Sunday, July 01, 2018

Crabs and Colleagues

I kind of let the time get away, didn't I. Lots to cover in updatesville. I did get a visit from Carrie, and we had a wonderful time of food and toenails. I miss her the most.

Most of May went very quickly, without much note. Except that Jess and her friend Molly came to visit. They drove down on a Thursday night late and got to us at about 2:30am. Friday they came to visit my office, and we had a lovely time. We took them to the zoo and it was so hot. A taste of things to come there for Early May!

Molly likes Elephants a lot.

I was sad for them to go. I miss my kid, and I miss the drop-by visits from them in their grown up lives. No more "Can Molly and I swing by?" texts in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, this makes me sad.

 My uncle Ken passed away right around Memorial Day and his funeral was the beginning of June.

Doug and I had planned a weekend trip to Atlantic City for our wedding anniversary, which then turned into a trip up to Cape Cod for the funeral.

It was lovely to see my sister and parents, and my cousins. Jess couldn't come down because it was a work day. We were so close, yet so far.

My aunt seemed very tired, the past year has been a toll on her. I feel very sad for my cousin's kids who spent a great deal of time with their grandfather. I remember talking to him once about his great grandson, and boy did that fire him up. "I live for that kid," he told me, while flipping through pictures on his phone, showing me how cute the little guy is.

I'm glad he lived for him.

Doug and I drove back from the Cape right after the funeral which is a 9 hour trip. Not something I enjoyed, all in one fell swoop like that. We used to drive 12 hour trips like it was nothing. now I feel I need to break trips back up there in half. Luckily, for a Monday, we managed to only run into bad traffic between Providence and

While we were in Atlantic City, we saw billboards for Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot show, and decided we'd buy tickets for it, knowing we were going to have to come back in a couple weeks. No problem! It's close!

It was a phenomenal performance. They only played 90 minutes or so, but every minute was full of awesome. We also noted that we were not the oldest people there. In fact we were almost on the younger end of the crowd. There were some folks in their 30s or 40s, but the vast majority of attendees were in their 70s!

Way to come out for the Rockabilly and represent, lady with the walker and guy with your oxygen and scooter!

Our experience at the Tropicana was kind of miserable otherwise. We won't be staying there again. It was loud and rude. Everything wants to be a dance club, and the layout of the joint was ridiculous. I think we walked 5 miles inside the building just trying to get from point A to B. I vastly prefer the layout at Caesar's or Bally's.

We had a good time walking up and down the boardwalk the next day, playing Pokémon and people watching. Atlantic City is close, and sometimes we get affordable deals. Summertime is expensive though. Doubtful we'll be back there again before the late fall.

Our lovely crab picking instructor
This weekend we were invited to one of Doug's co-worker's for a day of "Crabs and Colleagues," as he called it. 

They live down the Eastern Shore in the Easton area, so about 2 hours from our house. The place was outstanding - what a house! What a spread! Big beautiful home on a couple of acres with waterfront, dock, and a 21 foot motor boat. 

Geoff came with us, and the host has a daughter about Geoff's age, maybe a little older. Her boyfriend is a med student at Georgetown, and both of them were incredibly kind and welcoming to him. They took about 8 people out for a ride on the "creek" which looked more like a full river to me. Creeks are where you catch frogs and there is a piddly flow of water. This was beautiful. Geoff texted me from the boat to say he was having a great time and that made me very happy.

Meanwhile, Doug and I were with the "colleagues" that Matt had invited over. Matt's party was focused on colleagues from every job he'd had. So he went back 20 years to invite people over.

Doug was only 1 of 2 of his most recent colleagues. We got to spend time with neighbor friends of Matt's Del and Patty.

Patty gave us "crab picking" lessons, and told Doug he was a downright natural. They used to live in Gloucester, MA, and they were just in Newburyport for a wedding, so we had a "small world" moment and great talk about living here vs. living there. There are pros and cons.

Baby's first official Maryland crab. 
We asked Del if they had a house with waterfront, and he said no - that's about a $400,000 difference for properties. He said he's perfectly happy not having waterfront but being friends with Matt and his wife Peggy!

Peggy got home from work, at a local gallery, and she was delightful and vivacious.

Crabs and Colleagues was turning out to be a great time.

I am usually of the mindset that I should not have to work this hard for a mouthful of food. Patty said that it isn't about the amount of food you get but the fellowship, the conversation, the beer and the sunshine.

Not able to disagree with her on that, I had my second crab

Doug and Patty went to task on these crabs, which were picked up that morning by boat by Matt from a local marina and crab shop.

After Geoff got back from the boat ride, he wanted to take a kayak out. 

Matt hooked him up and he took off like lightning. A natural. And the smile on his face was amazing. Matt was amazed at how fast he jetted off, and was really impressed. Boy Scout muscle memory comes right back. The incredibly calm "creek" and miles of places to paddle... this was a perfect day and a perfect time for him. I'm so glad he came with us. I really should have taken a picture of him, but am happy to see that smile in my mind.

A small amount of the post-crab picking carnage
We stayed through the sunset, which we didn't intend. The fireflies filled up woods, blinking from ground to crown. It was virtually middle earth as we walked down the drive to the car.  On the way home Geoff expressed how much he missed being on the water. Near the water. Access to the water any time he wants it.  I completely agree. 

We have got to get him a kayak. But thankfully we have a "colleague" that maybe we can visit again.

We had fun down the Eastern Shore, including a stop in to grab some beer to bring to the party at the Eastern Shore Brewery in St. Michaels. There seem to be enough little places up and down these roads to visit in the future. Most likely not affordable this time of year, but good to note for the fall and early winter when it isn't totally freezing and horrible. 

So that's where we find ourselves so far. More to come, I'm sure.

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