I am just back from the beach, North Myrtle Beach to be precise. I immersed myself in Grandchildren activities, swimming in the waves, building castles, a trip to the amusement arcade and dinner at the Dixie Stampede, but mostly on the beach and in the waves.
I have come back feeling all the fitter from diving through the biggest breakers and jumping over the smaller ones. What a great aerobic workout and what fun. For awhile I felt as young as Chiara, Pico and Sean and younger than Katie and Sarah, my teenagers, who are becoming quite sophisticated.
In the mornings my muscles reminded me that being young at heart is one thing but that the body is not as adaptable as the mind.
I am not so big on the off beach entertainments, probably because when I was young we amused ourselves in the sea and on the sand and did not need the other attractions. I did however greatly enjoy sharing in the children's excitement as we watched the Dixie Stampede. Along with Sean and Pico, I jumped to my feet to cheer on our side, the South, and stamped my feet whenever we won a flag.
Chiara, the horsewoman of our family, was enraptured. She had been to the Stampede on previous occasions and has had a long standing ambition to join the team of trick riders. At her age I would have had the same dream.
It was a wonderfully patriotic evening and we drove back to the condo that night singing "I am proud to be an American." Nine year old Sean was looking glum on the last day and I asked him why. "I am growing old too quickly. Time is passing too fast. Tomorrow we leave and then there is only a month and then school."
Most children are in a rush to become teenagers. I was touched that Sean would like the present to continue. At my age I feel the same way and wish I could put the brake on time that once moved at the pace of the tortoise but now rushes by at the speed of the greyhound.
For the first two days of this week I am working in my studio here in Mathews. Early Wednesday morning, Malcolm and I will head for Waynesboro to attend the teachers' workshops The P. Buckley Moss Foundation is running at the Museum that day and on Thursday. On Friday we will be in Charlottesville for the Society's weekend of training for the leaders of its chapters.
My house here on the Chesapeake is my R and R hide out. Mathews County is a gem. The only traffic light in the county is one governing traffic flow over the bridge to Gwynn's Island. There are just two roads into our county and being surrounded by water on three sides, we are spared the disturbance of passing traffic; there is nowhere to go beyond Mathews.
When the need for more warehouse space forced us to relocate our business from Northern Virginia, some of our staff were unable to adapt to the silence of Mathews. Having lived all their lives hearing the hum of traffic, the total lack of noise was disturbing.
Malcolm and I do not have this problem, but then Malcolm is half deaf anyway and often does not know when I am speaking to him. I keep trying to get him to invest in a new set of hearing aids but to no avail. He says having bought many hearing aids in the past only to have them gum up in the humidity of Panama's rain forest, he is going to wait until a submersible hearing aid comes on the market.
Another household tip from Malcolm's waterman friend Gilbert. To get rid of unpleasant odors in the kitchen, cut a stick of celery into five pieces, place them in boiling water and simmer until the smell of celery takes over. I am not sure why five pieces but with these local lores it is as well to follow the instructions. I am not superstitious but I do not walk under ladders!
I will be seeing some of you this weekend at the training in Charlottesville. For the rest of you have a good week and I will be in touch again next Tuesday.