Friday, May 30, 2008


This morning I found my mother’s tablecloth. I had been looking for it for the past two months and this morning I found it. It was folded inside another cloth and I had just missed it in my searching. This is an old vinyl tablecloth made to look like lace. It is not valuable or even very attractive, but it was used by my mom and later by me at almost all our major family dinners. If this tablecloth could speak it could tell some wonderful stories. I cried with happiness when I found this cloth full of memories.

My mom was wonderful. Everyone loved my mom. She had many great qualities, but cooking was not her greatest skill. One evening the family gathered around the table for dinner. She had made a casserole of chicken and green chilies. It smelled and looked great. We all served ourselves generous portions and dug in. After the first bite we all grabbed our water and gulped it down. Our mouths were on fire. I’ve never tasted anything quite so spicy hot. We gasped and asked mom what she had put in that recipe. She swore she followed the recipe exactly. My brother looked in the trash and found the culprit. Instead of using green chilies, she had used jalapeƱo peppers. Mom said they looked green to her. She thought they were the same thing.

This tablecloth has heard a generation of stories and laughter. We have sung happy birthday around it more times than I can count. It held the cake when we celebrated my folks golden anniversary. I brought home with me when mom moved into an assisted living facility. It has great value to me.

What do you own that is worth very little money but is a great treasure to you?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Motown and More

Last night was the big concert for the Senior Chorale. We had an audience of 670 people who applauded and cheered for us. It was great fun to sing for such an enthusiastic audience. Singing such happy music just has to make a person smile. One of my favorites was “Wonderful World.” Our soloist for that song was Chuck. He is a frail little old man who can’t read music, is nearly blind and is easily confused. He never did get his solo right in rehearsal, but he nailed it last night. The audience loved him. We did a Motown Medley with the help of our own version of Pips who called themselves the Sparkettes. They danced and sang and made the music wonderful. It was a great concert. I love singing with this group.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Disney Dreams

My granddaughter just called from Orlando. She is just bubbling over with excitement.

Tomorrow morning she reports for duty as a Disney employee. This is her dream job assignment. It is wonderful to watch anybody who is so happy.

She has started a blog to record her adventures. I have added her to my blog roll. If you want to catch her excitement, check her out at Disney Dreams.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Week End Snapshots

Friday night Aunt Ann hosted a party celebrating Ashley's college graduation. Family and friends had a good time wishing her well as she heads off to Orlando for an internship with Disney.

We enjoyed Bowie's Memorial Day parade on Saturday morning. I think half the town was in the parade. There were Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts baton twirlers, and anybody who thought it would be fun to be in a parade. Uncle Sam led them all.

The fife and drum corp was one of several marching bands.

This old fire truck was one of many antique cars.

The Bolivian dancers were colorful entertainment.

The Abrakadoodle float with Splat riding in the back. Splat won the Best Dog award. My daughter is driving and several grandchildren walked along to pass out prizes to the crowd.

The weather Saturday afternoon was too nice to stay home so we took DQ sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. Here's a picture of Captain DQ at the helm of a seventy foot schooner.

This morning at church we honored our high school graduates. It is always amazing to me to see how quickly our children grow up. One of the girls sang an absolutely beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. The song made me cry.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I stole this idea from Jennie’s blog. It was a cute idea for a day when I had nothing profound to share.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet, current car):
Spotty Dorland

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME (fave ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe):
Moose Tracks Birkenstock

3. YOUR NATIVE AMERICAN NAME (favorite color, favorite animal):
Green Cat

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, city where you were born):
Rowland Cape May

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (first three letters of your last name, first two of your first name):

6. SUPERHERO NAME (2nd favorite color, favorite drink):
Blue Coffee

7. NASCAR NAME (the first names of your grandfathers):
Gideon John

8. STRIPPER NAME (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy):
Skin- So- Soft Chocolate

9. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME (your fifth grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter):
Harris Huntington

10. SPY NAME (your favorite season/holiday, flower):
Summer Rose

11. CARTOON NAME (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now):
Strawberry Socks

12. HIPPIE NAME (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree):
Coffee Christmas

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Yesterday while working in my yard I came upon a nest full of baby birds. The nest is in a row of bushes right at eye level so these babies could be easily observed. I found myself totally enchanted by these little creatures and watched them for a long time. They were tightly packed into that small space, and as they slept it appeared that the nest was pulsing with each breath they took. Their nearly featherless bodies pulsed up and down in a steady beat. I backed away a bit and watched as the mother robin returned to the nest to feed them. Three wrinkled little black heads popped up, beaks wide open. They truly are ugly with their wrinkled, featherless necks craning up hungrily. Their eyes appeared closed. I wondered if they were able to see anything yet. It has been raining here and I wondered about the birds in their little nest with only a few fuzzy feathers to protect them. I just checked on them again and they are all there appearing safe and comfortable in their wet little nest. I wonder how long it will be before they fly away and leave their mama with an empty nest. Will their mama miss them when they go? Is the empty nest syndrome just something humans endure?

