Season’s Greetings!

30 December 2011    Seasons Greetings

My family and friends and dogs and I are halfway through our holiday celebration and enjoying ourselves a great deal. My last post was about two weeks ago on Saturday, 17 December, Don’t Look Down.

Last Thursday, December 22, was the first full day of winter and the dogs and I got down to the river a little late. This pair was sunning themselves on a rock on the north bank, some distance from where we were standing. I wasn’t certain what they were so I sent a picture to my more knowledgeable friends (that includes most of my friends) for identification. My friend Kim wrote back “Cormorants! Fishermen extraordinaire.”

Cormorants - "fishermen extraordinaire"

Turner also posed very nicely that day so I grabbed this picture. Turner is hyperkinetic and rarely pauses long enough for a photograph. His face is so dark it would have been nice to have the sun on the other side but he still looks very handsome:

What a handsome boy!

On Christmas Eve, Evelyn and I drove down to the Eastern Shore again. Her friends Chris and Shannon welcomed is in their home once more. This time their son Heath and their daughter Sally were home. Evelyn’s been friends with them since they were kids so she was very happy to get together with them again. And Sally is home visiting – she lives in Istanbul! So she doesn’t get home very often. Some time when we travel down there I’ll have to take a few pictures – it’s a beautiful place. Much different from here on the mainland.

We celebrated Christmas there, including a huge and delicious dinner at Chris’s brother’s house, also on the Eastern Shore. I met a lot of people the first time I went down there (three weeks ago) and even more this time. I’m looking forward to our next trip. I’ve had my camera along both times but haven’t really felt comfortable enough to take any pictures. I’m very comfortable with the people – they are the very definition of gracious – but not so comfortable with the surroundings that I can take a picture I’ll enjoy. Soon, though.

We drove back Christmas day and that evening I took the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. At one point I got a little tangled up and lost my balance and landed on my left shoulder. And broke my humerus near the top, that’s the large bone that goes from your elbow to your shoulder. The orthopedic surgeon says the only treatment is to immobilize it while it heals itself, so I’m wearing in a sling for a while. I go back in two weeks to get another x-ray and make sure it’s healing properly.

The day after Christmas we had our “McLaughlin family Christmas” at my brother Kevin’s house near the Ashland Berry Farm. Sheila and Greg unfortunately couldn’t make it down from Boston but we had a big crowd. Evelyn joined me, and Shane was from Blacksburg with his friend Kristin. Katie and Jim and Aileen and Cappy were there of course, plus Kevin and Jenny and their daughters plus our Mom and Dad. It was a ton of fun! And since I am currently unable to split firewood for kindling for my woodstove, Kevin generously sent us home with a large supply.

My neighbor Lee and his family have been a huge help. Lee went up to the  Westbury Pharmacy and got a sling for me. Then he made me a spare sling to use in the shower; he should patent it! His family all made beautiful get well cards:

My neighbors are talented and compassionate!

They’re compassionate and talented! And their talents aren’t limited to beautiful art – Lee’s daughter Hannah invited Evelyn and me to join them for a home cooked meal! Hannah fixed incredible macaroni and cheese and a beautiful and colorful and delicious and flavorful salad. I should have taken a picture of that!

After dinner the eight of us went to see the movie Tintin and had a great time. “The eight of us” includes Lee and Kara, their three kids, Kara’s mother, Evelyn and me. Great company!

When Lee hasn’t been making “shower slings” for me and having us over for dinner, he’s helped doing a lot of other things too. He took me downtown for my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, a huge help. Plus – he’s been walking the dogs for me! I am very, very fortunate in the family and neighbor departments.

Not to mention in the friend department! Yesterday afternoon my friend Andrew called and invited Evelyn and me to join him and his family for dinner. I hadn’t seen Andrew in a very long time, and his kids in an even longer time. Plus his brother Peter and his wife and kid were there; it was a great opportunity to catch up. I hope to see all of them again soon.

I’m going out to enjoy the fresh air in a few minutes. I’ll sign off with a picture of me in my sling. Have a great day and I look forward to seeing you soon,


PS Happy New Year!

PPS I took this picture about two minutes before I put up this post:

Black goes with everything

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 Dogs, Fun, People, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Season’s Greetings!

  1. Evelyn says:

    I feel so lucky to be the first one to comment on what may be your final post for 2011! It certainly has a been a year full of life on life’s terms. Reading about (and occasionally participating in) some of your adventures is a joy. I’m excited by the possibilities to be realized in the wondrous year ahead!

    Happy New Year (almost)!

    • Thanks Evelyn – and Happy New Year (almost) to you too! 2011 certainly has been a year full of life and I’ve enjoyed experiencing many of the adventures with you. Looking forward to a great 2012!

  2. Frank & Sally says:

    “And broke my humerus near the top, that’s the large bone that goes from your elbow to your shoulder.”

    So sorry! Hope you’re out of that sling soon.

    • Thanks! It’s already feeling a lot better, and I’m sure I’ll be out of the sling in a couple weeks. It could have been a lot worse! Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you soon,


  3. Frank & Sally says:

    “And broke my humerus near the top, that’s the large bone that goes from your elbow to your shoulder.”

    How awful! Hope you’re out of the sling soon.

  4. jody says:

    Well, luckily you are still super quick witted and funny, despite the broken humerus. I send you wishes for a most blessed and healthy year for 2012…and Evelyn too, plus all the pooches. You deserve all the best.

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