Monday, June 22, 2009


What a whirlwind weekend! I attended Operafest at UMW on Friday night; that was a real treat: a good exposure to opera with some incredible talent, not the least of which was my co-worker AJ, who belted out some major high Cs. Truly a pleasure to have experienced this. Saturday held a trip to Frederick, MD, chronicled below, and Sunday evening I attended the wedding of two very dear friends.

I spent a leisurely morning on Saturday with Rebecca, topped off mid-day by an impulsive trip to get pedicures...nice! All morning, though, I was trying to get a companion for my trip to Frederick, MD, to hear Bob Sima at Frederick Cellars. A folk musician with insightful, soulful, and upbeat lyrics and a beautifully smooth voice, I had first heard Bob at a Songwriters' Showcase at Pickers. Several house concerts later, I'm a huge fan and plan to have Bob with a full band at my 50th celebration. All attempts at finding a travel companion failed, and I must admit my heart wasn't really in the trip when I set out. It didn't help that traffic 2/3 of the way was virtually stopped. I finally checked into my room at about 5:30, which gave me very little time to take the nap I had so been hoping for. Deciding that I needed to get my bearings in town, I checked in with Rebecca and then headed into town.

Coming into Frederick from the direction I did was kind of like coming into Fredericksburg from R0ute 2/Mayfair area. You see the signs for Historic Frederick and Frederick Fairgrounds. Pretty uneventful. It soon became apparent to me, however, that this was a special little town. Now, anyone who knows me knows I don't like favorites/bests/superlatives in general. I know we have a great little town, but I know there are thousands just as special all over the country. Frederick is one of these. Like Fredericksburg/Savannah/Carytown all rolled into one, Frederick is a wonderful blend of diverse shopping, restaurants, and people, with a unique history and an obvious sense of pride in the town. But more than anything, it was a feast for the eyes.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I located Frederick Cellars, where I planned to hear Bob Sima play. Since I was early, I wandered about town, cursing myself for not bringing my camera: it was apparent to me that there were so many things to take pictures of, and I determined to come back in the morning to do just that.

Anyhow, back at the Cellars, I ordered a glass of wine and sat at the wine bar. Almost immediately, Bob pulled up. He brought his equipment in, and we chatted for a bit. Folks began coming in, and of course Bob knew many of them from previous engagements. Since I was alone, he introduced me to several folks, and they promptly had me join them. Helen, Ralph, Janis, and Don were very open and friendly; we were soon joined by Nancy and Mike. The music ensued, and it was fun and beautiful. Bob is very engaging and interacts well with his audience. He played from 7:30 to 10, and all too soon it was over. Bob mixed with everyone for a few minutes, and we all said our goodbyes, since Frederick Cellars closed at 10. I met four other long-time fans of Bob's, and they were making plans for a late dinner. Bob invited me along, so the six of us set out for Brewers' Alley.
Housed in what was the old city hall building, this three story all brick establishment was obviously a popular night spot. Fortunately, we were able to get a table on the patio, and were quickly ordering pizza (white and hawaiin) and beers. The evening was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the company was great. We wandered back to our cars, and the entire time I was making mental notes hoping to remember where we were so I could come back and take pictures. We all said our goodbyes, and I went back to the hotel and crashed. I determined I would skip the continental breakfast and sleep in. I did just that, and woke up smiling and hungry, ready to explore.

It was a nice morning, not sunny but also not hot, with a good breeze blowing. Although I was very hungry, I found myself wandering and taking pictures...I'd know the right place when I found it. Scene after scene jumped out in front of me, and I had to delete pictures several times in order to get other shots. At least four different times I would find myself, quite by accident, exactly where I wanted to be for the next shot.

This wandering landed me in front of Pretzel and Pizza Creations, where I ended up having the best (yes, I said best!) breakfast sandwich I have ever experienced.

It was perfect. The entire morning was perfect. Serendipitous, I dare say. I realized that I was supposed to come to Frederick alone. It just wouldn't have been the same had I been accompanied. It truly was one of the best outings I have had in a long time, and Frederick now holds special memories for me, as well as the promise of future trips and visits to shops and restaurants yet unexplored. I highly recommend Frederick for a weekend outing, I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And so it goes...

Looking forward to what has become an annual (third) trek to Topsail Island with four fun ladies. Rebecca will be on her science trip to Florida, rooming with three other girls, and they are non-stop should be a blast for her, but I know she'll be exhausted after! One of the other parents kindly offered to take her to Dulles along with his child, thank goodness because they need to be up there before six a.m.!! So while she's having her fun, I get to have my fun...sun, seafood, cocktails, reading, and sleep, with some lively banter mixed in, can't wait!

So, my girl is moving on to high school next year -- wow. It really does fly by, this time stuff. But I'm loving every minute of it. I have friends who are mourning the loss of the innocence, etc. as their children grow up, but I don't look at it that way. It's been a fun ride, and she is exactly where she is supposed to be, good for her (and good for me!)

My brother has a court date on 6/18 to see if they will uphold the restraining order against him. It's ridiculous: my brother is not and never was a violent person, never got in fights, abhors violence, took him years to allow himself to even hunt (only justified it by using as much of the kill as possible...) He has not been able to go home, see his cat, get clothes. It's a terrible mess, and so unnecessary. Wish he wasn't so far away, it isn't easy for his family to feel so helpless and not be able to support him. And meanwhile the almost ex-wife has gotten more and more bitter and angry, lashing out by trying to take even more from him, rather than realizing the marriage is over and he is being very supportive by continuing to cover her huge medical expenses, a house free and clear, and tens of thousands on top of that so that she can focus on her health.


Life on a personal level is fine, still a little confusing at times on the social front but I'm learning (and I mean this at all levels of socializing...) I will never understand the motivation of some folks, but so it goes.

Summer is in full swing, concerts, picnics, outings near and far, and it should be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to our excursion to Radford and hikes in the surrounding area, most especially. A week with folks from all over the country (and other countries) gathered together to laugh, discuss, relax, have fun, and make memories -- it's a beautiful thing!

Here's to moving forward, ever forward, with no regrets and with optimism for what lies ahead. Happy summer adventures to all!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Weary and befuddled...

Lots of stuff going through my mind lately.

I have a couple of friends who are in different stages of loving and losing. We had a conversation the other night about who had it better, they who have recently experienced a deep connection and are now faced with the loss of it, or me who, in spite of a few minor forays, have yet to experience that depth of friendship and passion that I long to have with a partner.

And then there is the whole dating thing. Geez. I KNEW there was a reason I didn't want to meet someone I liked: it opens up a whole package of emotions that I've managed to keep tightly wrapped and hidden. I am forced to consider who I am, what I want, what I'm willing to give, what I'm willing to accept. I feel like I'm back in high school, with all those insecure thoughts that swirl about. You try not to overthink things, you try to go with the flow, but the questions surface.

It's so much easier to be alone, not worry about the interactions, the should/shouldn't, too much/too little of it all. But then, is it better to be alone? It's kind of lonely. . .

I suppose what's bothering me the most is that I'm almost 50, I've been separated/divorced for six years now, and there isn't much on the horizon for me on a personal level. I'll be working for the next 17 years, during which time my daughter will finish high school and move on to college. Deep down, I'm aware that I have not given up on the idea of finding a partner to share those years with, but at times I feel it will be ever elusive. And I try so hard not to go to that place that asks "Is it me? What is wrong with me?"

Yeah, weary and befuddled. This too shall pass.