She first greeted Evelyn:

Bobbi as greeter. She could not possibly have been more welcoming.

Another highlight of our journey was visiting Evelyn’s friends Maria and John. Maria fixed us a fantastic meal and we looked at their lovely 38 foot sailboat the Charlotte E. Foster. Click here to watch a 3 minute video of her construction. She was built in 1975. This picture is from her facebook page:

Charlotte E. Foster

We listened to an old favorite Christmas song of mine on the way out there, Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keene. Watch that video; it’s about inclusion.

A lot’s gone on since we returned, including a somewhat high flood on the river. Pat and I took a great 50 mile bike ride today. At around mile 27 we’d ridden down a long hill to cross a bridge over Owens Creek. As we came around the bend we could see water over the road for I guess 200 yards. Only the bridge rails were sticking out. Oh well. Back up the hill. Nice day for a ride, anyway.

Also, I’ve gone with my friend David to Starbucks a time or two, plus this week we went to the Y for the first time and made a trip to the Westbury Pharmacy. When we were at Starbucks Monday there was a Red-shouldered Hawk (thanks for the ID Kim!) in a tree across the street facing away from us:

Red-shouldered Hawk, from behind. Thanks for the ID Kim!

Have a great day,


About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Fun, People, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lots going on!

  1. Clare M says:

    Wow! Lots going on, hmm? Same here. Decorating, etc. Today we go get a Christmas Tree with Dan and Janet from Ashwood Gardens and Nursery. Yesterday evening we went over to Dan and Janet’s while M & D went shopping. Now we are not allowed in M & D’s room without an adult. I think it may have something to do with the fact that the blanket covering something bulky in the corner that is so obviously NOT a present. 🙂

    I love Bobbi! She’s a cutie. She seems very sweet. And small! Wish I had seen her.

    Ah, now I must continue working on extremely delicate Christmas crafts that are a bit tricky- but they’re fun! See you for Christmas!

    • Hi Clare!
      I know your house is always busy! Fun that you’re getting so spend some time with Dan and Janet. I wonder what the bulky thing in the corner is? Hmm. Looking forward to learning about that myself. Bobbi was absolutely adorable. And she had TONS of personality. Hope the Christmas crafts are going well. Looking forward to seeing you later this month! Thanks for the note and have a great day,



  2. Evelyn says:

    What fun to share the Shore with you!

  3. Jenny says:

    Thanks for the great post. I always enjoy hearing (and seeing) what’s going on!

  4. Hi Jenny,
    Glad you enjoyed it. I’m doing some interesting work right now, I’ll send you an email. Have a great day,


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