Saturday, June 29, 2013


I WENT OFF TO THE OBX* to see my big sis.
I took two friends along.
The salty water kept rolling in and rolling out, and the tides kept rising and falling the whole time we were there!

More details later.


*Short for the Outer Banks of North Carolina
 (posted on a car, OBX might also denote
an obnoxious driver;
in a store, there's a chance you'll find
dyslexic merchants selling oxbows)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013



Whereas I'm usually taking photos willy-nilly, stashing them away for days, weeks, months...(hmm, not usually months, but sometimes until they are verging on stale), today I am ensconced in a comfortable upholstered chair, drinking my complimentary coffee latte*, and snapping photos that you may be viewing within seconds, Viewer Dear.   Now, of course, I know there is absolutely nothing  cutting-edge about the ability to do this; what is so surprising to me is that I am actually taking advantage of the possibility!

*Compliments of Toyota Service Department,
(a representative of whom [interrupting me as I post] came to inform me that my car is desperately in need of at least three new tires.  Inspection is coming up next month, and these tires on my car will NOT pass inspection!  [That's what I was told.  That's the late-breaking news, Reader Dear!] **  Excuse me while I take another swig of my cost-free coffee.

Ahh.   Okay, now I will tell you that I nixed the tires.  "No thanks!"  I said just now, when the wheeler-dealer (not his official title) applied some slight pressure.  "I'll deal with the tires at another time. I'm only here for the air conditioner."  (The man was clearly not happy [It may have been a misperception, but I think I saw his forehead wrinkle ever so slightly when I fiddled with the lid on my coffee?])**

**What I did not divulge was that a mere hour ago, actually on my way here to keep this appointment (to have the car's air conditioner put into proper non-screeching condition), I stopped at not one, but two, tire-selling establishments.  "Will you please look at the tires on my car and tell me if I need new ones," I asked at each of these locations.  (I only thought to do this because I'd studied the tires a few days ago and a specific Holy Roman Emperor crowned by Pope John VIII came to mind).  Both of these companies in the business of selling tires had told me that it was not a desperate situation.  The tires would pass inspection.  

So now I'm going to gather up my paraphernalia,  [the pager is going off right at this moment, summoning me to come to the desk], pay the rather excessive bill for "adjustment" of my air conditioner, and leave this place.  

Just let me quickly finish up my, included-in-the-cost coffee.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


EN ROUTE HOME from the family reunion,
The Yard Man and I made a brief stop in the 1950's.

No one told us exactly what year we were in.
It might have been the 1960's.  I'm not sure.

Whatever the decade or year,  we got a bit of nostalgia
carried right to our car window along with
the small vanilla cone and the root beer float!


Monday, June 10, 2013


THIS GATHERING OF THE Yard Man's mother's kin has taken place with regularity every two years for the past...uh...umpteen years.  There are numerous spots where this extended family  has convened, but the retreat center in the Big Valley where we met this past weekend is a definite favorite.                                                                                                                            

Really,  Reader Dear, there's just very little not to love about this place.

There's the VIEW, displaying nature in a fantastic gussied-up state!

There's the AREA.  If one gets a notion to pile into a van and drive around the countryside,  taking in the scenery and the local Amish farms and stores and market stands, one will not be disappointed!
(One will see Amish houses with blue doors; bright yellow Amish buggies; Amish of many kinds and descriptions!)

(One might come to a greenhouse that looks like a mini-Henry's!)

But...oh, where was I?  Enumerating the glories of this reunion spot:

The FOOD (cooked up and served by the folks who run this retreat center) is not fancy, but it certainly pleases the palate!  Freshly homemade breads, fresh strawberry jam.  Turkey and mashed potatoes.  Salad with wow-such-yummy-dressing. Freshly-baked cookies and whoopie pies.  Get the picture, Reader Dear?  (One might think to oneself, How often do I get the chance to eat this way?! [And then one might answer, Why, every two years, of course (such a rarity)!]  And then one will likely eat with gusto!)

