Friday, July 30, 2004

Mornings with Lady (our Miniture Schnauzer)
Usually, I am the first one up so since we have been on this adventure I take the dog out for a walk which we both enjoy.  Here in Tilghman there is a park next to Knapps Narrows Marina.  I imagine that at one point this park was beautiful.  The only upkeep done is mowing the grass.  It use to have a majestic view of The Bay at one point.  The back of the park has a deck type structure, an overlook on top of a hill but the weeds and such have grown up to such a point that you can not see much of the Bay. 
This has become our regular spot.  There are a few other dog owners that have made it their regular spot too.  I only run into them when I get up or get out late.  Early in the AM it is just Lady and me.  The other things that crabs my attention are the boats that are dry docked at the Marina.  My favorite name of a sailboat is "Panic Knot."  My imagination takes flight, the captain of this vessel is perhaps an Englishman who is calm and stern, in the midst of high winds he may cry out to his passengers, "Panic Knot, I am at the helm and I have everything in control." At the very moment that he says the word "control" he is covered by the wave that has swept over the deck.   Anyway, I let you in to one of my morning musings. 
I do hope that I get to go back out on the Bay in one of the vessels around here before we pack up to go.  Yes, it is almost time to go....we are doing a short stop here (we are headed south...more on that later.) After we do FL from Nov. to May we will be doing shorter assignments hoping to get to see more of this great land together with our children, while they are still children. 
Have a wonderful day unless you have other plans.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

"Where would I find cocoa?" 
This question and ones similar to that are upon my lips to the grocer in whatever town I find myself on any given day.  One of the challenges of traveling is learning the new grocery store.  I do my best to remain teachable and I do enjoy learning how to get around town find the short cuts and local favorites but what aisle is the tuna in...... (I want to know but I don't want to have to learn) 
The other day I went shopping and I was saying to myself, why am I dreading going to the grocery store?  It came to me as I was driving in the truck by takes me twice as long to shop because I am still learning where things are.  So, if this is my biggest challenge as a traveler than I will be doing great, don't you think?  And I will not starve my family . . . maybe I need to take one of the kids with me in the next place we move to so we can go for a trial run the first time, just get acquainted with the store and perhaps picking up a thing or two and map out the store.   
This is real life.....and no I don't want my own reality show.  Living it is enough for me.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Oh Captain my Captain!!!
Skipjack Rebecca with Capt Wade Murphy on Tuesday 13th of July, 2004   Michael started to hoist the sail but it soon became quite a work, a man joined him and moments later I found my hands upon the ropes.  It was a fine day for a sail.  My mother and Katie were among those enjoying the history/science lesson being giving by Capt. Wade while Mr. Dick took the wheel.  Soon we were sailing along.  Learning about Osprey and the Coastguard, the eco system of the Bay and the oyster crisis, global warming (sic) and the depopulation of the famous blue crab.....we had no idea that this waterman wanted us to know as much as he could tell us about what he knew concerning this body of water and the life in it within 2 hours.  I think he didn't talk for the last 10 minutes.  Michael took the wheel for the last leg of our journey.  Capt Wade was going to let him dock but since Michael had no experience he asked the captain to take over the wheel.  It was a relaxing trip and I hope we get to go out on the water again before we leave this place.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Annapolis MD part II
My mum came to visit.  Arriving on Saturday July 10, 2004 I failed to remember that I was living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the summer time.  Well, there was a 10 mile back up at the Bay Bridge to get home.  So we took a detour to Annapolis for lunch.  It was Katie, my Mum and me.  Since, there is really no rush on the ES, there was no rush to get over the bridge.  We dined at the Middleton Tavern and enjoyed some of Maryland's famous blue crabs.   Then it was back to the Kinte-Haley Memorial.  My mother appreciated this historic detour and once we got back on the road the traffic was much less congested.  Some of our best trips are the ones that our not planned and this was one of them.  

"Behold the only thing Greater than yourself!" Omoro Kinte

Do you remember the miniseries, ROOTS on TV in the 70's? .....I guess there is still controversy concerning this film today. Alex Haley the author of Roots died in 1992 and in 2002 the Kunta Kinte/ Alex Haley Memorial was dedicated in Annapolis MD at the city dock.

