Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya 1928-2014

You may write me down in history 
With your bitter, twisted lies, 
You may tread me in the very dirt 
But still, like dust, I'll rise. 

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells 
Pumping in my living room. 

Just like moons and like suns, 
With the certainty of tides, 
Just like hopes springing high, 
Still I'll rise. 

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops. 
Weakened by my soulful cries. 

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard 
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines 
Diggin' in my own back yard. 

You may shoot me with your words, 
You may cut me with your eyes, 
You may kill me with your hatefulness, 
But still, like air, I'll rise. 

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise 
That I dance like I've got diamonds 
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame 
I rise 
Up from a past that's rooted in pain 
I rise 
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, 
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. 
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear 
I rise 
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear 
I rise 
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, 
I am the dream and the hope of the slave. 
I rise 
I rise 
I rise.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Giving Thanks! ♡

A tornado blew through the yard, yesterday, in honor of Joe's birthday. Kim and Keith surprised Joe (we missed you, Vick - feel better!), joining the gang in extending heartfelt wishes to the best of the best - husband, friend, dad and uncle/godfather. 
Blessings all!
More Happy Birthday Wishes, Honey!
You are so loved!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Most Special Day

Yesterday's torrential downpours made way for a gorgeous rising sun, this morning.

Before the kids descend upon us to celebrate a very special birthday, I'm taking a few moments to reflect upon this amazing relationship that actually began at the beach. Okay. It wasn't the beach. But 'twas the best upstate NY has to offer, lakeside. Yep, our first encounter was fifty years ago next month, at Masten Lake. No. Make that in Masten lake. So, is it any wonder that my better half and I share the love of soothing surf… a rhetorical question.

Happy Birthday, Honey. You are clearly the best. I love you so much and pray for many more side-by-sides.
We are so blessed.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reflecting On The OBX - Spring '14

Sure, we could sum up Spring break in just a few words - It was fabulous! However, it's much more fun to elaborate, especially since every picture tells a story
'Twas a tad hard to leave the Old Homestead, just as blooms were beginning to open; but we managed.

Ocean City, MD, was to be our overnight stop, but surprise, surprise. It was booked solid for a convention. That'll teach us to make our pet-friendly reservation in advance. No worries. We simply headed for Virginia and another reliable pit stop, near Little Italy. In the middle of nowhere, Joe dined on delicious calamari marinara while I enjoyed linguine primavera, cooked to perfection. Kudos to Chef/Owner Franco, who greets each guest, making sure his or her dish is as requested. He was pleased to hear that we're repeat customers.
Before leaving the area, we again visited Cape Charles. It appeared to be devastated, last year, but now seems to have found its way to a building boom of sorts. Yay! I still like this old brick beauty, though, with so much character.
Mambo was soon ready to move on down the pike...
…to find the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and some warm weather.
After crossing over and under the mammoth structure, we stopped for a break and an impromptu concert. Gusty winds drowned out the fab voice, but nothing could disguise the artist's powerful guitar. Welcome, y'all!
We breezed on to Corolla, NC, arriving too early to check into our condo. To the beach it was. The minute I plunked down into my cozy sand chair, Matilda startled me by landing on my Maui Jim's. Gently, I removed them from my eyes and placed on my knee. She obliged me by posing for this great shot for Gavin. Just a couple weeks ago, he called in to me, "G'ma!! Matilda is back!" In our world, going way back to when Brian and Christian were babes, all ladybugs are named Matilda. Seems as though this gal needed a little vacay, too.
It didn't take long for Mambo to take a surf-side stroll…
or for Triggers I and II to greet us. Later in the week, these two equines again strolled by as I spoke with a young couple. I received a clueless stare in response to my use of the Trigger moniker. Ahem. It's been a few decades since Roy and his golden palomino rode the circuit...
Before we could blink, it was time to check in to our condo, the same one we rented last Spring. It's still lovely and immaculate, having sustained little wear and tear since a recent remodeling.
OBX and Cape Cod, MA, beaches are all pet friendly. The difference lies in accommodations. The Banks offer endless numbers of beautifully maintained houses and condos where Fido is welcomed. Not so the Cape… to the point where we didn't even bring Mambo, last Fall. Yanks could learn from their southern neighbors, in this regard.

