Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

It is still hard for us to not be with all of our children and our grandchildren on holidays.  We did have the joy of having friends around this holiday though, and that offset our sadness some.

Jack and Diane hosted a Memorial Day party for all of us.  We had food, fun and friends.  All good things!
It was Karen's birthday, so we celebrated her day with her.  Josh had picked out all of her cake ingredients.  Good job, Josh!
Bob brought a game that he made.  We split into teams, with guys against girls, and played against each other.
 Faye was the first one to land on a hook.  Then Ken showed her up by landing TWO rings on the same hook.  I managed to hook one of the top ones.  Karen hooked a 10,000 point hook and then accidentally knocked it back off.  So not fair with it being her birthday and all, but she was a good sport.
So, who won?  The women!  We had a lot of fun and I'm now thinking I'd Nathan to try and build one for us.
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with good things!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cookout with Pickleball and Horseshoe Tournament Players

After the tournament, we went to a cookout.  They combined the horseshoe tournament players with the pickleball tournaments players in the cookout.  We had lots of fun getting to know the locals better.


Pickleball Tournament at Chesapeake Thousand Trails

Today we played in the pickleball tournament here.  Michelle and Mike Roberts hosted it and I thought they did a great job.  I have to tell you, we've played pickleball coast to coast in Thousand Trails parks now and nobody quite plays like the crowd here does.  They have fun at it, no matter what.  So it wasn't surprising to me that the tournament was fun too.
This tournament was played differently than pickleball tournaments usually are.  Because of that, by the end of the tournament, we all ended up being in a different bracket.
I'll have to do different posts for each, because it will be too much to fit into one.

Diana and Krystal in the Tournament

First, let's talk about the ladies.  Diana and I paired up together.  We played four games.  We played hard.
 We played well as a team.
 We were happy with how we did today.
We ended up in the championship game for our bracket.  We won Runner Up position.  Considering that three out of four of our games were against two men, I was thrilled! 
These were the winners in our bracket:
Congratulations guys!  You played a great game against us.

Thank you, Diana, for playing with me.  That is the most fun that I've had in a tournament to date.

Aric and John in the Tournament

Aric played with John.  We just met John last night.  Aric left before John got to the courts last night.  Which means today was the first they'd ever played together.
 They did very well together.
I think they had incredible teamwork together.  Especially since it was their first time playing together.
The ended up in the championship game and they won their bracket!  Woohoo!  WTG, Aric!

Nathan and Daryl in the Tournament

After watching these two play this last week, I knew that they would do well.
I would not have wanted to be playing against them.
They played tough, fierce games against the competition.
They ended up in the championship game.  They won their bracket.  Woohoo!  WTG, guys!

Austin and Karen in the Tournament

Last but not least are Austin and Karen. 
 I know firsthand how great they are together.
They had incredible games today.  They were so consistently strong.  I loved watching them play.
They ended up in the championship game, against Jack and Diane.  They played incredible games today too.  Which means this particular game was amazing.
They won a very tough game.  I'm so proud of both teams!
Jack and Diane won the Runner Up position.

Which means Austin and Karen won the overall Championship!  Awesome job, Karen and Austin!  We are all proud of you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Spending Time With the Ladies

We've been staying so busy, I'm exhausted from it.  It's the good kind of tired to be sure.  But my body is sure protesting all of the activity.  Today we started the day with pickleball and ended it with pickleball.  We are all training for the tournament this weekend so we are playing hard.

I like pickleball.  Sometimes it gets a bit intense though.  Playing with men adds another dimension of intensity for me.  I forever feel the pressure to step up my game to hold my own with them.  Since we have been to this park, the ladies have been getting up early so we can meet at the court before the guys get there.  There is just something so wonderful about getting in that one or two games with just us girls.  It's been a real treat for me. 

In between all of the pickleball today, Diana and I had a little ladies fun doing some line dancing.  Technically there was one guy there too, but just the fact she and I got to go together made it girl fun for us.
The lovely Miss Faye and Margie both taught.  They both did a great job.  We had fun.  My calves now officially hate me for it.  But we had fun.
For years and years now my life has revolved around my family.  I've enjoyed it and don't regret it.  Until the past year though, I'd forgotten how wonderful it is to spend time with women like this. Diana and I were trying to recall the last time we did things with just women, meaning just for fun time with them.  High School was the last time I could remember.  And as I recall, it was pretty wonderful back then, even with the immaturity and pettiness that goes along with a group of young girls.  I've missed it.
So I guess it just feels like a homecoming of sorts to find a place for it in my life again.  For all the tons and tons and tons of advice I've been given over the years in regards to being a wife and mother, I wish someone had also told me "spend time in the company of women"..."without the focus being husbands or children"...."in fact, sometimes make sure you spend time with women and never, ever talk about the husbands and children".  I think it would have done my spirit a lot of good.

So glad I do have it now.  Living the life this week in the company of lovely ladies in Virginia!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Exploring Mathews, VA

 Today Diana and I took the kids to explore some things in Mathews.  Our first stop was a farm named Eastfield Farms and Oysters.  We had hoped to see and hear about the aquaculture that they do here.  They grow oysters from seeds as part of their farming practices.  They also have no spray blueberries that you can pick when in season.
We were able to spend some time talking to the owner, who so graciously shared some very interesting things with us.  Only 1% of the oyster population is still in the Chesapeake Bay and this gentleman is doing his part to counter that.  You can read more about his farm and efforts here: Eastfield Farms and Oysters

After we left the farm, we stopped to snap some pictures of a beautiful church.  I love church architecture and so many times comment on buildings, but rarely stop to snap pictures.
We wandered around the cemetery in the back and chatted about what we saw.  There were many military tombstones so we talked about that some.  We left here and headed to the library.  The main reason we went to the library was to stop and ask where the lighthouses were here.  We got distracted before we got around to asking and spent some time hanging out there.

The librarian sent us to Mathews Beach which was a really neat spot.  We didn't see the lighthouse but we did some hands on learning, which we always love.
We met this beautiful creature:
 And we met his beautiful owner, who shared that he was going to be put down in a few days.  Her grief was very raw and it was so touching to me that she let us share some of their last moments together with them:
 We left the beach to head back to the campground because Karen and Tom were hosting a happy hour.  I'll have to grab pictures from everyone else for that, because I forgot my camera. 

We had a great day together!  Living the life in sunny Virginia!

Haven Beach in Mathews VA