Last, but not least, is the LAUGHTER (Although, come to think of it, one must carry this along in; it's not provided by the center)  It just happens, this particular group with which I met always has an abundance!  One of the Yard Man's aunts brought a long list of "Actual announcements found in church bulletins."  
I'll share just a few, Reader Dear.  If a tiny smile doesn't lift the corners of your mouth as you read, what can I say?  Perhaps you've got to be sitting in a group of guffawing kin to find these amusing.  (We read the list four times, as we had to repeat for various new arrivals. We rocked the big deck [another great feature of this place] with our comments and wisecracks and outbursts of laughter each time!)

--Don't let worry kill you.  Let the church help.
--For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
--Tuesday at 4 p.m. there will be an ice cream social.  All ladies giving milk please come early.
--The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement on Friday.
--Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.
--This week the pastor will be on vacation.  Massages may be given to the church secretary.
--Thursday at 5 p.m. there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club.  All wishing to become Little Mothers, please see the minister in his private study.
--The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

Haven't cracked a smile, Reader Dear?  Here's my personal favorite, and the final one.  If you've pursed your lips and slightly rolled your eyes,  finding nothing amusing about the list so far, might be the one for you!

--The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: 
"I Upped my Pledge--Up Yours!"

(I didn't even want to mention this, Reader Dear, after this most glowing report,
but there could be one tiny drawback to this place.
Should you happen to make just a slight wrong turn* as you're eagerly expecting imminent arrival at the center, you're in for never-ending loop-de-loop!

Of course, you do come to an end eventually and you'll be in some perplexing location, feeling jostled and joyless.  When you ask for directions, the woman will say,
"Go back about six or seven miles, the same way you came..."

*Very slim odds, Reader Dear.
(And "jostled and joyless" is just
for effect.  You might only be
slightly impatient)

Friday, June 7, 2013


A LETTER CAME FROM the local government informing The Yard Man and me that work would soon be done on the road that runs past our house.  Nothing was said about serving refreshments, but shortly after we got the letter, up went a big orange sign that's got my mouth watering in anticipation!


Thursday, June 6, 2013


As I raced up the steps, the Mother of the Groom was descending.
When I reached up to pull out a hunk of my hair, she said,
"Here! Take a picture of the dress on the hanger!"


I did, and here is the proof.
   Furthermore, I took a photo of the bride, still wearing the dress that has now grandly served its purpose-of-a-lifetime.
It was the final photo of the event!
(A totally unsubstantiated claim,
but I'm sticking to it.)


 Fringe benefit:
 Because of our friendship (and very possibly due to the fact that there'd be no fabulous blue silk fringed dress fashioned out of scarves were it not for me [now, now, Viewer Dear, hold your applause]), this designer-stitcher-wearer of the dress later sent me photos (bless her heart)!

2013.06.02 - Parents of the groom
2013.06.02 - Mother-son dance II
Just look at that dress!
Didn't she do a fantastic job?
[applaud now]

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I'M CARRYING YOU back a few days, Reader Dear, to the wedding.
So here we are...

Have you had a chance to look around?
Did you happen to notice the Mother of the Groom?
What a dress she's wearing, eh?!!  The very one in which I played a starring role!
I've waited almost a FULL YEAR to show you this garment!
Isn't it amazing?! 
Look how this super-stitcher-mother-of-groom even sewed a little matching jacket...
You say you can't find her?!
You've looked around and she's not here?!
How can that be?!  She's the MOG, for heaven's sake!
 Uh, Dear Reader-but-NOT-Viewer...