About a month ago we watched ROOTS with the kids. It is not easy to watch but it is a part of our history. This slavery business shows us how life has never been perfect and never will be.  Does not every nation and culture have things that they are not proud of and as human beings there are things in our own past that we are not proud of?  Some of us as individuals have things that are quite overt, no doubts.  Most of us have the more concealed faults of the higher nature, those are what Henry Drummond calls the "sin against Love may seem a hundred times more base"  than drunkenness, s-xual immorality and murder.  Nevertheless it is a part of our history.   We are molded and shaped by our experiences both the good and bad. 
Hopefully, we learn from our own mistakes but we are to also learn from the mistakes of others.  The old saying goes, "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  The only things that I know about public education are a few facts from relatives and also from reading books by John Taylor Gatto (former public school faculty member in NYC, 30 years and teacher of the year).  What I have heard is that real documents, real books and the truth are NOT included in the curriculum.  History is rich, dramatic and gut wrenching at times.   
Kunta Kinte was a proud African who never lost sight of where he came from or who he was.  Why did he run?  Freedom was taken from him and he would not go down without a fight.  He was a free man in Africa and he remained free in his heart and his spirit.  He was able to live above his circumstances and he past on his heritage to his child and an oral history had begun. 
To Annapolis we went.  After a quick stop at the Visitors' Center where we ran into one of Dan's co-worker from Westborough State, we headed over to the oldest state house in the Union.  The skies opened up on us as we approached the building, which way do we go?  We ended up at the locked back door and it became torrential.  We huddled under the porch together.....after Michael and Katie got soaked.  As it let up we ran to the other side and they let us in even with our 2 aqueous adventurers.  Squeaking and dripping on the marble floor we took in the history, art and architecture of this historic building.   
Then we made our way down to the dock.  It was a somber occasion.  A story of pain, perseverance and fruit of not just one man's work but of thousands of men, women and children who endured passage to this country in a very inhuman way. 
What an opportunity........briefly the Kunta Kinte - Alex Haley Memorial starts at the Compass reminding us to remember where we come from, then to the statute of Alex and 3 children to remind us to tell our personal history to our own children as well as others and lastly The Story Wall which is to be a place of healing.  There are 10 sculpted-bronze plaques with words and images from Haley's Roots at the Story Wall.   (

I loved the feel of this city and just getting to places where we can learn and grow as a family.  The world is truly our classroom and experience is the more prolific teacher.     

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Independence, Freedom, American
For 10 years Karen Mullaney and I celebrated our nation's birthday together with our kids. Usually Dan and Jimbo were working so we would go to Grandpa Mullaney's on Mellen St. Needham for breakfast, then the parade and flea market. It was a tradition ...we stopped doing after Grandpa sold his house...our last 4th of July in Massachusetts we went to Susie and Grandpa's for dinner followed by the Needham fireworks with Karen, Jimbo, Billy, Kelly and all the kids. It was good to be with them again on the fourth not knowing it would be perhaps our last in MA.....Last year we were on Virginia Beach, it was very patriotic...............this year we went to Easton which is one of the 8 best small towns in USA. We were thinking small town America, small fireworks NOT! It was one of the best fireworks we have ever witnessed. The grand finale last 20 minutes. We went in the evening, there was live music with the Vogues ( they played oldies mostly from the 50's, 60's and 70's (which my kids remind me these are the old oldies). They were excellent but there final song was from the 21st century, with God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood. Grace turned to me and said, this is the only country song I like....we started singing together and with many others we stood up to sing. This song was written to remember those who died on September 11, 2001 and those who would go on to fight in the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq and now we can also remember all those who gave there lives from the Revolutionary War onward....Grace and I locked arms singing this song....the police didn't stop us, in fact if you looked closely you could see the tear glissoning in his eye in the twilight as he remembered those NYC police officers who died that day in fact, he was singing along with us.
Grace and I listened to focus on the family yesterday where they were talking about Americans who have failed to registered to vote and even some of those who are registered fail to vote and that is to our societies detriment. Some people wanting to 'delete' God from the Pledge of allegiance....whether we like it or not our country was founded by majority of God reliant men. Who knew that without the hand of Providence, they were doomed to remain colonists under British rule.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." AND "It must be felt that there is no security but in the nation's humble acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence."

We not only have the right but also the responsibility to participate in the process of our representative government. It is our failure to act that has gotten us where we are today. The program talked about the failure of the churches and their pastors to encourage us to be salt and light in this world. (by the way, I am a registered voter in FL and I will be voting via an absentee ballot)
I will not forget this fourth of July in smalltown America 2004. Nor will I forget that we are free to celebrate being America, anywhere in the USA. Traveling with our children, meeting watermen and eating blue crab on the Easternshore of Maryland. We are living in unsettling times and we are appreciating the freedom we still have.....