Standing Ovation for Friends & Family Tour

We’ve had so many highlightable moments in the past few days that I’ve split my post into two. This is the people post. Next up is the kayak post. I understand you might smirk at both. “This is a travel blog, Shelly! When are you going somewhere?”

I tell you what: We’re leaving tomorrow, and we’re going west. In the meantime though, I get to show off my best friends and family in the Va/WVa/Md area. (DelMarVa, for you folks who aren’t all that particular and don’t know anyone from Delaware.)

Four People at the Dinette!

So. The friend I’ve been talking on the phone with the most for the past year, my adult BBF (which sounds like it should be pay-per-view material but means we became best friends as adults)—finally, our paths crossed when she and her husband visited us at the campground at Greenbrier in Maryland.

Lucy brought homegrown flowers, a salad from her garden, bins she’d been storing for me, and, last but not least, her husband. She could have shown up just as her heart in one of those ORGAN TRANSPLANT plastic coolers with liquid ice clouding around it and I would have been just as happy to see her.

Our conversation is Top Secret. I can share with you, though, that the weather was so crap when she was here that we had her and her husband Ken in the trailer for lunch, which meant they were our first guests at the dinette! I tell you what, it works, but it’s tight.

Good thing we really like them (plus the salad was from their garden, I know I mentioned that) and Tracy made a savory wild rice and mushroom stew. And the conversation was all over the place, as it must be when you see someone once a year.

Jeez Louise that visit felt good. Now all those phone conversations may resume fueled by in-person smiles and hugs and laughter and simply being together.

Trivia in the Secret Garden

I know I’ve mentioned that Tracy and I used to play trivia with the Donner Party at bars around Frederick. Our team is diverse: each of us happens to be edumacated in various topics that come keep us coming back for more. And since Tracy and I hit the road right when playing trivia in bars became a death-defying happy-hour activity, we’ve been playing online with our team every Thursday night.

This camaraderie is kind of like being on a high-end athletic team that competes across the country … except, obviously, we actually only know random shit about things like chemistry and geography. That makes us feel like superstars, though.

We are not smilers, however. Left to right: Finn (helpful with gaming and music), Karen (team expert in art), Shannon (biology and chemistry, among many), Tracy (geography and politics). We’re truly enjoying ourselves in Karen and Joel’s Secret Garden backyard. These are trivia-champion smiles under our thinking brows.

Here is a couple of smiles I love.

And here is a sample of Karen and Joel’s secret garden foxgloves. We were in the middle of downtown Frederick, and you would never have known. Their whole house is, in fact, a gallery of both manmade art and natural abundance. I felt like I was in Wonderland the whole time, but without any angry queen. Books, yes, and paintings, sculpture, flowers, and vines. A haven.

I think everyone enjoyed themselves,

Below is Patty, our expert in many things, but especially archaeology. And Mike, not a trivia player or an expert in random things especially, but the best at trying to smile while eating vegetarian chili (it was very yummy).

Team captain Joel is posing like an angel between them, but I know he’s grilling up some mean eggplant slices and hotdogs right behind them.

These he will later ply me with (along with the local beer Mike brought), to lure me into playing ukulele in the house after the party was over, when I had no business trying to remember lyrics, much less proper chord progressions.

You know it’s been a fun party when,

 It’s hard to leave when you can’t find the door.

I make fun of the situation only because there’s no photo of me doing that.

Seriously, I took this picture myself to show that I was eating strawberry shortcake (homemade by Karen) with a side of hotdog. And Sriracha/Ranch dressing. With a sour beer.

Party on, Donner Party.

As you all begin to meet again in person to dominate the trivia scene, please don’t forget Tracy and me, the farm team. We’ll be ready via Zoom anytime. Put us in, Coach Joel! We’re ready to play.

5 thoughts to “Standing Ovation for Friends & Family Tour”

  1. It sure was fun seeing you and Tracy in 3D after all these months of Zoom! And I think the cake and hotdog combo might just catch on.

    1. Caught! Shannon began her archaeology career in Harpers Ferry, and my former neighbor, Michelle, used to be a National Historic Parks archaeologist there as well. I guess I’m drawn to your type. 🙂