We were immediately plunged into wonderful weather, water, wind and sand. Perfect. A few conversations with locals told us they'd had a rough winter. The horses had retreated to the Sound side of the island and were just starting to return to the ocean. They number 101, with one foal already born; but her momma is still keeping her under wraps. We repeatedly saw one large band of horses. 
Their honcho was on the small side, but tough as nails. He let his women and juveniles know when to cross the beach and retreat to the tranquility of the dunes.
We experienced a few close, slightly nerve-wracking encounters with Mr. Ed and pals. Joe was totally clueless, the first time they wandered to his waterside perch. You know. The ocean is noisy and has the ability to drown out (no pun intended) whinnying. 
Then, this happened…
Thing is, humans can be fined for approaching or feeding the horses. But supposin' we become the attraction. What then? 

Midway through the first week and on the one and only cloudy, cool day, we had the pleasure of meeting Bernadette, my no-longer-virtual pal from the Hampton Roads PILOT. Not to worry, 'cause our constant chatter quickly warmed the air. Thanks so much, B, for taking that long drive AND for the boatload of delicious cookies and lovely pottery plate. Can't wait for a repeat, next time 'round… unless you come to New York, first!
Notice the big ruts B and I are standing on… or in? Yes? Enter here a negative. You might say it's Momma Nature's fault that the off-road beach is a mess, considering the crazy weather as mentioned above. Our all-wheel drive Hyundai was just fine for maneuvering on last year's sand. Now, it's a different story. Four-wheel drive is mandatory and even big ole Hummers have gotten stuck, with monster tires descending into deep crevices, necessitating a tow or worse. We became disabled multiple times. Quickly appearing - seemingly out of those same ruts - were vultures who offered a strap pull for a mere 200 smackeroos. This guy began stalking us...
What to do? Look pathetic and hope someone like Brandon from Albany, NY, will offer to help dig, push or tow. And there were others who took pity on us. The beach brings out the best in almost everyone. I said almost.

We're all familiar with the old adage that tells us out of all bad comes some good. It's true. We were in a different kind of a rut in forgetting about the endless walk-on beaches that line the entire Outer Banks. And so, we found ourselves on another tranquil Corolla beach for the remaining days of our stay. That's when the weather turned steamy!
Mambo's always excited for long, lazy beach walks. But not so, when temps hit the 90's and higher!
Woof! No thanks - I'll pass!

It was on this beach where we had the good fortune of meeting sand-dwellers, Kindle and her little girl, Abby. With Momma's permission, I took this photo, after which we had a delightful conversation.
Along with their husband/daddy, Curtis, they live in Carova… in the sand… on the beach… amongst the horses. Still, Kindle enjoys other quiet, horseless, carless beaches that are much safer for her sweet daughter. Once again, we were intrigued to hear about a lifestyle choice that has one driving 23 miles on sand before accessing paved roads that offer stores and such. We hope our paths cross again.

And so it goes, and so it goes…

But before we leave this post and the beach, I'd be remiss were I not to mention loving Mother's Day calls and messages from my children, grands and nieces… and a special breakfast from my Man, who seemed to think I was drinking too many beach smoothies and needed something decadent to celebrate such an occasion.

Joe was also responsible for noticing this North Carolina symbol outside of our condo. How pretty is the Eastern Box Turtle…
Okay. Now my shadow and I can sign off, thanking y'all if you're still reading…
Love you, Honey… thanks for more beautiful beach memories.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Taking A Little Blog Break

See y'all soon!
Prancing on our favorite OBX beach - Spring '14

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday to our Chloe!

Don't for one minute let those pretty skirts and dresses she loves to wear fool you! Be it scholastic achievements, skiing, soccer, art, music, a quick pick-up game of basketball with the neighborhood tribe or hanging upside down, this girl is a contender…
...the perfect blend of beauty, sass 'n' smarts, and...
…we sure do love our Chloe!

Remembering M♡M

We always swore that Mom placed an ad in the local newspaper, reminding everyone that May 1st was coming. Attention was known to abound. It was well deserved. Won't you join me in sending off some loving vibes for what would have been her 95th…