Home from Yorktown

Home from Yorktown

After leaving Yorktown, we needed to choose an anchorage with good provisioning possibilities. Although it was a great place to stay for things to do, there was no place on the Yorktown side of the bridge to get ice and ours didn’t last that long. Luckily I had planned on depending primarily on non-perishable foods anyway, but we did need to replace some of the things we lost. I chose an anchorage in Jackson Creek, near Deltaville, VA. The reviews of the spot were wonderful: great for provisioning, very protected – from all but SE winds. Anyone wanna guess which direction the wind was coming from when we got there? It was pretty rough that first evening. Our first dinghy ride in to walk to the gas station for cold beer left us all soaked to our skivvies. Alan was super nervous about the anchor holding, but hold it did, and the wind changed direction around midnight.

Deltaville was a fabulous stop. Just like at Yorktown, we again stayed longer than we had first planned (hooray for a flexible schedule) and are definitely planning to return. I can’t say enough good things about the Deltaville Marina. Their facilities were very nice and the rate for transients to use them was very reasonable. We were able to borrow their courtesy car to run to the market and replace our lost provisions. The kids loved their huge swingest and the pool. Savannah even swapped a book out at their book exchange area.We borrowed one of their grills for a picnic lunch our first full day there.

IMG_5277One of our absolute favorite things was a scene repeated many times on our trip: quiet moments after after dinner when we all cozied up on the bow to enjoy the twilight together. Alan and I would enjoy a glass of wine, we’d bring out a blanket or two, and the kids would snug themselves around us. Those were the moments I wanted to hold onto the most, the ones I made a conscious effort of committing to memory, detail by detail. There are so few similar moments at home. At home, there is always something to be done. The laundry needs washing, the grass needs cutting, everything needs dusting, clutter needs to be cleared away, a hundred things, all the time. On the boat, life is simpler. After clearing up dinner, I can usually feel pretty satisfied that my to-do list is done, and I can just soak up the time with my family.

It was in one of those perfect evenings that we unexpectedly had a bit of fearful excitement. One of our neighbors at anchor was an older gentleman who lives aboard his boat. I must have been paying attention to other things, but Alan was watching him as he came up to his boat. He stood in his dinghy for quite a while, then suddenly Alan couldn’t see him anymore. The night was getting close to totally dark, so he thought perhaps he just hadn’t seen him get onto his boat, but after a few minutes no lights had come on inside. Alan was quite worried about him, so he and Savannah went out in our dinghy to check it out. It was quite a good thing that they did because it turned out the man had fallen in. He has one “good leg,” which he had injured earlier that day, making it difficult for him to get onto his boat from his dinghy. They were able to help him get back aboard.

We also stopped by the Deltaville Maritime Museum while we were in town. The museum had just reopened in the spring and is still rebuilding after a devastating fire last summer. We’ll definitely have to go back again when they finish their new building. I especially liked their reproduction of the boat John Smith used to explore the Chesapeake. His was an unnamed boat that he referred to as his “discovery barge.” They named their reproduction Explorer.

IMG_5295We also made a couple trips to Nauti Nell’s: part marine consignment store, part gift shop. I’m sure it will be one of the necessary stops when we return to Deltaville.

After Deltaville, one of our favorite stops was a bit of a surprise. We have stayed in Solomons so many times. We always thought about checking out the Calvert Marine Museum, but just hadn’t made it there yet. This time, we went there right after setting the anchor, which just a couple hours until closing. We figured that would be enough time for the kids to make their way through. We were so wrong. We were instead left with the realization that we need to come back when we can spend the better part of a day there. We went to the Drum Point lighthouse first because we never tire of lighthouses.

IMG_5402And then we tried to see as much as we could see of the museum before they closed. It was so much bigger than we realized. The kids most enjoyed digging for fossils. They all came away with shark teeth for souvenirs. Felicity won the prize for best tooth finder.

IMG_5407The touch tank and all the other fish and invertebrates were a close second favorite. Felicity ran from tank to tank in wonder, declaring it the “best museum ever!” when she found the seahorses. It was a very nice way to wrap up our trip, and yet again we found a place to which we hope to return. IMG_5323

What I’ve Not Been Up To

I have no exciting knitting to share. I’ve been very busy not-knitting, actually. I seem to have gotten into a bit of a knitting funk. I just have no motivation to pick up my needles. Savannah’s Harry Potter sweater is very close to completion and I just have not done it. I’m not sure what to blame this on. The pattern is very not exciting, for starters. It’s all stockinette. Once I finished the not-really-intarsia letter H there was nothing to keep it interesting. Is my attention span so short? Yes, apparently it is. And somehow, while I’ve been busy not-knitting it, it got to be May! At this point, I’m thinking there’s already no way possible that all my big projects will be completed for Christmas. And I’m thinking that’s okay. I’ll have to decide, once I’m feeling knitty again, which projects take precedence. I also think, however, that I kind of burned myself out with the number of projects I ended up making for last Christmas. Moderation: it’s good for all things. Anyone have any tips for getting out of my knitting funk? I really would like to start knitting again, but night after night, I just don’t. Hm.

