“That’s what’s up”

31 March, 2019            “That’s what’s up”

“That’s what’s up”

I know a barista at Starbucks; she’s been a steady employee for years. She’s calm and efficient and reliable; I know Starbucks is happy to have her. The location is always busy and our exchanges invariably brief and to the point. But Friday I was there with a client and it was slow and she was spraying tables and wiping them. As she passed our table I showed her the phone with my handsome nephew’s picture. She stopped in her tracks, spray bottle in her left hand and cloth in her right, stared at the picture for a moment and simply said “That’s what’s up.” I could not have been more charmed. It was the absolute last thing I expected to hear – and therefore of course the perfect thing.

Oops – I’m inserting this after I finished the whole post. It’s too great to leave out. I first met Wesson in September of 2015, when he was five or six weeks old. There’s a great picture of him in 2015 on this post if you want to compare. He’s still brand new IMO, but you can see him when he was really brand new in this blog post: This just in!

There is a snake picture later in this post – just giving advance warning. I’ll put it nearer the bottom.

Evelyn and I sent a box of Fannie May Mint Meltaways to my nephew Wesson and his family in Blacksburg earlier this week. My grandmother (my mother’s mother, a.k.a. “Gran”) and her husband (“Grandaddy”) always had them at their house in Arlington, VA when we were growing up. Except we called them “you-know-whats.” And they were only green – no brown ones. And I think they were larger, but perhaps they only seemed that way because I was smaller. And these boxes are only 9 x 9 rows; I am certain the boxes at Gran and Granddaddy’s house were 12 x 16 or bigger. But they taste just as great now. Man do those things taste great.

I need to put another picture in here. It’s not a great one – but there’s another new osprey nest beginning on my normal route. This one is over near Fulton Bank in Stony Point. These are (I’m thinking) young, inexperienced birds who are coming up here late in the season. They don’t exude confidence and their nest is haphazard. I’ll go back this week and see if it’s improved. This was Wednesday:

Newly arrive ospreys on a disorganized nest

Wesson and his dad (my brother Shane) found a recently emerged (and still muddy) Eastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) while we were hiking at their home in Blacksburg at 11:00 this morning. There will be a picture later in the blog post. Ophidiophobes, you’ve been warned! When I googled that word – because I love words, and I’m not making this up – the third google hit was to a link called “luxury rehabs.com.” I’m not even kidding. You can attend a luxury rehab to treat your fear of snakes, if it is somehow causing difficulty in your life.

The moon has been waning this week and the sky’s been clear a lot so I got a few decent images. I took this one Thursday morning (3/28) at 6:20. It’s officially a “waning crescent” moon, 48% full. This was relatively low in the southern sky, and it had only risen at about 2:30 that morning. It had risen at 49% full and it set at 12:30 that afternoon at 45% full:

48% full waning crescent moon

Here’s a pileated woodpecker from Bryan Park Tuesday when Evelyn and the dogs and I were hiking there. Look at the size of this hole!:

Bryan Park Pileated woodpecker with GIANT hole

I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts my father’s favorite tree was a dogwood. Evelyn just planted one in our backyard; it’s just leafing out for the first time. We have an older, more established dogwood in the front yard. This is one of its blooms from today:

Front dogwood – watch this space next week

Evelyn also planted a favorite tree of mine in the backyard, and it’s blooming for the first time this year. Redbud flowers are edible and delicious; next year when this tree’s a bit more established I’ll grab a handful and eat them. Eating redbud flowers has been a spring ritual with me since I began hiking with Ivory and Nicky on the Appalachian Trail in about 1990.

Brand new Redbud Evelyn planted in the back yard last year – delicious! Thanks Evie!

I actually just walked out back – it’s 8:30 Sunday evening – and ate a small handful of buds so I could write about them with the taste in my mouth. They’re what Spring tastes like. IMO.

This just in – one more picture from this weekend. Photo credit for this one goes to Evelyn:

All of us walking in Blacksburg this morning – except Evelyn! She took the picture! Thanks Evie!

Thank you Evie! She also took this one of Mackey and Turner while we were driving to Blacksburg yesterday:

Mackey and Turner, road trippin’, by Evie:

Anyway, I’m running out of gas (figuratively speaking). Let me post the picture of Shane and Wesson’s garter snake from this morning and hit the sack:

Garter snake Shane and Wesson found this morning in Blacksburg. Maybe 16″ long:

Have an excellent week! Come back next week! All best,


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 Birds, Bryan Park, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, garter snake, love, moon, ospreys, People, Pileated Woodpecker, raptors, Rivers, simplify, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!), Snakes, Starbucks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “That’s what’s up”

  1. Sheila Wiese says:

    I remember you-know-whats! I also remember sitting on the corner of Oakview Dr. and Braddock Road, anxiously waiting to spot the powder blue LTD that would be carrying the purveyor of them! Not only did they have them in their home, they’d bring them to us every thime they visited. But, yes — only green ones back in those days.

    • When we were driving to Blacksburg this weekend, there was an app called “Share Trip Progress.” That way they’d know when we were getting closer. I remember when we were little and we’d know Gran and Grandaddy were en route and we’d have to actually GUESS what time they’d arrive so we could go down there and wait for the powder blue LTD. I also remember riding in that car the first time and I’d never seen power locks and I unlocked the door while we we driving (I was on the passenger side) and it made this big “THUNK” noise unlocking and I was certain I’d broken it or worse. Those green you-know-whats sure were delicious! EVERY time I had one!

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