...The Yard Man and I have decided that the hour is getting late, and we won't stay to watch the Sparkler Send-off of the Bride and Groom.  There are plenty of younger guests who have not totally exhausted themselves with more dancing than they've done in the previous six months-or-possibly-many-more all rolled together.  So we drive away, and I'm exclaiming about what a great wedding, and what a lovely couple, and what yummy champagne and cake.  The whole way home the Yard Man and I are discussing details.  Fifteen minutes later we're walking into the house, and I suddenly freeze...
"Really?" the Yard Man is incredulous. " All those pictures you took! She's gotta be on one of them!"
"Oh, I hope so!" I say.  I've grabbed up my camera and am studying what I captured on film. There is not one photo of the Mother of the Groom.  Not one!
"Let's drive right back over," I suggest hopefully.  "It won't be too late."  I look at the clock, and into my mind come wedding guests tossing out burnt-up sparklers.  I shoo them away, and hope they're not heading for their cars.
"I'm going to bed!" declares The Yard Man.   "Can't you get a picture later?"
Half-way back to the wedding spot, I'm moving along at a very nice clip.  I overtake one of those white sedans that have a nifty blue light on top, and realize that speeding like this could be just the ticket to true "get-a-photo" nuttiness.  I slow down.  
This location where the wedding took place is situated along a dark country road.
Driving in the winding entrance, I see that the parking lot is still lit up.  Ah, thank goodness!  And I spy the mother of the bride carrying gifts.  I hop from my car and call out, "Is Judy still here?"
"Yes, she is," responds Karen.  "I think she's changing her clothes."
CHANGING HER CLOTHES?!  I hurry into the building, trying to determine if the few folks roaming around are staff who are cleaning up or guests who have lingered.   Then, lo and behold, here comes the bride!
"Wait, didn't you have a Sparkler Send-off ?!" I question.

"Yes, we did," she laughs. "But we came back."
"Ha! Me, too." I tell her.  "We drove all the way home, but I came back to take a picture of your mother-in-law's dress! Do you know where she is?"
The bride points the way upstairs to the changing room.  "If you hurry," she says, "she might still have it on."  
I run...

...(more to follow)

Monday, June 3, 2013


THE BUZZ WENT AROUND at the wedding reception...
 "Did you hear?  There's a guest here with exactly the same name as the minister who performed the ceremony.  All three names--first, middle, and last."
 "Well, I heard that there are three of them with the same name!"
 "Really? Wow.  Same middle name, too?"
 "Yep, middle name David.  And two of them are ministers!"
 "Okaaaay.  I heard there's at least one John David Bowman at each of the twelve tables!" 

Reader Dear, (how often must I confess it?) I'm such a fan of coincidence!  I had a  private little word with John David Bowman.  And then I spoke with John David Bowman.

When the guests were seated, what do you know--I was right beside Jon David Bowman!  I made a request of him.  Thus it was arranged, I was given a photo op!
Of course, Reader Dear, when I went to take my pictures, it drew some attention.  These three men soon became media sweethearts!  (Well, lots of others wanted photos, at any rate.)
I didn't see these instant celebrities signing any autographs; but just think of it, one could have handled the job for all three!

..Uh, huh...more...


Sunday, June 2, 2013


SHOWERS ARE OFTEN FOLLOWED by clearing weather.
 And sometimes by weddings*.

Because I could not get an ideal view of the bride and groom as they said their vows to each other, and slipped the rings on the fingers, I aimed my camera skyward.  You will have to take my word for it--it was "this man" and "this woman" who were joined together in holy matrimony.

It was almost magical how that relatively brief ceremony had the power to transform The Yard Man and me!  We walked into the decorated pavilion as two well-wishers of an engaged couple, and left it as the charmed guests of a charming, newly-declared husband and wife! 

  And believe me, Reader Dear, these brand new spouses knew how to entertain!


From the hors d'oeuvres and drinks to the dinner and dancing, it was all decidedly delightful!


Jon and Joni, may your wedded bliss continue to cling about you and infuse your years like the scent of roses on a warm summer evening.


* Then sometimes it's the other way around, and a wedding is followed by a shower!  (Always lovely when the shower holds off until after the ceremony and after the lawn games, and just in time for any guests who wish to frolic in the rain to do so!

More to follow...

because someone's got to explain to you, Dear Viewer, why these three guests are such celebrities!
...and somebody's got to tell you
who it was who took the
photo of the evening!