While I’ve been not-knitting, we’ve also been not-sailing, which is a bit of a bummer. We spend Mother’s Day down at the boat trying to finish up the maintenance necessary before putting it back in the water. It’s very close now and it’s scheduled to go back in Memorial Day weekend. Of course, this would be easier if Alan – who is not a runner – hadn’t signed up for a 50k race on June 1. Why would he do such a thing? So… getting the boat ready and finishing up training will both be packed into the next two weeks. This should get interesting.

So what have I been doing whilst busy not-knitting and not-sailing? There have been softball practices and games and church activities. There was a First Holy Communion and a party. And there has been reading, which is a plus. It is hard to find the time for both knitting and reading (and I found out the hard way not to try to mix the two). I was inspired by the release of the movie (which I haven’t seen) to re-read The Hobbit, which I just finished. I intend to go on and read The Lord of the Rings books and The Silmarillion, but we’ll see.

So what have you not been doing that you should be or would like to be doing?

Time management

Time management

I’m supposed to finish the first Harry Potter sweater by March 4. It’s written on the calendar in permanent marker and everything. So far I have the back finished and just a few inches of the front. I’m thinking it’s not going to happen.

My knitting pace has slowed waaaaay down. There is only so much free time, and after the frenzy of Christmas knitting, I’ve been wanting to use more of mine with my first love and obsession: reading. The problem is, with the big plans I’ve already made for next Christmas, I kind of already have a schedule to keep to. Now, I’m well aware that multitasking is not very efficient. However, it is really good for silencing the part of my brain that’s nagging me to do whichever activity I’m not currently doing. So, while I may be both reading and knitting slower than normal if I do both at the same time, I’ve found it’s highly satisfying to do so. How does one knit and read at the same time? Well, you need a book that stays open by itself. The Kindle is obviously great for this, but at the moment I’m reading an old fashioned print book, so a binder clip helps keep it open. Also, quite obviously, this only works with a totally brainless pattern. The Harry Potter sweaters are all stockinette stitch – the bits that need shaping and the intarsia for the initial of course call for strict attention, but great swaths of it can just be done on autopilot.

IMG_4512

With the book held open, one need only stop to turn pages. Multitasking accomplished. Knitting pace may still be slow, but my free time satisfaction rate is high.

Time Management

The trouble with having a boat is that you actually want to use it. This becomes more of a problem when you live in a landlocked place like, say, Pennsylvania. Which we do… So, the boat resides in Maryland, about 3 hours away from us. Between shuffling schedules and the price of gas, going down there becomes a big deal. Alan’s schedule is a little more forgiving. He is a firefighter that works 24 hour shifts, so he gets some nice chunks of time in between shifts, which means he gets to go down more often than the rest of us do.

He was supposed to go down today for a day of sailing, but, as seems to be happening, it didn’t work out. His sailing buddy was unable to come along because of illness in his household. As it turned out, the weather is pretty crummy on the East Coast anyhow. Our street has turned into a river, as it likes to do in a heavy rain.

Alan is pretty bummed. It does get discouraging. When I asked him this morning what his plans were, he said to sell the boat before it falls into disrepair from neglect. Sigh. The kiddos are enjoying this ducky weather, though.

My new campaign

So, fall is a pretty fabulous time of year. I don’t have to tell you. It speaks for itself: the weather, back to school excitement, football, pumpkin and spices and soups from the kitchen… Fabulous. I mean, look at my crew in their Sunday finery. Sweater dresses and tights: oh the coziness! (Don’t mind Sammy. Poking himself in the eye is his current favorite picture pose. Sure hope he skips that one for school pics.)

I even enjoy sunset coming earlier at this time of year. It seems just about perfect. A bit chilly and dark outside, so I can snuggle up in the warmth and light of inside and read something spooky- some Poe, perhaps – or, closer to Halloween, my annual reading of :”The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Here’s the maple tree right beside my house around 7:00 last evening.

A bit dark and potentially spooky for those of us with over-active imaginations: the perfect contrast to the warm glow coming from inside the house right behind me.

Of course, it will continue to get dark earlier and earlier, which can’t be helped. Except, we speed the whole process up with the end of Daylight Savings Time! Then, welcome to dark-when-you-get-up-and-dark-when-you-go-home time. The fun ends. No longer do we have the dusky, spooky, perfect fall lighting scheme. We trade that for the dismal dark of winter that we’ll be stuck with for so many months.

I would like to propose (and I know I’m not the first, but hey, I’m the first person I’ve heard say it this year) permanent Daylight Savings Time! I think this is a campaign we can get behind – a welcome distraction from the presidential campaigns that have been going on for eons, right? Now, of course Congress isn’t around to do anything about it. I’m thinking this has to be a civil disobedience thing. Let’s all refuse to operate by standard time. Anyone with me? I know there have been conflicting studies about the effects of DST on things like energy consumption and traffic studies – actually I think the most recent studies are anti-DST… but come on, extending the perfection of fall before we get sucked into wintertime? That’s surely a worthy goal.