Happy Mother’s Day!

10 May, 2020            Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day! Nice work Evie!

Like Evelyn, my friend Marion is a talented gardener, and Marion once told me roses were meant to put out their best blooms in time for Mother’s Day. Evelyn’s been tending the roses in our yard for many years, and look what bloomed mid week this week. All I can say is OMG. 

My brother’s wife Jenny is mother to three of my nieces, and today she posted pictures of her own mother – who is very much vibrant and alive and joyful – and of our mother, who is still that way only in our memories. Jenny posted some old pictures of our mom today and I did a few screenshots. Thank you Jenny! Here’s one of mom and dad, I think before they got married – or close to it – in 1958: 

My mom and dad in their mid-twenties. That is astounding. I’m so fortunate!

The following picture is mom at her eightieth birthday with all five of her children and several spouses and about ⅔ of the grandchildren she had by that time. She has more now! 

Mom more than half a century later. Wow.

I was reviewing old blog entries for this post and I found one from mom’s memorial service in early 2017. In that post I quoted something our old family friend Liz Adams said at that time. It’s possible this ship has already sailed, but I’d like people to be able to say this about me, hopefully when I’m ninety or older, but you just never know. Here’s what Liz said about mom: “I never heard her say anything bad about anyone; I never saw her cranky or cross.” – Liz A., 19 January, 2017

You may recall from an earlier blog post that I wrote how enthusiastically dad would say “sweet iced tea!” Mom and Dad both had little stock phrases they used in different contexts; we heard them often. Mom used to say with similar enthusiasm “Toby Chipmunk Soup!” I’m somewhat certain she couldn’t produce an actual recipe for something called “Toby Chipmunk Soup.” It was one of those ingredients-on-hand winter recipes. Each iteration of “Toby Chipmunk Soup” was different-from-but-similar-to all the batches that preceded it. I thought of “Toby Chipmunk” (mom would have too) when I snapped this picture out of my office window Wednesday morning: 


Mom noticed lots of birds and animals, and often made humorous remarks about them. Dad was more scientific. But he noticed just as much. 

My Y has been closed since early in the COVID-19 era, and I haven’t been able to swim. So I’ve been riding my bicycle during my normal swim times just to maintain (hopefully) an adequate level of fitness. Today I took my thirtieth bike ride since April 1; I’ll be glad when the pool opens again! But I’m also grateful the weather’s been so lovely, and there isn’t much traffic, so it’s been nice riding. As of today I’ve ridden 495 miles since April 1. I’ll be glad when I can get back to swimming! 

There was an article in the NYT this week about swimming pools reopening in the post-COVID era. The article quoted a swimming coach named Mark Schubert and the message he’d posted to greet his returning swimmers: “May the new normal teach us to be grateful for the things the old normal taught us to take for granted.” That is a good, good, good idea. 

Before I rode today, of course, I took the dogs to the river for a relaxing hike. Our old friend Luna joined Mackey and Turner and Yuki and me at Pony Pasture this morning. Here is the four of them near the edge of the river at 9:15 this morning. The upper lot is still closed so we’re not going out on the rocks yet. Soon we hope! This morning was pretty though: 

L-R: Yuki, Mackey, Turner, Lola – back row: James River

Evelyn got strawberries from our farmshare (Agriberry) this week. I’m not kidding – they taste better than they look – and they look awesome. And man you should taste them with ice cream: 

They taste better than they look – and look how awesome they look!

Here’s another picture from our yard this week. I called it “Get offa my lawn!”: 

“Get offa’ my lawn!” – scolding a nest parasite cowbird

I photographed honeysuckle today; I don’t love the image but I love honeysuckle. I searched old blog posts; I found the first honeysuckle picture was nine years ago this month in a post called “Flora – and some fauna.” A sentence in that post says “In the unlikely event I end up in Heaven, and in the still less likely event Heaven has only one flower, I hope it’s Honeysuckle (Lonicera).” With apologies to gardenias, I still hope that. I’m not super confident in my ability to keep a gardenia alive, but honeysuckle (it’s invasive, of course) is much more forgiving. And it smells so good. Here’s some from today at Pony Pasture: 

If heaven doesn’t smell this good, they need to have a word with the Management

I almost forgot! I did see a Barred Owl at Pony Pasture Tuesday, but it was being harassed by a crow and the pictures were suboptimal. But I did get a twenty-five second video of the crow being irritating (or anyway it appeared that was its intent). Have a look – it’s worth a few seconds to watch: 

Owl and crow at Pony Pasture, May 5, 2020 

Wait! One more! Dash snoozing in the sun Friday morning: 

Find a sunny spot and take a nap this week

Have a great 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 Barred Owls, Birds, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, honeysuckle, James River, love, newfaze, People, Pony Pasture, Rivers, roses, simplify, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s