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Thank you for all the birthday wishes on my last post.

I found this picture of me on my eighteenth birthday. I’m all dressed up for a mother/daughter tea to celebrate my high school graduation which would occur a few days after my birthday. I am leaning on my birthday/graduation gift, my first car. It was a baby blue 1958 Studebaker Lark. Oh, how I did love that car!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I came home from Tennessee with a bad cold. Today I woke up with laryngitis. I was supposed to sing in our Senior Chorale Motown concert today, but my singing voice is gone. I was disappointed, but I did go watch the concert and those old folks really can sing Motown. It was great. Hopefully I will be able to sing with them on their next concert in two weeks.

I found a lovely swing in my backyard when we arrived home Sunday night. It is a mother’s day gift from my kids. They must think I am a swinging gramma or a rockin’ mama. It is a nice place to sit and enjoy the birds and enjoy the sunshine.

Today is my birthday. I am 67 years old. There is no way I can make that sound young. There has been a little flurry of well wishes from friends and family. I feel loved. Life is good.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Graduate

Granddaughter #1
Bachelor of Arts
Applied Finance and Accounting

Graduation was a wonderful event. The weather was beautiful. The graduate was excited and beautiful. I asked, “Ashley, you’ve just graduated from Milligan College. What are you going to do now?” She replied in her happy squeal, “I’m going to Disney World!” She has in fact accepted an internship at Disney World. She will be working in one of the eateries is park for six months. Then if all her dreams do come true she will get a professional internship in Disney’s accounting department. Today is a day when all things seem possible.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I watch my children who are so busy with all the duties of parenthood and job concerns. I like watching them pass on the traditions that are part of our family history and making traditions of their own that make their homes and families unique. They are all so very busy. It takes a lot of time to raise children and earn a living and find time to laugh and enjoy life. My kids make me proud because they are such good parents and somehow find time to work in all the important things.

I miss the busyness of being the center of a busy family. As a little girl all I wanted to do was to grow up, get married and have a family. I did that. I mothered four wonderful children. It just never occurred to me that there would be a time after that. One of the biggest adjustments of getting older has been learning to enjoy not being at the center of a busy family any more. Now I am the grandmother. This is a wonderful role, but it is not the same intimate role that motherhood is. I no longer am the center of my children’s world. I am in the circle of their lives, but they are the center of their own homes now.

Tomorrow we travel to Tennessee to watch our oldest grandchild graduate from college. She is an adult and ready to become the center of her own world. The circle of life just keeps on rolling forward.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Landmark Case

Mildred Loving died last week at the age of 68. She and her husband Richard changed history.

In 1958 seventeen-year-old Mildred and her childhood sweetheart, twenty-three-year- old Richard, left their small town in Virginia and traveled to Washington DC where they were married. Mildred was black. Her husband was white. After the wedding they returned home to rural Virginia. At 2AM the county sheriff rousted them out of bed and hauled them off to jail. Their District marriage certificate was no good in Virginia. They were charged with unlawful cohabitation. The judge sentenced them with a year in prison which would be suspended if they left the state. They moved back to Washington DC, but they missed home and longed to return. In 1964 they wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy and asked if any of the newly passed civil rights legislation would allow them to travel and live together in their home state. The Lovings just wanted to go home. They had no idea that their case would go to the Supreme Court and change the lives of so many. On June 12, 1967, the court ruled that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violated the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause. The Lovings were able to go home and live the quiet life they had wanted.

Today my son and his beautiful wife are among 4.3 million interracial couples living in this nation. I am grateful that they were able to marry.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


This weekend we went almost camping with our granddaughter’s Girl Scout troop. The girls camped in tents among the sand dunes of Assateague Island. They had a wonderful time playing in the sand and watching the wild ponies. We had been invited along so my astronomer could bring his telescope and help the girls to see the night sky. The clouds blew away long enough for a little stargazing. He brought his telescope and they could see Saturn’s rings with it. They did seem to be impressed with the vastness of the universe. Stargazing can cause a person to ponder and think about big things. Scientists believe that the universe began billions of years ago with an explosion of energy that sent stardust spreading out into space. Along the way this stardust clumped up into stars and planets. With some instructions from the Creator this stardust was formed into earth and all that lives upon the earth. I like the thought that we are all made out of stardust.
I said we went almost camping because as the girls crawled into their tents for the night we headed up the road to a quaint, historic hotel and slept in a comfortable hotel.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Swing Time

The High school had its pops concert tonight. It really was fun. I am always impressed with the talent these kids have. They were singing and dancing and performing with great style this evening. They really did swing. Of course the most talented and beautiful girl is the show was our lovely granddaughter.

May Day

My azalea is celebrating May Day with a spectacular show of beautiful blooms.